shared with Jordan
and the West Bank
The Dead Sea surface lies about 425 meters (1,400 feet) below sea level, making it the world's deepest dry-land location.
How the Dead Sea
came to be
This body of water has no outflowing river, so any water that flows into sea from rivers and streams is trapped. That water stays their until it evaporates (which occurs at a relatively fast pace because the air is quite hot and dry). The minerals are left behind, creating an amazingly high minerals-to-water ratio.
Besides its world-record low altitude, the Dead Sea offers visitors these draws:
Extreme floating opportunity
Tourists love posing for a picture showing them reading a newspaper while floating (see photo). It's not a trick. The water is that buoyant.
This ancient historic fortress is perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is a Hillman Wonder.
They offer mineral-bath, black-mud, among other curative treatments that have been practiced here for 2,000 years.
It has an other-world look. And its isolation creates a pristine quietness seldom heard by urban dwellers.
Visit one to see its communal lifestyle and meet its members.
Dead Sea Scrolls
These 2,000-year-old Biblical writings were discovered in the mid-20th century by an inquisitive Bedouin shepherd in caves above the ancient Qumran ruins along the Dead Sea.
Because of its high concentration of dissolved minerals, Dead Sea water can stain your bathing suit and other clothing that comes in contact with it. Thoroughly rinse them out in the shower promptly after you leave the water. This mineral-rich water can also sting your eyes and any open cut.
The Dead Sea is about 40 minutes by road from Jerusalem.
For more pointers...
Read my Dead Sea web page in my Wonders of Jordan guide. It features a fast-fact list.
Location in Israel
Top 2 Israel Wonders