The Dead Sea is located about 50 km from Amman, or a 1 hour car drive. It is a salt-lake that is situated between Jordan to the east and Palestine and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are about 605km2 430 metres, respectively, below sea level, making it earth’s lowest land elevation. The Dead Sea is 15 km wide at its widest point and 50 km long, situated in the Jordan Rift Valley and attributed by the Jordan River.
Dead Sea is 304 metres deep and 9.6 times as salty than the ocean, making it an almost impossible environment for plants and animals to live or flourish. The water has a density of around 1.2 kg per litre which then makes you float. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors for thousands of years, supplying a variety of health products from asphalt for mummification to potash for fertilisers, as well as cosmetics and herbal sachets from its salt and minerals. Today, this area has become a location for health research and potential treatment for several illnesses. Most hotels and resorts in the area offer spa and therapeutic services using products from the Dead Sea.
However, the Dead Sea is receding at a fast and alarming rate. In 1930, its surface was around 1,050 km2 and its level was 390 metres below sea level. In recent decades, it has been rapidly shrinking due to the diversion of the water coming from the Jordan River to the north. Several large projects are underway to save and sustain it, such as the “Jordan National Red Sea Development Project” that intends to convey seawater from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
If you are staying in the Dead Sea area upon arrival in Jordan, you should relax on your first day in the hotel and take a plunge into the Dead Sea, or relax by the poolside so you are well rested before taking on the long car journey to Wadi Rum and Petra the next day.