I first heard it when I was in class 3. My parents had just bought me an Encyclopedia from the Kolkata Book Fair. As I was going through it, I came across a word – “Dead Sea” and that moment, the word hit me hard. For a 9-year-old, the name did all the magic and set the curiosity chord on a very high note. Those were not the days of Google and Facebook and that one page in Encyclopedia was not enough to answer the thousand questions that were popping up in my head.
Why the name??
Why do people float?
How big is it? How was it formed? so on so forth!!!!!!
Fast forward to Christmas, 2018, We started planning our travel for 2019, this time, yearning for our first Visa stamp on our passports (fun fact: We did Bhutan in 2017 but that doesn’t get you a stamp on your passport), the hunch of seeing the mystic dead sea felt really strong and Alas!!! we zeroed down on Jordan.
Home to one of the seven wonders of the world, a vast desert which is often compared to Mars, our first ever scuba diving plan all of this and still the highlight for our entire trip remained as Dead Sea!!! Call it the curious case of childhood dreaming or God’s plan of keeping the best for the last – Dead Sea was the last place of visit in our 9-day road tripping Itinerary across Jordan.
We had done tons of research before, looking for all the feasible options to enjoy this wonder at its best, considering that we were on a backpacking trip the only feasible option seemed to us was the Dead Sea public beach which had entry fee of 20 JD (2000 INR). Private resorts with private access to the beaches were very costly. However, lady luck was quite merciful, and we actually got access to one of the private beaches with no human soul around. How??? Well coming to that in a while.
As we finished our crazy waterfall hike in Wadi Mujib and drove towards Madaba, we saw the first glimpse of my childhood dream. The DEAD SEA!!!
The dead sea highway with mountains on one side and sea on the other was hands down, one of the most scenic drives in Jordan. In our hotel in Madaba that night, the hotel owner offered us a day pass to access Ramada resort’s (one of the Private resorts there) private beach the next day by paying only 25 JOD. Turns out he had some tie up with the resort.
After going through gazillions of blogs and hotel booking offers, we had literally given up looking for private beach access to the Dead sea. And there comes the Messiah – 25 JOD, private beach access to the Dead Sea with free mud masks & towels – Trust us we jumped on the offer, didn’t take us more than couple of minutes to say “yes” to him! We got a private beach, shower facilities, dead sea musk everything at only 5 JOD extra compare to a crowded public beach and a lot lesser than the normal private beaches. Steal deal it was absolutely!!!!
THE DAY had finally arrived. When we were finally supposed to hit the beach. Morning we visited Mount Nebo, before reaching the Ramada Resort by Wyndham, Dead Sea. Upon reaching, a small jeep took us to their private beach. That view from the car parking to the beach was not just a view but my childhood dream lying flat in front of my eyes. Vast, blue and deadly! In a good way obviously! Hardly anyone in the beach on a bright sunny day. The most mystic waterbody in the world, the place where anyone can float, where there is no marine life, where mother nature bestows her creativity abundantly.
We literally ran towards the beach, stopping in front of a small hut. A list of guidelines to be followed while floating in the dead sea was listed out. All the points were bare minimum and very important to follow.
We finally, arrived at the beach and after a quick round of change we walked right into the sea and Ohhh good Lord!!!!! Words cannot explain the feeling. That moment, it was just the sea and Me. Our body started burning a little because we had few bruises all over from the Wadi Mujib hike that we had done the previous day. Fun fact, we never knew we had bruises until we hit the Dead Sea.
Thanks to the salt in there, could locate every cut in the body. But we didn’t care! We were having the time of our lives floating in the sea. I didn’t know that the swimming skills that I was trying to master all summers – back floating was so easy!!!! Cause that’s all that you do in Dead Sea! You back float!
The crystal-clear water hardly has any life, we could only see rocks and stones. We came back to the shore, applied dead sea mud pack all over us and went back again. These mud packs are high in mineral content.
Nonetheless it was a unique and once in a lifetime experience for us, something we always wanted to see and experience firsthand. We came back content, happy and so so tired. But all of it was worth every penny. Because you don’t stand at the lowest point on the Earth everyday.
Ohh, did we tell you guys, yes, we tasted the water, a small drop and it was the worst tasting water ever. With Dead sea remaining etched in our hearts forever, lets help you with some information about Jordan that would help you to plan your trip.
How to reach the Dead Sea
Jordan is well accessible via well connected roadways and airports. However, touch down at Queen Alia International Airport. Flying to middle east is the most feasible option for travellers coming from far of places
To reach Dead Sea, nearest place is Madaba (close to 40kms) which is also very close to the airport
You can also cover Dead Sea from Amman in a day’s trip. It takes around 1 hr to reach from Amman
The best way to cover Jordan is by hiring a car; we got ours from Auto Nation. You can also get a bus or private taxis from Amman to reach the Dead Sea
Best time to visit the Dead Sea & Jordan
Visit Dead Sea during sunset. The setting sun far in the horizon looks beautiful from the shore. This saline water body looks stunning under the orange sky and somehow the lights form a perfect backdrop for a perfect instgrammable picture. Also, what can be more beautiful than floating in magical waters while watching the sky changing colours.
For Jordan in general – there isn’t a best time, because every time is a good time.
Jordan is a small country with most of its landscape covered in vast stretches of desert. However, it has four distinct seasons of Summer, Autumn, Winter and spring which makes Jordan a year-round destination to travel.
Summers in Jordan are hot and arid. Temperatures go very high and hence consider it the off season. The heat is discomforting and since most of the Jordan experience involve hiking, trekking and deserting, travellers usually stay away. However, less people mean you get entire Jordan to yourself to explore!
Winters in Jordan are cold, Spring is the time when you would see the most colourful Jordan and Autumn gives you the best weather conditions to explore around the country.
The choice of season to travel depends on the reason to travel – Summers clearly being the off season is relatively quiet while Spring, Autumn and winter attracts huge tourists. Take a risk visiting during summers if you want Jordan to yourself with almost no herd of tourists, visit during winters if you want to see it snow in desert, Spring to have the best time hiking and Autumn for scuba diving.