If you travel to Jordan, you simply must visit the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. This amazing region is world famous as a place of religious and spiritual reawakening. If religion isn’t your thing, you’ll still love the beautiful landscape, rich cultural history, and the uniqueness of the Jordan Valley. I’ll say it again – the Jordan Valley is NOT to be missed!
The Dead Sea lies within the Jordan Valley, and rests at a staggering 400m (1,312 ft) under sea level. This makes it, by far, the lowest point on the surface of our planet. This alone makes the Dead Sea incredibly unique, but the fascinating nature of this area does not stop here. Since the Dead Sea is so low, many rivers flow into it, including the iconic River Jordan. The rivers flow into the Sea constantly, but have nowhere to go from there. Slowly, the hot sun evaporates the water back into the atmosphere, leaving behind salts and minerals within the Dead Sea.
The water of the Dead Sea is world renowned for its healing and therapeutic properties. It is so chock-full of minerals and salts that it is almost black in color. The water of the Dead Sea is around 10x saltier than the salt waters of the Pacific and Atlantic, and is also incredibly rich in minerals such as magnesium, bromine, potassium, and many others. Dead Sea water is so mineral rich that it is used in countless high-end beauty products that are distributed all throughout the world. The Dead Sea has another fascinating feature – almost everything floats in the sodium-rich waters of this unique sea. An adult can float effortlessly on these mind bogglingly buoyant waters.
To the east, mountains flank the Dead Sea, and to west, Jerusalem’s rolling hills. These natural features frame the iconic Dead Sea in such a way that is truly breathtaking. Today, this area is sparsely populated, but it is thought to be the site of many biblical cities, including Sodom and Gomorrah. On the east coast of the Dead Sea, under the shadows of the nearby mountains, a major hub of activity has developed. This area has become the center of religious tourism in the area, and also attracts many nonreligious health and wellness tourists.
In recent years, the east coast of the Dead Sea has been rapidly modernized. Large luxury hotels have moved in, as have upscale restaurants, spas, and other tourist attractions. Somehow, however, the area has maintained its cultural roots and “vibe”. And, if you want a more rustic, authentic experience, you won’t have to travel far to escape the tourist traps. This area has a long history of attracting people from all over the world. It is said that both Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, and King Herod the Great, often traveled to the Dead Sea, seeking spiritual enlightenment. Today, tourists, religion students, and celebrities alike flock to the Dead Sea, both for its physical properties and its rich cultural history.