The Dead Sea is renowned for its immense historic significance which can boast near-mythical proportions. It has featured prominently in numerous historical texts, and was, of course, the location the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered (which are now on display online for all the world to enjoy).
As a tourist destination however, there is a second dimension to the Dead Sea; visitors worldwide come to the Dead Sea to experience the health benefits of the lowest point on Earth.
Why is the Dead Sea so healthy? Well, the water of the Dead Sea is exceptionally saline because it has no outlet and is a “terminal lake” which, in the blazing Middle-Eastern sunlight, loses vast amounts of water through evaporation (the water level is falling by 1 meter every year). It hence has a very high concentration of various minerals which is further boosted by the leaching occurring from stratified rock and alluvial deposits from the mud forming the seabed.
Although the popular misconception is that the Dead Sea contains only sodium, it actually contains a veritable cocktail of other beneficial minerals including magnesium, bromides, calcium chlorides and potassium. The healing properties of these minerals, consistently verified by scientific analysis, are manifold:
- Magnesium has anti-aging properties and also combats fluid retention and stress disorders.
- Calcium chlorides help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis by strengthening calcium-based bones and nails.
- Potassium has moisturizing effects and replenishes energy after strenuous exercise. This makes potassium a great combination with bromides which help to relieve muscle and joint tensions.
- The ubiquitous sodium boosts the immune system by restoring lymphatic fluid balance.
It is these amazing properties that inspire visitors suffering from a myriad of ailments, ranging from tendonitis and arthritis to those suffering from depression and anxiety, to journey to the Dead Sea for healing.
That healing and recuperation process often morphs into lengthy sessions at the various Dead Sea beaches, with lots of that mineral-packed mud being smothered all over pale, foreign skin. There is nothing quite like splashing on the mud and letting the dry heat of the Dead Sea sun bake the mud on your body. Totally revitalizing!
Many tourists also stop off at one of the numerous Dead Sea spas that have sprouted up in recent years to prolong that feeling of relaxation and well-being.
Some of the resorts and spas that have become very popular recently include the impressive Le Meridien Hotel Spa (formerly the Hyatt Regency Dead Sea Health Club); it boasts an incomparable range of facilities such as a seawater pool, heated mineral pools and full spa facilities with sauna, massage and Jacuzzi.
There are plenty of other good options to choose from, and highly recommended on any visit to the Dead Sea. After months of slogging through life-sapping cubicle jobs (for many of us!), the serenity of one of these Dead Sea spas is invaluable. Just check that the hotel you’re booking also includes spa facilities, or is very near some.
The Dead Sea is not only incredibly healthy and revitalizing, it is also the perfect launching pad for a tour of some of Israel’s fascinating sites. Within driving distance are attractions such as Masada, the ancient mountain top fortress, Qumran, the ancient home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mitzpeh Ramon, an eco-tourism town. And with the Holy City of Jerusalem just an hour’s drive away, there’s nothing like escaping back to the waters of the Dead Sea after a long walk round the amazing sights and sounds of the Old City. The Dead Sea really has to be the healthiest spot in Israel to base yourself!
Find out for yourself why the beaches of the Dead Sea are almost always packed with mud-covered tourists – go live the Dead Sea experience!