israel, middle east, travel
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The Lowest Place on Earth, The Dead Sea

We weren’t the only ones to have a little getaway in mind for this weekend. Our original plan was to drive down to Eilat but after calling just about every hotel only to be told that everything was full, we decided on the Dead Sea instead.

It turned out that the hotels at the Dead Sea were just as full. We called all the hotels to catch the last room at the Isrotel Ganim.

So after some morning iced coffees and a freshly filled stock of hummus to last us a couple days we were ready to go. ūüôā

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Some camels along the way..Didn’t manage to snap a pic of a “Camel Crossing” sign.

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-300 meters below sea level

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The Dead Sea is located on the edge of the Judaean Desert.

And you can ¬†definitely feel ¬†it. ¬†It’s a short strip of hotels plopped in the middle of the desert. If you look around you will see exactly that.

While you are floating it’s the best to slowly spin in a circle to take in the whole view.

The cliff, where all the hotels are sitting beneath.

Or look across the sea where you can see the shore of Jordan. And the color of the desert mountains over there, I don’t know how to describe it. To me they seem to put off a pinkish hue with tints of purple. It is truly a beautiful sight.

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Floating after sunset

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After sunset, we learned, is the best time to head to the beach. In the daytime it was unbearably hot. It’s not very rewarding to dunk your head in this salty water to cool off. Outside it’s hot, salty, and oily. Cold showers are available on the beach, thank goodness.

Tehe perfect solution though is to go after the sun sets. There is a private beach for the people staying in the hotels that closes at around six, but nobody said anything to us when we snuck in after that. It felt like we were the only ones in the entire sea. It was the perfect temperature outside. No sun beating on us.

Only make sure to bring towels. We forgot that, and struggled to find one or two that people left behind. We did get lucky and find some clean ones. ūüôā

The Hotels

The first two nights we took a room at the Isrotel Ganim. It had a beautiful view of the beach and the rosey outline of the mountains on the other side.

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The only thing we were missing was a balcony.

I shouldn’t complain though. The hotel was fully equipped with outdoor pool and grass area with plenty of chairs and couches to lounge around in and feel the salty air.

Also it doesn’t take more than five minutes to walk across the street and down to the beach.

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The third night we stayed at the other nicer Isrotel Dead Sea.

And wow what a difference between the two! And the price was fantastic because it was after the weekend.

It had a balcony! A very small one, but a balcony facing the pool and the sea.

The breakfast was better, the hotel looked nicer, and the staff was much friendlier.

Eating outside of the hotel

There are not many places to eat outside of your hotel. But there are a couple staple options like Aroma and Cafe Cafe.

The single other restaurant I saw was the “Taj Mahal”. We at dinner there one evening.¬†DSC_0471 DSC_0472

Nargila station

Nargila station

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The food was good! We ordered the stuffed grape leaves and a plate of falafel. The order came with some salads and some toasted pita.

The best part of the meal was the limonada with fresh mint. So refreshing in the heat of the desert.

Things to do at the Dead Sea besides floating around:

The Dead Sea is a calm place. People go there for a spa vacation getaway. So we found ourselves finishing our days at around 20:00. In both hotels we stayed at, the pool and spa closed very early, at 18:00. That left us to grab some dinner and hang out in the room the rest of the night.

On one occasion where we asked a receptionist what there was to do in the evenings he said, “There is nothing to do, the Dead Sea is boring”.

Moral of the story being: if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, the Dead Sea is great destination. During the week is the best time to go, less expensive and much less people.

I would say that it was even¬†nice having few options of what to do. Pool, eat, float, spa, work on my tan. We didn’t have to think too much.¬†I arrived there a fair wintery tone and left brown as a berry feeling refreshed and ready for the week.

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