Since ancient times, the saline waters of the Dead Sea have been renowned for their health benefits. Dead Sea water contains up to 10 times as much salt as ordinary sea water. Also, whereas sodium chloride makes up 80% of the salt content in normal sea water, it comprises a much smaller proportion (12-18%) of Dead Sea salts. Dead Sea waters have substantial quantities of bromides, calcium chloride, potassium and magnesium all of which possess therapeutic properties. Here are some of the places where you can tap into the Dead Sea’s healing abilities.
The vast majority of the Dead Sea’s hotels and spas are concentrated in an area known as En Bokek to the south of Masada. One of the largest spas is the Daniel Hotel’s Spa. It is a multi-story facility with fitness rooms, steam sauna, Turkish Hamam, Jacuzzi, spring water pools, and outdoor and indoor saltwater pools. However, the most luxurious hotel spa is arguably the Crown Plaza. It has sulfur pools, salt water pools, Jacuzzis, dry sauna, wet sauna, fitness room and a squash court. Special treatments such as Dead Sea natural mud wrap and body scrub are available.
The principal benefit of going to public Dead Sea beaches is that it is free. One of the more famous free beaches is Ein Gedi. It has showers as well as other essential facilities. The downside is that the beach itself is fairly rocky and not the best places to have a leisurely walk. This however becomes less bothersome once you are in the water and get the classic therapeutic Dead Sea experience. South of the main shore is a section with the kind of natural black mud that does wonders for the skin. Ein Gedi beach has expansive space ideal for tents and picnics.
The majority of the Dead Sea’s beaches are privately owned. Paid beaches are privately managed and owned, and charge an access fee. Part of the reason for the access fee is that the Dead Sea’s water level is constantly changing and this subsequently requires the relocation of support services.
One of the better known private beaches is Kalia. It is on the northern end of the sea and offers excellent facilities including a restaurant, bar and gift shop. It is suitable for families and has a panoramic view of the desert and sea. Less than half an hour’s drive from the city of Jerusalem, Kalia beach has natural, healing mud that visitors can immerse themselves in.
Another option would be Biankini beach which is a little to the south of Kalia. It is a holiday resort with a Moroccan-like oasis. Other than the beach, Biankini offers accommodation and a large Moroccan restaurant. It is fairly unique among Dead Sea beaches and visitors therefore either really love it or really hate it. During Israel’s holiday seasons, Biankini can get crowded.
There are many places where you can enjoy the health benefits of the Dead Sea. The most ideal location for each person will depend on preferences on pricing, privacy and mode of therapy.