When visiting Jordan it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list to float in the Dead Sea. The lowest point on earth and floating in the hypersaline water makes it a unique experience. But I have to tell you about how our visit to the Dead Sea (with children) was almost a disaster.
The Dead Sea part of our Jordan holiday was the part I really talked up to my daughter. “This is the bit you’re going to love,” I said. “It’s going to be so exciting floating without swimming!” Those were my lines when I was planning the long drives and cultural visits for the Wandering Kiwi family.
And after months of the big up sell, she lasted less than a minute in the water. That’s right, she ran crying from the water on what was supposed to be the most exciting day of our trip. Parenting fail.
Of course, the water is really salty – the salinity level is 342 grams per kilogram – and she had some (not visible to the naked eye) little cuts or abrasions, and the water made them really sting. I had some grazes on my hands from rock climbing in Wadi Rum and they stung initially in the water but children’s skin is so much more sensitive. She hated the idea of slapping mineral-rich black mud on herself, unlike me…
Now I’m not usually one for seaside resorts with multiple restaurants and pool complexes but this time I was so happy that on a whim I booked us two nights at the Movenpick Dead Sea Spa and Resort.
For some tourists on a holiday in Jordan a few hours is all they schedule for the experience. There is a public beach (the entry cost is 25 JDs) that makes it easy to spend a bit of time floating in the water. You can see the Dead Sea beach in the midground of this photo – that sloping brown area:
There are a lot of flies around and it is quite humid (a real change after the dryness of other parts of Jordan) so you don’t want to be spending a lot of time sunbathing or lounging about anywhere.
But because we were staying two nights at the hotel resort, the swimming in the Dead Sea disaster turned into happiness. Because of the stunning swimming pool area and ice cream bar and free soft drinks and… She and Mr Wandering Kiwi didn’t get out of that pool until it was well past sunset…
Staying here also gives you a chance to visit the Dead Sea at different times of day. In the afternoon I found things quite lively, with groups having fun with the mud and lots of people in and out of the water.
In the morning, about 9am it was much quieter and my experience floating in the Dead Sea was wonderfully serene (being without a crying child might also have had something to do with that).
I could enjoy the surroundings and look with interest at the mountains of Israel and at the salt crystals encrusting the rocks at the water’s edge. It was a beautiful thing.
Basically it was a happy place for a family who was tired after a week of amazing Jordan adventures. Plus they had cats! There were cats and kittens around the resort to befriend. Thanks to the Movenpick and because my daughter really enjoyed so many of our other experiences in Jordan it wasn’t the end of the world that she didn’t like floating in the Dead Sea. Phew!
By Natasha von Geldern
How did you visit the Dead Sea in Jordan?