I am sure it sounds like a start of a horror thriller – “a body was found floating in the Dead Sea” but the Dead Sea floating was one of the more amazing activities I have done on my travels. And please take note, it is Dead Sea floating, not Dead Sea swimming. Big difference! Floating is fun, swimming hurts like hell (see below). But let me start from the beginning.

Dead Sea Jordan
The private beach of Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea

Getting there

Getting to the Dead Sea in Jordan from Sydney is not an easy thing to do.  14.5 hours to Abu Dhabi, 2.5h layover, 3.5 hour flight to Amman and a 1 hour car ride from there. Tiring much?

But let’s start with a pop quiz. What is the worst thing that can happen to you on a long flight? Ok, maybe not the worst because that would be a plane crash. Ok, maybe not the second worst because that would be an obese person taking up half of your seat and pushing your body into an arm rest. But the third worst thing that can happen to you is the loud whiney crying seat kicking child that would not let up for the whole flight sitting in the row behind. Fourteen and half hours of pure hell! Child – 1, sleeping pill – 0.  Combine that with an upset stomach from a crappy airport meal and a constantly coughing and sneezing guy across the aisle and we have the longest flight you can imagine.

Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea

Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea
One of the pools at Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan

However, all the pain of getting there was quickly forgotten when we saw the resort we were staying in. OMG! Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is an amazingly beautiful  hotel with a perfect blend of buildings looking like they are from the middle ages, typical Middle Eastern decor, great modern resort facilities and all run with the precision of a Swiss company. Who would have thought the people who make great ice creams and jams can run a hotel. No wonder this hotel was voted one of the best in the world by Condé Nast a while back, and all for less than half the price of a typical city hotel in Sydney. We are getting seriously ripped off in Australia.

Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan
Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan
Fun at Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan
Fun at Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Seal, Jordan
Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea Hotel at night
Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead SeaHotel at night
Tropical oasis at Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan
Tropical oasis at Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Seal, Jordan

Dead Sea Floating

But as great as the hotel was, the hero of the stay was the Dead Sea itself. The Dead Sea is actually a lake and constitutes the lowest land point on Earth. The water of the Dead sea has  about 30% salt content which means that unless you are a rock, you float no matter how hard you try to stay down. It also means that you become immediately aware of any skin irritation or cuts as it starts to burn. They do warn you not to shave before swimming and I can tell you from personal experience that you should listen to this advice very carefully.
Dead Sea Floating in Jordan
Dead Sea Floating in Jordan

Two other things to avoid at all costs while floating in the Dead Sea – getting the water in your mouth and eyes. I accidentally tried both and, again, I very strongly recommend against doing that!

When you get even a little bit of water in your mouth, you have a horrible bitter taste that you can only get rid of by eating  Movenpick ice cream. I played it safe and ate a lot just to make sure.

Salt deposits in the Dead Sea, Jordan
Salt deposits in the Dead Sea, Jordan

As for getting the water in your eye, I went all out and got it in both eyes at the same time (when I do something, I do it right!). If you ever want to know how it feels to be blind while experiencing a tremendous amount of pain, this is the way to go. Your eyes burn so much that you can’t even force yourself  to open them even a fraction.

There are only 3 ways to stop that feeling. The first way is to rip your eyes out and be done with it. I thought I would leave that option as a last resort. The  second way is to wash your eyes with sweet water. I guess it is just like cooking and playing with sweet, salty, sour and hot flavors to get the right balance. I already had salt, my face was sour from the pain, I didn’t think I needed to add chili to burn my eyes even more but I needed sweetness for the perfect balance. Unfortunately, I forgot to take sweet water with me to the beach like I normally do so I had to settle for option number 3 – being helped by kind strangers to the outside cold shower and stand there freezing for a while until I could see again. So, if that sounds like something you would like to experience, go for it and try to swim instead of float.

Movenpick Dead Sea Hotel, Jordan
Area above the beach at Movenpick Dead Sea Hotel, Jordan

Dead Sea Mud

Using the Dead Sea mud
Using the Dead Sea mud

Apart from the high salt concentration, the sea also has a thick mud floor known worldwide for its amazing health properties. It it claimed that the mud being so high in nutrients and minerals, can remove toxins from the skin, cure numerous skin conditions, arthritis, and other illnesses, as well as firm up the skin, give a natural face lift and take years off the way you look. That is why people from around the world flock to this spot. And when I say around the world, I meant some people from USA and Europe but mainly Russians. And when I say Russians, I mean lots and lots of Russians to the point that every hotel staff member can either speak fluent Russian or in the middle of learning it.

Well, reasoning that so many Russians can’t all be wrong, I just slapped the mud all over me and started baking in the sun happy as, hmm, pig in mud. I felt like a cross between a newly created clay pot and an Egyptian mummy. As the mud dried, it started to shrink and tighten the skin to the point that it felt like I was part of a torture experiment to see how tight my skin will go before it splits.

My face felt so tight that I could not speak without cracking the surface. However, it was all worth it because after I washed the mud off, I looked at least ten years younger than my biological age of 103 and my skin felt as smooth as a baby’s bottom but with hair matted with left over smelly mud. I repeated the same procedure a few more times over the 2 days but decided to stop before I got to look so young that I would need to show an id to buy alcohol (although it might have been an illusion due to the trick mirrors  installed in all the rooms).

The salt deposits of the Dead Sea, Jordan
The salt deposits of the Dead Sea, Jordan

Overall, the Dead sea experience was so amazing and so unique and so unexpected that I could not recommended it highly enough. And I have not even started on the amazing food that would ensure that although looking so much younger, I will probably end up with the same body fat percentage as most of the other guests there from my mother country.

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Thank you for reading and have a great trip.


Igor is a travel lover, an enthusiastic amateur cook and an exercise advocate. He founded travelcrank.com to help people travel better and inspire them to travel more.

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