5 Ways to Visit the Dead Sea

By Petal Mashraki | Published on 9/4/2019
The Dead Sea is a must-see attraction for any trip to Israel. This natural wonder is a salt lake at the lowest point on Earth 418m below sea level in southern Israel’s Negev Desert. The Dead Sea is not centrally located; it is 170km from Tel Aviv and 100km from Jerusalem. Once there you can enjoy one of the many Dead Sea beaches, the Dead Sea spas and hotels. The high concentration of minerals in the saline water and Dead Sea mud has health and beauty benefits. Even the sunshine and air in the Dead Sea region are known to have properties beneficial to our health.

View of the Dead Sea from the top of Masada Fortress

View of the Dead Sea from the top of Masada Fortress. Photo credit: © Shutterstock

Public Transport to the Dead Sea

There are no trains that reach the Dead Sea although you could catch a train to Be’er Sheva and from there a bus to the Dead Sea. Alternatively, take the bus from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. The buses stop at Ein Gedi and Ein Bokek, both places where there are things to do near the Dead Sea. The journey takes about 1.5hr-2hrs.

Buses leave from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and from Tel Aviv’s Arlozorov Bus Station. It is advisable to leave early so that you can maximize your time at the Dead Sea. The last bus from the Dead Sea back to central Israel leaves in the late afternoon so be careful not to miss the bus! There are no buses to the Dead Sea on Shabbat or public holidays.

Road Sign on the way to the Dead Sea, Israel

Road Sign on the way to the Dead Sea, Israel. Photo by Amit Lahav on Unsplash

Dead Sea Tours

The easiest way to visit the Dead Sea is to join a Dead Sea day tour. There are several to choose from including tours that include stops at other popular sites like Masada, Jerusalem, Jericho, Ein Gedi, or Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Some day tours stop at several sites while others give you a full day at the Dead Sea and can offer the option of Dead Sea spa visits or lunch at one of the Dead Sea spa hotels. The Dead Sea is usually included in multi-day package tours that cover attractions across the country.

Renting a Car to Drive to the Dead Sea

You could rent a car from anywhere in the country and make the trip south independently. Use a navigation app or GPS device to help you reach the Dead Sea. The steep winding roads through the desert hills are notoriously dangerous and you will need to drive very carefully.

The Dead Sea Shore from above. Photo by Artem Belinski on Unsplash

Visit the Dead Sea by Taxi

If you are nervous about traveling alone by car to the Dead Sea then it is possible to go by taxi although this is quite an expensive option. Taxis to the Dead Sea should be arranged in advance and can include hotel pick-up. A slightly cheaper option is a shared taxi (mini-bus) run by a private taxi company which departs from major cities. You will then have to find an available taxi to make the return journey or preferably arrange it ahead of time.

Take a Private Tour to the Dead Sea

On a private tour to the Dead Sea, you can tailor-make your trip by including other sites along the way. Popular destinations often included on a private day tour to the Dead Sea are Jerusalem, Jericho, Qumran, or Masada. On a private tour, you will have the driver, an air-conditioned vehicle, and a guide who will devote all of his time to you.

A man reading a book in the Dead Sea, Israel

A man reading a book in the Dead Sea, Israel. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash