Swimming in the Dead Sea - often on the Life-To-Do

The Dead Sea is actually not a sea, but a lake without an outflow. It is fed by the Jordan and is 428 m below sea level. 67 kilometers long and 18 kilometers wide, it borders Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. The maximum depth is 380 meters, the bottom of the lake is 800 meters under the sea. The shore of the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth that is not covered by water or ice. This makes the Dead Sea the deepest lake on earth - not the lake with the deepest bottom! This is Lake Baikal.

The “Dead Sea” is called “dead” because there is hardly any life in its water apart from a few algae and bacteria. The Dead Sea water is 10 times saltier than other sea water. The minerals and salts have a special healing power. Because the Dead Sea has no outlet, the water evaporates quickly in the dry desert climate.

The amount of inflow usually corresponds to the amount of evaporation. In the last ten years, however, the water level has dropped by around 12 meters - a consequence of the greatly increased water extraction along the Jordan for agricultural and drinking water supply. Salt concentration results from water evaporation over thousands of years. Water itself, including fresh water, has a certain salt and mineral content, which increases accordingly when it evaporates

The Dead Sea was already a popular health resort in ancient times. Aristotle reported of a lake whose salt ensures that neither man nor beast can sink. Cleopatra is also said to have used the white gold for her beauty baths and therefore regularly sent out caravans.

For many people, the Dead Sea is on their personal life to-do list. Lie on your back on water and read a newspaper or rub yourself in the healing mud... Even getting there is spectacular. With an area of 1,000 square kilometers, the Dead Sea Lake is twice the size of Lake Constance. For many cachers, in addition to the general attraction, there is also the attraction of finding a cache that is listed very deeply. We will soon report on the caches around the Dead Sea.

Swimming in the Dead Sea

Arriving at the Dead Sea, the air is dry and warm. The still Dead Sea spreads a great calm. Ideal for drifting on the lake. But beware: there are sharp-edged salt deposits along the shore. It is reported that the water feels like oil on the skin.

Swimming in the Dead Sea

You can always find pictures on the internet of tourists reading the newspaper floating through the water on their backs. If you think these pictures are exaggerations and cheap snapshots, then you can try to put your feet under water in the Dead Sea. No matter how hard you try, you can hardly do it. Thanks to the strong buoyancy, your feet quickly return to the surface of the water. Just lying on the water relieves the body significantly and relaxes the back and joints. Healing effect guaranteed!

Caution is advised, however, as sunburn is particularly common here due to the high salt content. And that despite the fact that the UV radiation is significantly lower due to the low altitude. But don't forget: you're in the desert!

The salt content is 28 - 33 percent, i.e. 10 times as high as in any other sea. The recommendation is not to stay in the salt water for more than 30 minutes a day. You can't call it swimming, because swimming movements are out of the question. One moves as if through viscous water that feels oily. Sinking is impossible, because the human body floats upwards by itself in this high salt content.

Entering the Dead Sea is something special: as you enter, your feet are already being pushed upwards, from a certain depth you lose the ground under your feet due to the buoyancy and easily fall into the water.

Sometimes you can find Salt Crystal Balls (chicken egg sized) that serve as a one time free souvenir. There are public beaches where you can take a shower after your stay in the Dead Sea.

Risk of Death

Even if you don't believe it at first: swimming in the Dead Sea can be life-threatening. And that's when you swallow large amounts of salt water. This leads to multi-organ failure, initially the lungs fail. This does not mean, however, if you have gotten some splash water on your lips or in your mouth.

Bathing Advice

To ensure that swimming in the Dead Sea does not become dangerous, there are a few bathing tips. These rules can also be found on information boards on official beaches.

  • Belly swimming forbidden

Yes, it would be great fun to float on the water on your stomach. But in this position you are most likely to get your mouth watering. This can be fatal due to the high salt content. Turning on your back can also be dangerous if you get your face under water.

  • Don't fool around!

It is actually rather quiet at the Dead Sea. Diving and rolling are prohibited, as is splashing with water. Not only swallowing, but water in the eyes is painful.

  • Adhere to bathing restrictions

On some beaches you can float far out into the lake (e.g. Bokek), on others the swimming area is limited. This is for your own safety and should be observed: There are also places where the salt concentration is weaker, here you could drown.

  • Drink enough

When you swim on the water, you forget the time and also that you are in a desert. It is warm, the humidity is extremely low and the salty water also dries out. Therefore, you should also drink enough here and not exceed the duration of 3 hours.

  • bath slippers

Salt crystals, which can be very sharp, also form on the shore. Also, the ground is muddy and slippery in some places. Bathing shoes reduce the risk of falling

  • Entry into the water

If you have walked a few meters into the water you should "sit on your bottom". You should slowly slide into it.


The Dead Sea has many healing properties. On the one hand, the mineral-rich haze over the lake is the best source of minerals for our skin. The black mud and water itself has a healing effect on joints and skin. Especially people with skin diseases get a cure at the Dead Sea even prescribed by the health insurance companies. Numerous spa clinics can be found on the banks. You can also buy Dead Sea products in Germany: Dead Sea salt, Dead Sea mud and Dead Sea peeling.

In any case, it is important to drink enough liquid (up to 4 liters) throughout the day.

Raw material extraction

Salt and minerals are mined in large quantities for industrial processing. For several square kilometers you can see the salt mining from the plots in which water evaporates. The German company Volkswagen also participated in the magnesium mining.

Cacher-Reisen offers a long weekend tour to Jordan. There is also the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea. This trip will take place again in 2021.

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