The sunset touching distant hills with ribbons of fire across the waters of the Dead Sea brings a sense of unreality to culminate a day’s visit to the lowest point on earth, some 400 meters below sea level. To reach this unique spot the visitor enjoys a short, 55 kilometer drive from Amman, surrounded by a landscape which could be from another planet. En route a stone marker indicates “Sea Level”, but the Dead Sea itself is not reached before descending another 400 meters below this sign. As the name suggests, the sea is devoid of life due to an extremely high content of salts and minerals. But it is these natural elements which give the waters their curative powers, recognized since the 2,000 years ago. They also provide the raw materials for the renowned Jordanian Dead Sea Bath Salts and cosmetic products which are marketed world wide.
The Dead Sea is normally as calm as a mill pond, with barely a ripple disturbing its surface, but it can become turbulent. During most days, however, the water shimmers under a beating sun. where rocks meet its lapping edges, they become snow like, covered with a thick, gleaming white deposit that gives the area a strange, surreal sense like that of another world. Because of its extremely high content of salt and other minerals, the Dead Sea is devoid of plant and animal life. The tourist facilities provide accommodations for changing into swimming attire so the visitor can wade into the warm, soothing water. Try as one may, it is impossible to sink in the thick brine which is four times as salty as regular sea water.
One can, however, recline on the water to read a newspaper. Seaside facilities include a modern hotel with a therapeutic clinic and a restaurant /bathing / sport complex, meeting the needs of day visitors or parties wishing to spend the night amidst one of the most dramatic and moving landscapes in the world. Not far away, over the hills to the east, is another special water adventure: the Ma’in hot springs, now developed as a comprehensive spa, with a four star hotel, leisure, bathing and therapeutic facilities. For travelers in search of relaxation and therapy, Jordan offers healthful spas in spectacular settings. The waters of the dead sea are intensely saline and rich in minerals. At the lowest point on the surface of the earth, it is also a magically serene and quiet place. The lovely Hammamat Ma’in is another favored spot, with a hot waterfall, thermal springs and a full complement of resort facilities.