Floating in the Dead Sea is quite an experience… It looks just like a large, aqua lake, but once you dip your toes in, you’ll notice the warm bath-like water has a thicker, syrup-like consistency. It makes you feels like a bottle, destined to just bob around and float - treading water and staying upright is actually quite difficult. So bring a good book and some even better sunscreen and enjoy floating around effortlessly in this incredible natural wonder.
How to get to the Dead Sea from Amman
Okay, so how to actually get to the Dead Sea. Generally, you have 3 options:
Option 1: Public Bus JETT is the name of the public bus company in Jordan. Their website is quite good, however they are known to change schedules regularly without updating the site. The best bet is to visit their office ahead of time and pick up a printed schedule or just ask. The last information I was given (2019) was that the public bus only runs on Fridays (this is the first day of the weekend in Jordan), so if you’re lucky enough to want to travel on this day, catch the bus from Mujaharin bus station to Rame, but then you’ll need to catch either an Uber or Taxi onward to the beach. The bus journey will cost around 1JD and the taxi ride is usually around 4JD.
Option 2: Private Tour Many hotels and companies offer a private tour down to the Dead Sea. While they are usually less hassle, prices start from 40 JD. Check with your hotel or a simple Google search for options on prices.
Option 3: Car Hire This is the best option for total freedom, and not the most expensive either. We hired a car for 1 day for 30JD, and the journey from Amman to the Dead Sea is less than one hour.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to pay to swim in the Dead Sea.
Every organised tour company will want to take you to Amman Beach, and it’s where the Public Bus will drop you. It’s the closest beach when driving from Amman, and has all the facilities there (showers, umbrellas etc). The entry fee is around 20 JD. There is also a long list of resorts at the top of the sea that provide day passes to access to their private beach, showers, hotel facilities and sometimes lunch. These passes can cost anywhere from 20 JD to 50 JD.
But. If you have chosen Option 3 and hired a car, keep heading south along the edge of the sea and you’ll find plenty of places where you can dip in the sea and get that iconic floating-reading-a-book shot for free. About 10 km south of Amman Beach is Herodus Spring where access is free and it even features a small fresh water waterfall to rinse off the salt.
Or, to have a spot all to yourself, continue along the sea and keep an eye out for a spot where the sea is easily accessible. There’s a few great options to pull over from the road and hike down to your own private floating spot.
A few Dead Sea Tips
You’ll need a wash: You will definitely need to rinse after being in the sea. The salt seems to add a thick layer of crust over your skin, hair and swimmers. Find one of the nearby Springs or bring a large bottle of water.
Open cuts: The sea is has a salt concentration 10 times higher than the ocean— which makes it very painful on any open wounds, including any from shaving, so hold off on the razor for two days prior.
Police Presence: Don’t forget your passport and international licence. Police checks are regular and frequent as you approach the Dead Sea, as the border to Israel isn’t too far away.