Located in the Jordan Valley, part of the Great Rift Valley that runs from East Africa to Turkey, the Dead Sea is the remains of a giant inland lake. Lake Lisan was 200 kilometers long and approximately 200 meters deeper than the current level of the Dead Sea. As it contracted, it left Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, which at 408 meters below sea level is the lowest point on earth.
Near the northern end of the Sea, the waters of the Jordan River trickle into the Baptism Site, which may also be where the prophet lIyas ascended to heaven in a whirlwind. Nearby are the Mountains of Moab and Mount Nebo, where the prophet Moses first saw the Promised Land, famously overlooking the Dead Sea. Mukawir, or Herod's Palace, also has a spectacular view.
The salt content of the sea is 20%, eight times the level of the world's oceans. This concentration contributes to the amazing buoyancy of the water and is a legacy of years of evaporation. The only life forms left in the Dead Sea are eleven species of bacteria. The waters are rich in minerals, including calcium, magnesium, bromine, iodine, and bitumen. All these have healing properties that can alleviate or ease allergies, skin rashes, bronchial irritations or glandular conditions. Visitors come from all over the world to ease or cure their conditions at the medical treatment centers at the Dead Sea. Even those suffering only from ennui can enjoy the high-quality spas in the area. In addition, due the unique depth of its location, the climate and quality of sunshine in the Dead Sea area is beneficial. Dead Sea salts and mud are known worldwide for their healthful properties.
There are a number of tourist opportunities at the Dead Sea, catering both for day trippers and people on a more relaxed schedule. The Dead Sea Marriott, The Dead Sea Movenpick, and the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar all offer their own unique brand of hotel and spa services. Truly, there is no other place like this on earth, and these hotels and spas take full advantage of their location.
Visitors to the Dead Sea cannot help but be impressed, whether their interests are piqued by the history of the area, the dramatic location or the novelty of reading a newspaper while floating in the water! There are many opportunities waiting to be explored here. But for all the fun, the fragile beauty of the Dead Sea will haunt you, calling you to return.