Dead Sea Holiday
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is an extension of East Africa’s Rift Valley and the lowest point on the Earth’s surface. Here the River Jordan opens out into the super-salty lake, which provides a buoyant bathing experience for even the most nervous swimmer, and its waters and muds draw health-conscious visitors from around the world. To the north is the Jordan Valley, notable for the ancient city of Jericho and other sites of biblical interest. Head to the Jordanian east coast for the top-end resort of Sweimeh and easy access to the capital, Amman, as well as the historic town of Madaba and other scenic and historical sites. Make your way to Palestine’s West Bank for the Qumran Caves, the fortress of Masada, the green oasis of Ein Gedi, and the chance to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Sweimeh and the Jordanian East Coast
Sweimeh is an extensive resort area on the Dead Sea’s north-east coast, offering an array of five-star hotels and a grand events complex, the King Hussein bin Talal Conference Centre. These hotels provide the visitor with all the indulgences you would expect in this luxury price band, and with an exceptional range of spa and health facilities to give you the very best in Dead Sea pampering. The nearby town of Madaba has a fine collection of Greek Orthodox architecture, and a famous mosaic floor map of the Middle East. Visit Mount Nebo, one of the region’s great vantage points, for a magnificent panoramic view of the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The Mujib Nature Reserve provides a welcome oasis of cool, with the chance to splash through watercourses that have etched canyons in the colourful rock.
The Palestinian West Bank
Cross to the Palestinian West Bank and there is plenty more to see and do. Ein Gedi is an island of green in the surrounding desert, a kibbutz, nature reserve and botanical garden filled with a colourful array of flora and fauna. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by accident in the Qumran Caves, which today offer the visitor an interesting museum, a fine collection of ruins and the chance to hike up the cliffs and view the caves themselves. To the south lies the famous hilltop fortress of Masada, site of one of the most dramatic sieges in antiquity, when Jewish Sicarii rebels held out against a powerful Roman army.