JORDAN – Floating in the Dead Sea & baptism site of Jesus

When we drove to the Dead Sea we saw light above Israel! If this is what Moses saw I can believe he thought this was the Promised Land (see photo just below). During our Christmas holidays we spend two weeks in Jordan of which 3 nights at the Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort. It had a private beach on the Dead Sea which was great! The Dead Sea had been on our bucket list a long time for two reasons: Floating in the Dead Sea and to visit the lowest point on earth. We had a great time there with the family.

JORDAN - Floating in the Dead Sea & baptism site of Jesus

Floating in the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 429 meters below sea level. Bordered by Jordan where we were and the other side by Israel and Palestine. It is one of the saltiest waters on earth and no life can live in it. This is why it is called the Dead Sea. The Jordan River is the main supplier of water to the Dead Sea. Throughout history the water and the mud from the Dead Sea were used for various purposes. The mud is famous for its healing powers of skin diseases. The interesting thing about the Dead Sea with its high salt concentration is that humans can float on it.

JORDAN - Floating in the Dead Sea & baptism site of Jesus

We arrived at the Dead Sea from Amman where it was around 10-15 degrees Celsius and we thought it would be too cold to swim. This was not the case at all as in the Dead Sea valley the temperature was during daytime around 25 degrees Celsius. At our Holiday Inn Resort we had a private beach at the Dead Sea with showers to fresh up after the “dive”. The dive was not really a dive! You float! This is a very unusual experience to just float on the water. Difficult to explain but you simply must experience this once! Just be carefully that you can swim well because if you get with your belly down it could get dangerous. Each year people die! But do not worry and just make sure a lifeguard is on site. We spend each three days during the afternoon an hour at the Dead Sea. First we would put mud from the Dead Sea all over our body and after that a nice half our floating in the sea. It is not recommended to be in the water longer than that due to the high salt concentration.

JORDAN - Floating in the Dead Sea & baptism site of Jesus

We had so much fun at the Dead Sea. Floating in the Dead Sea was a great experience. My daughter had a lot of fun painting herself black and white with the mud 🙂 Something I would recommend to everyone to do at least once in their life.

TIP! If you go floating in the Dead Sea make sure you are with two people in case you get into trouble.

Bethany beyond the Jordan, baptism site Jesus

Close to the Dead Sea just upriver on the Jordan River you will find the Baptism Site of Jesus. Or isn’t it? There is some dispute but this should be the place called Bethabara which in the bible was mentioned as the place of baptism. I don’t want to go into religious details, but it is a great place to visit. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site just a year after our visit.

JORDAN - Floating in the Dead Sea & baptism site of Jesus

You will find at the site some excavated remains of Bethabara. When we visited the baptism pond did not have any water in it, but it sometimes does. The excavated area has also some small remains of mosaics. Around the place you find various modern churches. At the Jordan River you can take a small bath to get “baptized” and Israel is just 4 meters away here! At the Jordan site there was some military control to make sure people did not cross the river. The whole area is located in a military zone and therefore you can only visit it on a guided tour. We did not know this and thought we would just stop by for an hour but this in the end took us three hours to visit taking up most of the morning. So my advice is to plan a half day visiting this site. It is worth the time for sure as history goes back to the time of Jesus.

TIP! Plan a half day to visit the Baptism site as you need to take a guided tour into the military zone.

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Further reading

Sometimes it’s impossible to cover every single place of interest, activities, food, and others that might be relevant. In the below list you find a list of relevant links with further information about this destination which I have carefully curated. These will help plan your trip even better.

  • Travelling in Jordan with kids? Then check out the following article to get more inspiration. Tips for Jordan with kids.

Gallery Floating in the Dead Sea

Click an image for a full screen gallery of more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.