After leaving the mountains of Jerusalem and travel eastward through the Judean Desert and descending 1,400 m , is the lowest place on planet earth, the Dead Sea. On the way, we will pass the Good Samaritan Inn as mentioned in the parable of Luke 10:30-37. During the Crusader’s period a fortress was erected near the inn to protect the pilgrims who ascended from Jericho to Jerusalem. The fortress was called Castellum Rouge.
The Dead Sea: Situated in the Syrian African Rift, 434 m below sea level, we arrive at the Dead Sea also known as the Sea of Salt or the Sea of Death and 2,000 years ago, the Sea of Asphaltis.
Thousands of years ago, during the Roman occupation, the Dead Sea was one of the world’s first health resorts. Today you can spend a few hours to several days basking in the sun and enjoying the many first-class hotels, spas and health resorts along the banks of the sea. The Dead Sea is a global center for health tourism, especially skin care treatments.
During the time of King Herod the Great, the area had been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balsam, dates, asphalt for mummification and sealing cracks in ships to salt as payment for soldiers and potash for fertilizers. Factories located here today use the minerals to create cosmetics. The Dead Sea water has a concentration of salts and many other minerals with over 34% salinity compared to 3% in regular ocean waters. This makes swimming and floating very simple and easy.
The hypothesis about the origin of the Dead Sea is that it lies in the rift zone, an extension of the Great Syria-Africa Rift, created about 4 million years ago, between the Arabian and African plates and is part of an ancient sea that once connected the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Our first attraction is Qumran.
By bus, taxi and private tour.