There are many incredible places to visit in Jordan. Petra might be the most visited attraction in the country, but spending a few days at the Dead Sea is also a unique experience.
I visited Jordan for one week, and I had the chance to spend a few days at the Dead Sea. I loved floating in the water; I even covered myself with mud. However, one of my favorite things to do at the Dead Sea Jordan was admiring the salt formations.
If you want to find out how to get to the incredible salt formations in Jordan, I’m here to help you! Let’s get to it!
1. Dead Sea salt formations – how and why do they form?
Apart from being the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea’s water is so salty that no living creature can live in it. The Dead Sea is mainly fed by the Jordan River, but due to the water being used for irrigation, the sea’s level is dropping dramatically.
Over the past 50 years, the water level at the Dead Sea dropped by 45 meters. As the water level is still dropping, the remaining water in the Dead Sea gets saltier. Also, beautiful salt formations arise on the shore, creating a unique landscape.
Basically, instead of being muddy, the bottom of the sea is made of salt crystals. At the resorts’ beaches, the salt crystals have been scrapped to make swimming more comfortable. The crystals are very sharp and you can easily cut your feet in them if you’re not wearing shoes.
Below is a photo from the private beach at Movenpick Dead Sea Resort. You can see that there are no salt formations here.
Good to know – When going swimming at the Dead Sea, I recommend wearing water shoes. In contact with the salty water, any small wound you might have will sting badly. Also, be careful about the dress code! Read more here.
2. Where to find the Dead Sea salt formations in Jordan
In order to find the salt formations, you’ll need a car. I recommend renting a car directly from the airport when you land. We rented our car from Payless and we were very satisfied with their services. The car was in good shape and the prices were very affordable.
Visiting Jordan by car gives you the freedom to visit every attraction at your own pace. A car will also come in handy if you want to see the salt formations surrounding the Dead Sea.
As I said before, you won’t find any beautiful salt formations near the resorts because they scrape the salt to protect the tourists from hurting themselves when swimming.
You’ll have to drive to the southern part of the Dead Sea to find the most beautiful salt formations in Jordan (south of Wadi Mujib). The road passes right by the seashore and it will be pretty easy to spot the salt formations.
If you’re driving from the north, on the right side of the road, you’ll see small local shops with parking lots nearby. Usually, if you climb down the cliffs from these shops, you’ll get to the salt formations.
We stopped right after we passed Wadi Mujib (click here for the exact location). We parked our car near the main road and we climbed down the rocks until we reached the Dead Sea. The guy from the shop was very kind and told us which route to take.
Good to know: there are many sinkholes near the Dead Sea. It’s best to stop near the shops because the locals can guide you towards a safe route to reach the Dead Sea. Otherwise, you risk stepping on a sinkhole that collapses.
We walked for about 10 minutes and we reached the beautiful Dead Sea salt formations. The salt was layered in different colors, ranging from yellow to ashy and white. Some of the crystals were quite big, reaching over 10 centimetres while others were in smaller clusters.
If you continue to drive south, you’ll reach other beautiful salt formations. You can stop at the Wild Salt Shore, another popular place for those looking to admire the salt formations.
3. Things to know when visiting the salt formations at the Dead Sea
When visiting areas outside of resorts, it’s recommended to cover yourself when swimming. Jordan is a Muslim country which means that people here dress conservatively. Try to avoid revealing swimming suits, especially if you’re going to busy places. Read more about the Jordanian dress code here.
Wear slippers or water shoes if you plan to swim in the Dead Sea, in areas covered by salt formations. Also, make sure to bring some bottles of fresh water to rinse yourself after swimming. The salt in the Dead Sea sticks to your skin and can irritate you.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that sunsets at the Dead Sea are simply spectacular. The sky turns into bright shades of red, orange and purple – a unique spectacle worth watching!
4. Where to stay at the Dead Sea, Jordan
There are only a few accommodation options at the Dead Sea Jordan. You’ll find some resorts right on the Dead Sea’s shore and a few small guesthouses nearby.
We stayed at Movenpick Dead Sea Resort and I absolutely loved this place. The resort resembles a small village, with restaurants, several pools, a spa and a private beach. There are several room types you can choose from, depending on your budget.
Good to know: When traveling abroad, I always recommend having travel insurance. It’s better to be safe than sorry. To find out more about travel insurance, I recommend Safety Wing.
5. Final thoughts
I know that you must be eager to visit Petra and Wadi Rum. However, I suggest makings some time to visit the Dead Sea too. It’s an incredible place, a testament to nature’s creativity, and one of the reasons to visit Jordan.
If you have more time while visiting the Dead Sea, you can also visit the Dead Sea Museum, a place where you’ll find lots of useful information about this incredible lake and its history.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below. May the travel bug bite you!
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