No trip to Israel is complete without a visit to the Dead Sea, a true wonder of nature! Before you go, there are a few interesting things you should know about this incredible place.

Essential Facts

  • The Dead Sea sits at 1,388 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on earth!
  • The high salt concentration means that people can easily float on the sea’s surface. Just lean back and relax on the sea with a book or newspaper, no effort required.

The Dead Sea of Israel - Mazada Tours

  • Due to the high salt content, there are no animals or sea life to be found in sea, and that is why it is called the “Dead” Sea.
  • Even though it’s called a sea, it’s actually a hypersaline lake.
  • The water is almost 10 times saltier than ocean water, so don’t get it in your mouth or eyes!
  • Water flows into the Dead Sea from the Jordan River, but no water ever flows out of the sea.
  • The Dead Sea is disappearing at an alarming rate. In 1930, the sea’s surface was 1050 km2 and now it is around 600km2. Some experts say that unless drastic measures are taken to preserve what is left of this natural wonder, the sea could disappear in our lifetime.

Health Benefits

  • The water of is very high in minerals, and therefore it has become a major centre for health research and treatment.
  • The salt from the sea is very bitter, but it has a variety of skincare benefits. The salt and minerals from the sea can treat psoriasis, cellulite, acne, hives, and many other skin ailments.

portrait-of-beautiful-girl-Mazada Tours

  • The mud that comes from the seabed surrounding the Dead Sea is also great for your skin. For an amazing natural spa experience, spread the mud all over your body and bathe in the sea. You’ll walk out feeling like a baby!
  • The air around the Dead Sea is healthy too! It is low in pollen and allergens, making it the perfect location for those with asthma.

The Dead Sea in History

  • Asphalt naturally rises to the surface of the water, and this asphalt used to be used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification process.

view-of-dead-sea-Mazada Tours

  • It was one of the world’s first health resorts, built for King Herod the Great.
  • Historically, the Dead Sea was one of Cleopatra’s favorite places. She even ordered resorts and cosmetic factories be built along the shores.
  • The Dead Sea is over 3 million years old!

About the Area

  • The Dead Sea is at the lowest point of the Great Rift Valley, which passes through 20 countries and extends almost 4000 miles.
  • Hungry? On the way to the Dead Sea, you’ll be surrounded by date palms, 618 acres to be exact.

dead sea date palm trees

  • The weather there remains warm all year round, and annual rainfall in the region is less than 50 millimeters.
  • Highway 90 is the world’s lowest road and it runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the sea.
  • Since the Dead Sea is located at such a low point, the sun’s UV rays are weaker in this region, making it harder to burn. So float on without worrying too much about those harmful UVs!

You've got the facts, now are you ready for the experience? Book our Relaxation day tour, or if you're pressed for time combine your Dead Sea tour with a visit to Jerusalem or Masada.

Thanks to a mild winter, Israel doesn’t experience the holiday season like other countries. Christmas is never white and you won’t find massive lighting decorating the main streets. However, this doesn’t mean that the holiday season in Israel is any less exciting. With Hanukkah and Christmas usually falling within the same couple of weeks in December, there are multiple events around the country to please even the most hardened Grinch.

Unlike Christmas, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days to commemorate the miraculous burning of oil on the ancient temple’s menorah for eight days when there was only enough oil for one. Therefore, you will find exciting events happening on all nights of the holiday.

shutterstock_563453890 (1)

The Old City of Jerusalem is always spectacular to visit, but the festival of lights makes it an even more special experience with all the lit Menorahs around the city. Visit the Western Wall on any night of Hanukkah to take part in the lighting of the 2-meter-high bronzed Menorah. Lighting takes place every night of the holiday at 4:30pm, except for Friday at 3:30pm and Saturday at 7:00pm.

If you’re in the north, make sure to stop by Haifa for any of the Holiday of Holidays events taking place throughout the month of December. Go to discover different cultural events surrounding the major holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan. There are different concerts, exhibits, shows, and antique fairs to keep you busy for even longer than eight days! Even farther north in the scenic city of Safed, you will find events for the whole family during Hanukkah, many of them focusing on artistic, historical, and religious activities. Check out their calendar of events for more details.

shutterstock_345906695

Make sure to stop by any of the bakeries around the country to sample some mouth-watering sufganiot (donuts). Get the classic jelly-stuffed donut or opt for a fancier version topped with chocolates, nuts, candy, or anything else the master bakers have come up with this season! If you’re in Tel Aviv and want to get into the spirit of the holiday, you don’t need to trek all the way to the capital; celebrate Hanukkah like a local and light the menorah in Gan Ha’atzmaut (Independence Park).

For those wishing to experience Christmas in Israel, there are still many unique options for you too! Head over to Bethlehem for the famous Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity. Get the full experience of the birthplace of Jesus by joining our Christmas Eve tour, which includes an unforgettable Christmas Feast!

shutterstock_540515407

If you’re in Nazareth, there will be special events all month in preparation for Christmas. Stop by the Christmas Market for a street fair and the lighting of the Christmas tree between December 17th – 22nd. You can also go and watch the Christmas Parade on December 23rd, starting at 3:00pm. Take part in a special Christmas Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation on December 24th, or visit any of the Catholic churches during the evening of December 25th.

While Jaffa is magical year round, it is even more of a special visit around Christmas time. Since Jaffa is home to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike, the meandering alleyways of this old city are decked out with lights, menorahs, and Christmas trees. The official lighting of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Christmas tree is on December 17th and 6:00pm at the Clock Tower.

Interested in celebrating Christmas in the Holy Land? Don’t miss out on our exclusive Christmas Eve tour!