The Dead Sea is a world-renowned tourist destination, one which draws visitors from across the globe. As well as the Dead Sea’s hyper-salinity (extremely high salt content), which gives it many of its unique properties, it is also a popular destination because of the sheer amount of culturally and historically significant sites in the surrounding area.
Being situated between Israel and Jordan, two countries that have a huge number of significant historical sites between them, it’s not surprising that there are a number of sites of interest around the lake itself.
Masada, a UNESCO world heritage site, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel. Not only does Masada offer awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscape, it also comes with a backstory that is just as dramatic. Masada marks the spot where, during the Jewish Great Revolt against the Romans, a thousand Jewish rebels opted to commit suicide rather than fight. Visit Masada, and you are guaranteed an enriching experience.
Israel National Trail
Israel is a beautiful country, and it has plenty of breathtaking landscapes and natural features to offer. Among these are a number of hiking trails which offer fantastic views of the whole country. And we mean that literally; all these individual hiking trails link up into one giant hiking path which covers the entirety of the country. This is known as the Israel National Trail and it is the best way to experience as much of Israel as you can.
Traversing this mammoth trail will give you the opportunity to witness many of Israel’s innumerable sites of historic interest. The National Geographic has named the Israel National Trail as one of the best hikes in the world. You don’t need to do the whole thing to get a worthwhile experience, but the part of the trail near the Dead Sea will offer you plenty.
Herod’s Western Palace
These ancient ruins are considered by many to be one of the most important historical sites in Jerusalem, which is no mean feat for a city that isn’t short of historical curiosities. All that remains of this once imposing fortress are the various citadels, collectively known as ‘Tower of David’. But even looking at just the ruins, this is an impressive site and one which is sure to appeal to anyone with an appreciation for history or for classical architecture.
Qumran National Park
The Dead Sea Scrolls are perhaps even more famous than the lake itself. These ancient biblical manuscripts are the oldest we’ve uncovered, and the Qumran National Park marks the spot where they were found. While the manuscripts were moved to Jerusalem long ago, there’s still plenty to see. The park is also home to a number of ruins from a hermit Jewish sect, the Essenes, who chose to live in the area, cut off from the rest of the world and practicing a lifestyle of celibacy and meditation.
The Dead Sea is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but the area around it has plenty to offer as well. Those who are looking for a culturally enriching experience, and the opportunity to learn more about human history, will find plenty in this region to satisfy their curiosity.