Written by Z.Gasner 25-January-2019, Edited 14-June-2020
“Ein Bokek” History
“Ein Bokek” is an oasis in the south of the Judean Desert on the western side of the Dead Sea. Today the area of “Ein Bokek” is a popular international hotel strip consisting of a relaxed atmosphere and spa facilities with hilling treatments, focusing especially on body & skin. In fact, “Ein Bokek” is the lowest place on earth, more than 400 meters below sea level. There are two ways to get there: a 30 Km drive on road #31 from west-to-east from the city of Arad, or a north-to-south ride on road #1 and later #90 from Jerusalem alongside the north part of the Dead Sea.
Historically, during the Roman period, “Ein Bokek” served as a center for the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics. An extensive agricultural area was prepared for vegetation to produce these products. “Ein Bokek” water was used to irrigate these plants. The most famous of all was the perfume of persimmon made from the plant with the same name (do NOT mix with the persimmon fruit we are familiar nowadays) and considered to be the “Chanel 5” of the Romans time. Some historian would suggest that the reason for the Roman’s siege and later capture the fortress of Masada was due to the fact that the Jewish rebels of Mesada attacked these crops and threat the constant supply of the perfume to the Roman ladies upper class.
“Ein Bokek” national park
“Ein-Bokek” (river) national park entrance is only 200 meters distance above the Dead Sea “David” hotel. It is open for entry 365 days a year, subject to the weather condition at a given day. Entry might be forbidden if it is rainy ( the desert can be extremely dangerous when it comes to floods ) , which statistically may occur NOT more than 15 days a year, or more likely severe heat conditions consist of 35 up to 50 degrees in the shade. 2 main foot track exits: The “Black’ and the “Red’. The Black trail is a total “wet” course walking in the river, at which the water height will NOT exceed 20 centimeters. It is a return-and-back family oriented course, that even a 6 year old child is equipped to, and the entire rendezvous back-and-forth will take between 1 to 1.5 hours. It is full of greenery vegetation, small waterfalls and beautiful wild desert oasis landscape. The “Black” track is enjoyable, its difficulty level is set to “Easy”, and it cools you off on warm summer days, therefore it is totally recommended. The “Red” trail is much more challenging, and contrary to the “Black” track it is totally dry and mostly uphill, therefore its difficulty level is set to “Medium”. The two trails meet, therefore you can switch from one to the other or simply return back on your steps.
Dead Sea (“Ein Bokek”) Hotels strip
“Ein Bokek” is the lowest tourist location on earth, more than 400 meters below sea level. The first hotel was established in 1994, and currently, there are 12 acting hotels in the area, such as the Vert (formerly the “Crowne Plaza”) and “Daniel Dead Sea”, alongside a new Dead Sea mall, shops, and restaurants.
Some of the hotels operate ancillary healthcare centers and spa facilities specializing in medical wellbeing. The “Vert Dead Sea” is primarily known for its spa, including its wide variety of massage menus starting with Shih Tzu, Swedish, and treatments with warm stones. Using Dead Sea products targeting many skin disorders, joints, and muscles, the benefit of the unique combination of 26 minerals that are 10 times more concentrated than regular ocean waters is clear. Also, extended exposure to intense sun rays (almost with NO UVA harm) supports skin healing. Therefore, “Ein-Bokek” is the number 1 place globally for treating pyrosis, giving six months to a few years of symptoms relief. The “Vert Dead Sea” also has a full-body solarium (gender-segregated) on the hotel’s rooftop, making it the ultimate solution for sun exposure.
“Ein Bokek” salt mushrooms
Alongside the Dead Sea hotels strip beach appears a NEW natural attraction made entirely of salt. Inside the Dead Sea, in the line parallel to the strip of Ein Bokek, lyes 15 salt mushrooms, which form an unusual path along 400 m. The salt phenomenon that crystallizes into a mushroom shape is particularly impressive because of the enormous size of each mushroom and above the bottom of the Dead Sea.
The Salt Mushrooms position is opposite the Isrotel hotel, about 20 meters from the beach. Climbing or sitting on it requires 5 minutes of walking in the water. Keep in mind that the water reaches a height above the waistline, so entering the water barefoot is not advisable to avoid injuries. BUT, and here comes the big “but”, please be aware that since March 2021 it is forbidden to enter this space.
“Milos” Dead Sea
If you desire the most luxurious and individual hotel, with private accommodation and your own swimming pool, the one for you is the Milos Dead Sea . This hotel lies directly on the shores of the beautiful south Dead Sea Ein-Bokek beach. A top chef cuisine is served, only the best that money can buy.