Before travelling to Jordan I did a bit of research about the Dead Sea. I wanted to visit it but I didn’t want to pay big dollars to float around in it with a hundred other tourists. I’m not one for touristy ventures but floating in the Dead Sea just had to be done! So I tried to find if there was anywhere to do it for free. Most people pay the resorts to access their beach and use of a shower. A google of swimming for free in the Dead Sea came up with a place called Herodus Spring. Apparently it was 10km south of the resort area at the Dead Sea. I wrote down the details: Herodus Spring, 10km south of resort area. I was set.
In Amman, we hired a car and braved the intense traffic of the city. Once we got out of Amman the roads were empty, wide and the scenery was spectacular.
Sandy hills spilled out to the horizon. The landscape was so different to home. I was in awe at the vastness of the land and how empty it felt. The sense of freedom was overwhelming and I loved every minute of it. I just kept reminding myself, ‘Drive on the right! Drive on the right!’
When we got to the Dead Sea area we had to stop at a place where the local officials asked us where we intended to go. “Herodus Springs!” I said to them, hoping to get some directions from them. “Huh?” one of the men said. “Herodus Springs?” I tried again. The men looked at each other in confusion until one finally said, “Ok yes, this way.” We drove on not feeling particularaly confident. But I had the information from the internet that told us it was 10km from the resorts. So as we passed the resort area we took note of our odometer so we’d know when we had gone 10km. We looked for signs, access to the water but nothing looked like it. So we kept driving and driving. We had gone passed the 10km mark and nothing looked hopeful. Instead of continuing on clueless we stopped to ask some locals on the side of the road.
“Herodus Spring?” I asked.
“What?” the local man replied.
“Um, Herodus Spring?” the mans face remained blank and I was starting to question whether this place existed or if we’d ever find it.
“What is this?” the man asked.
“It’s a place to swim in the Dead Sea for free,” I replied.
“For free?!!” the man cried excitedly.
“Oh, yes swim for free. It is just one minute up the road, just there!” he pointed to a turn in the road.
“Thank you thank you!” I cried.
Driving down to the turn we parked the car, grabbed our gear and ventured down the hill to the sea. When I saw a natural spring bursting from the hill I knew I was in the right place. Then I saw locals in the water. We had arrived at the elusive Herodus Spring, finally!
Down at the waters edge the first thing I noticed was the build up of salt on the shore. The Dead Sea is 427m below sea level making it the lowest point on earth. It has 32.4% salinity which was obvious by the build up of salt and the fact that people were floating around so easily. I couldn’t wait to get in.
As soon as I got in the water I bobbed to the surface. It was the most bizarre feeling. You really do float. That’s about all I can say. The rest you have to experience for yourself!
After floating around for a while and taking the token Dead Sea photos I started to notice the skin on my face starting to sting! 5-10 minutes is the limit you can be in that water until your body starts to tell you to get out! Now all I wanted was to wash the salt off.
I was excited to wash in the natural spring and as I started to head up the hill a local noticed me looking for the spring. He was very enthusiastic. He took us to the spring came into the spring with us and even started massaging my shoulders..hmmm. The spring itself was warm and refreshing. Getting that salt off was a fantastic feeling. I just ignored the rubbish we were surrounded by.
Experiencing the Dead Sea at this local swimming spot was, in my eyes, the best way to do it.
1. It was free
2. It’s how the locals do it
3. Instead of rinsing in a shower you rinse in a natural spring
I can highly recommend it.
Here is a photo of the section of the road you’ll find it. If you have trouble….ask a local for the free swimming spot! They’ll point it out to you. Just don’t use the name Herodus Spring, they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.