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Dead sea: Day Trips and Tours from Aqaba

The Dead Sea is an intriguing salt lake in Jordan’s Rift Valley that is almost completely devoid of life. Fed by the Jordan River, this land-locked body of water lies at roughly 430 meters below sea level.

As a result, water does not drain towards the sea. Instead, it evaporates, resulting in high concentrations of minerals and salt.

Visitors flock to the Dead Sea for the benefits of its mineral rich mud and for the unique experience of floating in the dense and buoyant water.

Book a day trip to the Dead Sea from Aqaba, where you will be able to relax, unwind and enjoy the experience of this delicate and one of a kind ecosystem.

Here's all you need to know about the Dead Sea, one of the most enthralling day trips from Aqaba.

How to get to the Dead Sea from Aqaba?

Guided tours from Aqaba offer a convenient and hassle-free way of visiting the Dead Sea. Alternatively, you can self-drive, book a private transfer to travel by bus.

From Aqaba to the Dead Sea by car

Many visitors choose to rent a car in Jordan. Several car hire companies have offices at the airport and major centers. You can also opt for a private transfer from Aqaba to the Dead Sea.

Route 65 travels north parallel to the Jordanian-Isreali border and along the shores of the Dead Sea. The 273 kilometer long route to the northernmost shore takes roughly 3 hours to drive.

Guided tour to the Dead Sea from Aqaba

On a guided tour to the Dead Sea, your guide is on hand to help you gain hassle-free access to the beaches and facilities at the water’s edge. Small-group and private tours from Aqaba are available.

If you arrive in Aqaba aboard a cruise ship, you can join a tour to the Dead Sea. Shore excursions depart directly from the port and do not need you to make your own way into Aqaba city.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to the Dead Sea from Aqaba?

Tours from Aqaba to the Dead Sea make the most of the day and depart early in the morning. The route from Aqaba travels north with Israel just a short distance away to the west.

On the way, there is a good chance that you will pass through Wadi Al Mujib, the world’s lowest altitude nature reserve, to observe the deep gorge and dramatic rock formations.

At the Dead Sea, you can swim or float, apply mineral-rich mud to your face and body, sunbathe, or relax on the lakeshore. If you need some pampering, you can book a massage or treatment at one of the many nearby spas.  

Most tours also include lunch at a hotel or resort. After a day soaking up the Dead Sea atmosphere, you will head back to Aqaba. Full-day tours from Aqaba last between 8 and 12 hours, including travel time.

Some day trips from Aqaba to the Dead Sea also take in sites like Karak Castle, Madaba and Mount Nebo, while overnight tours include a visit to Petra.

What kinds of tours are available to go to the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is a sightseeing highlight for many visitors to Jordan. You can choose between several kinds of day trips and overnight tours to the Dead Sea from Aqaba. Here are just some of the popular day trips available.

Private transfers without a guide to the Dead Sea from Aqaba

A private transfer is perfect if you want to travel alone without driving. You will be collected from your hotel in Aqaba and driven to the Dead Sea, where you will have a few hours at your leisure before returning to the city.

Small-group day trips to the Dead Sea from Aqaba

Small-group guided tours include return hotel transfers by air-conditioned minibus. From Aqaba, head directly to the Dead Sea to spend the morning enjoying the salty waters.

After lunch at a nearby resort, you will continue your trip, heading to places like Madaba and Mount Nebo. After a full day of sightseeing you will return to Aqaba.

Private tours to the Dead Sea from Aqaba

Private tours to the Dead Sea from Aqaba are the most popular among visitors to Jordan. You will have some leeway to change the itinerary slightly, and you can unwind and leave the planning of your tour to the professionals.

These tours include hotel pickups and often make scenic stops either before or after visiting the primary attraction.

If you are sightseeing en route, your tour may include a guide. But, on arrival at the Dead Sea, most tours give you the freedom to enjoy the lake and surrounding areas on your own.

Private tours often include access to hotel or resort facilities, and a buffet lunch. Souvenirs and drinks are for your own expense.

Overnight tours to the Dead Sea plus Petra from Aqaba

To enjoy the Dead Sea and surrounding areas without rushing, you can opt for an overnight tour that includes a visit to Petra.

On your first day, you will travel to Petra for a tour of the impressive ancient city before continuing on to the Dead Sea. Typically, a multi-day tour will include at least one night at a desert Bedouin Camp.

How much does a tour to the Dead Sea from Aqaba cost?

Shore excursions to the Dead Sea from Aqaba cost from US$190 per person and include the guided transfer and entrance to the Dead Sea beaches.

Private return transfers from Aqaba to the Dead Sea cost f rom US$60 per person  for 2 or more people, with a professional driver.

Small-group day trips to the Dead Sea from Aqaba are priced from US$160. Tours that also include a visit to Petra cost between US$250 and US350 per adult, with a buffet meal or other sightseeing stops.

Specialized private tours from Aqaba to the Dead Sea cost from US$160 per person.

Overnight tours to the Dead Sea plus Petra from Aqaba cost around US$500 per two adults, and offer several different itinerary options.

Several tour operators charge less for children under aged 16, but this should be checked on booking, as different companies have different policies.

What will you see and do?

On a day trip to the Dead Sea, the focus of your tour will be the mineral rich waters of this inland sea. Depending on the type of tour you book, you might take a scenic detour on your journey to see some of the other sights in the region

Amman Beach and O Beach

Amman Beach and O Beach are  the most popular public beaches on the Jordan side of the Dead Sea. There is an entrance fee charged to access the beach and facilities like showers, change rooms and souvenir stores.

Wadi Mujib

Wadi Mujib is a low-lying river that empties into the Dead sea at around 420 meters below sea level. This biosphere reserve is a popular hiking and canyoning destination.

Karak Castle

Located in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Karak Castle is a well preserved Crusader castle that dates back to the 12th century. This attraction is a popular stopping point enroute to other tourist sites in the region.

Madaba

As the fifth largest city in Jordan, Madaba is a place of historical significance and is where the Basilica of Saint George and its mosaic Holy Land map is located.

Mount Nebo

Peaking at 810 meters above sea level, Mount Nebo is said to be the summit from which Moses viewed the Promised Land. The mountain therefore has important religious significance in the region.

What are the opening times?

The beaches and sea are accessible at all times, but an entrance fee is charged at some public beaches. The spas and pools nearby close at around 6PM.

When is the best time to visit the Dead Sea?

Spring and autumn are the best time to visit the Dead Sea. Temperatures in summer can peak above 40 degrees Celsius while in winter, the water can be too cold for swimming.

The best time of the day to swim is in the early morning or late afternoon.

Are there any tours to the Dead Sea from other cities in Jordan?

Yes, there are tours departing from other cities in Jordan:

Travel tips

  • Do not wear any jewelry when swimming in the Dead Sea.
  • Salt can fade bright colors of your swimwear.
  • Aqua shoes will protect your feet from sharp mineral deposits.
  • Do not submerge your face in the water.
  • Only swim at designated places for safety reasons.
  • Apply sunscreen regularly and wear a hat.