The Dead sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.
Its surface and shores are 430.5 metres (1,412 ft) below sea level, Earth’s lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2% (in 2011), it is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating.This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea’s main, northern basin is 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and 15 kilometres (9 mi) wide at its widest point.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean Basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilisers. Today, tourists visit the Sea on its Israeli, Jordanian and West Bank coastlines; Israel has faced criticism for refusing to allow a Palestinian tourism industry to develop along the West Bank coast.
Nazareth is described by some as ‘the Forgotten Son’ of Israeli tourism. Nazareth, located in Israel’s Galilee region not only has over a dozen important Christian sites, but as Israel’s largest Arab city, has some fascinating cultural sites and experiences to savor. The Pope came to Israel in early 2009, and Nazareth was one of the areas given big government grants to improve its tourism infrastructure for this. As a result, Nazareth has been given a push back onto Israel’s tourism map – and with its importance as the childhood home of Jesus, as the largest Arab city in Israel, and its stunning location right in the middle of the Lower Galilee (about 15 miles west of the Sea of Galilee), it’s a fascinating place.
Nazareth’s Old City is most famous for its traditional shuk (Arabic for market) which attracts Israelis from across the country looking for traditional Arabic produce. This in itself is an experience, and a great contrast to the air-conditioned malls dotted around the country. For those interested in Christianity, the Old City and surrounds are filled with important Christian sites, including the Church of the Annunciation.
JMount Carmel towers over 15 miles of Israel’s Mediterranean Coastline between Hadera and Haifa. Mount Carmel has always been a symbol of beauty, and whilst it is not especially high, with a peak of just 550m above sea level, the change in scenery from the flat Coastal Plain makes it a striking landform. Ranging views across the flat coastal plain and onto the Mediterranean to the West, and the Alona and later Jezreel Valleys in the Galilee to the East are breathtaking.
Jerusalem is a city in Western Asia, on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Top sites inJerusalem include Western wall, Temple mount, and Church of the Holy Sepulchre