Ein Bokek is a resort town on the coast of the Dead Sea. First of all, tourists come here for treatment, and almost the entire territory of the city is one large health complex, one of the largest and most famous in the country. Check 800zipcodes for other cities and countries as well as population and geography of Middle East.
It is in Ein Bokek that most of the hotels on the Dead Sea are concentrated, here is the richest infrastructure – cafes, restaurants, spa centers, clinics and equipped beaches. There is practically no local population in this city, the main audience is tourists, even service personnel come from nearby cities and towns.
Ein Bokek is several thousand years old, ancient hunters and gatherers settled here, and they used salt from the Dead Sea to preserve meat. Modern people appreciate it no less, but already in medicine and cosmetology.
Ein Bokek is the lowest-lying city in the world, it stands 404 meters below sea level, which is why the climate of these places is so healing.
How to get there
There are no direct flights to Ein Bokek from Russia. The most convenient way is to fly to Tel Aviv and from there take a bus (the distance between cities is about 160 km). You can also come to El Bokek from Jerusalem and Eilat.
- from Jerusalem, buses leave every day at 8:40 from the central station on Jaffa Street. On buses number 444 or 446 in 1.5-2 hours you will reach the resort of Ein Bokek. Egged buses also run to Ein Bokek once a day at 8:40 (route No. 421). They depart from the bus terminal Arlozorov (Arlozorov Terminal), located in the northern part of the city. Travel time is just over 3 hours.
- bus number 444 runs from Eilat4 times a day, the earliest flight is at 7:00, travel time is 2 hours 40 minutes.
- bus number 486 runs from Jerusalem to Ein Bokek, travel time is about 1 hour.
Please note: the bus schedule depends on the day of the week, on Shabbat you can only go by taxi and rare minibuses. If you are coming from Tel Aviv Airport, try to buy tickets so that you arrive early in the morning.
Weather in Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek has 315 sunny days a year and is hot almost all year round. Rains here are very rare, and almost all of them fall between January and March.
Summers are hot and dry here. The air temperature reaches +40 °С by August, in June and July – about +35… +37 °С – this happens at the end of summer, in August. In September it gets cooler – about +27… +29 ° С, by November – up to +22 ° С, but the beach season is still ongoing at this time. Winter in Ein Bokek is warm, the average air temperature is +17… +19 °С, sometimes it gets colder up to +10 °С, but this does not happen every year. In winter, the water in the Dead Sea is warmer than the air – +21…+23 °C, but in summer you should not look for saving coolness there – the sea warms up to +30…+32 °C.
Ein Bokek Hotels
Most of the hotels in Ein Bokek are 4-5 star categories, almost all of them have their own beaches and spa complexes. Spa treatments (salt and sulfur baths, massages, inhalations, etc.) are usually not included in the price, some hotels in the spa complex charge an additional fee. Entrance to the beach at the hotel and the use of sunbeds, umbrellas, etc. are usually free.
One of the most luxurious hotels in the resort is Royal Rimonim Dead Sea 5 *, from the windows of its rooms there are very beautiful views of the Judean Desert, the mountains of Moab and the Dead Sea, there is a large spa complex and an indoor pool. The cost of living is from 220 USD per day for a double room. Another chic hotel is the Leonardo Club Hotel deluxe. It has its own mini water park, a rooftop terrace with sun loungers, and mud parties on a private beach. The cost of living is from 420 USD per day for a double room.
More budget hotels also offer good service. Almost every one has a swimming pool, sauna and a minimal set of spa treatments. The cost of living is from 190 USD per day for a room for two people. It is difficult to find cheaper accommodation, but if you book in advance, you can find cheaper apartments. The prices on the page are for June 2022.
Ein Bokek beaches
The entire coast of Ein Bokek is very clean and well-groomed, the beaches are sandy with salt. In some places they are replaced by areas with healing mud, so you can take mud baths right on the beach – completely free.
The resort has public and private beaches. Entrance to the public is free, some have sun loungers and umbrellas (you have to pay for them), and absolutely free fresh water showers and toilets on all.
The territory of private beaches is more comfortable, and sunbeds, umbrellas and beach towels for guests are included in the price. You can’t enter the private beach from the side – the territory is fenced. Private hotel beaches are not always located next to the building; in this case, free shuttles run from the hotel to the coast.
The water in the Dead Sea is really very salty, so if there are abrasions on the body, it is better to refrain from swimming – it will hurt. Walking on the beach is better in shoes.
Treatment in Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek has a unique climate that is beneficial in itself. Several natural factors are combined here at once: high oxygen content in the air (the resort is located 404 below sea level), air saturated with salts and minerals, warm climate and therapeutic mud, which are used in medicine and cosmetology.
In Ein Bokek, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems, gastrointestinal diseases, dermatological problems and some immunological syndromes are successfully treated.
Wellness centers are often located at hotels, where qualified doctors work to diagnose and prescribe treatment. The minimum course is usually 7-10 days, it is difficult to achieve a visible effect in a shorter period. Also, almost every hotel has a spa center where guests can enjoy mud and sulfur baths, massages, inhalations and beauty treatments.
The city has a large dermatology clinic, IPTC Dead Sea, specializing in the treatment of psoriasis. The minimum recommended course is one week. Treatments include hydrogen sulfide baths, seaweed and mud wraps, mineral oil massages and more.
Shopping and shopping in Ein Bokek
There are many souvenir shops in Ein Bokek selling magnets, salt crystals, beach accessories, etc., they are all concentrated in the center of the resort, the assortment is approximately the same everywhere.
The city also has three major shopping centers: Petra Shopping Center, Ein Hatchelet Shopping Center and Ein Bokek Shopping Center. There is a large selection of cosmetics with salts and mud from the Dead Sea, jewelry and souvenirs, clothes and shoes, too, but the range does not shine with variety. Since Ein Bokek is a tourist city, the prices here are too high – in Tel Aviv, the prices for cosmetics can be 1.5 times lower. However, if you know how to bargain, there is a chance not to overpay – sometimes they give a discount on request.
Saturdays are Shabbat, despite the large number of tourists, so all shops and malls will be closed.
- Shopping in Tel Aviv
- Shopping in Israel
Cuisine and restaurants
The best restaurants in Ein Bokek are located in hotels, on the streets of the city you can find mostly fast food and oriental cafes. Taj Mahal (at the Leonardo Inn Hotel) is considered one of the best among inexpensive oriental restaurants. It serves good kebab, falafel, hummus, tortillas and shish kebab. There is a menu of hookahs, and in the evenings you can watch belly dancing. The average check is about 200-250 ILS for two. Aroma cafe has delicious coffee and buns, it is usually recommended for breakfast. Good steaks are served at the Beef Point restaurant.
The Petra Shopping Center has a McDonald’s in case you want something familiar. Almost every restaurant has a menu in Russian.
Entertainment and attractions of Ein Bokek
Qumran National Archaeological Park is one of the most interesting places in the area. This is a desert with ancient ruins and caves, it is most interesting to visit this place with a guide. It was here that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, ancient manuscripts that are today stored in the Shrine of the Book of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Today, you can see the remains of 2-3-story houses of the ancient Jewish community, a water conduit, pottery kilns, pools for ritual ablutions, a pottery workshop, etc. There is a Jewish restaurant in the park. Entrance fee: 29 ILS for adults and 15 ILS for children.
Masada Fortress, built by King Herod the Great, is one of the most visited attractions in Ein Bokek. This place became the last refuge of Jewish fanatics, and after a three-year siege, many of them preferred to commit suicide than surrender to the Romans. The fortress is located in the middle of sheer cliffs, which makes the view of it especially picturesque. You can get here on foot along the “snake path” or by funicular.
In Ein Bokek, the remains of the Roman-Byzantine outpost and the ruins of the Bekek fortress have been preserved.
Mount Sodom is another local attraction, it is interesting because it consists entirely of rock salt. It is believed that it was here that the biblical events took place that destroyed the population of the two cities. One of the pillars of salt is even called “Lot’s wife”: according to legend, after the wrath of God fell on Sodom and Gomorrah in the form of a fiery rain, Lot’s wife turned into a stone from salt.