Felicity’s Review of the Dead Sea Nude Beach In Israel
The Dead Sea is one of my most favorite places on Earth. The landscape alone, with the majestic mountains and towering desert cliffs bordering the vast open sea is simply breathtaking. I love the pastel colors of the sea, desert and mountains.
As we were traveling in Israel again for a wedding and the Pashut Festival, we couldn’t not make another visit to the Dead Sea!
My first time there was 3 years ago when we’d unsuccessfully tried to find a nude beach at Kalia Beach. Little did we know, the nudie section had just shifted down shore a bit and we were right near it the whole time. It’s now a 5-10 minute walk from Neve Midbar (which means “desert oasis”) Beach, and a good friend gave us exact directions to get there.
We got to Neve Midbar around midday on a Sunday and managed to squeeze into one of the last remaining parking spots in a big lot. There’s a small fee to enter and get to the beach. Neve Midbar is a developed beachfront with an outdoor pool, umbrella-shaded tables on fake grass, a bar and other amenities. There’s a row of little one-room cabins where you can stay overnight. It was super crowded, and I was glad we weren’t hanging out there for too long.
We walked past the throngs of people until the cement turned into brown clay Earth. We were then walking along completely undeveloped land and here’s where we got a bit lost, as we were supposed to be on the lookout for some illusive stairs leading down to the beach.
There was no path and of course no signs. Most of the people back at the swimsuit section likely don’t even know there’s a nude beach only a short distance away. The people who work at the entrance gate or who are otherwise employed there might know about it, but if you inquire with them, they will deny its existence.
After wandering around for a few minutes, we finally located the broken planks of wood mostly buried in dirt that formed steps leading down towards the water. We soon spotted a few naked people so knew we were in the right place!
The beach was almost empty. We saw a total of maybe 8 people there. A few Russians and a few Israelis. We were completely out of sight from the busy park / resort section. It was calm and quiet.
The beach could use a serious clean-up. I guess the plastic chairs were brought down and left behind by visitors over time. I think they’re kind of an eye sore, but they can still serve a purpose. Aside from broken or buried chairs, there were all kinds of bottles, debris and garbage littering the beach.
The sea was warm, and we swam / floated out for a while. Don’t forget the Dead Sea is the saltiest natural water you’ll ever swim in, and this creates buoyancy. It contains 12 ounces of salt per liter of water. It’s about 30% salt, while oceans are 4% salt. So you can and will float effortlessly.
This being the Negev desert in May, the sun was out and the heat was oppressive. What makes the Dead Sea even more interesting, though, is that the sun’s UV rays are less harmful in this area due to high atmospheric pressure (and the air is more oxygen-rich). So people can spend more time in the sun and even take advantage of this for “heliotherapy” – sunlight therapy for health and wellness.
This beach also has its own mud bath where you can just soak and cover yourself in the thick black mud! A small white sign stuck in the dirt above reads, “Fountain of Youth” and “In memory of Mario” with a funny little drawing. We’re assuming he helped create this crater bath or assisted at the beach in some way.
The Dead Sea and mud contain all different kinds of minerals that are great for your skin and are known to significantly help conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. The mud exfoliates, improves circulation and softens skin. You can buy packs of Dead Sea mud, but the best way to get it is to scoop it up and apply it right there at the beach. (And it’s free!)
The bath consisted of mud and salty sea water, which made it a little difficult to situate myself as I was either uncontrollably floating, or my limbs were sinking down into the thick, wet mud on the bottom. We spread the mud on our skin and sat in it for maybe 20 minutes, but I don’t know that I would recommend this long of a soak after my experience that day… When I washed off the mud, I discovered my skin was…stained an orange-y bronze. It looked like I’d applied one of those fake bronzing lotions that give you an instant tan.
It didn’t look horrible. But it also wouldn’t wash off even after I scrubbed myself down with a loofah in the shower. The worst part was that it stained our clothes. I assume it’s one or a few minerals in the mud that account for this happening. So nudies beware of the mud bath or don’t wear your best clothes to the beach.
After we’d had enough sun, we walked back to the park where there are public restrooms and showers. If you wanted a quick rinse at the naked section, there is a water spout that is located in one of the crevices. The water pouring out is still salty, but much less so than the sea.
On our way back, we grabbed two quick lemonades at the outdoor bar to get hydrated and refreshed before leaving. I left this beautiful place once again, hoping to return soon and happy to have found the nude beach! The Dead Sea and its healing benefits are best experienced without clothes or bathing suits.
How to get to the nude beach section at the Dead Sea
Enter at Neve Midbar Beach (where you’ll pay an entrance fee). Turn right towards the restrooms and showers and walk past those. You’ll be exiting the “park” area and walking along a plateau. Look along the edge for some beaten-down steps leading down to the water. (Please note that there is still outdated information / directions on Israel nudist sites / elsewhere online.)
There are cute huts at this beach for overnight stays (in the “textile” section) that you’ll pass on your way to the nudie section. (Somewhere in the park there’s also a camping area.)
As another potential option to swim naked at the Dead Sea, check out this blog post at Active Naturists to read about their experience at a different beach!