Winter Fun – Hot Mineral Springs and Spas around Israel

Filed in Health, Hot Springs and Spas by on 16/10/2013 0 Comments
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Dead Sea, Tiberias, Galilee, Coastal Plain and Eilat

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Sea of Galilee, Lake Kinneret – Photo by Josephine Levin © 2013

October sees the closing of Israel’s beaches along the Mediterranean Sea due to the onset of winter rains and cooler weather. So where does everyone flock to in the late fall/winter? The top winter vacation spots are Eilat, the Dead Sea, Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). These areas all have mild winters, and Eilat and the Dead Sea are in desert regions and also have very little rain-fall.

Mineral Warm up and Pampering

When temperatures drop around the country many flock to hot mineral springs and spas to warm up! Israel is blessed with many thermal hot springs. The hot mineral sulfur pools are known for relieving arthritis and rheumatism, healing skin problems like psoriasis and reducing tensions and stress. Some of the mineral hot springs also have spas on the premises with all kinds of opportunities for various healing and beauty treatments. Many hotels and boutique hotels also have pampering spas. So no matter where you are touring in Israel you can find hot mineral springs and/or spas. Some of them like the Tiberias Hot Springs have been known for thousands of years for their healing properties and others like the Yoav Hot Springs were discovered accidentally when Israel was drilling to try to find oil or natural gas.

Safety

If you suffer from cardiovascular or blood pressure problems you should consult your doctor before immersing in the hot pools. The general rule is to stay in the hot mineral pools for a maximum of 10 minutes, get out and cool off for about 15 minutes, drink a lot of water and then return to the hot pool. Silver jewelry can be tarnished from the thermal mineral pools and should be removed before immersing.

Pregnant women are not allowed into any of Israel’s hot thermal pools!

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea called yam ha’melech in Hebrew (the Sea of Salt) is a unique experience not to be missed on any trip to Israel. It is the lowest place on the earth and Dead Sea Minerals, Hot Springs and Spas abound around the Dead Sea.

  • Kalia Beach, managed by Kibbutz Kalia, is only a half hour from Jerusalem and offers blue shades, Dead Sea mud, showers, a shop selling Dead Sea cosmetic products and huts for overnight camping. A kosher meat restaurant is open from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm. Kalia also manages the Kumran site where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. For more information phone: (02) 994-2391.
  • Mineral Beach is on the road from Kalia to Ein Gedi. Here is a lovely beach right on the Dead Sea with shade and chairs, changing rooms and lockers. There is also a hot thermal sulfur pool fed from nearby hot springs, medical mud, an indoor fresh water pool suitable for children, an amphitheater and a cafeteria. Therapeutic and pampering spa treatments are also available. For further information phone: 02-994-4888.
  • Ein Gedi Sea of Spa and Hot Springs offers hot mineral pools, Dead Sea mud, beach on the Dead Sea and a spa with all kinds of beauty, body and energy treatments. There is also a large fresh water swimming pool, restaurant and gift shop with all kinds of Dead Sea cosmetic and beauty products.  For your convenience a shuttle train leaves the spa, stops at the mud area and goes down to the beach. Separate bathing for men and women is available in the indoor hot sulfur pools. For further information phone: (+972)-8-659-4813.

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    Ein Gedi Spa & Hot Springs – Photo by Josephine Levin © 2013

  • Ein Bokek is the main hotel and resort area of the Dead Sea. Hotels here that offer hot sulfur pools get their  mineral water from the Neve Zohar Hot Springs. A beautiful promenade stretches from Ein Bokek to Neve Zohar. There is also a lovely free beach, the Neve Zohar Hot Springs Beach that has lifeguards, showers, shades, beach chairs for rent and free parking.
  • The Separate Beach at Ein Bokek offers separate bathing for men and women. It has a lifeguard, First Aid, showers and drinking water. For further information phone: (08) 668-8845.

Northern Israel, Galilee

  • Tiberias Hot Springs on the Sea of Galilee, Lake Kinneret is adjacent to Hamat Tiverya National Park. The mineral pools are housed in two separate buildings. The older building next door to the park offers separate bathing for men and women. Across the street right on the beautiful Lake Kinneret with a private beach, are also hot sulfur pools, a freshwater pool, a children’s pool and a spa that offers all kinds of massages and treatments. For further information phone: (04) 612-3600.
  • Hamat Gader is a 40 acre park located on the south eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee not far from Tiberias and offers a variety of hot thermal mineral pools, Jacuzzi jets, a spa with 17 treatment rooms, a petting zoo, parrot shows and the largest crocodile farm in the Middle East. On site are also restaurants. During the winter season they offer separate bathing times for men only Sundays 6-10 pm and Thursdays from 11 pm until 3 am. Only during the summer do they also offer separate bathing times for women. For further information email:  information@hamat-gader.com or phone (04)- 665-9955 or  *6393.
  • Gan Ha’shlosha – Sachne National ParkThese springs are naturally heated, allowing for bathing all year found. They are in the scenic Mount Gilboa area near Bet Shean with its amazing archeological ruins. For further information email: yehudac@npa.org.il or phone: 04-6586219 or the National Parks Information Line in Israel *3639.

Central Israel

  • Yoav Hot Springs, Hamei Yoav near Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat offers pools fed by thermal mineral hot springs, spa treatments and aerobics exercises. Separate bathing for men and women is available only at certain times in the evening. For further information phone: (08) 672-1150.
  • Ga’ash Hot Springs, Hammei Ga’ash is near Netanya. It is a pampering spa with all kinds of massages and treatments, heated thermal mineral pools, sulfur jets, Olympic size fresh water pool, kosher meat restaurant and dairy café.  Ga’ash also offers separate bathing times for men and women in the evenings. For further information phone: (09) 952-9404.

South – Negev Desert

  • Eilat, Israel’s resort city on the Red Sea does not take a back seat when it comes to spas and in fact has one of the most unusual spas in the country – the Dr. Fish Spa, where tiny fish nibble at your feet to make you a pedicure! For further information email doctordag@walla.com or call 077-514-5004.
  • At Eilat’s fascinating Dolphin Reef are three marvelous relaxation pools surrounded by tropical vegetation. Whether or not you choose to also swim with the dolphins you can immerse in these beautiful pools. For further information phone: (08) 630-0111.
  • Eilat’s Dream Spa offers water massage and hydrotherapy treatments. For further information call 050-272-0551.
  • Neve Midbar Health Center in the Negev offers pampering in the middle of the desert at Chalutza near Kibbutz Mashabel Sadeh not far from Beer Sheva. The spa contains four thermo-mineral pools, a Jacuzzi pool, a sitting bath, a baby pool and an outdoor pool. There is also a meat restaurant and a dairy cafeteria. Children under 10 can only enter pools under the responsibility of their parents. The Neve Midbar Estate also houses the Spa Bamidbar that is designed for singles, couples and groups and is only open to those over age 18. Here you can be pampered with facial and massage treatments and fragrant oils. The entire estate can be reserved for special events outside of the regular opening hours. Bus No. 45 from Beer Sheva travels there. Separate evening bathing times for men and women are offered during the summer. For further information email: info@neve-midbar.co.il or phone: (08) 657-9666.

Did You Know?

Pedicures by fish are also available at the Ein Gedi Spa NIS 39 for 10 minutes.

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