Actor Chris Noth relaxing at the Dead Sea.
Actor Chris Noth relaxing at the Dead Sea. Photo by AP
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The Dead Sea is one of Israel's most popular tourism attractions, and has been for millennia – even the great Cleopatra is said to have regarded its salt-saturated waters and mud as beneficial. The deep desert area is stark and beautiful and the sea itself - actually an inland lake – is beguilingly blue, peppered with white salt pillars here and there.

And indeed it can be delightful to enter the waters and float on your back, buoyed by the saline, viscous water. Face it – you don't want to dip your face in this water. Why? It will hurt, that's why. It also tastes terrible.

The Dead Sea is almost 10 times saltier than seawater: the concentration of salt is 33.7 percent. It is the second saltiest body of water in the world outside of Antarctica, the first being Lake Assal in Djibouti, Africa.

Even though all the salts in the sea also exist in your body, any cuts you may have on your body will sting. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you depilate by shaving or waxing, do it the night before the visit, not the morning of the visit itself. It is true that the pain will pass, but the initial sensation is not pleasant, and the discomfort is entirely gratuitous. Why even go there?

And don't even think of splashing the pretty water on your face, let alone drinking it. This brings us to your dog.

Dogs like to swim. They see the water and happily jump in, unaware that this is no ordinary sea. The water will hurt the dog's eyes and mouth like it would hurt yours. You're best off leaving poochie at home or with friends.

But if you did bring the dog and he got into the sea, do the same thing you do for yourself when the salt hurts you: hurry him out of the water and shower him off quickly. Splash water in the dog's face and mouth. Also don't give him a mud treatment. He won't appreciate it.

For more tips on How to Swim in the Dead Sea, and enjoy the experience, click here.