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74Isea&iISPRING-SUMMER 2011JORDAN'S DEAD SEA EXPERIENCEIf you're looking for a complete wellbeing experience that doubles as a relaxing andluxurious holiday, few places compare with Jordan. The Jordan Valley is one of the world'smost unique natural spas, complete with a specific type of sun radiation, an enrichedoxygen atmosphere, mineral-rich sea salt and mud, and thermo-mineral springs. Base yourself at the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa and you can create yourown programme of ultimate health. Begin each day by winding past the resort'sfour pools to the private beach where one of the world's most remarkable naturalhealingwonders laps a muddy shore. The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of waterin the world, and these salts contain a bounty of healthy minerals, includingmagnesium, calcium, bromide, sodium and potassium. Since time immemorial,people have bathed in its waters, first daubing themselves in Dead Sea mud.Handy tubs of this grey-black sludge sit on the rocky shore so you can coveryourself from head to toe. Like the water, the mud is rich in salts and minerals,which are absorbed into the skin and dry to a cake-like body mask. You can thenwade in the footsteps of the likes of King Herod the Great and Queen Cleopatraas you take to the water. Within seconds your feet pop up from under you as thehigh salinity of the water makes it impossible to remain upright. As you float,the minerals of the mud and sea begin to cleanse and rid the body of toxins, andstimulate circulation. They also boast anti-ageing properties, and can help easearthritis and skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. As an addedbonus, you'll emerge from the waters with softer skin. Adding to the region's health merits is clean dry air with high levels ofoxygen, unique sun rays that can have a positive impact on certain diseases,and very low UV rays, meaning the sun causes less skin damage here than in otherparts of the world. To enhance your daily dip in the Dead Sea, the traditional cuisine of Jordan is alsoHOLIDAY HEALTH HIGHLIGHTSqToxins cleansed from bodyqImproved skin conditionqStimulated circulationqAnti-ageing benefits

SPRING-SUMMER 2011I sea&iI75extremely healthy, meaning you can cleanse yourself inside and out. Crunchy freshvegetables and salads combine with plump pulses, tangy herbs and tasty spicesto create delicious meze and dishes. You can pile your plate high with low-fat,low-cholesteroland mineral- and vitamin-rich foods at every meal, with the addedsignificant advantage that they taste fantastic, bursting with tangy flavour, diversetextures and exuberant colours.Spend days exercising in the Marriott's infinity pool and making use of its spa.It has an indoor Dead Sea Water pool, as well as a buffet of treatments drawing onthe healing properties of Dead Sea salts and mud. Try the Arabic Loofah Experienceor a Black Arabic Coffee Energizing and Firming Wrap. If you fancy a change of scene, a short drive delivers you to O Beach - a five-star day spa and nightlife venue that opened last year. Cabanas can be hiredcomplete with Jacuzzis, outdoor cooling systems, private butlers, a changingroom, lounge and dining areas and 42-inch televisions. Beyond these privatehavens are eight bars and restaurants, infinity pools and the Olea Spa, with sevenshaded sea-view treatment rooms. Also a short drive away is Feynan Ecolodgein the heart of the Dana Biosphere Reserve. This 26-room solar-powered havenamid the mountains is all about health and nature. Spend long days in the freshmountain air - trekking, biking and canyoning - or time your visit with one ofits yoga retreats. In the evening, dine on delicious organic vegetarian food, allthe while in the knowledge that you are supporting the most honourable of ecocredentials.Should your visit to the Jordan Valley have a more dedicated health or medicalfocus, the region's world-famous Dead Sea Medical Centre offers expertise,facilities and treatments for extreme skin conditions and health ailments.nFor more information visit www.marriott.co.uk, www.obeach.net, www.feynan.com,www.jordandeadsea.com Opposite page:one of the pools of the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa, overlooking the Dead SeaThis page, above left: the reception and courtyard of Feynan EcolodgeTop: Dead Sea salt formationsAbove: the O Beach day spa and nightlife venue*Always seek professional medical advice before undertaking a detox programme, diet or new health regimePhotography: Jordan Tourism Board; Feynan Ecolodge/Brian Scannell