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Bethany Beyond the Jordan

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Amman: Private Tour to Madaba, Mount Nebo, and Baptism Site

1. Amman: Private Tour to Madaba, Mount Nebo, and Baptism Site

Start with pickup from your hotel in Amman and hop on a climate-controlled vehicle with a private English-speaking driver and WiFi access. Take in the views of Jordan’s desert landscapes as you travel south to Madaba. See places of interest and particular information on the journey. Upon arrival at Madaba, discover the ancient mosaic town with a history dating back to the 2nd century. See the 6th-century mosaic map of Jordan and Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George; marked with points related to historical stories mentioned in the bible. Then, climb Mount Nebo, a sacred Mountain in Jordan which stands at approximately 817 meters above sea level. Mount Nebo is steeped in religious significance as an important Judeo-Christian pilgrimage site. It is where Moses first viewed the Promised Land from the summit and where Prophet Moses is said to have died. Visit the basilica at the summit of the mountain, built by Egyptian monks in the 4th century. Inside, see a collection of well-preserved Byzantine mosaics, illustrating images of wildlife and hunting. Also, enjoy a panoramic view of the Holy Land and the Jordan River Valley from the summit. Next, head to The Baptism Site of Jesus Christ; located on the Jordan side of the Jordan River. It was known as Bethany beyond the Jordan in Biblical times and is considered as one of the three holiest sites of Christianity. Get the chance to pray or simply explore this significant pilgrimage site where many prophets are said to have visited. The Baptism Site, known as ‘Maghtas’ in Arabic is one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archaeology, having only being discovered in 1996.  After experiencing these holy sights and enjoy the fantastic views, reconvene with your driver for the return journey, ending with a hotel drop-off in Amman.

Bethany Baptism Jordan River Site Visit from Amman

2. Bethany Baptism Jordan River Site Visit from Amman

Meet your driver at your Amman hotel, and travel by private, leisure air-conditioned vehicle to the River Jordan with your own private English-Speaking Driver who doubles up as your guide. On route, soak in views of Jordan’s barren landscapes, and pull up at Bethany Beyond the Jordan River, known as “Al-Maghtas” in Arabic, the site on the eastern bank of the river where it’s believed Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Meet up with a local guide, and take a tour of the riverbanks and key excavated ruins, learning how the site was sanctified as the place of Jesus’ baptism by the Vatican and a visit by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Drink in the powerful sense of spirituality, and see the remnants of Roman and Byzantine churches, caves, wells, and baptismal pools. As you walk, listen as your guide explains why archaeologists believe that it was here that John the Baptist lived, preached, and performed baptisms. Hear more about this famous Christian pilgrimage spot and how it is held holy in all three major religions — Christianity, Judaism, and Islam for being the believed site of the Prophet Elijah’s ascension to heaven. Afterward, reconvene with your driver and return to Amman, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off. Please note: the Bethany in this trip should not be confused with Bethany in Jerusalem, where it's believed that Mary Magdalene lived and Lazarus rose from the dead. Upgrade Iraq Al Amir Visit: Alternatively, if you’ve chosen to upgrade, travel to Iraq Al Amir, home to numerous cliff-side caves dating to the Copper Age. Drive through olive groves and pine trees, and after viewing the caves, continue to nearby Qasr al-Abad, a restored pre-Roman building dating from the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. Admire the exterior, pillars, and animal carvings as you walk around the age-old edifice, thought to have been a villa or minor palace. Then, rejoin your driver and conclude your tour with an Amman hotel drop-off.

From Amman: Full Day Holy Land Tour

3. From Amman: Full Day Holy Land Tour

Set off on a whirlwind full day tour of the most famous sights in the historic Jordanian Holy Land. After being picked up from your accommodation, head to the ancient city of Madaba which is renowned for its colorful Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. Visit St. George's Greek Orthodox Church and view the important floor mosaic, an early Christian treasure that today stands as the oldest map of Palestine and offers many historical insights into the area.  Continue on to Mt. Nebo, recorded in the Bible as the site where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. Enjoy a stunning panoramic vista of the valley of the River Jordan, Jericho, and, on clear days, Jerusalem. Check out the remains of a Byzantine church and monastery located on Syagha, the highest point of the mountain. Visit another site of Biblical significance with a stop at Al-Maghtas or "Bethany Beyond the Jordan," the place on the east bank of the Jordan River where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus. Explore two significant archaeological sites which include hermit dwellings, baptism ponds, and the remnants of churches and monasteries.  End your day of exploring with a refreshing swim in the Dead Sea. Float effortlessly in dense salty waters while taking in views of the valley of the Jordan River, Israel, and the West Bank.

Private Tour Madaba, Mount Nebo, Baptism Site & Dead Sea

4. Private Tour Madaba, Mount Nebo, Baptism Site & Dead Sea

Depart your Amman hotel by a leisure air-conditioned vehicle with English-Speaking Driver who doubles up as your guide, and set off on your private tour, traveling to Madaba the city of mosaics. Arrive at Saint George’s Church, the 19th-century basilica in the heart of the town. This famous church houses the Madaba Mosaic Map, an intricately detailed floor mosaic of the Holy Land believed to have been created in the 6th century A.D. Admire the church interior and marvel at the stunning floor map, with its evocative depictions of ancient Jerusalem, Jericho, and lands including the Lebanon, Sinai, and Egypt. Proceed to the open-air museum known as the Archaeological Park, which houses a collection of ruins and mosaics like the Church of Virgin Mary and other floor house mosaics. Visit the historic Catholic Church of Saint John the Baptist, with its beautiful Bell Tower for a breath-taking view of Madaba. Visit its underground museum memorial of Saint John the Baptist. Continue to Mount Nebo, the hill where Moses is believed to have gazed out over the Holy Land. Absorb the sweeping views over the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley, and visit the Byzantine Church on the summit to see its fabled mosaics. Behold the luminous pieces of early art and their vivid recreations of animals, people, and hunting winemaking scenes in this beautiful Franciscan Monastery. On route, soak in views of Jordan’s barren landscapes, and pull up at Bethany Beyond the Jordan River, known as “El-Maghtas” in Arabic, the site on the eastern bank of the river where it’s believed Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Meet up with a local guide, and take a tour of the riverbanks and key excavated ruins, learning how the site was sanctified as the place of Jesus’ baptism by the Vatican and a visit by Pope John Paul II in 2000 A.D. Drink in the powerful sense of spirituality, and see the remnants of Roman and Byzantine churches, caves, wells, and baptismal pools. As you walk, listen as your guide explains why archaeologists believe that it was here that John the Baptist lived, preached, and performed baptisms. Hear more about this famous Christian pilgrimage spot and how it is held holy in all three major religions — Christianity, Judaism, and Islam for being the believed site of the Prophet Elijah’s ascension to heaven. Please note: the Bethany in this trip should not be confused with Bethany in Jerusalem, where it's believed that Mary Magdalene lived and Lazarus rose from the dead. Drive to the lowest point on earth for free time to swim in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea for an experience not to be missed, as it the first world’s natural spa! Afterward, reconvene with your driver and return to Amman, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.

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What people are saying about Bethany Beyond the Jordan

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 6 reviews

Had a fantastic day seeing the sites of the Holy Land in Jordan. Mohammed Al Na Na (apologies if incorrect name spelling) was our driver and he instantly made us comfortable and told us some of the history of the sites. Mohammed was very flexible with the trip giving us plenty of time in each place - visits to the baptismal site are timed though as visitors must be escorted due to the proximity to the Palestinian border. Mohammed's car was very comfortable and the private tour is the best way to see these places especially in the summer heat.

Madaba was nice, beautiful mosaics, special to see, never seen such beautiful. Our driver Bader showed us even more beautiful mosaics. Great driver, drives safely, tells a lot. Mount Nebo beautiful place, but we had no clear weather, unfortunately. Mainly has emotional value for us. Baptismal site Al-maghas very commercial, was not recognizable to us as an evangelical Christian because of our faith. Nice church. Nice to have been once, and to imagine how God said to Jesus: This is My Beloved Son.

Good tour! It is a very beautiful route with a lot of history. Impressive to see how close Israel is to Jordan at the baptism site. We thank our guide Mohamed, alias Mo, who led us around the area and showed us wonderful places and settings.

Perfect day. Mohammed was thoughtful, informative and personable. For 2 women travelers, we could not have felt safer or more comfortable.