5. 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.