After pickup from your Amman hotel, journey by private, air-conditioned vehicle to the town of Madaba, known for its early medieval mosaics. The most famous is the 6th-century Mosaic Map of the Holy Land, housed in Madaba’s 19th-century St. George’s Church.
On arrival, join up with a local guide and, after admiring the church’s deceptively simple exterior, head inside to view the interior and mosaic. Wander around the richly detailed map, and learn how it depicts the Holy Land and Jordan of its time. Admire the colorful renderings of the Dead Sea, Jericho, and Jerusalem, and note the references to biblical locations.
Next, drive to Mt. Nebo, heading to the top of this mountain ridge where it’s believed Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. Admire the views over the Jordan Valley, and on a clear day, across to the Holy Land; and see the modern sculpture depicting Moses’ staff.
With a local guide, tour Mt. Nebo church, a modern shrine that houses floor mosaics from around the 6th century. Gaze at the still-vivid scenes of soldiers, horses, hunters, and animals like peacocks and lions, and hear fascinating facts about the mosaics, and their discovery, from your guide.
Afterward, continue to Mukawir (Machaerus); a fortified hilltop palace to the east of the Dead Sea, founded by Herod the Great. According to 1st-century Romano-Jewish scholar, Flavius Josephus, the fortress was where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded in 32 AD, with his head presented to Herod’s son, Herod Antipas, on a plate by Princess Salome.
View the ruins of this once-palatial and impregnable fortress, making out the walls, baths, and even the hall where it’s believed that Salome danced. Then, rejoin your vehicle, and return to Amman, where your day finishes with a hotel drop-off.