Madaba is a combination of rural home life and a hot spot for religious tourism. Known as the “City of Mosaics”, Madaba is the cultural epicenter for Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. Just a short distance from the capital, visitors are just a stone's throw away from the holy monuments of religious iconography.

mount nebo


Mount Nebo is the highest point in the ancient Kingdom of Moab, referenced in Abrahamic texts as the site of Mount Nebo this township was first inhabited by a Christian nomadic tribe in the 4th century. Explore your religious roots in the religious town or visit Mt. Nebo where it is believed that Moses died as he viewed the Holy Land. “And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho.” (Deuteronomy 34:1).

On a clear day there is a magnificent panoramic view over the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley with the towers of Jerusalem visible on the skyline.

machaerus / mukawir


Dramatically situated in the hills south-west of Madaba, and overlooking the Dead Sea the fortress of Machaerus lies near the village of Mukawir traditionally associated with the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist.


An earlier fortress was built there by the Hasmonaean ruler Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BC) to defend his eastern territory of Peraea against the Nabataeans. So impregnable was it thought to be that Jannaeus’ widow and heir, Alexandra, stored her treasure there, but the site proved not to be inviolable — in 57 BC, ten years after Alexandra’s death, when the region had descended into civil war between her two sons, the Romans asserted control and seized this strategic fortress, virtually demolishing it in the process.


In 37 BC the Roman senate proclaimed Herod (later called ‘the Great’) king over the people and lands of his Hasmonaean predecessors. Machaerus was rebuilt by Herod both as a palatial and secure summer residence and also as a defense against the neighboring Nabataeans.


This area fell to Herod Antipas. Some 30 years later Antipas divorced his wife (a Nabataean princess, daughter of Aretas IV) to marry Herodias, wife of his brother Philip. His rejected wife made her way to Machaerus, then across the nearby border with Nabataea and from there, under the protection of the Nabataean army, she went south to her father’s capital at Petra.

John the Baptist, who had so outspokenly condemned Antipas’ divorce and remarriage, also came to Machaerus – but as a prisoner. It was here that Herodias’ daughter Salome danced and, at the instigation of her mother, demanded the Baptist’s head on a charger.