Mount Nebo is a significant religious site that overlooks the Holy Lands and southern Jordan. It is described in the Bible as the vantage point from which Moses first laid eyes on the Promised Land of Israel and is said to be the prophet’s final resting place. The summit is a popular destination for both Christians and Muslims, and for travelers with an interest in history.
At Syagha, one of the mountain’s highest peaks, discover the remains of an ancient basilica built by monks almost two millennia ago. Significant elements of this ancient church have been beautifully incorporated into the Memorial Church of Moses, a simple, modern structure that shelters the excavated ruins. Marvel at the incredibly well preserved mosaics, the oldest of which dates back 1,400 years.
At the lookout point, look up at the Brazen Serpent Monument, which symbolizes the crucifixion cross and other passages from the Bible. From here, enjoy panoramic views across the Desert of Judah and the Dead Sea. On clear days, enjoy views to Bethlehem, Herod’s fortress of Herodium, Jerusalem and Jericho. The setting is particularly evocative as the suns sets behind the mountainous landscape.
The church and ongoing excavations are run by the Franciscan Archaeological Institute and are open daily. There is a small entrance fee. A mass is held each Christmas in both English and Arabic. Also worth a visit is the nearby town of Khirbet al-Mukhayyat. Here you can explore the remains of the village of Nebo, which is mentioned in the Bible.
If you’re feeling energetic, sign up for the annual Pilgrimage Marathon on either the 6-mile (10-kilometer) fun run or the demanding 26-mile (42-kilometer) course that ends at the Dead Sea.
The mountain is a 30-mile (50-kilometer) journey southwest from Jordan’s capital, Amman. Take a bus from Amman straight to Mount Nebo, or to nearby Madaba or the Dead Sea, followed by a short taxi journey.