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Heritage And Adventure

Madaba City: a must-visit treasure of Jordan

Motaz Othman, eTN  Dec 10, 2009

Madaba City is one of Jordan's treasures; a must-visit location when traveling in Jordan. It’s a city where you feel like you can actually smell its history as you explore the holy sites at nearby Mount Nebo and Bethany. The citizens of Madaba are proud of their Christian heritage, and they are just as proud of the tolerance that exists between Christians and Muslims.

The best known site in Madaba is the Mosaic map, which lies in St. George’s Church. This Greek Orthodox church was built on the site of a much larger church dating to Byzantine times. Unearthed during construction of the new church in 1896, the mosaic was once a clear map with 157 captions (in Greek) of all major biblical sites from Lebanon to Egypt. It dates from the sixth century and besides decorating the church, was probably intended to help pilgrims making their way from one holy site to another. Many of the sites discovered recently were found after archaeologists explored the indications given on the map. The most notable example is the Baptism site of Bethany, which was an important destination for pilgrims.

Just a few minutes’ drive from Madaba is Mount Nebo, where Moses is believed to have seen the Holy Land for the first time, and Bethany, where Jesus is believed to have been baptized. Pope Benedict XVI visited Madaba on a regional tour that took him to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel in May 2009.

Madaba is also well known for its festivals and culture. Its citizens are in love with music and proud of their folklore. Madaba is a pleasant, relaxed, and tolerant city that is well known for its Byzantine mosaics. Here, as all cities in Jordan, you feel safe. You can relax with the locals who will make you feel as if you are visiting with friends and who will do their best to make your visit unforgettable.


Beyond the center of Madaba, lies another world, off the beaten track, that is waiting to be discovered. Composed of dramatic, sprawling terrain, the greater Madaba countryside is the ideal playground for the adventure-seeker wishing to explore Jordan's natural wonders. From refreshingly lush canyons cutting through the mountainside, to mystically-arid mountains reminiscent of biblical times, along with steep valleys with spectacular views, Madaba offers an array of scenery, nature, and activities guaranteed to provide thrills and experiences that will become lasting, lifelong memories.

Lying 264 meters below sea level, Ma’In Hot Springs is the inspired site for the well-appointed Evason Ma’In Hot Springs. Set like an oasis in the dramatic terrain, the location is easily accessible and defines the resort and spa experience in the Middle East - making it a destination of choice for those seeking the perfect retreat to relax and be pampered whilst enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the Ma’In hot spring waterfalls.

Madaba and nearby attractions, including the Wadi Mujeb Nature Reserve and Dead Sea, offer an array of hidden trails, wadis, canyons, waterfalls, and mountains with activities and amenities to suite all ages and fitness levels. Whether traveling alone or with your family, Madaba is the perfect base from which to go mountain biking, hiking, canyon trekking, abseiling, or camping. A hiking tour to the dolmens can be arranged by Mariam hotel, as well as a biking tour to the dolmens by Terhaal eco adventure. The area also provides opportunities to gain unique insights into the authentic culture and life of this fascinating land.


Madaba offers a range of accommodation options from which you can explore the town and its environs. Three-star and two-star hotels, with unequalled levels of customer service, and a wide range of bed and breakfast options, ensure that you have a relaxing base from which to venture out and explore the secrets of Madaba.

Madaba City: a must-visit treasure of Jordan
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