It is appropriate that my pilgrimage should begin on this mountain, where Moses contemplated the Promised Land from afar. The magnificent prospect which opens up from the esplanade of this shrine invites us to ponder how that prophetic vision mysteriously embraced the great plan of salvation which God had prepared for his People. For it was in the valley of the Jordan which stretches out below us that, in the fullness of time, John the Baptist would come to prepare the way of the Lord. It was in the waters of the River Jordan that Jesus, after his baptism by John, would be revealed as the beloved Son of the Father and, anointed by the Holy Spirit, would inaugurate his public ministry. (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Mount Nebo, Saturday, 9 May 2009)
It was by these words that HH Benedict XVI set about his pilgrimage through the Holy Land on May, 9th 2009 on Mt. Nebo and by these words he emphasized the importance of the regions east and west of the Jordan River for those seeking the spirit of Judaism and Christianity.
The tour below follows the steps of the former pope's pilgrimage from ancient Gadara (Umm Qais) in the north, down to Petra in the uplands of biblical Edom.
Upon arrival and after completing formalities (luggage, passport control and customs) you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel in Amman.
Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Bethany Beyond the Jordan
After breakfast and a silent meditation, head to Mt. Nebo and remember Moses and the people of Israel standing here, looking out into the Promised Land, Moses himself would never set a foot in (Dtn 34,1-5). Visit the church built by 393 CE and have time for prayer or silent meditation. Afterwards, stop at the Moses' Springs and continue to Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John the Baptist is said to have been baptizing his followers, among them Jesus himself.
After lunch, arrive to the small city of Madaba which is home to the 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land, being the oldest map of Christian sites found to date and an excellente chance to follow the road you are about to travel. Overnight in Amman.
Gadara and Pella
Depart from your hotel in northern direction and arrive to the ancient Decapolis city of Gadara (today's Umm Qais). While enjoying the view down to the Sea of Galilee, recall the biblical story of Jesus exorcising the demons (Mt 8,28-34). Furthermore, visit the ruins and then head on to Pella, biblical Pnuel by the Jabbok River (now Zarqa River), close to Sukkot (Gen 32,24-30) and head on to Mahanajim (Gen 32,2-3). Overnight in Amman.
Jerash, Anjara, Tall Mar Elias
After breakfast, drive to ancient Gerasa (today's Jerash), the 3rd Decapolis city on your pilgrimage. Visit the monumental ruins and continue to close-by Anjara. Here, in the hills of Gilead, enter the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary and have time for prayer or a service. Afterwards, continue to Tall Mar Elias, in proximity to Tishbe, the city where Elijah the Prophet was born (1Kings 17,1). According to the tradition, it was here that Elijah ascended to heaven (2Kings 2,11) and also the events of Mt 17,1 are located here. Overnight in Amman.
The Kings' Highway
In ancient times, the so-called "Kings' Highway" connected Memphis in Egypt with Resafa on the banks of the Euphrates. Along its way, it passed through Heliopolis, Suez, Nakhl (all in Egypt), Aqaba, Petra, Kerak, Madaba, Amman, Jerash (all in Jordan) and Bosra and Damaskus in Syria, creating one of the most important travel and trade routes of the Ancient World.
Today, you will travel along this route from Amman to Petra through the highlands of Jordan. On your way, you will stop at the ancient fortified hilltop palace "Machaerus", where, according to Flavius Josephus, John the Baptist was held captive and eventually beheaded. In the late afternoon, you will arrive to Petra for relaxation and overnight.
Today, you will spend a full day visiting the most famous and most astonishing of all Nabatean cities, Petra. Follow your guide through the narrow passage, the "Siq", that will lead you deep into the rocks, directly into the heart of the ancient city, possibly founded as early as 312 BCE. Discover the magnificant rock-cut temples, tombs and houses, before you will head back to your hotel.
As a conclusion of your pilgrimage and visit to the Kingdom of Jordan, spend a full day in its capital. Start with the citadel, a national historic site in the middle of today's downtown of Amman and pay a visit to the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which is located inside the citadel. Afterwards, stroll through the Old and New City of Amman and spend your afternoon at leisure. In the evening gather for a concluding service.
Depending on your flight time, transfer to Amman Airport or extensions.
We provide a number of optional services for pilgrims, such like spiritual guiding, services, or spiritual exercises. Please inquire for details and provide us with your interests.
All prices are inclusive of all mentioned services and valid throughout the year except major holidays during the high season. Please inquire for details.
- Private tour, 1 to 9 people: Please inquire for individual pricing.
- Private tour, 10 to 14 people: 1220 €
- Private tour, 15 to 20 people: 1150 €
- Private tour, 21 to 30 people: 990 €
- Private tour, 31 to 39 people: 910 €
- Private tour, 40 and more: Please inquire for individual pricing.
Customize Your Tour
Please feel free to provide us with your own ideas and preferences about your tour. Our travel professionals will be happy to tailor your personalized tour exactly as you want it to be!