Mount Nebo is a holy place for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as it is believed to be where the prophet Moses saw the Promised Land, as mentioned in the Deuteronomy of the Old Testament and the Torah. Therefore, it is a destination for many pilgrims and a must-visit for travelers interested in religious tourism. On this page, we tell you everything you need to see at Mount Nebo and provide practical information to help you plan your visit.
Mount Nebo is a small mountain that rises over 800 meters above sea level, but its sense of height is even greater considering that the nearby Dead Sea has a negative altitude (below -400 meters). It is located about 25 km by road from this large body of saltwater and about 10 km from the center of Madaba, making it easy to visit from both points.
Mount Nebo is closely associated with Moses, a prophet in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and his most important deeds are known from the accounts in Deuteronomy. It is believed that Moses led the Israelite people here, whom he had liberated from Egypt. However, he was only able to glimpse the Promised Land from this natural elevation, as he was denied access.
And it is precisely here where Moses died at the remarkable age of approximately 120 years. However, the exact location of his grave is unknown and subject to different theories.
Its conversion into a sacred place of pilgrimage is mainly due to Christians, who are believed to have built a humble church here in the early centuries of the history of this religion. In the late 4th century, a Hispano-Roman traveler and writer (born in the province of Gallaecia) journeyed to the sacred places and reached Mount Nebo. At that time, there was a small church with three apses here, to which a baptistery was added a century and a half later, during Byzantine times.
A larger basilica was constructed in the late 6th century. By then, Mount Nebo was already the destination of an important pilgrimage, as suggested by the existence of Roman milestones that marked the way here.
After the Muslim conquest, this pilgrimage declined and came to a halt from the 16th century onwards, and the church was completely abandoned. But the discovery of the manuscript of Egeria in the 19th century revived interest in Mount Nebo. In the 1930s, the Franciscans took charge of a significant restoration of the site, as well as the spaces built to showcase it.
Mount Nebo is not just a mountain from which to admire the horizon: it has different historical and visitable spaces that enrich the visit, as they provide context. These are the places to see on Mount Nebo and its immediate surroundings.
These three spaces are all located on Mount Nebo, but in the surroundings, there are other interesting places that require transportation by vehicle, as the distance on foot is excessive.
In addition to all of this, it is worth mentioning the fortress of Machaerus (Mukawir), which was also the palace of Herod the Great, where John the Baptist was beheaded at the instigation of Salome. We talk about its location and attractions on the page of the Dead Sea.
To get to Mount Nebo, you will need a vehicle to bring you here, as there is no public transportation, except for the tourist service offered by JETT, which connects Amman with Madaba, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, and this very point. However, there are numerous taxis that depart from Madaba to Mount Nebo, as it is an essential excursion from that city.
Nevertheless, the most convenient and reliable option is to have your own private service that can take you to all the places to see in Mount Nebo and its surroundings, with enough time to enjoy this unique place. There is a parking lot at the entrance of the basilica complex where you can park your car.
If you want to go directly to Mount Nebo from other parts of the country, here is a list of approximate distances and durations: