(Last updated on: 23/01/2022)
Are you considering visiting Mount Nebo? If there’s one incredible thing about Jordan, it’s the stunning scenery the country has to offer. And Mount Nebo is no exception. Here is a guide to visiting the mountain, and why you definitely should…
What is Mount Nebo?
Mount Nebo is the highest part of the Abarim mountain range in Jordan. It is an elevated ridge around 710 metres above sea level (that’s approximately 2,330 ft).
Popular with tourists, it is said to be the place where Moses was shown a glimpse of the Promised Land. This can be found in the Book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible. Christian tradition says that Moses was actually buried on the mountain. Islamic stories sometimes agree, but there is a grave dedicated to Moses at Maqam El-Nabi Musa so nobody can be sure. On top of this, scholars and historians don’t actually know if Mount Nebo is the same mountain referred to in the Book of Deuteronomy. However, it is a fascinating story and being able to visit a place to religious significance means a lot to many people.
DID YOU KNOW: Pope John Paul II visited Mount Nebo in March 2000. He planted an olive tree here to symbolise peace.
What can you see from the mountain?
When visiting Mount Nebo, the scenery is spectacular. You’ll see panoramic views of the area as well as the valley of the River Jordan to the north. On a clear day you can usually see Jericho the West Bank from the summit of Mount Nebo. If you really have perfect weather you can see as far as Jerusalem. It really is an incredible view, so it’s definitely worth visiting the mountain while on a trip to Jordan.
At Mount Nebo you can also see plenty of mosaics. They are beautifully well preserved, and well worth looking at. Mount Nebo is home to the Moses Memorial Church (constructed in the 4th century and full of said mosaics) as well as the Brazen Serpent. This is a sculpture, created to represent the snake that Moses made to save people from the plague.
There is a museum of Mount Nebo. This is the La Storia Tourism Complex which has plenty of historical information about the area and its religious significance. There are workshops available to visitors. The museum is also in the process of creating what they hope will be the world’s largest mosaic.
Getting to Mount Nebo
Generally, public transport in Jordan isn’t the best. It is doable, but most previous visitors (and locals) advise you to hire a driver or book a taxi when trying to get around Jordan. Of course, a road trip around Jordan is always a great idea, and car hire in Jordan is fairly easy.
You can fly from Aqaba to Madaba, or get a bus as far as Abdali and a taxi for the remaining 20 miles. Queen Alia Airport is only a 27 minute drive from Madaba, so the area can be a great place to start your Jordanian adventure. You can fly here from various major cities worldwide.
From central Madaba, the mountain is around 15 minutes away by car. A taxi will take you to the base of the mountain. It is also walkable – this does take around 2 hours but if you are up for the challenge then exploring Jordan by foot is beautiful. Mount Nebo is located slightly north-west of Madaba itself.
The weather in the area
July and August are the hottest months in this part of Jordan. The temperature reaches highs of 33°C at this time. You also have a 96-97% chance of a sunny day when visiting during these months, and a 0% chance of rain.
December through until February is the coldest time year; with highs of just 13-15°C and lows of 1-2°C, it can get pretty chilly in the Madaba area. There is a 17-25% chance of rain, and a 33-34% chance of still having a sunny day.
Tips for visiting Mount Nebo
- As you do need to walk up from the base of the mountain, make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. Flip flops are no good here! Walking boots, sturdy trainers or proper sandals are all ideal choices.
- The Mount Nebo site is open from 5.00 am – 7.00 pm between April and October. The hours change to 7.00 am – 7.00 pm from November and March.
- Pack your SPF! Jordan is a hot country during the summer months, and being on a mountain leaves you open to the elements. A cap or sun hat to protect the top of your head, good sunglasses and a bottle of water are all good ideas too. You don’t want to get ill from the warm weather and miss out on all the fun that Jordan has to offer.
- It currently costs 2 JOD to visit Mount Nebo. This is around 3 USD and 2.20 GBP.
- Make sure your phone and/or camera is charged. The views of and from Mount Nebo are breathtaking and you will want to capture them. Regardless of whether you’re a keen travel Instagram-er or you just want to be able to show your friends and family when you get home, you’ll be constantly taking snaps in Jordan. Mount Nebo is no exception!
So, there’s your guide to visiting the incredible Mount Nebo. Jordan is such a beautiful country and this mountain should definitely be on your bucket list if you’re planning a trip to this part of the world.