Bethany beyond the Jordan is a travel destination full of spiritual refreshment and symbolism. At first glance it may seem like nothing too special, just a dry valley, but it is enough to start walking around to feel history come to life. A stop at Mount Nebo -another of the places of religious significance nearby- is almost mandatory. From there it is possible to see the Dead Sea, Jericho, and all the way to Jerusalem.
This site is a religious heritage destination but also the international border controlled by Israel and Jordan. It is not possible to cross and don’t even joke about it if you are in the river itself. The arrival from the drop off point is done via an air conditioned motorcar that is included in the ticket price of entry and an audio guide is given. The first stop is the place where many believed the prophet Elijah ascended into heaven. From there it is already possible to appreciate some of the cupolas of the various churches that different christian denominations have been building in the area.
The little bus makes a final stop and from there it is only possible to arrive by walking. It is impressive to see such a unique flora. There are little dusty roads all around, it is really a peaceful experience. After some minutes of walking one arrives to a place with ancient ruins of what is believed to be an old Church. It marks the place where Christians believe from ancient times, Jesus was baptized. This is not the actual location of the Jordan river, the river has shifted its course several times and it takes some more minutes walking to arrive there. The river itself is small, but a powerful spot for many who want to go inside and remember the baptism of Jesus and their own baptisms.
Beyond being Christian or religious at all, Bethany beyond the Jordan is a must for any visitor to Jordan. It was rediscovered in recent years, since the exact location was lost for centuries. There have been many illustrious visitors to this spot in the last years from Popes, to kings, presidents and many more. Jordan as a country is a place with vast historical and archaeological heritage, this is a destination to enjoy and to be in touch with powerful spiritual sites.