Madaba is known as the ‘City of Mosaics’. Its ancient floors preserve many Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, the most famous of which is the sixth-century Map of Madaba, depicting the Holy Land of Jerusalem using two million colourful stone pieces. It is the world’s oldest known geographical floor mosaic, and can be seen in situ at the Church of St George. The Church of St John the Baptist offers a diversion with its unique collection of historical photographs of Madaba, and sweeping views of the city from its bell tower.
Close to Madaba lies Mount Nebo, the 710-metre-high summit where the Bible says Moses saw the Promised Land. Hike to the top and you can still enjoy the same panorama across the Jordan Valley, including views of Jericho, and – on a very clear day – Jerusalem. A sculpted nehushtan (bronze serpent on a pole) serves as a memorial on the summit.