Around the turn of the 21st Century there was much excitement at an archaeological dig just north of where the River Jordan meets the Dead Sea, as the excavators were able to confirm that they were working on the site of Biblical Bethany, where John the Baptist lived and conducted his baptisms, and therefore by extension the place where Jesus was baptised. The remains of several churches and impressive mosaics have been excavated, as have large basins where it is believed the baptisms took place. Bethany has since become a major pilgrimage site and was visited by Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to the Middle East in 2009. Your tour will be in a small group with a guide who will walk you round the various key sites, including the site of Christ’s baptisim and right down to the River Jordan itself. As well as the spiritual significance of Bethany, it’s also a chance to experience the thick vegetation of the Jordan Valley, which comes as a nice contrast to the arid landscapes of much of the rest of the country. The tour takes about 90 minutes.