The baptismal site, commonly known as the “Yardenit” or “Bethany Beyond Jordan” on the Jordan River is an experience of the Holy Land you will not want to miss. Many tourists will not only visit, but also choose to be baptized in the same place where John baptized Jesus Christ. This site of the Jordan River offers twelve separate baptismal pools, allowing different groups to comfortably enjoy private worship ceremonies. Every year, over half a million visitors and pilgrims from all over the world visit this site of the Jordan River upon their Holy Land tour.
Things to prepare for upon visiting the Jordan River on your Holy Land Tour
- The spring and summer, generally around May until mid-October, are the best times of the year to visit as the weather is perfect for baptizing but the Jordan River is suitable for baptizing all year round.
- Admission is free and wheelchair accessible
- The premises offers towels and robes for rent along with special robes for sale if you desire.
- Visitors are required to change in the changing facilities where there are showers and dressing rooms to access, which is included with your rental or purchase of a baptismal kit.
- A restaurant is located on the premises but you are welcome to bring your own food and water.
- Your sure to want to capture this moment on camera so don’t forget to bring that along and you also have the option to purchase a DVD of you getting baptized.
- Baptisms are only allowed while wearing the robes and swim suits must be worn underneath.
- There is no resident pastor on site but one can be referred to you according to your denomination prior to your visit if you are interested.
Take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee while on your Holy Land Tour
Some nearby places that are often in conjunction with Holy land tours along the Jordan River are the Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret. The waters of the Jordan River flow through the Sea of Galilee, near the ancient ruins of Bethsaida and out toward the Dead Sea at the lakes southernmost tip. Descending 689 feet below sea level, this lake is the lowest body of freshwater in the world and the lands surrounding it are warm in the winter and oppressively hot in the summer, making this body of water a popular and refreshing swimming spot to stop and enjoy for visitors and pilgrims when on their Holy Land Tour.
This lakes history stretches back into Biblical times, when Jesus walked on its waters and fed crowds on its shores by multiplying bread and fish to the masses. Jesus stood overlooking the lake while giving the Sermon on the Mount, which is of particular importance to the Christian world for its reiteration and elaboration on the Old Testament’s Ten Commandments. Renowned for being the beautiful waterfront where Jesus performed his miracles, the Sea of Galilee has also been acknowledged in the New Testament as a lush and rich source of fish stock for the Israelites. To this day, the Sea of Galilee supplies Israeli fishermen, in the town of Tiberias, with enough freshwater fish to be sold commercially. For all its beauty and splendor and for the rich history that it harbors, the Sea of Galilee is a sight not to be missed by anyone embarking on a biblical tour to the Holy Land.
Other Holy Land tour sites to visit along the Jordan River
Capernaum, Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, Tiberias and Kibbutz Ginosar are all within close proximity of the Jordan River when taking your Holy Land Tour. Specifically within Yardenit is the Wall of New Life. This is a unique and beautiful memoriam the celebrates the diversity of cultures all over the world. There are eighty five panels inscribed with different languages and dialects. The Wall of New Life runs along the banks of the Jordan River leading right up to the baptismal pools. Every section represents a different community where visitors have come to Yardenit, all of which are dedicated to Christians around the world who have followed their Savior, Jesus Christ, through the baptismal waters of the Jordan River.
The Olive Grove is also a must when experiencing the beauty of what the Jordan River has to offer. Community leaders are given a special opportunity to plant a tree along the Jordan River, symbolizing peace and their communities dedication to the land of Israel. Currently there are twelve trees planted along the Jordan River.