"The Madaba Area" Muhafazat Madaba by AldenM1

Muhafazat Madaba Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 53 photos

Ma'in Village: Home Away From Home

I spent three months living with a family in Ma'in. I lived in a two-bedroom, one bath house with a seamstress, her six daughters, her three sons, her sister-in-law, and periodic visits from her husband (who worked in another city and came home when he could). At first I found their sheer numbers intimidating, but after a while they became my closest friends in Jordan and my best support network. I couldn't have made it through the whole 2 years without them!

Ma'in is a tiny little village about five minutes south of Madaba. This picture was taken at the home of my "aunt," who lived at the very eastern edge of town on the top of the highest hill. Just beyond the last range of hills (which are to the west), the Valley plunges off into the Dead Sea. The views are spectacular!

Ma'in is not to be confused with Hammamat Ma'in, the hot springs, which are a huge tourist draw. They are quite a few miles further down into the Valley. If you ask for Ma'in, you will probably end up in Hammamat Ma'in -- I often had a hard time convincing bus drivers that I really meant the village and not the resort!

Ma'in is odd, because it has a really high Christian population and a convent full of Italian nuns. There is a centuries-old church in Ma'in where pilgrims often stop, and the nuns (and the priest) perform services there several times a week. Some Christians commute from Madaba to attend this particular congregation.

The little boys in Ma'in like to throw rocks -- not to harm, just to see your reaction. Other than that, Ma'in is a nice, friendly little village.

Wadi Mujib

Wadi Mujib is south of Madaba. Sometimes tour buses will drive down here so tourists can see this amazing, vast canyon, but they never drive through it because the roads are crazy bad. In fact, even the daredevil local buses won't drive through it. People who live on the other side of the wadi have to take a bus all the way south to Kerak (3 hours) and then come back north to get to a village that's only half an hour away, as the crow flies. So I consider it a point of pride that I have driven through this wadi, in my host mother's tiny little car. At night, even. Not for the timid, let me tell you!


This is Mukawir, which is kind of out in the middle of nowhere. The flat-topped hill is the ruins of a palace belonging to King Herod. Apparently this is where John the Baptist was held and beheaded. Now it's just a serenely gorgeous place to spend an afternoon hiking.

  • Last visit to Muhafazat Madaba: Sep 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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