The baptismal site “Yardenit” on the Jordan River is a must-visit place for any visitor or pilgrim. Many of the tourist with not only to visit, but also be baptized in the same place where John baptized Jesus Christ. The site offers 12 separate baptismal pools, enabling different groups to comfortably conduct private worship ceremonies. Every year, over half a million tourists from all over the world visit the site.
Here are the most important things to know before you go.
1. When should I go?
The spring and summer are the best seasons to visit. Approximately around May and up until mid-October, the weather is perfect for baptism. Sunday to Thursday are usually less crowded than Saturday. Operation hours change, please check the official website for the information. The water is under the supervision of the Israeli Health Ministry and are suitable for baptizing all year round.
2. What Should I bring with me?
The site offers towels and robes for rent (The special robes are also available for sale). There are showers and dressing rooms you can use, so you should bring all your shower necessities. All visitors are required to change in the change facilities. Access to them is included with the rent or purchase of a baptismal kit. There is a restaurant on the premises, but you can also bring your own food and water. Cameras are highly recommended, also you will have the option to purchase a DVD of your own baptizing. Baptisms are only allowed while wearing the special white robes, which can be rented or purchased on site. Swim suits must be worn under the robe.
3. I want a Pastor to baptize me! How can I reach one?
There is no resident pastor on site. You should contact the premises in advance and we they can refer you to a pastor according to your needs and denomination. This service is free and most pastors do not charge for conducting baptismal ceremonies. We suggest making a small donation directly to the pastor as a courtesy.
4. What else is there to see at “Yardenit”?
“Wall of New Life”- Yardenit’s unique project, celebrating the diversity of cultures from which visitors have come to Yardenit to baptize in the waters of the Jordan River. Over 85 large panels, each inscribed in a different languages or dialect, make up the Wall of New Life which runs along the banks of the Jordan River up to our baptismal pools. Each section represents a different community from around the world, where visitors have come to Yardenit. The many panels of The Wall of New Life are dedicated to ‘Christians throughout the world, which at this place has followed their Savior through the waters of baptism’.
Olive Grove- Yardenit’s Olive Grove gives community leaders a unique and rare opportunity to plant a tree on the shore of the Jordan River as a symbol of peace and their communities’ dedication to the land of Israel. 12 trees have been planted so far.
5. What Else is in the area?
Yardenit is a crossroad for many pilgrims, one among other holy places around the Sea of Galilee, such as Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes.
To make a whole day in the area, you can also visit the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias, which are both very close to the area. Kibbutz Ginosar is also about 10 minutes from Yardenit. Plenty of sites to see and places to visit to make your holiday in Israel unforgettable.