Explore a land of ancient monasteries, castles and churches, the marvelous rock hewn churches of the Lalibela & Tigray Region, Spectacular scenery in the Simien Mountains, Isolated island monasteries of Lake Tana and Blue Nile falls.
TOUR CODE: BKT 70/20
DURATION- 10 DAYS & 9 NIGHTS
TRANSPORTATION- FLIGHT & SURFACE DRIVE
TOUR TYPE- HISTORY, CULTURE, RELIGION AND NATURE.
DAY 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa
On your arrival at Addis Ababa bole international airport you will be welcomed by your tour guide from Damat Ethiopia Tours. Then you will be transferred to your hotel. After a rest and refresh at the hotel, in the afternoon your guide will take you around the highlights of Addis. Founded in 1887 by Emperor Menelik II and Queen Taitu, Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world at an altitude of 2300-2500 m. with a pleasant climate. The tour starts with a visit to the National Museum to view a replica of the famous, 3.2 million-year-old fossilized hominid remains known to the rest of the world as “Lucy”. The visit also includes Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, the Holy trinity cathedral and you will enjoy a panoramic view of the capital with fresh air on top of Mount Entoto and end the tour with the bustling Merkato, Africa’s largest open-air market. Overnight- Hotel in Addis Ababa.
DAY 2: Addis Ababa → Bahir Dar (Flight)
Early the morning transfer to Addis Ababa bole airport and fly to Bahir Dar (45 minutes). Bahar Dar, a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Tana, is the capital city of the Amhara Regional State. upon your arrival, you will transfer and check in to your Hotel. Then a boat trip on Lake Tana, the largest in the country, to explore a selection of ancient monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Peninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon drive out to visit the Blue Nile Falls (40 minutes from Bahir Dar). Although the power of the falls has been subdued by the hydro electric plant, they are still an incredible sight. A lovely circular walk takes you over an ancient bridge built by the Portuguese in the 15th century, passing fantastic viewpoints of the falls, over a rope bridge and then up to top of the falls where you will cross by boat to meet your vehicle. Overnight- Hotel in Bahir Dar.
DAY 3: Bahirdar → Gondar (Drive)
This morning after breakfast you will drive 180 km asphalt road via a scenic route and marvelous landscape, to the royal city of Gondar. After check in to your hotel and have lunch you will start city tour. Gondar, Ethiopia’s capital during medieval times, Often referred to as the “Camelot of Africa” .This city was founded by Emperor Fasiladas in the early 17th-century. Your visit explores many of the castles he and his Descendant’s built within the Royal Enclosure, as well as his ceremonial bath (that is filled with water directly comes from the Keha river for the important Timikat (Epiphany), Ethiopian Orthodox’s most sacred annual celebration, once a year on January 19). The visit also takes you to the rectangular and fascinating Debre Berhan Selassie (Trinity at the Mount of Light) Church, which has ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels and renowned for its vivid and striking interior art and arguably one of the finest churches in the country. Overnight – Hotel in Gondar.
DAY 4: Gondar → Lalibela
After breakfast drive to Lalibela. Drive through the beautiful Amhara region landscape and villages. En route visit the Awramba community village. Late in the afternoon arrive in Lalibela. Overnight- Hotel in Lalibela.
DAY 5: Lalibela
Situated high in the Lasta Mountains Lalibela is arguably one of the most important religious and historical sites in the entire Christian world. The town is famous for the 11 remarkable rock churches built by saint king Lalibela around 11 century. These elaborate edifices are each carved by hand entirely out of a single block of living granite rock and considered as ’the 8th Wonders of the World’, ‘The Newly Jerusalem’ and ‘The Petra of Africa’. This is a deeply spiritual place and quite rightly a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today you will visit these intriguing monuments to discover more about Ethiopia’s enigmatic past and sophisticated architectural techniques. Overnight- Hotel in Lalibela.
DAY 6: Lalibela → Mekele
After an early breakfast start the journey to Mekele. Here you will pass through several small villages, with typical sandstone homes of the Tigray people and small Amhara villages along the way there will be plenty of opportunities for photo stops. Overnight – Hotel in Mekele.
DAY 7: Mekele → Hawzen
Today you will visit the rock-hewn churches of the Tigray region one of Ethiopia’s most enchanting and fascinating sites. Visit some of the most beautiful rock churches with their breathtaking view points. Abuna Yemata Guh, Debre Maryam Korkor or Abraha Atsbeha church, which are all situated near to the road between Mekele and Hawzen. You need to climb up to reach to these churches so that you should bring good walking shoes. Overnight- Hotel or Lodge in Hawzen.
DAY 8: Hawzen → Axum
Today you will drive from Hawzen to Axum via Adwa and Adigrat. Adwa is important historical place in Ethiopian and African history because it is on the mountains surrounding this town that Emperor Menelik II defeated the conquering Italian army in March 1896. On the way you visit the temple at Ethiopia’s earliest known capital city of Yeha which is considered as the birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. Another possible excursion is to Debre Damo monastery (only accessible for men). The Debre Damo Monastery is built on the flat- topped mountain of Debre Damo. The monastery is only accessible by climbing a rope which hangs down from a perpendicular rock and it is a big adventure. Overnight- Hotel in Axum.
DAY 9: Axum
Today you will have the full day to explore one of the ancient towns in Africa, Axum. According to Ethiopian belief, Aksum was once the home of the legendary Queen of Sheba and is the current resting place of the Ark of the Covenant also recorded in UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site. Your exploration Commences at the area’s most recognizable icons, the great stelae. Attributed to Various Axumite kingdom rulers from the 3rd century AD, these immense granite Obelisks exceeding 100 feet in length and with an estimated weight of over 500 tones. The tour continue with the Visit to the St. Mary of Zion church (house the Ark of Covenant) and archeological museum, the ruined palace of queen of Sheba and the 6th century tombs of king Kaleb and Gebre Meskel. They are a great example of the sheer sophistication of Axumite architecture and building techniques. Overnight- Hotel in Axum.
DAY 10: Axum → Addis Ababa (Flight)
In the morning, transfer to Axum airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa. Time for shopping at the souvenir shops. Then in the evening you will have fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian cultural restaurant with tasty Ethiopian food and cultural dances from the different ethnic groups. Then transfer to the airport for flight back home. The tour ends here.