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The classic Historic route with Tigray Churches 

Tour code: VET205

Tour Duration: 16 Days/15 Nights

Transportation: Surface

Type of Vehicle2009/10 Nissan Patrol or 2009/10 Toyota Land cruiser & 2010 Double AC Toyota HIACE minibuses for city tours

Tour Customizable: Yes

Tour Highlights: This tour explores Ethiopia’s historic northern region, a land of ancient monasteries and castles where tradition rules. Starting off in Addis Ababa, we explore:LALIBELA_BET_GIORGIES_-3

The isolated island monasteries on Lake Tana, home to treasured religious artifacts and strong monastic traditions.–Africa’s Camelot, the wonderful castles and palaces of Gondar.

 Enchanting Lalibela with its amazing 11th century rock cut churches. We spend time exploring both the main churches and lesser known ones

The region of Tigray, similar to Petra with churches hewn out of the surrounding landscape, but many feel far more spectacular, with many churches built halfway up almost inaccessible cliff faces. We will also spend time learning about the history of the ancient Axumite Empire at Axum. This 16 day tour gives a fantastic insight into the incredible history of Ethiopia. >>Inquire/Book This Tour


Day-to-day program:BLUE_NILE_FOLLS

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa @ Bole international Airport and meet one of our representatives and transfer to Hotel. You will be handed a detailed print of your journey ahead.


Day 2: City Tour of Addis

In the morning we will start on our city tour, which includes:

 National Museum that exhibits numerous antiquates, historical relics, archaeological and pale-ontological objects including the 3.5 million year old skeleton of Lucy.DEBREDAMO
 St. George Cathedral that contains several interesting modern paintings, mosaics and collection of ecclesiastical paraphernalia.
 Mercato, the biggest open market in Africa that presents a fascinating medley of people and culture.

 Trinity Cathedral - the biggest Orthodox church in the country decorated by modern and medieval Ethiopian style ecclesiastical paintings and episodes of Ethiopia’s history.
 Ethnological Museum housed on the former palace of Haile Selassie offers an overview of Ethiopian crafts, culture and art. AZWA_MARIAM_LAKE_TANNA
 And the day tour ends with the visit of the commanding view point Mount Entoto which offers the stupendous view of the city.

Overnight Hotel in Addis Ababa

Day 3: Addis Ababa to Bahirdar 

Drive from Addis Ababa to Bahirdar and visit on the way Debre Libanos Monastery and Blue Nile gorge.

After about 100km drive is the renowned monastery of Debre Libanos, founded in the 13th century in a magnificent 700m-high canyon. This church is not the only historical interest but the Portuguese BridgeAA_Menelikof the 17th century is also in the vicinity. Here you may trek over the rugged terrain enjoying all the habitats of the area including the endemic mammal Gelada Baboon and many other endemic birds. Continue to drive through rolling hillsides and impressively rugged scenery till you reach the gorge at the distance of 210km, which is about one mile wide and one mile deep, taking about a 45 minutes drive to reach the riverbed. The view from the lip of the gorge is awe-inspiring.

Overnight Hotel in Bahirdar

Day 4: Bahirdar

axum1After breakfast, boat trip on Lake Tana to see beautiful island monasteries and their valuable treasures which includes biblical wall paintings, crowns of different Ethiopian Kings, ancient illuminated parchment books, superb crosses etc. In the afternoon drive some 30 Kms away from the town to see the Blue Nile Falls, Africa's second largest waterfalls.

Overnight Hotel

Day 5: Bahar Dar/Gondar

Drive to Gondar to visit The Royal Enclosure with its magnificent Castles dated from the 17th and 18th century- (World Heritage Site), The Bath of King Fasiladas and also remarkable church of Debrebrihan Selassie with its breathtaking 17th Century wall and ceiling paintings.

Overnight Hotel in Gondar

Day 6: Sankaber

Drive to Sankaber through a beautiful scenery and the villages of Falasha (Ethiopian Jews) where you can purchase characteristic pottery.

Overnight Camping at Sankaber.

Day 7: Chenek

After breakfast trek to Chenek and In late afternoon walk around the camping area where we see the endemic Walia Ibex and Chilada baboon and birds like thick billed raven, lammergeyers, Abyssinian horn bill.

Overnight camping in Chenek.

Day 8: Axum

Full day drive to Axum through the Semien mountain national park escarpments. The Semien Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains some of the most dramatic scenery in Africa - great volcanic plugs, formed some 40 million years ago and eroded over the eons into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat topped mountains. The 'chess pieces of the gods', as one writer described them, tower over precipitous gorges, river valleys and plains stretching all the way to Eritrea

Overnight Hotel in Axum

Day 9: Axum.

Visit the famous stele park with its ancient huge monolithic obelisks, ruined palaces of different Axumite kings, ancient stone inscriptions, subterranean tombs, the church of St. Mary of Zion where the original Ark of the Covenant is believed to be housed etc.

Overnight Hotel in Axum

Day 10: Axum/Adigrat

Drive from Axum to Adigrat and visiting the ancient temple of Yeha (5thCentury B.C.). Debredamo Monastery and Aba Garima Monastery.

Overnight Hotel in Adigrat

Day 11
: Tigray Rock Churches.

Drive to Gerhalta Mountains-and visit the famous rock churches of Tigray Dugum Silassie and Debre Tsion, Mariam Korkur and Abuna Yemata.

Overnight Hotel in Axum

Day 12
: Axum/Lalibela 

Drive to Lalibela – visit the famous cave church-Yemrehane Kirstos-which means in English-let Christ lead us –a church which was built in the time of Zaguwe dynasty.

Overnight Hotel in Lalibela

Day 13
: Lalibela

In the morning visit the first group of King Lalibela's 12th.C.Rock hewn churches (World Heritage Site), in the afternoon you would continue visiting the second and third group of Lalibella rock churches. Overnight in hotel at Lalibella

Overnight Hotel in Lalibela

Day 14
: Lalibela

Visit the church of Ashetun Mariam by mule - or on foot. Mule ride to the uphill monastery (3000 meters altitude) is a very enjoyable experience. There are wonderful views of the surrounding countryside from its mountaintop location.

Overnight Hotel in Lalibela

Day 15:

Drive from Lalibela via the historical town of Wuchale to Kombolcha. The drive to this old town situated below craggy hills is going to be a gentle but scenic.

Overnight Hotel in Kombolcha

Day 16: Kombolcha/Addis Ababa

After breakfast drive from Kombolcha to Addis Ababa through a fascinating topography and small villages along the road. After having Ethiopian traditional dinner & dance in one of the renowned restaurant of Addis Ababa you will be transferred to the airport for your late flight back home.



  You will be given an adjusted program of this tour that goes along with your arrival time in Ethiopia and your requests.

  Extension or reduction of this tour is possible

  This tour can be modified to fit your interest, time and budget

  >>Inquire/Book This Tour



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