10-Days Itinerary to the historic sites of Ethiopia
Day 1 Addis – Bahir Dar
On this day you meet your Abiy Ethiopia Tours’ representative and start your tour of Northern Ethiopia. On the way,
we shall not fail to visit one of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s most holy sites: the Debre-Libanos monastery founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle/Haimanot, one of Ethiopia’s most celebrated saints. Continuing from Debre-Libanos on the main route, the road drops more than 1,480 m, gradually winding down to the bottom of the Blue Nile Gorge. This is one of the most dramatic roads in the country. (The Blue Nile River also serves as a border to several major regions)
Overnight in Bahir Dar.
Day 2 Excursion on Lake Tana & to the Blue Nile Falls
In the morning, a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the medieval period island monasteries such as Kibran-Gabriel and Entos-Eyesus. On the Zegie peninsula we will visit Ura Kidan Mehiret and the outlet of the Blue Nile. Subsequently, back in Bahir Dar, we will have lunch and drive 45 minutes on an unpaved road to the tiny village of Tis-Abay
(Tis-Esat). Its name, which means smoke of fire, stems from the Blue Nile waterfall. The round trip will take 1.5 hours on foot & a few minutes by boat to cross the Blue Nile River for a spectacular view & the opportunity of a shower from the spray (rising like smoke) underneath the falls. Later on, we drive back to Bahir Dar & enjoy a
choice of fish dishes.
Overnight in Bahir Dar.
Day 3 Bahir Dar – Gondar
We drive 3 hours to Gondar and visit the Royal Enclosure that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the
17th century palaces of King Fassiladas, King Iyasu and Queen Mentewab and other different buildings. We will also visit Fassiladas’ Pool, (that is filled with water for the important Timkat (Epiphany) ceremony once a year). After lunch, in the afternoon we visit the church of Debre Brehan Selassie, which has a ceiling decorated with beautiful winged Angels. If we have sufficient time left, we could also visit Kuskuwam Complex, which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out for the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St Samuel riding his lion. The view from the top of the Goha Hotel is another pleasure.
Overnight in Gondar.
Day 4 Gondar to the Simien Mountains
with a stopover at the village of the last “Felasha” (African Jews). The Simien National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the park, the highest mountain is Ras Dashen, at 4,543m above sea level the fourth-highest mountain of Africa. You will see amethyst-coloured peaks and deep gorges. The crevices host wild mountainous and endemic animal species like the Walya Ibex, Semien fox, gelada baboons… This is an ideal place to do some trekking to the most beautiful places with panoramic views. If you prefer to relax, the afternoon will be at leisure at the Semien Lodge or at the camp site at Sankaber.
Day 5 Gondar-Lalibela
We drive to Lalibela via Gashena, watching country people going about their daily lives & characteristic highland
landscapes. Overnight, a hotel stay with a panoramic view of the mountains.
Day 6 The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela
identified as the eighth wonder of the world. We start our visit to the rock-hewn
churches of Lalibela which are clustered in three different places separated by the River Jordan. This morning we will visit the first and the third groups of churches, and in the afternoon continue to the second group of churches.
Overnight in Lalibela.
Day 7 We drive to Yemrehanna Christos
42 km from Lalibela, and visit a very fine example of an Axumite-style church dating from
c.1200 AD. This is a venerated cave church with a holy spring and a collection of bones of previous pilgrims.
Overnight in Lalibela.
Day 8 We enjoy the first part of the ascent to Asheton
Maryam monastery – “on foot or by mule or by car”. The monastery is carved out of a cleft in the rock face 600 m above Lalibela, giving spectacular views. After visiting the monastery we trek to Lalibela Hudad Lodge, watching out for the endemic mammals of Ethiopia and many species of bird.
Overnight in the Hudad Lodge.
Day 9 We visit the local village and explore the unique farming life of the community
they live, plough and eat. We enjoy a 3-hour walk back to Lalibela, on the way marvelling at the amazing panoramic view. Overnight in Lalibela.
Day 10 We drive to the airport and visit on the way the built-up cave church of Nakuta La’ab
which is 6km from Lalibela. After the visit we drive to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa. After some free time we enjoy a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing before the transfer to the airport.