13 days Tour – Ethiopia: A Journey through Ancient Civilization
Day 1: Addis Ababa
You will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your hotel. We shall then embark on a guided tour of Addis’s most important sights: the National Museum, which houses the 3 million-year-old Lucy, the Ethnographic Museum to gain an insight into the diversity of Ethiopian culture, the Mercato, Africa‘s biggest outdoor market, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of the last emperor. The tour will finish with a short drive to view the city spread out below from Mt Entoto.
- Meals, Lunch in Romina restaurant
- Dinner in Caravan hotel
- Accommodation: Caravan Hotel in Addis Ababa
Day 2: Addis – Bahir Dar
Today we drive to Bahir Dar, visiting en route the revered Debre Libanos monastery. We shall drive through some spectacular scenery, including the Blue Nile gorge and Abay Bridge,
- Meals: Break fast Carvan Hotel
- Lunch in Debre Marqos
- Dinner in Abay Minch Lodge
- Accommodation: Abay Minch Lodge in Bahir Dar
Day 3: Bahir Dar is situated on Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s biggest lake. Today we will take a scenic boat trip to explore the many monasteries on the islands and shores of this lake. You will see magnificent architecture, colourful frescoes, ancient treasures, set in beautiful scenery.
- Meals, Breakfast Ababy Minch Lodge
- Lunch in Lake Shore restaurant
- Dinner, Abay minch Lodge
- Accommodation: Abay lodge in Bahir Dar
Day 4: Bahir Dar – Gondar
Today we shall drive to the nearest point to the stunning Tis Isat Falls, where the Blue Nile, having left Lake Tana, plunges into its gorge below. An hour’s walk to the falls through delightful countryside and an hour back again includes the crossing of the Nile in a small boat. After this we shall have time to enjoy Bahir Dar’s city centre and market. In the afternoon we shall drive through pleasant countryside to Gondar.
- Meals: Breakfast in Abay Minch Lodge
- Lunch 4 Sister’s restaurant
- Dinner 4 sister’s restaurant
- Accommodation: Ag Hotel in Gondar
Day 5: Gondar
Besides a certain Italian architectural legacy to be encountered here, the World Heritage site of Gondar is most famous for its European-style castles and palaces in the Royal Enclosure. We shall have time to visit them all, together with the famous pool of King Fasilidas, renowned for its celebration of Epiphany. Another highlight will be the visit to the 17th-century Debre Berhan Selassie church to see its stunning painted interior.
- Meals: Breakfast Ag hotel
- Lunch 4 sisters restaurant
- Dinner in Ag hotel Gondar
- Accommodation: Ag Hotel in Gondar
Day 5 Siemen Mountain
We set off early today to reach another World Heritage site, the Simien Mountains National Park. After picking up our scout and local guide we continue to Sankaber. A chance to glimpse three endemic species: the Gelada baboon, the Walia ibex and the rare Ethiopian wolf. 50 species of birds can be seen, including the huge Lammergeyer vulture. The paths are pleasantly shaded by juniper, Erica and lobelia.
- Meals: breakfast Ag hotel Gondar
- Lunch picnic
- Dinner in Siemen Lodge
- Accommodation: siemen lodge in the highest lodge of Africa
Day 6: Seimen lodge – Axum
After so much exercise, a relaxing drive today to Axum through spectacular scenery. Beside the mountains LimaLimo road and the Tekeze river gorge there will be plenty of human interest along the road to observe.
- Meals: Breakfast in Seiemen Lodge
- Lunch in shire Africa hotel
- Dinner Antiqa restaurant Axum
- Accommodation: Zema yared Hotel in Axum
Day 7: Axum
Another World Heritage site, Axum was the centre of the Axumite Empire at the time of the Romans. Predating the empire’s conversion to Christianity around 356 AD, the city’s ancient stelae – many still standing – are an African phenomenon. Axum is even better known for its being the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, brought from Jerusalem. Visits will be made to the stelae field and museum, the cathedral compound with its multiple historic sites, including the church housing the Ark of the Covenant. In the afternoon we shall visit some more archealogical sites of great significance, including the Queen of Sheba’s bathing pool and the ruins of her palace.
- Meals: Breakfast in Zema Yared hotel
- Lunch in Abtiqa Traditional restaurant
- Dinner Ab traditional restaurant
- Accommodation: Zema Yared Hotel in Axum
Day 7: Axum – Hawzen
Today we drive to Hawzen via Yeha, where we visit the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia: the Yeha Temple. An important archaeological site dating back to the seventh century BC, this provides more evidence of the link with the Sheba empire. The next stop will be at the ancient Debre Damo monastery, famous for its access (for men) by rope only.
- Meals: Breakfast in Zema yared hotel
- Lunch in Adigrat traditional restaurant
- Dinner in Geralta Lodge
- Accommodation Geralta Lodge
Day 8: Hawzen
Today we shall drive to the Gheralta mountains for a pilgrimage-trek to two of the ancient Tigrayan churches for which this area is famous: Mariam Korkor and Daniel Korkor.
- Meals: B, L, D
- Accommodation: Hotel in Hawzen
Day 9: Hawzen – Mekele
Another day in these marvellous mountains will enable us to visit two more significant churches: Abrehe we Atsbeha and WukroChirkos. We shall then drive on to Mekele.
- Meals: breakfast Geralta Lodge
- Lunch in Mekele
- Dinner in mekele restaurant
- Accommodate in Axum hotel Mekele
Day 10: Mekele – Lalibela
Another full day’s drive at a height of about 2000 m to reach Lalibela, through more scenery whose variety and stunning views you will find enchanting. Once again, you will not lack for human interest amongst the flat-topped mountainous landscape of the Rift Valley.
- Meals: Breakfast in Axum hotel Mekele
- Lunch in Lal Hotel Woldiya
- Dinner in Kana Restaurant
- Accommodation:Zagwe hotel in Lalibela
Day 11: Lalibela
Yet another World Heritage site to visit. Perched on the mountainside, Lalibela contains one of the wonders of the world: eleven subterranean monolithic churches hewn out of the rock dating back to around 1200, many interconnected by tunnels and trenches. At Christmas, Epiphany and Easter pilgrims flock to this busy market town.
- Meals: Breakfast Zagwe hotel
- Lunch kana Restaurant
- Dinner Ben Ababa restaurant
- Accommodation: Hotel Zagwe in Lalibela
Day 12: Lalibela
This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the Asheton Maryam monastery. Another rock-hewn monolith, it lies high above Lalibela, and is accessible by mule. Otherwise the Lalibela open-air market would be an attractive alternative option. In the afternoon we shall drive through the Tekeze valley to YemrehannaKristos, a 12th century cave church with exquisite stonework and murals in a beautiful natural setting.
- Meals: Breakfast in Zagwe Hotel
- Lunch seven olives hotel
- Dinner in Alem Restaurant
- Accommodation: Zagwe Hotel in Lalibela
Day 13 Lalibela –Addis Ababa
Our final day’s fly back to Addis from Lalibela and the day dedicated to some more relaxing activities. The afternoon will be an opportunity for shopping. The evening transfer to the airport ends the tour.
- Meals breakfast Zagwe Hotel
- Lunch In Romina Restaurant
- Dinner in Yod Abyssinia traditional restaurant