16-Days Simien Mountains -Axum-Lalibela
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Day-1-Arrival at Bole international airport and meet with Abiy Ethiopia representative, transfer to hotel for check in. Depend of your arrival time for city tour of the Capital. Addis Ababa is established on 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taitu. Visit Entoto Mountains from 3,000 meter high with panoramic view over the capital the National & Ethnographic museum, St George & Trinity cathedral and Merkato which is the biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight stay in the hotel
Day-2-Addis to Debre-Markos. On this day you start your tour to North Ethiopia. On the way, you have to visit one of Ethiopia’s most holy sites: the Debre-Libanos monastery founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle/Haimanot, at present one of Ethiopian most celebrated saints. Continuing from Debre-Libanos to the main route, the road dropping more than 1,480 m, gradually winds down to the bottom of the Blue Nile Gorge, which is one of the most dramatic roads in the country. The Blue Nile River also practical for several major regains as borderline. Afterward, continue to Debre-Markos. Overnight, stay in Hotel.
Day-3- Drive to Bahirdar. To the Shores of Lake Tana
You drive through the plain landscape of Gojjam land, well-known for its Teff productivity. approximately halfway to Bahirdar, there is eye-catcher crater Zengana where the spot on the region of Agew . Upon arrival in Bahirdar, Hotel check in , Having lunch & drive 45 minutes on unpaved road to tiny village Tis- Abay (Tis-Esat) which mean smoke of fire, nominated from Blue Nile waterfall. Round trip will take 1.5 hour by walking & few minutes with boat to across the Blue Nile River for spectacular view & having some shower from the smoke from the underneath of falls. Afterward, drive back to Bahirdar to stay & enjoy with fish dishes.
Day-4- Dahir-Dar-Gondar. On the morning, visit the Island monasteries on the Lake Tana to visit the medieval period island monasteries such as Kibran-Gabriel, Entos-Eyesus. On the Zegie peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis & finally, the outlet of Blue Nile. Subsequently, back to Bahir-Dar, have some lunch then continue to Gonder 3, hours on paved road. Overnight, stay in hotel.
Day-5-City tour in Gondar. 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 different other buildings. Visit also Fasiladas’ Bath, (that is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year) having a lunch in afternoon visit the church of Debre Brehan Selassie has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels. If you have sufficient time left, also you could visit Kuskuwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St Samuel riding his lion. You could also get pleasure from the top view Goha hotel Overnight stay in the Hotel.
Day-6- Gonder to the Simien Mountains. with 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, with 4,543 m also the fourth-highest mountain of Africa. You will see amethyst-colored 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 in Semien lodge or Camping in Sankaber.
Day-7- Some Trekking to Chenek. Let’s have some trekking today on some selected spots between Buwahit Ras – Chenek 2-3 hours. Have some picnic on the spot of Walya Ibex then driving back to Lodge, Camping or to Debark and stay at hotel.
Day-8-Semien to Axum. Today you drive in a very scenic route, first take the zigzag road of Lima Limo with many hairpins and crossing a rough mountain landscape. Later you descend in to the impressive Takezze River gorge. Overnight stay in Hotel in Axum.
Day-9- City tour in Axum.
Axum is a town with impressive monuments that testify of the rich and glorious past of the mighty Kingdom of Axum (1-700 A.D.). And the town also recorded in UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site. Start to make a visit to the famous Axum stele, St. Mary of Zion church (which supposed to house the Ark of Covenant) and archeological museum, the ruins palace & swimming pool of Queen Sheba.
Outside Axum you can visit also the tombs of Kings Kaleb & Gebre Meskel dating to 6th century. They are a great example of the sheer sophistication of Axumite architecture and building techniques. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day-10- Drive to Hawzen via Adigrat. On the way you visit Ethiopia’s earliest known capital city of Yeha which is considered as the birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. Its single most remarkable antiquity is the well-preserved walls of the 12m-high stone temple of the moon that is consideration virtually 3,000 years old. Another possible excursion is to Debre-Damo monastery (only accessible for men). The Debre-Damo Monastery is built on the Table-topped Mountain. The monastery is only accessible by climbing a rope which hangs down from a perpendicular rock, an adventure by itself! Afterward, continue to Hawzen. Overnight stay in Geralta Lodge.
Day-11-Hawzen-Mekele. Visit the Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray and drive to Mekelle
On this day, there is possibilities to visit Churches which is some of the most beautiful medieval Churches on impressive viewpoints are Abune Yemata Guh & Debre Maryam Korkor have to climb quite vertical to reach those Churches so take good walking shoes or Abreha & Atsheba church, which are all situated near to the road between Mekele and Hawzen. In Mekelle visit the 17th century palace-museum of Emperor Yohannes IV. Overnight stay Hotel.
Lalibela and its rock-hewn church are thought, to date the 12th and 13th century during King Lalibela reign. The churches are remarkable since they are completely not tied up from the rock, refined and concentrated in small land. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day-13- Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. It is identified eighth wonder of the world
Start to visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela which is clustered in to three different places separated by River Jordan. Today visit the first and the third groups of churches. Overnight in Lalibela.
Day -14: Continue to visiting the attractions around and in Lalibela.
Make excursion to visit Asheton Mariam by mule or drive 1.5 hours on unpaved road on the north of Lalibela & few minute climb up by walking to reach Yemrehane Christos church. Afterward, back to Lalibela, have lunch and continue to visit the second groups of churches. Overnight, stay in Hotel.
Day-15-Lalibela-Dessie/Kombolcha. On this day also you will enjoy the mountainous landscape and splendid views on your way to Dessie/Kombolcha. On the way just 30 k.m to Dessie, there is possibilities to visit pretty Crater Lake Hayek and its 13th Century of Istephanos monastery. Subsequently continue to Dessie/Kombolcha. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day-16-Dessie/Kombolcha-Addis. Driving back to Addis on the verity landscape through several villages watching the way of life all the way back through. In Addis, Enjoy with traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing presentations. In the evening transfer to the airport and flight of return.