9-Days Itinerary to the northern historical sites
Day 1 Arrival
at Bole international airport and meet with your Abiy Ethiopia Tours’ representative, transfer to hotel for check in. Depending on your arrival time, city tour of the Capital.Addis Ababa was established in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taitu.
We will visit the 3,000 meters high Entoto Mountains with a panoramic view over the capital, the National & Ethnographic museum, St George & Trinity cathedrals and the Merkato, which is the biggest open-air market in Africa. Overnight in Addis.
Day 2 Addis -Bahir Dar
On this day you start your tour to 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 Ethiopian 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 also serves as a border to several major regions.
Approximately halfway to Bahir Dar, there is the eye-catching crater Zengana, Overnight in Bahir Dar.
Day-3 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, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis & finally, the outlet of the Blue Nile. Subsequently, back in Bahir Dar, we will have lunch & 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 to stay in Bahir Dar overnight & enjoy a choice of fish dishes.
Day-4 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-5 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-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 at the Simien Lodge or at the camp site at Sankaber.
We drive to Lalibela via Gashena, watching country people going about their daily lives & enjoying various highland landscapes. Overnight, a hotel stay with a panoramic view of the mountains.
Day-7 Visit 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.
On this day also we will enjoy the mountainous landscape and splendid views on our way to Dessie/Kombolcha. On the way, just 30 km from Dessie, there is the opportunity to visit the pretty Crater Lake Hayek and its 13th century Istephanos monastery. Subsequently we continue to Dessie/Kombolcha. Overnight in Kombolcha.
We drive back to Addis through a variety of landscapes, through several villages, observing the local way of life all the way back to Addis. On arrival, we enjoy a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing presentations. In the evening transfer to the airport and your return flight.