14-Days Northern Ethiopia Tour

Short Information of the Tour.

Tour Code: AETT-NE-14 Tour Program of the Classic Historical Northern Ethiopia

Attraction: History, Religion, Scenery, Culture, Communities, Ancient city and Market

Duration: 14 Days

Transportation: Surface drive, Walk and Boat Ride

Time: Throughout the Year

Level of Required Fitness: Hiking ability for about 5 Hours

Short Summary:

This Fourteen Days tour itinerary of Ethiopia’s Historical Destinations includes a visit of Addis Ababa, the National Museum, Bahar Dar, Gonder, the Semien Mountain National park, Axum, Lalibela, Kombolcha city And churches of Tigray

DAY. 1: ADDIS ABABA – KOMBOLCHA – LALIBELA

Early in the morning (5.00 am ) start driving from Addis Ababa and head north in the direction of Lalibela. This will be a very long day drive which is 680Km in total and will take 9h-10h. Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle and of course, we will stop for lunch in the town of Kombolcha.

Arrive Lalibela around 5.00 pm. Rest for the evening and enjoy the sundown from the balcony of your hotel

Overnight: Hotel in Lalibela. (B, L, D)

DAY. 2: LALIBELA

Morning:-

Your first visit will be to the first group of eleven Rock-hewn Monolithic (carved from a single rock) Churches of Lalibela (UNESCO World heritage site, with magnificent architecture and paintings inside the churches).

Afternoon:-

You will visit the second and third group of Lalibela churches including the most famous and iconic church St. George.

In the evening, after having your dinner, you will go to a traditional live music bar (Torpedo) to test the Ethiopian honey wine and watch the traditional live northern Ethiopia music.

Overnight: Hotel in Lalibela. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: LALIBELA

Morning:-

On our second day in Lalibela, we will visit a church on the outskirts of the town called Yemrehanna Kristos Church which is far about 45km.

Yemrehanna Kristos Church Lalibela
This exquisite church, a masterpiece in wood and stone (called style sandwich) is famous for its interior decoration, its beautiful wooden ceiling medallions decorated with hexagons and figurative and geometric motifs. The founder of the church, King Yemrehanna Kristos was the predecessor of King Lalibela. The church is located six hours on foot and by mule in the hills near the peak Abuna Yosef watching from the northwest heights the town of Lalibela.

Overnight: Hotel in Lalibela. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: LALIBELA – MEK’ELE

Morning:-

After breakfast, depart Lalibela and head further north to the town of Mek’ele. The distance is around 300km and will take 5 – 6 hours.

Afternoon:-
City tour in Mek’ele

Overnight: Hotel in Mek’ele. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: MEK’ELE – GHERALTA

Morning:-

After breakfast, depart Mek’ele in the direction of Gheralta. The Gheralta area will give us a chance to explore some of the rock churches of the Tigray region. Two specific churches that we will visit will be Maryam Korkor and Daniel Koror.

After the days exploring, relax at the Gheralta Lodge.

Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor Rock Churches Gheralta.

Mariam Korkor and Daniel Korkor rock churches are located on the top of a rock formation near the small town of Megab. To get to the churches, you will have to hike up a fairly steep mountain for around one hour. The two churches are pretty much side by side and the view from the top is amazing.

Overnight: Gheralta Lodge. (B, L, D)

AY 6: GHERALTA – AXUM

Morning:-

After breakfast, depart Gheralta and head right to the top of Ethiopia to the famous and historic town of Axum. On route, there will be a stop off at the Debre Damo monastery.

Debre Damo is a 6th-century monastery in northern Ethiopia. The monastery, accessible only by rope up a sheer cliff, 50 feet high, is known for its collection of manuscripts and for having the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia still in its original style, and can only be visited by men. Tradition claims the monastery was founded in the sixth century by Abuna Aregawi.

Overnight: Hotel in Axum. (B, L, D)

DAY 7: AXUM

Morning:-

Today will be a full day dedicated to sightseeing in Axum. The town of Axum has a fascinating history. From the 10th to the 1st centuries BC, it was the capital of the great Axumite Empire. It is also the place where Christianity arrived to Ethiopia in the fourth century and as a result it is considered the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. The town also boasts a number of archaeological artifacts of major significance.

Tombs of Kings Kaleb & Gebre Meskel Axum.
Set on a small hill 1.8km northeast of the Northern Stelae Field and offering views of the jagged mountains of Adwa, local tradition attributes these two tombs to the 6th-century King Kaleb and his son, King Gebre Meskel.

The Axum Obelisk Axum.
The Obelisk of Axum is a 1,700-year-old, 24-metre-tall granite stele/obelisk, weighing 160 tonnes, in the city of Axum in Ethiopia. It is ornamented with two false doors at the base and features decorations resembling windows on all sides.

Overnight: Hotel in Axum. (B, L, D)

DAY 8: AXUM – SIMIEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Morning:-

Early morning, depart Axum heading east towards the Simien Mountain National Park. That night we will camp in the national park. The journey is around 300 km and will take approximately 5 – 6 hours. We should arrive in the park by early afternoon after which you will have a chance to explore the areas around the campsite.

Simien Mountains National Park Simien Mountains.
Simien Mountains National Park is one of the national parks of Ethiopia. Located just north of Gonder, the park includes Ras Dejen (also referred to as Ras Dashen), the highest point in Ethiopia (4,533m). The park is also home to the a large variety of wildlife including gelada monkeys, walia ibexes as well as over 180 species of birds.

Overnight: Camping in the park. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: SIMIEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Rise early and after breakfast, there will be a 3 – 4 hour hike in the national park. The hike will take us to a spectactular viewpoint overlooking the Jinbar Waterfall. The Jinbar Waterfall, at more than 500 m high, is one of the tallest waterfalls in Africa.

After lunch, there will be the option to hike another 4 hours to Chenek campsite. If you don’t feel like hiking, a car can take you there instead. The views from Chenek campsite are spectacular and there is a good chance to see the Walia Ibex as well.

DAY 10: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – GONDER

Morning:-

After breakfast, explore the area around the campsite. Early mornng is good opportunity to photography the Gelada monkeys coming up from the cliff face.

Afternoon:-
Depart the campsite for Gondar.

Overnight: Hotel in Gonder. (B, L, D)

DAY 11: GONDER – BAHAR DAR

Morning:-

After breakfast, sightseeing in the town of Gonder. Gonder is known as the “Camelot of Africa” due to the existence of a number of castles in the heart of the city. Other sightseeing destinations on this day will be the Debre Berhan Selassie Church and Fasilides’ Bath.

After sightseeing, depart Gonder and drive 3 hours south to the lakeside town of Bahar Dar.

Fasil Ghebbi (Royal Enclosure) is the remains of a fortress-city within Gondar, Ethiopia. It was founded in the 17th and 18th centuries by Emperor Fasilides (Fasil) and was the home of Ethiopia’s emperors. Its unique architecture shows diverse influences including Nubianstyles. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Debre Berhan Selassie Church Gonder
The Debre Birhan Selassie Church in Gondar is famed for its beautiful examples of Ethiopian church art. It was the only church in Gonder that survived the destruction inflicted by Sudanese Mahdist Dervishes in the late 19th century. The outside of the church is quite plain, but its interior walls are covered in art depicting biblical scenes, saints and angels.

Fasilides’ Bath Gonder
King Fasilides commissioned the construction of what is know as Fasilides’ Swimming pool, or Fasilides’ Bath, beyond the the heart of the city north-west of the Qaha River. There is a two-storeyed battlemented palace standing in a square pool which receives it water from a canal filled by the river, but which is empty most of the time for sanitary reasons.

Overnight: Hotel in Bahar Dar. (B, L, D)

DAY 12: BAHIR DAR

Morning:-

Today will be a full days sightseeing in Bahir Dar. In the morning, there will be boat trip on Lake Tana (Ethiopia’s largest lake also the source of the Blue Nile river) to visit the monastery of Ura Kidane Mihiret. After lunch, we’ll visit the Blue Nile Falls.

Ura Kidane Mihiret monastery on Lake Tana Bahir Dar.
Ura Kidane Mehret is a church of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, located on the Zege peninsula in Lake Tana. The convent was founded in the 14th century by the saint Betre Mariyam, although the present circular church dates from the 16th century.

The Blue Nile Falls Bahir Dar.
The Blue Nile Falls is a waterfall on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia. It is known as Tis Abay in Amharic, meaning “smoking water”. It is situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana.

Overnight: Hotel in Bahar Dar. (B, L, D)

DAY 13: BAHIR DAR – DEBRE MARKOS

Morning:

After breakfast, depart Bahir Dar and drive south in the direction of Addis Ababa. To do the drive to Addis Ababa in one day is too much so we’ll break the trip up with a stop off at Debre Markos.

Overnight: Hotel in Debre Markos

DAY 14: DEBRE MARKOS – ADDIS ABABA

Morning:-

After breakfast, continue our drive south to Addis Ababa. At one point the road snakes through the Blue Nile Gorge offering spectacular views.

Around one and a half hours from Addis Ababa, there will be a stop off at the Debre Libanos Monastery and Portuguese Bridge for some sightseeing.

Once we arrive back in Addis Ababa you will spend some more time visiting souvenirs at Mercatoo, the biggest open air market in Africa and evening In the evening you will be invited to a memorable farewell dinner in one of Addis Ababa’s traditional restaurants with cultural songs, dances and traditional food and drinks. You will then be transferred to either Bole International Airport or, if you continue your stay in Ethiopia, to your reserved hotel.

End of Tour.

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