Historic and Cultural Route
tour code - FT - 005
- 10 Days & 9 Nights
- Availability - Any Time
- Bahirdar, Gondar, Axum,Hawsein,Mekele, Lalibela
General about this Tour
Ethiopia offers a wealth of attractions for culture buffs, from centuries old rock-hewn churches to atmospheric, historical towns and grand castles.
There are hundreds of rock- hewn churches found in Tigray Region built in the 12th to the 15th century, most of them perched in inaccessible mountain tops. The majority of them are concentrated around Hawzien, Adigrat and wiqro.
Lalibella could be considered as the 8th wonder of the world. A cluster of eleven churches divided in to two groups are all hewn out of solid rocks. These amazing fits of architecher were able to be achieved in the 12th century.
On this stretch of the country are found many of the famous touristic sight like to Blue Nile Gorge, the “Tis Isat “ or smoking water of the Nile Falls and Bahirdar town by the Lake Tana with its 12th -15th century Island Monasteries.
Further up North is the Gondar town with its 17th century castles and early medieval age churches with fantastic wall paintings.
The Semien Mountains, rightly known as the ‘Roof of Africa”, is among some of the natural wonders of the world. With its breath taking scenic beauty and endemic wild life like the Gelada Baboon, Ibex and Mountain Nyala, it is an ideal place for easy as well as serious hikers and mountain climbers.
- Botteld water
- Accomudation / Hotel / Lodge
- Tour Guide / Local Guides / Driver Guide
- Entrance Fees
- Boat trip on Lake Tana
- All transportation in destination location
Day 1ADDIS - BAHIRDAR
Early in the morning, depart north to Bahirdar via Debre Markos. On the way visit;
Debre Libanos: One of the Ethiopia’s most holy sites. It was founded in the 13th century by priest credited not only with the spread of Christianity throughout the highlands, but also with the restoration of the Solomonic line of King.
Portuguese bridge: said to have been the first bridge in Ethiopia. Afterwards, you will pass through the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge. The gorge extends nearly 400km and reaches depths up to 1500m.
Overnight in Hotel
In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake.
Overnight in Hotel
Day 3BAHIRDAR - GONDAR
After breakfast, continue north to Gondar. The four-hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After briefly settling in your hotel, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4GONDAR- AXUM
After breakfast, depart north for Axum, enjoying spectacular views of the Simien Mountains. After stopping for lunch in Adi Arkay, proceed driving through the dramatic Tekeze Valley, offering some of the best landscapes in the country. Proceed to Axum, home of the ancient Axumite Empire, the Queen of Sheba, and the Ark of the Covenant. Overnight in Hotel
Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Hotel
Day 6AXUM - MEKELE
After breakfast, drive to visit the ruins of Yeha, dating from the 8th to 5th centuries BC, and thought to be the capital of Ethiopian civilization before Axum. Afterwards, visit the Debre Damo monastery, where the men (sorry! No women allowed.) must climb up a 15-m rope to enter. Proceed through the state of Tigray, stopping en-route at Wukro to visit the rock-hewn church of Chirkos. Overnight in Hotel
Day 7MEKELE - LALIBELA
Early in the morning, embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. Here you will pass through several small villages, with typical sandstone homes of the Tigray people. Proceed through this rural area for the stunning approach to the home of Ethiopia’s most prized destination – Lalibela. Overnight in Hotel
In the morning, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches - Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). After lunch, continue with the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight in Hotel
Day 9LALIBELA - KOMBOLCHA
After breakfast, visit the nearby monastery of Na’akuto La’ab, set on the side of a cliff. After the visit, proceed driving to Kombolcha via Woldia. On the way you will stop for a rest in Hayk where you can enjoy the views of this stunning lake, visit the local monastery (open for men only) and enjoy the birdlife. Overnight in Hotel
Day 10KOMBOLCHA - ADDIS
Return driving to Addis via Debre Birhan. On the way you pass the Mezezo Escarpment, with a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons. If today is a Sunday, you can stop in the town of Senbete to visit the lively market including the interesting camel market.
END OF TOUR