This trip focusses
on the incredible historic and cultural
sites of the north, from the amazing
island monasteries of Lake Tana. where you will Meet monks straight out of the medieval ages,
explore the castles of Gondar and hike in the Simien Mountains,
some of the best scenery in Africa and home to unique wildlife
found nowhere else. visiting the tall cliff-churches of Tigray and the
world-renowned sites of Axum.as well as The World Heritage Site of Lalibela, which is
set in the Lasta mountains and was the second capital of
ancient Ethiopia. Dating back to at least the 12th Century, it is
renowned for its extraordinary rock-hewn churches, carved from
the mountains, but still embedded in the granite from which
they were shaped.
Day 1: Addis Abeba :
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, meet our representatives and transfer
to the given Hotel. During the day, visit historical sites in Addis
Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we
will view the 3.2 million year old remains of "Lucy", whose skeletal
remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Holy
Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude
of 3,200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis.
Overnight at a hotel
Day 02- early in the morning drive to Bahir Dar via the 13th Century monastery of Debre-Libanos, an
important teaching centre for the Ethiopian Orthodox church and the old cave prayer place. The monastery overlooks the Jema River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile. A chance to spot some wildlife and travel
on past the Blue Nile Gorge. Overnight Bahir Dar (hotel).
Day 03- after an erealy breakfast (7:00), take on a boat trip on Lake Tana, Ethiopia's largest lake, which is dotted with some 30 islands of which 20 are home to monasteries and churches . Visit the Zega penninsula & the Monastery of Azuwa Maryam ,
Ura Kidane Mhiret which it is believed to date back to the 16th Century, & the island monastery of Debre Maram near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. afternoon drive & visit the small town of Tiss Issat meaning 'smoking fire'. Cross the Blue Nile on a small boat which offers stunning photo opportunities. This evening, visit Bezawit Hill to watch the wonderful sunset. Overnight Bahir Dar (hotel).
Day 04- Bahir Dar - Gondar.
This morning we will drive to north Gondar throuh the Guzara Castle site the ruined castle which was built before the establishment of Gondar arriving in Gondar in time for lunch in your hotel, explore Fasiladas' Castle compound, which covers an area of over 70,000sq m (229,659 sq ft), surrounded by high stone walls. Emperor Fasiladas' Palace is the oldest and perhaps most impressive of the castles. It is two stories high, has an imposing parapet and four small domed towers. continue to Debre Berhan Salassie Church, probably the country's most famous church and a highlight of Gondar. Its ceiling is covered with famous paintings of Ethiopian cherubs and the walls portray Ethiopian saints, martyrs, and lore. Overnight
Gondar ( hotel).
Deay 05- After breakfast drive to Debark, the starting point for our trekking in the national park. In Debark we pay the park entrance fees
and pick up the game scout. In the Simiens you can see the
endemic Gelada or bleeding heart baboon, the Walia Ibex, the
Simien wolf (the rarest canid in the world) and rock hyrax, and
endemic birds such as the thick billed raven, black headed siskin,
white collared pigeon, wattled ibis, white billed starling, spot
breasted plover and white backed black tit. Overnight Debark ( hotel)
Day 06 - Today, we drive to Axum past the dramatic Simien
Mountains. Reaching the Limalimo terrain, you will
plunge down a 2500 metre escarpment. This beautiful
looping Italian built road provides memorable views,
including a glimpse of the peak of Awaza near Adi
Arkay. We will stop for a picnic lunch near Shire.Crossing the Tekezze River, we will arrive in Axum
before dark. We shall check in to your hotel in time
for an evening meal. Overnight Axum (hotel)
Day 07- Axum:
Full-day tour of Axum. Discover history and myth at
the Queen of Sheba's Palace and Bath before visiting the St Mary
of Zion churches, reputedly home to the Ark of the Covenant.
Continue to King Ezana's Stone, written in three ancient languages,
en route to the tombs of King Kelab and Gebre Meskel, two of
Axum's most important rulers who succeeded in bringing southern
Arabia under their rule. After lunch, visit the Axum stelae field and
museum. A short walk offers excellent views of the surrounding
countryside, before a private visit to a local artist who specialises
in religious paintings. Overnight Axum ( hotel ).
Day 08- Drive to Hawsein. Journey to a little visited but
peaceful and astonishing spot 'Yeha' which is
Ethiopia's first known capital and considered the birth
place of the country's earliest civilization. Its ruins are
impressive for their sheer age, dating from around the
5th century BC. Also the monastery of Debre Damo
which is the first monastery in Ethiopia dates back to
Aksumite times. It boasts the oldest standing church
in the country. Overnight Hawssen (hotel)
Day 09- Hawsein - Mekele
In the morning, visit either Abuna Yemata Guh or Maryam Korkor.
Both churches involve an approximate one-hour hike but offer
commanding views of the surrounding area. After lunch, continue
your visit with the more easily-accessible churches of Abreha we
Atsbeha and Chirkos. Afterwards, proceed driving to Mekele for
Day 10- Mekele -Lalibela
Drive to Lalibela through the rough nature of road but nice to experience along with the magnificent scenery ( gigantic , ups & downs landscape)
Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).
Day 11- in the morning , visit the first group of rock-hewn churche of Lalibela, Bet Medhane Alem , Bet Maryam , Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel , Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (not allowed for women). After lunch, head to the second group of rock-hewn churches which represent scenes of the heavenly Jerusalem. Finally visit the cross-shaped church of St.
George which is regarded to be the third group and is the last work of church excavation by King Lalibela. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).
Day 12- after breakfast, you will set off on mule or on foot to the church of
Ashetun Mariam, about a 4 hours' round trip. An alternative to the
Ashetun Mariam trip, or if visitors are not afraid of a full day it can be done in the afternoon in addition to Ashetun Mariam, visit the the church of yimrehanne Kristos, the most popular of the church outside of Lalibela, this church is built in the late -Axumite style, with layers of wood and granite, set in the entrance to a large cavern. Overnight in Lalibela ( hotel).
Day 13: Lalibela-Addis Ababa
In the morning, transfer to the airport for the
flight to Addis & In the evening, there
will be Grand Holidays' complimentary
farewell dinner party. There will not be better way of ending a trip. (flight schedule permitting) At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back . End of tour!