Explore Axum City, Simien Mountains, Gondar,Bahir Dar, Lalibela 8 Days
Explore Axum City and Stelae park, Monasteries in Tigrai, Yeha Temple
Program: Historic Routes
Tour Code: North 24
Duration: 7Nights (8Days)
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa
Day 1: Fly from Addis Ababa to Axum
Arrive in Addis Ababa in the evening, meet with us & transfer to the Hotel. Breakfast fly from Addis Ababa to Axum to visit the archaeological museum, monolithic steles/obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb, and the legendary Bath and the ruins of ancient palace of the Queen of Sheba, St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Ark of the Covenant. Note that almost all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and some scholars believe firmly on the presence of the original Ark of the covenant for centuries here in Axum, at the chapel in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fassiladas’ Castle of Axum. Visit also the monastery of Abba Pantelion (requires about 30 minutes walk) at the hill side of Axum (prohibited for women).Overnight – hotel – Axum
Day 2: Simien Mountains NP
Drive to Simien Mountains National Park (about 6 hours drive). On the way, discover the Tekeze River Gorge; appreciate the backside of the Semien Mountains. Photo stops on several spots. At Debark, we collect entrance tickets. Gelada Baboons (endemic) is everywhere after the parks gate (100% confirmed). Looking for Ethiopian Wolf (rarely found only on the top of Ras Dashen ‘4543m’), Walia Ibex (often being seen at Chennek camping site and Buayt (4430m) - near chennek, and Gelada Baboon. – Overnight – tented camp Chennek.
Day 3: Gonder
Drive to Gondar. On the way near the town of Gondar; visit of Woleka – a place of the Felasha or the black Jewish people for their synagogue and black pottery shop. Jews have amazing histories in Ethiopia even before the time of Gonderine Civilization (17-19 century).The history of the Original Ark of the Covenant, supposed to be in Axum now is one to mention. Afternoon; visit the 17 century church of Debre Birhan Sillassie (Light of Trinity) unique in its murals, the Castles of emperor Fassiladas and his swimming pool, and palace of Empress Mintewab. Overnight –Hotel - Gondar
Day 4: Wanzaye- natural hot Spring
After breakfast; drive to Bahir Dar (187 km best asphalt road.) on the way; visit Wanzaye, a place for natural hot spring water (9kms from the main route to Bahir Dar). It is very important for the local people (a curing spa against some diseases).People will immerse into the hot spring bath (a big room that accommodates from 40 to 80 people together) for about 6 hours (3 hours morning and 3 hours afternoon) per day. In doing so, the patient will be cured or will have seen changes from his disease within a weak. Lunch, at Wanzaye Hotel and drive to Bahir Dar. Near Bahir Dar, visit the Bezawit Hill tops and the palace of Emperor Haile SellassieI (entering is prohibited) & the Blue Nile (we, Ethiopians call it Abay or Geon), leaving its source – Lake Tana. Also the sunset here is attractive. Overnight –Hotel – Bahir Dar
Day 5: The Tis Issat of the Blue Nile and Monasteries on Lake Tana
After breakfast; drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32 km rough road) to visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Issat means in Amharic: 'Smoke of Fire'. Much of the water is diverted for Hydroelectric Generation plant but it is still worth visiting for remaining waterfalls, trekking around and to see a Portuguese Bridge (17 Century) and the country side as well. The area around the waterfall is amazingly fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which Injera, the national bread, is made). After the fall, return to Bahir Dar & make city tour of Bahir Dar which includes: market where you can find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, and Woito Basket market.
Afternoon; take a chartered boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 19 century). You will visit only the most accessible and representative of the monasteries on the lake, still serving their original function: Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam (in Zeghie Peninsula), Kibran Church (prohibited for women) & Entos Eyesus. Overnight –Hotel– Bahir Dar
Day 6: Drive from Bahir Dar to Awra Amba & Lalibela
Drive to Lalibela, on the way; visit Awra Amba village. Awra Amba community are famous in their work activity. Any member, whatever the type of task or knowledge they perform, the share distribution among them is equal. They believe any member of the community should be treated fairly (denying the difference of knowledge, skill & task hardship) & get their support until death. When a member dies, only two people bury the dead body. No one cries for the dead but go working!! The founder of the community is called Zumra, an old man, still alive!! Continue to Debre Tabor – Woldya – Lalibela – Overnight –Hotel – Lalibela
Day 7: full day visit in Lalibela
Early morning; Hike to Asheten Mariam Mountain Church .After Asheten and a short siesta, visit the first group of six churches: 1.Bet Golgotha, 2.Bet Mikael, 3.Bet Mariam, 4.Bet Meskel, 5.Bet Danaghel and 6.Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock hewn church in the world, built like a Greek temple! In a corner there are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Second groups: 7.Bete Amanuel, 8.Bete Marqorewos, 9.Bete Abba Libanos, 10.Bete Gabriel -Rufael and11 Bet Giyorgis. Bet Giyorgis is the most elegant of all Lalibela churches, which lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the town on a sloping rock terrace. Drive for the cave church of Nakuto Làabe (5 kms away from Lalibela). Overnight –Hotel – Lalibela
Day 8: Lalibela to Addis Ababa & Departure
Fly from Lalibela to Addis Ababa to catch an evening flight or next country destination. Evening, dinner with live amazing shoulder to shoulder dances ( northern culture) and other many live dances at best cultural restaurants in Addis ( Habesha restaurant or Yod Abyssinia) and transfer you to Bole International airport for your flight to London) – end of the trip .