Historical Ethiopia

11 Day Tour

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OVERVIEW

Ethiopia is just about the only country in Africa never to have been colonised, and its people claim the longest continuous monarchy in history, 3000 years of kings. The country is also unusual for its rich Orthodox Christian heritage, which the Ethiopians maintained even when all its neighbours embraced Islam in the 7th century.

The Ethiopia Signature tour is an in-depth exploration of the unique archaeological treasures of the country. Start in Addis Ababa the capital city, known for the bustling Mercado marketplace where thousands of stalls sell a profusion of goods from the entire country. Drive to Bahir Dar where you tour the island monasteries of Lake Tana, and drive to Gondor to see the royal castles of ancient dynasties. Continue to Axum with its gigantic carved stellar and the holy church that legend claims holds the Ark of the Covenant. Finally to Lalibela, a UNESCO world heritage site, to see the famous underground carved churches. These amazing cathedrals were carved from soft lava rock, resulting in a complete building composed of a single contiguous rock.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL ADDIS ABABA

Upon arrival you will meet your guide and drive about 15 minutes to your hotel. Overnight at Kaleb or Global Hotel (4*)

DAY 2 - ADDIS – BAHIR DAR

To day we drive to Bahir Dar visiting Debre Libanos Monastery (13th century AD) which is the largest one in the country and the ‘Portuguese Bridge’ where you have the chance to encounter one of the endemic mammals of Ethiopia – the Gelada Baboon or the bleeding heart. Cross the Blue Nile Gorge, this is comparable in scale with the American Grand Canyon, and further drive to Bahir Dar for overnight. Overnight: Summer land Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 3 - BAHIR DAR

In the morninga visit the shore of Lake Tana and have boat ride on the largest lake in Ethiopia (3,600km). Lake Tana is home to thirty-seven islands, of which twenty shelter churches of significant historical and cultural interest. After lunch, drive 32 km south of Bahir Dar to Tis Isat to visit the famous Blue Nile Falls. This fall is locally known as “Tis Isat” which means Smoke of fire. Then, drive back to Bahir Dar and enjoy walking and bird watching around Lake Tana. Overnight: Summer Land Hotel (3* hotel) (B,L,D)

DAY 4 - BAHIR DAR – GONDAR

In the morning drive 185 km to Gondar which was the capital of Ethiopia in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sightseeing tour of Gondar which includes: - The "ROYAL ENCLOSURE” with many majestic castles constructed in the European middle age architectural style, Bath of Fasiledes- (bathing palace): it stands in a rectangular, neatly walled depression, which is filled with water once a year for the Timkat (EPIPHANY) celebrations, and, though popularly referred to as a ‘bathing palace’ and the finest of the Gonderian churches is that of Debre Birhan Sillassie or ‘Trinity at the mount of light’. It was built during the reign of Emperor Iyasu (1682-1706). Overnight: Quara Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 5 - GONDAR - AXUM

After an early breakfast, drive 360 kms to Axum through the western side of Simien mountains National Park and crossing the Tekeze River Gorge. Overnight: Yeha or Remahai Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 6 - AXUM

Touring, archeological site of Axum which is the ancient capital of Ethiopia. This day, visit the Archeological museum of Axum, the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to be the last resting place of the Original Ark of the Covenant, and in the afternoon visit the famous ‘Stele field’ (4th Century AD and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruin palace and tomb of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel (5th and 6th Century AD) and the residence of the legendary Queen of Sheba (9th century BC). Overnight: Remahai Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 7 - AXUM – MEKELE

Drive from Axum to Mekelle through the Tigray Mountains and also the bloodiest battle field, Adwa, on which Ethiopians won the Italian Colonizers. En route visit the Yeha Temple (5th Century BC), from visiting the rock hewn churches of Abreha Atsebeha (10th Century AD) and Wukro Cherqos (10th Century AD). Overnight: Axum Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 8 - MEKELLE – LALIBELA

With a picnic lunch on the way drive 360 km to Lalibela which is home to the incredible rock hewn churches of King Lalibela in the 12th and 13th century whom the town is named after. On the way visit the tribal villages of the Amhara people and the scenic Wollo Mountains. Overnight: Roha Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 9 - LALIBELA

Visit of the rock-hewn churches of King Lalibela which are unofficially regarded as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. In the morning, visit six churches which are grouped as first group of churches and in the afternoon visit the second and the third group of churches of Lalibela. These churches are Ethiopia’s top tourist attractions and are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight: Roha Hotel (3* hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 10 - LALIBELA – KOMBOLCHA

With lunch on the way and crossing the scenic Dilb Mountains, stop off at various view points and visit the Amhara people. After having lunch at Woldia, proceed driving to Dessie and stop at Haik to visit the monastery of Haik Estephanos which is dedicated to St. Stephen and is from the 13th century AD. Overnight: Sunny side hotel (Tourist standard hotel) (B, L, D)

DAY 11 - KOMBOLCHA – ADDIS

Drive back to Addis appreciating the landscape of the Amhara and Oromia highland areas and visiting the escarpment of the Ethiopian part of the Great African Rift Valley when you get closer to Addis Ababa, and visit the tribal villages of the Oromo people on the way and departure. (B,L)

PRICES ARE ON APPLICATION FOR THIS HOLIDAY.

There are a number of factors which will influence the price of your travel arrangement

from POA 11 days touring Ethiopia staying in the hotels listed including activities & meals

Pricing for this holiday are based on individual requiremets, season of travel, and availability of hotels selected.

Historical Ethiopia - 11 Days
Ethiopia is just about the only country in Africa never to have been colonised

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