Gondar, Bahir Dar,Semen Mountains, Axum, Lalibela 8 Days

Gondar, Bahir Dar,Semen Mountains, Axum, Lalibela, Tour Ethiopia; explore amazing sites of Ethiopia


Program: Bahir Dar, Gondar, Semen Mountains, Axum, Lalibela

Tour Code: History 28

Duration: 7 Nights (8 Days)

Transportation: Air & Land

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour Ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1:  Arrive & City tour of Addis Ababa

Morning, arrive to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and meet with us and after check in to your hotel, we drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s replica Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa.  Overnight –Hotel – Addis Ababa

Day 2: Addis – Bahir Dar (monasteries & Blue Nile River)

After breakfast; fly from Addis to Bahir Dar and drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32km 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 Hydro electric Generation plant but it is still worth visiting for remaining waterfalls, trekking around and to see a Portuguese Bridge (17Century) and the country side. 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 fast and safe boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 18 century). You will visit the most 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. On the hill top of Bezawit Palace (Palace of Emperor Haileselassie I, overlook the source of River Blue Nile (known as Abay or Geon/Ghion in Ethiopia).  Overnight – Hotel – Bahir Dar

Day 3: the Castles of Gondar, Jews Village & Simien Mountains National park

After breakfast; drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar (187 km asphalt road). About 3 hrs drive. Visit the Castles of emperor Fassiladas, his swimming pool, the empress Minitab’s Palace, the Banquet Room of Emperor Bakaffa… the 17 century church of Debre Birhan Sillassie (Light of Trinity). After Lunch at Goha Hotel, drive (at 1:30pm) to the Semien Mountains National Park. (138 km). On the way near the town of Gondar; short 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. Then continue driving to Debark (101km from Gondar). At Debark; we collect entrance tickets and a scout for the park. After Debark; drive to Semien Mountains National Park (until Chennek). At Chennek, you will have a best chance to see the endemic Walia Ibex.   On the way; appreciate the alluring chained mountains of the Simien Park and Gelada baboons feeding on the ground at many places. Overnight- camping – Chennek (in the heart of the park).

Day 4:  Simien mountains National Park & Axum

After Breakfast; drive back to Debark and to Axum (minimum of 6-7hrs drive). Photo stops on the way lunch in the town of Shire ( at Gebar Shire Hotel) & proceed to Axum Overnight - Hotel –Axum

Day 5: Visits in Axum

Explore the city of Axum. Axum origin of ancient Ethiopian history. The attractions of Axum include: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles, the tombs of King Kaleb, and the legendary Bath and the ruins of ancient palace of the Queen of Sheba (Dengur palace), St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Ark of the Covenant. Almost all  Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and some scholars believe firmly that the original Ark the covenant of God is resting here  at the chapel- in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fassiladas’ Castle of Axum. Visit also the monastery of Abba Pantelion at the hill side of AxumOvernight -  Hotel –Axum

Day 6: Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela

Fly from Axum to Lalibela and after lunch, 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. Overnight – Overnight –Hotel  - Lalibela

Day 7:  Asheton Maryam Church & Nakuto Leàb Cave Church

 Early morning, climb mount Asheten Mariam (optional) for a panoramic view of the region and a mountain Church named Asheten. After breathing on the top (more than3000m), descend down to Lalibela (at 2630m above sea level), one of the most fascinating historical sites of Ethiopia.

After lunch and a short siesta, continue exploring the fascinating churches (Second group): 7.Bete Amanuel, 8.Bete Marqorewos, 9.Bete Abba Libanos, 10.Bete Gabriel -Rufael and11. 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. Also visit Nakuto Làabe Cave Church (5km from Lalibela).  Overnight – Overnight – Mount View Hotel or similar (3*) - Lalibela

Day 8: Lalibela – Addis – Departure

Fly back to Addis Ababa spare time in Addis Ababa for shopping and departure in the evening (end of the trip)

Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on request

Action Tours

Tour Company,Addis Ababa,Ethiopia

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