Ethiopia Historic Route Tour Program – Discover the Ethiopian Historic Route with Continent Tours on this 9 Days tour of Ethiopia. Highlights of this tour include; Addis Ababa sightseeing, Bahir Dar, Explore Gondar, Hiking around the Simien Mountains, exploring the Rock-Hewn Church of Lalibela, A visit to Yemrehanna Kristos, and Axum sightseeing.
Upon your arrival, at Bole International airport Addis Ababa, and completion of the entry formalities, you will be met by one of our representatives and be transferred to your hotel. Overnight: Jupiter International Hotel /Similar
Mount Entoto will be a commencing of your city tour. It is a historical place where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace when he came from Ankober and founded Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. It is situated at an altitude between 2,600 and 3,100 meters. You will have a magnificent view of the city. Then drive to the National Museum, the museum houses the nation’s artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious archaeological finds such as the fossilized remains of early hominids, the most famous of which is “Lucy,” the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus aphaeresis. The well-known Lucy is 3.2 million years old. After visiting the museum, you will drive to Trinity cathedral Church. This church is the highest-ranking Orthodox cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was built to commemorate Ethiopia’s liberation from Italian occupation and is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia, after the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum. Afternoon, you will visit the Ethnological Museum Set within Haile Selassie’s former palace and surrounded by the beautiful gardens and fountains of Addis Ababa University’s main campus is the enthralling Ethnological Museum. Even if you’re not normally a museum fan, this one is worth a bit of your time – it’s easily one of the finest museums in Africa. Later, you drive to Mercato and visit the largest open market in Africa, where you will drive through the market.) Mercato is located covering several square miles and employing an estimated 13,000 people in 7,100 business entities. Overnight: Jupiter international Hotel /Similar Meal: Breakfast
These morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to fly to Bahir Dar, checked in to the your room and take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Bahir Dar is the former capital of Gojjam province and the current capital of the Amhara Regional State in Ethiopia. It is found 491 km away from the capital Addis Ababa. Visit the 14TH-century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret, which is the most famous of the Zege peninsula monasteries with Avery beautiful painted maqdas and priceless collection of crosses as well as crowns. Later, if time allows you will drive to the village of Tis Isat to see the Blue Nile falls (please be informed that due to the newly constructed electric dam in the vicinity the water level of the falls could be very minimal). Overnight: Kuriftu Resort and spa/Similar Meal: Breakfast
This morning, you will drive to Gondar. En route, you will visit the village of Awra Amba. This unique settlement is considered to be a prime model for self-help and above all, gender equality. Women have equal rights to men and there is no distinction in divisions of labor. Men cook, women’s plow, and religion has no place. They believe in hard work and being good to all people. Continue driving to Gondar and upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your Hotel. Shortly afterward, you will begin exploring the Royals Enclosure Gondar. Gondar is a town founded in 1636 by the great Emperor Fasiladas, set in a landscape of incomparable beauty; it was the Royal Capital of Ethiopia. Visit the Castles and Churches built by the Emperor and his descendants. Later proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church (a UNESCO World’s heritage site) whose walls and ceilings are decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history. Overnight: Mayleko Lodge /Similar Meal: Breakfast
This day you will drive to visit Simien Mountain, National Park. No matter how you look at it, the Unesco World Heritage-listed Simien Mountains National Park is one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges. This massive plateau, riven with gullies and pinnacles, offers tough but immensely rewarding trekking along the ridge that falls sheer to the plains far below. It’s not just the scenery (and altitude) that will leave you speechless, but also the excitement of sitting among a group of gelada monkeys or watching magnificent Walia ibex joust on rock ledges. The Simien Mountain National Park makes a great companion to the historical circuit’s monument-viewing. Overnight: Mayleko Lodge /Similar Meal: Breakfast
The following morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lalibela. Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It has known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12TH and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. Upon arrival at the Lalibela Airport, you will be taken to a Travel Ethiopia vehicle waiting for you outside the terminal and be transferred to your hotel to drop off your luggage and refresh. Shortly afterward, you will drive to another striking attraction just outside of Lalibela. About a 90-minute drive from the town of Lalibela passing through magnificent scenery one finds a church that is built inside a cave. Yemrehanna Kristos dates back to 1100 to 1200 AD period in Ethiopia’s history; predating even the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela itself After you park your vehicle is a steep walk leading up to Yemrehanna Kristos cave church, roughly 30 minutes. Inside the cave, a beautiful church presents itself, laid out on a foundation of Africa Olive Wood. While the main structure is a combination of wooden and granite struts. Once inside the church, it is the wooden ceiling that is spellbinding – the attention to detail is extraordinary. Visit and drive back to Lalibela. Overnight: Mezena Lodge Meal: Breakfast
After breakfast, you will start exploring the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lalibela’s monolithic and semi- monolithic structures were carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. The complex hosting the first five groups of churches boasts the largest monolithic church in the world (Bet Medhane Alem – House of Holy Savior), a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings. Upon completing your tour of the Northern cluster of churches, you will return to your vehicles and drive back to your hotel where you will enjoy lunch. Later on, you will head to the astonishing Bet Giyorgis church (House of St.George). Resting off on its own, St George’s Church is Lalibela’s masterpiece. Representing the apogee of the rock-hewn tradition, it is the most visually perfect church of all, a 15M-high three-tiered plinth in the shape of a Greek cross – a perfectly proportioned shape that required no internal pillars. Due to its exceptional preservation, it also lacks the obtrusive roofing seen over the other churches. Inside, light filters in from the windows and illuminates the ceiling’s large crosses – beauty in simplicity. Finally, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight: Mezena Lodge Meal: Breakfast
In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Axum. After checked in to your room tour of the city will follow. The first attraction will be “Stele Park”. These Steles are famed granite obelisks, thought to be built in either late B.C. or early A.D., that have gained a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” status. The tallest stele is at about 23 m /75 ft. tall. Unfortunately, there was once a period where the tallest stele was actually 33 m/108 ft. tall and weighed a colossal 500 tons. Also known as “The Great Stele”, it remains today broken into six different pieces. This park also contains a museum. The tour will be followed by the visit of “King Kaleb’s Palace and tomb”. After the visit to the King’s palace, you will then have lunch. During lunch, you will attend a traditional Ethiopian Coffee ceremony. After lunch, you will visit the ruins of the “Queen of Sheba’s Palace” thought to be the oldest building in Axum. Followed by the “Tomb of Bazen”, a King though to be born during the time period of Jesus Christ. Next will be “Mariam Tsion Church”. Within that vicinity will be the “Sanctuary Chapel”, which is supposedly the repository of the Ark of the Covenant and then the “Coronation Yard”. Once done with the tour, drive back to the hotel. Overnight: Sabean International Hotel/Similar Meal: Breakfast
Today you will catch your local flight to Addis Ababa then later transferred to Bole International Airport to catch your flight back home.