North Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the first nations in Africa; Ethiopian culture first appeared thousands of years ago. It expanded to encompass numerous other predominantly Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities as a result of migration and imperial expansion, including Amhara, Oromos, Somalis, Tigray, Afars, Sidama, Gurage, Agaw, and Harari, among others. The kingdom of D’mt, which founded its capital at Yeha in the 10th century BC, was one of the earliest to consolidate its dominance in the region. The Aksumite Kingdom, which had its center at Aksum, arose to power in the Tigray Region in the first century AD. It later developed into a significant force on the Red Sea, conquering Yemen and Meroe. Christianity was established as the official religion in the beginning of the fourth century, under the rule of Ezana.

The development of Islam on the Arabian peninsula, which gradually diverted trade away from the Christian Aksum, caused the Aksumite empire to crumble. Aksum’s commercial dominance in the area eventually came to an end as it grew isolated and experienced a decline in its economy. The Zagwe dynasty succeeded the Aksumites and built a new capital at Lalibela before falling to the Solomonic dynasty in the thirteenth century. Ethiopia underwent military improvements and imperial expansion in the early Solomonic era, which enabled it to rule the Horn of Africa. At this period, Portuguese missionaries arrived.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Bole International Airport to Bahirdar city
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 1 hours before the flight.
Airfare Accommodations
Local transportation Professional instructor
Ski equipment
Instructor gratuity

Tour Package Name: Historical Tours
Package Code: LET 008ET
Duration: 6 days North Ethiopia Tour
Category: Historical Tour
Description: Visit the main historical sites in the north of Ethiopia – Bahir Dar, Gondar, Axum & Lalibela in 6 days using domestic flights.


Day 1: Departure

Fly To Bahir Dar 
Early in the morning, depart on a flight for Bahir Dar. After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar (resort or hotel).


Day 2:

Bahir Dar to Gonder – Gonder City Tour 
After breakfast, continue north to Gondar. The four-hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After briefly settling in your hotel, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidass Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Gondar (hotel).


Day 3:

Gonder to Axum – Axum City Tour 
Early morning flight to Axum. Upon arrival to Axum, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Shebas Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), Ezanas enscription, King Kalebs tomb, King Bazens tomb, and the Queen of Shebas Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Axum (hotel).


Day 4:

Axum to Laalibela – Explore Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela 
Depart on a morning flight to Lalibela, the most famous of all of the Ethiopian historical sites. After lunch, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).


Day 5:

Excursion to Yimrhanne Kirtos ( Marble Church) 
In the morning, take a trip to visit the church of Yimrehanne Kristos. The most popular of the churches outside of Lalibela, this church is built with layers of wood and granite, set in the entrance to a large cavern. After the visit, return to Lalibela for lunch and, in the afternoon, visit the Southeastern Cluster of churches  Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches  Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia Saint George. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).


Day 6: Return

Nakutelab Monastery, Fly Back Addis Abeba 
In the morning, visit the nearby monastery of Naakuto Laab, set on the side of a cliff. After the visit, proceed to the airport for the return flight back to Addis Ababa.

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