TOP TOUR: HISTORICAL ROUTE OF NORTH ETHIOPIA

During this interesting tour you visit the historical places Lake Tana where you visit some of the age old monastries and churches, Gondar with its 17th century castles, the 2500 years old obelisks of Axum andLalibela, where you find the 8th world wonder: 12 churches, which 800 years ago have been cut out from solid pieces of rock. It is still quite mysterious how men with simple instruments could make this great architectural construction. The construction of the churches have been made by the order of King Lalibela and is always told that the Angels have been stood on his side to finish up this great work within short period of time.

 

DAY 1: Excursions in Addis Ababa
You make a city tour and visit a museum of your choice (National or Ethnological Museum), the Holy Trinity Cathedral with the Mausoleum of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife and the nearby Kiddist Maryam church where Emperor Menelik and his wife are buried, The Entoto mountains with Entoto Maryam Church and museum, and finaly the market district of Mercato. The day finishes with a traditional meal in a cultural restaurant while enjoying the traditional dances and music of various ethnical groups.
Overnight Ghion or Adot Tina hotel

DAY 2: Drive to Debre Markos
En route visit the Debre Libanos monastery and enjoy the wonderful view over the Robi Gorge during a stop in the Ethio-German Lodge. A highlight of today is the impressive 1000 m deep Gorge of the Blue Nile.
Overnight Gozamen hotel in Debre Markos

DAY 3: Drive to Bahir Dar
Through the beautiful, fertile countryside of the Agaw people you arrive at lunchtime in Bahir Dar.
In the afternoon visit the waterfall of the Blue Nile which is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Africa.
Finish the day with a sunset on the hilltop where the summer villa of emperor Haile Selassie is built, with beautiful views over the Nile, Bahir Dar and Lake Tana.
Overnight in Tana hotel with beautiful garden at the lakeside

DAY 4: Boat trip on Lake Tana and afternoon at leisure.
In the morning sail to some of the more than 20 churches and monasteries on the islands in Lake Tana are. You'll visit the 16th century Ura Kidane Mihret Church with its beautiful murals that 100-250 years old. There is also a museum with very old church treasures, handwritten Bibles and silver crosses. Hereafter you visit one of the nearby churches
On your free afternoon you can explore the city and visit the market (by foot or rent a bike), walking along the lake or just relax at the lakeside.

Overnight in Tana hotel

DAY 5: Drive to Gondar
Visit of the 17th century castles of Emperor Fasilada and his successors, Fasilada's bad and the beautiful 17th century Debre Birhan Selassie church.
Overnight at Goha hotel or Mayleko lodge, built on a hilltop with wonderfull view over the city and surroundings.

Day 6: Excursion to Semien Mountains
In the morning drive to Debark and after lunch you drive into the mountains for a hike of 1 to 3 hours to enjoy the magnificent views at Michibi. You also see the troops of hundreds of Gelada Baboons. The males with their long manes are impressive, especially when they fight with each other.

Overnight in Semien Park or Sona hotel

DAY 7: Drive to Axum 
Via a long and impressive route on the edge of the Semien Mountains and through the Gorge of the Takeze river, passing small towns and stone farmhouses of Tigray, you drive to Axum, the old capital of the mighty Kingdom of Axum with its obelisks and king’s graves.
Overnight Yeha or Sabean hotel

DAY 8: Excursions in Axum
You visit today the 2000 year old obelisks, the Archaeological Museum, St. Mary of Zion church where the "Ark of the Covenant" (made the prophet Moses) is said to be hidden and several royal tombs from the 4th to 6th century.

DAY 9: Drive to Mekelle
Again via a beautiful mountain landscape with breathtaking hairpin bends and mountain passes you drive to Mekelle. En route visit the ruins of the approximately 2500 year old Yeha temple and for the men a visit to the Debre Libanos monastery is interesting. This is the oldest monastery in Ethiopia from the 4th century and built on a "amba" (flattened mountain) which is only accessible by a rope along a steep cliff. En route some of the more than 120 rock-hewn churches of Tigray can be visited such as Wukro Chirkos and Abreha we Atbeha

Overnight in Axum- or Planet Hotel.

Day 10: Drive to Lalibela
The beautiful landscapes are again a surprise so you don’t get bored of the long drives. There is always plenty to see along the road and in small villages that you pass. In the afternoon you arrive in the high mountain town of Lalibela where the famous 13th century rock churches.
Overnight in Top Twelve hotel.

DAY 11: Excursion to the rock hewn churches
Under the rule of King Lalibela (13th century) are 11 churches carved out in the rocks and partly underground, connected by narrow footpath and stairs. These wonderful churches are built with the help of angels as the legend tells. When you see them, you start to believe this! These churches are still in use and have a medieval mystical atmosphere. So take time, not only see but also to breath in this atmosphere.
Overnight in Top Twelve hotel

DAY 12: Drive to Kombolcha
You drive about 8 hours through mountain landscape with breathtaking hairpins and panorama’s to the town Kombolcha for overnight in Sunnyside hotel.

DAY 13: Drive to Ankober
The mountain town of Ankober was the former capital of Ethiopia and there are still some remains of Emperor Menelik's palace to see. From Ankober palace hill you have a stunning view over the Rift Valley. The Ankober Palace lodge is built in the style of the palace and in the green mountain highlands you can make nice walks and visit a farm house. Overnight in Ankober Palace lodge.

DAY 14: Drive back to Addis and evening flight home.
Through the old town Debre Birhan and the green, fertile plateau drive back to Addis where you spend a few hours before you check in at Bole Airport. It is possible to reserve a day room.

Possible extensions:

  • -To East Ethiopia (Awash National Park, Harar and Dire Dawa)
  • -South Ethiopia (Aregash lodge, Awassa and lake Langano)
  • -Tribes of the Omo valley
  • -West Ethiopia (Wenchi crater lake, Jimma, Gambela, Surma and Dizi tribes).