Day 2: drive to Bahir Dar (560 Km and 7 and half hour drive excluding sightseeing & meal stops). After an early morning breakfast head to Bahir Dar. En route visit to the 13th century monastery of Debre-Libanos which was an important teaching center for the Ethiopian Orthodox church that many titles of the top hierarchy of the church was even assigned from. Take time to see the old cave prayer place of the famous saint which is now the baptism place and also visit the newly built church and continue the drive. Again come across the Blue-Nile gorge which is comparable to the Grand Canyon in USA. Spend time for picturing and proceed to Bahir Dar. There will be a lunch break in the town of Debre-Markos. O/n Home land hotel or Abay Minch Lodge
Day 3: Bahir Dar. After breakfast take a boat trip on Lake Tana, the biggest lake in the country measuring 3,600 sq Km and is a source of the Blue-Nile River, the longest river in the world. The lake is dotted with about 30 islands of which 20 are home to monasteries and churches. Today we shall visit the nearly accessible monastery of Ura Kidane Mhiret believed to be established during the 16th century. Visit the interior colorful paintings that depict stories from the bible, also visit the small museum with in the compound that has parchments, crosses and costumes from the 13th to the 19th century. Back to Bahir Dar for lunch break.After lunch head to the small town of Tiss-Issat, literally meaning smoking fire. Cross the blue-Nile river with small boat and then take a walk to the base of the breath taking Blue-Nile falls. Take time of picture at the base of the falls and then back to Bahir dar. In the evening be taken to the Bezawit hill which has the place of Haileselasse and is an ideal location to admire the scenery of the surrounding with wonderful sun-set. O/n Home land hotel or Abay Minch Lodge
Day 4: drive to Gondar (175 Km and 3 hours drive excluding sightseeing and rest stops). After breakfast head to Gondar. Along the road take a pause at the Guzara castle site to visit the ruined castle which was built before the establishment of the city of Gondar. Also take a visit to the nearby farm for “Chat” a mildly toxic plant that people chew to get high. Up on arrival in Gondar have lunch break and proceed to explore the medieval castle compound that has castles built by 7 different kings, an archive, a banquet and Turkish baths that are partly ruined. Later on head to the colorfully decorated and castle looking church of Debre-Birhan Selassie and finally visit to the basket market in Gondar market. O/n Taye Hotel or Florida International.
Day 5: drive to Simien Mountains (132 Km and 3 hours drive). After breakfast head to the headquarter of the Simien mountains national park, Sankaber. En route visit to the Weleka, Ethiopian-Jews village. Then take a picture stop at Kossoye, the most scenic place along the drive to the park. Proceed driving to Sankaber. Up on arrival admire the colony of the endemic gelada baboon and also the wonderful looking scenery of the surrounding. O/n Simien Lodge
Day 6: drive to Chenek (17 Km and 30 Minutes’ drive). After breakfast drive to Chenek, another head quarter with stunning mountains and sceneries. Along the road also take a walk to sites where you can spot another endemic mammals called Walia Ibex. There will be a picnic lunch along the road. Later drive back to Sankaber. O/n Simien Lodge.
Day 7: drive to Lalibela (505 Km and 9 hours drive excluding sightseeing and meal stop). After breakfast head to Lalibela via the Debre-tabor road. This is the most scenic road where one can also see the mountain bridge that divides the former administrative regions of the Wello and Gondar. O/n Mountain View, or Panoramic view Hotel
Day 8: Lalibela. After breakfast continue to explore the first group of rock-hewn churches of Lalibela built during the 13th century and represent the earthly Jerusalem. Visit each church with its biblical implications on the structures and paintings. Lunch break. After lunch head to explore the second group of rock-hewn churches which represent scenes of the heavenly Jerusalem. Finally visit the cross-shaped church of St. George which is regarded to be the third group and is the last work of church excavation by King Lalibela. O/n Mountain View, or Panoramic view Hotel.
Day 9: trek to Asheton Mountain. Early morning trek up to the Asheton Mountain that has a unique shape and can be easily seen on the main road to Lalibela. The mountain is important as being home to another monastery called Asheton Mariam. Use back of mules to trek up the wonderful mountain along the road meeting local people travelling down to Lalibela to buy their weekly ration or to fetch water. Visit the church, admire the surrounding scenery and back to Lalibela. Have lunch and rest and later afternoon head to the cave church of Nakutola’ab which is only 7 Kms from the town of Lalibela and built after the 11 churches are constructed by King Lalibela. O/n Mountain View, or Panoramic view Hotel
Day 10: drive to Mekelle (334 Km and 8 hours drive excluding meal and sightseeing stops) After an early breakfast head to Mekelle, the regional capital for the Tigray people. Today we drive via the Sekota road, so we take a de-tour in the town of Bilbala to the colorfully decorated cave church of Yimrhane Kirstos which was built by the uncle of King Lalibela who came to power at later age. This church is surprisingly decorated with marbles and ebony wood that was imported from Israel during the 13th century. Then proceed to Mekelle. O/n Axum or TheYordanos Hotel.
Day 11: drive to the rock churches (120 Km and 2 and half hours’ drive excluding sightseeing and meal stops). After breakfast head to visit the rock-hewn churches of Dugum Selassie, Michael Barka, Abreha-Atsbeha and Wukro Cherkos and overnight in the town of Adigrat. O/n Geza G/Selassie.
Day 12: drive to Axum (150 Km and 2 and half hours drive excluding meal and sightseeing stops). After breakfast head to Axum. En route visit to the Negash mosque, the Debre-Damo monastery (the first one in Ethiopia established during the 6th century and can be visited by men only) and the Yeha temple which is more than 2800 years old.
Day 13: Axum. After an early morning breakfast head to explore the archaeological and ancient city of Axum where the Ethiopian history, empire and religion have all started up. Visit the Stele filed, the Tomb of Kaleb and his son G/ Meskel, The stone inscription of King Ezana (4th Century king). Have lunch and continue the sightseeing to Axum’s St. Mary of Zion Church, where the original ark of covenant given to Moses is believed to be kept, the ruined palace of Queen Sheba and Ezana’s stele park. Have lunch break and then late afternoon head to the Axum’s St. Mary of Zion church to attend the annual Epiphany or “Timket” festival. The priests and deacons will be wearing colorful costumes holding a colorfully decorated umbrellas used during such religion occasions. The selected high priest shall also carry the replica of the Ark of the covenant will be surrounded with crowds of people dancing, chanting and singing variety of spiritual and secular songs. Such dates are also moments for young boys to get their life partners or girlfriends in places such as Axum. Attend this fabulous ceremony till the Arc rests in its usual place, where a pool of water is reserved for prayer and later sprinkled on the mass as holy water. O/n Brana Hotel or Consular International Hotel. (B&D)
Day 14: Axum-Addis Ababa-Wenchi. In the morning fly back to Addis Ababa. The same day drive to Wenchi Crater Lake to take a boat ride and visit the monastery of Cherkos and also admire the surrounding of the serine lake. Along the road come across many festivity by a group of people dancing and singing for the same Epiphany festival. After having a boat trip on Lake Wenchi, then drive to Weliso for overnight stay. O/n Negash Lodge
Day 15: Weliso-Addis Ababa& departure. Drive back to Addis Ababa and time of shopping. Evening transfer out for departure.
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Africa Ethiopia Local Culture Festival Tours Biblical Tours
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