- Route: Bahar Dar, Gondar, Lalibela, Axum, and Harar.
- Transport: by air.
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa. Transfer to the hotel. O/N Addis.
Day 2: In the morning fly to Bahar Dar, after check-in to hotel, drive to Blue Nile Falls and visit the Blue Nile Falls “Tiss Issat” (smoking water) up on return, make a sightseeing of Bahar Dar. Afternoon boat trip on Lake Tana, to visit the monasteries of Ura Kidane Meheret and Kibran Gabriel. O/N Bahar Dar.
Day 3: Transfer to the Airport and fly to Gondar, after check–in to hotel, make a city tour of Gondar, the castle compound, Emperor Fasildas bath and Debre Birhan Selassie Church. O/N Gondar.
Day 4: Transfer to the airport and fly to Lalibela. After check–in to hotel, visit the 12th century Rock–hewn churches of Lalibela, morning the first group and after lunch the second group. O/N Lalibela.
Day 5: Transfer to the Airport to fly to Axum, after check–in to hotel, city tour of Axum, the stelae, the church of St. Marry of Zion, the museum, Tombs (Kalab and Gebre Meskel) and Queen of Sheba's Bath. O/N Axum.
Day 6: Transfer to the Airport; fly to Addis Ababa, after check–in to hotel, city tour of the capital. O/N Addis.
Day 7: Transfer to the Bole Airport, fly to Dire Dawa and drive 55 km to the old walled city of Harar. In the evening watch the performance of Hyena man. O/N Harar.
Day 8: City tour of Harar. O/N Harar.
Day 9: Drive back to Dire Dawa, sightseeing of Dire Dawa and fly to Addis Ababa. Make shopping in the capital and transfer to Bole International Airport for final departure.
Axum: Much more is known about the historic highland city of Axum, once a great commercial center, trading via the Red sea port of Adulis and founded perhaps 500 years after the decline of Yeha. Axum stands in the highlands of North-Western Tigray, commanding spectacular views over the nearby Adwa hills. This ancient settlement is frequently referred to as “the sacred city of the Ethiopians” a description that adequately culture as a centre of Orthodox Christianity. Many remarkable monuments here attest to the great antiquity of religious expression in this country, and as a former capital that has never lost its special appeal to the hearts and minds of all Ethiopians.
Axum is renowned for its Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, where legend has it; the original Ark of the Covenant is housed. Axum is also famous for its seven mysterious monolithic stelae, hewn from single pieces of solid granite. The most notable are carved to resemble multi-store houses; several weigh more than 500 tones and stand twenty meters high. They seem less like prayers of stone and more like lightning–rods of heaven. Axum’s greatest significance, however, is as the epic centre of the Queen of Sheba’s dynasty, up on which rests the notion for the sacred kinship of the Semitic peoples of Ethiopia-a notion that links the recent past to ancient times. The former Emperor Haile Selassie claimed to be the 225th monarch of the Solomonic line. His death in 1975 marked the end of an era and the beginning of an entire way of life.
Bahar Dar: Bahar Dar located on the southern shores of lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, with its ancient island monasteries and both the Blue and the white Niles most spectacular feature, the "Tiss Issat (smoking water)" water falls (Blue Nile Falls). On the island of Dega Estefanos, you will find the church of saint Stefanos, which has a priceless collection of icons and manuscripts and houses the mummified remains of a number of Ethiopian Emperors. For the modern traveler, the starting point of any visit to the Blue Nile falls, or to the islands of Lake Tana, is the bustling market town of Bahar Dar on the lake’s south –eastern shore. The colorful markets and a variety of handicraft and weaving centers also make it a comfortable base for excursion by land or water.
Bahar Dar port provides access by boat to a number of historic lakeside churches and monasteries near and far. Most date from the seventeenth century and have beautifully painted walls. Many such places of worship now have fascinating museums, at which the visitor can see priceless illustrated manuscripts, historic crowns and fine royal and ecclesiastical robes. Some monastic islands are forbidden to women, but others can be visited by both sexes. Visitors to Bahar Dar can also see Tankwas, locally made canoes, made out of the papyrus reeds growing by the lake shore, as well as an historic old building erected, in st. Georges church compound, by the 17th century Spanish Jesuit, Pero Paes.
Gondar: Gondar founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1635. The city was Ethiopia’s capital until the reign of the would – be reforming Emperor Tewodros ll, also known as Theodore. During its long years as a capital, the settlement emerged as one of the largest and most popular cities in the realm. It was a great commercial centre, trading with the rich lands south to the Blue Nile, as well as with Sudan to the west, and the Red sea port to Massawa to the north–east. Gondar is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. The earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is possible to climb its stairs all the way to the roof, which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city. Besides the famous palaces, visitors should inspect the so-called ‘Bathing palace of Emperor Fasilidas, which is used for the annual Timket or Epiphany celebrations, and the abbey of the redoubtable 18th century Empress Mentewab at Qwesquam, in the mountains just outside Gondar.
Lalibela: Lalibela is famous for its architecture. Lalibela is a city carved from legend a medieval settlement in the Lasta area of Wolllo that is the site of eleven remarkable rock-hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by king Lalibela in the late 12th or early 13th century. These notable structures are carved inside and outside of the solid rock, and are considered among the wonders of the world. Each building is architecturally unique, and several of them are decorated with fascinating rock paintings. The unadulterated biblical atmosphere and vivid local color of the Timket celebrations provide an ideal opportunity to see Lalibela as a sacred centre whose roots go back to man’s very early years.
Harar: No journey along Ethiopia’s fabled historic route would be complete without a visit to the medieval walled city of Harar, which stands amid green mountains on the east wall of the Great Rift Valley. Harar’s heritage is almost entirely Muslim and oriental. The most dominant features, apart form its strong encircling walls, is its rich and exciting market place-probably the most colorful in Ethiopia, with its 90 mosques and shrines, Harar is considered to be the fourth most sacred centre of the Islamic world. Its Islamic character is best expressed in the Grand Mosque (Al Jami), which dominates the town. Harar, which has no airport, is 523 km from Addis Ababa, 332 km. from Awash station and 55 km. from Dire Dawa (Town have an Airport). It can be reached by a good, scenic asphalt road.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Ethiopia History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey
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