6 Day Itinerary Axum Zion Festival


Day 1 - Arrival.

Day 2 – Fly to Bahar Dar.

Day 3 – Bahar Dar – Gondar.

Day 4 - (30 November), Fly to Axum Attend festival events and city tour.

Day 5 - Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela.

Day 6 - (2nd December) - Flight back to Addis Ababa.

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Day 1 - Arrival. at Addis Ababa Bole international airport, meet with ATOE representative at exit, transfer to hotel for check in.
Visit 3000m Entoto mountain with panoramic views over the capital the National and Ethnographic museum, St George, Trinity cathedral and Merkato which is the biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight, stay in the hotel.

Day 2 – Fly to Bahar Dar. Hotel check in then a visit the Island monasteries on Lake Tana. These include medieval island monasteries such as Kibran-Gabriel, Entos-Eyesus. On the Zege peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis and finally the outlet of the Blue Nile where it exits the lake.
After lunch take a drive 45 minutes on unpaved road to the tiny village of Tis- Abay (Tis-Isat). The round trip takes 1.5 hour walking with a short boat crossing of the Blue Nile River in order to have a great close up view of the falls and a free shower from the water smoke at the base of the falls. Return to to Bahar Dar to overnight and enjoy local fish for dinner.

Day 3 – Bahar Dar – Gondar. After breakfast drive from Bahar Dar to Gondar (3 hours).
Visit the Royal Enclosure that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fasil, King Iyasu, Queen Mentewab and different other buildings. Visit also Fasiladas’ Bath, (that is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year). Visit the church of Debre Berhan Selassie which has ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels. Enjoy the evening view over the city from the hill top Goha hotel. Overnight stay in the Hotel.

Day 4 (30 November) - Fly to Axum Attend festival events and city tour.
Axum is a town with impressive monuments that testify to the glorious past of the mighty Kingdom of Axum (1-700 A.D.) The monuments are world heritage listed. During the day you will visit the famous Axum Obelisks (steles) St. Mary of Zion church (which is believed to house the Ark of Covenant) and archaeological museum, the ruins palace and swimming pool of Queen Sheba. Outside Axum it is possible to see the tombs of Kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel dating on 6th century. They are a great example of the sheer sophistication of Axumite architecture and building techniques.
There is much singing chanting and dancing, celebrating the church of St. Maryam of Zion (Tsion Mariam) in which the Ark of the Covenant is believed to be held i. Overnight stay Hotel.

Day 5 - Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. Today we visit the Lalibela rock churches in the town. Which are in three clusters separated by the River Jordan. In the morning we visit the first and the third clusters of churches and in the afternoon the second cluster. Overnight in hotel.

Day 6 (2nd December) - Flight back to Addis Ababa. Explore Addis with city tour with museum visits and shopping in the Merkato and at t souvenir shops near Churchill road or at Shiro-Meda.
Spend your last evening enjoying a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing. Either spend the night in Addis or the evening transfer to the airport for return flight.

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