8 Days Itinerary Historical Circuit of Northern Ethiopia

Day 1 - Addis to Debre-Markos.

Day 2 - Debre-Markos to Bahirdar

Day 3 - Bahirdar to Gondar.

Day 4 - City tour in Gondar.

Day 5 - Gondar to Lalibela.

Day 6 - Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela.

Day 7 - Lalibela to Dessie/Kombolcha.

Day 8 - Dessie/Kombolcha to Addis.

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Day 1– Addis Ababa to Debre-Markos. Depart Addis to northern Ethiopia. On the way visit Orthodox’s most holy sites: the Debre-Libanos monastery founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle-Haimanot, one of Ethiopia's most celebrated saints. From Debre-Libanos on the main route continues to north on the Canyon of the Blue Nile or Abay River. The road descends 1500 meters winding spectacularly downwards into the canyon to the river far below. It is one of the most dramatic roads in the country. After climbing out of the gorge the road 2500m high Gojam plateau to Debre-Markos. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 2– Debre-Markos to Bahirdar. The route crosses the high Gojam plains, well-known for its Teff production. Teff is the staple grain of the Ethiopian diet. Halfway to Bahirdar, visit the beautiful Zengena crater lake. This region is occupied by the Agew nation where we found the name of our company. Anini means bamboo in the Agew people. Upon arrival in Bahirdar, Hotel check in, lunch followed by 45 minutes drive 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 Bahirdar to overnight and enjoy local fish for dinner.

Day 3- Bahirdar to Gondar. In the morning, 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. Return to Bahar Dar for lunch then continue to Gondar 3 hours drive. Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 4- City tour in Gondar. Visit the Royal Enclosure that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fasil, King Iyasu, Queen Mentewab and other different buildings. Visit also Fasiladas’ Bath, (that is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year). On the afternoon visit the church of Debre Berhan Selassie which has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels. If there is time visit Kuskuwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St. Samuel riding his lion. You could also get pleasure with panoramic view from the hill top. Overnight stay in the Hotel.

Day 5- Gondar to Lalibela. Depart from Gondar and travel to Lalibela via Gashena. Driving eastwards across the Ethiopian plateau provides views of gorges and traditional Amhara villages. Before reaching Lalibela the route crosses the impressive Tekaze river gorge before climbing up to the lofty mountain town of Lalibela. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 6- Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. Today 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. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 7- Lalibela to Dessie/Kombolcha. Leaving Lalibela the route to Dessie passes through magnificent mountain scenery. It also provides the opportunity to see the villages and lifestyle of the Amhara people who live on the high plateau.
30 km before reaching Dessie, there is the option of visiting the large Hayik Crater Lake and its 13th Century Istephanos Monastery. Here it is possibility to perceive local fisherman using small reed boats. Overnight stay in hotel in Dessie or nearby in Kombolcha town.

Day 8- Dessie/Kombolcha to Addis. It is full day drive back to Addis Ababa passing through a varied and always beautiful landscape. The route traverses lowlands with Oromo camel culture, climbs the great escarpment at Debre-Sina and passes across the high plateau through interesting Oromo and Amhara villages.
Back in Addis, spend your last evening enjoying a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing. Either spends the night in Addis or the evening transfer to the airport for return flight.

 

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