This well paced itinerary enables you discover almost all the historical attractions of the northern Ethiopia. It offers a relaxed visit of the churches of Lalibela- the major attraction. As you drive from one spot to the other, you can also visit the attractive countryside and interact with the local people and see their way of life.
Day 1: Addis Ababa
Arrive at Addis Ababa, be met by your guide at the airport and transfer the to hotel.
Day 2: Debre Markos
Drive from Addis to Debre Markos visiting the remarkable Blue Nile Gorge that is comparable in scale with the American ‘Grand Canyon’, and the largest monastery in Ethiopia – Debre Libanos Monastery (13th Century AD) where you can visit the mosaics by the most famous Ethiopian Artist Afework Tekle.
Day 3: Bahir Dar
In the morning, drive from Debre Markos to Bahir Dar and in the afternoon drive 32 km south of Bahir Dar to the remarkable Blue Nile Falls, and visit the cultural market of Bahir Dar. Late in the afternoon, drive 7 km to the Bezawit Hill to have a panoramic view of the town of Bahir Dar, Lake Tana and the outlet of River Nile from its source.
Day 4: Gondar
In the morning make a boat trip on Ethiopia’s largest water body (Lake Tana – 3,600Km Sq) to visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret (14th Century AD) and Azwa Mariam (14th Century AD). These monasteries are famous for their colorful murals and collection of manuscripts. After lunch, drive 185 Km North of Bahir Dar to the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia – Gondar.
Day 5: Gondar
Full day visit of Gondar which includes visiting the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasiladas’, the church of Quskuam Mariam (17th century AD), the residence of Empress Mintwab, and the church of Debre Birhan Sillassie which is famous for its wall and ceiling paintings.
Day 6: Simien Mountains
Drive from Gondar to Debark (the headquarter of the Simien Mountain National Park), and proceed 36 km farther to the Simien Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the endemic mammal of Ethiopia – the Gelada Baboon, and the breathtaking scenery of the Simien Mountains.
Day 7: Aksum
Drive to Axum – the earliest Capital of Ethiopia, crossing the beautiful Tekezze River Gorge.
Day 8: Aksum
Visit of Axum which is known for its huge stele cut from granite stones. The visit includes, the Archaeological museum of Axum, the famous stele park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant, the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel (6th Century AD), and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba (9th Century BC).
Day 9: Adigrat
Drive from Axum to Adigrat visiting the Yeha Temple (5th Century BC), and Debre Damo Monastery (5th Century AD), which is allowed only for male visitors and accessible only by using rope.
Day 10: Mek'ele
Drive from Adigrat to Mekelle visiting the rock-hewn churches of Abreha Atsbeha (10th Century AD) and Wukro Cherqos (10th Century AD).
Day 11: Lalibela
Drive from Mekelle to Lalibela (home of the incredible hand carved 12th century rock churches of King Lalibela) through the scenic Wollo Mountains visiting the Amhara people.
Day 12: Lalibela
Visit of the rock-hewn churches of King Lalibela, which are unofficially regarded as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. In the morning, visit six churches that are grouped as first group of churches and in the afternoon visit the second and the third group of churches of Lalibela. These churches are Ethiopia’s top tourist attractions and are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 13: Lalibela
In the morning, make a mule back ride to the hill top semi monolithic church of Asheton Mariam (13th Century AD). The peak of the hill offers a wonderful viewpoint to have a bird eye view of the surrounding area including the town of Lalibela, and in the afternoon enjoy a typical Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
Day 14: Lalibela
Drive from Lalibela to Dessie enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Wollo Mountains.
Drive back to Addis. In the evening before departure, you will be invited a farewell dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis where you taste variety of Ethiopian meals, and watch the folkloric dances of the Ethiopian people.
Accommodation as indicated, meals as indicated, transfers, transportation, professional guide.
Domestic and international flights, airport taxes, visa costs, meals not specified, optional excursions, drinks, mineral water, gratuities and personal expenses