15 Days Northern Ethiopia
Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
Meet and greet you Papyrus Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel.
Day 2: Addis Ababa City Tour
You will have an early breakfast and your first visit in Addis Ababa will be the National Museum (pre historic, cultural, archaeological attractions), Ethnographic Museum of Addis Ababa University (culture, dressing style, traditional practices of over 80 ethnic groups, and collection of traditional musical instruments). Lunch at Lucy Restaurant.
Your visit also comprises tourist attraction sites like Emperor Minelik’s Palace, St. Raguel’s Church (after a drive to Entoto Mountain – 3000 meter above sea level), Merkato, (the largest open market in Africa).In the evening, we will host you at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis where you can see the folk dances of the Ethiopian people and taste Ethiopian variety of meals.
Day 3: Drive to Bahir Dar
After breakfast, you will drive to Bahir Dar (564 Km from Addis). Enroute, you will visit Debre Libanos Monastery (founded in the 13th
century by priest Tekla Haimanot, today one of Ethiopia’s most renowned saints) & the museum. After 100km from Debre Libanos
Monastery the road dropping more than 1000m, gradually winds down to the bottom of the Blue Nile Gorge, which is comparable in scale to American’s Grand Canyon cited to be the largest canyon in Africa. You will stop for lunch at Debre Markos. Then you will arrive in Bahir Dar (late afternoon). You will check into a hotel. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in.
Day 4: Boat Ride on Lake Tana to Visit Island Monasteries and visit Blue Nile Falls
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Lake Tana, take a boat ride where you will visit to the medieval period island monasteries
(beautiful mural paintings, religious books & sacred) on Lake Tana such as: Kibran Gabriel (only for men), Entos and on the Zegien peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis.
After lunch, you will drive (some 30 Km) and visit to the Blue Nile Falls. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay the night at the hotel.
Day 5: Drive to Gondar and Visit the Fassiladas Castles
You will be driven to Gondar (185 Km) right after breakfast. Then you will check into a hotel and after a brief break, you will have lunch.
Then, you will visit to the Royal Castles & the Bath of Emperor Fasiledes (the bath is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year. You will continue your visit to Debre Birhan Selassie Church (Trinity at the Mount of Light), the Castle of Empress Mintewab, and Kuskwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab.
Early in the evening, you will visit ‘AzmariBet’ at Traditional Music Houses after which you will have dinner at the hotel and stay there for the night. Overnight stay in Goha hotel.
Day 6: Excursion to Debarq, 100km gravel road to visit the Simien Mountains National Park.
You will have breakfast & drive to Debark (100 Km from Gonder) finish formalities at the Head Quarter of the park at Debarq and continue to drive another 20km then make a short walk/trek and spend the day visiting the Simien Mountains National Park (registered by UNISCO as a world heritage site, with endemic & mammals, birds, natural vegetation, & wonderful landscape). Late in afternoon drive back to
Debarq for overnight stay or stay in Simien Lodge at Sankeber.
Day 7: Drive to Axum
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to Axum (270 Km from Debark) through the Simien Mountains & magnificent
topography & scenery, the Limalimo Gorge, Tekeze Valley. You will arrive in Axum late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and
take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 8: City Tour in Axum
You will have breakfast and will visit all day to the Steale of Axum, the Inscription of Ezana, Queen Sheba’s Palace, the famous St. Mary of Zion Church, ruins of ancient palaces (built until 4th century A.D.), with lunch break in between then outside Axum you can visit also the tombs of Kings Kaleb & Gebre Meskel dating to 6th century. In the evening, you will get back to the hotel and spend the night there.
Overnight stay in
Day 9: Drive to Hawizen via Adigrat
After breakfast, you will be driven to Hawizen (250 Km from Axum). On the way you can visit Ethiopia’s earliest known capital city of Yeha
which is considered as the birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. Its single most remarkable antiquity is the well-preserved walls of the 12m-high stone temple of the moon that is thought to be over 2500 years old.
Another possible excursion is to Debre Damo monastery (only accessible for men). The Debre Damo Monastery is built on the flat- topped mountain of Debre Damo. The monastery is only accessible by climbing a rope which hangs down from a perpendicular rock, an adventure in itself! Overnight stay in
Day 10: Visit the Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray and drive to Mekelle
After breakfast, you will visit some of the most beautiful medieval churches on impressive viewpoints such as: Abuna Yemata Guh, Debre
Maryam Korkor or Abreha WeAtsheba church, all situated near to the road between Mekele and Hawzien. It requires climbing a steep mountain to reach these churches so good walking/mountain shoes are recommendable. Lunch at Hawizen lodge. Then drive to Mekelle. You will arrive in Axum late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 11: Drive to Lalibela
After breakfast, you will be driven to Lalibela (470 Km from Mekele) through the Ambalage Chain of Mountains. Your arrival in Lalibela will
be late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel, have dinner and spend the night there.
Day 12: Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela
Early in the morning, after breakfast, your visit will be to the eleven rock-hewn monolithic (carved from a single rock) churches of Lalibela (UNESCO World heritage site, with magnificent architecture & paintings inside the churches). In the evening you will get back to the hotel, rest, have dinner and relax.
Day 13: One more day to explore the Lalibela Rock-hewn Churches
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to historical churches around Lalibela like the Hill Church of Asheton Mariam (on the back of a mule or on foot), Yimerhane Kirsotos, Nakute LeAb or Genete Maryam.
Day 14: Drive to Kombolcha
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Kombolcha (335 Km). En route visit Hayk Estifanos Monastery (45 Km before Kombolcha, famous for its variety of bird life near the town of Hayk). Later, you will drive to Kombolcha & upon arrival, you will check into a hotel & stay the night there.
Day 15: Drive to Addis Ababa and flight back home
After breakfast, you will be driven back to Addis Ababa (375 Km). You will arrive in Addis Ababa late afternoon where you will do some
shopping for souvenirs. Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.