11 DAYS NORTHERN ETHIOPIA - ITINERARY
Day 01: DEPART USA. Tour members will gather at the ticket counter at least three hours prior to their scheduled departure. Dinner and breakfast, along with entertainment, will be served in-flight.
Day 02: ARRIVE ADDIS ABABA. Arrive Addis Ababa; Bole International airport in the morning, meet our representative and enjoy a panoramic tour before time at leisure (pending flight schedule). Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 03: ADDIS ABABA – BAHIR DAR. This morning, wedepart north to Bahir Dar via Debre Markos. On the way visit the Portuguese Bridge, this was the first bridge to be constructed in Ethiopia. You will also pass through the scenic Blue Nile Gorge before arriving in Bahir Dar. Dinner and overnight in Bahir Dar.
DAY 04: BAHIR DAR– LAKE TANA – BAHIR DAR. In the morning, embark on a boat trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the monasteries hidden on the shores and islands of Lake Tana. In the afternoon, depart out of town to the Blue Nile Falls for an easy hike in the area. End the day with a sunset over Lake Tana from the top of Bezawit Hill, next to the former palace of Haile Selassie. Dinner and overnight in Bahir Dar.
DAY 05: BAHIR DAR – GONDAR. After breakfast, proceed driving north to Gondar. The drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture and the traditional agricultural methods still in use today. After arrival in Gondar and brief check-in to hotel, the afternoon will be spent exploring the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Gondar.
DAY 06: GONDAR – AXUM. After breakfast, we will depart on one of the most scenic roads of Ethiopia called Lima Limo and the spectacular Tekeze Gorge drive to Axum. En route, you will have a chance to gaze over part of the Semien Mountains. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 07: AXUM. After breakfast, we have a full day to visit Axum; which includes the famous stele park with its huge monolithic obelisks, the ruined palace of the Queen of Sheba, ancient stone inscriptions, the ruined palace of King Kaleb and his son, subterranean tombs of different Axumite kings, and the church of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to house the Original Ark of the covenant. We will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 08: AXUM – LALIBELA. This morning we transfer to the airport to fly to Lalibela. After check in at the hotel we visit the first group of King Lalibela's 12th.C.Rockhewn churches (World Heritage Site). Although all of these churches are carved out of huge blocks of rocks, each of them displays unique architectural features from the other. Dinner and overnight.
Day 09: LALIBELA – GENETE MARIAM – LALIBELA. In the morning after breakfast, we visit the Rock-church of Genete Mariam which resembles the largest rock-church of the Savior of the World. In the afternoon, visit the second group of King Lalibela’s 12th C Rockhewn churches (World Heritage Site). Dinner and overnight.
Day 10: LALIBELA – ADDIS ABABA – DEPARTURE.
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa. Then time for shopping, we visit Mercato the largest open-air market in Africa etc. At first sight this market appears full of chaos and impenetrable mass of stalls, items and people. However, a deeper inspection reveals that this market is pretty organized with different sections for different products. Finally, transfer back to the airport and depart home.
Day 11: ARRIVE USA. This morning, we arrive to our airport in the USA and continue home enriched with the discoveries of faith, history and culture in Ethiopia. A wonderful end to a memorable journey!