City & History Site Tours
Air, Road, Foot
Hotel, Spa Resort, Lodge
Arrive in Addis Ababa where one of our guides will be waiting to meet and transfer to the luxurious Sheraton Addis hotel.
Enjoy an afternoon city tour including visits to the Ethnographic Museum, Trinity Cathedral, National Museum, and St. George’s Cathedral.
Fly to Mekelle and then drive to Hawzen, located in the spectacular Gheralta Mountains. During the drive, visit the famous rock-hewn churches of Wukro Cherkos, Abraha Atsbeha, and Dugum Selassie. Your accommodation is made from local materials used by the Tigray Region and offers views of Gheralta Mountain.
Visit the ancient rock churches of Tigray including Medhane Alem Adi Kesho, considered by many to be Ethiopia’s oldest rock church. Proceed to see the iconic Petros wa Paulos, partially built inside a cave and then lastly the historic rock dome church of Mikael-Melehayzenghi which dates back to the 8th century.
Drive to Axum, stopping en route to see the temple of Yeha, believed to date back seven or eight hundred years BC. Axum was once the seat of an empire, which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia. Today, visitors can see Stella (the largest single piece of stone erected anywhere), the tombs and castles of kings, Axum Museum and the magnificent Mariamtsion Church, which is believed to house the Ark of the Covenant, the original tablets of Moses.
Fly to Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities and a center of pilgrimage for believers from all over the world. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is known as the “New Jerusalem” due to its monolithic churches and rock-cut architecture.
After breakfast, travel to Nakutoleab, a monastery hewn from a rock cave on the outskirts of the city. Proceed to the cave churches built by King Lalibela, including the well-preserved, Greek cross-shaped Bete Giorgis, which is situated in a deep trench with perpendicular walls. Attend a time-honored coffee ceremony, observing the roasting and brewing process, which is done in a special jebena.
Famous for medieval castles and churches that earned its nickname, “the Camelot of Africa,” Gondar was founded in 1636 by Emperor Fasiladas as the royal capital of Ethiopia. Explore Fasiladas Palace, the Quskuam Church and the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, its walls and ceiling decorated with Biblical and medieval scenes; legend has it that the church was saved from marauding invaders by the timely intervention of a swarm of bees.
Drive to Bahir Dar, and see the 328-foot-wide Blue Nile Falls (locally called Tissiat, or “Smoking Water”); the plunging falls give rise to picturesque steam clouds and rainbows. After lunch, visit the local market and find typical hand-woven capes and scarves made of local cotton then, continue to the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie at Bizeit before checking into the Kuriftu Resort & Spa hotel, located on the shore of Lake Tana.
After a relaxing night's rest, embark on a cruise of Lake Tant to visit two of the renowned island monasteries of the lake: Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Mariam. Both monasteries have wonderful paintings, which depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
Take a flight back to Addis Ababa and visit one of the largest open-air markets in Africa or spend time at the Kechene Women’s Potters Association and experience local pottery-making. Get some rest at the hotel before your international home-bound flight.