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Ethiopia - The Historical Route

15 days from £3810 per person

A classic journey through northern Ethiopia covering all the major religious and historical sights in the country this tour takes you through breathtaking scenery and history into the very core of Ethiopian life. From modern Addis Ababa and the ancient cultured city of Aksum – home of the Ark of the Covenant – to the atmospheric pilgrimage town of Lalibela, spectacular Blue Nile Falls near Bahar Dar and the Royal Palaces of Gonder, this is a truly memorable journey encompassing all that is synonymous with Ethiopia.

Route: Addis Ababa – Aksum – Lalibela – Bahar Dar – Gonder – Simien Mountains – Addis Ababa

Itinerary Highlights

Aksum is the original capital city of the Kingdom of Aksum and one of the oldest inhabited places in Africa. Numerous tall stelae or obelisks are over 1700 years old.

One of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, Lalibela is famous for its rock-cut churches. As the population is mostly Orthodox Christians, many of these churches are still in daily use.

Bahar Dar is a pleasant city with wide avenues lined with palm trees and colourful flowers. From here you can visit Lake Tana and the source of the Blue Nile.

Itinerary: Ethiopia - The Historical Route

Fly to Addis Ababa from London Heathrow with Ethiopian Airlines. (N)
Arrive into Addis Ababa in the morning where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Located in the heart of the country at an altitude of 2,300 metres, Addis Ababa has a relaxed feel. In the afternoon you will have a city tour, which will include the Archaeological Museum and Cathedral. (B)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Addis Regency Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Addis Ababa and fly to Aksum. Aksum is an ancient city and once the centre of a rich, powerful and highly civilised empire. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Aksum: Sabean Hotel (or similar)
Start the day at the fascinating St Mary of Zion Churches. Within this enclosure is a small guarded chapel said to contain the Ark of the Covenant. Afterwards, continue the short distance to the Northern Stelae Field which is home to over one hundred finely carved monoliths. Also visit the Queen of Sheba’s bath and the local Royal Palaces. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Aksum: Sabean Hotel (or similar)
This morning, after breakfast, fly to Lalibela. Lalibela is located in the isolated Lasta Mountains. Famous for its rock-cut churches this small and largely undeveloped town is one of the most important religious-historical sites of the Christian world. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Lalibela: Tukul Village Hotel (or similar)
Over the next two days explore Lalibela and the surrounding area. Visit the remarkable rock churches which have been literally cut into the bedrock. Orthodox Christianity is still central to this community, and the faithful still gather to hear priest clad in white and purple sing the liturgy in the early morning, and the church air is heavy with incense. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Lalibela: Tukul Village Hotel (or similar)
In the morning leave your hotel and transfer back to the airport for the flight to Bahar Dar. One of Ethiopia’s most attractive towns, Bahar Dar is located on the southern shore of Lake Tana and is an excellent base from which to visit the Blue Nile Falls and the island monasteries that dot the lake. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bahar Dar: Kuriftu Resort (or similar)
Early this morning visit the Blue Nile Falls, recognised as being one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Africa. On your return to Bahar Dar travel by boat onto Lake Tana to visit the many island monasteries. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bahar Dar: Kuriftu Resort (or similar)
Today leave Bahar Dar and travel northwards by car to Gonder. The city commands an important location at the crossroads of three ancient caravan routes and is home to both exceptionally well-preserved castles and churches that stand alongside modern Italian Art Deco architecture. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Gonder: Goha Hotel (or similar)
This morning visit the 17th Century Royal Enclosure, home to a number of fascinating buildings including the palace of the Emperor Fasiladas. Also visit the Debre Berhan Selassie Church – the most famous in Ethiopia. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Gonder: Goha Hotel (or similar)
Drive outside of Gonder to visit Wolleka, a Falasha Village and the one-time home of a community of Falashas, Ethiopian Jews. Afterwards, continue on towards the spectacular Simien Mountains stopping en-route at the Gonder Link school project. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in The Simien Mountains: Simien Lodge (or similar)
Today return by car to Gonder in good time to catch your return flight to Addis Ababa. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. (B)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Hilton Hotel (or similar)
Today enjoy and day visit to the Debre Libanos Monastery. One of Ethiopia’s holiest sites set in a spectacular location on the edge of a gorge, today little remains of the original ancient monastery. However, the site is still a major pilgrimage centre and it is a peaceful, contemplative place. (B)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Hilton Hotel (or similar)
In the morning fly back to London Heathrow from Addis Ababa. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Ethiopia Holiday Review

“This is just a note to thank you for organising a splendid holiday in Ethiopia. We had an excellent time and would recommend the driver, Johnny, as a safe and responsible driver/ guide who had the confidence to adapt the given programme as appropriate.”

SD - Ethiopia - March 2015

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