For most visitors to Ethiopia, it’s all about the north. Unlike anywhere else on Earth, northern Ethiopia has the ability to wow you day after day after day.
Known as the Historical Circuit, there are over two millennia’s worth of ancient treasures scattered about, from giant obelisks and hidden tombs at Aksum to a collection of castles in and around Gonder, to unique churches in Lalibela, Tigray, Lake Tana and many other places. Not to be outdone by human mastery, Mother Nature really let her creative juices flow here. The Danakil Depression, an esteemed destination among adventure travellers, features a permanent lava lake and a bright-yellow sulphuric plain, while canyons and peaks wrinkle the land just about everywhere else.
Though you can hit the highlights in a couple of weeks, there is so much to see and do here it takes three or four weeks for proper exploration. No matter how long you stay, the northern circuit is so mesmerising that you’ll probably find yourself still wanting a few more days.