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$233.75 Cultural & Theme Tours

Fairytale-Like Tigray Mountains and Churches 3 Days Guided Trip

• Visit Axum, the land of the Queen of Sheba, the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Here you will see towering obelisks, ruined palaces, engraved tablets and other ancient artifacts dating back to Axum’s glory days. • Visit the historically significant town of Adwa and its marvelous mountains, where the Emperor Menelik II inflicted the biggest defeat ever on a colonial army in Africa and saved Ethiopia from colonization • About 11km east of Adwa, visit the monastery of Abba Garima, said to have been founded by one of the Nine Saints in the 6th century. The monastery is known for its collection of religious artifacts including three illuminated gospels from the 10th century • Depending on your group type and availability of time, you can visit Yeha or Debra Damo. Yeha is famous for its huge and remarkable temple. According to the 19th-century German scholar Heinrich Müller, the temple is thought to date back to about seven or eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing building in Ethiopia. Beside the remarkable temple stands a church dedicated to Abba Aftse. Abba Aftse was one of the famous Nine Saints who came to Ethiopia in the 6th century from the eastern Roman Empire to teach the Gospel • Visit Debre Damo monastery situated on a summit a few kilometers wide and occupied only by monks.  The Monastry is accessible by a rope, which is made of “plaited leather”, lowered from the cliffs, which visitors tie around their waist and are then pulled up by monks from the summit • Drive through the City of Adigrat, where you will have lunch. Adigrat is a quietly attractive village of stone houses with sandstone cliffs to the east offering stunning views of the Gheralta plains • Here you have the option of staying overnight at a hotel in Hawzen or Gheralta Lodge (relatively pricier) • A very active day in the Gheralta belt where you will hike and climb to visit three key churches: Abuna Yemata Guh, Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. Abuna Yemata Guh is accessible by trekking for about an hour culminating in a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turns into a climb using foot holds and hand holds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint-hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left hand side. At the entrance there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock • Of the three, Maryam Korkor is the most impressive architecturally. A huge, high ceiling is supported by 12 free standing pillars. Looking at it you could not help but wonder how the architect managed to carve so high from the ground • Overnight stay at budget Hotel.

$2012 Multi-day & Extended Tours

12 Days Historical Tour and Danakil Depression

ItineraryDay 1: Arrival Addis Ababa Stop At: Addis Ethiopia Tours, Addis AbabaDay 01 Arrival - Addis Ababa
Up On arrival we will pickup our customers regardless of the arrival time, our representative will meet all customers at the airport and transfer to the Hotel. Optional visit to the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. If time allows, visit the Mercato, one of Africa's largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.
 Overnight HotelDuration: 6 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight HotelDay 2: Addis Ababa - Bahar DarStop At: Lake Tana Biosphere ReserveVisit the marketplace in Bahar Dar. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and tour ancient island monasteries.Duration: 6 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight HotelDay 3: Drive Bahar Dar - GondarStop At: Gondar City HallTour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • LunchAccommodation included: Overnight Hotel Day 4: Fly Gondar - LalibelaStop At: Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Lalibela, Amhara RegionTour the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This group of eleven monolithic and semi-monolithic structures were carved directly into the stoneDuration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight Hotel Day 5: LalibelaStop At: Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Lalibela, Amhara RegionTake a morning hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the townDuration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight Hotel Day 6: Fly Lalibela - AxumStop At: አክሱም ሐውልት / ሐውልትFly to Axum on Ethiopian Airlines. Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits. Duration: 8 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 7: Axum – Tigray ChurchStop At: Abuna Yemata Guh church, Hawzen, Tigray RegionDrive from Axum to Hausein via Adwa and Adigrat. Visit Abba Garima, Yeha,Debra Damo and the Gheralta plains. You can use the town as the base from which to visit the rock hewn churches at Gheralta. Duration: 3 days 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight HotelDay 8: Tigray ChurchStop At: Abuna Yemata Guh church, Hawzen, Tigray RegionIn one day you will visit three churches; Abuna Yemata Guh; Maryam Korkor and Daniel KorkorDuration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight Lodge Day 9: Church - Mekelle – AhmedelaStop At: Mekelle HotelMekelle Meet the support Vehicle and Drive to Ahmedela via Berhaile. Make camp, and see camel caravans passing against a backdrop of dramatic sunsets. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight Camping Day 10: Hamd Ela – DodomStop At: Dalol depression Hamedela and Lake AsaleWe start early, shortly after a 06:30 breakfast, and drive to Askoma (150 meters) at the base of new Erta Ale. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing the landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm-lined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, before reaching Askoma village or parking area. You will trek from Askoma to the new Erta Ale which takes about 3 hrs. It is a 9 km trek from Askoma to Erta Ale. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to the new Erta Ale reach around 20:00. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food, sleeping materials, mattresses, and water, to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. New Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. New Erta Ale is part of the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain. The magma flow moved 3.5 km south from old Erta Ale to the New eruption point.Duration: 6 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerNo accommodation included on this day.Day 11: Sunrise at the volcano and Lake AfderaStop At: Erta Ale, Afar Region(102 meters) Early morning you will rise with the sun with time to walk around pits and craters. The main pit-crater 613 meters above sea level/, 200 m deep and 350 m across, is sub-circular and three-storied. The smaller southern pit is 65 m wide and about 100 m deep. You will leave around 7:00 to head back to Askoma for breakfast. You will reach the latest at 10:30 am at the camp and after some time to relax you will drive to Lake Afdera (optional may not be available during summer time) the mythical Lake Giulietti (or lake Afrera), a saltwater lake located more than100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet. Because of the picturesque landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake.on continue to Hamad Ela, a village with a total population of about 500 people. Overnight camping at Hamed Ela.Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Dinner • LunchAccommodation included: Ovvernight Camping Day 12: Return to Mekele – Addis AbabaStop At: Mekelle HotelMorning driving tour to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol (-130 m) and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal (-130 m) + camel caravans (No camel caravan on July, August, and early September). Excursion to Dallol (116 meters below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele. Transfer to Airport for evening departure to Addis Ababa Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • LunchNo accommodation included on this day.