Because most of the Tigray churches are in remote places, short treks are required to reach them. Until recently there were no organised overnight treks; luckily, for adventurous travellers, this has changed.
Although the locally inspired architecture is different, the set up of the new trekking program is otherwise nearly identical to the excellent one around Lalibela. There are currently four community-run camps (at altitudes between 2200m and 3000m) spread out in the remote mountains southwest of Adigrat. Most people begin trekking near Hawzien, but the guides can also meet you at Adigrat or Aksum and start closer to these towns.
Treks run year-round and booking is handled by Tesfa Tours in Addis Ababa.
For something that you can arrange with a guide upon arrival, there are at least two possibilities:
- Full or Half-Day Climb up to Maryam Korkor and then instead of returning back down the way you came, climb down off the escarpment (not for the faint hearted…) and then up to Abuna Yemata Guh. Have a driver pick you up at the base of the latter, or walk to the main road to flag down a (rare) passing minibus.
- Two Days Begin at Abraha We Atsbeha and trek all the way to Yohannes Maequdi; you'll be able to camp nearby. On day two, trek via Abuna Abraham and finish the day at Maryam Papaseit, where you'll need to arrange return transport.