Ethiopia, Great classics
A rare and exceptional journey to discover a fascinating and unique cultural destination in black Africa. An adventure far from the paths of classic tourism to discover ancient and unchanging traditions and indescribable landscapes!
Considered as one of the cradles of humanity, Ethiopia has fascinated travellers for centuries.
At the origin of Christianity, Abyssinia extends its plateaus and its sumptuous landscapes in which are set churches more than ten centuries old.
Travel idea to customize
Day 1: Arrival in Ethiopia
Arrival in Addis Ababa, where you will be greeted by our collaborator, assistance with customs procedures and transfer to the hotel.
We will make ourselves on the Entoto, a hill located in the northern part of the city 3200 m high, to understand the urban structure of the capital. We will continue with a visit to the National Museum where we will be able to admire the famous Lucy (humanoid fossil dating back 3.4 million years). We will also visit the ancient palace of Haile Sellasie, now home to the National Entological Museum.
Day 2: The source of the blue Nile
Departure to Bahir Dar and the source of the blue Nile. Along the way we can enjoy impressive landscapes, succession of plateaus and cliffs towards the river. E ‘can schedule a visit to the gorge of the river Muga or the monastery of Debre Libanos.
Day 3: Lake Tana
Lake Tana has always been a strategic place for Ethiopia. This vast expanse of water covers an area of 3500km square.
We will visit monasteries dating back to the XVI and XVII centuries scattered in the heart of exuberant vegetation, it will be an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a medieval environment, far from the buzz of modern life.
In the peninsula of Zeghie we will visit the wonderful church of “misericordia” one of the best examples of Ethiopian religious architecture and painting.
The afternoon will be dedicated to an excursion to the sources of the Blue Nile, which together with the white Nile constitutes the great Nile. A walk of about 45 minutes will lead us to the fantastic site of Tissisat (“water that smokes” in Amharic). Later, we will visit a Woyito village, where papyrus boats are built, which are still used by fishermen in Lake Tana.
Day 4: The imperial city of Gondar
Visit of Gondar, declared capital by Emperor Fasilidas after the Muslim invasions that devastated the country in the 16th century and until the middle of the 19th century.
We will admire the imperial city and its magnificent monuments built between the 17th and 18th centuries: Fasilidas castle, Yasou I castle, Bakka and Mentouab castles, David III’s music palace and Qusquam castle. Admiring these European-inspired buildings, influenced by the presence of Portuguese Jesuits, in the heart of Africa is a surrealist spectacle.
We will also visit the baths of Fasilidas, which are still the scene of the great Easter celebrations along with the church of Debre Birhan Sellassie, with its finely decorated roof.
Day 5: The Simien Mountains National Park
After 110 km, we will arrive at Debark where we will visit the Simien National Park (in Amharic Simien means North), declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
We will cross volcanic mountains of wild beauty, most of which exceed 4000 meters. The highest is Mount Ras Dajen at 4535m above sea level. Accommodation at the Walya Lodge.
Day 6: Transfer to the Tekeze valley
Day dedicated to the discovery of the Simien and Tsellemti mountains. We will descend into the Tekeze valley and continue towards Axum.
Day 7: Axum historical heritage
Axum was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Legend has it that in the 10th century the city was the residence of the Queen of Sheba. It is said that his son, Solomon, brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum which still seems to be preciously preserved in a sanctuary.
Axum was the capital of the Axumite empire, one of the oldest among the African empires and represented a crucial connection between Africa and Asia for a thousand years.
We will visit the field of the stems: granite monoliths from the pre-Christian period and decorated with symbolic inlays and the church of Santa Maria di Sione.
Day 8: Tampio of Yeha
Departure to Mekele and visit of the site of Yeha: an opportunity to deepen the historical and cultural relationship that is established in the fourth century BC between the religion of the Tigray and the kingdoms of southern Arabia. The remains of the temple of Yeha are very similar to the temples in the regions of Marib and Yemen.
Day 9: On the road to Lalibela
Departure for Lalibela passing through wonderful mountainous landscapes and canyons! A stop is planned in the church of Yemerehanna Kristos, a cave church built between the 11th and 12th century by King San Yemrehana Krestos, the predecessor of King Lalibela. The most beautiful church-monastery in the region, a medieval jewel of Ethiopia, built in wood and stone, carved out of a cave. At the bottom of the cave, more than 5000 human skeletons have been exposed for over 700 years. According to the priests it is supposed to be the skeletons of pilgrims coming from Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia.
In the afternoon arrival in Lalibela with its magnificent churches, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Day 10: The churches of Lalibela
Visit of Lalibela and of the eleven churches excavated in the massive tuff, whose construction was ordered by the king of the city in the XIII century.
The site of Lalibela reproduces the sacred places of Jerusalem and the buildings are joined by a system of underground tunnels distributed on the banks of the Jordan River.
Day 11: Departure for Kombolcha across the highest road in the country
Departure for Komboltcha. Along the way we will see beautiful landscapes and we will cross villages inhabited by Oromo Christians in the Abyssinian highlands, between the Amhara and Tigray. Kombolcha is a small town with 40,000 inhabitants, but it is an important crossroads for the country.