Enchanting castles, exquisite monastery artwork, rock-cut churches and ancient stelae await visitors along Ethiopia's Historical Route
Experience Ethiopia's famed Historical Route with us:
Ethiopia's infamous Historical Route never fails to impress. We'll take you to see the awe inspiring rock-cut churches and cave monasteries of Lalibela; explore the totally unexpected 17th century castles in Gondar, marvel at colourful friezes in Lake Tana's island monasteries and visit the many attractions in Axum, above all known for its pre-Christian stelae and as the site where the Ark of the Covenant is believed to be housed. During this individual tour which can be tailored to suit your requirements and interests, you'll also see some of Africa's finest scenery including the Simien Mountains National Park and the Blue Nile Falls. Above all, you'll have the opportunity to learn about Ethiopia's fascinating history and get to know its wonderful people.
Images by Fikreselassie Admassu
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Day 1: Overnight flight to Addis Ababa
Take the overnight Ethiopian Airlines flight from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa
Day 2: Welcome to Ethiopia!
You will be welcomed on arrival at Bole International airport. Transfer to the very comfortable Golden Tulip to overnight with breakfast included.
Your dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, English-speaking Ethiopian guide and your driver will collect you after lunch for an interesting Addis Ababa highlights tour, which is ordinarily comprised of four stops including Mt Entoto Park and the Archaeological Museum.
Day 3: Fly to Bahir Dar by Lake Tana
Take the early morning flight to the lakeside town Bahir Dar, usually the start point of the Historical Route. Here your guide and driver meet you and transfer you to Avanti Blue Nile to overnight in a superior lake view room, all meals included. Take a boat trip to the densely wooded Zeghie Peninsula and then to some of the islands in Lake Tana, to see the round, grass-roofed monasteries appreciated for their beautiful friezes.
Day 4: Blue Nile Falls and Castles
Drive along the northern shores of Lake Tana with a stop to see the Blue Nile Falls. Once in Gondar, take a stroll around the Imperial Compound for the wonderful 17th century castles - strolling around in the castles is somewhat surreal as it is the last kind of construction one would expect to find in Africa. Birders should find a number of the country's endemics in the grounds, too. Then visit Debre Berhan Selassie, the murals of which must be the country's best known. Overnight in Goha Hotel, which has the town's best location on a hilltop. Full board.
Day 5: Simien Mountains National Park
Travel 2 hours to the incredible Simien Mountains National Park, to stay overnight in Simien Lodge with all meals included. Based at Africa's highest-lying hotel, you can take a short walk to viewpoints from where vistas are astonishing. You could easily have the Geladas on the Roof of Africa experience today!
Day 6: Back to Gondar
After an excursion into the amazing mountain wonderland of Simien Mountains National Park, return to Gondar (2hrs) to overnight in Goha Hotel with all meals included.
Day 7: Flight to Lalibela
Prepare to be amazed! Even when descending to Lalibela airport and looking out of the aircraft window, one cannot but help being awestruck by the rock-hewn churches that make this town one of the wonders of the world and certainly Ethiopia's number 1 'must see' site. (Additionally it is one of a number of Ethiopia's UNESCO World Heritage Sites). On arrival, transfer to Maribela Hotel where you stay two nights, full board. You will be taken to see the first cluster of rock-hewn churches today.
Day 8: Lalibela
Take a drive to the surrounding countryside to visit remarkable Yemrehane Kristos. Afterwards, visit the second cluster of churches and overnight in Lalibela.
Day 9: Flight to Axum
Depart Lalibela this morning on the flight to Axum, in the dry Tigray region. Stay overnight in Sabean International Hotel, all meals included. Your day will be spent visiting the varied attractions of this town, notably the stelae field; Mariamtson Church which is said to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the small but fascinating cultural museum.
Day 10: Fly to Addis Ababa
Fly back to Addis Ababa where you have day /evening room use at Golden Tulip, or stay overnight depending on your international flight time. Your guide and driver will take you shopping - the Merkato is a busy market district where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs. And do be sure to bring back some Ethiopian coffee with you - it is among the best in the world.
Late evening transfer (if applicable) to Bole airport to check in for the flight home.
Day 11: Fly back to London Heathrow, where you arrive in the morning.
Price per person is based on 2 people travelling together and sharing in double or twin room accommodation. Includes return economy class airfare on Ethiopian Airlines from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa, internal Ethiopian Airlines flights, air taxes, all private transfers and private transportation, services of your dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, English-speaking Ethiopian guide and of drivers; local guide fees; all entrance permits; excursions and activities as outlined; accommodation based on twin or double room occupancy with meals as listed.
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Ethiopia , Africa
Price per person sharing in twin or double room accommodation includes return economy class Ethiopian Airlines flights from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa, internal Ethiopian Airlines flights, air taxes, all private transfers and private transportation, services of professional, English-speaking Ethiopian guide throughout; excursions and activities as outlined; services of local guides; entrance fees and park permits; accommodation as outlined with meals as listed.
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