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Ethiopian Northern Historic route with Christmas Celebration – PTFD 013

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Tour Highlight

Ethiopia has history way back over 3000 years and in all those years each generation has been placing his own finger print in most major cities of Ethiopia. Ethiopian historical attraction covers the ancient town of Axum, with its amazing carved obelisks and ancient civilization, including the original Ark of the Covenant; Lalibela known as the real wonder of the world with its remarkable rock-hewn churches; Gondar the Camelot of Africa, with its magnificent castles and palaces.

The roof of Africa Simien mountain National Park is among the sights that will be covered on this route.  Simien Mountains National Park is known for its dramatic landscapes and spectacular scenery .Mount Ras Dashen (15,157ft/4,620m) is the highest pick of the National park.

Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, is the largest lake with 37 islands. Ura Kidanemihiret and Azwa Mariyam are among the iconic reach monasteries to be visited on the Lake dating back to 14th century.

Al Negash, one of the earliest holy Muslim centers from the Prophet Muhammad Era with the Negash Amedin Mosque.

In this route the Axum stales, the Lalibela churches, the castles of Gondar and Simen Mountains National Park are registered by UNESCO.

Ethiopian Christmas in Lalibela

“Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on January 7 Every Year in all over Ethiopia specially in Lalibela. As History tells King Lalibela built all those rock hewn churches to create the New Jerusalem so people would not endanger their life traveling to Jerusalem for Christmas and Easter. Thousands of Ethiopian come to Lalibela during Christmas as a pilgrim. It is one of the world wonders to see the high priests and deacons chanting on the 11th C rock hewn churches.”

Tour Code

  • PTFD 013

Tour Date

  • Dec 30/18 - Jan 9 / 19

Duration

  • 12 Nights 13 Days

Transport

  • Surface

Price

On Sharing Basis (Twin)

1472 USD

On Single Basis

1742 USD

Trip Info
  • Very easy tour for every one without Age limit or Gender issue
  • Not much trekking (does not need special fitness)
  • Most of the sites in this tour are religious and it is advised to follow all the rules
  • Prepare a shawl or a ‘netela’ as locals call it when visiting churches
  • Be respectful for cultures at all cities
  • Follow instruction of your Escort and local guide for further briefing
  • Be responsible traveler for the environment
  • Safe store for your electronic Gears
  • Sunglasses, camera, binoculars, Hat, rain coats, and jacket
  • First Aid, including aspirins for altitude sickness
Itinerary

Day 1 Dec 29/18: Ethiopian Northern Historic route Surface

Arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel by Pagumen tour and travel representative. Depending on your arrival time City tour of Addis Ababa will be arranged:
Being home for United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union (AU) Addis Ababa is referred as the capital of Africa. Addis is also the center of the country’s Economy, social and political activity.
City tour of Addis Ababa includes National museum: home for the oldest and famous hominid fossil of ‘Lucy’, Ethnographic museum: treasured with cultural and historical artifacts from all over Ethiopia , Mount Entoto for the scenic view of Addis Ababa , Trinity cathedral church and Merkato: the biggest open air market in East Africa.

Day 2Dec 30/18, Drive to Bahirdar

Drive north of Addis to the beautiful Lake city of Bahirdar crossing the Entoto Mountain and the sululta plain. Surrounded by the longest river Blue Nile and Laka Tana in the other side Bahirdar is a beautiful city favorable for relaxing and business conferences. Being seat for the Amahra region Bahirdar is also a center for the Amhara culture.

Day 03Dec 31/18, City Tour of Bahirdar

Morning Drive some 35KM to the small town of Tis Abay where you will be welcomed by the sound of the waterfall. This is the fall where the famous Blue Nile falls pounded down in to the rocks of the Nile gorges about 45 KM.
After lunch you will take a boat trip to visit the most amazing monasteries of Lake Tana among them Betre Mariam and Ura kidanemihret are worth to be visited

Day 4Jan 1/19, Day 4: Drive to Gondar and City Tour

Drive about 180 KM to the legendary town of Gondar known for its Magnificent Castles. This drive will give you a highlight about the Landscape, culture and country side view of Ethiopia.
After lunch visit the Castles of Gondar known as the Camelot of Africa and the mesmerizing Debrebirihan Silase church exclusively known for its Ethiopian angel painting on its ceilings.

Day 5Jan 2/19: Drive to Axum via the Simen Mountains

After an early breakfast drive north of Gondar through the chains of the Simien Mountains and the crossing Tekeze River to the ancient town of Axum.

Day 6Jan 3/19, City tour of Axum

A city with more than 3000 years of history Axum was once the center of a great empire and ancient civilization. Axum is exclusively known for being home of the original Ark of the Covenant. The sightseeing of this ancient city includes St. Mary’s Church, the sanctuary Chapel which is the repository for ‘Ark of the covenant’, the coronation yard, the Stelae Park, Tombs of Kaleb and his son GebreMeskel, Ezana’s inscriptions and ruins of Queen of Sheba’s palace

Day 7Jan 4/19, Axum –Yeha – Mekele

After breakfast drive to Mekele in route you will visit the 5th century BC temple of Yeha and Debredamo monastery/optional /, Visit the Al Negash Mosque and proceed to Mekele for overnight.

Day 8Jan 5/19, Drive from Mekelle to Lalibela

After having your breakfast, leave Mekelle and drive through the Chain Mountains of Ambalage. On the way you will admire the landscape and the small towns of Amhara tribes. Proceed to the 12th C legendary and holly city of Lalibela.

Day 9Jan 6/19, City tour of Lalibela:

The small town of Lalibela in Ethiopia is home to one of the world’s most astounding sacred sites: eleven rock-hewn churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of granite with its roof at ground level.
This day you will visit the famous 11 rock hewn churches including the legendary St. George church, river of Jordan and tomb of Adam.
Evening Christmas Ceremony:
This day in Ethiopian Orthodox church they spend the whole night chanting and praising the birth of Jesus Christ. We will join Bete Mariam chanting and get some rest for the morning Beza kulu celebration .

Day 10Jan 7/ 19 EXCURSION TO YIMRHANE KIRSTOS

Very early morning We will go to church of Bete Mariam again to admire the amazing chanting aroung the church of Bet Mariam. This is the most amazing Chanting you will ever see in the world. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the country come to attend this ceremony every year.
Back to hotel and have late breakfast then drive to Yimrhane Kirstos through the small village of Bilbala. The built-up cave church of Yimrhane Kirstos itself predates the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. This is one of the most beautiful and colorful cave churches, built from marble, wood and beautifully decorated from inside and outside with remarkable architectural skill. In the other side of the cave, you will also see many mummified bodies of pilgrims from centuries ago. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 11Jan 8/19, Drive to Kombolcha:

Morning Drive to Kombolcha for overnight.

Day 12Jan 9/ 19: Day 12: DRIVE TO ADDIS ABABA

Drive back to Addis Ababa, on your arrival you will have some rest and Evening you will dinner in one the traditional restaurant with folkloric dances. Transfer to Airport and departure home or next destinations.

Detail Info

Recommended Hotels
  • Jupiter, kaleb, or Azzeman Hotel/Similar- Addis Ababa
  • Grand Resort /Similar - Bahirdar
  • Sabian International / Similar - Axum
  • Goha or landmark Hotel/ Similar- Gondar
  • Axum Hotel / Similar - Mekele
  • Roha Hotel / Similar - Lalibela

Price includes:

  • Accommodation on double/twin bed basis
  • Meals: full board Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • All entrance fees according to the tour program
  • Return transfer to airport
  • Ground transportation per the package itinerary
  • English speaking Local guide at all destinations
  • Escort Guide
  • Driver allowance
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana
  • English speaking local guide

Price does not include

  • Any flight (International and Domestic )
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Video and camera fees if and where applicable( in the south they ask about 5birr per photo )

Tips, telephone calls, laundry services and other expenses of personal nature

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