Archeological Tour

Bike and Trekking through Gheralta and T …

6 days North
This adventure will begin with the combination of biking, walking, hiking and trekking through the churches and breathtaking landscapes Tembein and
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20-04-2017 Hits:353 Tour Package

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Archeological Tour

 

13 nights and 14 days

These journeys pass through the scenic Ethiopian highlands and leads to the historical sites of the country in the north. The trip covers Axum, the ancient city of Ethiopia known for the famous obelisks standing in the center of the town and where the ark of the covenant is believed to be kept; Yeha, the first Capital of Ethiopia and housed the oldest monument in the Sub-Saharan countries; Al-Neghasi, the oldest Muslim Settlement and Mosque in Africa; Gheralta, the breath taking landscape and historic churches; Lalibella, which is known as the Jerusalem of Ethiopia and known for the rock hewn churches where Major church events still takes place; Gondar, known for the ancient castles and churches; Bahir Dar, where one finds lake Tana with over thirty monasteries scattered on the lake islands and peninsulas.

Duration – 12 nights and 14 days

Transportation: Drive, Flight and Boat

Accommodation - 4* Hotel in Addis Ababa and 3* hotels outside of Addis Ababa

  • Tour Overview
day 01

.DEPARTURE FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY

day 02

.ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR OF ADDIS ABABA

You are met on arrival and escorted to your hotel. After a break, enjoy a tour of Addis Ababa, a pleasant capital city with wide jacaranda-edged avenues, interesting museums and lively markets. Visit the National Museum, with its many archaeological findings including the famous complete fossil remains of 3 million year-old “Lucy."

In the afternoon, visit the Red Terror and ethnographic museum of Addis Ababa University and . Later at night before dinner, there will be a lecture on the highlight of Ethiopian history, culture, religion, politics, nature and current issues such the Hydro Politics between Ethiopian and Egypt. At the evening, you will have a welcome dinner ceremony.

O/N Capital hotel and Spa or Similar

day 03

.FLY AXUM

After an early breakfast, drive to the airport for your early flight to Axum, the ancient capital of Ethiopia. Founded three centuries before the birth of Christ, Axum was a crucial destination between Africa and Asia for almost a thousand years. Your city tour begins the ‘Axum Stelae Field,’ a pasture of more than 120 carved monoliths that date from pre-Christian times and have been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the ancient residence of the legendary Queen of Sheba, various 5th century palace ruins, and the controversial Obelisk of Axum, stolen by Italian forces in 1937 and recently returned.

Continue visit the vernacular architecture of the old city of Axum. The Tukul and rectangular houses in Axum shows the diversification of architecture and, the change and continuity reveals for centuries. Here you will visit a family house where you will observe their daily life activities and have a coffee ceremony with the family. Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most enjoyable events you can attend at an Ethiopian Restaurant. The coffee is taken through its full life cycle of preparation in front of you in a ceremonial manner. Coffee is called 'Bunna' (boo-na) by the Ethiopians.

O/N Yared Zema International Hotel or Similar

day 04

.AXUM

After an relaxed breakfast, a visit of the 17th century Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, home of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. The church was built on the foundations of a 4th century temple where the Ark of the Covenant is reputed to have bene stored. See the modern St. Mary’s of Zion cathedral, built by Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1960s, and explore the museum under the church, which houses some priceless Ethiopian relics. In the afternoon,

Afternoon, visit the tomb of king Kaleb dated back to the 6th century with a sophisticated Axumite architecture and building techniques. En route, stop to see the ETHIOPIAN ROSETA, EZANA INSCRIPTION. This 4th century stone is inscribed in Sabean, Greek and Ge’ez language.

Later in time, you will have a lecture at your hotel or at the Axum University Hall about the history of Axumite Archaeology and its findings. An archaeologist from Axum University will present the lecture which will be supported by slides and so on.

O/N Yared Zema International Hotel or Similar

day 05

.DRIVE GHERALTA

Morning drive to the direction of Hawzein. En route visit Yeha. Take a drive through dramatic highland landscape to Yeha, passing unique sandstone homesteads along the way. This city was founded at least 2,800 years ago and served as the capital of a pre-Axumite empire. The well-preserved stone temple was built 2,500 years ago. It also served as a center of a monastic Christian community in the early 6th century. A modern church built next to the temple ruins contains some of the ancient temple stones and its treasury contains illuminated manuscripts and crowns. Here, you will discuss about the archaeology, the cultural connection of East Africa and the Southern Arabia.

Next stop will be at Negash and is known as the earliest Muslim settlement in Africa; a seventh-century cemetery has been excavated inside the village boundaries. The Futuh al-Habasha records Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi visited the tomb of Ashama ibn Abjar in Negash during his invasion of the province of Tigray (around 1537). Negash is also known for the Negash Amedin Mesgid mosque.

Later today, Medhane Alem (Saviour of the world). The church can be reached through a combination of asphalt and dirt roads through Freweyni via Hawzein. To access the church, you climb a slope of exposed sandstone. It is covered with potholes which local people believe to be the hoof prints of St. George’s horse. This church is one of Tigrai’s oldest and finest rock-hewn churches. Its exterior and interior walls are roughly hewn, which only makes the elaborately carved coffered ceiling much more special. It is quite possibly the oldest rock-hewn church in Tigrai, or anywhere in Ethiopia.

O/N Gheralta lodge or Similar

day 06

.EXPLORE GHERALTA

Hawzien has a 3,000 year history. It was originally an old trading centre but today the area is exclusively agricultural. Many ruins in the area still bear testimony to the day in 1988 when the dictator Mengistu wanted to punish rebel fighters and 2,500 people died under an air attack which dropped napalm bombs. Morning drive to Abune Yemata, one of the best known of the “Rock Churches“ in the Gheralta Range with colorful paintings of the new and old testament. Climbing up to the church takes 40 minutes and the view is breathtaking. The church is dated to the late Axumite period around 7th - 8th century AD and the ceiling is decorated with painted domes of saints. Ascending and descending is an adventure by itself.

After descending from Abune Yemata, we drive to one of the authentic villages to have lunch and coffee with the family. Later, drive back to your lodge and relax.

At the evening before dinner, there will be a lecture and discussion about the history of the churches of Tigrai and their contribution to the development of architecture in the region.

O/N Kuriftu Resort and Spa or Similar

day 07

.DRIVE MEKELLE

After a relaxed morning breakfast, drive to the direction of Mekelle; en route visit Abreha we Atsbeha. This church was believed to be built in the 4th century by two royal brothers, Abreha and Atsbeha, who were responsible for converting Axumite Empire to Christianity. The church is large and cruciform in shape, with interesting architectural features such as cruciform pillars and stepped capitals. There are also well preserved 17th century paintings depicting saints and biblical scenes. The church contains many valuable masterpieces including a beautifully decorated prayer cross, said to have belonged to Frumentius, the first Bishop of Ethiopia, whose ecclesiastical name was Abba Selama, meaning the father of peace.

Stop at Wurko for lunch break, then later you will visit the newly excavated pre-Axumite site of Adi Akawih. The site is situated near the town of Wukro. This site has ancient objects such as a statute of seated women and at its base is an altar with Sabean inscription and a partially inscribed podium. According to a translation by Prof. Nobert Nebes, the inscriptions mention the ancient Sabean-Ethiopian kingdom of D’m’t, the god Almoqah, and for the first time the well-known pre-Axumite temple, ‘Yeha’. On the basis of these same inscriptions, the objects are dated to 7th -6th century B.C. The Almoqah temple of Yeha is much larger than the Almoqah temple of Adi Akaweh, but a good comparable one is the Almoqah temple in Melazo near Axum.

O/N Planet International Hotel or Similar

day 08

.DRIVE LALIBELA

Early start for our drive to Lalibela, the Jerusalem of Ethiopia. En route before arriving Lalibela visit Yemrehane Kristos. Lying 42 kms northwest of Lalibela, Yemrehane Kristos is undoubtedly the finest church outside of town. Unusually, the church is built rather than excavated within a cave. The whole church rests on a foundation of carefully laid olivewood panels, which float it perfectly above the marshy ground below. Behind the church are the bones of countless pilgrims who chose to be buried there. There is also a tomb that includes the remains of Yemrehane Kristos.

O/N Maribela Hotel or Similar

day 09

.LALIBELA

Lalibela is a striking town set at over 2500 metres in wild, craggy mountains with two-storey stone houses that are quite different to those in the rest of Ethiopia. We are here to visit the huge 12th and 13th century rock churches carved below ground level and connected by a maze of subterranean passages. Each of the churches is unique and intricately carved, and is in continuous use. Visit some of these unique churches cradled among the rocks – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Mokael, Bet Danaghel, and Bet Golgotha. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1978.

Afternoon explore the most elegant of Lalibela’s churches, Bet Giorgis, located in an isolated part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. This is said to be one of the most finely executed and best preserved churches.

O/N Maribela Hotel or Similar

day 10

.DRIVE GONDAR

After a breakfast, drive to the direction of Gondar. The road runs through villages, cultivated plains and small passes. En route, visit Na'akuto La'ab. The monastery of Na’akuto La'ab was built by King Lalibela's nephew and successor Na'akuto La 'ab. It is an attractive little church built around a cave. Some very old stone receptacles collect the precious holly water as it drips from the cave roof. Visit the various treasures belonged to its founder including crosses, crowns, an illuminated bible, and a metallic drum.

The last stop before Bahir Dar the village of Awra Amba, a unique cooperative founded in 1985 by 20 people who created a community that does not discriminate by gender and is dedicated to hard work as a way of escaping poverty. The cooperation now consists of 100 families. Meet with the community members and witness the success of their community. All this drive goes through the beautiful landscape of the Wereta Highway. Finally, drive to Gondar for overnight.

O/N Goha Hotel or Similar

day 11

.GONDAR

Gondar, capital of Ethiopia for two hundred years also known as Camelot of Africa. Gondar was a center of great commerce that traded with wealthy lands south of the Blue Nile, west to the Sudan, and north-east to the port of Massawa along the Red Sea. The city is known for its medieval castles and finely adorned churches. Upon arrival in Gondar, visit the Royal Enclosure, the Bath of King Fasilides, and the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, with its extensive murals of angels’ faces.

Late afternoon, visit the former Falasha village of Waleka to see some examples of their traditional pottery still made by the few Jewish people remaining after the exodus to Israel in 1991. Here, you will have a discussion about the history of the ETHIOPIAN JEWISH community.

O/N Goha Hotel or Similar

day 12

.DRIVE BAHIR DAR

On our drive (180km) to this ancient Imperial city, we travel through a fertile landscape of wide open fields of a typical African tableau and then undulating farmland.

After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana. Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is famous for its many monasteries, including the Ura Kidane Meret monastery with its renowned painted maqdas. Travel across the lake to the monastery islands. Due to genders regulations governing access to monasteries, women will visit Entos and the men will visit Kibran Gebreael.

O/N Kuriftu Resort and Spa or Similar

day 13

. MORNING EXCURSION TO BLUE NILE FALLS AND FLY ADDIS ABABA

Morning drive to a small town of Tiss Abay to visit to the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or 'Smoke of Fire'. The falls throws up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometre away. Still worth the visit though much of the water has been diverted to power hydroelectric generators, the surrounding area is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and teff, which injera, the national bread, is made from.

Afternoon, visit the Market at Bahir Dar and later Emperor Hailesilassie Palace. The palace is built at the top of a hill and have a splendid view of the Blue Nile and Bahir dar. Finally, check in to the airport at late afternoon for your flight to Addis Ababa.

O/N Capital Hotel and Spa or Similar

day 14

.SHOPPING AND REFRESHING LECTURE AND DEPARTURE HOME

After a hearty breakfast, drive to Entoto Mountain for a view of Addis Ababa and shopping at the Churchill Road and Tomoca Coffee. After lunch in one of the best restaurants, you will have the day at leisure.

In the evening before departure, you will have a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant accompanied with Ethiopian traditional music and dance.

Remark

Please Know that we can make any changes needed depending on the number of days you have and also This tour can easily be amended to other Tour Package

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Contact Us!

.Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Meskel square infront of Exihibition center

. info@ experienceethiopia.com

. +251 115 530 809 /+251 930 106 565

. +251 115 519 9825

http://www.experienceethiopia.com