Day 1: Arrival Addis Ababa/ City tour

Visit the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. Tour the Mercato, one of Africa's largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.

​Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 2:   Addis Ababa - Bahar Dar

Drive to Bahar Dar via the Blue Nile Gorge, the "Grand Canyon" of East Africa.  Stop at the historically important Monastery of Debre Libanos, rebuilt since it was razed by the Italians during the 1930’s. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 3:   Bahar Dar

Visit the Marketplace in Bahar Dar. Continue with a boat tour of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and visit ancient island monasteries. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 4:   Bahar Dar - Gondar

Morning drive to see the Blue Nile Falls.  Return to Bahar Dar for lunch.  In the afternoon, drive to Gondar, north of Lake Tana. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 5:   Gondar

Visit the remote ruins of Kuskuam, built for Empress Mentewab in the 1700’s. After lunch, tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century. Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 6:   Gondar - Simien Mountains National Park

Drive to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy some light hiking in the afternoon in the park and spot wildlife such as the endemic Gelada baboon. ​

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Lodge

Day 7: Simien Mountains -  Axum

Take a scenic drive to Axum, capital of the ancient Axumite Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Frequent stops at viewpoints along the way.  Arrive in Axum late afternoon. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 8:   Axum

Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.  

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 9:   Axum - Hawzein

Drive to the Ghiralta Lodge passing the Adwa battlefield, site of Emperor Menelik II's 1895 victory over the invading Italians. Visit the 2,500-year old ruins of Yeha, an ancient moon temple.  Continue past Adigrat and visit Aba Gerima and Petros Paulos, two of the Tigray region's oldest and finest rock churches.

​* On this day, we will pass the 6th century monastery of Debre Damos which is perched atop a remote plateau. The monastery is only accessible using a rope and the monks will help pull visitors up the 20 - 25-meter cliff. However, we only recommend this for physically fit individuals.  Women are not allowed on the grounds of the monastery, and therefore, it is not part of our regular tour itinerary.  However, we can stop here for those on a custom or private tour. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Lodge

Day 10:   Hawzein - Mekele

Visit more of Tigray's remote and ancient rock-hewn churches:  Abraha Atsbeha, dating from the 10th century; the beautiful Wukro Chirkos; and  Medhane Alem Kesho.  Drive to Mekele..  

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 11:  Mekele - Lalibela

Drive on a scenic road to Lalibela. Arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy the sunset from the terrace. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 12:   Lalibela

Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This group of eleven monolithic and semi- monolithic structures were carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 13:  Lalibela

For the morning we have two choices: Take a morning hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the town; - OR - Drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands Following either option above continue with tour of Lalibela’s churches in the afternoon. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel

Day 14   Lalibela - Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis in the afternoon optional possible to do a short time shopping in a Grand Market called Merkato or  Visit either the Ethnographic Museum or the National Museum, home of the 3.18-million-year old skeleton "Lucy."  Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country's many ethnic groups.  Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed. 

Meal: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner - Overnight Hotel