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ethiopia historic north and mountains

9 - Day Tour of Ancient Sites & Simien Mountains

Experience Northern Ethiopia. On our Ethiopia Historic North and Mountains tour you’ll discover fascinating sites such as rock-hewn churches, impressive stalea and lively markets in Bahir Dar, Gondar, Axum & Lalibela. Plus explore the stunning scenery of the Simien Mountains with an opportunity to view endemic Gelada baboon.

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Day 1 – Addis Ababa: On arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be met by your guide and then transferred to your hotel.  Overnight Jupiter International or similar.

Day 2 – Bahir Dar: Fly from Addis to Bahir Dar and visit the Blue Nile Falls before lunch. In the afternoon, take a boat trip on Ethiopia’s largest body of water – Lake Tana (1,390 square miles) to visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret (14th Century AD) and Azwa Mariam (14th Century AD). Overnight Avanti Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Gondar: Drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar, the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasiladas’, the church of Quskuam Mariam (17th century AD), the residence of Empress Mintwab, and the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its wall and ceiling paintings of angels. Overnight Goha Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Simien Mountains National Park: Drive from Gondar to Debark and then into the Simien Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Enjoy the stunning scenery with the chance to spot the Gelada baboon, a species endemic to Ethiopia. Overnight at Simien Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Axum: Scenic drive to Axum – the earliest capital of Ethiopia, crossing the Tekezze Gorge along the way. Overnight Sabean Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Axum: Take a sightseeing tour of Axum, which includes visiting the Archaeological Museum, the famous Stelae Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion (believed to house the legendary Ark of the Covenant), the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel (6th Century AD), and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba (9th Century BC). Overnight Sabean Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Lalibela: In the morning, fly to Lalibela – home of the 12th century AD rock-hewn churches of King Lalibela. In the afternoon, visit the first group of churches of King Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Overnight Maribela Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Lalibela: In the morning, take a mule ride to the semi-monolithic church of Asheton Mariam (13th century AD). Getting to the top of the hill rewards you with the great and unforgettable scenery of the area. In the afternoon, visit the remaining second and third groups of Lalibela churches. Overnight Maribela Hotel or similar. (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Addis Ababa/Depart: Fly back to Addis and enjoy a half-day city tour, which includes the National Archeological Museum of Addis Ababa, the Merkato – the largest open-air market in Africa, and a drive to Mt. Entoto (10,500 ft) for a panoramic view of the capital. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis, where you can try a variety of Ethiopian dishes and see a traditional folk dance performance. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B, D)

Interested in this trip? Give us a call or drop us an email.

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Cultural Visits
  • Perfect for Historical Sightseeing
  • Duration 9 days
  • Accommodations Basic & Eco-Lodges
  • Fitness Rating Easy
  • Activities Cultural tours, stunning scenery & wildlife
  • Safari Type Cultural/Historical
  • Style Value
  • Land-Only Price* $

*Pricing is per person and an estimate. Contact a Journey Specialist for a customized quote.
$ = <$5,000 | $$ = $5,000 – $9,999 | $$$ = $10,000 – $20,000 | $$$$ = >$20,000

Contact a Journey Specialist