Northern Historic Route/Discovering Ethiopia’s Antiquity
Bahir Dar/Gondar/Lalibela/Axum


Ethiopia is a country of great antiquity with a history and tradition dating back more than 3,000 years. The traveler on Historic Route of Ethiopia makes a journey through time transported by mysterious and extraordinary monuments, rock churches and edifices built long centuries ago. The Historic Route is truly where a shadow of the past still waves.

Ethiopia is like no other place in Africa. It is like a fabled hidden empire, offering a superior history of intriguing wealth with awe-inspiring and unrivaled religions, traditions and ancient heritages. The pre-Christian temple at Yeha is Sub Saharan Africa’s oldest building, constructed in the 5th BC. We discover the glory and riches of the Axumite Kingdom at the ancient city of Axum, which can be still pictured as we view the colossal rock stelae, the stone work of royal tombs and the legendary bath of the Queen of Sheba. The 16th century Church of St. Mary of Zion stands on the ruins of an earlier 4th century church and is the country’s oldest and holiest Christian shrine. Within its sanctuary is said to rest the original Ark of the Covenant, admittedly one of the most precious relics of Judeo-Christian tradition. Another great day of the trip begins when start viewing Ethiopia’s famous 12th century churches carved out of solid rock, which are attributed to King Lalibela. Some of the churches are monolithic, cut into volcanic rock, some are quarried enlargements of natural caves, and others are connected by a maze of underground tunnels. Ethiopia’s medieval capital for over 200 years and founded by Emperor Fassilides in 17th century, Gondar is the city of royal castles and fortress-like battlements. Referred as the jewels of Ethiopia, Lake Tana is dotted by numerous island monasteries of high religious significance. In the Middle Ages, churches sought refuge on these islands of Lake Tana and due in part to the difficult access these churches are to this day rich in the best of Ethiopia’s Religious paintings, illuminated manuscripts and other treasures.

Northern Historic Route/Tour of Antiquity
Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights (By Air)
Destinations: Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar/Island Monasteries/Blue Nile Falls – Gondar – Lalibela – Ashten Mariam – Naakuto Laab Cave Church – Lalibela – Axum – Addis Ababa

Day 1: Arrival to Addis Ababa. Be met at the airport by our guide, transfer to your hotels. Start with a relaxing Addis Ababa City Tour, the view from mount Entoto, the National Museum, the Trinity Cathedral Church and Mercato. Hotel

Day 2: Fly to Bahir Dar. In the afternoon, take a boat excursion to an island monastery called Ura Kidane Mehret on the Zeghie Peninsula of Lake Tana. Hotel

Day 3: Visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls named ‘ Tis Issat’, which means in Amharic ‘ smoke of fire’. In the afternoon, tour of Bahir Dar town and its market and Bezawit Plateau- an over view above the town, near the summer palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. Hotel

Day 4: Fly to Gondar. Visit Emperor Fassiledes’ 17th Century Imperial compound. In the afternoon, visit the Debre Birhan Selassie church, famous for its ‘winged angels’ that adorn the ceiling, the Bath of Fassiledes and the Kwesquam complex, a long two- storeyed castellated palace of Empress Mentewab. Hotel

Day 5: Fly to Lalibela. Visit the first group of Ethiopia’s famous rock-hewn churches built in the 12th Century and attributed to King Lalibela. Hotel

Day 6: Have a mule excursion to Ashten Mariam or a driving excusion to Naakuto Laab cave church. In the afternoon, visit the second group of the rock-hewn churches. Hotel

Day 7: Fly to Axum, Ethiopia’s holiest and most historical ancient city. Visit the colossal rock stele, tombs and castles of the Axumite kings, the legendry bath of the Queen of Sheba, the Axum museum and the Church of St. Mary of Zion, where the original Ark of the Covenant is said to have rested within its sanctuary. Hotel

Day 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa. Rest of the day at leisure. In the evening, be our guest for a farewell dinner with traditional music and dance. Hotel

Day 9: Most of the day at leisure on your own and departure.

Click here to read more about Ethiopia’s historic attractions.