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Small town of Lalibela is a religious and pilgrimage center in Ethiopia. Lalibela is famous for its 11 rock-hewn churches built 900 years ago, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. It is a town in northern Ethiopia famous for its monolithic rock-cut churches. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Aksum, and is a center of pilgrimage for much of the country. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. The layout and names of the major buildings in Lalibela are widely accepted, especially by the local clergy, to be a symbolic representation of Jerusalem. This has led some experts to date the current form of its churches to the years following the capture of Jerusalem in 1187 by the Muslim soldier Saladin.
Lalibela is located in the Semien Wollo Zone of the Amhara ethnic division (or kilil) at roughly 2,500 meters above sea level. It is the main town in Lasta woreda, which was formerly part of Bugna woreda.
Lalibela has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978
D1 ARRIVAL DAY.
Arrive any time and check into Hotel / or recommended to arrive early morning, half day city tour and fly to Bahir Dar this evening.
D2 FLY ADDIS – BAHIR DAR /
or recommend evening flight to Bahir Dar on D1, as have to be up by 4:30 am to catch morning flight. Morning city tour of BahirDar including spice market and afternoon driving excursion to famous Blue Nile Falls. This includes a walking excursion across an ancient Portuguese bridge and circling back to cross the Blue Nile by boat, where you rejoin your vehicle.
D3 BAHIR DAR – LAKE TANA MONASTERIES – GONDAR.
Early morning breakfast before commencing your boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit the island monasteries. Return via the mouth of the Blue Nile, good for bird sighting and a slight chance for seeing hippos if they are in the area. After lunch on the lake shore, scenic drive to Gondar, passing by marshes and on the north end of Lake Tana, ascending into the hills surrounding the historical town of Gondar.
D4 GONDAR CASTLES AND CHURCHES.
After breakfast, guided tour of Fasiladas’ castles and bath. In the afternoon, visit the famous Debre Birhan Selassie Church surrounded by ancient juniper and olive trees.
D5 FLY GONDAR – LALIBELA.
This day wake up very early for an early morning transfer to airport for flight to Lalibela. Arriving at Lalibela Airport transfer to your hotel and check in before beginning aguided tour of the first group of churches. In the afternoon, drive 40km to Yemrehana Kristos, to visit this magnificent church. Be prepared to do some hiking in order to reach it. Return to Lalibela for the evening. While in Lalibela be sure to arrange one of these nights to go out and experience the Lalibela honey wine together with song and dance.
D6 LALIBELA- ASHETON MARYAM.
This morning you will hike to Asheton Maryam church which sits at 3300 m overlooking the valleys and Lalibela town. Return for lunch followed by a guided tour of the remaining second group of Lalibela rock-hewn churches.
D7 FLY LALIBELA – AXUM / ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND TSION CHURCH. Early morning transfer to Lalibela airport for flight to Axum. Transfer to hotel before going on a guided tour of the Axum Tsion church, ancient stellae and other archaeological sites of Axum.
D8 FLY AXUM – ADDIS /
Morning transfer to airport for your flight to Addis. You can fly out this evening or option to add a night.
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