Tour Code: Mew-CLFT-005
Duration 12 Night & 13 Day
Ethiopian TourChristmas Festival
Day 1: (December 28) Addis Ababa
Guests will arrive in Addis Ababa, where they will be welcomed and transferred to their hotel by a Mewael tour and travel representative. Depending on arrival time a city tour of Addis Ababa will be arranged. On this day the city tour of Addis Ababa will cover the National Museum, Mount Entoto for the scenic view of Addis Ababa and the Trinity cathedral church. Proceed with the tour & guests will visit the Ethnographic Museum. On the way to the hotel, we will visit the squares, Historical buildings & monuments of the city. Overnight Addis Ababa
Day 2: (December 29) Addis Ababa-Bahirdar
In the morning, drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with stops at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho, and Goha Tsion. Overnight Bahirdar
Day 3: (December 30) Bahirdar
Morning drives some 37KM to the small village of Tis Isat to visit the spectacular Tis Abay (the water that smokes) or Blue Nile Falls where guests will be welcomed by the sound of the waterfall. This is the fall where the famous Blue Nile falls pounded down into the rocks of the Nile gorges about 45 M. (It is worth a visit especially in the months June- September).
After lunch guests will be escorted to Lake Tana for a memorizing boat ride to the medieval island monasteries such as: Ura Kidane Mehiret & Azuwa Mariam Monasteries, where they can capture the aged essence of the beautiful mural paintings, religious books & sacred treasures. Overnight Bahirdar
Day 4: (December 31) Bahirdar-Gonder
After breakfast drive about 180 KM to the legendary town of Gondar known for its Magnificent Royal Castles. This drive will give you a highlight of the Landscape, culture, and countryside view of Ethiopia. On arrival check –into the hotel and guests will start their visit at the castles of Gondar compound (UNESCO World Heritage site); King Fasiledes Bath and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, (known worldwide for its traditional angle face church paintings on its ceilings). Overnight Gondar
Day 5: (January 01) Gondar – Siemen Mountains National Park
After an early breakfast, we will drive to Simien Mountains National Park. En route, we will visit the “Felasha”, or Black Jewish village.
On the drive from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, you will enjoy the spectacular scenery including at the top of the massif. For the rest of the day, we will trek around the park and Sankaber to explore the stunning views and wildlife. Overnight Simien Lodge
Day 6: (January 02) Siemen Mountains National Park- Axum
After breakfast, we drive to Axum through the beautiful scenery of the Simien Mountains and the Tekeze River Gorge. Overnight Axum
Day 7: (January 03) Axum
Axum is a city with more than 3000 years of history and was once the center of a great empire and ancient world civilization. It is also exclusively known for being home to the original Ark of the Covenant made by the hands of Moses. The sightseeing of this ancient city will include the St. Mary’s Church, the sanctuary Chapel which is the repository for ‘Ark of the covenant’, the coronation yard, the Stelae Park, Tombs of Kaleb and his son Gebremeskel’s, king Ezana’s inscriptions and the ruins of Queen of Sheba’s palace. Overnight Axum
Day 8: (January 04) Axum – Hawizzen
After an early breakfast, drive from Axum to visit Tigray’s Rock hewn churches. En route, sight the battlefield of Adwa, the Landmark of Africa’s victory over modern colonial power, and the Yeha temple built between 500- 400 B.C which is one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in Ethiopia. Overnight Hawizzen
Day 9: (January 05) Hawizzen
After early breakfast drive to the Gheralta cluster churches. Guests will visit the Churches of Abune Yemata and Mariam Korkor. Gheralta is home to a quarter of the rock churches in the northern cluster of churches, some of which are famous for their stone workmanship, ancient paintings, manuscripts, and others are known for their magnificent view and challenging ascent. Overnight Hawizzens
Day 10: (January 06) Hawzen –Mekele
In the morning, we drive to Mekele en route visiting some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-atsbeha, and Dugum Selassie. Overnight Mekele
Day 11: (January 07) Mekele – Lalibela
After breakfast, we drive north to Lalibela through Sekota. En route, you will visit Yimrhane Kirstos and different villages of the Agwe tribal people. In the evening, we will drive to Bete Emanuel to attend the special celebration of Emanuel with chanting and dancing by the priests and deacons. The ceremony will be accompanied by a capacity crowd of pilgrims who came to witness this event from far off hamlets and inaccessible valleys on their bare feet walking, for weeks and even months. Overnight Lalibela
Day 12: (January 08) Lalibela, Ethiopian Christmas Eve
In the morning, we will drive to the sites with the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches of Lalibela from 1200 AD. At night, we will attend the Christmas Eve ceremony to be held at Bete Mariam church. This evening, you will attend the Ethiopian Christmas Eve Ceremony with the pilgrims. The dancing by the deacons and the priests continue throughout the night while the pilgrims clap and ululate to the drumbeat. At midnight, there will be a candlelight ceremony to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Day 13: (January 09) Lalibela, Ethiopian Christmas
In the morning, we will once more drive to Bete Mariam to witness the final ceremony of Ethiopian Christmas. On this day, as it has been for centuries, the priests will be lined up with their drums on the cliff edge of Bete Mariam and others at the bottom, representing the shepherds and the angels announcing the birth of Jesus.
After lunch and a rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous history with a visit to more of Lalibela’s remarkable churches. The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include Bete Gebriel, Bete Merkorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem, and Bete Aba Libanos. At the end of the tour, there will be a special Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house. Overnight Lalibela
Day 14: (January 10) Fly to Addis Ababa
Fly back to Addis Ababa, Shopping and Evening farewell dinner at one of the traditional restaurants with a live folkloric show, and drive to the airport for your departure.
- The tour itinerary can be amended, rearranged differently, and include or exclude activities based on your interest.
- Addis Ababa & Surroundings
- Cultural & Festival
- Historical North & South
- Adventure & Natural