Meskel Festival + Historic Tour - 6 days and 5 nights - (Surface + Flight)
Highlights of the Tour: Religion and culture is quite interwoven in the present Ethiopia. This can be witnessed by the values and norms of the people’s life. Christianity was first introduced in Ethiopia by the Ethiopian eunuch who meets Philip on the road to Gaza as in the book of Acts 8:27.
But Christianity was fist accepted as state religion in the 4th century by King Ezana and the first church was erected in the present city of Axum around 342 and in Europe only Armenia was a Christian state at this period.
Then as the power of kingdom moves from Axum to the present day Lalibela, the kings had excavated 12 churches from a rock which has been a place of worship for more than 800 years old and are still active for Christian believers. Each church has something to tell from the story of bible on its architecture or paintings inside.
This historic tour will take a traveler to these ancient and bygone cities and towns that has much stored in their soil to tell to any visitor taking them thousand years back. Stele field, rock-churches, island monasteries, castle compounds, wonderful sceneries and people’s way of life are some of the major activities to be covered in this tour. A morning visit to any church service would give a chance for travelers to witness a Judaic influenced practice of the Ethiopian Orthodox churches.
We encourage people to take this journey and witness how old, religious, unique and undiscovered Ethiopia is.
DAY 1 : Arrival, Addis Ababa
Up on arrival be meet by the staff of Off-Road Ethiopia Tour. If arrival is day time proceed for city tour of Addis Ababa. First drive up to Entoto, the highest peak of Addis with elevation of 3000 meters and acted as a capital before moving to Addis Ababa. You will visit the old mud made palace of Emperor Minilik II, founder of Addis and the Museum which is stuffed with collection from royal family gifts and costume. Then admire the look of Addis from top and drive down. Head to the Ethnographic museum situated in the present Addis Ababa University which was the Palace of Emperor Haile Selasse until 1955. Admire the cultural attributes and practices of Ethiopia’s 85 tribes within the museum. Lunch break at Chinese restaurant. Then head to Merkato, Africa’s biggest open-air market where one can buy any new or very old items of 50 or 60 years old, spices, souvenirs......then proceed to the trinity cathedral which is the resting place of the last King, Emperor Haile Selasse and part of his family including his wife. Then finalize the visit by being at the National Museum which hosts Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil and other archaeological findings dating back to 4.6 million years. Have dinner at Indian restaurant. O/n Saro-Maria, Friendship International or other similar star.
DAY 2 : Fly from Addis Ababa to Axum
Take the morning flight to Axum. Up on arrival proceed to visit the Stele filed, the Tomb of Kaleb and his son G/ Meskel, The stone inscription of King Ezana (4th Century king). Have lunch and proceed the sightseeing to Axum’s St. Mary of Zion Church, where the original ark of covenant given to Moses is believed to be, the ruined palace of Queen Sheba and Ezana’s stele park. O/n Consular, Birana or Remhai Hotel. (B)
DAY 3 : Fly from Axum to Lalibela
After breakfast fly out to Lalibela. After lunch break proceed to visit the first group of rock-hewn churches, which are 6 in number represent the earthly Jerusalem. In the afternoon Visit the remaining second group of churches which are 5 in number again and represent heavenly Jerusalem. And later conclude the visit by covering the third group of church, which is the cross-shaped and highlight of the Lalibela churches, St. George. O/n Mountain view or Panoramic View Hotel (B & D)
Day 4: Fly fromLalibela to Gonder
After early breakfast fly to Gondar. Up on arrival have lunch break and then continue to explore the 16th-17th century Castle compound and the bathing pool of King Fasilades constructed by King Fasilades and his successors. Also visit to the basket market of Gondar. Florida International or Taye Hotel ( B & D).
Day 5: Drive from Gonder to Bahir Dar
After an early breakfast drive to Bahir Dar, presently acting as the capital for the Amhara people. Bahir Dar is set by the side of Lake Tana at an altitude of 1,830m. Above seas level. Up on arrival head for boat trip on lake Tana, the biggest Lake in Ethiopia to visit the island monastery of Ura Kidanemheret, which is the most colorful from the nearest available. After lunch break head to the breath-taking Blue Nile falls. Later in the evening head to Bezawit hill to see the blue-Nile leaving Lake Tana and the city of Bahir Dar with sun-set. (B & D). O/n Home land Hotel or Abay Minch Lodge.
DAY 6 : Fly from Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa
After an early breakfast transfer to airport for a flight back to Addis Ababa. Proceed for the sightseeing to the monuments and squares of the city and head for shopping in Addis to the coffee market, jewelry market and souvenir market. In the evening attend the bon-fire ceremony of the Meskel festival at the biggest open-air Meskel square, where half a million people will attend the same event. See the priests and deacons chanting and singing on the open-air with their colorful costume. Have traditional dinner with live cultural dancing show at a renowned restaurant and transfer out for an evening flight back home.
Off-Road Ethiopia Tour wishes you a pleasant stay!
For more information, please contact us