- Written by Keb
Tour Code: FET-FT05 Tour Program to Northern Ethiopia – Gishen Mariam Festival
Attractions: History, Religion, & Scenery
Duration: 10 Days & 8 Nights
Transportation: Surface drive, Flights & Boat ride
Day 1 (September 28): Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port
Meet and greet you FANOS Ethiopia Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay in Radissun Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Day 2 (September 29): Addis Ababa City Tour
You will have an early breakfast and your first visit in Addis Ababa will be the National Museum (pre historic, cultural, archaeological attractions), Ethnographic Museum of Addis Ababa University (culture, dressing style, traditional practices of over 80 ethnic groups, and collection of traditional musical instruments). Lunch at Lucy Restaurant.
Your visit also comprises tourist attraction sites like Emperor Minelik’s Palace, St. Raguel’s Church (after a drive to Entoto Mountain - 3000 meter above sea level), Merkato, (the largest open market in Africa).
In the evening, we will host you at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis where you can see the folk dances of the Ethiopian people and taste Ethiopian variety of meals. Overnight stay in Radissun Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Day 3 (September 30): Drive to Dessie
After breakfast, you will drive to Dessie (400 Km from Addis). On the way, you will visit a very magnetic natural force of a cliff, known as “Gemsa Gedele” literally means ‘Bisected Cliff’. Then you will arrive in Dessie (late afternoon). You will check into a hotel. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in local hotel.
Day 4 (October 1): Excursion to Gishen Marima
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Gishen Mariam (70km from Dessie) to attend the festival. You will have lunch in the bush. Late in the afternoon drive back to Dessie for overnight stay. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in local hotel.
Day 5 (October 2): Drive to Lalibela
After breakfast, you will be driven to Lalibela (260 Km from Dessie). Your arrival in Lalibela will be in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel. Then visit the first and third group of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Overnight stay in Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela.
Day 6 (October 3): One more day to explore the Lalibela Rock-hewn Churches
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to historical churches around Lalibela like the Hill Church of Asheton Mariam (on the back of a mule or on foot), Yimerhane Kirsotos, Nakute LeAb or Genete Maryam. Overnight stay in Panoramic View hotel.
Day 7 (October 4): Drive to Gonder
You will have breakfast & drive to Gonder (325 Km from Gonder). On the way visit the Awrama Community. You will stop for lunch at Nefase Moucha. You will arrive in Gonder late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight stay in Goha Hotel.
Day 8 (October 5): Gondar City Tour
Then, you will visit to the Royal Castles (built in the 17th Century A.D. that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fassiladas, King Iyasu and Queen Mentewab and different other buildings.), the Bath of Emperor Fasiledes (the bath is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year. The ceremony replicates Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and is seen as an important renewal of faith.), the Historic
Debre Birhan Selassie Church (Trinity at the Mount of Light) has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels, and its walls with impressive scene depicting biblical events, including; St. May, the Saints, martyrs and the life of Christ.
Depending on the time you can visit also the Castle of Empress Mintewab, and Kuskwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St Samuel riding his lion.
Early in the evening, you will visit ‘AzmariBet’ at Traditional Music Houses after which you will have dinner at the hotel and stay there for the night. Overnight stay in Goha hotel.
Day 9 (October 6): Drive to Bahir Dar
You will be driven to Bahir Dar (185 Km) right after breakfast. There you will check into a hotel and after a brief break, you will have lunch.
Then, you will drive to Lake Tana, take a boat ride where you will visit to the medieval period island monasteries (beautiful mural paintings, religious books & sacred) on Lake Tana such as: Kibran Gabriel (only for men), Entos and on the Zegien peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis. Overnight stay in Abay Minch Lodge, Bahir Dar.
Day 10 (October 7): Flight back to Addis Ababa and departure back to home
After a relaxed breakfast, a short flight will bring you back to Addis Ababa. You will arrive in Addis Ababa midday/early afternoon where you will do some shopping for souvenirs.
Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.