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Classical Route Surface

  • Tour code
    CRS
     
    Tour categories
    • Birds Birds
    • Historic Historic
    • Nature Nature
    • Surface Surface
    • UNESCO UNESCO
    • Wildlife Wildlife
     
    Duration
    11 Nights / 12 days
     
    Highlights
    • Addis Ababa – where the flowers always bloom

    • Bahir Dar – the source of the Blue Nile

    • Gondar – the Camelot of Africa with its fascinating 17th century Castles

    • Axum – the first capital of Ethiopia and the oldest of Africa where the famous stelae are found

    • Lalibela – home of rock hewn churches, the second holy city for the Christians after Jerusalem.

     
    Tour brochure
     
    • Day 1
      Locations Arrival Addis
      Overnight Nexus Hotel or similar

      After lunch visit the 17th century castles of Gondar. Of all the castles, the one attributed to king Fasiledes is the biggest and the most attractive. Just next to it is the castle of emperor Iyasu, the greatest of all the Gonderian kings. His castle was even more ornamented than that of his grandfather’s. After visiting the imperial enclosure, we will continue to the open air bath of Fasiledes, the colorful church of Debre Birhan Silassie and to the Quskuam complex.

    • Day 2
      Locations Debre Markos
      Overnight Gozamel hotel

      After breakfast, drive from Gondar to debark with a stop at Weleka village to visit the village of the Bete Israelis (Ethiopian Jews or felashas) and enjoying the scenery at Kosoye. At Debark finalize the entry requirements and continue to the Semien Mountains National Park to enjoy some walking and the scenery. Also enjoy the endemic Gelada Baboons and different species of birds. Then before you reached at Sankaber we will have walking for about an hour for acclimatize.

    • Day 3
      Locations Debre Markos – Bahir Dar
      Overnight Jacaranda

      After breakfast drive to Axum through the scenic land of Limalimo and Tekeze lowlands. This is a marvelous drive as you will be passing through an interesting landscape changing every half an hour.

    • Day 4
      Locations Bahir Dar - Gondar
      Overnight Taye Hotel

      Once the center of a far-reaching empire From around 200 BC to 950 AD, Axum was the seat of an Empire which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet and notational system, constructed great engineering works and dams and which was reckoned in the 4th century to be one of the four great powers of the ancient world. Axum is known for its extraordinary stelae and for the Mariam Tsion church, said to be the house of the original Ark of the Covenant. You will have a city tour of Axum, including St. Mariam church, Inscriptions, the stelae of Axum, tombs Of Kaleb and his son Gebre -Maskal and the Maishum (the bath of the Queen of Sheba). The tours begin with a visit to the museum and stelae, and then ascend a hill to see the tomb of King Kalab.  Coming back into town we will see the tomb of King Bazen, and probably break here for lunch.  After lunch we will visit the small museum inside the grounds of Mariam Tsion church, and end the day with a visit to the site known locally as Queen Sheba’s Palace, although in fact it is of a later date, the villa of an Axumite notable from around the 1st century AD.

    • Day 5
      Locations Gondar - Sankaber
      Overnight Semien Lodge

      After breakfast, drive from Gondar to debark with a stop at Weleka village to visit the village of the Bete Israelis (Ethiopian Jews or felashas) and enjoying the scenery at Kosoye. At Debark finalize the entry requirements and continue to the Semien Mountains National Park to enjoy some walking and the scenery. Also enjoy the endemic Gelada Baboons and different species of birds. Then before you reached at Sankaber we will have walking for about an hour for acclimatize.

    • Day 6
      Locations Sankaber - Axum
      Overnight Yared Zema hotel

      After breakfast drive to Axum through the scenic land of Limalimo and Tekeze lowlands. This is a marvelous drive as you will be passing through an interesting landscape changing every half an hour.

    • Day 7
      Locations Axum
      Overnight Yared Zema hotel or similar

      Once the center of a far-reaching empire From around 200 BC to 950 AD, Axum was the seat of an Empire which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet and notational system, constructed great engineering works and dams and which was reckoned in the 4th century to be one of the four great powers of the ancient world. Axum is known for its extraordinary stelae and for the Mariam Tsion church, said to be the house of the original Ark of the Covenant. You will have a city tour of Axum, including St. Mariam church, Inscriptions, the stelae of Axum, tombs Of Kaleb and his son Gebre -Maskal and the Maishum (the bath of the Queen of Sheba). The tours begin with a visit to the museum and stelae, and then ascend a hill to see the tomb of King Kalab.  Coming back into town we will see the tomb of King Bazen, and probably break here for lunch.  After lunch we will visit the small museum inside the grounds of Mariam Tsion church, and end the day with a visit to the site known locally as Queen Sheba’s Palace, although in fact it is of a later date, the villa of an Axumite notable from around the 1st century AD.

    • Day 8
      Locations Axum - Mekele
      Overnight Axum Hotel or similar

      Start today’s adventure, after breakfast, by driving from Axum to Mekele with a stop at Yeha to visit the 5th century BC Moon Temple and adjacent to it the 6th century Church of Aba Aftse. Continue drive to reach and visit the 4th century NC Wukro Cherkos church and then a brief stop at Negash Mosque – the first settlement of Muslims in Ethiopia.

    • Day 9
      Locations Mekele
      Overnight Panoramic View Hotel

      In the morning after breakfast we will drive to Lalibela. Drive through the same route that we used to come to Mekelle from Kombolcha until the Lalibela junction passing the town of Alamata. After only 20 kilo meters drive from Alamata, we will turn right to the road connecting Woldia to Bahir Dar and Gonder. Continue driving until the small town of Gashena where we again turn to the right. It will be a scenic drive through small highland villages surrounded by eucalyptus trees .You will definitely enjoy the striking view and drive from and on the Lasta Mountains.

    • Day 10
      Locations Lalibela
      Overnight Panoramic View Hotel

      At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries King Lalibela of the Zagewe Dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches – the New Jerusalem as he called it – now rightly acknowledged to be one of the wonders of the world. There are 11churches in the town named after him, with others in the surrounding countryside. All are still in use today.

      After breakfast, we will start our tour of the first group of churches in town and continuing the tour in the afternoon. The first group of six churches lie in rock cradles one behind the other: Bete Golgotha, Bete Michael, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Danaghel and Bete Medhane Alem. Bete Medhane Alem, the largest one is built like a Greek Temple. In a corner are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Bete Mariam is believed to be the first work of the king which is the only church to have different kinds of biblical paintings inside it. It was where the king used to pray and still beloved by many people. Continue visiting the rest of churches in the first group. After lunch it will be a trekking to Asheton Mariam, a rock hewn church built by king Na’kuto la’ab on the top of nearly 4000 meters mountain overlooking Lalibela. The ascend to the church is very rewarding and full of scenery.

      After lunch we will start our visit of the second and third group of churches. . The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bete Emanuel, Bete Mercuiros, Bete Abba Libanos and Bete Gabriel-Rufa'el. Bete Emanuel's elaborate exterior is much praised by art historians. After visiting the second group of churches it will be a visit to the third and the last group of church, bete Giyorgis. Bete Giyorgis possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel.

    • Day 11
      Locations Lalibela - Kombolcha
      Overnight Sunny side Hotel or similar

      After breakfast, we will leave Lalibela for Dessie through enjoying the spectacular views of the Lasta and Wollo mountains. The major town before Lalibela is Weldia, which is attractive during its market days of Tuesday and Saturday. Continue driving passing the town of Hayk, where the 12th C monastery of Hayk Istifanos and a beautiful crater lake are found and after some minutes of driving, arrive the historic Dessie town. Believed to be established by Emperor Yohannes IV, the town serves as the capital of the Wolo under Ras Mikael in the last decades of the 19th C. The 19th C emperor of Ethiopia, Tewodros II, who had a great ambition of creating a unified Ethiopia, took his own life, not to be captured alive by the British, on the nearby hills of Mekdella. Arrival and check into your hotel.

    • Day 12
      Locations Kombolch - Adis Ababa
      Overnight

      Drive from Dessie to Addis crossing the Tarma Ber tunnel and viewing the Rift valley downwards on the way it will be on Sunday and you will spend some time in Senbete Market it is colorful and interesting market. In the evening, you will be taken to a traditional restaurant to be invited to an Ethiopian dinner with folkloric dances and coffee ceremony.DEPARTURE

  • Optional extension of our standard tours where you get to....

  • Photos featuring various places and events along this specific tour.

  • The following are our fixed departure dates.

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    • Services included in the prices

      • Hotel accommodation sharing twin room as mentioned on the itineraries, Single room supplements are also mentioned separately
      • All hotel reservations
      • Meals – breakfast only while using hotel but full board during camping, with non-alcoholic drinks
      • Camping in the Omo valley with all tents, mattresses and cooking utensils for camping
      • All ground transportation (4 x 4 Toyota Land Cruisers or Nissan Patrols or minibuses) with all fuel, insurance and driver costs
      • All transfers and visits everywhere according to the itinerary
      • Boat trip on Lake Tana or Lake Chamo as per the itinerary
      • Mule trip in Lalibela
      • All entrance fees at museums, churches, castles, archeological sites, parks and villages.
      • Professional Guide accompanying everywhere for more than six and above travelers in a group. For less than six travelers, an English speaking driver guide or local guides at the spots will be provided.
      • A professional cook with his delicious food for more than six and above travelers in a group. For less than six travelers, the driver will be cooking while camping
      • Scouts in National Parks and villages
      • A city tour of Addis as mentioned in the itineraries
      • All types of government taxes

      Services not included in the prices

      • Lunch and dinner meals except camping days
      • International and Domestic flights
      • Travel insurance
      • Alcoholic drinks and drinks off-meal time
      • Tips
      • Other expenses of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
      • All what is not included in the list above

      Period of Validity

      From 1 January 2015 to April 2016

      Departure Dates

      Please see the dates of departures for each tours next to the trips.

      Group Members

      The members of the groups will be organized from different parts of the world, mainly from Europe. The minimum number of travelers in a group will be two, the maximum will be 12.

      Itineraries

      Different itineraries are briefly illustrated for numerous regular departure trips. However, we would be very happy to modify them or create more personalized tours. Fully customized trips can also be designed to suit specific requests. Extension trips can be also be arranged upon written request. But extensions to be included at the middle of the trip are subject to availability. It is also possible to combine the Classical Route and the Omo Valley tours as per your request.

      Types of Vehicles – We provide 4 x 4 Toyota Land Cruisers or Nissan Patrols (in order to assure our clients’ comfort the group size per one Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol is 4 passengers only) for the Omo Valley, and different types of minibuses to other parts of the country according to the number of people in the group and the specific places to be visited.

      International Flights

      Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Turkish Airways, Kenyan Airways, Yemenia Airways, Djibouti Airways, Emirates, Egypt Air and Sudan Airways fly from different cities to Addis and back. Clients are advised to book their international flights in their place of origin and need to advise Paradise Ethiopia Travel of the details to ensure ease of transfer to their hotel. We strongly recommend the use of Ethiopian Airlines which has an excellent network connecting Addis Ababa with many international destinations in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Ethiopian Airlines also has the most frequent flights in and out of Addis.

      Domestic Flights

      All domestic flights will be handled by Ethiopian Airlines. Domestic flight costs attract a discount when booked in conjunction with their international flights.

      Hotels

      We use hotels that are among the very best in the country for each itinerary, subject to availability at the time of booking. However, generally speaking, the hotel industry in Ethiopia is in its stage of infancy. One needs to expect late cancellations, problems in the bathrooms (such as water taps, toilet flush etc. might not work), lack of electric power or water, etc. The hotels mentioned in the programs may vary due to availability.

      Meals

      Meals will be served in hotels and selected restaurants according to the itinerary.

      Guiding

      Our guide services are provided by our professional and experienced tour guides in English. However, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian and Arabic speaking guides can be assigned upon request for an additional payment, provided the majority of the group speaks that language. Usually a professional guide for the whole trip will be assigned for a group of more than six and above travelers in a group. For less than six travelers, an English speaking driver guide or local guides on the spot will be provided as per the itinerary.

      Bookings

      Contracts and agreements are valid from the time that Paradise Ethiopia Travel confirms the booking by fax, e-mail, letter or telephone. At the time of confirmation, a deposit of 25% of the total cost is required. The outstanding amount must be paid 30 days before the commencement of the tour. Unless prior arrangements have been made, Paradise Ethiopia Travel is not indebted to conduct the tour if complete payment has not been received.

      Cancellations

      Cancellations of confirmed bookings received more than 30 days prior to departure are subject to a cancellation fee of 50 Euros per person. Cancellation received between 30 and 15 days prior to departure will be subject to a penalty of 50% of the total rate of the tour. Cancellations received less than 15 days prior to departure will be subject to relinquishment of the entire tour rate. Paradise Ethiopia Travel strongly recommends trip cancellation insurance.

      Payment

      All payments must be made by a bank transfer to Paradise Ethiopia Travel’s account in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The bank details will be provided by email or fax upon confirmation of the tour.

      Responsibility and Liability

      Only the laws of Ethiopia govern Paradise Ethiopia Travel’s liability to passengers transported in its own vehicles, and all claims are subject to the jurisdiction of the Ethiopian court in which the cause of action arises. Although every possible care is taken to safeguard you and your property, Paradise Ethiopia Travel accepts no liability for loss or damage of any personal effects. Paradise Ethiopia Travel will use its best efforts to assist as an agent to its clients in dealing with third parties such as hotels, airlines and other transport companies and travel agents. However, Paradise Ethiopia Travel cannot be held responsible for any loss or harm, such as sickness, injury, death, acts of God, or additional costs incurred due to denied boarding, overbooking, cancellation or delay caused by the third party.