• Best of Ethiopia
    Best of Ethiopia

Authentic's Best of Ethiopia

Enjoy the extremes and diverse attractions of Historic Route, Simien Park, and Denakil Depression in this16 days Flight & overland experience.

Travel to Ethiopia and discover a beautiful country, barely touched by modern society. It’s an incredible combination of history, tradition, culture and nature. From 3 million-year-old fossilised hominid remains in Addis Ababa to the amazing rock-hewn churches, hidden crypts and grottoes in Lalibela, this trip take you deep into human history.

The 500-year-old monastery islands of Bahir Dar, the elegant castles of Gondar, the majestic geological formations of the Simien mountains, the giant obelisks that rise out of Axum, and even the rumoured home of the Ark of the Covenant. This 13 day trip travels through the north of the country, taking in views of the Blue Nile and trekking to the peaks of the Simien Mountains (meeting red-chested Gelada baboons). You’ll be sure to taste the country’s famous coffee and delectable cuisine, and meet the genuine and friendly people along the way. This is an adventure like no other.

This tour is 100% Customizeable

To your utmost satisfaction, all of our tours are highly customizable and can be combined with any tour types.

Flexibility

You will experience high flexibility of our services and price quotation to hit your utmost satisfaction.

Our Value for Money Promise

We respect and appreciate your decision to book with us, and we understand that your travel budget is valuable.

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Itinerary

Day 1

Bahir Dar

We will start our journey today with a drive to the small town of Debre Markos. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side! Late in the afternoon, arrive in Bahir Dar. O/N. Hotel

Day 2

Blue Nile Falls

Onboard your boat to visit the famous old monastery of Kibran Gebriel and then the beautiful historical church of Ura Kidanemeheret for its beautiful wall paintings. Cruise back to Bahir Dar and spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile. After having lunch, drive to Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to take optional visits to some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo Bridge'. O/N. Hotel

Day 3

Drive to Lalibela

Today we will drive to the ideological village of Awra Amba. Run by the infamous Zumra Nuru the village operates with the belief that everyone is equal and should have a say in how their home is run.  We will take a tour of the village and camp on the outskirts.  Keep driving through the beautiful scenery of central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.   O/N Hotel

Day 4

Exploring the Rock Churches of Lalibela

On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of the world-famous 13th-century rock churches of Lalibela. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within. O/N Hotel

Day 5

Asheten Mariam Monastery & Drive To Yemerehane Kirstos Church

On the second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace. O/N Hotel

Day 6

Lalibela to Mekele

Leaving Lalibela behind us, we have a full day drive through increasingly mountainous scenery to reach the town of Mekele. O/N Hotel

Day 7

Drive to Dalol

After breakfast meet your 4 x 4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind and is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt mine or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression.

Day 8

Danakil Depression

On the second day we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectacular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats. This is an extremely intense environment and a very adventurous three days, certainly a once in a lifetime experience. However, if you feel like your personal fitness cannot withstand this pressure then there is a chance this may not be the trip for you.

Day 9

Drive to Adigrat

We leave Dalol for the drive to Adigrat.  On the way, we’ll visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church), then continue through the increasingly breathtaking mountain scenery of Gheralta/the surrounding landscape.  Late in the afternoon, you’ll be in Adigrat.

Day 10

Axum

Leave Adigrat behind for the drive to Axum. On your way, you’ll visit the 5th BC Pre-Christian Temple of Yeha. Keep driving to Axum. Half-day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to make optional visits to other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. O/N. Hotel

Day 11

Simien Park

Leaving Axum behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the small village of Debark. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!  Debark is the gateway to the Simien Mountains NP, and on arrival we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options that we will have during our excursion starting the following day.

Day 12 -14

Simien Mountain Trekking

Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains NP. The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views! The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot Lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves. We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains NP. On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking. Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather. Please also note that the camping areas in the NP are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the NP are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! You will need to bring a suitable sleeping bag and mat with you from home to ensure you are ready for this environment.

Day 15

Drive to Gonder

Today we head back out to the mountains to Debark, and then finally join the tarmac road again to reach the ancient royal city of Gondar!   Make half-day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church.   O/N.  Hotel

Day 16

Departure

Fly back to Addis Abeba.