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Ethiopian Easter Festival with the Historic Route of Ethiopia & Simien Mountains 04.-16.Apr 2017

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  • Trip Type Cultural and Festival Tour
  • Tour Code GHET-F04
  • Private Journey
  • 13 Days - Apr 04.-16.Apr 2017
  • Join us on this trip of discover as we witness an ancient way celebrating Easter and explore the world of the ancient Ethiopians. Step back in time and celebrate Easter the way it has been performed centuries and centuries back. You will be amazed to witness how ancient historical traditions and unique African culture have been preserved in an incredible manner.

This tour takes you deep in to the land which used to be one of the greatest kingdoms of the world. In this fascinating land the past comes alive in the form of strange and beautiful monuments and ruins, built long centuries ago. Moreover, it is a past which began as the cradle of mankind. Marvel at the spectacular 2,000-year-old stele at Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela built more than 800 years ago, the castles of Gondar, the island monasteries of Lake Tana, the magnificent Simien Mountains, the less visited rock-hewn churches of Tigray, the Great Blue Nile Falls and last but not least the friendly and charming people.

Trip highlights

  • Celebration of Fasika  “Ethiopian Easter”
  • Experience Ethiopian Orthodox Christian doctrines and Traditions
  • Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Be amazed by a visit to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, “the living wonders of the world”
  • Enjoy the magnificent nature and endemic wild life of Simien Mountains
  • Mountains
  • Travel back in time to explore the ancient city of Axum the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • Discover the fairytale castles of Gondar
  • Take cruise on Lake Tana to visit the ancient Island monasteries
  • Site the source of the mighty river, the Blue Nile  &  Blue Nile falls
  • Discover  old walled city and the fourth holiest city of Islam
  • Visit the vibrant city of Addis Ababa, Africa’s Capital
  • Meet your ancestor LUCY at the National Museum in Addis Ababa
  • Test varied Ethiopian food and attend Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

ITINERARY:

Day 01: Arrive Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Kaleb Hotel. There will be a short drive to your hotel. If you arrive in the morning an optional city tour can be arranged.
Accommodation: Hotel-Addis Ababa.

Day 02: Addis Ababa- Bahirdar

In the morning, drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with a stopover at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho and Goha Tsion.
The Blue Nile Gorge is a majestic and enormous river gorge and it is one of the most captivating gorges in Africa. It has a magnificent, alluring physical feature and natural beauty.
Accommodation: Hotel-Bahirdar

Day 03: Lake Tana-Blue Nile Falls-Bahir Dar

In the morning, we will make boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana..
After having lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 KM to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.
Accommodation: Hotel-Bahirdar.

Day 04: Bahir Dar-Gondar

After breakfast, drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery to arrive at Gondar around lunchtime.
The rest of the day, you will have city tour of Gonder. Today you will visit the Royal Enclosure, and visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie church.
Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 05: Gondar-Simien Mountains

After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Simien mountains National park. En-route we will be visiting the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village. The rest of the day, trek to explore the surrounding of Snakaber, part of the Simien Mountains National Park.
Accommodation: Simien Lodge-Buit Ras.

Day 06: Simien Mountains National Park-Axum

After breakfast, start driving further north to Axum through the beautiful sceneries of Simien Mountains, Limalimo, Tekeze River Gorge.
Past the Tekeze River Gorge, whilst enjoying the beautiful Simien Mountains scenery from distance, you will have your picnic lunch under the shade of a tree and continue driving to Axum.
Accommodation: Hotel-Axum.

Day 07: Axum

After breakfast, we will start to visit the ancient city of Axum. Our visit in Axum include: the Stele Square, Kaleba Tombs, the 4th centaury Christian inscription of King Ezana, Queen of Sheba’s Palace, Archeological Museum, and Tsion Mariam Church where the original Ark of the Covenant is housed.
Accommodation: Hotel-Axum.

Day 08: Axum-Hauzien

In the morning, we will drive to Hauzien en-route visit some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including: Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-Atsbeha, Dugum Selassie and more.
Accommodation: Lodge-Hauzien

Day 09: Hauzien-Mekele

In the morning, drive to Mekele en-route visit some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including: Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-atsbeha, Dugum Selassie and so on.
Accommodation: Hotel-Mekele.

Day 10: Mekele-Lalibela

After breakfast, head to Lalibela through Sekota en-route you will visit Yimrhane Kirstos and different villages of the Agwe tribal people.
Accommodation: Hotel-Lalibela.

Day 11: Good Friday at Lalibela

After having an early breakfast, we will drive to the site where we find a concentration of some of Ethiopia’s most famous rock-hewn churches, mostly referred by many as “the living wonders of the world”
The rock-hewn churches that we will visit today include: Bete Medhani Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Golgotha Michael and Bete Giorgis. In the afternoon, witness the Good Friday ceremony at Bete Mariam rock-hewn church. This is a special day for Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and it is celebrated with a great devotion and in a very ancient way. On this day, the faithful who has been fasting the whole day without any water or food, dressed in their dazzling white cloths, folk to St. Mary’s church to attend the prayers and performance of the priest and deacons. It really creates a special feeling to witness the devotion of the faithful and the special practices made on this day remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ when he was crucified. Every performance of the priest and the deacons as well as the devotion of the people takes you centuries back.
Accommodation: Hotel-Lalibela.

Day 12: Lalibela-Asheten Mariam – Ethiopian Easter Eve at Lalibela

In the morning you will continue your journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous past with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches. The rock-hewn churches that you will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Mercorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos.
In the afternoon, you will visit one of the most colorful annual Easter Market at Lalibela. In the evening, you will witness one of the most important ceremonies of Easter in one of the biggest rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Bete Medhanialem. In the evening all the rock-hewn churches will be filled with people who have been fasting for 55 days. None of them have eaten anything at least for a day and half without any water and food. They are here to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and there will be prayers and candle light ceremonies accompanied by chanting and dancing of the priest until 3:00 in the morning. It’s only after the ceremony is over that everybody goes home to break the fasting with the special Easter meal and the feast which has begun at the church continues all day long and the weeks to come.
Accommodation: Hotel-Lalibela.

Day 13:Ethiopian  Easter Lalibela-Addis Ababa-Departure

After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your departure an optional city tour can be arranged.
In the evening, there will be Grand Holidays’ complimentary special Easter farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks. Flight schedule permitting). There will also be cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country. There will not be any better way of ending a trip. At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour!

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