Significant Sites North

ZenAye Ethiopia Tours - culture and history - 6 days

picture description: ceiling paintings, Debre Berhan Selassie Church, Gondar, culture and history with ZenAye Ethiopia Tours, Swiss-African expert in tour operation / photo: Linetta Schneller
Gondar / photo: Linetta Schneller

The northern part of Ethiopia is home to ancient civilization, natural attractions and classic historical sites - the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, witness of ancient Christianity and a vital Orthodox Church, the ancient kingdom and civilization of Axum, the castle of Gondar and the famous ceiling paintings of Debre Berhan Selassie Church, the monasteries of Lake Tana with their treasures and last but not least the colourful farmland, rural villages and spectacular Simien Mountains.

Whatever you are looking for, history, archaeology, culture, religion, nature or adventure, you will find it here.

Come, see and explore the wonders!

Overview and main features

Code: CH 037.06
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Transportation: airplane /car
Accomodation: hotel
Focus of tour: classic historic and UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Lalibela with its mystic Rock-Hewn Churches
- ancient Axum and its archaeological sites
- monasteries and churches of Gondar and Lake Tana
- striking landscape of the northern Ethiopian highland
Price & details: please send your request to

Day 1

Addis Abeba and city tour

Welcome to Ethiopia, the land of natural and cultural diversity and home of ancient civilization!

Meet our representative of ZenAye Ethiopia Tours at Bole International Airport, be transferred to your hotel and then have a half-day city tour. Visit Entoto Mountains, which give you a very nice view over the capital, the church of St. Mary with its adjacent museum of imperial objects, the Ethnological Museum with its collections of various ethnic groups of the country and then the National Museum, which is the home of Lucy, our 3.18 million old ancestor, a fossil of a female Australopithecus afarensis. Then view also the largest open-air market in Africa at Merkato.

Day 2

Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches (World Heritage Site)

Early morning flight to Lalibela and transfer to your hotel. Lalibela, at 2,800 m altitude, the living heart of Ethiopia, witness of ancient Christianity and a vital Orthodox Church, a particularly mystic place surrounded by lovely mountains and a rural environment. This day is fully dedicated to visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, which were carved at the end of 12th and the beginning of the 13th century when the Ethiopian capital city was located in Roha, later renamed Lalibela. These churches were built to make a New Jerusalem in the heart of the Ethiopian highlands and are a genuine and extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site. All in all, it took 23 years to build those unique churches.

Day 3

Axum - classic archaeological site (WHS)

Early morning transfer to the airport and flight to Axum. It was the capital of Ethiopia from ancient times to the 9th century and is a World Heritage Site with a number of archaeological sites, such as the glorious stelae field, the tomb of King Kaleb, the ruins of Dongar Palace, Queen Sheba‘s swimming pool, trilingual stelae and much more. Our guests also visit the local historic museum and the church of St. Mary with the church museum. Dinner and overnight at your hotel after a day with many great archaeological sites worth seing and highlights of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4


Early morning transfer to airport and flight to Gondar, which was the capital of Ethiopia from the 17th to the 19th century and is sometimes called the Camelot of Africa. It is famous for its Royal Enclosure - the complex of six royal palaces of the kings. The largest palace was built by King Fasilidas in 1636. Tourists may also get the chance to visit the swimming pool of King Fasilidas, where the annual great feast of Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) is held on January 19th. Another big attraction of Gondar is the church of Debre Berhan Selassie (18th century) with its wonderful murals, famous wall paintings and its most greatly decorated ceiling.

Today you will get time to visit these treasures of Gondar but also time to have a refreshing coffee break in a street café or on a terrace in town with view over streets and busy daily life.

Enjoy the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi that is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 5

Gondar - Bahir Dar (180 km)

Early morning drive from Gondar to Bahir Dar. Beautiful scenery of farmland, hillls and mountains on the way. Time for stop-over to take pictures of this lovely countryside. Check-in at hotel. After lunch you will have a city tour with a panoramic view over the Blue Nile. In the evening dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6

Bahir Dar - boat trip on Lake Tana - Addis Abeba

After early breakfast enjoy a boat ride on Lake Tana, the largest lake of Ethiopia, with an excursion to the Ura Kidane Mehret church (17th century). Then take the mid-day flight to Addis Abeba.
Upon arrival at the metropolis get free time for some shopping at a local souvenir market or time to rest and have a coffee break.

In the evening ZenAye Ethiopia Tours will offer you an exquisite farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with Ethiopian dishes accompanied by a folkloristic programme of live music and dances from different ethnic groups of the country.
Finally you will be transferred to Bole International Airport for your departure or extended programme.

Further details and service

We are happy to answer any request you may have and give you further details on our treks and tour programmes.

We can of course also provide you with customized tours and tailor-made packages for groups and single travellers. We are glad to organize and schedule your personalized tour according to your individual needs and itinerary.

Our aim is to offer you top quality service in order to make your stay in Ethiopia unforgettable.
We are here for you, ready to take you to all the attractions!

Travel is our passion - quality is our mission!

ZenAye Ethiopia Tours - Here meet your expectations and ready to take you to all the attractions!