Day 1- International flight to Addis Ababa and continue by domestic flight to Mekele. If arrival time in Addis Ababa is in the morning, our staff will welcome you at the airport and you will proceed to a short city tour of Addis Ababa before flying to Mekele.
O/N- Hotel in Mekele.
Day 2- Drive Mekele – Hamede Ela
After breakfast drive to Hamedela via Berhale town, which is considered as the beginning of Danakil depression. Berhale is also a stop over town for the eye catching camel caravans that proceed to and from Danakil.
Danakil depression is spectacular and full of eye-catching colors. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters below sea level.
O/N-camping under the spectacular stars.
Day 3- Drive Hamd Ela – Dodom
Shortly after early breakfast, drive to Dodom, to the base of Erta Ale. The 80 km distance may take about 5 hours passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered in this desert land, before reaching Dodom. You will hike from Dodom to Erta Ale which takes about 3 hours. You spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most appealing natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain. Start the hike soon after dinner around 7:30 PM. After 3 hours hike, you will walk close to the Lava Lake for a good view with instructor.
O/N- Camping at Erta Ale.
Day 4- Erta Ale – Abaala
Start Hiking back around 5:00 AM in the morning to Dodom. After Breakfast drive to reach the mythical Lake Giulietti (or Lake Afrera), a salt water lake located more than 100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest Depressions of the planet. Because of the picturesque landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake, continue to Erbiti and proceed Abaala/ Hamed ela.
Overnight in Abaala in a house with mattresses & sleeping bag on the floor.
Day 5- Hamed Ela – Mekele
Morning driving tour to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the different landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol, Lake Assal and camel caravans. Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele.
O/N- Hotel in Mekele
Day 6- Drive from Mekele to Gheralta churches (120KM).
Today you will drive to Gheralta area to visit Tigray rock hewn churches, the first stop will be the church of Abreha We Atsbeha known for its beautiful Architecture & paintings. In the afternoon visit Medhane Alem Kesho Church, is one of Tigray's older and more beautiful churches. A four-wheel-drive track takes you within a very doable 30 minutes’ walk from the church. Inside, the church has a beautiful carved ceiling.
Day 7-visit Abuna yemata Guh, Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor churches (Hiking & climbing).
After early Morning breakfast you will visit three churches; Abuna Yemata Guh; Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. All of which are very different in style and spectacularly beautiful in their own way.
To visit Abuna Yemata Guh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turn into a climb using foot holds and hand holds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left hand side.
To visit Mariam Korkor Church Hike for 3 hours round trip, enjoying the spectacular mountain scenery. Daniel Korkor is located in 20 Minutes from Mariam korkor passing via the narrow edge of the side of the mountain.
Day 8-Drive from Gheralta area to Axum and city tour of Axum (180KM)
Drive from Gheralta to Axum via Adwa and Adigrat. Stop at the remarkable pre-Axumite civilization known as yeha. After arrival check in to your hotel explore Axum.
Axum was the seat of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum and is the center of Christianity in Ethiopia. After lunch start to visit the Steal Park, the Archeological museum, St. Mary’s Church- the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, ruins of Queen Sheba’s Palace and King Kaleb’s Tomb.
O/N- Hotel in Axum
Day 9-Fly to Lalibela and visit the rock hewn churches of Lalibela
You visit the first cluster of the rock-hewn church before lunch and the second cluster in the afternoon. These churches are cut from solid rock, some are “fully monolithic churches” and some are Semi monolithic. The most famous church is Bête Giorgis, named after a patron saint of Ethiopia, carved in the form of a Greek cross. It is exceptionally well preserved and the most stunning of all churches.
O/N- Hotel in Lalibela
Day 10- Fly to Addis Ababa and city tour.
Drive to the National Museum which houses some of Ethiopia’s Historic treasures, were the oldest hominid ever found in the world is kept, known as Lucy or Dinkinesh continue to the Ethnographic Museum and the Holy Trinity Church which is the main cathedral and the resting place to the remains of Emperor Haile Selassie. After lunch proceed to the largest open market in Africa, Merkato and then to Entoto. Palace of Menelik-II, the founder of Addis Ababa is located on Entoto Mountain, and offers magnificent views of the surrounding eucalyptus forest and Addis Ababa below.
After a fare well dinner fly back home.