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Lalibela and the Rock Hewn Churches Tour — 3 Days

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  • Trip Type Cultural Tour
  • Tour Code GHET-WE6
  • Private Journey
  • 3 Days
  • This cultural tour takes you to one of the world's most incredible man-made creations, commonly referred by many as the “living wonders of the world” These remarkable edifices were carved out of solid rock, in a region where the rugged landscape still protects the churches from mass tourism.

This cultural tour takes you to one of the world's most incredible manmade creations, commonly referred by many as one of the “living wonders of the world”. These 11 remarkable edifices were carved out of solid rock, in a region where the rugged landscape still protects the churches from mass tourism. 

If you just have only a couple of days and you have to choose one tour, this UNESCO's World Heritage Site excursion is truly a must-see.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, one of “the living wonders of the world" and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Be carried away by the magnificent carved architecture.
  • See the amazing fresco paintings
  • Visit the vibrant city of Addis Ababa.
  • Try various Ethiopian foods.
  • Attend an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

Itinerary

Day 1: Addis Ababa, Lalibela

Early in the morning, transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for the flight to Lalibela. After checking into Mount View Hotel, drive to the site where you will  find a concentration of some of Ethiopia’s most famous rock-hewn churches, often referred to as one of “the living wonders of the world”. These churches are, and they have been for at least 800 years, an active Christian shrine, the spiritual center of the country’s  religious life. The monolithic churches were carved out of a 2,600-square-meter natural rock terrace in the 12th century AD by King Lalibela.

Bete Medhani Alem, the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world, measures 37.7 ft. in height, covers an area of almost 2625 square ft., and has walls that are up to 6 feet thick. A plain building supported by 36 pillars on the inside and another 36 pillars around the  outside, Bete Medhani Alem was modeled on the original St. Mary Zion Church built by King Ezana in the 4th century at Axum.
 
The rock-hewn churches that you will visit today include Bete Medhani Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Golgotha Michael, and Bete Giorgis.

Accommodation: Mount View Hotel, Lalibela (Meals: L, D)

Day 2: Asheten Mariam, Lalibela

In the morning, trek to the top  of Asheten Mariam Monastery, famous for its 12-century monastery church and beautiful view at 10,298 ft above sea level. We will walk/mule ride through dramatic highland scenery that eventually ends in a beautiful, serene agricultural hamlet.

After lunch and rest at the hotel, you will continue your journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous history with a visit to other of Lalibela’s remarkable churches. Their architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed! After visiting the second group of churches, we will walk to the village through the complex, bewildering labyrinth of underground tunnels of the monastery where the monks and nuns live.
 
The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include Bete Gebriel, Bete Mercorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem, and Bete Aba Libanos.
 
Accommodation: Mount View Hotel, Lalibela (Meals: B, L, D)


Day 3:  Lalibela, Addis Ababa

After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. (Meals: B)

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