Tours to Tigray Rock-hewn Churches.
Duration 8 days and 7 nights.
Means of transport, surface and flight.
Characteristics of the tour.
Tigray region is an open air museum with 120 rock-hewn ancient and medieval period churches.This program allows you to see the home of a quarter of the rock churches, some famous for their stone workmanship, ancient paintings and manuscripts, and others known for their magnificent view and difficult ascent.
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa Bole international airport meet our staff at exit – gate and assist to transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel of your choice.
Day 2: Early in the morning transfer to bole international airport and fly to Mekelle. Mekelle Town is a capital city for Tigray Region which developing and expanding from time to time. Here where we meet our ground transportation and be introduced with drives by escorting guide. The town is pleasant to walk and also explore the castle of Emperor Yohannes and visit the museum built for commemoration of those sacrificed their life during the struggle against the Revolutionary government. Overnight hotel.
Day 3: Drive to Degum-visit Wukro Cherqos and Abreha wa Atsbeha Today is beginning to explore the wonderful Tigray rock hewn churches starting from Abreha wa Atsbeha, is situated 15 kms west of Wukro, the finest church in Tigray, lies about halfway between Degum and Wukro on newly built gravel road leads to Hawzien via Degum. Afternoon visit Degum Selassie church. Overnight camping at Degum.
Day 4: Trek to Abune Abraham Debre Tsion and Yohannes Maequdi, Trek to Abune Abraham a couple of hours walk from Degum, the Abune Abraham Debre Tsion church which is elaborately decorated with 16th century murals. The church’s ceremonial fan dates back to the 15th century and consists of 34 parchment panels, each painted with a figure of a saint. Lunch in Degum, Afternoon trek to Yohannes Maequdi which is best known for its ancient and well-preserved paintings. Overnight camping at Dugem
Day 5: Drive and trek to Mariam Korker Mariam Korker is a rock church situated on one of the high mountains of Gheralta just overlooking the village of Megab, 8 kms south of Hawzien. An hour’s trek from the village brings you to the Mariam Korkor and the nearby smaller church of Daniel Korkor. A picnic lunch after a steep climb up. Time to enjoy the wonderful view across the Gherelta Plains. In the afternoon a gentle return to camp. Visit local village, a local grinding mill or may be join in coffee ceremony. Overnight Camping at Megab village or Gheralta lodge.
Day 6: Drive and Trek to Abune Yemata. Abune Yemata is 4 kms drive from Megab and a further 30 minutes’ walk will bring you to the foot of the perpendicular rock mountains of Guh. The scenery is breathtaking and the mountains resemble pillars reaching to the sky. The challenging and the only way to the church is footholds and handgrips in the rock face. Just before the entrance to the church there is a narrow ledge carved in the cliff from which one can view a sheer drop of approximately 250m to 300m. Picnic lunch at top, it worth and relaxing to ascend even if you can make to the church. Afternoon at leisure or visit the village and overnight or proceed to Hawzien. Overnight Gheralta Lodge.
Day 7: Drive back to Mekelle via Sinkata Morning after breakfast drive Sinkata – Mekelle, on the way about 30 minutes walk from Sinkata lies Adi Chewa visit Arbatu Insesa. It is a large church with several unusual features, most notably the deepest domed ceiling in any Tigray churches, and strange red and yellow stencil-like figures on thick columns. We also explore Medhane Alem Adi Kasho, regarded as one of the oldest and most impressive churches in Tigray for its size and impressive architecture. The interior has a cathedral-like atmosphere. Moreover, you can visit Petros and Paulos and Mikael Melehayezenghi. Overnight Axum hotel at Mekelle.
Day 8: Morning transfer to Mekelle airport Fly to Addis Ababa.
Transfer to airport fly back home.