Historic Lalibela Extension
|Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The 11 rock-hewn churches of Lalibela inspire the same breathtaking reaction as Machu Picchu or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, but you won’t have to battle the crowds to see them. Occupying huge pits in the earth, the churches look as if they’ve been dropped from the sky. It took around 40,000 workers to dig each pit, exposing enormous rocks that were then painstakingly chiseled to create the interior chambers and ornate religious sculptures of each church.
Why we love it:
- Step back in time for a few days in ancient Lalibela.
- Explore the medieval rock-hewn churches and hidden crypts and grottoes carved into the red volcanic rock underlying the town almost a millenia ago.
- The 11 rock-hewn churches of Lalibela inspire the same breathtaking reaction as Machu Picchu or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, but you won’t have to battle the crowds to see them.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Addis Ababa
Travel time: From Addis Ababa Airport to Hotel - Approximately 30 minutes
Meals included: 1 dinner
Accommodation: Solo Te Hotel or similar, Addis Ababa
- On arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Please ensure your flight arrives prior to 11.30am so that you can partake in the afternoon city tour.
- At 2pm, after checking into your hotel, you will be collected for your afternoon city tour.
- You will visit the National Museum, which consists of archeological collections from as early as Lucy (3.5 Million Years old) and other fossils of primates from earlier periods. This museum also includes archeological collections from the ancient civilization of Axum and other major sites in northern Ethiopia.
- Merkato is the biggest market in the east Africa and its bustling outdoor markets are very colorful reminders of more traditional way of life. Addis Ababa's cosy espresso bars and pastries are reminiscent of Rome and the Mediterranean world and the people, the bursts of music from the cafes and shops, the pungent aromas of spicy cooking, of coffee and frankincense, form a unique Ethiopian pastiche.
- This evening you will be treated to a meal at the well-known Habesha restaurant that serves national food and has traditional dancing. If you want to sample an authentic Ethiopian meal, this is the best restaurant to do it - serving different varieties meat dishes and vegetarian fasting food. There is also live music and traditional dancing every night.
Day 2-3: Lalibela
Travel time: Approximately 1.5 hours flying
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Lalibela or similar, Lalibela
- You will take an early morning flight from Addis Ababa to Lalibela, where you will stay for two nights. Lalibela is one of the world's greatest historical and religious sites in the Christian world. Between 1137 and 1270, several astounding rock-hewn churches were constructed in Lalibela. Whilst these churches are definitely Ethiopia’s top attraction, the town of Lalibela, which lies in the Lasta Mountains at a height of 2630 metres above sea level, is a very isolated place. Lalibela’s churches are astounding because most are not carved into the rocks, but actually freed entirely from them.
- Two afternoons are spent exploring the town churches. The Northern Group contains seven churches, a tomb, a chapel and a sunken chapel. At the centre of the group is Bet Medhane Alem, measuring 33.5 metres by 23.5 metres and said to be the largest rock-hewn church in the world. A tunnel connects three of the churches in a courtyard to the east, whilst another tunnel connects two other churches to the west of Bet Medhane Alem. However it is Bet Giyorgis (St George's), carved in the form of a Greek cross and lying slightly apart from the main northern cluster, which is the most famous and frequently photographed. This church is exceptionally well-preserved and is probably the most visually perfect. The Eastern group of five churches includes the only hypogeous church, where only the roof remains attached to the overhead rock.
- On the morning of Day 3, you will drive for 42 kilometres out of Lalibela to Yemrehanna Kristos - the most incredible church outside of Lalibela. According to local tradition the church was built by King Yemrehanna Kristos between 1087 and 1127, and it was built within a cave rather than excavated. It sits atop a foundation of olive wood panels and features whitewashed marble panel exteriors. It is one of the most incredible sights, but is rarely visited by tourists due to its remote location.
Day 4: Addis Ababa
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Solo Te Hotel or similar, Addis Ababa
- This morning will be at leisure to walk through the cobbled streets of Lalibela. Alternatively you may choose to take an optional morning mule ride to Ashetan Maryam Church, sitting atop a 3150 metre high mountain that overlooks Lalibela.
- An afternoon flight takes you back to Addis Ababa. Your tour will end on arrival at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport in the afternoon. If departing from Ethiopia today, your flight out of Addis Ababa should not be booked to depart before 7.30pm. Additional post tour accommodation is also available in Addis Ababa (at additional cost).
What to know
Extra accommodation can be pre-booked at additional cost.
Extend your holiday
Many of our trips have extensions which can easily be added to the end of your existing itinerary:
PFLT - Lost Tribes of Ethiopia
PFTS - Simien Mountain Trek
- An experienced, English-speaking local leader for sightseeing activities only
- Return airport transfers
- Return flight from Addis Ababa to Lalibela
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights
- Airport departure taxes
- Meals unless specified in the itinerary
- Personal items
- Daily budget
What to know
A good level of fitness and flexibility is required for this tour. Conditions and facilities can be basic in certain parts of Ethiopia.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.
Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders currently require a visa for Ethiopia. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. Tourist Visas may be granted for visits of up to one month, three months, or six months. The period of the visa begins on the date of issue, so please ensure the visa is valid from the date of issue until the final date of departure from Ethiopia. If you have visited Ethiopia in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on entry into Australia.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
Ethiopia & Eritrea - Lonely Planet The History of Ethiopia - Harold G Marcus. The Ethiopians - Richard Pankhurst The Sign and the Seal - Graham Hancock The Life of My Choice - Sir Wilfred Thesiger Ethiopia with a Mule - Dervla Murphy Ethiopia with Love - Thelma Tolstoy Sheba: through the desert in search of the legendary Queen - Nicholas Clapp The Pale Abyssinian - Miles Bredin When the Emperor Dies - Mason McCann Smith
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs per person) is essential - NO HARD CASE SUITCASES. Extra luggage can be stored at the hotel in Addis Ababa.
As return transfers are included, please ensure the correct details are provided to Peregrine prior to your departure. A representative will then meet you at Addis Ababa International Airport on arrival. Please ensure your arrival flight is booked to arrive prior to 11.30am so you do not miss the city tour of Addis Ababa.
Your tour ends on arrival back to Addis Ababa. Please ensure your flight out of Addis Ababa is not booked to depart before 7.30pm. Additional post tour accommodation and transfers are also available in Addis Ababa (at additional cost).
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
10 February 2014
General Contact Details
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