Flight - 1 night
Addis Ababa - 2 nights
Axum - 2 nights
Lalibela - 2 nights
Gondar - 2 nights
Bahar Dar - 2 nights
Flight - 1 night

Abyssinia and the Blue Nile

Explore Ethiopia's fascinating historical and religious sites combined with spectacular scenic contrasts

Nothing quite prepares the traveller to Ethiopia for the breathtaking beauty of the country, its remarkable ancient history and its sheer diversity of people.

A fiercely independent and highly idiosyncratic country, Ethiopia has never been successfully conquered or colonised and it boasted for a while the most powerful empire in Africa. Indeed, Ethiopia viewed itself as an empire until the second half of the 20th century when Emperor Haile Selassie claimed unbroken lineal descent from the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Christianity, introduced as early as the 4th century, took strong root and still functions as a socially cohesive force in the Christian areas.

Scenically, dramatic mountains and desert-like wilderness give way to Ethiopia’s largest lake, Tana, which feeds the Blue Nile. The Simien Mountains National Park is one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges, the landscape has been created by much erosion over the years and offers rugged terrain, deep valleys, a massive plateau, tall jagged mountain peaks and rare animals.

Key Features

Cultural & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
4 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Solo Group Departure
No Single Supplement
Local Guide Throughout

Day 1 Fly overnight from Heathrow direct to Addis Ababa.

Day 2 Two nights at the Hilton Addis Ababa Hotel. City tour with Trinity Cathedral and Ethnological Museum.

Day 3 Full-day tour to the UNESCO Tiya Stelae archaeological site and Melka Kunture Palaeolithic site. (B)

Day 4 Fly to Axum, famous for its mysterious monolithic stelae. A tour of Axum’s major sites includes the Church of St. Mary of Zion (men only), the holiest sanctuary in Ethiopia, said to contain the Ark of the Covenant and Sheba’s Palace. Two nights at the Consolar Hotel or Hotel Sabean. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Visit the 8th-century Yeha Temple and continue the tour of Axum. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Fly to Lalibela (2,400 metres) for two nights at the Roha Hotel. The churches are divided into two groups with the first group visited today. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Visit the second group of churches. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Fly to Gondar and stay two nights at the Hotel Goha. Afternoon visit to the painted church of Debre Birhan Selassie. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Enjoy a scenic walk (up to 2 hours) with views of the Simien Mountains National Park, in search of the gelada baboon, colobus monkey and highland birds. Afternoon visit to Gondar’s castles, Bath of Fasiledes and Qusquam abbey. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Drive to the viewpoint near Haile Selassie’s palace for commanding views of Lake Tana, the Blue Nile and Bahar Dar city. Two nights at the Blue Nile Resort Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Morning visit to the Blue Nile Falls at Tissisat. Afternoon boat trip to Azwa Mariam monastery with frescoes. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Return to Addis Ababa by air (day use room available) before the overnight flight. (B)

Day 13 Early morning departure to London Heathrow, arriving later the same day.

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


This is a full itinerary with visits on foot which include some uneven surfaces and inclines.

This tour will be travelling at altitude. We therefore strongly recommend that anyone, regardless of age, should consult their doctor to ensure that they are fully fit and understand the effects of travelling at altitude. This is absolutely essential if you have any pre-existing heart conditions, anaemia or lung problems.

Travel & Accommodation

Hotels in Ethiopia are often scenically located with a standard of rooms, public areas and food that while adequate and clean, is low by international standards with intermittent water supplies and some worn furnishings. Whilst certain churches and monasteries in Ethiopia are closed to women, on this itinerary this only applies to the 'old' St. Mary of Zion church in Axum. Roads and internal air travel are good, although airport security is tight and can be time consuming. Internal flight schedules may be subject to change. Terrain for walking can be very rough, care should be taken and appropriate footwear worn. On occasion, alternative hotels may be substituted.


per person in a twin/double room
Ethiopian Airlines from Heathrow

Date Price
October 28 £3345
December 2 £3245


per person in a twin/double room
Ethiopian Airlines from Heathrow

Date Price
January 13 £3295
February 17 £3345
March 10 £3345
May 12 £3295
September 29 £3345
October 27 £3345
November 17 £3245
Solo Group Departure

12 May 2023

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Solo Group Departures
(No Single Supplement)
2023: May 12

Single supplement £395

Flight Options

London/Addis Ababa/London
Ethiopian Airlines from Manchester – nil

Ethiopian Airlines Business Class from £1675

Extension Options

Extra nights – Addis Ababa
Hilton Addis Ababa 
(per night) £95
Single supplement £85 

Extension - Rift Valley Lakes
4 nights £745
Single supplement £125

Sudan Extension
Combine Ethiopia with our Sudan tour ‘Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs’.
Featuring an extra night in Addis Ababa before flying to Khartoum for a pre-tour night at the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel in Khartoum.
Available on these dates:
2022: Sep 30 & Oct 28
2023: Feb 17, Mar 10 & Sep 29

Privately Guided

Add £1395 per person

Independent Arrival

Save £350 
Arrival or departure transfer add £15

Price Includes
AAir travel, UK departure taxes, transfers, 10 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 8 lunches & 8 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, overseas airport taxes, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Abyssinia & the Blue Nile

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