12 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

12 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

Start: Sao Paulo
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
Addis Ababa
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
2
Axum
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Lalibela
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  1​h 15​min
4
Gonder
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Bahir Dar
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 45​min
6
Arba Minch
— 1 night
Fly:  29​h
End: Sao Paulo

2
nights
Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa ©
A sprawling metropolis and home to millions of Ethiopians, Addis Ababa houses many international organizations, embassies, and commissions, making it a diplomatic, political, and economic hub of the country.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Adadi Mariam and Meskel Square. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Spas and Entoto Maryam Church. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Holy Trinity Cathedral, take in the dramatic natural features at Entoto Hill, examine the collection at National Museum of Ethiopia, and sample the tasty concoctions at St. George Brewery.

To see photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Addis Ababa road trip planning app .

Sao Paulo, Brazil to Addis Ababa is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time to Eastern African Time, which is usually a 6 hour difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Sao Paulo in December: high temperatures in Addis Ababa hover around 25°C and lows are around 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Axum.

Things to do in Addis Ababa

Museums Historic Sites Breweries & Distilleries
Highlights from your plan
Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum ©
Adadi Mariam ©
Adadi Mariam
Holy Trinity Cathedral ©
Holy Trinity Cathedral

1
night
Axum

Axum ©
Axum or Aksum is a city in the northern part of Ethiopia. On the 30th (Mon), pause for some serene contemplation at Arabtu Ensessa Church, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at New Church of St. Mary of Zion, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Northern Stelae Field, then explore the ancient world of Queen of Sheba Palace, and finally delve into the distant past at The Ruins of Aksum.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Axum day trip planner.

Fly from Addis Ababa to Axum in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Lalibela.

Things to do in Axum

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Northern Stelae Field ©
Northern Stelae Field
Queen of Sheba Palace ©
Queen of Sheba Palace
The Ruins of Aksum ©
The Ruins of Aksum

2
nights
Lalibela

Lalibela ©
Tourism in Lalibela, a small town nestled in Ethiopia's Lasta Mountains, prospers due to its fascinating cluster of rock-carved churches, dating back to the 12th century and boasting the status of a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): delve into the distant past at Tomb of Adam, delve into the distant past at Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Asheton Maryam Monastery, take in the exciting artwork at The Fine Art Gallery, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Bilbala St. George Rock Hewn Church, and finally don't miss a visit to Church of St. George.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Lalibela trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of flight and car from Axum to Lalibela in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to Gonder.

Things to do in Lalibela

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Tomb of Adam ©
Tomb of Adam
Bilbala St. George Rock Hewn Church ©
Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab ©
Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab

2
nights
Gonder

A former royal city, Gonder once served as the Ethiopian Empire's capital--it still boasts well-preserved remains of 17th-century castles and palaces that shed light on the opulent lifestyle of the bygone times.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Fasil Ghebbi, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and then make a trip to Falasha Village. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fasiladas Bath Timket, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Debre Berhan Selassie Church, then get some fabulous bargains at Ploughshare Women Crafts Training Centre, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Gonder trip planner .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Lalibela to Gonder in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. January in Gonder sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Bahir Dar.

Things to do in Gonder

Tours Outdoors Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Climbing Tours
Debre Berhan Selassie Church ©
Debre Berhan Selassie Church
Fasil Ghebbi ©
Fasil Ghebbi

1
night
Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar
Palm trees and tropical gardens line the spacious avenues of Bahar Dar, a town nestled on the southern shore of the vast, glistening Lake Tana.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): explore the activities along Lake Tana, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Azwa Mariam Monastery, and then explore the world behind art at Church of Debre Sina Maryam.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Bahir Dar trip planner .

You can drive from Gonder to Bahir Dar in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Gonder in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Bahir Dar, with lows of 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Arba Minch.

Things to do in Bahir Dar

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tana
Lake Tana
Church of Debre Sina Maryam ©
Church of Debre Sina Maryam
Azwa Mariam Monastery
Azwa Mariam Monastery

1
night
Arba Minch

Arba Minch ©
On the 5th (Sun), contemplate the waterfront views at Chamo Lake and then wander the streets of Dorze Village.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Arba Minch trip planner .

Getting from Bahir Dar to Arba Minch by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Bahir Dar in January, expect Arba Minch to be a bit warmer, temps between 36°C and 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Arba Minch

Nature Parks Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Chamo Lake ©
Chamo Lake
Dorze Village ©
Dorze Village

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