Although date of churches creation is speculated to be around 12th to 13th century, it has been widely attributed to King Lalibela 24 years' project, at the time when city was called Roha. The legend says the King was born surrounded by the bees, and it became the sign of his future reign. The name also relates to this event – Lalibela origin in ancient Amharic means “The one who eats honey”.
Its only in 1950s when the first road to Lalibela was finally constructed and so the former dwellings started being replaced with houses and corrugated iron sheet roofs. Until then it took forty to fifty hours on mule to reach the city.
With 8 rock hewn churches and 2 rock hewn palaces Lalibela contains a number of courts, tunnels, pools and was significant achievement of architecture of its times. City quickly became political and religious center, putting Aksum, capitol city on secondary position. Moreover, due to its remote location it is only Lalibela who survived religious wars ravaging Ethiopia over centuries, other places including Aksum were completely destroyed. No wonder the presence of churches is considered as holy protection to the northern Abyssinian plateaus.
Our plan is to visit this soaked with history UNESCO site but also spend some time outside to stretch the legs. We ll take the opportunity of Easter celebration which makes Lalibela a vibrant place and observe very unique celebrations.
DAY 1 / Friday
Meeting at Dubai Terminal 3 for a flight to Addis and connecting flight to Lalibela. Check in to our comfy lodge, lunch and move to main churches complex for afternoon visit.
DAY 2 / Saturday
Early wakeup call and drive to one spooky location - church built within basaltic cave, that contains skeletons remaining of over 500 pilgrims. In the afternoon hike to Ashetom Maryam - a church hidden on a cliff with spectacular 360 degree view of the city and the sunset.
In the evening dinner with local dance performers.
DAY 3 / Sunday
Spend a day discovering 3 church complexes: the most famous group of Geroge, Royal and Ecclesiastical. Beside churches, we will also go to market today and visit the township.
DAY 4 / Monday
Souvenir shopping and drive to airport for domestic flight to Addis. Express PCR test and short sightseeing of Addis, if time allows. In the evening flight back to Dubai.
Level: Easy- two short but steep in places hikes. Available for beginners.
Activities: trekking, sightseeing, getting amazed with unique Ethiopian culture.
Accommodation & meals - all included: comfortable traditional lodge (sharing rooms), local foods.
Approx. cost: 4310 AED all inclusive of flights. All expenses related to visas, PCR, entrance fees are not included in trip budget.
Entrance fees / tips: Entrance fee to churches at approx. 100 USD are excluded and so are photography tips.
Visa: Evisa or visa on arrival.
PCR: 72 hrs PCr test is required to enter Ethiopia. Return test is incorporated in trip program, cost excluded.
See yah in Lalibela!
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Dubai International Terminal 3, Al Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates