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The Oldest Rock-hewn churches of Tigray

Abune yemata Guh

Package detail

Tour name:The oldest Rock-hewn churches of Tigray
Duration: 7 days/ 6 nights
Tour code:AT023
mode of transportation: flight and drive

Tour Highlight

This program combines to visit the oldest rock-hewn churches of Tigray, which is divided into four different clusters: Teka Tesfa Cluster, Astibe Cluster, Gheralta Cluster and Tembien cluster. Some of the churches can be visited as a day trip from Mekelle.

Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa
Day 2: Fly to Mekelle
Day 3: Drive to Geraltha
Day 4: Daytrip to Abune Yemata Guh
Day 5: Drive to Wukro
Day 6: Drive to Mekelle
Day 7: Fly back to Addis Ababa


Tour Detail

Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa Bole international airport; meet your guide at the airport then transfer to the hotel for check-in followed by city tour (optional based on your choice). Overnight hotel

Day 2: Fly to Mekelle

Morning flight to Mekelle; the regional capital of Tigray National region then drive to Adigrat (125km) on the way you will visit the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray. Wukero Cherkos, it lies about 56 km from Mekelle, it is one of the rock hewn churches of Tigray region. Medehane Alem Adi Kasho, it is the finest rock-hewn church in Teka Tesfa cluster by its size and complex architecture. The interior has a cathedral like atmosphere, and the magnificent roof is dense with patterned etchings. Petros and Paulos rock church and Mikel Melehayzenghi. It lies between Medehane Alem Adi Kasho and Petros and Paulos, it is very different from other rock-hewn churches of Tigray Mikel Melehayzenghi is entered via a low doorway, which gives way to a surprisingly large interior with a finely carved dome almost 3m in height. Overnight Lodge

Day 3: Drive to Geralhta

After having breakfast; drive 70km to visit the Gheralta cluster of churches which includes Debre Mariam Korkor and Daniel korkor, it lies on a small plateau at altitude of 2480 m, you can reach by car on the foot of the mountain then hike to the church almost an hour and half the footpaths rises steeply through a natural rock passage. The interior is very atmospheric and large, almost 10m wide, 17 m deep and 6m high. Architectural features include 12 cruciform pillars with bracket capitals. If the day is Wednesday there is a colorful market in Hawzien. Overnight Lodge

Day 4: Day trip to Abune Yemata Guh

After having breakfast a short drive to Abune Yemata Guh Rock-hewn church, it is the most spectacularly situated rock-hewn church anywhere in Ethiopia. Hike up to the church takes an hour, climbing roughly the 500m in altitude. The last part of the ascent to the church involves clambering up a sheer cliff face using handgrips and footholds. The interior of the church reached via a small crack in the rock, is notable for its extensive and perfectly preserved wall and roof murals, thought to date from the 15th c. Overnight Lodge

Day 5: Drive to Wukro

After having breakfast a short drive to Wukro. On the way you will visit Dugum Selassie, it is located 17km from Hawzien on the main road to Wukero, it is a small rock-hewn church, unusual in that it is situated on the plain rather than high in the mountains. Dugum Selassie is curved into a granite outcrop within the compound of the built up church; there is a bath of Holy Water and underground tomb, which reminiscent of King Kaleb’s Tomb in Axum. Abune Abraham Debre Tsion is a monastic cliff church, curved into a rusty sandstone face high above the village of Dugum. The interior of the church is fairly large, and consists of four bays with decorated domed roofs, supported by pillars and walls covered in murals of various Old Testament figures. Continue to Abrha Astbeha, it is located 17km from Wukero and it is the finest rock-hewn church of Tigray. The interior is very large 16m wide, 13m deep and 6m high and cruciform in shape with a beautifully carved roof supported by 13 large pillars and several decorated arches. The walls are beautifully decorated with mural paintings and till well-preserved. Overnight hotel

Day 6: Drive to Mekelle

After having breakfast a short drive (43km) to visit one of the Atsbi cluster rock-hewn church of Mikael Imba, it is the most impressive exterior of any other rock-hewn churches in Tigray. Mikael Imba looks more like a transplant from Lalibela than it resembles any other Tigraian church, which was excavated around the 12th c. in the late afternoon drive to Mekelle. Overnight hotel

Day 7: Fly back to Addis Ababa

In the morning sightseeing in Mekelle; Yohannes castle, Abrha castle and Hawelti then fly back to Addis Ababa. In the evening you will have a traditional farewell dinner in the traditional restaurant. Overnight hotel or Departure



  • Package Duration: 7 Day/6 night
  • Destination: Addis Ababa=>Mekelle=>Adigrat to Gheralta=>Abuna Yemata Guh=> Hawzien to Wukero=>Mekelle=>Addis Ababa
Package Price: $2,303.00


7 Day/6 night Start From $2,303.00

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