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The Historic North

HOME > DESTINATIONS > AFRICA > Ethiopia > The Historic North

When you think of Ethiopia, it is undoubtedly its churches that are among the first things that spring to mind – and in the north, they are particularly spectacular. As one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, Ethiopia has a legacy of churches and monasteries, built on hilltops or hewn out of cliff faces, as well as vibrant traditions of worship. In Bahir Dar, thanks to their remote location, the island monasteries on Lake Tana have remained relatively well hidden for centuries, guarding their treasures against foreign intruders and the passage of time. But for those that know where to look, it is possible to discover many of these hidden gems of antiquity. Lalibela’s eleven churches have evoked awe and wonder since the time of their creation. Many are positioned below ground level and they are a triumph of both construction and worship. The holy city of Axum in the Tigray region also boasts its own archaeological marvels.  As well as churches, the north is also home to the ‘Camelot of Africa,’ Gondar. This is a place steeped in fascinating and captivating history and dotted with both palace and castles.

And finally, a visit to the north would not be complete without an adventure into the Simien Mountains. They are, quite simply, breathtaking. Aptly described by Homer as ‘chess pieces of the gods,’ this magnificent area is filled with sunken ravines and gorges, soaring rock pinnacles, and fascinating wildlife found nowhere else on earth.

What you need to know about Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

Capital City

(GMT +3)

Local Time

Ethiopian Birr

Local Currency


National Dish

Addis Ababa

Largest City

Luxury Ethiopia Itineraries

These example itineraries are here to get you inspired, but no two True Travel holidays are the same. Our Ethiopia experts start planning each trip with a blank piece of paper, designing every itinerary 100% personalised to you.


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Ethiopia was a trip of a lifetime! The whole thing was organised beautifully, and our guide was beyond excellent. He took us to his family home in Lalibela and went completely out of his way to ensure that we were happy and saw everything that we wanted to. The tribes in the south were particularly amazing and the whole thing felt like a really authentic experience. My daughter loved the trip and was in seventh heaven – I will 100% book my next trip with TLT and am hoping to go to Australia next!

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