5-day cycling and 9-day exploring tour

Ethio Cycling Holidays 14-day tour
Tour dates:

Sunday 5 January – Sunday 19 January 2020

Thursday 12 March – Thursday 26 March 2020

Tour price: from £1945 excluding bike hire

This tour is intended for those who call themselves recreational cyclists. If you would like to hire a bike for this tour, please let us know the frame size of the bike you regularly use.

The tour works best among like-minded people with a similar cycling ability, so we encourage you to sign up with at least a few other friends.

Itinerary: 14 days in Ethiopia | 5 days cycling | 9 days sightseeing and trekking | Total 310km

On arrival in Addis Ababa off your overnight flight, you get a taste of the bustle of life in Ethiopia’s capital as you take breakfast in a nearby hotel. Returning to the airport for your connecting flight to Mekelle, you transfer to Wukro Lodge in time for a short afternoon excursion to one of the nearby rock-hewn churches.

Overnight stay at Wukro Lodge in Wukro

Your first ride takes you from Wukro to Negash, site of the first mosque in Ethiopia. From here you continue north to Frewenyi and then turn west across the plain to Hawzen. As you approach Hawzen, the chain of the Gheralta Mountains come into view.

Ride distance: 65km

Overnight stay at Vision Hotel in Hawzen

Today you ride out on a beautifully peaceful stretch of road heading west along the chain of the Gheralta Mountains. The first 20km is mainly downhill and takes you through village settlements. Don’t be surprised if you see more animals (including camels) on the road than vehicles. There are some undulations in the last section of the ride as you get nearer to Workamba. From here you drive to Abbi Adiy for lunch and a market visit, returning to Werkamba at the end of the afternoon.

Ride distance: 65km

Overnight stay at Werkamba Hotel

Today you retrace your steps back to Hawzen, stopping along the way at the village of Megab for a home visit and some local coffee.

Overnight stay at Vision Hotel in Hawzen

Today is a non-cycling day and you will have chance for a beautiful walk up into the nearby hills to visit two of the famous rock-hewn churches in the region, Mariam Korkor Church and Daniel Korkor Church.

No cycling today

Overnight stay at Vision Hotel in Hawzen

Your ride today takes you back to the main road at Frewenyi from where you turn and climb in a northerly direction to Idaga Hamus. The last 20km of the ride are mainly downhill bringing you into the region’s second biggest town, Adigrat, only 30 miles from the Eritrean border.

Ride distance 65km

Overnight stay at Canaan International Hotel in Adigrat

Today’s ride starts from the summit just short of Mugulat and from here you have a spectacular 18km descent into the town of Bizet. From here you continue westwards until the town of Enticho where you stop for lunch. Transfer from here by vehicle to Axum.

Ride distance: 55km

Overnight stay at Armah Hotel in Axum

Today you have time to enjoy some of the treasures of Ethiopia’s ancient capital, Axum. The main sights of Axum date from the 4th to the 13th century, the most impressive being the royal tombs and the monolith obelisks, known as stelae. One of our guides accompanies you to visit the stelae park, the Queen of Sheba’s bathing pool, and the Tsion Mariam Church (Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion) where, according to legend, the Ark of the Covenant is kept.

Overnight stay at Armah Hotel in Axum

After breakfast in the hotel you transfer to the airport for your flight to Lalibela. On arrival there you drive up into the town for a late lunch followed by an afternoon visiting the famous rock-hewn churches in town. You take dinner at the Ben Ababa Restaurant with beautiful views across the valley.

Overnight stay at Tukul Village in Lalibela

In the morning you have chance to soak up some of the atmosphere in town around the churches you have visited the previous day. You might like to take time to wonder at the beautiful Giorgis Church on the lower side of town, or return to the tunnels leading to Bet Emmanuel in the southern cluster of churches. After lunch back at your hotel you drive out in the countryside to start your 3 days of trekking in the Lasta Mountains.

Stay at Mequat Mariam

Today you walk from Mequat to Wajela, roughly 6-7 hours of walking including stops for drinks, photos and lunch. The walk follows the escarpment edge from where you have incredible vistas down into the meadows below.

Overnight stay at Wajela

On your third walk you will go from Wajela to Aterow, from where you will look down into a dramatic gorge. The walk takes approximately 5 hours with stops. Aterow is a great place to see Gelada baboons.

Overnight at Aterow

You rise early and walk down the hillside to meet your driver who takes you to Lalibela airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa.

Overnight stay at Beer Garden Inn in Addis Ababa

On your final day you have chance to explore the capital, starting with a morning sightseeing tour taking in the city’s famous National Museum and Ethnographic Museum. In the afternoon you will have some free time for some last-minute souvenir shopping. Later in the evening you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Overnight stay at Beer Garden Inn in Addis Ababa is included for your final night

What’s included:

  • 14 nights’ hotel accommodation sharing twin (£300 single supp)
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
  • All ground transport including the option to travel by vehicle for part of the route
  • All luggage and bike transfers for the rides
  • Full support* on your ride from drivers and cycling guides
  • Maps and profiles of the rides supplied as gpx files and pocket-sized ride cards
  • Guide and all site entrance fees in Gheralta, Axum, Lalibela and Addis Ababa
  • City sightseeing tour with guide in Addis Ababa
  • Airport transfers

*All rides are fully supported with lead vehicle and tail-end vehicle; motorbike rider; cycling guides; mechanics to assist with assembly of bikes and any mechanical problems; nutrition for rides including water, energy bars, gels, bananas, tea/coffee

Not included:

  • International and domestic flights
  • Visa for Ethiopia ($50)
  • Travel insurance
“Cycling is the best way to see the country and meet all kinds of people. You’ll feel safe and welcome as an honoured guest, and return home fitter and full of admiration for this amazing country and its diverse people.” Owen B