5-day cycling and 9-day exploring tour

Ethio Cycling Holidays 14-day tour
Tour dates:

Please contact us for more details

Tour price: from £1945 excluding bike hire*

*based on group of 4

Most of the tour takes place in Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, where Christianity entered Ethiopia in the 4th century. Tigray is also the centre of Ethiopia’s road cycling culture and you will have chance to ride on some of the best roads in the country. 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.

If you would like to hire a bike for this tour, please let us know the frame size of the bike you regularly use.

Itinerary: 14 days in Ethiopia | 5 days cycling | 9 days sightseeing and trekking | Total 290km

We aim to get you to Mekelle, the starting point for your tour, as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do this, you will have to take a short connecting flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle; which flight you take will depend on your international flight arrival time. You will be met on arrival at Mekelle airport and taken to your guest house in Mekelle. This will give you time for some food and rest, before you assemble your bike and – tiredness permitting – go out for a short test ride before evening dinner.

Overnight stay at Parrot Guest House in Mekelle

Your first ride takes you from Mekelle to Wukro where you check in at Wukro Eco Lodge. After lunch you will visit the 7th century mosque in Negash, before returning to your hotel in time for evening dinner.

Ride distance: 40km

Overnight stay at Wukro Eco Lodge in Wukro

Today’s ride takes you north into the Gheralta Mountains. You will be staying in the small market town of Hawzen. After checking in at your hotel, you will have chance to visit the local market.

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 then go on a honey-wine tasting trip. You return to Hawzen in time for dinner.

Ride distance: 65km

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 some of the famous rock-hewn churches in the region, Your guide will accompany you. On offer are the churches of Abune Yemata Guh, Mariam Korkor and Daniel Korkor.

No cycling today

Overnight stay at Vision Hotel in Hawzen

Today is another day of walking up in the mountains. You drive up to the trailhead at Idega Arba and then walk up to the church at Mariam Bizuhan.

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 Tsemay 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

Today you make an excursion to the famous cave church of Yemrehanna Kristos, one of the best-preserved Axumite churches in Ethiopia and beautifully situated in a large natural cavern at the top of a hill. Named after the twelfth-century Zagwe priest-king Yemrehanna, this church predates the churches in Lalibela. You return to Lalibela for a late lunch with the afternoon free for your own exploring and to get some rest.

Overnight stay at Tukul Village in Lalibela

On your final day in Lalibela you will make an excursion up to the Hudad plateau almost 600m above the town. You drive the first part (for just under 30 minutes) and then hike for about 1.5 hours up to the plateau where you can have coffee at the highest lodge in Ethiopia, at 3,300m.

Overnight stay at Tukul Village in Lalibela

After breakfast you head for the airport and your flight back to Addis Ababa. You will be met on arrival at the airport and taken to your hotel.

Overnight stay at Beer Garden Inn in Addis Ababa

On your final day you have chance to visit the newly-opened Unity Park. 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.

What’s included:

  • 13 nights’ hotel accommodation sharing twin (£250 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 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