5-day cycling and 9-day exploring tour

Ethio Cycling Holidays 14-day tour
Tour dates:

Wednesday 8 January – Wednesday 22 January 2020

Thursday 12 March – Thursday 26 March 2020

Tour price: from £2195 excluding bike hire

Minimum number for this tour: 8

Many of our clients for this tour ask about hiring bikes. If this is of interest to you, 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 250km

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 Gheralta Lodge arriving in time to assemble your bike ahead of your first ride on the next day.
Overnight stay at Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen
Your first two rides give you opportunity to visit some of the local places by bike, stopping off at various places to meet local people and experience the local culture. Today’s ride is an out and back ride following the chain of the Gheralta Mountains.

Ride distance: 50km

Overnight stay at Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen

Today you head in the opposite direction going east to Frewenyi and then turning north on the road to Idaga Hamus and Adigrat, where you stop for lunch. You return by vehicle with chance to stop off and visit one of the famous ancient churches along the way.

Ride distance: 65km

Overnight stay at Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen

Today gives you chance to see one of the region’s spectacular rock-hewn churches – Abune Yemata, sometimes called the world’s most inaccessible church. The start of the walk comes after a short drive from the lodge and takes you to a near perpendicular ascent up a cliff face. The ledge that makes up the final approach overlooks a sheer and quite spectacular drop of 200m. After viewing the church’s highly decorated interior, you return to the lodge for some food and relaxation.

Overnight stay at Gheralta Lodge 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.

Ride distance: 65km

Overnight stay at Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen

Your ride today is on one of the newest and quietest roads in the region. You drive to Workamba and north to Maykenitil where you make your first stop. From here to ride to the switchback summit above Aba Garima from where you descend into Adwa. Here you have the option of either riding or driving the last 25km to Axum.

Ride distance 45km / 70km

Overnight stay at Yared Zema International Hotel

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 Yared Zema International Hotel

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

After breakfast you start your walk up the mountainside to the church at Asheton Mariam – there is also the option to be driven there by vehicle. You have stunning views from the church over the town of Lalibela. Later that evening you get to see how injera and some traditional Ethiopian stews are prepared in a local household – and then get to sample them!

Overnight stay at Tukul Village in Lalibela

You transfer to the airport for your flight to Gonder. On arrival you are met by your guide and taken to your hotel. In the afternoon you visit the famous castle and bathing pool built by Emperor Fasilidas and Debre Birhan Selassie Church.

Stay at Haile Resort Hotel in Gonder

With your guide you drive north to Debark and enter the Simien Mountains National Park. You camp in the park for two nights, giving you a full day to view the wildlife and amazing landscapes – and enjoy hiking in breathtaking mountain scenery.

Camping in the Simien Mountains National Park

There are over twenty peaks in the park above 4000m and ten times as many steep gorges dropping down into the valleys below. This is your day to savour it all.

Camping in the Simien Mountains National Park

You drive back to Gonder in time for your late afternoon flight to Addis Ababa.

Overnight stay at Beer Garden Inn in Addis Ababa

On your final day you take a guided city tour which includes a visit to one of the city’s famous weaver workshops. In the afternoon you will have some free time for some last-minute market visits and 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, Gonder and Addis Ababa
  • Entrance fees to the Simien Mountains National Park
  • All camping equipment and guide and scout for two nights’ camping
  • 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