Fly Addis Ababa to Axum
Walking tour of Axum
After check-in, join your guide on a walk through Axum's fascinating Stelae Park, beginning at the earliest sites and moving forward through time. Examine the park's towering 'stelae' - ornately carved stone obelisks that were erected in the third and fourth centuries. The largest of these is the 24-metre-high 'Obelisk of Axum'.
En route, visit the trilingual stela of King Ezana and Mai Shum, the reputed bathing place of the Queen of Sheba.
Beneath the ground, explore the fascinating tombs that date from the same period. Despite being looted centuries ago, these tombs remain packed with secrets. The unique Tomb of Remhai is the undoubted highlight and contains an intriguing false stone door. Finish with a visit to the site's museum, with exhibits finds from within the stone tombs.Axum is Ethiopia's most ancient capital and the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Huge stone stelae, thought to be grave markers, tower over small, stone churches and ancient king's tombs, while biblical legends of Queen Sheba, King Solomon and the Ark of the Covenant are very much part of this town's fascinating story.
The Royal Tombs and Mary of Zion Church
In the afternoon, explore the elaborate royal tombs of King Kaleb and his son, King Gebre Meskel. Built in the sixth century, these sophisticated underground chambers are walled by massive, exact-fitting granite blocks.
Drive on to the modern Mary of Zion Church, built on the site of Axum's first Christian church. An incredibly holy place for Ethiopian Christians, it is said the location was chosen by God. Nearby, stands the chapel in which the Ark of the Covenant is allegedly housed.
Men can also visit the site's 17th century church, which is the holiest church in Ethiopia and is decorated with beautiful frescoes. (Unfortunately, women are not permitted to enter.)
You will be staying at Yeha Hotel, Bed & Breakfast