After exploring the Lalibela churches you can head to the surrounding countryside. You can make half or whole day trips, or even stay overnight in the countryside and make long trekking tours into the mountains. Let us know about your wishes and we’ll help you to make your dream vacation come true! Here are two example programs to get you started with planning your stay:

Lalibela in two days

Day 1, morning: Arrival
Day 1, afternoon: 1st group of churches and the St. George church
Day 2, morning: Visit to Yemrahane Kristos cave church or Ghenneta Maryam outside Lalibela
Day 2, afternoon: 2nd group of churches in Lalibela
Day 2, evening: Cultural evening in a traditional restaurant
Day 3, morning: Departure

Lalibela in five days

Friday morning: Arrival
Friday afternoon: 1st group of churches and the St. George church
Saturday morning: Lalibela market
Saturday afternoon: 2nd group of churches
Sunday morning: Walk up to Asheten Maryam
Sunday afternoon: Shopping and/or visit to Na’akute La’ab cave church or Ghenneta Maryam
Sunday evening: Cultural evening in traditional restaurant
Monday: Day trip to countryside to Yemrahane Kristos and Bilbala Churches
Tuesday: Mule trekking around Lalibela

Asheten Maryam

The mountain of Asheten Maryam seen from Lalibela.

Asheten Maryam monastery – The smell of St. Mary – is a rock hewn church and monastery on top of the mountain that dominates the view in Lalibela. The visit takes two to four hours. In addition to experiencing the ancient church, the visit gives you a wonderful time of exercise. [Read more…]

Yemrahane Kristos

The cave church of Yemrahane Kristos dating back to around 1120.
The church is located in a basalt cave on top of a small lake. The dark and mysterious cave is surrounded by pristine juniper forest. Visiting is possible by car with short walk from the parking lot. It is a half day trip, and if you have more time, you can make a whole day trip and visit the Bilbala churches as well.  [Read more…]

Lalibela nature and culture

Lalibela is not only churches. You can see everyday life and visit the market where local people gather from the surrounding countryside every Saturday. You can familiarize yourself with Ethiopian food in the many restaurants, and even learn to cook yourself in a cooking class.

Busy market in Lalibela in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

In addition to enjoying the amazing mountains, you can spot many beautiful birds in and around Lalibela. Donkeys and mules are the most common animals to see.  [Read more…]


Na’akute La’ab and Ghenneta Maryam

There are many other old churches around Lalibela, such as Na’akute La’ab and Ghenneta Maryam.

Na’akute La’ab is located conveniently close to the road connecting Lalibela and airport. This is a cave church like Yemrahane Kristos but a much more recent one: it was built by Empress Zewditu who reigned Ethiopia before Haile Selassie in the early years of the 20th century. A visit takes one to one and a half hours.

Ghenneta Maryam is located at about one hour’s driving distance from Lalibela. From the outside, the church looks similar to Lalibela’s Medhane Alem church, but inside it has many paintings on its walls and ceiling making it unique in Lalibela. The visit give also a good opportunity to see more of the countryside around Lalibela.

The mountains around Lalibela offer a unique experience of nature, beauty and silence.

Mountains in Ethiopian highland close to Lalibela.