Hidden away in the mountains like ancient treasures, the churches in Gheralata are described as ‘’ the greatest of the historical-cultural heritage of the Ethiopian people’’. The Gheralta Mountains chain is found deep within the northern high plateau of the Tigray region.
The geography of the Gheralta range is one of the most striking landscapes in all of Ethiopia. It’s picturesque setting, dazzling heights, age-old rock painting churches from the middle ages make it one of the premium destinations to be explored.
According to local tradition the churches in the Gheralta Mountains were constructed in the 4th Century by the first Christian kings of Ethiopia, Abraha, and Atsbeha, although it is more likely that many are 6th Century constructions, from the time when monasticism was spreading throughout the region. Many of the hermitage caves were expanded to become the enormous edifices that can now be admired flickering in candlelight amid the murmurs of the cream-shawled faithful. The churches have been hewn directly out of the mountainsides by hand, only their slim rock pillars left in place to prevent collapse.
From the churches of Gheralta, Abune Yemata Guh, Maryam korkor, and Daniel korkor are fascinating and frequently visited ones. Abune Yemata guh is a very beautiful painted church carved into a tall perpendicular sandstone pinnacle and accessed by a cliff face. Though regular visitors clamber up with ease, travelers often climb this rock face wrapped in ropes and harnesses.
What to See?
Gheralta is an amazing place to see and access age-old monasteries which nestled over a sheer cliff. The churches are embellished with spellbound frescoes and mural painting which dates back to the 12 and 13th-century ad. The mountains here are an ideal place for trekking and mountain climbing. The people that inhabit in this part of Ethiopia have an amazing culture and way of life religious.
This adventure will begin with the combination of biking, walking, hiking and trekking through the churches and breathtaking landscapes Tembein and Gheralta.
The natural landscapes of the Gheralta Mountains are called by some travelers as the Ethiopian Arizona. We are engaging in a range of eco- tourism activities, the tour designed to offer you unique insight into Gheralta life. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting farms that have been in operation for generation after generation, climb to the ancient rock-hewn churches, travel by horseback , camel and bike to the villages, witness the wide array of culture, taste the unique Ethiopian cuisine while having a coffee ceremony, and much, much more.
In choosing this special tour to visit and experience the landscapes, culture and famed rock-hewn churches in a unique and sustainable way. You will be hearing Gheralta’s story from the local people and experiencing the region’s remarkable beauty in a manner that no other tour operation can offer you; while at the same time giving back to our communities and supporting us to