Tour 1 – Explore Wonderful Eritrea in 12 Days
All-inclusive tour itinerary of Eritrea’s best attraction sites.
Duration: 12 Days/11 Nights
Day 1: Arrival to Asmara. Transfer to hotel (Overnight Asmara)
Upon arrival at Asmara International Airport, you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Sightseeing of Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
Visit Asmara, the city called as “Piccola Roma” (Little Rome) and observe its most shining collection of Art Deco (A style of design, marked by stylized forms and geometric designs, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s) architectural wonders portrayed in many of its buildings such as:
The Roman Catholic cathedral, St Mary Coptic church, Al Khulafa al Rashedin, Market [vegetable, spices, souvenir, Medeber (recycling depot)], National Museum, Fiat Tagliero building, Tank graveyard etc.
*Day 3: Train Excursion (Asmara-Nefasit-Asmara)- Keren (Overnight Keren)
A riveting train trip with steam locomotive through the mountains from Asmara downhill to Nefasit and uphill back to Asmara with Africa’s oldest yet recently renovated railway.
It is considered one of the greatest rail journeys in Africa and will be enjoyed even by those who are not train enthusiast.
In the afternoon, travel from Asmara to Keren- one of Eritrea’s most attractive towns. As time allows, visit the charming town of Keren which was once favorite resort for European visitors because of the temperate climate and fertile soil, and a place where the decisive battles of WWII carried out between the British and the Italians.
Some of the things to see in Keren include: the famous Mariam Dearit inside a Baobab, the British and Italian cemeteries of World War II, the old Railway Station from 1930’s, the 19th century Tigu Egyptian Fort and St. Antony Romanesque Church and the old Mosque.
+Day 4: Keren – Filfil – Massawa (Overnight Massawa)
The colorful Keren market is every Mondays. Visit the bustling market that comprises camel, livestock, pottery, straw products, silver jewelry, etc.
In the afternoon, travel from Keren to the Red Sea Coast and the port city of Massawa- the pearl of the Red sea.
En route visit the evergreen Filfil- the “Green Belt” region lies to the northeast of Asmara, part of the Semenawai Bahri area. It is covered with lush forests and vegetation and home to an impressive array of birds and mammals such as vervet monkeys and hamadryas baboons.
It is the most picturesque loop in Eritrea, with innumerable zigzag bends, jaw-dropping vistas, cool air and sometimes a veil of mist which adds a touch of the bizarre. This route, known as the Pendice Orientali (meaning “Eastern Slope”), takes you though some of the most dramatic and diverse landscape in Eritrea. It makes a great day excursion.
Gurgsum beach swimming, rest and recreation.
Day 5: Massawa – Dissie & Madote Islands (Overnight camping)
Exciting boat trip from Massawa to beautiful and pristine Dissie and Madote Islands.
Dissie and Madote Islands are part of the Dahlak Archipelago, among the pleasant and mostly visited and , lying 22 miles and 17 miles South off the coast of Massawa respectively, have beautiful beaches, corals, birdlife, there is a possibility of seeing groupers, snappers, lionfish, sea turtles, Dolphins, etc. They are good for snorkeling, diving and camping,
Day 6: Dissie and Madotte Islands – Massawa (Overnight Massawa)
Boat trip back to Massawa.
Day 7: Massawa – Foro – Adulis – Zula – Massawa (Overnight Massawa)
In the morning, visit ancient port of Adulis that was once a renowned gateway to ancient civilization, a major trade route, once numbering among the greatest ports of the ancient world that has links to the Roman, Egyptian and Greek World Empires.
Visit Gulf of Zula – a deep cleft in Eritrea’s coastline which is the birthplace of the Great Rift Valley on the African continent.
Drive back to Massawa.
Day 8: Massawa – Ghindae – Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
In the morning, visit the port city of Massawa – City of islands and the “Pearl of the Red Sea”, a city which for centuries has been one of the region’s most important ports.
With its exquisite Turkish-style architecture and shopping arcades, beautiful mosques and delicious sea food, Massawa is the perfect destination to cater for all tastes. In addition to the city’s attractions, pristine beaches and enjoyable swimming are available just a short distance from the city center.
Visit the colorful Rashaida tribes the last Semetic people to arrive in Eritrea.
The magnificent Rashaida women are known for their black and red geometrically patterned dresses, their long and heavy veil – burga – elaborately embroiled with silver threads, beads and sometimes seed peals.
Late in the afternoon, drive back from Massawa enjoying the spectacular scenery of peaks and valleys all the way to Asmara.
Day 9: Asmara- Mendefera (Adi Ugri) – Adi Quala- Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
The town of Mendefera derived this name from the local language Tigrinya meaning “nobody dared“, after the resilience shown by the locals when they defended themselves on the hill against the Italian advance. The town is dominated by two hills on either side of the main road.
Among the things to see in Mendefera include the market, the ancient Mosque and the old Saint George Church (San Giorgio Church).
Travel further to Adi Quala, a pleasant market town 32 km from Mendefera and 88 km from Asmara. It is covered with vegetation and a slew of agricultural plains, small stores, cafes and scenic panoramas.
One place of interest not to be missed during visits to the town is the extraordinary Italian Mausoleum, boasting fascist motifs, ringed by stone lions and iron chains. It was built during Mussolini’s fascist era, during the 1930’s when Eritrea was an Italian colony, a memorial to 8000 Italian troops who died while trying and failing to invade Ethiopia in March 1890.
Day 10: Asmara – Qohaito – Adikeyh (Overnight Adikeyh)
Drive from Asmara, via Dekemhare to Adiekyh,
Thrilling trekking to Qohaito (Kohaito), some 15 km off-road from Adikeyh. Visit this famous historical site that features a superb array of archaeological sites that recount volumes of history.
Some of the wonders to see in Qohaito include: Safira Dam, Rock-paintings, Monolith stelae, the foundation of ancient palaces, etc.
Day 11: Adikeyh- Senafe – Metera – Segeneiti – Asmara (Overnight Asmara)
Travel from Adikeyh to Senafe.
Exciting trekking to Metera (Matara/ Belew Kelew), equivalent to an important ancient town named Koleo from 2nd century AD, situated 20km south of Qohaito, house some of Eritrea’s most important historical sites.
Some of the things to be seen in Metera are a 2.5m tall enigmatic stele known for its pagan, pre-Christian symbol of the sun over the crescent moon – a south Arabian divinity, engraved on the top of the eastern face and it faces eastward, which is unique in Eritrea; a royal palace, a tomb chamber, etc.
Drive uphill while enjoying the magnificent scenery and lush vegetation all the way to Asmara.
En route visit the town of Segeneiti- a lush fertile area. Visit the huge Sycamore tree locally known as Daaro revered by the locals –for its beauty, for its generous shade, for its fruitful home for beehives and for providing important social purpose– as it form a place where the community can assemble for discussions and debates. The tree has been immortalized on the five-nakfa note.
Day 12: Free to discover Asmara in your leisure time. Transfer to airport for Departure.
1. *The scheduled train excursion is every Sundays, mostly undertaken when enough passengers, 10 persons, are available. In case of unavailability, the trips to Keren will start in the morning, instead of afternoons that day.
2. Keren Market is every Mondays.