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Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 3. Reason: The rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Updated: Apr 25

The rock hewn churches Maryam Korkor and Abuna Yemata Guh of Tigray in Ethiopia are the most adventurous and spectacular I ever visited.

If every church visit were as exciting as the ones to the rock-hewn churches of Tigray, I would be going to church every day! The sandstone formations close to Hawzen rise like romantic castles out of the otherwise flat plain. If you start early in the morning you could have a full day of the most spectacular hiking, with a visit of the even more spectacular churches of Maryam Korkor and Abuna Yemata Guh

To shorten the waiting time, here are some pictures of Maryam Korkor, which is one of the largest churches in the area.

Click on the first photo to start the gallery:

In this short video clip you can see where the entrance to Abuna Yemata Guh is situated: ​​​

​​My favourite church ever has got to be Abuna Yemata Guh

- there's nowhere on earth quite like it: it is spectacularly situated within a cliff face, halfway up a sheer rock pinnacle.

The hole in the picture is actually the entrance to the church.

To reach it, you walk over a 1m wide ledge, which leads you over a 200m drop – spectacular!!!

Click on the first photo to start the gallery:

How to get there:

Ethiopian Airlines flies daily (at least from Frankfurt) directly to Addis Abeba. If you book with them, you get a discount on the inland flights, which you will probably need, as the roads are very bumpy and dusty …


Here come my biggest recommendation for a night in Ethiopia: The Gheralta Lodge is really worth booking well in advance as it is propably the nicest place we stayed at duirng our whole trip. You can have a glas of wine in the evening while enjoying the perfect view of the sun setting behind the mountains.

Friends of us stayed in Korkor Lodge, which is close by. It is a bit more expensive, but really nice as well.


We arranged everything through Lalibela Eco Trekking. Molla Kassaw - the owner - organized our whole trip and everything worked perfectly. We didn't have a single guide, but always different local guides, who showed us their town/hike. That way we got to know a lot of different people, who knew their local attractions best.

In the separate blogs I will recommend places and restaurants we visited or have seen, alongside any other comments we had about the various places and the what-to-dos.

You can read more Blogs of Ethiopia, which I wrote here:

Ethiopia - 10 Reasons Why to Go NOW

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 2. Reason: The Danakil Depression

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 3. Reason: The rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 4. Reason: The riddles of Aksum

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 6. Reason: Celebrate Christmas with angels

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 7. Reason: Throw Lemons at you future love

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 8. Reason: Simien Mountains - Where Monkey and Capricorn say good night

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 9. Reason: Grey hippos in the Blue Nile

Ethiopia–Why to Go NOW? 10. Reason: Because you will love it!

Coming home for Christmas in Lalibela

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