Around Lalileba

Key information: Around Lalileba

  • Thrilling walking around this extraordinary home to clusters of world-famous rock-hewn churches.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating89.5
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest13.5
  • Human interest14
  • Charisma31
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating89.5

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,300m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.



The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are justly famous, but not our focus, other than to say spend at least 2 days there, and take time to walk in the area.

The landscape around Lalibela is rough: high, broken hills separating cultivated valleys dotted with remote villages where an ancient way of life continues. Further off are the Lasha highlands, which read 4,300m to the north-west, and the Mohet Plateau to the south-east.

Day walks abound. The finest must be the thrilling climb to the Ashetan Maryam [LINK] monastery-with-church on a high butte above Lalibela. A fine introduction to Ethiopia's tradition of building rock-hewn churches and monasteries in extraordinary mountain-top or cliff-face positions.

You can make day walks in the countryside around Lalibela – local guides/operators can introduce you to a selection of routes.

Longer walks. There are plenty of options for longer treks, deeper into the surrounding landscape for encounters with the lives of the inhabitants of remote highland villages, for marvellous scenery to drool over, and for thrilling wildlife, be it gelada monkeys or the multitude of birds, from soaring lammergeyers to passing migrants.

Accommodation is home stays and lodges, so both atmospheric and relatively undemanding compared to camping.

Further off the Lasha highlands and Mohet Plateau offer more demanding, thrilling high-level trekking. have a superb-looking selection of walks, from overnighters (e.g. out the Ber Metebekiya viewpoint), to a 6-day trek to climb Abune Yosef in the Lasha highlands, at 4,300m claimed to be Ethiopian’s third-highest peak, although that should perhaps read mountain area.

To the Simien Mountains: you can make a long trek to the Simiens, through rough, mountains and hills, visiting remote villages and a remarkably unchanged way of life. 12 days or so if you trek the whole way, although this can be shortened. This would be a stunning route. 

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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