Day Tour to Adadi Mariam Church and Tiya Steles from Addis Ababa

The Perfect Day Trip for Unique Culture and Adventurous Travelers

Experience Adadi Mariam & Tiya's Stelae on this Exclusive Day Trip from Addis Ababa

Spend a great day out of Addis with an expert guide revealing hidden insights about Adadi, Tiya, Melka Kunture and the Rift Valley

This day trip from Addis Ababa is to Adadi Mariam, an ancient rock-hewn church. Tiya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its enigmatic stelae is the other attraction of the tour. This excursion is a popular choice for travelers seeking a glimpse into Ethiopia's rich history and culture in 1 day.

Contact Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours to customize and spend a great day near Addis Abeba.

🤔 Are you thinking of escaping Addis Ababa on a day trip?Review about Adadi Maryam Day Trip on TripAdvisor

🤔 Are you deciding which private day trip from Addis Ababa to book?

🤔 Are you seeking an authentic Ethiopian experience in a single day?

🤔 Are you curious about the unique architecture of rock-hewn churches? or

🤔 Are you searching for a tour guide with private transportation to Adadi Mariam rock-hewn church and Tiya stelae field?

If 'Yes or maybe' is your answer, then, this page is exactly for you.

Embark on a private day tour from Addis Ababa. Discover three fascinating and ancient sites: the subterranean church of Adadi Mariam, the enigmatic stelae of Tiya, and the prehistoric archaeological site of Melka Kunture.

Immerse yourself in authentic Ethiopian culture during visits to local villages. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Rift Valley with your knowledgeable local guide.

OVERVIEW - 1-Day Tour from Addis Ababa to Adadi Mariam Church and Tiya Steles

Duration - About 9 hours

What you'll do (visit) - Adadi Mariam Rock Church, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tiya Steles, stunning views of the Rift Valley landscape, local experience in village visits, Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and Cultural weekly market visit (Thursdays and Sundays)

Tour Price per Person (USD) - 1 = 160$, 2 = 90$, 3 = 84$, 4 = 70$, 5 = 60$, 6 = 54$

Price INCLUDES - Comfortable private vehicle with fuel, private driver, tour guide, All Entrance (Admission) fees, Culturally enriching visits to local families, Convenient hotel or airport pick-up and drop-off, Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony Experience, Local snacks and bottled water, Tea/Coffee, and all applicable taxes.

Price EXCLUDES - Meals and any additional personal expenses

For inquiries about customization or bookings, contact Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours via email or WhatsApp

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Adadi Mariam Church and Tiya Steles. Read on for more details. For any questions on this private day tour of Addis Ababa, send an email to Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours.

Enrich your stay in Addis Ababa with our captivating day trip to Tiya and Adadi Mariam Rock Church To see what we mean, please read TripAdvisor Reviews on this day excursion from Addis Ababa.

Get quick answers to questions about this 1-day long trip near Addis Ababa. 

Among our one day trips from Addis Ababathis tour is unique because it combines visits to historical and natural sites. This excursion seamlessly blends historical and natural wonders, offering a cultural experience and a visit to a remarkable religious site.

You will visit the ancient rock-cut church of Adadi Mariam. Learn about Ethiopia's history at Tiya Stele Field Cemetery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Inside Adadi Mariam Rock Church near Addis Ababa

General information about Day Tour to Adadi Mariam Rock Church and Tiya Steles

Duration - 8 to 9 hours

Total Distance Covered – 200 km (125 miles)

Top sights, activities and attractions of Addis to Adadi day trip

This illuminating day trip from Addis Ababa helps you uncover the treasures of Ethiopia's rich history and vibrant culture.

Delve into the ancient past:

• Adadi Maryam Rock ChurchDiscover the architectural splendor of this 13th-century rock-hewn church, still actively used today, and marvel at the craftsmanship and devotion that brought it to life.

• UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Steles of Tiya: Stand in awe amidst these enigmatic 14th-century obelisks, each adorned with intricate carvings that whisper tales of a bygone era.

Embrace the beauty of nature:

Rift Valley Viewpoints: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking panorama of the Great Rift Valley, a geological masterpiece that has shaped Ethiopia's landscape for millennia.

Experience the essence of Ethiopian culture:

• Local Cultural Encounter: Engage with the warm and welcoming locals. Immerse yourself in their traditions, customs, and heartfelt hospitality.

• Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony: Partake in this cherished ritual, savoring the rich aroma and exquisite flavor of freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee, a true national treasure.

• Traditional Ethiopian Cuisine: Tantalize your taste buds with a delectable spread of authentic Ethiopian dishes, a symphony of flavors that will leave you wanting more. You’ll discover the rich culinary traditions of Ethiopia on this unforgettable excursion from Addis Ababa.

• Weekly Cultural Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, sights, and sounds of a traditional Ethiopian market, where local artisans showcase their handcrafted creations, agricultural produces, livestock, and a lot more.

NOTE - This weekly cultural market is available if you take the excursion from Addis Ababa on either Thursdays or Sundays.

Following is the road map of this Addis Ababa excursion to Adadi Maryam rock church. See also the relative locations of Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site and Tiya World Heritage Site.

This Addis Ababa day tour also includes enjoying stunning views of the Rift Valley. And experience life of locals meeting farmers' family at thier huts.

Embark on this unforgettable day trip from Addis Ababa and illuminate your soul with the wonders of Ethiopia.

Day Tour to Adadi Mariam Rock ChurchItinerary: Meet and greet your experience local guide at your hotel in Addis Ababa.

Following a brief orientation detailing the day's itinerary, embark on a scenic drive through the captivating landscapes south of Addis Ababa.

You undertake the journey in a comfortable and well-maintained Toyota Corolla, ideal for groups of 1-2 travelers. To accommodate 3-6 guests, we use a spacious Toyota Minivan. Both vehicles are equipped with air conditioning and seat belts, ensuring a comfortable and safe travel experience.

Throughout your day trip to Adadi and Tiya, you'll have ample opportunities to pause at breathtaking viewpoints, capturing stunning photographs and enjoying refreshing breaks.

Your first stop on this day trip is a picturesque overlook, offering panoramic vistas of Ethiopia's Rift Valley. The Rift Valley of Southern Ethiopia is a mesmerizing geological formation which is part of the Great East African Rift Valley.

 Traverse the Awash River's bridge on foot, taking few moments to appreciate the vast expanse of gorge it creates. Though Awash River ranks among Ethiopia's mightiest rivers, it never reaches the sea, its currents dries up in the deserts of East Ethiopia.

Drive 55 km (34 miles) southwest of Addis Ababa on the way to Butajira town. Then, turn right and continue driving 12 km (7.5 miles) on gravel road to Adadi Mariam Church.

With a guided tour, discover the awe-inspiring Adadi Mariyam church, an ancient rock-carved masterpiece. Unveil the Splendor of Adadi Mariyam Church, a masterpiece carved from a single rock in the 13th century by King Lalibela.

The exceptional craftsmanship of King Lalibela is orchestrated on Lalibela's renowned rock-hewn churches.
Situated in the Northern Ethiopia town of Lalibela, lie the 11 UNESCO inscribed remarkable rock churches Lalibela.

Quick Facts – Rock cut churches in Ethiopia

  • Aside from the world famous 11 rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia is home to over 200 functional churches that have been intricately carved out of stone.
  • The majority of these rock churches are located in the Tigray region, situated in the northern part of Ethiopia. However, the highest concentration of Ethiopian rock-cut churches is at Lalibela, also in the north.
  • The historical churches in Lalibela, dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, were the first Ethiopian site to be included in the UNESCO World Heritages Site list in 1978.
  • King Lalibela carved the rock church of Adadi Mariam in the 13th Century AD. Adadi Mariam is one of Ethiopia’s stone churches you can visit in a day trip from Addis Ababa.

Why do you think Adadi Mariam is so far away from the other 11 rock churches in Lalibela, North Ethiopia?

You may ponder upon the reasons behind King Lalibela's decision to establish Adadi Mariyam Church so far south, separate from the other 11 rock churches at Lalibela in the northern region of the country.

In the 13th Century AD, Saint/King Lalibela took a pilgrimage to the 6th Century Zuquala Abo Monastery which is near to Adadi Mariam.

It was then; King Lalibela carved the remarkable monolithic Adadi Mariyam Church. For further insights and details go to our dedicated blog post on Adadi Mariam Rock Church.View of the Rift Valley of Southern Ethiopia

What cultural activities are offered during the day tour from Addis Ababa to Adadi Mariam and Tiya?

In addition to the sightseeing, the day tour typically includes the following local traditional experiences:

On Thursdays and Sundays, attend the colorful cultural weekly market at Adadi town. Why?

- See varieties of agricultural produces and animals locals bring to the market
- Walk and experience how lively the market atmosphere feels
- Learn how such Ethiopian markets contribute to the community's identity and sense of belonging

Visit a private farmers’ family house. Why?

- Learn about Ethiopian customs and hospitality from this experience
- Know more of the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, all the steps, and the cultural significance of coffee in Ethiopia
- Take a short cooking class to bake the Ethiopian pancake - Enjera (or Injera)
- See the ingredients and the traditional methods of cooking and serving Enjera


Next, drive 30 km farther south to the Steles of Tiya. The grave site at Tiya was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980 under the Category of Rock-art and Pre-history. At the cemetery of Tiya, visit 40 stone grave markers. At Tiya, look at large single upright blocks of monumental tombstones.

The stone pillars depict beautiful carvings of swords and other enigmatic symbols. These huge monolithic monuments stood in the 14th Century AD in honor of local hero. Tiya is the closest UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ethiopia to Addis Ababa.

Tiya is the most accessible site from Addis Ababa where you can see massive megalithic structures. You’ll discover the prehistoric monuments at Tiya in a day from Addis.

Quick Facts – UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ethiopia

Ethiopia has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.

  • Ethiopia has 13 tangible and intangible heritages recognized by UNESCO as World Heritages.
  • Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site of Ethiopia is among UNESCO’s ‘tentative’ World Heritages list.
  • From the Ethiopia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Steles of Tiya is the closest to Addis Ababa. This private one day excursion from Addis Ababa includes visits to Tiya and Melka Kunture.

En route back to Addis Ababa, stop at a small local restaurant for lunch.

Steles (grave stones) at Tiya near Addis AbabaIf interested in archaeology and prehistory, visit the Prehistoric site of Melka Kunture. Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site is 50 km south of Addis Ababa, set by the Awash River. Melka Kunture displays old stone tools, fossils of human beings and other animals which are over 1.5 million years old.

Melka Kunture has exhibits of four divisions classified with their displays and focus of study. Geology in prehistoric Africa and study of volcanoes are part of the visit. Your tour guide at Melka Kunture takes you to the Open-Air Excavation Site. This outdoor museum at Melka Kunture dates back to 800,000 years (0.8 million years) back.

This private trip is customable to allow visitors do more of what they are interested in. If you want to extend the excursion with about three hours more, you can visit the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway, and enjoy more scenic views of the Rift Valley.

Per person price of Day Tour to Adadi Mariam Rock Church and Tiya Steles from Addis Ababa

No of people in group Price in USD
1 person 160 USD
2 visitors 90 USD per person
3 visitors 84 USD per person
4 visitors 70 USD per person
5 visitors 60 USD per person
6 visitors 54 USD per person


Day tour price includes: - 

• Private comfortable Toyota Corolla (for individuals and couples) or Toyota Minivan (for 3 to 6 tourists in a group)

• Lunch at a local restaurant with bottled water, soft drinks, tea and coffee
• Fuel (gasoline) and driver’s allowance
• Family visit and Ethiopian coffee ceremony attendance
• Mineral water and local snacks
• Professional experienced English-speaking tour guide and all related government taxes.

Extend this 1-day trip from Addis to include visits of Lake Ziway. The rift valley lake of Ziway has a remarkable birdlife. The other Addis Ababa day trip we organize is to visit the famous Debre Libanos Monastery

Please, read how other visitors enjoyed the day tour from Addis Ababa.

Check other interesting private day trips near Addis Ababa we offer.



If you need any travel information about customizing this day trip from Addis Ababa contact us. We provide you with further details about the excursion or booking this Addis day tour to Adadi Maryam Rock Church and Steles of Tiya.

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