One can say that every tourist who decides to visit our country comes here and sees these quite remarkable and also strange monolithic, semi-monolithic and cave 'buildings, churches of Lalibela' which still leave the scientists puzzled about their possible creation process and are therefore often called the 8th wonder of the world. The style of the excavation is unique: most of the churches are below ground level. Roha - Lalibelas old name - is around 800 years old and after Axum the second holiest city in Ethiopia.
It is a medieval town and one of the greatest historical sites in the Christian world. For the Ethiopian Christmas in January there are tens of thousands of pilgrims in town, sometimes walking for a month to reach the churches. In 1978 Lalibela, which lays at an altitude of 2520m, was listed as a world heritage site.
Situated in the mountains of LASTA, on the western slopes of the ABUNE YOSEPH MASSIF, it has a beautiful and impressive setting, with the best sunsets you can imagine.
Wild craggy mountains invite you to hike here and still used monasteries are to be found only 2,5 hours walk away from town, very rewarding with fascinating views all over the valley.
Since old times Lalibela is also called the 'new Jerusalem', Ethiopians are not shy about their religion; here it is easy to witness Christianity in its most raw and powerful form.
Lalibelas big market calls each Saturday thousands of locals from everywhere in the region, they walk from as far as 20 km away to sell their goods; it is a vivid place where you can buy vegetables, fruits, animals, herbs, honey and traditional clothes.
Not so long ago, Lalibela was only to be reached on gravel roads, far away from anything else, it took days to come here. Nowadays it has changed because Lalibela has an airport with daily flights to Addis, Gondar, Axum and Bahir Dar.
Don't forget about the possibility to come here by bus, although it will take you 1,5 days from Addis on sometimes bumpy roads- take it easy and use your time to enjoy the beautiful Ethiopian landscape!
Since Lalibela is really such a most visited place please make sure to read through our section