Blessed with some of the most incredibly-stunning escarpments and rock massifs of the Great Rift Valley, Gheralta is the "Meteora of Ethiopia" with its rock-hewn churches nestled in seemingly-impossible places that pre-dates even the churches of Lalibela making this cluster in the northern Tigray region an exceptional site worthy to be a blockbuster film setting in the Indiana Jones franchise (except it's not). Each with its own unique ancient murals and relics, the cave churches of Gheralta requires a dedicated hiking effort to get there but with the landscape resembling a cross between Arizona in the USA and Meteora in Greece, it's fully worth!
Not for the faint-hearted, the rock-hewn sandstone cave churches of Gheralta are some of the highest-perched in the world that dates back to the 4th Century. A journey here not only involves historical wonders but requires some form of physical fitness to achieve. The climbs to reach the churches carved out of solid rock are arduous and involve near-vertical cliff faces at times and steep 300m ledges, particularly to reach the Abuna Yemata Church. From Gheralta, a heli excursion is arranged to cut the long drive to the ruins of Aksum, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the biblical Ark of the Covenant.