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Itinerary: Eritrea Discovery

Eritrea Discovery

Travel through Africa’s newest nation on a surprising journey. We explore the amazing Art Deco architecture of Asmara, one of the most charming cities on the continent, travel to evocative Massawa with its Ottoman heritage.

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Eritrea Discovery
Eritrea Discovery
Eritrea Discovery

Introduction

A fantastic insight to this little visited corner of Africa, this tour allows you to discover the highlights of the country. We start and end with the charming capital Asmara, at 2,300m pleasant at any time of the year. You will have plenty of time to check out some of the Italian style cafes and bars before we head north to Keren, famous for its Monday camel market. Next we travel towards the Red Sea Coast and the city of Massawa, a place with an engaging, exotic character and a delight to explore. Returning to the capital, we make an excursion to the interesting town of Decamhere and also take a ride on the Italian era steam train, one of the world’s great rail journeys. A great trip through a truly exciting part of Africa.

Day 1- Asmara
Arrive in Asmara and transfer from the airport to your hotel. Overnight Crystal Hotel or similar.

Day 2 - Asmara
Explore beautiful Asmara on a city tour to see many examples of Art Deco architecture dating from the Italian period, and enjoy the perfect year round climate by taking a cappuccino at one of the many outdoor cafes. Overnight Crystal Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 3 - Keren
Today we leave the capital and head north through the highlands past steep terraces of coffee and orange groves to Keren, set on a plateau at 1392m surrounded by dusty ochre mountains. One of the country's most attractive towns, Keren is also the heart of Eritrea's agricultural community. Visits include Keren’s popular markets, including one for livestock and camels, which attracts traders from a wide area. Overnight Sarina Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 4 - Massawa
We continue from Keren to the Red Sea Coast and the city of Massawa. Our leisurely drive will take us through Filfil, home to Eritrea’s last remnant of tropical forest. It forms part of the Semenawai Bahri or ‘Green Belt’ area and, amid the arid starkness of the surrounding landscape, rises up oasis-like before you, cool, lush and verdant. It is also one of the best places in the country to see birds and mammals. There is a good chance of spotting vervet monkeys and hamadryas baboons. Overnight Red Sea Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 5 - Massawa
Spend the day exploring Massawa. Stroll among the many white Turkish, Egyptian and Italian buildings and through the maze of narrow alleyways to soak up the atmosphere and maybe sample some of the mouth-watering seafood available. Overnight Red Sea Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 6 - Day Excursion to Adulis and the Gulf of Zula
Visit the ancient port of Adulis- one of the ancient ports once numbering among the greatest ports of the ancient world with links to the Roman, Egyptian and Greek Empires. From there continue to the Gulf of Zula - a deep cleft in Eritrea's coastline which is the birthplace of the Great Rift Valley on the African continent. Return to Massawa for the night. Overnight Red Sea Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 7 - Asmara
Return to Asmara and more time to explore the capital on arrival. Overnight Crystal Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 8 - Decamhere
Travel to Decamhare, a charming town once called secondo Roma (Second Rome) designed to be the transport hub of the Italian Empire in the Horn of Africa. It was once a favourite settlement of the Italians and contains some good examples of old colonial architecture. Overnight Crystal Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 9 - Steam Train Excursion
Today we have arranged a morning excursion on Eritrea's famous Italian-era steam train through the mountains and back to Asmara. This journey is considered to be one of the greatest rail journeys in Africa and will be enjoyed even by those who are not train enthusiasts. You will arrive back in Asmara around lunch time and the afternoon will be free for you to relax and enjoy the city. Overnight Crystal Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note the railway company operates the train subject to a minimum of 10 passengers. In the event that the train does not operate an alternative excursion will be arranged locally


Day 10 - Asmara
Free time to explore further until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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Price Includes
Accommodation on twin share basis
Meals as listed (B - Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
steam train excursion (subject to confirmation locally and minimum numbers)
English speaking driver/guide

Price Does Not Include
International flights
travel Insurance
visa fees
meals other than shown
drinks

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