Lalibela is a small rural village, set against a stunning backdrop of the Lasta mountains in the eastern highlands of northern Ethiopia. It is best known for its 13 rock-hewn churches, made by hand over 900 years ago and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The churches are arguably the most impressive historical site anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some of the lesser known attractions around Lalibela are the four equally historic but less frequently visited churches in the small village of Billbilla, and also the relatively new community reserve established to protect the endemic wildlife that inhabits the upper slopes of Mount Abune Yoseph. Elsewhere in the region, the twin towns of Dessie and Kombolcha are very useful overnight stops which provide access to the scenic Lake Hayk and the busy Bati livestock market,. The modest town of Weldiya is best known for its Tuesday and Saturday markets but is primarily used as the main springboard for public transport to Lalibela.
Lalibela's position in the central highlands of Ethiopia means that it receives its heaviest rainfall from June to early October, but a visit is possible all year round.
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