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An update from Evaneos

Hawzēn (Ethiopia)

Practical information about Hawzēn

  • Relaxation
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Essential
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
2hr drive from Mekele
When to go

All year round

Minimum stay
3 to 5 days

Reviews of Hawzēn

Camille Griffoulieres Travel writer
116 travel articles

Hawzen is a Tigrayan village situated between Mekele and Aksoum) that, along with Wukro, has the best selection of accommodation. It's conveniently close to Tigray's most spectacular churches, including Mariam Korkor, Abouna Yemata and Debre Damo.

My suggestion:
Try to spend several days in Tigray - its array of stunning churches is worth every minute. Local organisations provide guides that can take you on fascinating hikes that last several days. 

Visiting Tigray's churches was a highlight of my trip to Ethiopia. I stayed in a superb ecolodge in Hawzen, before scaling the rocky outcrops that lead to the various churches. According to local priests, some date back to the 5th Century, although historians claim they were built between the 9th and 15th Centuries. 

Accompanied by the obligatory scout, guide and priest, the Abouna Yemata Church was the most impressive of them all. I ended up going barefoot in order to scramble up the cliff, with only the scout to support me. This was followed by a hair-raising, narrow path set in the rocks, which ran along the length of the cliff.

The paintings inside these orthodox churches are amazing and depict the religion's most famous saints. Abouna Yemata and its paintings are dedicated to the nine Syrian saints who were at the helm of Ethiopia's evangelisation. I was also extremely impressed by the Mariam Korkor, Abuna Daniel, Medhane Alem and Petros and Paulos churches.

A painting in Abuna Yemata Church
A priest at the entrance to Abuna Yemata Church