The ultimate journey to africa's little italy
Asmara – Massawa – Keren – Dahlak
Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will give you a wide range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
DAY 1 - Asmara
Our guides will collect you at Asmara International Airport and drive your to our hotel of choice (exact hotel name and address will be communicated well in advance per email); currently the best flight connections to Eritrea are offered by FlyDubai and Egypt Air: we will gladly assist you in the booking process.
Late night snack and overnight in Asmara.
DAY 2 - Asmara
Asmara Grand Tour: Asmara Cathedral, Liberation Avenue, Mariam Orthodox Church, Al Khulafa Al Rashidun Mosque, Enda Marian Copt Cathedral, Madebar Market, Central Bazaar, Cinema Impero, FIAT Tagliero and lots of Italian architectonic gems.
Traditional Eritrean lunch.
In the afternoon we'll enjoy the classic passeggiata, an old Italian - and Eritrean by extent - tradition consisting of a leisurely stroll through downtown, taken for the purpose of gossiping and socializing.
Dinner and overnight in Asmara.
DAY 3 - Keren
In the morning we'll leave the capital and drive north through the highlands past steep terraces of coffee and orange groves to Keren, a traditional Eritrean town set on a plateau surrounded by dusty ochre mountains.
Once in Keren we'll devote the whole day to the bustling markets the town is famous for, including one for livestock and camels, which attracts nomadic traders from the northern regions.
We'll also have the chance to visit the Italian and British war cemeteries as well as the sacred baobab temple: a truly mesmerising experience.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Keren.
DAY 4 - Asmara
Back in Asmara we'll enjoy a tour of its less known neighbourhoods such as Tiravolo, Paradiso and the Diplomatic Quarter, as well as the more traditionally African parts of town, the Italian monumental cemetery and the tank graveyard in the outskirts.
Later in the day we will travel to Dekemhare, a little sleepy town renowned for its rationalist architecture.
Colonial train option: if time allows and we reach the minimum required number of participants (we may join other groups for the purpose) we will enjoy a ride on board of the littorina, an old Italian train from the colonial era; the ride takes to the village of Nefasit takes approximately 90 minutes and costs 50 € extra.
Dinner and overnight in Asmara.
DAY 5 - Massawa
We'll leave Asmara and head to the port city of Massawa driving along the winding road connecting the highlands to the coast.
Besides the usual stops for food, toilette and photography we'll break the journey in Nefasit, Ginda and Dogali, which will welcome us with an interesting array of natural (hot springs), historical (Italian railway) and cultural (traditional lifestyle) wonders.
After lunch we'll reach Massawa, where we'll enjoy a pleasant lazy stroll through the grandeur of its colonial old town.
Dinner and overnight in Massawa.
DAY 6/7 - Dahlak Islands
We'll travel by boat to the Dahlak Archipelago, where we'll spend two days surrounded by pristine nature and deep blue waters.
After having toured the traditional fishing hamlets on the islands we'll enjoy a guided tour to the Dahlak Marine National Park: scuba diving is generally allowed and is led by a group of trained divers who were once pearl fishers; snorkeling is also a good option for those without a diver certification.
If you are not in the mood for an immersion you can enjoy the company of Eritrean fishermen and learn traditional fishing techniques or simply chill out on the beach observing the slow pace of local life.
Dinner and overnight (tent provided by us) on the islands.
DAY 8 - Asmara
Those interested in a longer stay on the islands can enjoy an extension of whatever length they wish (get in touch for more details on possible routes and prices).
We'll sail back to Massawa and after an early fish lunch we'll finally head to Asmara.
Free afternoon in Asmara for souvenir shopping and coffee pleasures.
Dinner and overnight in Asmara.
DAY 9 - Flight back home
After enjoying a last Eritrean-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Asmara International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the central bus station.
For those looking at a trip combination with another country of the region such as Ethiopia, Djibouti and/or Somalia: we will arrange a bespoke tour to the destination of their choice for a fraction of the market price.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 1980 €
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
where the heck am i travelling to?
BELOW you can see the different tour stages marked on a map of the region you are going to explore with us
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE
Socotra and/or Somaliland