First UK-arranged cycle tours to Ethiopia hit the road

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The first-ever organised road cycling holidays to Ethiopia departing from the UK have officially launched.

The holidays, by Brighton-based, Ethiopia specialist Tadele Travel, will take advantage of unique landscapes, newly-built tarmac roads and Ethiopia’s rich tradition of road cycling to offer three different levels of experience, all designed to suit cyclists looking for a new challenge.

The holidays are set in the country’s northernmost province of Tigray, passing through the ancient city of Axum and the scenic Gheralta Mountains. Thanks to warm sunshine and undulating, almost car-free roads, the surrounding area has long been established as the country’s cycling hub and is the birthplace of current UCI World Tour rider Tsgabu Grmay of the Bahrain-Merida team.

Home to some of the Ethiopia’s iconic sights such as the rock-hewn churches of Tigray that date back to the 4th century, it also has excellent tourism infrastructure and a network of international-standard hotels.

The three eight-day itineraries are: • Ethiopian Highland Explorer Tour – this tour features four days of cycling over a total distance of some 200km starting and finishing at Gheralta Lodge, with cultural excursions to rock-hewn churches and the ancient capital of Axum. Departures: Friday 29 September, 2017 and Monday 27 November, 2018. Prices start from £2,175 per person. • Ethiopian Highland Challenge Tour – with five days of cycling over 395 km, this tour is aimed at more serious cyclists covering a similar route but with longer rides and one less rest day. As a highlight, there is a 130km ride into Axum itself. Departures Saturday 17 June, 2017 and Monday 15 January, 2018. Prices start from £1,975 for the June tour, which includes a £100 launch discount off the official £2,075 price. • Ethiopian Highland Endurance Tour – for those looking for a more extreme challenge, there are 587km of cycling over six days on this journey that covers a loop to both the north and south of Mekele. Departures: Saturday 21 October, 2017 and Monday 29 January, 2018. Prices start from £1,975 per person.

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