Asheton Maryam Monastery

Asheton Maryam Monastery, Lalibela

Asheton Maryam Monastery
Churches & Cathedrals
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

130 reviews
Very good

London, UK488 contributions
Nov 2019
We set off from our hotel really early, so as not to be hiking in the middle of the day. Wandering along the road, we passed many children working in the fields, and there were fantastic views all around. About 30 minutes from the monastery, we reached the paying point to get into the monastery. A steep 350 Birr each, the price is set by the Diocese, and that's about £10 per head. You certainly don't see a St Paul's Cathedral-worth for your 350 Birr (and as our guide book warned that the priests may ask for more to open up the church, we didn't - in any case we were 'churched out' after seeing all the rock-hewn churches the previous day). However, the views are stunning and this is well worth the climb out of Lalibela.
Written October 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong45 contributions
Dec 2019
Perhaps this is the oldest rock-hewn church in the area. The architecture is simple, nothing compared to the central cluster. But the climb up is enjoyable and it is an active place of devotional worship. It now costs 350 etb to enter. The priest/daftara giving tourists the talk is excellent and there are some ancient relics worth looking at. Photography inside seems normal and not taboo if that is your thing. I suggest driving as close as possible (or take a bajaj), then walking up for another 20 minutes or so. After viewing the church, great views are afforded from outside.. and you can *keep climbing* as there's a manageable path that leads you all the way up to the highest point in lalibela, another more modern church is there and the views are spectacular. Bring water, of course.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steffen L
6 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Download the app and follow the path to the top of the mountain. The view is breathtaking and the coffee on your return hike through the valley is a welcome treat. We opted to skip the monastery but accidentally walked through the compound on our hike. It did not look worth the money.
I would recommend navigating towards the road on your return journey and taking a tuktuk downhill. The fine dust on the steep path makes it very slippery.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Uithoorn, The Netherlands164 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
We wanted to hike to the monastery without a guide, which is easy to do. The app maps. me (better than Google maps) shows part of the hiking trail. It begins with a dirt road, and soon a steep but doable hiking trail. The disadvantage are the many children following you and asking for "give me money, give me pen, give me candy". Some of them even throw stones if you do not give anything. So please fellow tourists, do not give anything as this encourages begging. Another disadvantage is the high entrance fee of the church. The tickets are sold 200 meters downhill, so it is not possible just to hike to the top and not visit the church. The church is not worth it. It is possible to follow a path around the mountain which ends up at the monastery as well (which is free). You can find this path on (only the beginning is hard to find). There is also a path around the mountains which eventually leads to Lalibela, so perfect for a half day trip.
Written November 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melbourne, Australia2,676 contributions
Jan 2019 • Friends
There are two options available....
1. a 2.5-3hr trek to the church
2. get driven then climb the last little bit

We did the hike as we weren't told about the vehicle option which is a shame because 6 of our 12 group members would have come along if they'd been able to just do a short climb to the church.

The hike took us around 3hrs from our hotel in town and was in parts, quite difficult. Go slow, take your time and enjoy the scenery. I'm a slow climber and found that our 20 yr old hiking guide rushed us along. There are several parts that are steep and's very dusty too. Definitely wear walking shoes.

Unlike others who've reviewed, we didn't encounter too many children- just a few who sadly all say 'hello, pen'...what have tourists done to these kids? Very sad.

Whilst I can't say that I enjoyed the trek, the end result was worth it. The church is lovely. Inside was spacious and different to others we'd visited. The monk bought several icons out into the doorway so we had good lighting to photograph them- gold crosses, metal crosses (allegedly one of King Lalibela's) and parchment books. Inside the priest was blessing locals as they entered. There's a wooden crucifix which I hadn't noticed in another churches. I really liked this church.

A very short walk up the rock yields an amazing 360 degree view of Lalibela and the mountains- it's quite lovely and you can see how high you've climbed. On the way down do stop at the little coffee place- the women are lovely and very hospitable. They also have soft drinks and water for sale.

Don't forget your headscarf. We took a bajaj back down the mountain!!
Written January 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

56 contributions
Apr 2017 • Solo
We drove to the end of the road, then walked up in the early morning. Low hanging clouds and fog made the walk surreal, and we met many young boys carrying things up and down the trail. We spent a couple of hours on top resting and waiting for the clouds to clear, and walked around the butte-like summit for an extra (and more gradual) downward hike. A lovely day, punctuated by the hospitality of the nuns who maintain the site, and the quiet certitude of the priests. Take some time to sit quietly in the church.
My guide was wonderful, Gashaw Melese ( or mobile: 2519 1131 0468). Find him at Sora Lodge.
Wear good shoes, and dress for visit to a sacred space the whole time you are in Lalibela. It is all pilgrims and churches. If the crowds at the in-town churches become too much, a trip to a monastery like this one will help.
Written February 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frankfurt, Germany115 contributions
Oct 2015 • Friends
Immediately upon reaching Lalibela, we decided to go for this monastery so that we could see the sunset from the top of the mountain. This monastery is located about 2.5 to 3 Kms from Lalibela depending upon where you are staying. Most of the guides will drive you there - you can choose to drive to the closest point or hike more. The last 20-30 minutes must be hiked after there is no more road. The hiking path is wide, well marked , for a small section a little adventurous. But the scenery on the way is so beautiful with different color rocks, greenery, wheat crop etc. etc. We saw some children running around the path close to the edge without a blink while I was more afraid for them. Remember to use good walking/hiking shoes and try to see sunrise or sunset from the top.
Written June 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Minnesota2,852 contributions
Mar 2014 • Solo
I visited this monastery in the context of a fairly rigorous morning hike. There is much to offer here in addition to the destination, and in fact the journey seemed to overshadow the objective at times. The day was roughly divided into four parts: traveling to the base of the mountain, hiking up to the monastery, climbing over and up to the summit of the mountain, and descending back down.

I traveled with a guide (see below) as I am not an experienced hiker and found out early in my trip that they protect you from the many people who would like to “assist” you otherwise. We met at my hotel fairly early in the morning, if I recall it was just before 8AM. The initial segment of the hike was quite memorable as we passed through a small village, then next to several working farms in the countryside. With the weather being quite temperate it’s not much of a stretch to say this was a pleasant introduction. Next came the hike to the monastery which we made from the base of the mountain where we saw the folks using mules saddling up for their journey. We were able to move a bit quicker than the mule train and were actually the first ones to arrive at the monastery. After paying a small entry fee we were led into the church and shown several artifacts including a fairly impressive gold cross. We took a bit of a break here before starting the third segment of the climb: over and up to the adjacent plateau. This was by far the most physically strenuous activity of the day as the trail is quite narrow and vertically challenging in places; it was also by far the most rewarding part of the morning as we were the only ones at the summit and the views of the surrounding valleys (and the monastery below) were superb. After maybe a half hour up here we began the long, slow, and easier-but-not-easy descent to the base of the mountain and then back to the hotel.

I initially had reservations about hiking this route as I had become a bit tired of all the churches and monasteries I had seen at this point but my misgivings quickly vanished. There are several reason why I would highly suggest this activity to any tourist passing through here. First, more than anything else I did in the country this was a great way to see a “slice of life” of real Ethiopians. In addition to the farmers plowing their field we saw villagers making injera (and of course selling souvenirs) and kids on their way to school (or not!) while carrying 25lb bags of barley on their heads. Second, as someone who doesn’t mind a little physical exertion with his tourism this was a great workout with a sense of accomplishment as we reached the plateau overlooking the monastery. Third, this was also a laboratory for seeing a wide variety of plants, animals, rock formations, and long-forgotten ancient ruins in addition to visiting the monks. Driftwood, hyrax, vultures, aloe plants, etc. all played a role in making this a multidimensional learning experience. Much of this is thanks to my tour guide who pointed out many of these that I would have otherwise walked past without noticing.

The overall experience was the highlight of my time in Lalibela. Enjoy.


*Tamiru Ketema (, +251 913 11 00 32) was my leader for this activity and during all of my three days in Lalibela. He was courteous, knowledgeable, and flexible with any type of plan or suggestion. I would recommend him without reservation.

*As seems the norm with any activity in the country but more-so with one as strenuous as this, an early morning departure and bringing water are two essential parts to making this enjoyable. We saw groups starting the climb as we were coming down… I would think it would be tough to do the “extension” of the hike with such a late launch.

*To mule or not-to-mule? I suggest the former but just the thought of being on a mule did appeal to me so I guess it's up to you. It’s a little more effort hiking and I’m fairly certain the mules can’t make the journey past the monastery.

*As a matter of courtesy be sure and ask before you take any pictures in the villages. I also tipped a small amount (10 Birr) afterwards.
Written April 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China1,475 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
The monastery itself is not very impressive. Yet, the scenary along the route while you hike up the mountain is eye opening.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

shoreline138 contributions
Nov 2018 • Couples
The hike and climb to this Monastery was difficult. Just take your time and enjoy the views. Be careful of the small children - they will offer to help you up the mountain but in the end will DEMAND MONEY. We were forced to give them - 3 of them - 11 US dollars each just to leave us alone. Right in the beginning, tell them what you will pay or go alone. The climb is so worth it. Up at the Monastery, the old priest showed us his treasury. Amazing. Century old manuscripts and crosses which are not in glassed cases, not under lock and key and no security. It took the greater part of the day to get up to this area but it was so worth the time and effort.
Written December 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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