Asheten Maryam monastery – The smell of St. Mary – is a rock hewn church and monastery on top of the mountain that dominates the view in Lalibela.
In addition to experiencing the ancient church, the visit gives you a wonderful time of exercise breathing the fresh mountain air as well as admiring the view of Lalibela with its surrounding countryside from high up.
On an ordinary day, the road will be quiet and you will see some locals carrying out their everyday tasks. During festivals, locals and pilgrims love to visit Asheten Maraym so you will be accompanied and encouraged by many friendly co-visitors.
It is possible to walk all the way, but renting and riding a mule makes the trip lighter. Even with the mule part of the way will be made walking. The visit takes two to four hours depending on your speed and how much time you want to spend up on the mountain. It is best to start early in the morning, since the sun is hot around noon and early afternoon.
Riding the mule is convenient, fun and not too demanding. The mules walk slowly and they are guided on leash by a muleteer so you do not need to manage the mule on your own. Your main task will be to keep your balance on the mule – which is the easier the fatter the mule is. Also, remember to keep your feet close to the mule in order not to hit them against surrounding stones. We help you to hire a mule and a guide for your trip.