Reasons To Visit Eritrea

Reasons to visit Eritrea at least once in your lifetime

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Reasons to Visit Eritrea: Explore the Untouched Beauty

You must visit Eritrea at least once in your lifetime to experience the awe-inspiring beauty and rich cultural heritage of this African gem. Nestled along the northeastern coast of the continent, Eritrea is a country like no other. From ancient ruins to vibrant markets, picturesque landscapes to stunning coral reefs, Eritrea offers a plethora of attractions that will leave you spellbound. Come and discover the hidden treasures of this enchanting land and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover a land of rich cultural heritage and ancient ruins
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant markets and bustling city life
  • Experience breathtaking landscapes, from rugged mountains to pristine beaches
  • Snorkel or dive among stunning coral reefs in the Red Sea
  • Savor the unique flavors of Eritrean cuisine
  • Witness the traditional music and dance performances
  • Explore the diverse wildlife and nature reserves
  • Interact with the warm and welcoming locals

1. Asmara: The “Little Rome” of Africa

Step into Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, and be transported back in time. With its captivating colonial architecture, wide boulevards, and vibrant cafes, Asmara is often referred to as the “Little Rome” of Africa. Take a leisurely stroll down Harnet Avenue, the main street of the city, lined with charming cafes and shops.

2. Massawa: A Living Museum of History

Explore Massawa, Eritrea’s ancient port city, and uncover its rich history. From the imposing Ottoman-era Fort to the narrow alleyways of the old town, every corner of Massawa tells a story. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Bait Al-Money, the oldest mosque in the city, and the Dahlak Archipelago, a group of pristine islands just off the coast.

3. Dahlak Archipelago: Paradise for Diving Enthusiasts

Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Dahlak Archipelago and discover a world brimming with vibrant coral reefs and exotic marine life. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a novice snorkeler, the underwater wonders of the Red Sea will leave you in awe. Explore sunken shipwrecks, swim with dolphins, and marvel at the colorful array of fish that call this marine paradise home.

4. Debre Bizen: A Spiritual Retreat

Escape to the peaceful surroundings of Debre Bizen, a sacred monastery perched atop a rugged mountain. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance as you explore the ancient rock-hewn churches and witness the spiritual rituals performed by the monks. The breathtaking views from the top will leave you feeling rejuvenated and at peace.

5. The Gash-Barka Region: Wildlife and Nature at its Best

Embark on a safari adventure in the Gash-Barka region, home to a diverse range of wildlife and nature reserves. Spot majestic elephants, graceful antelopes, and elusive predators as you traverse the vast savannahs and woodlands. Visit the Keren Game Reserve and witness the annual zebra migration, a spectacle you won’t want to miss.

6. Keren: A Cultural Haven

Discover the cultural heart of Eritrea in the vibrant city of Keren. From its bustling markets adorned with colorful textiles and handicrafts to its lively music and dance performances, Keren offers a glimpse into traditional Eritrean life. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Mariam Dearit Cathedral, a symbol of religious unity in the region.

7. The Red Sea Coast: Pristine Beaches and Water Sports

Unwind on the sun-kissed beaches of the Red Sea coast and soak in the tranquil beauty of this pristine coastline. Whether you prefer relaxing under a palm tree or indulging in exhilarating water sports, Eritrea’s beaches have something for everyone. Try your hand at windsurfing, kiteboarding, or simply take a dip in the crystal-clear waters.

8. Historical Sites: Preserving the Past

Immerse yourself in Eritrea’s rich historical heritage as you visit the ancient ruins scattered throughout the country. Explore the ancient city of Qohaito and marvel at its impressive obelisks and temple ruins. Step back in time at the ancient Kingdom of Aksum and discover its archaeological treasures, including the famous Ezana Stone.

9. Zula: Paradise for Water Enthusiasts

Indulge in the ultimate water adventure at Zula, a picturesque coastal town known for its pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs. Dive into the azure waters and witness the kaleidoscope of colors that lie beneath the surface. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, Zula’s underwater wonders will leave you breathless.

10. Eritrean Cuisine: A Gastronomic Delight

Delight your taste buds with the flavors of Eritrean cuisine, a fusion of African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean influences. From injera, a spongy flatbread served with a variety of stews, to the aromatic coffee ceremony, Eritrea’s culinary offerings are a feast for the senses. Don’t miss the chance to savor the traditional dish of zigni, a spicy meat stew served with injera.

Interesting and Fun Activities in Eritrea

1. Explore the Ruins of Qohaito

Embark on a journey through time as you explore the ancient ruins of Qohaito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the towering obelisks, walk along the remnants of ancient streets, and imagine life in this once-thriving city. The stunning views from the top of the escarpment are worth the climb.

2. Discover the Underground Churches of Debre Sina

Venture into the underground world of Debre Sina and discover the hidden churches carved into the cliffs. Marvel at the intricate rock-cut architecture and the vibrant frescoes that adorn the walls. Experience a sense of awe and spirituality as you immerse yourself in this ancient place of worship.

3. Hike Mount Soira: A Trekker’s Paradise

Challenge yourself to a trek up Mount Soira, one of the highest peaks in Eritrea. Marvel at the breathtaking vistas as you climb through rugged terrain and lush forests. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you reach the summit is unparalleled.

4. Visit the National Museum of Eritrea

Immerse yourself in Eritrea’s fascinating history and culture as you explore the National Museum of Eritrea. From ancient artifacts to traditional costumes, the museum offers a glimpse into the country’s rich heritage. Don’t miss the chance to see the famous Bisha Gold Mask, a testament to Eritrea’s ancient gold mining history.

5. Scuba Diving in the Red Sea

Dive into the depths of the Red Sea and explore its mesmerizing coral reefs and vibrant marine life. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, Eritrea offers plenty of dive sites to suit every skill level. Swim alongside colorful fish, spot graceful sea turtles, and marvel at the beauty of the underwater world.

6. Experience the Coffee Ceremony

Immerse yourself in Eritrea’s coffee culture by participating in a traditional coffee ceremony. Watch as the beans are roasted, ground, and brewed to perfection. Savor the rich aroma and taste of freshly brewed coffee while engaging in lively conversations with the locals.

7. Attend a Traditional Music and Dance Performance

Experience the vibrant beats and rhythms of traditional Eritrean music and dance. From the hypnotic sounds of the krar (a traditional musical instrument) to the energetic movements of the dancers, you’ll be captivated by the infectious joy and energy of these performances.

8. Explore the Local Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Eritrea’s local markets. Stroll through the bustling stalls adorned with colorful textiles, intricate jewelry, and aromatic spices. Engage with friendly vendors, haggle for unique souvenirs, and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of the local culture.

9. Witness the Traditional Saho Village Life

Step into a traditional Saho village and get a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. Learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life as you interact with the warm and welcoming villagers. Experience the simplicity and tranquility of rural Eritrea.

10. Explore the Wildlife at Semienawi Bahri National Park

Embark on a wildlife safari at Semienawi Bahri National Park and encounter a wide range of exotic animals, including zebras, antelopes, and ostriches. Explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, from acacia woodlands to wetlands, and marvel at the beauty of Eritrea’s natural landscapes.

Eritrea is a country that offers a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality, it is sure to captivate the hearts of all who visit. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure of a lifetime, and discover the untamed beauty of Eritrea.

Why go to Eritrea?

You must visit Eritrea at least once in your lifetime because Eritrea has beaches, reefs, archipelagos, archaeology, culture, religion, and natural beauty. Furthermore, the colonial past of the country is well-preserved. 

Places to go in Eritrea:

  1. Akordat
  2. Asmara
  3. Asmara Zoo
  4. Asmara’s Opera House
  5. Dahlak Marine National Park
  6. Dankalia
  7. Debre Bizen Monastery
  8. Emba Soira Mountain
  9. Filfil
  10. Hawatsu Copse and Reservoir
  11. Keren
  12. Massawa
  13. Metera
  14. Qohaito
  15. Red Sea
  16. Semenawi Bahri National Park
  17. Senafe
  18. St. Mariam Cathedral
  19. The Danakil Depression
  20. The Imperial Palace

What is Eritrea famous for?

Eritrea is famous for its abundance of unusual fish species. It also features one of the world’s finest examples of colonial-era architecture. The country is still home to nine different ethnic groups, which makes it a great place to learn about other cultures.

Fun Facts about Eritrea

  • Since the country’s independence, no presidential or national election has been held in Eritrea.
  • “Erythra Thalassa” refers to the Red Sea, the largest body of water that borders Eritrea.
  • One of Africa’s oldest port cities, Asmara, is located in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.
  • The Italians occupied Eritrea from 1890 to 1941, when the British seized it during World War II. The United Nations Trust Territory of Eritrea was managed by the British until 1952.
  • Eritrea does not have an official language.

Why visit Eritrea

How big is Eritrea?

Eritrea is about 117,598 square km or 45405 square miles in size.

When is the best time to visit Eritrea?

The best time to visit Eritrea is the months of September, October, March, and April.

The ideal time to visit Eritrea is either in September and October or in March and April. The season between June and September is best avoided as it is wet in the west and extremely hot in the east.

How many days do you need to see Eritrea?

Getting to Eritrea requires a stopover in Ethiopia’s main city of Addis Ababa, as there are no direct flights from the UK to that country. It’s simple to get around in Africa’s smallest country, and 10 days is plenty of time to visit the main sights.

What is the cheapest time to go to Eritrea?

The low season (flights) to visit Eritrea is July and August.

Eritrea has a tropical monsoon climate, so temperatures seldom fall below freezing. On the other hand, Eritrea may be said to be cooler than other African nations. Flights to Eritrea are less costly in July and August, making it the best time of year to visit.

Is Eritrea an expensive city to visit?

Overall, Eritrea is a relatively affordable nation. Still, this is a highly costly place to visit in a country where most people make less than USD 50 a day. Compared to other major cities, Asmara’s lodging costs are lower. Hotels, on average, cost less than vacation homes.

How to save money when visiting Eritrea?

The best ways to save money when visiting Eritrea are:

  • Be Cautious With Your Expenditures on Food and Drink.
  • Take a tour of the area on foot.
  • Make the Most of the Deals, Discounts, and Giveaways.
  • Utilize the public transport system.

What food (and drinks) is Eritrea known for?

Things you need to eat in Eritrea before you die:

  • Tsebhi 
  • Zigni
  • Daga (a beverage made locally in Barentu)
  • Abake 

Visit Eritrea at least once in your lifetime

Is Eritrea safe to visit?

If you avoid certain areas of Eritrea, the nation is generally safe to visit. Petty and violent crimes can happen, although they aren’t very widespread. Nonetheless, be aware of your surroundings and use caution.

What is the best way to get around in Eritrea?

The best way to get around in Eritrea are:

  • Bus
  • Car hire
  • Taxi

What neighbourhoods or areas should I stay in when I visit Eritrea?

The best areas you should stay in when visiting Eritrea are:

  • Asmara City
  • Barentu
  • Hotel Asmara Palace
  • Crystal Hotel

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for food?

The best areas for food and drinks when visiting Eritrea are:

  • Sallam Restaurant
  • Roof Garden

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for shopping?

The best areas for shopping when visiting Eritrea are:

  • The Shuq
  • Edaga Lakha
  • Asmara Central Market
  • Medeber market

What should I do on my first trip to Eritrea?

If you are visiting Eritrea for the first time, start your trip in Asmara, the country’s capital. You can see beautiful Art Deco buildings dotting this vibrant metropolis. Harnet Avenue is the country’s most beautiful and well-known boulevard, so take your time and enjoy the scenery while you’re there. 

Is Eritrea a good place for solo travel?

When traveling solo, you may visit an archaeological site in Eritrea known as Qohaito. Safra’s Dam and King Saba’s palace may be found here, both of which date to the Axumite and pre-Axumite eras. This location has been occupied since the 5th century based on the rock art found here. As you tour the remains, it’simagining what life was like back then is energizing.

Is Eritrea a good place to visit for a family with kids?

When visiting Eritrea as a family with kids, you will see many beautiful porticos, arcades, and whitewashed homes as you walk throughout the city of Massawa. The Massawa Museum is a great place for children to learn about various subjects, including natural history, archeology, ethnography, colonial art, and military history. 

Is Eritrea a good place for couples?

When visiting Eritrea as a couple, you may experience the numerous breathtaking vistas and unique experiences that await you in Eritrea. In Asmara, you can enjoy the architecture or the unique culture. In Massawa, you can take it easy or go hiking or diving in Dahlak Marine National Park to see amazing marine life.

What are the best annual events in Eritrea?

The best annual events in Eritrea that you cannot miss are

  • Orthodox Epiphany in January
  • Anniversary of the Start of the Armed Struggles in September
  • Fenkil Day in February
  • Martyr’s Day in June
  •  Festival Eritrea in July and August


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