Bahir Dar located on the southern shores of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and the source of Blue nile river. And is a center for boating excursion to the lake’s islands and Blue Nile falls, the most spectacular waterfalls.
In addition, There are 31 islands that are dotted on lake tana. Those are the home for the most interesting island churches and monasteries including the monasteries of Kibran Gebriel, Ura Kidane Mihret, Azwa Mariam, Dega Estifanose, Tana Cherkos, and Narga Sellasie and more are among the monasteries inhabited the island of Lake Tana and also a Boat Cruise on Lake Tana is one of the most scenic and mind blowing excursion for visitors.
A spectacular Blue Nile falls or Tis Issat means “Water that Smoke”. And it is located 32km from the town of Bahir Dar. The Blue Nile Falls plunges 45m below and 400m wide. It gives rise to steam cloud, smoke like fire, which is locally known as Tis Issat.
From Bahirdar one must explore some of the ancient monasteries that have been built around Lake Tana, or on the many Islands. The colourful local market at Bahirdar is renowned for its weavers and wood workers.
Lake Tana, the largest lake, in Ethiopia is the source and from where the famed Blue Nile starts its long journey to Khartoum, and on to the Mediterranean. The 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of the Lake shelter fascinating churches and monasteries, some of which have histories dating back to the 13th Century. However, it should be noted that most of the religious houses are not open to women. The most interesting islands are: Birgida Mariam, Dega Estefanous, Dek, Narga, Tana Cherkos, Mitsele Fasiledes, Kebran and Debre Mariam.
Kebran Gabriel is the principal monastery visited by male tourists from Bahirdar, with its impressive Cathedral-like building first built at the end of the 17th Century. Dega Estephanos, which is also closed to women, is on an island in the lake, and the monastery is reached by a very steep and winding path. Although the church is relatively new ( only hundred years old) , it houses a Madonna painted in the 15th century. However, the treasury of the monastery is a prime attraction, with the remains of several Emperors, as well as their robes and jewels.