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. One of them can only be visited by men.
The mural paintings in their churches represents beautifull pieces of religious art. The moncks show you their treasures and religious manuscripts, written in Geez on goat and horse skin. Transport is done on small wooden rafts but tourist can make a tour with small boats.
At the Southern tip of the lake and the Northern outskirts of the town, the Nile leaves Lake Tana and launches its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea. This spot is accessed by boats from the city of Bahir Dar.
Lake Tana has attracted mystics and religious people for centuries and most of the islands' monasteries, house invaluable historical documents, relics, beautifully painted walls, and the tombs of mediaeval Ethiopian kings. Daga Istafanos, with its priceless collection of icons, Kibran Gebriel, with many ancient books, and the impressive and beautiful Ura Kidane Mirhet and its intriguing frescoes, are among the many that may be visited.
A day of visits to these wonderful sights can be concluded with a spectacular sunset view, from Bezawit Hill, across Lake Tana and the town, while overlooking hippopotami in the river below.