Eritrea Mini Travel Guide
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Despite its immaturity in the sector of tourism development, Eritrea is a unique historical region. It is known for numerous historical mysteries that are hidden in its depths. The numerous monuments of history, the catacombs of Nakfa, the unique nature of the country, and the underwater world of the Red Sea attract ever larger numbers of visitors.
Unfortunately, the long years of war destroyed almost all the landmarks in many cities of the country. Still, the country can offer beautiful beaches of Massawa, the Dahlak archipelago, as well as numerous historical sites. The local cuisine is especially remarkable here.
Asmara is located on the eastern edge of the elevated plateau, known for its quite mild climate, clean streets and architectural sights. It has a reputation of one of the safest capitals in Africa. The main street of the city is called Liberation Ave, which crosses the capital from east to west. All walks across Asmara normally start here. The tourists admire the Corinthian columns of the neo-classical Palace of the Governor, the Romanesque portico, the Opera House, the Catholic cathedral. Other notable places are the City Mosque and the impressive facade of Cinema Empire. The excellent National Museum of Asmara still needs a complete renovation of its new premises. The expected exposition is going to include the exhibitions dedicated to the struggle for independence, the history of the nine ethnic groups, the culture of the country and its main archaeological sites. Of special interest is also the City Park and the Tank Cemetery, where you can find the remnants of tanks, armored vehicles and other military equipment of different periods.
The port of Massawa on the Red Sea has long been the cultural center of the country. This harbor was used by foreign traders and invaders. The city lies on Massawa and Taulud islands. Massawa Island has a labyrinth of streets and a mixture of interesting buildings, hotels, squares and religious edifices. In the side streets opposite the harbor you will find the houses made of coral blocks. Coral was once a traditional building material for houses, but it is a real attraction nowadays. Massawa is also famous for the ancient buildings decorated with luxurious Turkish and Egyptian carved facades.
Kohayto is one of the best archaeological areas of the country. Temple Miriam Uakiro, situated here, is one of the earliest Christian churches in the world. To the north of it there lies the Egyptian Tomb, carved deep into the ground and having no rivals in the ancient world. In Kohayto there are also several picturesque ancient rock formations, including the famous cave of Adi Alauti with more than 100 beautiful sculpted rock panels.
Dahlak archipelago includes more than three hundred islands off the east coast of Eritrea. The waters here are relatively clean. One can see huge schools of fish and coral, providing the visitors with an exclusive view. A large number of traces of shipwrecks and rich marine life of these waters make Dahlak an excellent place for scuba diving. Here are some of the most ancient coral reefs in the Red Sea.
The island of Dahlak Kebir is the largest island in the archipelago. Tourists visit its colorful ethnic villages and many archaeological ruins. The island is so stuffed with historical and natural attractions, that it is enlisted as the candidate to obtain the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dahlak Kebir is also a huge tourist complex with many good hotels.
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