Bahirdar is a town set on the south - eastern shore of lake Tana, where local fishermen still use papyrus boats, and just 30 km from the spectacular Tissisat Falls. Here the Blue Nile creates “Smoking Water" an awe-inspiring sight as it plunges into the gorge below.
From Bahirdar one must explore some of the ancient monasteries that have been built around Lake Tana, or on the many Islands. The colorful local market at Bahirdar is renowned for its weavers and woodworkers.
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, Narga, Tana Cherkos, Mitsele Fasiledes, Kebran and Debre Mariam.