Tucked away in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea tells a tale of ancient civilizations, irresistible landscapes, and an enticing fusion of cultures.
From the arid desert terrains to the clear waters of the Red Sea, the country is a canvas of diverse landscapes that beg exploration. Eritrea's tapestry of cultures paints a vivid picture of its rich and complex history, shaped by its Italian, Sudanese, and Ethiopian influences.
Asmara, its art-deco capital, feels like a cinematic set piece. A throwback to the 1930s Italian rule, the city is a living museum with its preserved architecture. Wide boulevards and piazzas, reminiscent of Rome, create a unique charm that invites you to lose yourself in exploration. Cafes offering the finest Italian espresso add to the city's unhurried ambiance.
Venturing from the capital, you'll be greeted by an expansive vista of the Red Sea. The Dahlak Archipelago, a diver's paradise, offers world-class diving and snorkeling experiences. Its untouched coral reefs are home to an astonishing variety of marine life. Sailing through the serene turquoise sea, you'll uncover the underwater wonders that few get to witness.
Further inland, the highlands reveal a dramatically different side of Eritrea. Majestic mountains and verdant valleys stretch as far as the eye can see. The trails invite you for unforgettable treks, as they wind through stunning landscapes offering panoramic views at every turn.
Travelers to Eritrea must have a visa. It's advisable to obtain one before you travel as visas aren't issued upon arrival. Also, a valid passport is required with at least six months of remaining validity.
The currency in Eritrea is the Nakfa (ERN). US Dollars and Euros are usually accepted, especially in the capital Asmara. However, the exchange rate can vary. It's recommended to carry some local currency for convenience.
The official languages are Tigrinya, Arabic, and English. It would be useful to learn a few phrases in Tigrinya, the most widely spoken language, although English is also understood in many places.
For a real taste of Eritrean culture, consider experiencing a traditional coffee ceremony, a significant part of the social and cultural life here. It’s not just about the coffee, but also about friendship and community. The trick is to accept at least a second serving – refusing may be seen as impolite!