The Gheralta Mountains are a great place for combining hiking and history. Most of the hikes are day hikes or shorter and lead to Ethiopian Orthodox Church monasteries. Many of the trails go up steep inclines, often necessitating switchbacks, as many of the monasteries are built in somewhat inaccessible places atop rocky buttes for protection and seclusion.

The environment around Gheralta is dryer than elsewhere in the Ethiopian Highlands, so hikes are less likely to get rained out here. Shelter can always be found in the monasteries, but this is more likely to be needed as protection from the sun rather than the rain. Even though the ambient air temperature is pleasant, the solar radiation can be intense.

The scenery, however, is stunning, similar to Moab Utah, with layered rock formations stacked to grand proportions. The tones are earthy reds and yellows, tinged with the light greens of the steppe-like vegetation.Some of the trails include sections where rock clambering or even climbing is required. The monks use leather ropes for this and will even pull people up, if necessary. It is essential to be respectful and aware of the rules for entering holy sites. This can be as simple as taking off both shoes before entering, to as severe as not even entering unless male.