Due to its Italian colonization, Eritrea is often referred to as Africa's Little Rome. Even though the country housed in East Africa exhibits several European influences and lies close to the shores of the Middle East, its heart is African. Bordering the Red Sea, the Eritrea is flanked by Djibouti and Sudan along with a long disputed border with Ethiopia.
Kick-start the trip by visiting the dynamic city of Asmara. The country's capital is a fabulous blend of Italian, Arabic and African architecture and culture. There are numerous notable attractions to visit in this incredible metropolis such as its colonial Italian architecture. Be sure to visit the Biet Ghiorghis Zoo and Park area, famed for its scenic beauty. Don't forget to visit the National Museum where one can find tombstones from Dalak islands, findings from Adulis and Sabean material. Be sure to visit the Nda Marian Orthodox Church. It is a great landmark in Asmara with two wooden doors which features frames of red ceramic tesserae.
Be sure to spend some time at a traditional Eritrean highland village in the village of Tselot. The homes seem to replicate the Biblical times such as stone houses, small plots, ancient temples (both Christian and Muslim), folks farming and herding with traditional means utilizing little techology, transporting stuff on mule-and-camel-back. Explore the Martyrs National Park which is featured by a mountainous forest and wildlife reserve at the ridge of the highland plateau. The views and the scenic appearances are to die for.
Head over to the town of Decemhare for it is a favourite settlement of the Italians who wanted it to be a transport center of the whole Italian Empire in the Horn of Africa. The 'Green Belt' of Eritrea lies to the north-east of Asmara and is referred to as Filfil. It comprises of Eritrea's once dense tropical forest and houses an extraordinary amount of birds and mammals. Head over to the capital of the Anseba province of the third largest metropolis in Eritrea. It is well-known for its colorful markets and ethnic diversity.
Beach-a-holics will enjoy lounging around at some of the spectacular sun-kissed beaches - from the pristine white sand ones to black volcanic shorelines. There are several famous tourist beaches around Massawa. Drop by at Massawa for it is an ancient port and remains the biggest natural deep-water port on the Red Sea. Sporting a Turko-Egyptian style and showcasing the periods of Ottoman and Egyptian rule from the 16th century to the late 19th century.
When it comes to shopping, Eritrea is an excellent place for shopping. Some of the souvenirs available are gold and silver jewellery, religious artifacts such as prayer scrolls, old decorated Bibles, crosses and incense burners, craft items, pottery, swords, daggers, traditional haircombs, baskets and other items. As for cuisine, there are specialities such as Injera (a spongy pancake) or Alicha birsen (lentil curry) that are worth digging into.
The stay options in Eritrea are abundant with the richie-rich craving to be put up at the best luxury hotels and apartments. Similarly, the penny pinchers can select from an array of budget and cheap accommodations.
Eritrea experiences three climatic zones: the central highlands, the Red Sea coastal plains to the east and the western lowlands. The best time to visit Eritrea is October to March as the weather during this zone would be dry and pleasant.