Found on the extreme southern shore of Lake Tana, the Bahir Dar is a unquestionably attractive town having avenues lined with palms and beautiful lakeside views. Close by Lake Tana at 1,800m above sea level, is among the long concealed source of the great Blue Nile. The stunning Tiss Isat falls (which means water which smokes) are just 32 km down from the point where the Blue Nile departs from the lake on the way to Khartoum. explored by foot to the peak a long twisting path as well as crossing a Seventeenth century bridge constructed by Emperor Fasiledes, these falls beautifully cascade down to 45m over a 400 meter area. The 3600 square kilometer Lake Tana is the 3rd largest lake in the whole of Africa and the largest in this country and its surfaces is scattered with over Thirty islands, most of which are the places of monasteries as well as churches, a number of them dating from the Fourteenth century during the leadership of Emperor Amde Tsion. There is a motor boat which takes you from Bahir Dar an enchanting market town to Ura Kidanemihret- a monastery found on the main-land peninsula in Zegie, the place where a treasury of historical illuminated bibles is well kept. On the way, the local people use papyrus canoes which since many years ago they have used for fishing as well as collecting firewood.
The 37 islands on Lake Tana which is the largest lake in Ethiopia Shelter 20 Monasteries enduring remains of an old, meditative tradition. The strength of Blue Nile can best be enjoyed at the Blue Nile Falls, which are the most impressive spectacle on the White Nile as well as on the Blue Niles, a vision of natural strength plus splendor. For the contemporary traveler, the beginning point of any kind of visit to the stunning Blue Nile Falls, or to any of the islands on Lake Tana, is the lively Bahir Dar market town on the south-eastern shore of the Lake. The multicolored markets and a number of handicrafts plus weaving axis all make it a pleasant base for trips on water or land.
Bahir Dar port offers access by way of boat to several historic lakeside monasteries plus churches, far as well as near. The majority of them actually date back from the 17th century and possess magnificently painted walls. Many of these places of worship today have interesting museums, where the visitor see fine royal robes, illustrated manuscripts, ecclesiastical robes plus historic crowns. A number of monastic islands do not allow women to visit them; however others may be visited by both men and women.