Bahir Dar is home to Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. Lake Tana gives the town a tropical feel that is more like the southern valley town of Awassa than it is to northern Ethiopia. With its beautiful plant life and pretty lakeside vistas Bahir Dar is a very attractive town. It is also the base for visits to the Blue Nile falls and Lake Tana's many monasteries. The Blue Nile Falls Locally called Tis Abay (smoke of the Nile) or Tis lsat (water that smokes) the Blue Nile Falls is best known for the volume of water that pours from the 45m high rocks, especially during the rainy season. Above the waterfall the Nile is 400m wide while below the falls, the gorge is estimated to be 37m deep. The Lake Tana Monasteries There are more than 20 monasteries that cover the islands and peninsulas on Lake Tana. Most were built under the rule of Anda Tsion during the 14th century. A few, notably Narga Selassie and Meteli Fasilidas are even older and date back the Gonderine period.