Get acquainted with awe-inspiring Egypt on this popular 9 day tour. This really is Egypt at its very best! Pyramids, cruising the Nile felucca-style, the awesome Valley of the Kings, ancient temples and not to mention the world’s largest artificial lake! Definitely a real classic journey that encompasses everything that's great about Egypt and certainly one not to miss!
Day 1: Cairo. Welcome to Egypt! Once you have got your visa and met our representative, you will be transferred from the airport to our joining hotel in central Cairo. If you have arrived early or a day or two previously, today you will be free to explore the bustling heart of this fantastic city. If you’re not sure where to start, ask our representative who will be able to advise you on how to make the most of your time. Overnight Cairo.
Day 2: Overnight Train (Cairo-Aswan). In the morning you will meet your tour leader, who will complete a few formalities and brief you on the tour. The tour entrance fees and tipping kitty (which excludes the optional tip for your Tour Leader and driver) will be collected at this point before heading out for a day of sightseeing. Now it’s off to the Pyramids and the famous Sphinx at Giza! One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramid of Cheops stood as the tallest, man-made structure for over 3800 years. That’s an impressive feat, especially when you consider that in order to have built it in the twenty years it took, 800 tonnes of stone would have to have been laid every day.
Most of it was locally quarried but to add to this jaw dropping achievement, the granite in the Kings Chamber came from Aswan which is more than 5000 miles away! Not bad, considering the construction was complete by 2560BC. We leave Giza and maybe visit the Papyrus Emporium where you can pick up some authentic papyrus. Next we visit Saqqara, the necropolis or burial ground for the Ancient Capital of Memphis which is approximately 10.5 square kilometres. Here we find Djoser’s step pyramid, so called due to its rectangular base. Djoser is a well-known Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty of Egypt and rightly so: his was the first of the Pyramids. Later today, having had dinner, we board our 1st class recliner seat for the overnight train to Aswan (optional sleeper cabin upgrade is available) (Overnight – train). Includes: (B).
Day 3: Aswan. Arriving in Aswan, we check into our hotel, relax a while and then freshen up ready for an excursion to Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake, and the High Dam which accounts for its creation. We then hop aboard a boat to visit Agilika Island and the Philae Temple which was built for the goddess Isis over an 18 year period from 380BC. Later in the day, take the opportunity to relax and unwind or why not investigate the shopping opportunities of the local souks and markets. Overnight Aswan. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Felucca (Aswan-Kom Ombo). Days 4-5. This morning there is an optional trip (by air) to Abu Simbel where you will find two unbelievably huge temples carved in to the rock face. Built during the reign of King Ramesses ll, the magnificent monuments were actually relocated in full in 1968 when Lake Nasser was created. Marvel at the sheer scale of the construction as the benign image of King Ramesses ll stares out over you into the desert – to call it impressive would be something of an understatement! If you opted to stop in Aswan, you won’t be at loss for things to do.
Investigate the shoreline, go shopping or just relax for the morning. We regroup this afternoon to embark on a two night felucca cruise up the Nile, headed for Kom Ombo. A felucca is a traditional sail boat which holds 5-10 people: they have been in use on the Nile since the times of the Pharaohs. We will visit the Temple of Kom Ombo but en route will visit other places of interest and make plenty of stops for a swim and/or toilet break (there are no toilets on board). This really is a wonderful part of your adventure but the timing and therefore the number of stops is, of course, dependent on the winds so please bear this in mind. You can buy drinks on board; there are cushions for comfort and a canopy to protect you from the sun.
As dusk approaches, the feluccas moor up on the riverside and we relax and look forward to a night sleeping under the stars. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and towel for this part of the tour. (Overnight Felucca/Cruise) (B2, L2, D2) If you are unable to swim, do make your tour leader aware before departing and remember to pack a day bag because your main luggage will be stored beneath the deck.For those that have booked on the 5* Nile Cruiser, you will be given details of your departure in Cairo but the cruise is 3 nights departing either Day 3 or Day 4.
Day 6: Luxor. We disembark the felucca at Kom Ombo and head for Edfu and the Temple of Horus. The temple is one of the last monumental temples built on such a scale and it was constructed in reverence of Horus, one of the most important Egyptian deities. You will see the deity symbolised in the statue of a bird within the grounds. It is excellently preserved and provides a real insight to the architecture of the time. We then board a bus and join a police convoy for the drive north to Luxor, the 4000 year old home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak. Once we arrive, you can chose to rest up and relax or there is an optional visit to Luxor Temple in the evening which is impressive as it is lit up making for a very evocative mood (this is payable locally). Overnight Luxor. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Overnight Train (Luxor-Cairo). We have the option of taking a stunning Balloon flight over the Valley of the Kings this morning. Either way it is an early Start to avoid the midday sun, we visit the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank. Don’t forget to take some water – we will depart after an early breakfast but the West Bank gets hot quickly. As we approach the West Bank you’ll see the huge Colossi of Memnon towering 18m high. Then it’s on to the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Kings, home of the tombs of Ramses ll and the famous King Tutankhamen.
Set in the barren cliffs of the Valley, the tombs are decorated with religious images and text. Get transported back in time as you witness the cunning architecture of the ancients that allowed royalty to be buried with their treasures without fear of being plundered by thieves. Explore some of the tombs before heading on to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. One of the most successful, long reigning Pharoahs, Hatshepsut (or ‘Foremost of noteable Ladies’) established trade networks, instigated much construction and ordered many expeditions, one of which resulted in the first noted attempts to transplant foreign trees. Her temple is one the most photographed monuments in Egypt.
After Lunch we head to Karnak, a complex that is considered to be the largest ancient religious site in the world. It consists of temples, chapels and other buildings and is set apart from similar sites particularly by the period over which it developed – approximately between 2050 and 30 BC. After the Pyramids at Giza, this is the most visited and arguably impressive site Egypt has to offer. This evening we board the train to return overnight to Cairo. Do remember to stock up on water and snacks for the journey. Overnight train. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Cairo. Having freshened up, we later visit the Egyptian Museum where you will find treasures abound in one of the most impressive collections in the world. Highlights of the 120, 000 odd pieces include 9 royal mummies (including that of Queen Hatshepsut) and the Gold Mask of King Tutankhamen that he wore upon his burial and is said to actually represent his true identity. As we approach the end of the tour you are free now to relax or hunt down some last minute souvenirs, perhaps at Khan el-Khalili. If you feel you would like to get to know the city a little more, there is an optional Cairo city tour that is available locally. Overnight Cairo. Includes: (B).
Day 9: Cairo. Your tour officially finishes after breakfast when you are free to check out of the hotel and get transferred to the airport. (B) Please also note that this tour is operated in conjunction.
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Africa Egypt Local Culture Cultural Journey
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