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Pyramids to Petra - 16 days

Pyramids to Petra - 16 days

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 30 people
Destination(s): Egypt   Jordan  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 979 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1129 Pound Sterling (GBP)

If Egypt simply isn’t enough for you, then look no further than this unbelievable journey spanning from the Pyramids of Egypt to the Dead Sea of Jordan! Along this unparalleled expedition you will voyage down the Nile, visit the Valley of the Kings and be spell bound by temple after temple, each one individually etched into the North African landscape. Add this to a diving excursion in Dahab, a camel trek in Wadi Rum and a sunrise viewing of Jordan’s Rose city Petra amongst other activities and I think you’ll agree you have yourself quite some tour!

Tour Itinerary:

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 are 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, driver and the Jordan part of your trip) will be collected at this point before heading out for a day of sightseeing. Now it’s off to the Pyramids and 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 an 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 Ramses 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 Ramses 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. 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. Overnight – felucca *2/cruiser*3. (B2, L2, D2).

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 board the bus again and join a police convoy for our 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: Bus (Luxor-Dahab). There is a possibility of an optional balloon flight this morning over the Valley of the Kings. Either way we will make 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 notable 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, erected in worship of the Theban gods and 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 embark on an overnight bus ride to Dahab, via Hurghada. If you would rather not take the bus, there is an optional flight that is available. There is only one flight per day however and therefore limited spaces. Do book in advance or expect to pay a surcharge if booking locally since your bus seat will have already been reserved and will not be refundable. Overnight – bus/flight. Includes: (B).

Day 8: Dahab. Days 8-10: Arriving in Dahab, you have a variety of options after breakfast for the next few days. Dive, snorkel, sunbath or shop and eat until your heart is content in 1 of Dahab’s waterfront cafes and bars. The choice really is yours and you’re certainly not short of a few of them! If you after something more energetic as well then there are also optional activities (available to book and pay locally) including an incredible snorkelling excursion to the Blue Hole, deemed as one of the world’s best and most exciting dive sites.

The Hole is essentially that and due to its encompassing nature the abundance of coral and reef fish there is a joy to behold. Another option is a lively climb up to the summit of Mt Sinai and a visit to St Katherine’s Monastery which lies at its foot. The Monastery which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the world’s oldest working Christian monasteries. The mountain itself is one of the highest peaks in the Sinai Peninsula and at sunrise when the trek takes part offers stunning and almost even surreal views of the surrounding regions. In winter the trek is conversely offered as a sunset trip from the 1st of October to the 30th of March but the glow of the sun is no less spectacular, I can assure you! Overnight Dahab. (B3).

Day 11: Madaba - Jordan We head over this morning to Talba Port for the ferry trip to Aqaba in Jordan! There is no rest for the wicked either as we immediately journey up to the Dead Sea. Here we lunch and enjoy a relaxing swim in its incredible waters. Bring your book and enjoy the unbelievable sensation of floating with ease amid its unique waters. From here we journey to Mt Nebo, widely considered to be the most important biblical site in Jordan due to it being the place where the prophet Moses is said to have died. We finish the day by heading to the active market town of Madaba. Overnight Madaba. Includes: (B, L).

Day 12: Petra - Jordan. After more time in Madaba this morning we head to the rose city of Petra. Arriving late afternoon, you are free to explore some of this phenomenal region. You can take the opportunity to rest at the pool if you desire but with so much to see it’s definitely worth getting amongst the Jordanian culture if you can. Whether it is sipping on a warming glass of rich dark Arabian coffee or wandering the bustling village shops for ‘Made in Jordan’ quality souvenirs there is something for everyone to enjoy. When evening comes, why not experience the delights of Petra Kitchen as well. On this optional activity, learn traditional recipes and try a range of local foods. After all, seeing how something is made only makes you appreciate and respect these delights that much more. Overnight Petra. Includes: (B).

Day 13: Petra - Jordan. Today we are granted access to the rose city of Petra in our guided exploration. Here we enter the city through the infamous and narrow deep siq, a narow gorge which in turn reveals the utterly astonishing treasury beyond. Descending down the gravel paths, we explore a whole array of historical monuments which cast an entirely different light over the province to what we may have seen the day before. Royal tombs, temples, grand staircases and arched gates are common to see but nonetheless picturesque.

There will also be a chance to explore the Nabatean tombs with their elaborately ornamented facades as well as a gigantic amphitheatre that was originally constructed to house 3,000 spectators but was subsequently expanded by the Romans to hold 7,000 people. Post tour, enjoy some free time to stand back, gather your breath and soak up the atmosphere. If you feel like it, barter for a horse and chariot ride and take the weight off on your journey back up to the entrance. This evening, you can return to the Siq and take a candlelit walk through it if you attend ‘Petra by Night’ – a truly beautiful optional activity. Petra Kitchen and Petra by Night do alternate nights, but you will have the option of doing both during your stay in Petra. Overnight Petra. Includes: (B).

Day 14: Wadi Rum - Jordan. Today we transfer over to Wadi Rum also known as the Valley of the Moon for an adventurous desert 4x4 safari! As we move across the open plains, you will experience a motionless landscape, quiet almost to the extent of eeriness. The colour and formations in the rock provide yet more originality in the Jordanian landscape and will satisfy even the most experienced of traveller. Petroglyphs inscribed into the walls show the age of the region as well and it’s this history which really makes the place so special. The 4x4’s we use are open top so you are guaranteed stunning views of the sun, sand and scenery - what more could you ask for! The day finishes in our camp in the desert where you can sleep under the light of the stars in one of the most peaceful locations on earth. A Bedouin dinner of traditional produce will be served for you to feast on after this memorable day of sightseeing. Overnight Wadi Rum Camp. Includes: (B, L).

Day 15: Cairo. Today we bid farewell to Jordan and, travelling back to Aqaba, cross over by ferry into Egypt. Once there the journey up to Cairo is seven hours which gets us to the hotel late evening. (Overnight Cairo). Includes: (B).

Day 16: Cairo. As the tour sadly draws to an end, you can either immerse yourself one last time in Egyptian culture by visiting the Egyptian museum (if your flight leaves after 3pm, if it doesn’t you can alternatively do this tour on day 1 as long as you flight arrives prior to 8am then) and reminding yourself of some of the incredible sights you have witnessed over the past 16 days or alternatively you can just relax and take time to look back on how the trip has given the opportunity to experience so much. Either way included departures to the airport (no flights should leave before 5am) will happen throughout the day so it’s a good time to say goodbye… at least until next time! Includes: (B).

Please finally note, entrance fees, the tipping kitty and optional activities purchased in Egypt are payable in Egyptian Pounds (EGP) only. A multiple entry visa is required for this tour. Also due to Aqaba visa regulations it is required that everybody who visits Jordan must return to Egypt. If you don’t wish to do this a different tour with a different border crossing must be undertaken instead unfortunately. Sometimes ferry crossings are also cancelled and in this case alternative arrangements (at an additional cost to the traveller) are made.

This could either be via land borders, Israel or by air. If re-routing via Israel please note that you must specify if you don’t want a stamp when leaving the country. This should be done if you want to travel in Syria or Lebanon in the future because you will be denied entry for having an Israeli stamp. So you must instead get an exit stamp from Jordan and politely request a visa card as an alternative. This method of exit costs $48USD. Alternatively by air the cost is $125-170USD to go from Amman to Cairo including transfers. We will decide which method will be used at the time dependent on a number of factors, but it is essential that in preparation you carry an amount of $USD equivalent to the highest value above whilst in Jordan, just in case this scenario occurs. Please also note that this tour is opertaed in conjuction with another company.

Visa Information: All travellers to Egypt must have at least a single entry Eyptian visa prior to entrance (please also ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date). In some cases it's possible to obtain visas on arrival in Egypt, at a cost of $15USD but to be sure and avoid lengthy ques we advise you organise them in advance of your departure. In addition, all visitors going on to travel in Jordan and then returning to Egypt after must obtain a multi entry visa which, actually has be obtained prior to arrival in Egypt at a cost of $29USD.

This is very important to organise, but if you do forget there is a final option of obtaining 2 single entry visas on arrival in Egpyt instead. You must at least get these as no visas can be obtained in Jordan to get back into Egypt! Once you have obtained your visas simply place them in your passport for your arrival/s. Finally, some passport holders and in particular South African passport holders are actually obliged to obtain an Egyptian visa prior to their departure. Failure to do so will result in them being denied boarding by their carrier. Please also note, visa procurement is the responsibility of the passenger and not Nomadic.

Price Includes:
- No local payment required
- Arrival & Departure Transfer on day 1 & 16
- Board: Breakfasts; 15, Lunches; 5, Dinners; 4
- Hotels: 4-5 star; 7, 3-4 star; 3, Felucca(open deck); 2, Desert Camp(deluxe); 1, Train(seater/sleeper); 1, Bus/Flight; 1
- Transport in private modern air-conditioned vehicles
- Services of professional guides in both Egypt and Jordan
- Taba & Aqaba return ferry crossing
- Wadi Rum 4*4 desert safari
- Red Sea relaxation & Dead Sea excursion
- Touring of Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Edfu & Luxor, Petra, Mt Nebo and Wadi Rum.

Price Excludes:
- International flights and visas
- Entrance fees ($160-180USD)
- Tipping Kitties ($60-80USD)
- Abu Simbel Temple Tour (£129)
- Luxor - Hot Air Ballooning (£99)
- Alexandria Day Trip (£59)
- Nile Cruise Upgrade (From £169)
- Sleeper Train Upgrade (£45)
- Jordan Cooking Course (£30).

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices:
- 10/12/2011-25/12/2011: £1,079
- 17/12/2011-01/01/2012: £1,129
- 21/12/2011-05/01/2012: £1,129
- 23/12/2011-07/01/2012: £1,129
- 27/12/2011-11/01/2012: £1,129.

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