Get to know Egypt on this 10 day tour that will take you camel riding and Nile cruising, to tombs and temples as well as the awesome Valley of the Kings! This is a great holiday with points of interest alongside free time to relax with the family.
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 arrive at the right time of day, marvel at the busy, loud day to day life in Cairo – it’s something to behold! 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: Cairo. After a good night’s rest we get going with some sightseeing today – we’re 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. To top it off, enjoy a camel ride across the sands before heading back to enjoy the evening in Cairo. Overnight – Cairo.
Day 3: Overnight Train (Cairo-Aswan). Today we 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.
This afternoon we take a tour around the Islamic Citadel of Saladin as well as the city’s famous Khan al-Khalili bazaar, where you will find souvenirs bursting from stalls and shops where sellers are happy to encourage your browsing! Spend some time investigating and find all manner of things from belly-dancing costumes to spices and ornate jewellery. Later, we board the overnight sleeper train to Aswan. At the train station, there’ll be the opportunity to buy water and snacks for the trip ahead. Dinner and overnight - sleeper train.
Day 4: Aswan. Arriving in Aswan, we check into our hotel, relax a while and then freshen up ready for a tour of the Nubian city. Take a guided walk around the souk and local market. Later in the day, take the opportunity to relax and unwind or why not investigate the shopping opportunities of the local souks and markets.
Day 5: Aswan. 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 a loss for things to do. Investigate the shoreline, go shopping in the local bazaar or just relax at the hotel and enjoy the sun! Overnight Aswan.
Day 6: Luxor. This morning we board a felucca, a local sail boat, that will take us on an enjoyable excursion on the river Nile. We are heading for Sahal island where we will visit a local village and school before joining an Egyptian family for lunch in their home of. Feluccas (simple sail boats to you or me) have been used on the Nile since ancient times and our feluccas are crewed and maintained by local sailors. Sailing on a felucca really is a sublime experience.
Close to the water and free of the sound of the engine that you find on the big cruiser boats, this is the way to tour the Nile! After lunch we head back to Aswan for an afternoon train departure to Luxor, where we pull in early this evening. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Now it’s time to relax and rest up with this evening free for you to spend time with the family. Overnight Luxor.
Day 7: Luxor. We have the option of taking a stunning Balloon flight over the Valley of the Kings this morning which lasts for about 35-50 minutes. After, we will head for the Valley of the Kings and 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. As you explore, keep in mind that these amazing structures were built by hand! This evening, we will take a ride in horse-drawn carriages to the Temple of Luxor where we enjoy a tour in the cool evening air. This is a wonderful experience as the Temple is lit up at night time bring an ethereal quality to it that is quite spell binding! Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Overnight – Luxor.
Day 8: Overnight Train (Luxor-Cairo). Starting early 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. Tonight, we return to Cairo by overnight sleeper train. (Dinner and overnight - sleeper train).
Day 9: Cairo. Today, you are free to enjoy Cairo, Africa’s largest city. Relax by the pool, have a nice final lunch and maybe do some last minute souvenir shopping (the area around Midan Tahrir is good for this). Overnight – Cairo.
Day 10: Cairo. Your tour officially finishes after breakfast when you are free to check out of the hotel and take your transfer to the airport. (B) Please note: Entrance fees, tip kitty and optional activities purchased in Egypt are payable in Egyptian Pounds (EGP) only Please also note that this tour is operated in conjunction 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.
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