Day 1- Cairo
Welcome to Cairo! Transfer by private vehicle to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy your first taste of Cairo with a walking tour through the Khan El-Khalili bazaar, reputedly the largest bazaar in the Middle East.
Join your fellow travellers in the evening for a ‘Welcome Dinner’ in the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Day 2- Cairo
This morning visit the Great Court of the Pyramid Complex of Zoser, located at Saqqara. See the oldest of all the pyramids, the Step Pyramid; the burial chamber of Imhotep (the world’s first doctor, priest, sage, poet and astrologer), the Teti Pyramids and the burial grounds of distinguished Nobles such as Meri-ruka.
After lunch join your private Egyptologist for a tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the only present day survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Climb Cheops’ pyramid and go inside to see King Cheops’ burial chamber. Your tour continues to the temple of the mysterious Sphnix and the incredible Solar Boat Museum, housing a magnificent 141-foot long funerary boat. It is considered the single most important archaeological find in Egypt since the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Day 3- Cairo
After breakfast, enjoy a talk by a guest lecturer on modern day Egypt from a woman’s perspective.
Afterwards, begin your exploration of Islamic Cairo. Visit the ancient Citadel, a spectacular medieval fortress, built in 1176 to fortify the city against the Crusaders. Today it is a complex of four mosques and four museums including the beautiful mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. Finally enter the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, built in 1356 as a mosque and religious school for the four main Sunni sects.
Your morning is completed with a visit to a very special place – the Children’s Cancer Hospital, built entirely by charitable donations. Chat with the children, listen to their stories and perhaps take some small gifts and watch their eyes light up.
After lunch at a local restaurant, travel back in time, over 7,000 years in fact ,as your Egyptologist guides you around the world famous Egyptian Museum, including a visit to the Mummies Room, the resting place of 11 royal Kings and Queens of ancient Egypt, including the great Ramses II.
Day 4- Baharia Oasis
Your adventure begins this morning as you head out into the Great Western Desert towards the Baharia Oasis, the home of Egypt’s only temple dedicated to Alexandria the Great. The people of the oasis (the Wahati people) are the descendants of Bedouin tribes from Libya and the north coast and other tribes from the Nile Valley who came to settle here. The recently discovered Golden Mummies and rock cut tombs provide an insight into an oasis of once greater fortune. Overnight at Palm Lodge Village.
Day 5- White Desert
Your second day in the desert includes visits to sights rarely seen by visitors including one of the famous Greco-Roman tombs—the Hall of the Mummies. This site contains more then 1,000 mummies and was discovered by pure chance in 1997.
Later, review artwork from the Greco-Roman period at the tomb called Penantio, discovered in 1946. Continue towards the White Desert with its strange white chalk formations that rise out of the desert sand like giant mushrooms.
Overnight in Tented Camp.
Day 6- Dhkhla Oasis
Continue through the desert to Dhkhla Oasis with lunch at the old Islamic city of ‘El Qasr’. The narrow cobblestone streets and baked brick buildings date back 600 years to the days of the Mamluk Sultanate. Enjoy a well earned soak in the natural hot springs before driving on to your hotel, Desert Lodge.
Day 7- Kharga Oasis
Today you head towards Kharga Oasis. Known to the ancient Egyptians as the Oasis of Thebes, Kharga used to be the last stop on the Forty Days Road, the infamous slave-trade route between North Africa and the tropical south. Your first stop is a handicraft centre in town, before continuing on to the Bagawat cemeteries, one of the earliest and best preserved Christian cemeteries in the world dating back to the 4th century. One of the chapels in the necropolis is decorated with scenes from the Old Testament.
After lunch, continue on to the ruins of the El Labkha Roman Fortress before arriving at the Pioneer Hotel.
Day 8- Luxor
A long drive today as you head towards Luxor. In the afternoon, explore the Cornish of this ancient city by horse-drawn carriages. Later this evening, tour the East Bank starting with the strikingly graceful Temple of Luxor dedicated to the god Amun. Overnight at Sonesta St George.
Day 9- Luxor
After breakfast, depart on your tour of Abydos. Once the center of a holy city dedicated to Osiris, Lord of the Netherworld, Abydos was the burial place for pre-dynastic kings and pharaohs dating back to the fourth millennium BC. Continue on to the Ptolemaic Temple of the Goddess Hathor in ancient Denderah. Hathor was the beneficent deity of maternal and family love, of beauty and light; the Greeks associated her with Aphrodite.
Day 10- Luxor
Early risers won’t want to miss the exciting optional activity on offer this morning. Escape the crowds and, in the peaceful flow of dawn, view Luxor’s famous temples from a very different perspective. Offering unbeatable views, a sunrise hot air balloon flight over Egypt’s ancient monuments promises to be a highlight of your visit.
There’s an exciting array of highlights awaiting you today. First, travel to the West Bank to explore the Valley of the Kings and Queens. Next stop is the Temple of Hatshepsut—rising out of the desert in a series of terraces, Hatshepsut’s Temple merges with the limestone cliffs that surround it. It is as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. Before lunch, stop for a photo at the Colossi of Memnon, dating back to ancient Greek times.
In the afternoon, explore Karnak Temple. Built by a generation of Pharaohs, the Great Hall covers an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral!
Day 11- Aswan
Your exploration continues today as you drive to the ancient frontier town of Aswan. Stop en-route at Kom Ombo Temple, dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. Your evening is at leisure, and to Mövenpick Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12- Aswan
Start your day with a visit to Aswan High Dam; continue on to the ancient granite quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians. Here you find the unfinished Obelisk. Finally, take a short boat ride to the romantic and majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilka. In the afternoon, visit a Nubian village on Elephantine Island and learn about their culture; you will find the people friendly and welcoming. Your evening is at leisure with dinner in the hotel, Four Seasons at First Residence.
Day 13- Aswan
This morning, before departure you may wish to take the optional excursion to Abu Simbel; it is highly recommended. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Cairo. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Join your fellow travellers tonight for a Farewell Dinner. Overnight at Fairmont Towers.
Day 14- End of itinerary
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Optional- Cruise on Lake Nassar
A cruise on Lake Nassar adds an extra 4 days onto your trip, where you spend the time relaxing. Explore its natural beauty and archaeological treasures in a gracious and leisurely atmosphere aboard the five Star Kasr Ibrim. This is not the usual Nile cruise that thousands of other tourists take. You have covered many of those sights already in your main tour, so here’s an opportunity to try something different. All you need is a passion for discovery.
- Accommodation with private facilities
- All sightseeing (with entrance fees)
- Meals as stated in Itinerary
- Transportation in private coaches
- Services of a local guide