Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Egypt! Upon arrival at Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to our start hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure in Egypt’s bustling capital. Overnight Cairo.
Day 2: Pyramids of Giza & Saqqara Step Pyramid
We travel on to the necropolis of Saqqara to see Zhoser’s step pyramid – which is the oldest large-scale stone monument still standing. Constructed by Imhotep the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, Zhoser’s step pyramid became the template for all future pyramid construction, including the famous Pyramids of Giza. Overnight Cairo (B).
Day 3: Egyptian Museum & Khan el-Khalili Market
This morning we’ll discover the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun at the world-famous Egyptian Museum, which is home to a staggering array of Egyptian antiquities. After our guided tour of the museum we head to the vibrant and colourful Khan el-Khalili bazaar where you can stock up on some souvenirs.
This afternoon we board our coach for the long drive south to Luxor. Upon arrival this evening we check into our hotel by the River of Nile. Overnight Luxor (B).
Day 4: Valley of the Kings
Luxor is known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Museum” and today we’ll begin to discover why. After breakfast we cross to the West Bank of the Nile where we’ll see the towering 18m high Colossi of Memnon statues before entering the Valley of the Kings, which is home to over 60 beautifully decorated royal tombs, some of which you can enter. The tombs were carved into the desert rocks to house the sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the pharaohs, awaiting passage into the after-life. Some of the tombs are so well preserved that the colours of the incredible pharaonic friezes are still as vibrant as when they were first painted. The best known tombs are those of Ramses II, Seti I, Amenhotep II and of course, the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
From the Valley of the Kings we travel on to the beautiful Temple of Queen Hatshepsut which rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces. Later this afternoon we continue our journey south to Egypt’s southernmost city, Aswan. Overnight Aswan (B).
Day 5: Optional Abu Simbel & Philae Temple
Early this morning there is an optional road excursion to visit Abu Simbel, which is possibly the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt, with its four colossal seated statues of the Ramses II staring out across Lake Nasser.
After the optional excursion we take a short boat ride out to Agilika Island for a guided tour of the beautiful Philae Temple which is dedicated to the goddess Isis and dates back to 4th century BC. The rest of the day is free to relax by the hotel pool, go shopping in the colourful souks and watch a beautiful sunset over the Nile. Overnight Aswan (B).
Day 6: Elephantine & Kitchener Island
Today we enjoy a relaxing sailing trip on the River Nile on board a traditional Egyptian felucca sailing boat. Sit back, relax and watch life along the riverbank as we sail to Elephantine and Kitchener Island. The rocks on Elephantine Island form the shape of an elephant’s back and on the island we’ll see an ancient Nilometer which measures the depth of the Nile and wander around the colourful Nubian Village. Kitchener Island was named after Lord Kitchener and is home to a spectacular botanical garden, which we’ll visit before returning to Aswan. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Aswan (B).
Day 7: Kom Ombo, Edfu & Luxor Temple
We bid farewell to Aswan this morning and travel back to Luxor, stopping en route to visit the striking riverside temple of Kom Ombo which is dedicated to the crocodile headed god Sobek, and the Temple of Horus in Edfu which is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. Arriving into Luxor, opt for an evening excursion to the spectacular Luxor Temple, which is best seen after dark when it’s illuminated by hundreds of lights. Overnight Luxor (B)
Day 8: Karnak Temple & pool time
Enjoy a morning tour of the gigantic Karnak Temple Complex. Karnak is home to spectacular towering columns, sanctuaries, pylons, chapels and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods and to the greater glory of Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdom rulers. This afternoon you can opt a dip in the hotel pool and soak up the sunshine before later this evening boarding the overnight sleeper train bound for Cairo. Overnight sleeper train (B).
Day 9: Cairo
Arrive back into Cairo this morning and transfer to our start hotel, where our Egyptian adventure ends. Today offers free time for you to further explore Cairo before included departure transfer to the airport. (B).