Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital. You will be met at Cairo airport and transferred to our start hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Cairo.
Day 2: Pyramids of Giza & Saqqara
After breakfast we travel to the Giza Plateau to visit the legendary Pyramids of Giza, the sole survivors of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. Known as Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus the great pyramids were built over 4500 years ago to protect the mummies of the pharaohs and the treasures they took with them to the afterlife. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks, Cheops is the largest of the great pyramids and it is thought to have taken 100,000 workers more than 20 years to construct. For a real Arabian experience, you can opt to hire a camel for a ride across the sands of Giza.
After exploring the pyramids and the iconic Sphinx we travel on to the necropolis of Saqqara to see Zhoser’s step pyramid – which was constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect, in 2700 BC and became the template for all future pyramid construction. Overnight Cairo (B)
Day 3: Egyptian Museum & Khan el-Khalili Market
Cairo – Luxor. This morning we visit the famous Egyptian Museum, which is home to an incredible array of Egyptian relics and antiquities including the treasures of King Tutankhamun and his famous solid gold funerary mask. Then we stop for a spot of souvenir shopping at the bustling Khan el-Khalili bazaar. This afternoon we board our coach for the long journey 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 – Aswan. We venture to the incredible tomb strewn Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s West Bank this morning. We’re greeted by the towering 18m Colossi of Memnon – an iconic pair of statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, before exploring the Valleys of the Kings and the beautiful colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces.
The Valley of the Kings is studded with beautifully decorated tombs, which were carved into the desert rocks to house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting passage into the after-life, including the famous tomb of King Tutankhamen. Later this afternoon we continue our journey, travelling south to Aswan. Overnight Aswan (B)
Day 5: Philae Temple, Felucca sailing & Optional Abu Simbel
Aswan – Nile felucca cruise. There is an optional early morning excursion by road to the spectacular rock-cut temple of Abu Simbel today. Then it’s a short boat ride to Agilika Island for a guided tour of the beautiful Philae Temple – dedicated to the goddess Isis.
This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. Feluccas are simple sailboats based on a unique design and have plied the Nile since ancient times. Relax by day and spend two nights sleeping under a blanket of stars on the felucca deck which is fitted with mattresses and a mosquito net. Although there are no facilities on board, there are toilets and a shower on the private support boat which travels alongside our felucca. Overnight felucca (B, L, D)
Day 6: Felucca sailing
Nile Felucca Sailing – Kom Ombo. Spend a relaxing day sailing the Nile, taking in the scenery as it glides by, waving to locals along the river banks and perhaps opting for a swim. Overnight felucca (B, L, D)
Day 7: Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple
Kom Ombo – Edfu – Luxor. This morning we disembark at Kom Ombo to visit the riverside temple which is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile headed god. Then we travel on to explore the monumental Temple of Horus at Edfu before continuing our journey back to Luxor. This evening we enjoy a guided tour of the remarkable Luxor Temple, which is spectacular at night when it’s illuminated by hundreds of lights. Overnight Luxor (B)
Day 8: Karnak temple and pool time
Luxor – Cairo. This morning we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak which was at the heart of religious life in ancient Egypt. Karnak is an incredible complex of sanctuaries, pylons, chapels, halls and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods and to the greater glory of Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdom rulers. This afternoon is free to relax, enjoy a swim and soak up the sun at the hotel pool. Tonight, we travel on board an overnight sleeper train back to 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 an included departure transfer to the airport. Flights departing Cairo should not be booked before 2pm. Should you wish to stay a few more days, post tour accommodation is available, should you require. (B)