Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Arrival Cairo and included transfer to your hotel. The remainder of today is at your leisure to relax or explore Cairo your way. Consider heading out for dinner at one of the restaurants offering views over the Nile River and city, or head to the sound and light show at the pyramids this evening.
Today we visit the only remaining ancient wonder of the world, the impressive Pyramids at Giza Plateau. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) – the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks, it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. The other two – Chephren and Mycerinus are equally breathtaking, and all three Pyramids are truly a sight that can only be fully appreciated in person. Our tour continues to Memphis, where get to see the colossal statue of Ramses II. Afterward, we’ll then tour the tomb-strewn necropolis of Saqqara, featuring King Zhoser’s Step Pyramid. Constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, this was the template for all future pyramid construction.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Today we explore the new Grand Egyptian Museum, which houses a giant exhibition containing the treasures of King Tutankhamun. Many pieces on show are being displayed for the first time and artefacts have been brought together from across Egypt and the world to this one location. The museum also makes use of new technology including virtual reality. Note: the Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in 2020. An official date has yet to be released. If travelling prior to the opening of the new facility we’ll visit the Egyptian Museum instead.
This afternoon, we’ll head to the world famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar, with trinkets and delights to be found amongst the many shops and stalls located here. We’ll then continue to The Citadel, this monumental Islamic-era fortification in the heart of Cairo, was once the seat of government from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Here, we’ll visit the beautiful Mosque of Muhammed Ali, built in the 1830’s this impressive structure is made from alabaster stone and is a smaller version of the Blue Mosque, found in Istanbul.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Cairo – Aswan. After breakfast, we take a short flight south to Aswan and transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we visit Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam. Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, was rescued in an enormous UNESCO effort in the 1970s. Due to high water levels in the reservoir created by the Old Aswan Dam, and further aquatic drama due to the creation of the mighty High Dam, Philae Temple was relocated stone by stone on higher ground on nearby Agilika Island.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan – Abu Simbel – Aswan. It’s an early start today as we board a short flight down south to explore the temples of Abu Simbel , created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself. In a fit of architectural wisdom, Ramses II had the entire temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on his date of ascension to the throne (in February) and on his birthday (in October) and illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, which is fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of them represent King Ramses II, the other two are of his beloved wife – Queen Nefertari. Famously, both temples were re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser.
Returning to Aswan, you will have some free time to perhaps do some shopping in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile. This afternoon, we board our luxury Nile cruiser for our 3 night journey up the River Nile.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nile Cruising. Spend the next two days relaxing aboard our luxury Nile Cruiser, taking in the riverside village views from the top deck, as well as exploring some of the exciting historical sites located along this stretch of the Nile. On day 6 we’ll moor up at the riverside and enjoy a visit to the waterside Temple of Kom Ombo. Consisting of two temples, one dedicated to the Crocodile-headed god Sobek and the other dedicated to the falcon god Horus. On Day 7, we will reach the west bank of Luxor and explore the best of Ancient Thebes; the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
After a leisurely breakfast we’ll disembark our cruiser this morning to visit Karnak Temple. Karnak is a spectacular myriad 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. Later, we’ll visit Luxor Temple, dedicated to Amun, construction work on the temple began during the reign of Amenhotep III in the 14th century BC. We’ll continue to your hotel later today, where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Today marks the end of your incredible journey through Egypt. A transfer will be provided to take you to Luxor Airport to meet your flight to Cairo, where your tour ends. Should you wish to book another night to explore more of the city, please enquire.
For information about visas, top travel tips and much more, take a look through our travel guide.