9 days (8 nights): 4 nights Cairo + 1 night Aswan + 3 nights Nile cruise
Experience Egypt as the Pharaohs did, beginning in the vibrant and historic city of Cairo. The adventure continues as you cruise along the glorious River Nile, exploring the wondrous relics of Egypt’s Pharaonic heritage.
As you arrive at Cairo International Airport, one of our English-speaking representatives will guide you through all the necessary immigration and visa procedures and take you through customs. Once this is completed, you will be driven to your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, your tour will begin with a visit to three Pyramids of Giza, which includes the Great Pyramid of Cheops, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This 230-meter-high Pyramid is just one part of a huge funerary complex. Another essential feature is the Giant Sphinx depicting the head of King Khafre with the body of a lion. Inside the Pyramid are many treasures, chambers, and sarcophagi. Beneath the Pyramid are several secret tunnels that were in ancient days used to move through the monument.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the necropolis of Saqqara, which was declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Here stands the famous Step Pyramid of King Djoser, the central feature of his vast funerary complex, which marked a huge step in the evolution of pyramidal construction.
After this you will visit Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt (c. 3,100 B.C.), today is known as Mit Rahina. The ruins of this city are displayed in a magnificent open-air museum featuring the giant statue of Ramses II, carved in limestone, as well as an alabaster Sphinx guarding the Temple of Ptah.
In the evening, you will return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing dinner and a good night’s sleep.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, a guide will accompany you to tour the remaining attractions of Cairo. We begin the tour with the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to a diverse collection of objects of immense cultural value, among them the treasures of Tutankhamen. The museum’s collection offers a unique opportunity for a first-hand encounter with the lost world of this historic civilization.
Later, we will visit Medieval Cairo, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This part of the city was built in the 10th century and primarily served as a royal enclosure for the caliphs. It is accordingly filled with mosques and religious buildings of great historical significance. Inside, you will visit the Citadel of Saladin, a fortress in which stands the imposing mosque of Mohamed Ali, as well as the many museums and gardens hidden within its walls.
After this, you will be given the opportunity to visit Old Cairo’s Coptic Quarter. This area has been a melting pot of religions, chief among them Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Essential places to visit are the Hanging Church, built on the Fortress of Babylon, the Church of St. Sergius, where the Holy Family is believed to have been sheltered during their period of exile in Egypt, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in Egypt and dates back to the 7th century. Finally, you can stroll through the picturesque bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, a fourteenth-century marketplace where you can purchase all sorts of traditional souvenirs, and experience Egyptian haggling at its finest.
Once the tour is finished, the guide will accompany you to your hotel for dinner.
Enjoy a relaxing morning with a tasty breakfast before departing for Cairo International Airport to catch a domestic flight to Aswan. From the airport in Aswan, you will depart for the legendary temples of Abu Simbel, approximately 3 hours away by bus.
Many years ago, this magnificent monument was almost lost in unprecedented Nile floods. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO, it was moved piece by piece to a nearby location and endures to this day. The main reference point of the complex is the temple of Ramses II, the main façade of which features 4 incredible statues, each 20 meters high, breathtaking in all the majesty of ancient Egypt. Savor the temple both by day and by night, in an impressive sound and light show.
Upon walking inland, you will find an extensive gallery and several rooms honoring the many gods of Egypt. You can also find the temple dedicated to Nefertari, wife of the Pharaoh. On the main facade are 6 statues, four of them depicting Ramses II and two depicting Nefertari.
In the afternoon, you will have lots of time to rest and recharge. You may also use your time to continue exploring the historical wealth of these monuments. As the sun sets, you will have the opportunity to witness the sound and light show, detailing the history of Ramses II, Nefertari, and the extensive work carried out by UNESCO in the process of moving Abu Simbel from its original location in Aswan.
You will then return to the cruise ship in Aswan to enjoy a tasty dinner and much-deserved rest.
Enjoy breakfast aboard the boat just before setting off for the small island of Philae. Ptolemy II built the temple on this island in honor of the goddess Isis. It also holds the unfinished obelisk, which was claimed as the world's largest obelisk until it, unfortunately, cracked.
The contrast between the ancient past and present will be striking as you arrive at your next destination, the celebrated Aswan Dam, a gigantic piece of engineering work that was launched by the British Empire during its occupation of the country, and concluded by the Egyptians in the middle of the last century.
After your evening meal, you will embark on a felucca ride. This is a rich local experience, giving you the opportunity to closely admire the surrounding landscape from the perspective of the legendary Nile. The felucca will pass by Elephantine Island, one of the oldest trading centers in the ivory trade, and Kitchener's Island, famous for its beautiful botanical gardens. To conclude, you will enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Agha Khan Mausoleum. Just a brief glance at this breathtaking monument explains why Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah chose it to be his eternal resting place.
In the evening, you will enjoy a meal onboard the cruise boat before retiring for the day.
Your boat journey to Kom Ombo will begin at dawn, with a delicious breakfast and breathtaking sunrise view.
In this picturesque little town, you will visit the temple dedicated to Haroeris, the falcon god, and Sobek, the crocodile god. The tour will proceed to visit an exhibition of excellently preserved mummified crocodiles, illuminating the mystery of this strange Ancient Egyptian custom.
Later in the day, you will return to the boat for a lunch break, soon departing for Edfu. At Edfu, a boat will shuttle you to the temple of Horus, which is famously one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. It was hidden under the sand for several centuries and only rediscovered by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette in the mid-nineteenth century.
In the evening, you will enjoy a late dinner on the boat as you watch the sunset over Esna and Edfu, and begin your journey to Luxor.
Begin your day with a delicious breakfast as you arrive in Luxor along the Nile. You will have a free morning to delve into the wonders of the ancient city. The temples of Luxor and Karnak are historically renowned for their majesty; it takes just 45 minutes to walk from one temple to the other, and on your way, you will encounter several sphinxes and hear a number of stories about the pharaohs responsible for their construction.
After this exciting day, you return to the boat for dinner and rest in your cabin.
Your next day kicks off energetically with a hearty breakfast. Crossing to the other side of the Nile, your first stop will be the famous Necropolis of Thebes, one of the most important symbols of this ancient civilization.
Next up is a true archaeological treasure and one of the great wonders of Egypt: The Valley of the Kings, commissioned by Pharaohs of dynasties XVIII, XIX and XX and home to tombs of Tutankhamen and Ramses IV. Travelers will then proceed to the Valley of the Artisans, a tribute to those who built the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. Next, you will visit Medinet Habu Temple, which is notable for its use of polychromy and is an exemplary piece of architecture from the New Kingdom.
After a short break for lunch, you will be surprised with an amazing panoramic view of the complex of Deir el-Bahri, which famously features the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. We will move across this complex to admire the majesty of ancient Egypt from the Temple of Amenhotep III. Here you will observe the Colossi of Memnon, two immense twin statues that remain breathtaking centuries after their creation. Both depict Amenhotep III with his eyes looking east, towards the Nile and sunrise. Around him are two smaller figures symbolizing his wife and his mother.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport to leave for Cairo. In Cairo, you will be greeted by a representative who will take you to your hotel where you can enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.
Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel before begin driven to Cairo International Airport in an air-conditioned vehicle. Savor this as an opportunity to contemplate one last view of this beautiful, richly historical city.
To ensure your trip goes smoothly, an English-speaking representative will accompany you at all times and be available to assist you until you are safe aboard your plane.
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