Fly London to Cairo, meet private coach and drive to our hotel on Zamalek island. Tour by boat to enjoy a water-borne view of Cairo from the river which is the life-line of Egypt.
The National Museum: treasures from the famous Tutankhamun Gallery to the evocative Graeco-Roman Fayoum Portraits. Afternoon exploring some of the mosques, churches and temples of Islamic and Coptic Cairo.
Giza: the most famous of the pyramids, including the Great Pyramid. Funerary complex includes the Sphinx and the astounding solar boat, its wood, ropes and other organic material preserved by extreme aridity of the desert - visitors often find this 4500 year old boat even more fascinating than the pyramids. In the afternoon we visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - old-fashioned displays in a historic building, but the treasures contained therein are deserving of the famous words of Howard Carter to Lord Caernarvon when asked if he could see anything as he opened the Tomb of Tutankhamun: “yes - wonderful things”. The famous grave goods of Tutankhamun are here, of course, but there is also much more.
South-west to the Fayoum Oasis, actually not a true oasis but fed by water from the Nile; temple at Qasr Qaran and Karanis, a vast ruined city, which once housed Ptolemy II’s mercenaries. The buildings reveal themselves slowly, as you pick your way through the desert landscape, past the remains of bathhouses and temples. Drive back up the road to Cairo, stopping to explore the Pyramid of Meidum.
The early pyramids and huge funerary complex at Saqqara, the necropolis of Memphis, ancient capital of Egypt. Some of the most important officials were buried here. We also visit the impressive Imhotep Museum, named after the architect of the Step Pyramid. Memphis was the ancient city of the Old Kingdom, whose rulers were buried at Giza (and elsewhere). We visit the Memphis Museum.
Long drive through Nile delta to Alexandria.
Alexandria - the National Museum, the Catacombs of Shatbi, the Necropoli of Mustafa Kamel and Anfushi. End the day at Fort Qaitbey, built on the site of the Pharos lighthouse.
Alexandria - Roman theatre at Kom al-Dikka, the lovely Villa of the Birds, catacombs of Kom el-Shuqqafa, Pompey's pillar and the new Bibliotheka Alexandrina
Free day - could visit El Alamein and Al Mina monastery.
Return flight Cairo to London.
- Flights - Scheduled flights London to Cairo
- Local Travel - A private coach will coincide with group flights, you could join this or make your own way to the hotel; boat on the Nile
- Guide Lecturer - Lucia Gahlin. Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that. They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 29 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Local Guide
- Meals - 2 lunches included, others independent
- Entries and Tips - Entry to all sites in programme
5 nights B&B in a comfortable hotel in Zamalek Island, Cairo - a wealthy leafy suburb with plenty of restaurants and shops nearby; 4 nights in Alexandria;
|Thu 4th - Sat 13th Dec 2014 with Lucia Gahlin