Egypt - Highlights & Discoveries
The archaeology of ancient Egypt is one of the most instantly recognizable of all the great civilizations. This is a narrative of power, vision and ambition. The monuments of Egypt are much more than dry and dusty stones – through the real expertise of our Guide Lecturers, we ‘meet’ the real ancient Egyptians: from legendary pharaohs to the humble workers, who built their tombs and palaces.
Our adventure starts in Cairo then on to Luxor, followed by a Nile cruise to Aswan. The grand finale of this journey will be our visit to Egypt’s most impressive temple site, Abu Simbel.
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Day 1 - Cairo
We meet at our hotel in Cairo; the buzzing, energetic, metropolis that is Egypt’s extraordinary capital – a city that Egyptians admiringly refer to as ‘the Mother of the World’.
Snack in hotel room due to late arrival.
Day 2 - Cairo
We start our day with a visit to Saqqara, a vast necropolis to the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. We discover the incredible Step Pyramid of Djoser and the smooth-sided Pyramid of Unas, the Mastaba of Mereruka and the Imhotep Museum, home to unique exhibits found during excavations nearby. After lunch we visit Memphis which served as the country’s capital during the Old Kingdom. Today this bustling ancient city is reduced to an open-air museum, its highlight the extraordinary fallen colossus of Ramesses II.
|Hotel||Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel and Spa|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 3 - Cairo
This morning we visit the pyramid complexes on the Giza Plateau, including the Great Pyramid – a true wonder of the ancient world, where atmospheric passageways lead to the breath-taking grand gallery and royal burial chamber. We also explore the Solar Boat Museum, which houses an original pharaonic ship, the Valley Temple of Khafra and the enigmatic Great Sphinx, whose limestone form has occupied this spot for more than 4,000 years. In the afternoon we enjoy a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where the world’s most extensive exhibitions in pharaonic artefacts can be seen. Among the many treasures on display are the solid gold mask of Tutankhamun, and the Narmer Palette, thought to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.
|Hotel||Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel and Spa|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 4 - Cairo - Luxor
Today we fly to Luxor. After checking into our hotel, we take a boat across the river to have lunch, and then afterwards proceed to the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri, a stunning collection of shrines which has largely been restored to its former glory. The temple is cradled by the dramatic natural sculptures of neighbouring cliffs.
Day 5 - Luxor
This morning we lose ourselves in the captivating complex of Karnak. Here we encounter the cult temple of Amun-Ra, chief of the deities of the New Kingdom. This is a spectacular multi-period location with a wealth of religious and historical inscriptions at every turn. Chapels, gateways, halls and obelisks stand side by side. Sturdy pillars touch the African sky. Palm trees shimmer, reflected in the waters of the Sacred Lake. In the afternoon we visit the famous Colossi of Memnon on the West Bank at Thebes. These two enormous statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III stand at a towering 18-metres high, and were erected to guard the entrance to the pharaoh’s vast and opulent memorial temple. Alas, only traces of that once-great temple remain. Afterwards we visit the Qurna tombs of Rekhmire and Sennefer.
Day 6 - Luxor
The Valley of the Kings awaits us today. This was the final resting place of royals and nobility for almost 500 years, with excavations dating the site back as far as the 16th century BC. Its most notable occupant is, of course, King Tutankhamun, so famously discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, and since returned to his original burial place where he now lies undisturbed. We visit four tombs in total here. After lunch we visit the Valley of the Queens, which includes the exceptionally preserved Tomb of Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II.
Day 7 - Luxor
Our first visit today is at the Ramesseum, with its fallen colossus of Ramesses II, an astounding testament to the Pharaohs reign – and the inspiration behind Percy Bysshe Shelley’s masterpiece ‘Ozymandias’. Afterwards we make our way to Medinet Habu, arguably the best-preserved temple of the New Kingdom, filled as it is with a wealth of exemplary paintings, carvings and sculptures. In total, the precinct contains over 7 square kilometres of decorated reliefs. On the East Bank we check-in to our Nile cruise boat and after lunch onboard we explore Luxor Temple, with its avenue of sphinxes, military reliefs and gorgeous papyrus columns. Our afternoon continues with a visit to the new Aboudi’s bookshop, which is the world’s best English language Egyptological bookshop.
Day 8 - Luxor
The fantastic Luxor Museum is a treat in store - a masterfully arranged collection of archaeological artefacts and home to celebrated works of art, including the famous statue of Tuthmosis III - an extraordinary figure carved out of greywacke. We return to our boat and enjoy lunch before we set sail to Edfu.
Day 9 - Luxor - West Bank
In the morning, we make our way to the temples of the gods of Upper Egypt, starting with the Temple of Horus at Edfu. One of the country’s most magnificently preserved shrines, the construction of which is thought to have spanned an incredible 180 years, from the 3rd to the 2nd century BC. Towering at a jaw-dropping 37 metres, its pylon - or gateway - is the highest among all of Egypt’s surviving temples, and is decorated with vivid scenes of King Ptolemy VIII destroying his enemies before Horus. The complex even houses a Nilometer, a structure made to measure the depth and clarity of flooding Nile waters. This afternoon we explore the Temple of Sobek and Horus the Elder at Kom Ombo and the site’s Crocodile Museum.
Day 10 - West Bank
Today, we disembark and make our way to ancient Egypt’s southern border and visit the impressive Temple of Isis in Philae. The flooding of Lake Nasser caused the whole complex to be moved from its original location. After a stop at Aswan (High) Dam we visit the Unfinished Obelisk Quarry. After lunch on the boat we visit Elephantine Island to take in various important temples and the museum there.
Day 11 - West Bank - Abu Simbel
It’s an early morning start as we transfer to Aswan airport and fly to Abu Simbel, located on the shores of Lake Nassar. Here, we make the most of our last day exploring what is considered to be Egypt’s most impressive temple site, home to the temples of Ramesses II and Nefertari. After lunch, we fly to Cairo and transfer to our hotel, where we will enjoy our final dinner together as a group.
|Hotel||Le Méridien Cairo Airport|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
Day 12 - Cairo
The modern world is calling us home. We take our leave from Egypt and take our onward independent journeys.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
- Field notes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Offer||Availability|
|October 20 2020||AEGH201020||October 20 2020 (Tuesday)||October 31 2020 (Saturday)||Lucia Gahlin||$5,760
||$980||Call for availability|
|November 3 2020||AEGH201103||November 3 2020 (Tuesday)||November 14 2020 (Saturday)||Lucia Gahlin||$6,000
|January 5 2021||AEGH211005||January 5 2021 (Tuesday)||January 16 2021 (Saturday)||Lucia Gahlin||$7,250
|March 16 2021||AEGH210316||March 16 2021 (Tuesday)||March 27 2021 (Saturday)||Lucia Gahlin||$7,275
|September 14 2021||AEGH210914||September 14 2021 (Tuesday)||September 25 2021 (Saturday)||Lucia Gahlin||$7,250