9 Days Premium Ancient Egypt Tour

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9 Days

Tour Detail

The cruising route along the Nile is home to ancient wonders, desert landscapes and snapshots of everyday Egyptian life. Take to the Nile Valley on an nine-day Premium adventure by river, road and air, visiting the mighty pyramids of Giza, the majestic temples of Karnak, the famous tomb of Tutankhamun and Cairo’s bustling Khan al-Khalili Bazaar. Spend an evening with a Nubian family and another with an Egyptian family in Cairo for a look at local life, and enjoy plenty of time for independent discoveries in each destination. With an ancient past that has led to a colourful present, Egypt is a traveller’s dream.

Itinerary

Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Cairo! On arrival at the airport, take an included transfer to your hotel. You are free to arrive at any time today before an important welcome meeting, held at 6 pm. If you do arrive early, perhaps get out and explore the busy streets, finding a hole-in-the-wall eatery for a snack like ta’ameya – Egypt’s take on falafel. Or you may wish to make the most of your hotel – the pool area offers magnificent pyramid views. After your welcome meeting, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers, head out for an included dinner with the group. Here your leader will introduce you to the dazzling variety of Egyptian cuisine, known for being fresh, delicious and unique to the country. Best enjoyed when shared, tuck into an array of traditional dishes like fatta, a dish made with rice, bread and meat in a garlic and vinegar sauce, and kushari, a tantalising mixture of pasta, rice, lentils and fried onions.

Accommodation
Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals
Dinner
Included activities
Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Cairo - Welcome Dinner
Add on activities
Cairo - Islamic Art Museum (entrance fee) - EGP270
Urban Adventures - Islamic Cairo in Depth Tour - USD86
Urban Adventures - Saqqara and Memphis - USD82
Cairo - Urban Adventures Downtown Cairo Tour - USD40
Special information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through us. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Day 2: Cairo
This morning, tour the mighty Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx with your small group and expert leader, who is a trained Egyptologist. Seeing these ancient and iconic structures up close is a memory that will stay with you long after your time in Egypt is over. For an additional charge, you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops). After stopping to purchase some lunch, Your adventure continues to the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's great collections of ancient artefacts. Wander the treasure-filled halls, and make sure to check out the optional Mummies Hall for a close encounter with some of the country’s most important queens and pharaohs. The masses of gleaming artefacts recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun are an impressive sight – from jewellery to the famous golden death mask and his gilded sarcophagi, this pharaoh was certainly prepared for the afterlife. Your leader will take you through some of Egypt’s dynastic history, and you will have plenty of time to explore on your own – home to almost 100,000 artefacts, there’s a whole ancient world to uncover.

Accommodation
Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Included activities
Cairo - Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
Cairo - Egyptian Museum
Add on activities
Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops (entrance fee) - EGP900
Special information
The Grand Egyptian Museum opening has now been postponed to at least November 2022. If it is not open when you travel, your tour will still include a visit to the current Egyptian Museum which holds many of the same treasures that are due to be moved to the new premises.

You will be required to walk around the pyramids complex. It can be very hot in the summer months, so be prepared for little shade and pack appropriate clothing, sun protection, and lots of water. Inside the pyramids is very small and warm. For those suffering from claustrophobia, it is not recommended. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is occasionally closed to visitors without notice.

Day 3: Aswan
Catch a morning flight to Aswan – Egypt’s southernmost city. Its relaxed charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Check in to your hotel then travel to Philae Island and visit the beautiful Temple of Isis – the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom – rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated here. Your leader will share stories of the history and changing landscape of the island. Then, take a boat to a Nubian village on an island in the middle of the Nile. Walk through the village before sitting down to dinner with a local Nubian family in their home. Enjoy traditional Nubian food, swap stories with your friendly hosts and gain a unique perspective into their way of life.

Accommodation
Movenpick Aswan or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Included activities
Aswan - Nubian Village Visit and Dinner
Aswan - Philae Temple
Special information
Today’s flight is approximately 1.5 hours.

Day 4: Aswan - Nile Cruise
After breakfast, you may like to take a stroll around Aswan or join an optional tour of Abu Simbel, a temple complex that was dismantled and moved to make way for the Aswan High Dam, before you board a Nile riverboat, your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three nights. Travelling by riverboat allows you to get to the heart of each destination while ensuring the journeys in between are every bit as interesting. In the afternoon, board a traditional felucca sailing boat where you can sit back and relax with some drinks as the sun sets over your beautiful surroundings. Return to your riverboat for dinner.

Accommodation
MS Nile Style or La Fayan Nile Cruise (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Included activities
Aswan - Sunset drinks on a felucca
Add on activities
Aswan – Abu Simbel excursion by car (includes transfer, guide and entry) - USD110
Aswan - Abu Simbel excursion by flight (includes flights, transfers, guide and entry) from price - USD450
Special information
It is possible to book a morning excursion from Aswan to Abu Simbel, where you can explore some magnificent temples. Please speak to your booking agent to arrange this in advance, as flights frequently sell out. Currently, flight times to Abu Simbel change frequently and may require a very early start.

Accommodation aboard the Nile riverboat is full board – breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Drinks are offered from the bar area for an additional cost. An evening program is also available. Please note that you may sail on either the MS Nile Style, Nile Premium, or La Fayan Nile Cruise depending on sailing dates.

Day 5: Nile Cruise - Edfu
Enjoy a peaceful morning on board your riverboat, then set out in the afternoon along the river, relaxing in the sun on deck and taking in the desert hills forming a backdrop over the lush riverbanks. Arrive at Kom Ombo Temple, sitting spectacularly on the river’s edge. Your leader will let you in on the secrets of this ancient temple. Built in approximately 181 BC, Kom Ombo is dedicated to two gods – Horus (god of protection) and Sobek (god of fertility, linked to the Nile’s water). Each god has a dedicated section – north or south – and there have been recent discoveries of mummified crocodiles in the Sobek section. Afterwards, return to your riverboat and continue to Edfu where you will dock for the evening.

Accommodation
MS Nile Style or La Fayan Nile Cruise (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Included activities
Izbat Al Bayyarah - Kom Ombo Temple

Day 6: Nile Cruise - Luxor
This morning, you will be moored near Edfu and may have the option to venture independently into town to see the nearby temple. Sail towards Luxor passing through the Esna Locks. You may have to queue to proceed through the locks, but this is a great opportunity to sit back with a drink in hand and observe life on the Nile – listen to the shouts of the many captains as they navigate their way through the various small boats of merchants selling their wares to a captive audience. Arrive at the open-air museum of Luxor – from the spectacular temple complex of Karnak to the Valley of the Kings, Luxor is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs. Today you'll explore the Karnak Temple. One of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, Karnak is a house of the gods built over a period of some 200 years. Your guided tour of this vast temple of impressive pylons, obelisks and chapels will reveal its finest sections, such as the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Great Temple of Amun.

Accommodation
MS Nile Style or La Fayan Nile Cruise (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Included activities
Luxor - Karnak Temple
Add on activities
Edfu - Edfu Temple (entrance fee) - EGP450
Luxor - Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show (minimum 2 persons) (entrance, guide & transport) - USD45
Special information
The only mode of transport to the Temple of Horus in Edfu is by locally managed horses and carriages. As a company committed to responsible travel, animal welfare is extremely important to us. Operators of this service have been found to be in breach of our animal welfare guidelines and, for this reason, we do not include this visit. In addition to animal welfare concerns, we have had a large amount of feedback suggesting that the visit itself is uncomfortable due to pushy vendors and suppliers at the site.

Previously, some travellers have decided to walk to the temple. This takes approximately 30 minutes each way. Be aware the road is very busy and there have been instances of travellers getting hassled by the carriage drivers. If you choose to walk, inform your leader before you depart and ensure you are carrying water, hat and sunscreen and have comfortable shoes.

If there is no time to visit the Karnak Temple today, this will take place tomorrow on Day 7.

Day 7: Luxor
Disembark your riverboat and travel to the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. With your leader, explore this place, where the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (16th to 11th century BC) were secretly interred for all eternity, and where discoveries are still being made. Your leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people, and the significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics, still well preserved in the deepest tombs. Entry is included to three tombs of your choosing, as well as access to the tomb of Tutankhamun. The unearthing of the young Pharaoh’s resting place is one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, and today you will have the chance to explore the painted chamber and marvel at his famous golden sarcophagus. Continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut – a colonnaded building set against high cliffs that create a spectacular natural amphitheatre, then view the Colossi of Memnon – two 17-metre-high statues on Luxor's west bank.

Accommodation
Sonesta St George Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Included activities
Luxor - Hatshepsut Temple
Luxor - Valley of the Kings (entrance to 3 tombs)
Luxor - Tomb of Tutankhamun
Luxor - Colossi of Memnon
Add on activities
Luxor - Hot Air Balloon over the Valley of the Kings - USD130
Luxor - Valley of the Queens (entrance fee) - EGP180
Luxor - Tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens (entrance fee) - EGP2000
Special information
You can purchase a photo ticket that will entitle you to take photos in any of the tombs that you visit as part of your visit to the Valley of the Kings. The cost of the camera ticket is around EGP300.

It is possible to do a Valley of the Kings hot air balloon tour which your leader can reserve for you. we only use providers that have been risk assessed. You will be picked up between 4.30 and 5am from your hotel. Balloon capacity is maximum of 25 people and cameras are prohibited in the basket (mobile phones are acceptable). This activity runs subject to weather conditions. Please speak to your leader on Day 1 if you would like to book this activity.

Day 8: Cairo
Board a flight bound for Cairo this morning. On arrival, settle in to your hotel then head with your group to the Al-Azhar neighbourhood to visit Khan al-Khalili Bazaar – a sprawling maze of alleyways including the gold market, cloth market, 'perfume street' and the spice market. Continue to the 9th-century Al-Azhar Mosque – one of the oldest and largest in Egypt. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Stop off in Cairo’s oldest coffeeshop for an Arabic coffee or mint tea as you watch the world go by. It’s a known fact that the very best food in Cairo is made inside local homes, but few visitors get the chance to experience this for themselves. This afternoon, you will be one of the lucky few as you are welcomed into the home of a local family for a meal. Sit down to a wonderful meal of traditional dishes which you’ll share with your friendly hosts and gain an inside look at modern Egyptian life.

Accommodation
Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo, Sonesta Cairo, or similar (1 night)
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Included activities
Cairo - Home-Cooked Dinner
Cairo - Khan al-Khalili Bazaar
Cairo - Al-Azhar Mosque
Cairo - Coffee/tea in a local cafe
Special information
Today’s flight is approximately 1.5 hours.

The meal in a family home may be lunch or dinner, depending on your flight time.

Day 9: Cairo
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12pm and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. If you would like to spend more time in Cairo, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Meals
Breakfast