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Ancient Egypt Revealed with Robin

January 19, 2019

Depart for Cairo! International airport - international air tickets are not included in tour cost.

January 20, 2019

Welcome to Cairo

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel – the central Ramses Hilton hotel – directly across the motorway from Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. The tour will officially begin in early evening with a celebratory welcome reception and introductions at the hotel.
Overnight Cairo, Ramses Hilton

Jan 21, 2019 The Giza Pyramids, Sakkara - the Step Pyramid & Dahshur

The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is perhaps the most famous tourist site in the world. The Giza plateau itself, with its three major pyramids plus Queen’s pyramids, ancient mastabas, Sphinx and the ubiquitous and colourful camel drivers is a much-anticipated highlight of any trip. We will climb inside the Great pyramid of Cheops, if, however, Cheops entrance is not available, we will tour inside either the 2nd or 3rd pyramid. While on the plateau, we will also visit the extraordinary Sphinx.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we will tour the Saqqara complex, including the Step pyramid itself, Djoser’s court and the causeway. We hope also to tour the fascinating new Kingdom tombs of Aye and Horemheb, seldom included on a mainstream tourist visit.

We will visit two more of the earliest pyramids in Egypt: the Bent, and the impressive and intact Red, both built by Senefru in the 26th and 25th century BC. The Bent retains most of it casing stones. Entrance to the Red will be optional - and for the fit and adventurous minded only as it is an athletic climb. This Dashur region presents a wonderful opportunity for pyramid exploration ...far from the crowds of Giza.

Overnight Cairo, Ramses Hilton B, L

January 22, 2019 The Egyptian Museum and Islamic Cairo

After breakfast, we will set off to visit the Egyptian Museum, home to many of
the greatest treasures of ancient history. We will tour the highlights, including Tutankhamen’s golden mask, the stunning colossi of Amenhotep III, and granite sarcophagi/statues of the Old Kingdom. Beyond the well-known masterpieces you will also find rooms of opulent jewelry, ornate coffins, animal mummies – and strange and ancient curiosities. A microcosm of thousands of years of Egyptian art and history in a beautiful Victorian building. Which piece speaks to you – and why? You will also have the option of visiting the two rooms of fascinating royal mummies (added cost 150EGP). Imagine being face to face with Ramses the Great!

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Islamic Cairo - this afternoon we have a half-day immersion into the fascinating world of Islamic Cairo, site of some of the oldest mosques in
the world. We start with a gorgeous panoramic view of the city from way up in the medieval Citadel of Saleh el din, a marvel of medieval warfare, built in places with limestone from the Great Pyramid. There, we’ll also tour a 14th century open air mosque and the beautiful 19th century mosque of Mohammed Ali. Next, we’ll proceed to the breathtaking 14th century Sultan Hassan mosque, considered the pearl of Islamic architecture. This magical place is one of the largest mosques in the world and certainly the finest piece of early-Mamluk architecture dating to 1363 BCE. We will venture in to feel the centuries of devotion still residing here – and perhaps even hear the stunning voice of the Muezzin (the one appointed to sing call to prayer). We’ll also visit El Raffai, another ornate 19th century mosque which is the resting place of many early Egyptian rulers, including King Farouk.

After this very busy day, we will return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Overnight Cairo, Ramses Hilton or similar B, L

January 23, 2019

Luxor The magnificence of Karnak & Luxor Temples

Breakfast at our hotel and then transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Luxor. MS361 Depart Cairo 1035am Arrive Luxor 1145am

On arrival in Luxor we will be transferred to our hotel and check in.

Today we explore the two highlights on the east bank - Karnak and Luxor Temples. Travel to north Luxor to see the great temple of Karnak. The largest religious structure in the world, Karnak temple was built over a period of 3000 years by almost every Pharaoh of Egypt from the Middle Kingdom onwards. Marvel at the great Avenue of the Sphinxes, Hatshepsut’s obelisk – and the great Hypostyle Hall of Ramses the Great and his father Seti I. We’ll also visit the sacred lake and zoological gardens (engraved in stone) of Thuthmosis III.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we will explore Luxor Temple. A site of extraordinary harmony and beautiful proportion situated right in the centre of town, Luxor Temple is a highlight of any Luxor visit. It was largely constructed by the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III in the 14th century BCE, with a stunning double colonnaded court added by Ramses II in the 19th dynasty. The temple is incredibly rich with the chronicles of the past, including descriptions of the battle of Kadesh, accounts of the festival of Opet, the tale of how Amenhotep III’s mother was impregnated by a God, and other stories told of the pharoah’s exploits on the pillars, obelisks and temple walls. Luxor temple was once joined by a massive Avenue of Sphinxes (under current restoration) leading all the way to the great temple of Karnak in the north of the city.
This evening enjoy a sunset felucca ride on the Nile. Overnight Luxor, Steigenberger Nile Palace or similar B, L

January 24, 2019 Denderah and Abydos Temple, Middle Egypt

After breakfast, we have a full day to take a scenic drive north to rural middle Egypt. Today we will visit two of the greatest temples in Egypt – and ones not always on the mainstream travellers’ itinerary. These have also been two powerful spiritual centres favoured by pilgrims for millennia. We will take a brief stroll to visit the cenotaph-temple of Seti I. The carvings within are probably the most symmetrically beautiful ever created in Egypt. Explore seven stunning shrines – each to a different god, including Ptah, who was said to have breathed and thought the universe into existence. Explore behind the temple to find the eerie Osirium – mythical burial grounds of the god Osiris -- and a little-visited temple of Rameses II.

Box lunch from our hotel.

Next we will have about an hour’s drive south to visit the Temple of Hathor at Denderah built during Ptolemaic and Roman times -- the most complete of Egypt’s ancient temples and one of the best restored. This is where Cleopatra possibly honeymooned with Julius Caesar – and you can see her image at the back. The ceiling of vibrant blue and greens shows sky goddess Nut (pronounced: Noot) swallowing the sun and giving birth to the new day. This is also a very rare two story temple where the New Years Day Festival was celebrated – with Hathor’s union with Horus as the new day sun. Venture deep into the crypt to see strange reliefs. Go up on the roof to see the site of the fascinating zodiac ceiling – the oldest in the world.

Overnight Luxor, Steigenberger Nile Palace or similar B, L

January 25, 2019 The Valley of the Kings & Queens

Optional sunrise Balloon ride this morning - additional cost $150USD

After breakfast, we will visit the famous West bank – land of the dead – including the great rock cut tombs of the Valley of the Kings, with their vibrant colours and wonderful stories. Here you will have entrance into three of the tombs - Plus the entrance to King Tut’s tomb!

Lunch at a local restaurant.

We will also visit the gigantic Colossi of Memnon, gateway to the temple of Amenhotep III, the largest mortuary temple complex on the west bank. We will also visit the Valley of the Queens and the world-famous Queen Hatshepsut temple - nestled into the pink mountains – This was the great temple of the woman who would be king - one of Egypt’s greatest builders in the New Kingdom.

Overnight Luxor, Steigenberger Nile Palace or similar B, L

January 26, 2019 Luxor free day

You have a full day to relax or explore Luxor. Visit the Luxor museum, the Mummification Museum. Shop in the Luxor market or arrange a side trip with our guides. Wander over to the Winter Palace for tea or cocktails. Or just relax by the river and walk life go by.

Overnight Luxor, Steigenberger Nile Palace or similar B

January 27, 2019 Edfu & Kom Ombo to Aswan

After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and start our drive south to Aswan, stopping at Edfu to see the best preserved of all Ptolemaic temples that of Edfu, dedicated to the falcon- headed Horus and his family.

Then proceed to Kom Ombo, 45 Kms north of Aswan, we will visit the unusual double temple of Kom Ombo dating from Ptolemaic times, around 100 BCE. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder. We will also visit the crocodile mummy museum.

After visiting the temple of Kom Ombo, transfer to Aswan. This evening you can have an optional (entrance not included) visit the to the Nubian museum - dedicated to the history of the “land of gold” (Nubia’s meaning in hieroglyphs) -- the area that stretches from Aswan in the north through the Sudan in the south. Or visit the Aswan market for some shopping. Or depending on arrival time, Optional Sound and Light show at Philae Temple.
Overnight Aswan, Helnan Aswan hotel or similar B, L

January 28, 2019 Philae Temple- Abu Simbel Sound & Light Show

After Breakfast, we will visit the unfinished Obelisk and Philae Temple. The great temple of Isis on Philae island, the last operational temple in Egypt in which Egyptians worshipped for centuries until the Roman Emperor Justinian closed its doors in the 6th Century CE. The entire temple – with its beautiful statuary and reliefs was moved onto this island in the 1970s to preserve it from submersion after the creation of the new Aswan dam.

After our visit we drive for 3 hours to reach Abu Simbel (280 KM south of Aswan). Its temples, which are among the most magnificent monuments in the world, were built by the great pharaoh Ramses the second. They are perhaps the grandest & the most complete example of ancient Egyptian architecture, more than 3 thousand years have elapsed since they were erected, But the temples have stood the ravages of time & remained nearly intact. The great temple is dedicated to the sun god (Ra) while the second smaller temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathour, this second temple was built for Nefertari, the pharaoh’s wife.

We will settle into our Nubian ecolodge, have dinner and then head over to Abu Simbel for the Sound & Light Show! If it is a clear night make sure you look up for an amazing star show! Overnight Abu SImbel, Eskaleh Nubian ecolodge or similar B, D

January 29, 2019 Sunrise visit to Abu SImbel - Aswan - Cairo

After breakfast we have a special sunrise visit to Abu Simbel, watch the statues wake up to the rising sun. We will enjoy a tour of the two temples. Then we head back to Aswan.

On arrival in aswan we visit Quebbet el Hawa we will take a boat trip and then camels to visit the rock-cut tombs of Qubbet el Hawa-- enjoying the ibis birds and exotic flora along the way. Cut into the high cliffs across the river from the modern city of Aswan, Qubbet el Hawa is the site of an elite Old and Middle Kingdom cemetery. You’ll enjoy breathtaking vistas as you explore the seldom-visited tombs of the high officials – a real off-the-beaten track experience.

After this full day in Aswan we fly back to Cairo. MS398 Depart Aswan 610pm Arrive Cairo 735pm.  On arrival in Cairo we will transfer to our hotel.

Overnight Cairo, Ramses Hilton or similar B, L

January 30, 2019 Coptic Cairo and Khan el Khalili market

After breakfast we have our last full day on tour!

Coptic Cairo – Today we will explore some of the earliest churches and an important synagogue. This main entrance to the Coptic area is through perhaps one of the two oldest structures in Cairo, the rounded towers of the western gate from the Roman fortress of Babylon, built in 98 AD by Emperor Trajan. First, we’ll experience the hanging church of the Virgin Mary from the 4th century -- built into the very walls of the ancient fortress. From there, a medieval path will lead us to the Church of St. Sergius, which, legend has it, is built atop one of the sites where the Holy Family rested on their flight from Herod. Continuing along this path, we will finally visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue, Egypt's oldest, dating to the 9th Century.

Lunch at Mahfouz Restaurant in Khan El Khalili Market

After lunch we explore Khan el Khalili market – an exotic medieval souk where few things have changed over centuries. We will take stroll through the colour and chaos of this 13th century covered marketplace where you can still see vendors plying traditional crafts – blacksmiths, cotton weavers, bread-makers, wood workers. Shop and haggle for exotic gifts and souvenirs. Return to our hotel for our farewell dinner at our hotel!

Overnight Cairo, Ramses Hilton or similar B, L, D

January 31, 2019 Farewell Egypt!

Check out of our hotel, free time until our transfer to the airport for your flights home or join the Jordan Extension - Jan 31 - Feb 4 2019 $995USD per person based on twin share. B

Tour cost $3795 PP USD based on twin share - Single supplement $525USD Minimum 6 people maximum 24 - $500USD non refundable deposit required at booking Final due by Nov 19, 2018

Package includes:

  • 05 nights accommodation in Cairo at Ramses Hilton or similar BB Basis.
  • 04 nights accommodation in Luxor at Steigenberger Luxor hotel or similar BB Basis.
  • 01 nights accommodation in Aswan at Helnan Aswan or similar BB Basis.
  • 01 nights accommodation in Abu Simbel at Eskaleh Nubian ecolodge or similar B,D
  • All transfers throughout with air conditioned private bus
  • All tours as per the above program
  • Meet and Assist at the airport. Baggage handling and portage
  • Entrance fees with entry fees as mentioned- Sound & Light show at Abu SImbel
  • Private English speaking Egyptian Egyptologist guide throughout - Ramy Darwish
  • Robin Snell your American Egyptologist speaker
  • Anna MacKay Tour leader - with minimum 10 people
  • 11 breakfast, 8 lunches, 2 dinners - 1 bottle of mineral water everyday
  • Service charge and taxes
  • Domestic flight tickets

Packages excludes:

  • International flights, Entry visa, Tips (Driver, guide, representative), Insurance - medical or cancellation - both recommended, Meals not mentioned, any additional entrance fees or optional tours

Cancellation conditions:

  • Airline tickets are subject to the airline rules and restrictions.
  • 60 days or more deposit is non refundable
  • 59 - 31 days prior to departure 50% is non-refundable
  • 30 days or less prior to departure 100% non-refundable
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