Day 2: Pyramids & Saqqara
Today we tour the Pyramids at Giza Plateau. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks, it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. The other two - Chephren and Mycerinus are equally impressive. Afterward we tour the tomb-strewn necropolis of Saqqara, featuring King Zhoser’s step pyramid. Constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, this was the template for all future pyramid construction. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Day 3: Maidum - Minya
Today we travel to Amarna, on the way we tour the Saqqara Necropolis.
Next we tour the Pyramids of Dashur. After lunch BY OWN,
We leave Giza and continue our journey to Maidum (or Meidum), where we visit reputedly the earliest pyramid constructed. It is also a 'step pyramid' and was originally constructed for Huni, the last pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty, but was ultimately used as a tomb for his successor, Sneferu. From there we head to the town of Minya, which lies on the border of the historic Upper and Lower Egypts, where we spend the night. (Approx 8 hrs driving in total) (B, D)
Day 4 - Tell el Amana - Sohag
Approximately 40 kilometres from Minya, the small village of Bani Hassan is overlooked by limestone cliffs that contain 39 tombs dating from the era of the Middle Kingdom (2055 to 1550 BC). Frescos decorate the walls, showing events and campaigns in the lives of the nobility buried here as well as images of their journeys to the afterlife.
Our next stop Tell el Amarna was the Pharaoh Akhenaten's capital in the 14th century BC, but was effectively razed to the ground by his enemies. Akhenaten declared that the only god worth worshipping was Aten, who until then had had a fairly minor role in the pantheon of ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. Some tombs remain at the site and sculptures found here have a distinctively elongated head, reflecting images of Akhenaten. Examples of which can be seen in the National Museum in Cairo.
Later we drive to Minia, where we stop for the night. (Approx 10 hrs driving in total) (B, D)
Day 5: Luxor
05.00 after breakfast,
transfer to railway station for train to Luxor, our representative will accompany you till your chair in Minia, then relax 6 hours, our Luxor representative will meet you in station, then will transfer you to the hotel. Remainder of the evening at leisure with a chance to enjoy the facilities of our hotel. Overnight - Luxor (B)
Day 6: Valley of the Kings
Luxor. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments you’ll see during our morning visit to the West Bank - home to the legendary Valley of the Kings. You’ll also see the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Return to Luxor for check-in on board our Nile 5H cruiser. Lunch at leisure and time to relax until our early evening visit to the Temple of Luxor. Luxor Temple looks stunning at dusk and is beautifully illuminated at night. Lunch, dinner and overnight - Nile cruiser.
Note: Dependant upon Nile Cruiser scheduling it maybe required that we also undertake our excursion to Karnak Temple this afternoon. Should this occur, day 5 will be spent at leisure. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Day 7: Luxor & Nile Cruising
Luxor - Nile cruising. At over 4,000 years old, Luxor is a living museum. We tour the East Bank, taking in the Temple of Luxor - built by Pharaoh Amenophis III and the magnificent Temple of Karnak. More than a temple, it’s a gigantic and stunning complex of sanctuaries and pylons dedicated to the Theban gods. Anchors away this afternoon as we sail downstream to Esna and the Temple of Horus at Edfu. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Day 6: Kom Ombo & Nile Cruising
Relax as we sail the Nile. Later today, we visit the Temple of Kom Ombo. Arrive Aswan late evening. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Day 8: Philae Temple & the Mighty High Dam
Nile cruiser - Aswan. Today, we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple dates from 4th century BC but the Ptolomies and the Romans up to 3rd century AD built most of the existing structures. In danger of being completely submerged by the rising water of Lake Nasser, in 1972 UNESCO stepped in and an 8-year rescue effort was undertaken to relocate the entire temple 20m higher on nearby Agilika Island.
After lunch, a visit to the High Dam and take a felucca cruise to Elephantine and Kitchener Island. As the sun sets, free time to shop in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax and watch an amazing sunset in Egypt’s southern most town straddling the River Nile. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Day 9: Aswan
Aswan - Cairo. Consider the optional early morning air excursion to the Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel or time to relax. Late this afternoon, we board the overnight train for our journey back to Cairo. Enjoy dinner in the comfort of your sleeper cabin. Overnight - seater Train (B, D)
Day 10: Egyptian Museum
Arrive to Cairo and hotel check-in. Later, a guided visit to the Egyptian Museum. See the famous King Tutankhamen solid gold death mask or opt to see the Royal Mummy room. Remains of the afternoon and evening free to do your own thing. Overnight - Cairo. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Day 12: Cairo
Our tour ends after breakfast and included onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)