Join this 12 day tour taking in all the key sights of Egypt from tomb strewn Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, felucca sailing on the Nile and the epic Pyramids of Giza, as well as touring Mediterranean Alexandria and the Commonwealth War Graves of El Alamein.
Wednesday. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday. Arrive Cairo Airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day offers free time for you relax and maybe have a dip in the hotel swimming pool.
Bright and early this morning we drive to the port side city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast. Arriving at the windswept city known for its broad beaches and seafront corniche dotted with sun loungers, amusements and cafes we embark on a guided tour of the Roman catacombs. Heading underground we view the largest known Roman burial site in Egypt, complete with burial chambers, labyrinth alleyways and entertaining rooms for families coming to visit the dead.
From the catacombs we visit Pompey's Pillar, a modest 25m tower, which is all that remains of an ancient column, from the ruined Temple of Serapis. Our next stop is the impressive Library of Alexandria, where free time will be offered for photos of the exterior (and if we are fortunate and it is open to the public during our stop here, those who are interested can go inside). Lastly today, we take a leisurely stroll along the corniche to the Citadel of Quaitbey. We explore this attractive fortress, which was built on the site of the legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which was destroyed by a powerful earthquake 1323AD.
After hotel check in and time to freshen up we'll head out for a drive along the corniche followed by dinner (included).
Today we visit the Commonwealth War Graves of El Alamein. It is here where two extended battles were fought during World War II. The first began on the 1st July 1942 and lasted for 27 days, it ended as a stalemate. After 3 months of holding back the enemy, the Allies launched a second attack which lasted for 13 days. This saw the Allied forces (including British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers) push back the Axis powers for ultimate defeat in Tunisia. Some 13,000 Allied soldiers were killed and 70,000 were wounded in the battle.
Later, we tour the compact El Alamein military museum that acts as a memorial for the battle and houses lots of original war vehicles, weapons, uniforms and records. Displays in the museum detail the complete history of World War II in North Africa from all sides and stands on the site where the actual battle took place. This afternoon we return to Cairo.
Enjoy a free day in Cairo before the rest of your Egyptian adventure. Relax by the pool or explore the capital on our Backstreets of Cairo add-on which takes in Downtown Cairo, El Moez Street in Islamic Cairo, the Khan el Khalili Market and the famous Cave Church in Garbage City.
Cairo - Aswan. Visit the famous pyramids and huge Sphinx at Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction! 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. Continuing to Saqqara, we can explore the myriad tombs and temples at this site and see Zhoser’s step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC! Later there is a chance to have dinner before boarding the overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Arrive and check into our hotel. This afternoon's highlight is a leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island for a guided tour of the romantic Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. Upon returning to Aswan we visit a perfume oil emporium. 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.
Aswan - Nile felucca cruise. Optional early morning drive to Abu Simbel, ]the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. If sailing by felucca is not your style, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise, please see the tab above for prices. For more information about Nile Cruising please click here.
Nile Felucca Sailing - Kom Ombo. Relax, go for a swim or just chill out in the sun on deck. Let your troubles melt away, as the felucca plies its route. In the afternoon we dock near Kom Ombo and take a motorboat to visit Kom Ombo Temple, which is dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek, before returning to the felucca for the night.
Kom Ombo - Luxor. This morning we disembark and drive to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, an optional visit is available to the Temple of Luxor, alternatively enjoy the facilities of your hotel.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Today we will tour the West Bank of the Nile. An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce midday heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. Highlights of the visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against a historic backdrop, the Valleys of the Kings with its beautifully decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting passage into the after-life and the awesome colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
This afternoon after lunch and time to relax we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak, with its stone-columned Hypostle Hall. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
This morning we arrive into Cairo and visit the famous Egyptian Museum, home to the treasures of King Tutankhamun and his famous solid gold funerary mask. There is also the option to see the Royal Mummies for an additional fee, if you wish. This afternoon is free for you to independently explore or opt to visit the Khan el Khalili Market to pick up some souvenirs.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Sunday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport.