13 days (12 nights): 4 nights Cairo + 4 nights Safari + 4 nights Nile cruise
After a whirlwind tour of the pulsing Egyptian capital, you’ll embark on a desert adventure, driving through magnificent desert oases of the Western Desert, and all the way down to Luxor, where your serene Nile Cruise begins. In this last part of your adventure, you’ll sail along the Nile, exploring the wondrous relics of Egypt’s Pharaonic heritage.
As you arrive at Cairo International Airport, one of our English-speaking representatives will guide you through all the necessary immigration, customs, and visa procedures. You will then be transported to your hotel in Cairo by one of our air-conditioned vehicles.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, we will embark on a city tour that gives you a glimpse into its historic past. Your tour will begin with a visit to three Pyramids of Giza. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Great Pyramid of Cheops stands 230-meter-high and is just one part of a huge funerary complex. Within the Pyramids are interconnected chambers that housed the many treasures and sarcophagi belonging to the Pharaoh. Another essential feature in this location is the iconic Giant Sphinx depicting the head of King Khafre with the body of a lion.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the necropolis of Saqqara, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here stands the famous Step Pyramid of King Djoser, the central feature of his vast funerary complex, which marked a huge step in the evolution of pyramidal construction.
Next on the tour is a visit to Memphis visit Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt (c. 3,100 B.C.), known at present time as Mit Rahina. The ruins of this city are displayed in a magnificent open-air museum featuring the giant limestone statue of Ramses II, as well as an alabaster Sphinx guarding the Temple of Ptah.
In the evening, you will return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing dinner and a good night’s sleep.
After breakfast at the hotel, you begin the day with a visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to a diverse collection of objects of immense cultural value, among them are the treasures of Tutankhamen. The museum’s collection offers a unique opportunity for a first-hand encounter with this lost world.
Later, we will visit Medieval Cairo, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This part of the city was built in the 10th century and primarily served as a royal enclosure for the caliphs. It is accordingly filled with mosques and religious buildings of great historical significance. Inside, you will visit the Citadel of Saladin, a fortress in which stands the imposing mosque of Mohamed Ali, as well as the many museums and gardens hidden within its walls.
Next, you will be given the opportunity to visit Old Cairo’s Coptic Quarter. This area has been a melting pot of religions, chief amongst them are Orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Essential places to visit are the Hanging Church, built on the Fortress of Babylon, the Church of St. Sergius, where the Holy Family is believed to have been sheltered during their period of exile in Egypt, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in Egypt and dates back to the 7th century. Finally, we will stroll through the picturesque bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, a fourteenth-century marketplace where you can purchase all sorts of traditional souvenirs, and experience Egyptian haggling at its finest.
Once the tour is done, you will be transported back to your hotel in time for dinner.
An English-speaking guide will accompany you as you journey from Cairo to Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert. Once you get there you will be served lunch before visiting Bawiti, the capital and largest of the Oasis villages. Here you can admire paintings from the XXVIth dynasty of the New Kingdom. Later you will stop at the English Mountain, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Oasis at sunset. Your last stop will be at the hot springs, where you will revitalize your body before returning to your hotel for dinner and rest.
After a hearty breakfast sourced by local produce at your hotel restaurant, you will begin an archeological tour of the Oasis and its surroundings. One of your destinations will be the Museum of Bawiti, which exhibits several mummies and tombs.
Later, you will be driven to the White Desert in a 4x4 Jeep. Along the way you will pass through the Black Desert, which owes its name to a history of intense volcanic activity, Crystal Mountain, a small hill made of glittering calcite crystals, and Hayez Oasis, a remote sanctuary where you will stop for a picnic. The White Desert is quickly recognizable by its majestic eroded rocks in the form of unique animals and plants that makes for a landscape of unparalleled beauty.
In the evening you will enjoy a special dessert barbecue under a sky full of stars, after which a tent will be prepared for you to sleep in.
Begin your day with a light breakfast before setting off in a minibus for Farafra Oasis. Here you will have the opportunity to admire the work of Badr, a local artist whose works of clay, stone, and sand beautifully capture the traditional life of the Oasis. After this, you will be taken to a number of hot springs in the area where you will be able to swim and soak up its rejuvenating nature.
Later in the afternoon, you will depart for Al Qasr, a labyrinthine medieval town boasting the remains of ancient houses and ruins of a Roman fort that was built to protect the caravan route through the desert.
Your journey continues on to Mut, a beautiful little settlement which is also the capital of Dakhla. After this, you will check into a hotel for dinner and rest.
After a light breakfast, you will set off for the majestic Kharga Oasis, the largest oasis in the Western Desert. Here you can visit a variety of monuments dating back to a range of historical periods, including the Temple of Hibis, the finest example of the Persian temple period, a majority of which was built during the reign Darius I in the 6th century B.C. Not to be missed is the necropolis of Al Bagawat, one of the oldest Christian cemeteries in Egypt.
After lunch, you will have the rest of the afternoon off. We suggest you make the most of your time by strolling across the scenic Kharga Oasis at sunset or bathing in the hot springs. Towards the end of the day, you will be taken to your hotel in Kharga for dinner and rest.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Kharga before journeying along the Nile towards Luxor. Once in Luxor, you will have the opportunity to delve into the wonders of this ancient city. The temples of Luxor and Karnak are historically renowned for their majesty; it takes just 45 minutes to walk from one temple to the other, and on your way, you will observe several sphinxes and hear a number of stories about the pharaohs responsible for their construction. After this exciting day, you return to the boat for dinner and rest in your cabin.
Your next day kicks off energetically with a hearty breakfast. Crossing to the other side of the Nile, your first stop will be the Necropolis of Thebes, which is among the most important symbols of Egypt’s ancient civilization.
Next up is an exploration of a truly archaeological treasure and one of the great wonders of Egypt: The Valley of the Kings, commissioned by Pharaohs of dynasties XVIII, XIX, and XX and home to tombs of Tutankhamen and Ramses IV. You will later proceed to the Valley of the Artisans, a tribute to those who built the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. Next, you will visit Medinet Habu Temple, which is notable for its architecture and use of polychromy.
We will then have a short break for lunch, where you will enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the complex Deir el-Bahri, which famously features the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. After which we move across the complex to admire the majesty of Temple of Amenhotep III. Here you will observe the Colossi of Memnon, two immense twin statues that remain breathtaking centuries after their creation. Both depicting Amenhotep III with his eyes looking east, towards the Nile and sunrise. Around him are two smaller figures symbolizing his wife and mother.
In the evening, you will enjoy a late dinner on the boat as you watch the sunset over Esna and Edfu.
What better way to begin your day than with a delicious breakfast in the sunshine of Edfu? Once done, you will be driven by boat to the temple of Horus. Hidden under the sand for several centuries and only discovered by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette in the mid-nineteenth century, the temple of Horus temple is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt.
Later in the day, you will return to the boat for a lunch break, soon departing for Kom Ombo. In this city, you will visit the temple dedicated to Haroeris, the falcon god, and Sobek, the crocodile god. The tour will proceed to visit an exhibition of excellently preserved mummified crocodiles, illuminating the mystery of this strange Ancient Egyptian custom.
At night you will return to the cruise boat for dinner and rest.
Enjoy relaxing morning breakfast. There will be time for you to take Many years ago, this magnificent monument was almost lost in an unprecedented Nile flood. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO, it was moved brick by brick to a nearby location and remains to this day. The iconic temple of Ramses II features 4 imposing 20-meter-high statues on its main façade, a truly breathtaking experience to see firsthand. Savor the temple both by day and by night, in an impressive sound and light show.
Upon further exploring the complex, you will find an extensive gallery and several rooms honoring the many gods of Egypt. You will also tour the temple dedicated to Nefertari, wife of the Pharaoh. On its main facade are 6 statues, four of them depicting Ramses II and two depicting Nefertari.
After your evening meal, you will embark on a felucca ride. This is a rich local experience, giving you the opportunity to closely admire the surrounding landscape from the perspective of the legendary Nile. The felucca will pass by Elephantine Island, one of the oldest trading centers in the ivory trade, and Kitchener's Island, famous for its beautiful botanical gardens. To conclude, you will enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Agha Khan Mausoleum. Just a brief glance at this breathtaking monument explains why Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah chose it to be his eternal resting place.
At night, you will be offered dinner and left to enjoy your last night on board.
Enjoy breakfast aboard the boat just before setting off for the small island of Philae. Ptolemy II built the temple on this island in honor of the goddess Isis. It also holds the unfinished obelisk, which was claimed as the world's largest obelisk until it, unfortunately, cracked.
The contrast between the ancient past and present will be striking as you arrive at your next destination, the celebrated Aswan Dam. A monumental engineering endeavor launched by the British Empire during its occupation of the country and completed by the Egyptians in the middle of the last century.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to Aswan airport to leave for Cairo, where a representative will pick you up to take you to your hotel where you will check-in and be offered dinner before retiring for the night.
Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel before begin driven to Cairo International Airport in an air-conditioned vehicle. Savor this as an opportunity to contemplate one last view of this beautiful, richly historical city.
To ensure your trip goes smoothly, an English-speaking representative will accompany you at all times and be available to assist you until you are safe aboard your plane.
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