The Temples at Abu Simbel
The Temples at Abu Simbel

Egypt: Pharaohs and Pyramids


16 days From $6,495

February 2 2019

Few of life’s great travel experiences surpass the sense of awe inspired by a first encounter with Egypt’s legendary ancient monuments and archaeological sites. No preconceptions can quite prepare the first-time visitor for their scale and grandeur, nor match the enduring impact of the story they unfold.

On our rewarding tour, discover more than ancient Egyptian images, pyramids and mummies. It will especially appeal to the traveler in search of a true understanding of a civilization whose culture and heritage had such a profound influence on the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as our own modern world. Unhurried yet comprehensive, our itinerary offers an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a memorable journey through 3,000 years of history – with your knowledgeable tour leader on hand to share their insights into the discoveries that each new day brings.

Traveling the Nile on land, water and in the air from Cairo to Abu Simbel, and visiting Egypt’s most spectacular temple and pyramid complexes, both world-famous and lesser-known, our tour also features a 5-day river cruise aboard the beautifully-appointed M.S. Farah, among the most modern and luxurious vessels sailing the life-giving waters of the Nile.

What's included?

  •  Expert Scholar & Tour Manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Local Transport
  •  Entries & Tips

Led by...

Dr Luigi Prada

Dr Luigi Prada is a member of academic staff at the Egyptology Department of the University of Oxford, England.

Book Now $6,495
Includes deposit: $500 Single supplement: $950

Tour highlights:

  • Explore the seldom-visited pyramid complexes at Dahshur and Abusir, where the 5th-Dynasty Pharaohs built their pyramids
  • Visit Aswan’s beautiful Philae Temple and High Dam – and the great rock temples of Abu Simbel
  • Travel to the Pyramids of Giza, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Sphinx and the fascinating Solar boat museum
  • Cruise in comfort along the Nile, visiting sites that include Kom Ombo’s rare double temple
  • Wander through Karnak, whose vast sprawling complex is largely dedicated to Amun

Tour details

Dates February 02 2019 - February 17 2019
Duration 16 days
Cost $6,495
Single supplement: $950
Deposit: $500 , balance due by 10 November 2018
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code A19EGY

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

February 2 2019: Itinerary

We arrive into Cairo on Saturday and transfer to our first hotel where we will meet for dinner.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

After an introductory lecture, we begin touring at Memphis, the first capital of a united Egypt, and Saqqara, its necropolis. At Saqqara we will visit the museum and tour the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser, which predates the Giza pyramids and is the world’s first monumental building constructed entirely in stone. We will also tour the smaller Pyramid of Teti, built for a Sixth Dynasty king, whose burial chamber is covered with pyramid texts to ensure the survival of his soul, and the mastaba tombs of the Nobles Ti and Ptahhotep.

All meals included

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

Touring begins at the only surviving representatives of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. We will also stop at the museum, where the remarkably preserved remains of the Solar Boat of Cheops are displayed.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

We will spend the full morning at the Egyptian Museum, where we will view the highlights of its huge collection, including the mummy room and objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. After lunch our first stop will be the Citadel, famed as the stronghold of Salah el-Din. The day continues with a stroll through Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, one of the largest souks in the Middle East, and ends with a walk through the warren of streets lined with fascinating architecture.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

Today we will trace the rapid development of the pyramids following their creation at Saqqara. At Dahshur, Snefru completed the Bent Pyramid using the lessons learned at Meydum. In the Red Pyramid, he perfected this architectural form. After lunch, we have been granted a special permit to visit the site of Abusir, where most of the 5th-Dynasty Pharaohs built their pyramids.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

This morning we fly to Luxor and transfer to our hotel, selected for its excellent location on the Corniche and within walking distance of the market, museum and some of the sites. The ancient city was built on the east bank of the Nile, while the west bank was the city of the dead, mostly reserved for tombs and funerary monuments. We will begin our exploration with a full afternoon of touring at the magnificent sanctuary of Amun-Re at Karnak. This fascinating temple’s maze of monumental gateways, obelisks, pillared halls and subsidiary shrines is reached via an avenue lined with fantastic beasts. In the late afternoon we will visit the Luxor Museum.

All meals included

Hotel: Sonesta St George Hotel, Luxor

This morning we will cross the Nile to visit the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. The tombs to be visited are those of Tutankhamun and others selected from the tombs open to the public today. We will also visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, at Deir el-Bahri, one of Egypt’s most spectacular monuments.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sonesta St George Hotel, Luxor

We will return to the west bank of the Nile to visit some of the hundreds of tombs of the Nobles, spread over two square miles. These tombs are of special interest for their naturalistic murals, which give us an intimate view of life in ancient Egypt. We will also visit the ancient village of the artisans, Deir el-Medina, one of the best-preserved town sites in Egypt. In the late afternoon, we will have a specially arranged tour of the Oriental Institutes’ Chicago House, where a member of the staff will tell us about their Epigraphic Survey. Since 1924 the survey has both photographed and made line drawings of the inscriptions and reliefs, at major temples and tombs at Luxor.

All meals included

Hotel: Sonesta St George Hotel, Luxor

Driving north through villages of baked-mud houses and lush cultivated lands bordering the Nile, we arrive in Dendera and visit the Temple of Hathor, goddess of love, music and wine. Although this temple was largely built in the first century BCE, it occupies the site of a much older building. On the roof of the temple is a plaster cast of the famous Zodiac of Dendera (original in Paris), one of the three circular representations of the heavens found in Egypt. We continue to Luxor for an afternoon at leisure.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sonesta St George Hotel, Luxor

Our last visit to the west bank will include the Colossi of Memnon and the temples and chapels of Medinet Habu, the largest built by Ramesses III. We will explore the Ramesseum, where the fallen statue of Ramesses II inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem “Ozymandias.” The morning is concluded with the rarely visited tombs of Kheruef and Ankh-Hor. Returning to the East Bank, we board a deluxe Nile Cruiser, our floating hotel for the next four nights. In the late afternoon we will explore the Temple of Luxor, including the procession of the Opet Festival and scenes of the divine conception of Amenhotep III.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

This morning will be completely at leisure. We will have time to do some more touring, explore the local souk, hire a felucca to sail on the Nile or just relax at the pool. We have lunch on the Nile Cruiser and we sail to Edfu to dock for the night.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

We begin at the Temple of Edfu this morning, a completely preserved Ptolemaic temple of the falcon god Horus. We will have several hours to enjoy the sundeck and pool as well as the ever-changing panorama of life along the Nile. In the late afternoon we arrive at Kom Ombo, often called the Acropolis of Egypt for its spectacular site overlooking the Nile. It is also unusual in being dedicated equally to two gods, Horus the Elder and the crocodile god Sobek. After completing our visit, we sail on to Aswan.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

Our touring begins at the Quarries, where an unfinished obelisk remains embedded in its native stone. Our next visits are the High Dam and Philae, the Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Isis, an incredible complex of chapels and shrines as well as the last bastion of paganism in the Byzantine Empire.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

This morning we will disembark and transfer to our hotel. Touring begins at the Kalabsha Temple, built in the reign of Augustus on the site of an earlier sanctuary founded by Amenhotep II. The temple, which was later converted to a church, was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, who was associated with Isis. In the same antiquities park, we will visit the relocated Graeco-Roman kiosk of Qertassi and the shrine of Ramesses II, from Beit el-Wali. Lastly, we visit the Nubia Museum. We transfer to our hotel and this evening we will meet for our farewell dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Aswan Mövenpick Hotel

A memorable day! We fly to Abu Simbel, where the rock-cut temples of Ramesses II and his favorite queen, Nefertari, have been saved from the rising waters of the Nile resulting from the Aswan High Dam. The temples were built to honor the deified royal pair and to awe the Nubians. That awesome feeling exists today no less than it did 3,200 years ago. An afternoon flight brings us back to Cairo.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Le Meridien, Cairo Airport

We transfer to the airport for our flights home or onward travels.

Meals include: Breakfast

February 2 2019: Additional Info

February 2 2019: Accommodation

Surrounded by 40 acres of lush green gardens, in the shadows of the Pyramids in Cairo, you’ll be treated like royalty in the Mena House Hotel. Some of its previous guests include Heads of State & Kings. The luxury hotel boasts hand-carved furniture, original works of art and rooms to watch the sun rise and set over the great Pyramids.

Step into this Egyptian wonder on the banks of the Nile, you’ll be met by the hotel’s magnificent lobby, and look out for the elevators which are designed to look like Pharaohs’ tombs, a lovely quirk reminiscent of the past in this contemporary hotel. Not that it will be easy to forget your surroundings, with a room with a view and the perfectly situated ‘Nobel’s’ Bar’ on the terrace to enjoy an evening’s aperitif in front of the Egyptian sunset.

Welcome aboard the MS Farah, the Nile’s finest cruise ship.  Step onto the polished floor and into the triple height foyer. The cabins are equally as impressive with comfortable furnishings, Egyptian cotton no less, each room is equipped with private bathroom, TV and luxury amenities. After a day of sightseeing ancient monuments, relax in the contemporary lounge/ bar on board, or enjoy an evening in the steam room and sauna.

Back on dry land, you won’t miss the water, as the Mövenpick Resort has spectacular views of the Red Sea & tranquil lagoons surrounded by lush gardens. Spacious rooms with private terraces create open and comfortable spaces to enjoy your stay here. When you’re not enjoying the surrounding views, why not enjoy the hotel’s spa or relax on its exclusive beachfront?

Le Meridien Hotel & Spa is in the perfect location to end your adventure in Egypt, the hotel is less than a kilometer from the Sphinx and with views of the pyramids. The spacious & comfortable rooms have AC and are all newly refurbished in a clean and modern style. In the evening grab a drink from the hotel bar and recline in the hotel garden, in the shadow of the great pyramids while you soak up the last of the Egyptian sunshine before heading home.

February 2 2019: Enquiries

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November 9 2019

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Led by Dr Caroline Hebron

16 day tour, from $6695.

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