The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx

Archaeological Tours

Egypt: Pharaohs and Pyramids

Traveling through Egypt is a mystical and unique experience as the sense of awe inspired by Egypt’s legendary ancient monuments and archaeological sites is one unlike any other. No preconception can prepare you for the scale and grandeur of Egypt’s treasures, nor match the enduring impact of the stories they hold and the secrets they keep. Our tour extends far beyond clichéd Egyptian pyramids and mummies – it will especially appeal to the traveler in search of true understanding of the civilization whose culture and heritage influenced not only the Greeks and Romans, but also our very own modern world. Guided by our knowledgeable tour leader who will share their insights into the discoveries that each new day brings, our itinerary offers an opportunity to enjoy a journey through 3,000 years of history.

Starting in Cairo and heading south to Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel, we travel the Nile by land, water and air. We visit Egypt’s most spectacular temple and pyramid complexes, both world-famous and lesser-known, before embarking on a luxurious five-day river cruise - sailing the life-giving waters of the Nile.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Flights
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team

Led by...

Dr Luigi Prada

Dr Luigi Prada

Dr Luigi Prada specializes in ancient Egypt and is a member of academic staff at the Egyptology Department of the University of Oxford, England.

Full Price
$7,050

Today's Price
$6,900

Saving
$150

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,150

Tour highlights:

  • Explore the seldom-visited pyramid complexes at Dahshur and Abusir, where the 5th-Dynasty Pharaohs built their pyramids
  • Visit the great temples of Abu Simbel overlooking Lake Nasser, among the most famous and spectacular monuments in Egypt
  • Travel to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the mummy rooms of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum
  • Cruise in comfort along the Nile, visiting sites that include Kom Ombo’s rare double temple, Aswan’s beautiful Philae Temple, and Luxor’s Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Wander through Karnak, whose vast sprawling complex is largely dedicated to the god, Amun

Tour details

Dates February 8 2020 - February 23 2020
Duration 16 days
Cost
Full Price
$7,050
Today's Price
$6,900
Saving
$150
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,150 Balance due by November 16 2019
Activity Level
Tour code A20EGY

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

February 8 2020: Itinerary

We arrive in Cairo and transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we meet up with our group to enjoy our first dinner together.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

After an introductory lecture, we begin at Memphis, the first capital of a united Egypt, and Sakkara, its necropolis. At Sakkara, we visit the museum and tour the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser, which pre-dates the Giza pyramids and is the world’s first monumental building constructed entirely from stone. We also tour the smaller Pyramid of Teti, build for a Sixth Dynasty King, whose burial chamber is covered with texts to ensure the survival of his soul.

All meals included

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

Today, we move forward in time for a visit to the only two surviving monuments of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World: the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx. Th ere’s an opportunity to explore the site and to visit the Solar Boat Museum, where the reconstructed remains of the Solar Boat of Cheops are displayed.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

We visit the Citadel, the medieval Islamic stronghold of Salah el-Din, before devoting half a day to Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. This is home of the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the mummy room and various items from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Time permitting, we can stop to explore the atmospheric Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, the city’s historic souk whose warren of cobblestone lanes and alleys lined with colorful shops and stalls off er a lively Cairo experience and architecture.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

As we travel today from Cairo to neighboring Dahshur and Abusir, we continue to trace the story of the development of the pyramids following their initial design at Sakkara. At Dahshur’s royal necropolis, the 4th Dynasty King Snefru completed the problematic Bent Pyramid, later perfecting this architectural form with the larger Red Pyramid. We have also received a special permit for an afternoon visit to the site of Abusir, the primary burial ground where the 5th Dynasty Pharaohs built their pyramids.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel, Giza

This morning, we fly 300 miles along the Nile to Luxor, known in ancient times as Thebes. Our hotel was selected for its beautiful gardens, upon the steps of which Howard Carter announced the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Modern Luxor has grown up around the ruins of these great complexes. Our exploration begins at Karnak’s ‘City of Temples’, probably the ancient world’s largest remaining religious site, with structures that date back 4,000 years. We focus on the story and spectacle of the immense sanctuary of the sun-deity Amun-Re. Reached via the famous Avenue of Sphinxes, lined with carved human-headed beasts, this is a dazzling maze of gateways, obelisks, pillared halls, and subsidiary shrines. After, we visit the Luxor Museum.

All meals included

Hotel: Sofitel Old Winter Palace Pavilion, Luxor

Today, we cross the Nile in order to visit the awe-inspiring Valley of the Kings and Queens. Th e necropolis area on the west bank was reserved for royal burials from around 2100 BCE, but it was the Pharaohs of the later ‘New Kingdom’ period who chose this once-remote desert valley site for their grand rock-cut tombs. While over 60 tombs were discovered in the Valley of the Kings, only a select few are open to the public. Lucky for us, we are allowed to enter a selection of tombs — the Tomb of Seti I in particular. We then travel to the Valley of the Queens, which contains 75 tombs that belonged to the queens of the 19th and 20th dynasties.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sofitel Old Winter Palace Pavilion, Luxor

We return to the west bank of the Nile to see the Tombs of the Nobles — a site of over 400 tombs that have been carved into a rocky hillside. These tombs are scattered across an area of two square miles and, while they are not as frequently visited as their more famous neighbors, their naturalistic murals give detailed insights into daily Egyptian life during the 6th dynasty. We also stop by the well-preserved archaeological site of the ancient Deir el-Medina, once the village-home of the artisans who built and decorated the royal tombs of Thebes. Later, we have a fascinating tour at the Oriental Institute’s Chicago House to learn about the Institute’s Epigraphic Survey which has, since 1924, been dedicated to producing photographs and precise line drawings of the inscriptions and relief scenes of Luxor’s major temples and tombs.

All meals included

Hotel: Sofitel Old Winter Palace Pavilion, Luxor

This morning, we drive north to Dendera through a landscape of villages of baked-mud houses and the lush cultivated banks of the Nile. Dendera is home to an important temple complex whose main feature is the remarkably well-preserved Temple of Hathor. Although the present temple was built largely in the 1st century BCE, it occupies the site of a far older building. On the still-intact ceiling is a circular plaster cast of the beautiful Zodiac of Dendera, displaying the hours of the day and night, as well as the trajectory of the sun, moon, and the stars across the sky. We return to Luxor.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sofitel Old Winter Palace Pavilion, Luxor

We return to Luxor’s west bank and visit the Colossi of Memnon - two gigantic sandstone statues of Amenhotep III dating from the 14th century BCE. Next, we explore the nearby temple complexes at Medinet-Habu, which is dominated by the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III. We then visit the Ramesseum funerary temple and the less-visited nobles’ tombs of Kheruef and Ankh-Hor, known for their intriguing reliefs and images. From here, we return to Luxor for lunch aboard our Nile Cruiser - our floating hotel for the next four nights. Later, we visit the Temple of Luxor. Constructed over 3,000 years ago, the temple, along with its many statues and relief carvings has been left with its structure preserved and in-tact.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

Our first morning on the Nile is spent at leisure in Luxor, either relaxing on board by the pool, enjoying independent sightseeing, shopping in the local souk, or perhaps sailing on a traditional felucca. We enjoy lunch on board before setting sail on the first leg of our cruise upstream to Edfu - our dock for the night.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

We begin at the Temple of Edfu, a Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Horus, the avenging falcon god. Built between 237 and 57 BCE, this is one of Egypt’s best-preserved ancient monuments. Back on board, we have several hours to enjoy our vessel’s sundeck and pool, as well as the ever-changing panorama of everyday life along the Nile. Later in the afternoon, we visit the partially-restored remains of Kom Ombo’s Ptolemaic temple. Dedicated equally to two competing gods, Horus the Elder and the crocodile god Sobek, it even has separate areas for each. We then return to our Nile Cruiser and 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 visit is to the Temple of Philae. This Ptolemaic temple, being the last bastion of paganism in the Byzantine Empire, was dedicated to Isis and is an incredible complex of chapels and shrines.

All meals included

Hotel: MS Farah, Nile Cruise Ship

After disembarking this morning to transfer to our hotel, we visit the grand Kalabsha Temple, first built in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus on the site of a sanctuary founded by Amenhotep II. Originally dedicated to the Nubian sun god Mandulis, it later became a church. After the construction of the High Dam it was moved to Lake Nasser from its former location 30 miles to the south. Also relocated here, were the delicate Graeco-Roman kiosk of Qertassi and the shrine of Ramesses II from Beit el-Wali. There’s an opportunity to admire the archaeological finds in the Nubian Museum before we conclude our day with a farewell group dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Aswan Mövenpick Hotel

Our tour ends on a high note with a visit to the world-renowned Nubian site of the temples at Abu Simbel, 140 miles south-west of Aswan. Miraculously rescued from Lake Nasser’s rising waters after the creation of the High Dam and rebuilt on the western bank, the two massive rock temples of Ramesses II and his favorite queen, Nefertari, were originally carved into the mountainside in 1244 BCE to honor the deified royal pair and to awe the Nubians. The colossal statues of Ramesses at the entrance still inspire a sense of awe today just as they did over 3,000 years ago. An afternoon flight brings us back to Cairo for our overnight stay.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Le Meridien, Cairo Airport

We transfer to Cairo airport for our flights home or onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

February 8 2020: Additional Info

February 8 2020: 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.

Pavillon Winter Luxor offers 3 restaurants, 2 bars, and warm hospitality in the heart of Luxor city. It overlooks the River Nile and is just 100 yards away from the Luxor Temple.

Rooms and suites are comfortably furnished and include private, furnished balconies with views of the garden.

Pavillon Winter Luxor offers a large outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and exotic plants. Guests enjoy a wide variety of services that include babysitting, airport shuttle, bicycle or car rental service.

Pavillon Winter's restaurant serve a variety of cuisine as well as weekly theme nights and live folklore music. The attentive staff helps create a friendly and inviting atmosphere for guests and can offer tips on what to see and do nearby.

Nearby attractions include the Karnak Temple, Luxor Museum, International Convention Center, and the Mummification Museum.

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 8 2020: Enquiries

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