Discover the wonders of Ancient Egypt, Egypt’s Early Christian and Medieval Islamic heritage and cruise on the River Nile on our 13-day journey through time. Many of Egypt’s achievements in art and architecture are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and still there for us to see well over 5,000 years later. On our journey through this ancient land you will not only visit the pyramids, sphinx and the world famous Egyptian Museum, but you will also explore Greco-Roman ruins in Alexandria, wonder through the remains of the early Christian holy city of Abu Mena and admire the achievements of the medieval Islamic period in old Cairo.
|Tour Duration||:||13 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||20 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Toronto/Cairo
Our Journey through time starts as we board our flight to Cairo in Toronto. Our Egypt Air flight departs Toronto at 1245 hrs, just in time for lunch.
Day 02: Arrival Cairo/Alexandria
Marhaba – and we are welcomed as we arrive at Cairo International Airport in the early morning. After clearing immigration and customs we are met and welcomed to Egypt. A scenic drive takes us to the balmy shores of the Mediterranean. On the way we will stop for a hot breakfast. We arrive in Alexandria, Egypt’s most charming city and check in to our hotel. Balance of the day is free to relax. Evening we enjoy a delicious Welcome Dinner tasting fine Egyptian cuisine.
Overnight: Hilton Alexandria Corniche Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 03: Alexandria
We start exploring Egypt’s heritage with a visit of the Catacombs of Kom El Shokafa, Pompey’s Pillar and the Roman Amphitheatre. Next we visit the majestic 15th century fortress of Quaitbay, located on the site where the Lighthouse of Alexandria once stood. Next we visit beautiful Montazah Park and the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina. We then head to the early Christian holy city of Abu Mena* (Subject to permit). The church, baptistery, basilicas, public buildings, streets, monasteries, houses and workshops in this early Christian holy city were built over the tomb of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in A.D. 296. (B, D)
Day 04: Alexandria/Cairo
Morning we drive to Cairo and visit Giza, capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. At the Necropolis of Giza* we explore the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Great Pyramids, which in ancient times, were considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In Giza we may also enjoy an optional camel ride. Afternoon we visit the famous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, including the objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. You also have the option to see the Royal Mummies.
Overnight: Conrad Cairo Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 05: Cairo/Aswan
Today we travel to medieval times, as we explore Historic Cairo*. Tucked away amid the modern urban area of Cairo lies one of the world's oldest Islamic cities, with historical mosques, madrasas, baths and fountains. Founded in the 10th century, it became the centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century. We will visit the Citadel with the Mohammed Ali Mosque, the Sultan Hassan & Al-Rifa'i Mosques, the Old Gates of Cairo, Bayt Al-Suhaymi, an old 17th-century Ottoman house in Cairo and the famous Khan al-Khalili Bazaar. Evening we are transferred to the airport for our short flight to Aswan. Upon arrival we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Basma Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 06: Aswan/Abu Simbel
Early morning we take a short flight to Abu Simbel. Upon arrival we visit Abu Simbel*, a temple built by Ramesses II in ancient Nubia; he chose to build the temple dedicated to himself on the site where there were two grottoes consecrated to the cult of the local divinities. The sovereign in this way reaffirmed the fact that Nubia belonged to the Egyptian Empire. The Great Temple has four colossal statues carved out of the living rock, fastened to the cliff wall, which depict Ramesses II, seated with the double crown of Lower and Upper Egypt. Standing between and on either side of the pharaoh's legs were depicted princes, princesses and Queen Nefertiti, much smaller in size and standing erect. When the Aswan High Dam was being constructed, the temples were saved from the rising waters of the Nile thanks to the International Campaign launched by UNESCO in 1960, which assembled funds and technical expertise to move this temple to higher ground so that it would not be inundated by the waters of Lake Nasser. Evening enjoy the clear starlight skies of Abu Simbel.
Overnight: Nefertari Abu Simbel Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 07: Nile Cruise: Abu Simbel/Aswan
We fly to Aswan and board our Nile cruise ship and visit the High Dam, the astonishing Granite Quarries of Aswan*, exploited by pharaohs from early antiquity, where colossal unfinished obelisks are there for us to discover. We then explore the Temple of Philae*, located on an island in Lake Nasser. The approach by water is quite beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage. In the afternoon we sail around the islands in Aswan on a traditional felucca boat.
Overnight: M/S Mirage I Nile Cruise (3 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 08: Nile Cruise: Edfu/Esna
Today we sail to Kom Ombo to visit the Temple of Sobek and continue sailing to Edfu, where we travel by traditional horse carriages to visit the Horus Temple. We then sail through to Esna, enjoying the amenities on board the M/S Mirage Nile Cruise. (B, L, D)
Day 09: Nile Cruise: Esna/Luxor
Another exciting day on the Nile as we sail to Luxor to explore the Necropolis of Ancient Thebes* on the West Bank of the Nile. Here we visit the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. For almost 15 centuries, great funerary temples were built at the foot of the hills. They were entirely separate from their corresponding tombs, which were dug into the mountains, safe from violation and tomb robbers. To the north were built the Temple of Qurna al Gedida, dedicated to Amon-Re, and the temple consecrated to Hathor, the goddess of sweetness and joy who was venerated in the form of a cow. It was commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut for herself and her father Thutmosis I. Even better known is the magnificent funerary Temple of Ramesses II, a building situated at the edge of cultivated fields which, because of its courtyards filled with statues and decorations was admired by many ancient writers. All what remains of the temple of Amenophis III, are the colossi of Memnon, two impressive quartz monoliths that depict the pharaoh sitting on his throne, accompanied by the figures of his mother and his wife. The tombs of the pharaohs and other dignitaries, priests and princesses are instead hidden away in the mountains and form the great cemeteries of al-Asasif, al-Khokha, Qurnet Mura, Deir al-Medina, collectively known as the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. It is in the Valley of the Kings that British explorers Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the world-famous tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Evening you have the option to experience the unique Sound and Light show at Karnak Temple, as you wander through the illuminated monuments and towering obelisks.
(B, L, D)
Day 10: Luxor
Today we explore the East side of the Nile, starting with the Karnak Temple Complex. It is composed of three temples, one of which is consecrated to Mut, one to the warrior god Montu, and one to Amon. The building dedicated to the father of the gods is the product of a series of ingenious project of expansion and renovation ordered by Pharaohs eager to leave behind marvellous testimonials to their reign: the immense courtyard at the centre of which stands the enormous aedicule of Taharqa; the portico of Bubastis; the temple of Sethi II; the colossi of the pharaohs Thutmosis III and Ramesses I and II; the great hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns; the six monumental entrances; the granite pillars and obelisk; the rooms decorated with religious and military scenes and the hall of the botanical garden; the sacred lake flanked by storehouses; the temple dedicated to the hippopotamus goddess Opet, placed on the site in which she is said to have given birth to Osiris; and finally the Southern Propylaea, four portals adorned with bas-reliefs, columns, obelisks and colossi, which adorned the sacred way that led to the Temple of Mut. We then head to the Temple of Luxor, built by Amenophis III and Ramesses II. The entrance to the temple is adorned with scenes from the Syrian and Hittite military campaign and leads to the great courtyard of Ramesses II and to the chapel that served as a storehouse for the boats, dedicated to the triad of Amon, the father, Mut, the mother, represented in the form of a vulture or a lion, and Khonsu, the lunar son of the couple. The second complex, with a magnificent and immense entrance and colonnade, a courtyard, and a hall crowned with tall columns, was built at the command of Amenophis III. We are then transferred to our hotel in Luxor. Balance of the day is free.
Overnight: Sonesta St. George Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 11: Luxor/Cairo
An early morning flight to Cairo, where we are met and taken on a full day excursion to Memphis and its Necropolis*, the necropolis of Sakkara and Dahshur*, home of the oldest pyramids in Egypt. Of the grandeur of Memphis, as it was known to the ancient Greeks, all what survives today are the ruins of the sanctuary of Ptah, from which many votive statues depicting pharaohs and dignitaries originate. At the necropolis of Saqqara stands the first great stone pyramid. It was built as a mausoleum by Djoser, the founder of the Third Dynasty. It was a transformation of the earlier tombs, shaped like great brick rectangles, with walls sloping inward and a flat roof, commonly referred to as mastabas. Here bricks were replaced by stones for the first time. The pyramid is located inside a funerary complex enclosed by a curtain wall rising to a height of 10 m built from a fine-grained limestone. There are 14 false stone doors in the enclosure wall and a monumental entrance consisting of a corridor and a hall flanked by columns. The entry path leads to a plaza known as the Courtyard of the Jubilee. One side of this is occupied by a great stepped podium upon which were arranged the thrones of the Pharaoh; to the east and to the west of the podium sanctuaries were constructed. In the necropolis of Dahshur stands the Red Pyramid, named after the reddish hue of the limestone that was used to build it. To the south is the Rhomboid Pyramid, with its double slope on each of the four faces, apparently an intermediate form. With Snefru for the first time the annex construction appeared. After our visit we return to Cairo. Evening is free to walk through the streets of Cairo.
Overnight:Conrad Cairo Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 12: Cairo
As we come close to this incredible journey, we have this day free to enjoy Cairo on our own. Perhaps you might want to explore Coptic Cairo and visit the Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, go shopping for souvenirs, as Cairo is known for its unique bargains, enjoy the local tea houses, or take stroll along the Nile. Evening we drive to the majestic Al Azhar Park for our farewell dinner. Al Azhar Park is one of the world’s 60 great public spaces and was built from a 500 year old dump site into a green park in the otherwise very dry city of Cairo. The Park was gifted to the citizens of Cairo by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. (B, D)
Day 13: Cairo/Depart
After our journey through time, we return to modernity, as we are transferred to the airport for our flight back home departing Cairo at 0155 hrs with arrival at Toronto the same day at 0725 hrs.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
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|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
The optional entrance fees for the Pyramid chambers, the Sun/Solar Boat Museum, camel ride in Giza, Mummies Room at the Egyptian Museum, Tutankhamun & Ramses the 6th’s Tombs in the Valley of Kings, Nefertari’s Tomb in the Valley of the Queens, the Sound and Light show and Outdoor Museum at Karnak are to be paid locally.
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 20 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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