Tours & Tailor-made Holidays To
Egypt

Chase the Sun

10 Days  |  Starts/Ends: Cairo  |  from USD $1,729  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Experience the best of Egypt, from the legendary Pyramids of Giza and iconic Sphinx to the River Nile and vast Valley of the Kings, plus witness the extraordinary Sun Festival at Abu Simbel.

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Day 1

Wednesday 18 February 2015. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday. Arrive Cairo airport and included transfer to your hotel.
Overnight: Cairo

    Cairo
Day 2

Cairo - Aswan. Today we visit the stunning pyramids and the iconic 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. Leaving the pyramids behind, we visit a government supervised papyrus emporium where you can buy genuine papyrus at quite reasonable prices.

Continuing to the necropolis of 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. We later enjoy a chance to relax, freshen up and have dinner. Overnight train to Aswan.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Arrive Aswan and transfer to our hotel. Spend the day at leisure, enjoying the facilities of the hotel. Later, free time to explore Egypt's southern most city on your own. This evening we'll head to the colourful local souq (market) for a little bargain hunting. The lively night market offers comic entertainment as the sellers go about the business of hocking their wares. The market also offers an extensive array of cotton products, spices, wooden and copper ornaments, alabaster statues, beaded jewellery and mother of pearl trinkets at some of the best prices in the country.
Overnight: Aswan  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Aswan - Abu Simbel. Today we enjoy a visit out of town to the mighty High Dam. A modern feat of engineering that resulted in the creation of Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world. Continuing on, we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island where we visit the picturesque Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis.

Back at the hotel there will be time to rest and recuperate before departing in the early hours of the morning on our coach journey toward the Temples of Abu Simbel. Here we will await the first rays of sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Overnight: Overnight – hotel/ coach journey to Abu Simbel   |  Breakfast

Day 5
Sun Festival at Abu Simbel

Sunday 22 February 2015. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Felucca Sailing. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple in all ancient Egypt, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was constructed between 1290 and 1224 BC to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler himself. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers.

Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an incredible self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple, hewn into the side of a mountain, are four colossal statues of the pharaoh himself. Over the centuries, the desert sands imperceptibly shifted until the temple was all but lost to humanity. It was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer called John Lewis Burkhardt. Only one of the heads of the pharaohs was showing and a small part of the rest of the temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon the temple and started excavating that the full glory of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, which is fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of them represent King Ramses II, whilst the other two are of his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.

In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the Great Temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on the date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) to illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds assemble in to the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creep through the inner Hypostyle Hall and through to the Sanctuary. Significantly, the sun illuminates statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statue of Ptah - the god of darkness, remains in the shadows.

Famously, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned, though the event this morning itself is no less stunning.

After watching this incredible event unfold we return to Aswan, and in the afternoon we board our wind-powered Nile felucca for a 2-night voyage on the River Nile upstream to Kom Ombo. Felucca’s are simple sailboats based on a unique design and have plied the mighty Nile since ancient times.
Overnight: Felucca  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Nile Felucca Sailing. 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.
Overnight: Felucca  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Kom Ombo Temple & Edfu temple

Nile Felucca Sailing - Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor. Disembarking in Kom Ombo we visit the temple before travelling to the Temple of Horus at Edfu, a huge complex that began construction in 237 BC. We then continue 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 to the Temple of Luxor is available, alternatively enjoy the facilities of our hotel.
Overnight: Luxor  |  Breakfast

    Luxor
Day 8

Luxor - Cairo. Take flight over ancient Luxor with an optional hot air balloon ride early this morning before exploring the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs.

After lunch we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the stone papyrus columns. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo we transfer to our hotel for check-in. In the mid-morning we depart for our guided tour of the Egyptian Museum. See the famous Tutankhamen Gallery and opt to see the Royal Mummies. This afternoon is free - perhaps spend the remainder of the day exploring Cairo your way.
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Friday 27 February 2015. Cairo. Our tour concludes after breakfast, hotel check out and onward departure transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

Upgrade to a 5 star Sun Festival tour!

Ramses Sunrise - 11 days
Staying in some of Egypt's smartest hotels and cruising aboard a luxury 5 star Nile cruiser, you'll see the best of legendary Egypt and witness the grand Sun Festival of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel!

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Oasis Hotel, Cairo
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Just a stone's throw from the Pyramids, the Oasis Hotel is a classic Egyptian hotel with beautiful expansive gardens. Rooms are very spacious with comfortable beds and fantastic en suite facilities. Wi-Fi is available and the buffet breakfast offers a good spread. In the evening the outdoor pool and fountains are lit up making the restaurant and bar the perfect place to spend an evening sipping on a cold glass of beer. Well located in Giza on the Cairo-Alexandria Road. The pyramids and Sphinx are all close by.

Helnan Aswan, Aswan
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Set in manicured gardens, the Helnan Aswan is an elegant hotel with impressive views of the Nile. Guest rooms are spacious with modern interiors and located next to the beautiful pool. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and by the pool. There is also two restaurants and bars, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and a cinema. Why not relax by the pool before exploring the rest of Aswan. The hotel has an excellent location on the Corniche in the heart of Aswan, just a few minutes from the Nile.

Felucca Cruise, Felucca Cruise
Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category:

Feluccas are simple, traditional Egyptian sailboats that have plied the Nile since ancient times. Feluccas carry between 8 - 12 passengers comfortably. The boat’s deck is draped with soft colourful cushions that serve as your lounging area during the day and as your sleeping area at night. A support boat travels alongside your felucca and is on hand if you need to use the toilet or wash. It is also where your meals are prepared and eaten. You'll need to bring a sleeping bag/sheet and a towel with you. The crew, as well as being experienced sailors, are responsible for the preparation of the included meals, though they welcome helpers!

Sonesta St. George Hotel, Luxor
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Deluxe Hotel

A grand and classical hotel, the Sonesta is luxurious, ensuring you a comfortable stay. The hotel has a sweeping terrace with fantastic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with exquisite detail and a beautiful health spa.

Sleeper Train, Cairo
Our Category:    |   Regional Category:

When taking the train in Egypt, the most comfortable way to go is in a sleeper carriage. Cabins are equipped with 2 beds (one above the other), a sink, electric points and air conditioning. Each carriage has toilets at each end and there is a club car as well. In the early evening an attendant will come round and make up your beds for you. Cabins also come with interconnecting doors so perfect for families and groups of 4.

Novotel Heliopolis Airport Hotel, Cairo
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Novotel Heliopolis Airport is a modern hotel set in well manicured gardens with spacious rooms. The rooms overlook the open air garden and therefore are extremely airy and comfortable.

Trip Highlights

Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza Plateau, Necropolis of Saqqara and The Egyptian Museum
Aswan - High Dam, Philae Temple, River Nile
Kom Ombo - Temple of Kom Ombo
Luxor - Temple of Karnak
Abu Simbel - at sunrise, witness the grand accomplishment and feat of precision mastered by King Rames II at the Abu Simbel Sun Festival
Nile felucca cruising - islands en route
Edfu - Temple of Horus
Valley of the Kings, Colossi of Memnon, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Included

Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee
4 nights 4 - 5 star hotels
2 nights aboard felucca (open deck)
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 10
Egyptian tour leader/guide degree qualified in Egyptology
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
1/2 night 4-5 star Aswan hotel prior to overnight bus journey (3.5 hrs) to Abu Simbel
2 overnight trains: Cairo - Aswan and Luxor - Cairo (2 berth, 1st class sleeper cabin)
Touring of Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo, Edfu & Luxor
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles

Not Included

Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 5 USD per day, per traveller. Tip for your Felucca Crew/ Nile Cruise staff, we recommend you allow $10 USD. Tipping your guide and crew is an entirely personal gesture
Entrance Fees: $105-115 USD
International flights and visa
Tipping Kitty: $35-45 USD

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $1729
USD $769
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $1729
USD $769
 
USD $1729
USD $769

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Pre Tour Accommodation - Cairo
USD $79
USD $20
Post Tour Accommodation - Cairo
USD $79
USD $20
Tour Details
Starts
Cairo
Ends
Cairo
Departs
18 Feb 2016
Hotel Rating
4 - 5 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 9, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Thanks for this note and all of your work which went towards my two children and myself having probably the best holiday that we have ever had.

I would especially like to mention Said who was amazing with his knowledge and enthusiasm, but the whole trip was brilliantly organised.

I will be writing to the Egyptian Consulate and Tourist board to tell them how much I enjoyed their fabulous country and the way that your firm opened it up for us. I am also telling everyone that I know about you all.

All the very best,

Terry Elwell
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.