Chase the Sun - 10 Days

FROM USD $1,329

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.

Day 1: Cairo
Wednesday 18 February 2015. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday. Arrive Cairo airport and included transfer to your hotel. Overnight - Cairo
King Zhoser's step pyramid at Saqqara
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. Upgrade to a Sleeper cabin is available, should you require. Overnight - Seater Train (B)
Chase the Sun - 10 Days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A felucca on the Nile in Aswan
Day 3: Aswan
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 (B)
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 (B)
Colossal statues of Ramses II - Abu Simbel temple
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 (B, L, D)
Felucca boats on the River Nile
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 (B, L, D)
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 (B)
Egypt Tours - Karnak Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor
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. (Sleeper cabin upgrade available) Overnight - Seater Train (B)
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 (B)
Day 10: Cairo
Friday 27 February 2015. Cairo. Our tour concludes after breakfast, hotel check out and onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)

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!
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Cairo
  • Departs: 18 February 2015
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:9, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 4 - 5 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes, escorted by a tour guide
The On The Go Theatre
On tour in Egypt. Pyramids, Nile cruising, Abu Simbel & Red Sea!

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