Chase the Sun - 10 Days

FROM USD $1,329

Cairo, pyramids, the Sun Festival at Abu Simbel in honour of the mighty King Ramses ll, Nile felucca cruising, Valley of the Kings & Queens, & Thebes (Luxor) - an action packed 10 day holiday!

Day 1: Cairo
Wednesday 18 February 2015. Welcome to Egypt and the start of an amazing holiday. Arrive Cairo airport and included transfer to your hotel. Overnight - Cairo
King Zhoser's step pyramid at Saqqara
Cairo - Aswan. Visit to the famous pyramids and monolithic 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! Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu), the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. Continuing to 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, the by–product is Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake! Continuing, we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis.

There is time to rest before departing in the wee hours of the morning on our coach journey toward the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel. In readiness we await for the first rays of golden 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 of all ancient Egypt, with its gargantuan rock-cut façade, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers. Celebrating a life that spanned nearly a centenary, Ramses had plenty of time for his more than 200 wives and concubines who produced him some 96 sons and 60 daughters.

Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an awesome self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself, which sit majestically staring out across the desert, seemingly since time began. 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 only a small part of the rest of the colossal temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon Abu Simbel and starting excavating, that the full glory of the temple 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.

The temple was dedicated to the deified Pharaoh, King Ramses II, known also as the great builder and the gods Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ptah. In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the entire temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on his date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) and illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible natural phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds pack in to the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the rock hewn inner Hypostyle Hall (replete with further statues of the king) and through to the Sanctuary. As we are lead through the temple there will be time to pause for a moment (only a few seconds) to watch the sun illuminating the statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statute 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 the event, there will also be plenty of time to explore the Sun Temple of King Ramses II and also the Temple of Hathor and take plenty of pictures.

After watching the incredible Sun Festival we return to Aswan by coach. Just after noon we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. 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 our felucca, we visit the riverside Temple of Kom Ombo and continue onward to the Temple of Horus at Edfu, before driving north to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year old Luxor is ancient Egypt at it’s best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, there's an optional excursion to explore the Temple of Luxor - by night. Overnight - Luxor or Nile Cruiser (B)
Egypt Tours - Karnak Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor
Luxor - Cairo. An early start to avoid the heat, we venture to the awesome Valley of the Kings. Highlights of our visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against a backdrop of history, the legendary Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. The Valley of the Kings is studded with often highly decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting their passage into the after-life. Later this afternoon after time to relax, we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular temple on a gigantic scale dedicated to the Theban gods. Karnak is ancient Egypt at it’s very best. You’ll feel like an extra in a Hollywood epic, as you stroll around this place. Tonight, we return to Cairo by train, (Sleeper cabin upgrade available) Overnight - Seater Train (B)
Cairo. Arrival and hotel check-in. Mid morning we'll depart for our guided tour 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!