Glory of Light - 9 days

FROM USD $1,249

Add an extra special element to your Egyptian holiday by combining it with the magical Abu Simbel Sun Festival. Pyramids and Sphinx, felucca sailing on the Nile, the Valley of the Kings and energetic Cairo all in 9 fun filled days!

Day 1: Cairo
Saturday 18 October 2014. Welcome to Egypt! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel and overnight. Overnight - Cairo
A camel man at the Pyramids of Giza
Today visit to the stunning pyramids and the 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. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Glory of Light - 9 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Cairo - Aswan. Today we embark on a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum, acclaimed for its treasures of King Tutankhamen and his famous solid gold funerary mask. Then we offer an optional visit to the exotic Khan el Khalili Bazaar. Later there will be a chance to have dinner before the overnight train to Aswan, 1st class recliner seats. Sleeper cabin upgrade available. Overnight - Seated Train (B)
The Isis Island hotel on the river Nile in Aswan
Aswan - Abu Simbel. After arrival and check in in Aswan we head off to the grand High Dam - an impressive feat of engineering which resulted in the creation of Lake Nasser. Next we enjoy a boat trip to Agilika Island where we visit the Temples of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Spend the rest of the day at leisure; shop in the colourful souqs or simply kick back and relax.

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 - Hotel/Coach Journey to Abu Simbel (B)
Abu Simbel lit up at night
Wednesday 22 October 2014. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Felucca Cruise. 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. 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 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 precisely positioned in order for the sun’s rays to align just 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 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 into 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 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, the Temple of Hathor and take plenty of pictures.

Upon returning to Aswan around noon we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the deck and watching scenes of everyday life on the riverbanks.

If sailing by felucca is not your style, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Nile Cruise Upgrade. Overnight - Felucca Cruise (B, L, D)
Felucca sailing on the River Nile
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 and Egyptian life carries on all around you. Overnight - Felucca Cruise (B, L, D)
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)
Luxor from the eyes of a hot air balloon
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 - Seated Train (B)
The Mohammad Ali Mosque in Islamic Cairo (also known as the Alabaster Mosque)
Day 9: Cairo
Sunday 26 October 2015. Arrive into Cairo and hotel check-in for day use rooms. The remainder of the day is free time for you to further explore or relax by the hotel pool. Included departure transfer to the airport later today in time for your international flight.

Note: Please ensure that you book a flight departing Cairo after 1pm. This will allow sufficient time to travel from the train station to the airport for those departing early. Alternatively consider booking a night of post tour accommodation. Contact us for further details. Cairo (B)

King Ramses Sun Festival

If you have a little more time on your hands consider our 13 day King Ramses Sun Festival tour. See the mighty pyramids, witness the spectacular Sun Festival at Abu Simbel, then set sail down the Nile onboard a traditional felucca. Followed by sightseeing in Luxor and relaxation on the beach in Hurghada. Bliss!
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Cairo
  • Departs: 18th October 2014 & 2015
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:8, 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!