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 and the start of your holiday! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel and overnight. Overnight - Cairo
Today visit to the stunning pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza Plateau. The Pyramids were built as tombs for the Ancient Egyptian Kings and Queens. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Both the northern and southern walls of the burial chamber have two small tunnels with rectangular entrances. They are small, and once were thought to go all the way through the outer sides of the Pyramid, though no exterior openings have been found, and are believed to be “star shafts” that allowed the king to be fertilised by the stars.

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 cheif 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 the treasures of King Tutankhamen and his famous solid gold funerary mask. After we offer an optional visit 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. Arrive into Aswan and check into our hotel. A visit out of town takes us to the mighty High Dam – a modern feat of engineering - creating the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Nasser! This afternoon's highlight is a leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple for a guided tour of the romantic Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. As the sun sets, free time to shop in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax and watch an amazing sunset in Egypt's southern most town straddling the River Nile.

As the clock strikes midnight we depart by coach and travel by convoy to the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel (approximate journey time 4 hours). Upon arrival with bated breath we will await the first rays of golden sunlight, which will 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)
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, 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 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 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.

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 boat deck watching out over the children and village folk going about their day set within a picture frame of rugged desert landscape.

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 enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Kom Ombo - dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek and 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, an optional visit is available to the Temple of Luxor, alternatively enjoy the facilities of your hotel. Overnight - Luxor (B)
Luxor - Cairo. An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce midday heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. Highlights of the visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against the backdrop of history, the Valleys of the Kings and the awesome ramped and colonnaded 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 passage into the after-life. This afternoon after lunch and time to relax we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak. Lose yourself in the stone-columned Hypostle Hall and go crazy with your camera. This is ancient Egypt. 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 2014. Arrive to Cairo and hotel check-in for day use rooms. the reminder of the day offers 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. Happy Travels!

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
  • 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!

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