Wednesday. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday. Arrive Cairo Airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day offers free time for you relax and maybe have a dip in the swimming pool.
Bright and early this morning we drive to the port side city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast. Arriving at the windswept city known for its broad beaches and seafront corniche dotted with sun loungers, amusements and cafes we embark on a guided tour of the Roman catacombs. Heading underground we view the largest known Roman burial site in Egypt, complete with burial chambers, labyrinth alleyways and entertaining rooms for families coming to visit the dead. We then visit Pompey's Pillar, a modest 25m tower, which is all that remains of an ancient column, from the ruined Temple of Serapis.
We stop at the impressive, Library of Alexandria (and those who are interested can go inside) before following the seafront to Fort Quaitbey. Here, as we walk the promenade we'll see the citadel built during the 1480s, perhaps most famous for being the site of the great Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
After hotel check in and time to freshen up we'll drive along the corniche stopping at a well known seafood restaurant for dinner.
Overnight: Alexandria | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we visit the Commonwealth War Graves of El Alamein. It is here where two extended battles were fought during World War II. The first began on the 1st July 1942 and lasted for 27 days, it ended as a stalemate. After 3 months of holding back the enemy, the Allies launched a second attack which lasted for 13 days. This saw the Allied forces (including British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers) push back the Axis powers for ultimate defeat in Tunisia. Some 13,000 Allied soldiers were killed and 70,000 were wounded in the battle.
Later, we tour the compact El Alamein military museum that acts as a memorial for the battle and houses lots of original war vehicles, weapons, uniforms and records. Displays in the museum detail the complete history of World War II in North Africa from all sides and stands on the site where the actual battle took place. This afternoon we return to Cairo.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast, Lunch
Cairo - Aswan. Visit the famous pyramids and huge 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! Later there is a chance to have dinner before boarding the overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Arrive and check into our hotel. A visit out of town takes us to the mighty High Dam – a modern feat of engineering - creating Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake. This afternoon's highlight is a leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island 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.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan - Nile felucca cruise. Optional early morning drive to Abu Simbel, the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. If sailing by felucca is not your style, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Nile cruise upgrade.
Overnight: Felucca Cruising | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 Cruising | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor. Disembarking near 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 its 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 | Breakfast
Take flight over ancient Luxor with an optional hot air balloon ride very early this morning before touring the West Bank of the Nile. 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 a historic backdrop, the Valleys of the Kings with its beautifully decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting passage into the after-life and the awesome colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
This afternoon after lunch and time to relax we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak, with its stone-columned Hypostle Hall. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Arrival in Cairo and hotel check-in. Later, we visit the famous Egyptian Museum, famed for the treasures of King Tutankhamen and his famous solid gold funerary mask. This afternoon is free for you to independently explore or a Cairo city tour is available to book locally.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Sunday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport.
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.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
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 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 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!
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.
The Paradise Inn Windsor Hotel is a traditional style hotel, close to the beach and to bars and restaurants. Each of the spacious rooms has their own private balconies. The Paradise Inn Windsor Hotel is in the social and cultural centre of the city, 5 kilometres from the airport and 1 kilometre to the nearest metro station.
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.
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.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Egypt, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
We enjoyed the tour and it met all our expectations. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. ”