Saturday. Welcome to Egypt! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel.
Saturday. Welcome to Egypt! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel.
Cairo - Aswan. Today we visit the famous pyramids and 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. 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 we will have chance to have dinner before our overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
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 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, there is 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 excursion by road to Abu Simbel, the famous 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 for you, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Nile Cruise Upgrade.
Overnight: Felucca Cruise | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Play cards, go for a swim or just relax in the sun or shade on the boat deck. Let your troubles melt away, as the felucca plies its route.
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 this afternoon. Tonight, an optional visit is available to the Temple of Luxor, beautifully illuminated at night (book and pay locally), alternatively, spend the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
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. Consider opting to join our hot air ballooning excursion over ancient Thebes - fabulous at sunrise! 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. Tonight, we return by overnight sleeper train to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Cairo – El Alamein – Siwa. Starting early (7:00am) we drive north-west towards the Mediterranean coastline, to the World War II cemeteries of El Alamein. In 1942 the Allies, under Britain’s Field Marshall Montgomery, halted the German-Italian advance towards the River Nile which was a major victory for the Allies, though not without loss of life, with some 11,000 killed and 60,000 wounded. We visit the Commonwealth cemetery and recently erected memorials funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Through the arches and beyond the gardens, 7,000 white headstones commemorate the Australian, New Zealand and British soldiers who fought and died. Stopping for a light lunch in Marsa Matrouh we continue onward to Siwa. This evening we take a walk and can opt to have dinner in a typical Siwan style restaurant.
Overnight: Siwa Oasis | Breakfast, Lunch
This morning we take a leisurely bike ride through the verdant date palm groves, visiting the local sights en route. Our first stop is the Temple of the Oracle, which dates back to near 570BC. Alexander the Great visited Siwa in the spring of 331BC, seeking confirmation from the Oracle that he was the son of Zeus (who the Greeks identified with Amun – the sun god and creator of all life in Pharaonic history). We cycle on to Cleopatra Spring for a dip in the pool as the spring fed warm water bubbles to the surface. Afternoon at leisure or optional (book/pay locally) sunset dinner, swim and campfire at the ‘Great Saltwater Lake’.
Overnight: Siwa Oasis | Breakfast
Today we visit the Mountain of the Dead and explore Old Shali. Old Shali was abandoned in 1926 after 3 days of rain literally melted the mud brick city. A labyrinth of secret corridors, homes, shops, granaries and mosques are all waiting to be explored. This afternoon we take a 4x4 desert safari across the massive sand dunes of the Great Sand Sea, stopping off at an amazing natural spring fed lake surrounded by miles of sandy desert. We also visit the site of an ancient ocean with an abundance of marine fossils and finish the day at the hot spring of Bir Wahed for swimming and a sunset dinner.
Overnight: Siwa Oasis | Breakfast, Dinner
Siwa – Marsa Matrouh – Alexandria. It's an early start today as we drive along the north coast to Marsa Matrouh. The city has a large Libyan/Berber population who are distinctive in custom and dress. We stop for lunch, swim in the Mediterranean Sea and have time to explore the Libyan souq (if open) before driving onward to Alexandria.
Overnight: Alexandria | Breakfast, Lunch
Spend the morning at leisure in Alexandria, before an afternoon tour of Montazzah Palace, home to King Farouk – the last monarch of the Mohamed Ali dynasty who abdicated and fled to Italy, Quat Bay Fort and the site of the Pharos – Alexandria’s great lighthouse which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, towering 440 feet above the harbour. This evening we take a tram ride into the downtown area where you can indulge in a little retail therapy before enjoying a famous Alexandrian Fateer for dinner.
Overnight: Alexandria | Breakfast, Dinner
Alexandria - Cairo. Today we visit the huge underground necropolis of the Catacomb of Shouqafa, which lies beneath 200 year old houses. These second-century tombs have been extensively excavated since their rediscovery in 1900. The catacombs were originally a private crypt but later used for Roman burials. We continue on to view Pompeii’s Pillar - the tallest ancient memorial column in Egypt, the National Museum and the Library of Alexandria. After lunch, we drive back to Cairo.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Saturday. Our tour concludes after breakfast, with a departure transfer to the airport.
If you’d like to upgrade from the included Nile felucca cruise from Aswan to Luxor, cruise the Nile in style with our 5 star Nile cruiser upgrade.
Cruiser facilities are similar to that of 5 star hotels with their own bar, lounges and restaurant. Your well–appointed, outward facing cabin offers air-conditioning, a private bathroom and views of the Nile as we sail.
The boat deck offers plenty of space for relaxation and a swimming pool. Sightseeing stops to the Temple of Kom Ombo and Temple of Horus at Edfu are made en-route. In the evening, low–key entertainment is on hand. All meals are included, buffet style.
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.
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.
Feluccas are simple, traditional Egyptian sailboats that have plied the Nile since ancient times. Feluccas carry between 8 - 12 passengers comfortably. The boat’s deck is draped with soft colourful cushions that serve as your lounging area during the day and as your sleeping area at night. A support boat travels alongside your felucca and is on hand if you need to use the toilet or wash. It is also where your meals are prepared and eaten. You'll need to bring a sleeping bag/sheet and a towel with you. The crew, as well as being experienced sailors, are responsible for the preparation of the included meals, though they welcome helpers!
A grand and classical hotel, the Sonesta is luxurious, ensuring you a comfortable stay. The hotel has a sweeping terrace with fantastic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with exquisite detail and a beautiful health spa.
In a great location for the Pyramids, the Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms are well furnished with modern interiors and en suite facilities. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and there is a beautiful outdoor pool perfect for relaxing by. Why not head to the restaurant on the roof for a delicious meal and impressive views of the Pyramids. Perfectly located across from the Pyramids and also close to Cairo University and the Hanging Church.
The Shali lodge is an example of beautiful and authentic traditional architecture. The lodge is constructed of rock salt, originally built by nomads and abandoned in 1980’s, the lodge was given a face lift and turned into a beautiful resort. It is located just a few minutes’ walk from downtown Siwa, along a charming palm-covered dirt road.
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.
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.
The Pyramids were amazing as was the Valley of the Kings! Our Felucca cruise did not cruise very far but was a relaxing time and the whole tour group of 8 bonded. The Abu Simbel trip was well worth the money with the rock face being spectacular. Hot Air Ballooning in Luxor was a real blast and such a highlight for the trip. The second half of the tour to El Alamein, Siwa and Alexandria was at a much slower pace and there was only myself and my wife on the tour but the tour guide and 4x4 driver catered well for this and extended our itinerary so we saw more than expected.
Overall we had a great experience in the place where we had always wanted to go. We would have no hesitation in recommending this tour to fellow travellers. ”