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Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel and overnight.
Today we tour the Pyramids at Giza Plateau. 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. The other two - Chephren and Mycerinus are equally impressive. Afterward we tour the tomb-strewn necropolis of Saqqara, featuring King Zhoser’s step pyramid. Constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, this was the template for all future pyramid construction.
This morning we venture to old Islamic Cairo and the Egyptian Museum, home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. Arguably the most famous exhibit is the stunning solid gold funerary mask of the boy-King Tutankhamen. An entire gallery is devoted to the treasures unearthed by Howard Carter at Tutankhamen’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. This evening we board our overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Arrive Aswan and hotel check in. This afternoon we visit the Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam. Philae temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, was rescued in an enormous UNESCO effort in the 1970s. Due to high water levels in the resevoir created by the Old Aswan Dam and further aquatic drama due to the creation of the mighty High Dam, Philae temple was relocated stone by stone on higher ground on nearby Agilika Island.
A short flight down south to explore the temples of Abu Simbel, created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. 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, the other two are of his beloved wife - Queen Nefertari. Famously, both temples were re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser. Returning to Aswan, you will have some free time to perhaps do some shopping in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile. This afternoon board the luxury Nile cruiser for your three night cruise up the River Nile.
Nile Cruising.Today a stop will be made at the waterside Temple of Kom Ombo, followed by the largest and most completely preserved pharaonic, albeit Greek-built, temple in Egypt, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, was one of the last monumental temples built on a large scale. An early morning stop is made to view the temple and onward sailing to Luxor.
Today we Visit the east bank viewing the Luxor temple, and later Karnak temple. Karnak is a spectacular myriad of sanctuaries, pylons, chapels, halls and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods and to the greater glory of Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdom rulers.
Sailing onto the west bank, today we disembark at Luxor and explore the best of Ancient Thebes; Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. We then visit the Mummification Museam before being transferred to the station to Board the overnight train to Cairo.
This morning you will be transferred from the train station to your hotel in Cairo to enjoy free time until your departure transfer back to the airport tomorrow where our arrangements end.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...