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Welcome to the start of your holiday through the holy lands! Included transfer from the airport and hotel check in.
Visit to 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 cheif architect in 2700 BC! Later we will have chance to have dinner before our overnight overnight seater train to Aswan. Upgrade to sleeper cabin available.
Arrive Aswan and check into our hotel. Today, we visit the High Dam and travel by boat to the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Remainder of day and evening free.
Optional excursion to Abu Simbel, the famous the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon, we board our Nile cruise boat for a 3 night voyage on the River Nile down stream, stopping along the way at local villages and islands.
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. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, an optional visit is available to the Temple of Luxor (book and pay locally), alternatively enjoy your evening at leisure.
An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. Highlights of our visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against a backdrop of history, the legendary Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. This afternoon after lunch and time to relax, we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular temple on a gigantic scale dedicated to the Theban gods. Karnak is ancient Egypt at its very best. This afternoon, offers time to relax by the pool before later this evening taking the overnight sleeper train to Cairo.
Arriving to Cairo, we set off on a guided tour of the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities. The museum is home to an extensive collection of some 120 000 ancient Egyptian antiquities, with a representative amount on display and the remainder in storerooms. You can choose to visit the Royal Mummy Room, where 9 royal mummies from the New Kingdom is displayed. The afternoon and evening offer free time or the option to take part in a city tour.
Today we cross the Suez Canal and travel onto Dahab, located on the Red Sea. Journey time approx 9 hours. Arrive Dahab and check in. Dahab’s waterfront is dotted with relaxed cafes, bars and shops to dine, drink and shop the day away. Heading down to the beach in front of our hotel this afternoon you can grab a snorkel and some fins and discover the deep blue! Most of the aquatic species live within the first 5 metres beneath the sea level.
Today we transfer to Nuweiba Port to cross the Gulf of Aqaba by ferry and travel onward to Petra. This evening we will meet our Jordanian tour guide and other tour members continuing with us through Jordan and onto Israel. Tonight, it maybe possible to take a candlelit walk through the Siq by attending the 'Petra by Night' excursion.
To see Petra’s beauty, we first take a walk through the winding cleft in the rock that is known as the Siq, before reaching the awe inspiring Treasury. This rose red building actually served as a royal tomb, but got its name from the legend that pirates hid their treasure there. More amazing Nabataean and Roman ruins follow, including a huge 8000 seat amphitheatre and other Royal tombs and Mausoleums. If you are feeling energetic, why not continue up the hillside along the ancient steps that take you to the Monastery, to take in the stunning views. Consider opting for our Petra Kitchen bolt-on tonight.
This morning is free - you can return to the Rose Red city for further exploration (not included). Then drive to Wadi Rum for a 4x4 desert safari before enjoying a traditional Jordanian dinner and a night camping in the desert.
This morning, we explore the well preserved 12th century crusader castle of Al Karak (or Shobak) before descending to the Dea Sea. Sitting at 422 metres below sea level we spend the afternoon swimming, lathering up with a detoxifying mud bath and bobbing about in the ever warm mineral-rich body of water. Arriving into Madaba there maybe a little time to explore before a delightful meal in a local popular local restaurant.
Mentioned in the Old Testament, the prime attractions of the venerable town of Madaba are its many 6th-century Byzantine mosaics. Perhaps the most impressive of these is an enormous 6th-century map of Palestine and Egypt that is located in St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. The nearby mosaic school, established to teach the restoration of these rare artworks, is the only one of its kind in the Middle East. There is plenty of time to wander about this ancient town and take in the sights. You can also visit the town's musuem, which contains many ancient artifacts and a collection of mosaics found in other regions of Jordan.
This morning you’ll be picked up at 9:00am and transferred to the Jordanian border where after immigration formalities you will transfer by public shuttle bus over the border into Israel, here you’ll be met by a driver and transferred to your hotel in Jerusalem. The afternoon and evening offer free time.
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Our first stop is the holy Mount of Olives where there are amazing panoramic views. We take a walking tour of the atmospheric old city; wander through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the Cardo (ancient Roman road). We continue on through the old City and the Christian quarter, visiting the famous Wailing Wall - a place of constant prayer and one of the most revered Hebrew sites. A short drive from Jerusalem is Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus; where we visit Manger Square and the Church of Nativity.
Today we drive north to Nazareth, the boyhood town of Jesus. We visit the Church of Annunciation and Mary’s well. Also we visit Cana, Tiberias and Capernaum, where we see an ancient Synagogue and St. Peter’s house. Also by the shore of you will visit Tabgha with the Church of Peter’s Primacy and the ancient mosaic of the Loaves and Fishes. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes before returning to Jerusalem.
We will transfer you to Tel Aviv airport in time for your departure transfer.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...