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Welcome to Cairo and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival into Cairo you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Later we enjoy a half day tour to the Egyptian museum famed for the treasures of King Tutankhamen and his famous solid gold funerary mask.
Today we visit Giza Plateau and explore the pyramids and Sphinx. It is estimated Cheops (the largest of the pyramids) was constructed from no less than 2.5million quarried limestone blocks, weighing around 6 million tonnes. Later we explore Saqqara - an ancient necropolis with many half-buried tombs and the famous Zhoser's step pyramid.
Today we head for adventure and into the Desert west of Cairo. Tonight we will stay in a hotel at the Bahariyya Oasis but before then take the opportunity to explore and relax as the sun sets over the incredible desert landscape. The Oasis is a set in a large depression sunk into the surrounding hills. Once an important agricultural centre known for its wine production that supplied as far afield as Rome, it is still a fertile area well known for its date palms.
This morning explore a ruined temple and settlement that dates back to the 17th Dynasty. Continue on to the White Desert in a 4x4 vehicle, visiting some fantastic sites along the way. Crystal Mountain is a large, quartz rock formation more like a ridge which sparkles in the sunlight. Other sites include Tombs of the Nobles, the Temple of Alexander the Great and the Black Desert where little black, volcanic stones adorn mountains leaving the landscape looking charred and other worldly. Continue into the White Desert where we will camp under the stars and as the sunsets, witness the subtle shift of colour from white through pinks and oranges to moon lit opaque.
This morning journey to the Farafra Oasis and visit a local artist and sculptor at the Badr Museum. All materials used are locally sourced natural minerals and coloured sands and will give an insight into customs of the area. Moving on towards Dakhla Oasis we visit Al Qasr, an abandoned high walled, medieval city. Explore the labyrinth of streets lined with mud brick buildings, some of which have inscribed lintels detailing the owner along with a quote from the Quran. Next up is Deir al-Haggar or ‘the Monastery of Stone’, a Roman Temple that was once known as Setweh or ‘place of coming home’. Enjoy a dip in the local mineral rich hot springs and end the day ready to relax at the oasis hotel in Dakhla.
Departing Dakhla, we begin our exit of the desert region with a visit to Kharga Oasis. Here we check out the Temple of Hibis (outside only) and visit the 4th century, mud brick necropolis of Al-Bagawat, one of the oldest Christian graveyards in the world with over 260 tombs and 120 chapels spread out over the hillside. After lunch we continue on to Luxor, tonight visit Luxor temple by night.
Today is a free day to explore Luxor at your own leisure.
This morning we embark on our luxurious Nile Cruise. We visit the Karnak and Luxor Templed and enjoy both lunch and dinner on board.
Breakfast and lunch is on board your Nile Cruise. Today we take a tour of Luxor 's West Bank visiting the legendary Valley of the Kings studded with often highly decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs, awaiting their passage into the after-life. We also visit Hatshepsut temple before we sail to Edfu.
After breakfast on board we visit Edfu temple, a huge complex that began construction in 237 BC after lunch we sail to Kom Ombo where we visit Kom Ombo temple, dedicated to the crocodile god - Sobek. Continue sailing on to Aswan.
We enjoy breakfast on board before we disembark and travel to Abu Simbel, one of the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt. Over the centuries the temple was all but lost to humanity due to shifting desert sands, however it was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer and eventually in the early 60's an excavation team restored it and once again the full glory of the temple of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world. We return to Aswan and tour the High Dam and Philae Temple before transferring to Aswan airport for our return flight to Cairo. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for the evening.
Today we travel to the Valley of The Whales where you will find the world’s greatest collection of skeletal fossils from the earliest forms of shark and whale. Millennia of wind and water erosion have resulted in an equally spectacular landscape of eroded sandstone cliffs and buttes.
After breakfast we drive to Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast. Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria boasts wonderful beaches and an impressive seafront corniche, along which are dotted cafes and restaurants, as well as catacombs, souks and relics from a bygone age . Take a guided tour of the Roman Catacombs, Pompey's Pillar, National Museum, Library and Qait Bay from the outside.
Your tour with us comes to an end today. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight. We truly hope that you have had a great time, collecting many wonderful memories of our amazing country.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...