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Arrival to Cairo, North Africa’s largest city. Included transfer to your hotel and leisurely afternoon to enjoy your hotel facilities.
Today we visit the Pyramids of Giza. Rising above the beige coloured desert sand, the Pyramids at Giza Plateau 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.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.
A short flight down south to explore the temples of Abu Simbel , created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Later, 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.
A visit out of town takes us to the mighty High Dam. A modern feat of engineering, the High Dam contains 18 times the amount of material used in the construction of Cheops, the largest pyramid at Giza. The by-product for this awesome construction is Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake! Continuing, we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island and Philae Temple. Dedicated to the goddess Isis, Philae Temple 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. This afternoon we board our luxury Nile cruiser.
Sailing upstream we stop to visit the waterside temple of Kom Ombo, dating back to the reign of Tuthmosis III, built in honour of the crocodile-headed god Sobek. It is unique and unusual, in that everything is architecturally doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple including twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances.
Early morning, we visit Edfu temple continuing through the Esna lock and arriving to Luxor. Afternoon visit to the grand Temples of Karnak, a spectacular complex 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. Tonight, we’ll take a stroll along the riverside corniche and visit Luxor temple, wonderfully illuminated by night.
We visit the Valleys of the Kings & Queens and Temple of Hatshepsut. Valley of the Kings was constructed to house the regal sarcophagi-enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting their passage into the after-life. Some of the best known tombs are those of Ramses II, Seti I, Amenhotep II and of course, the tomb of King Tutankhamen. In all, more than 60 tombs have been excavated. This afternoon we drive to Hurghada.
Day at leisure in Hurghada. Time for a bit of R & R! There’s plenty to do in and around Hurghada. Consider sail boarding, yachting, deep-sea fishing, Scuba diving and snorkelling or simply soak up the sun poolside. Hurghada’s central location provides a gateway to prime offshore reefs, which are some of the finest in the world. Hurghada also has a healthy after dark and retail therapy scene.
Day at leisure in Hurghada.
Day at leisure in Hurghada.
This morning we fly back to Cairo. The afternoon allows free time; relax by the pool or consider some last minute souvenir shopping at Khan el Khalili bazaar.
Departure transfer to the airport.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...