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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. We also visit the Spinx.
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. We also visit the Citadel and the Khan.
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, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. 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! We continue to the 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. Today we also sail to the temple of Edfu and tour the site.
This morning we sail to Luxor. After lunch we 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. We also take a visit to Luxor temple before returning to the cruise for dinner.
Perhaps opt for a hot air balloon ride early this morning before 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.
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.
Today we travel back to Cairo. You will be met and transferred to the Hurghada Airport for your flight to Cairo. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours free to explore.
Today we take a day trip to El Alamein. Located on the Mediterranean coast, just 4 hours north of Cairo, lies El Alamein, where two extended battles were fought during World War II. The first began on the 1st July 1942 and lasted for 27 days, it ended as a stalemate. After 3 months of holding the defences the Allies launched a second attack which lasted for 13 days. This saw the Allied forces push back the Axis powers for ultimate defeat in Tunisia. Some 13,000 Allied soldiers were killed and 70,000 were wounded in the battle. We return to Cairo for the evening.
Today is a free day to explore Cairo at your own leisure.
Our arrangements end today with a departure transfer to the airport and unforgettable memories.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...