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Welcome to Egypt's capital and Africa's largest city: Cairo. We have noted that you have your own arrangements before today and that you will be making your own way to this start hotel.
Visit to the famous pyramids and lion-headed Sphinx 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. We also visit the beautiful Valley Temple of King Chephren, a superb example of Old Kingdom engineering. The rest of today is free, before we take the overnight train to Aswan.
Arrive and check into our hotel. Aswan - Egypt's third-largest city, has an easy-going, laid-back atmosphere. There's a lot to see and for those keen on seeing as much as possible you can organise a taxi to visit the exquisite Temple of Isis, at Philae. Alternatively you can take a sailboat across to the Botanical Gardens on Lord Kitchener's Island. Your tour guide can help you arrange this locally.
Early morning flight to the famous Abu Simbel, the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This evening we visit a local Nubian village for dinner.
Morning at leisure. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile.
Relax, go for a swim or just chill out in the sun on deck. Let your troubles melt away, as the felucca plies its route. A stop will be made at the Temple of Kom Ombo - dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek.
Disembarking in Kom Ombo, we enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, before driving north to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Free time to explore, maybe opt to visit the Temple of Luxor, spectacularly illuminated at night.
Today we rise early to cross the Nile where our donkeys are waiting to take us into the Valley of the Kings. After matching up donkeys and riders we head off, just as the sun begins to rise in the eastern skies. It’s great fun and one of the highlights of our visit to Egypt. We return to the east bank where the afternoon is free to explore the town further. This evening we board our overnight train back to Cairo.
Arriving back in Cairo we are transferred to our hotel and the rest of the day is free to explore. In the older part of the city there is a lot to see, including some beautiful old mosques and, of course, the fantastic Khan El Khalili bazaar – an amazing mix of shops and stalls that have traded goods and gossip since the Middle Ages. There’s time for everything and our tour leader can help organise taxis: but be prepared to bargain!
The Sinai is an untamed wilderness of immense beauty, with jagged pink granite mountains punching up into clear blue skies. We drive east from Cairo, and spend the night near Mt. Sinai. Relax after the long drive from Cairo.
Those wishing to ascend Mt. Sinai to watch the sun rise over the peninsula will be woken up between 2.00am and 3.00am. It is a fairly steep climb, about three hours to reach the summit. We reach the top in time to watch the sun rise over the southern end of the peninsula - a magical experience! After decent there is free time, maybe opt to visit St Katherine’s monastery.
Leaving Egypt behind, today we drive to Nuweiba, for our ferry to Aqaba. On arrival in Aqaba we transfer to our hotel, located just near the beachfront.
For many people, Wadi Rum represents everything that a desert should be. It’s a magical place where weathered sandstone mountains rise out of the white and pink-coloured sands. The region is also home to the famous Desert Police, who can sometimes be seen riding camels and wearing their long-flowing robes and headdresses. We enjoy a jeep tour into the desert and later we continue our journey to Petra.
Welcome to the Rose City! Access to the city on our guided exploration is through the famous narrow, deep siq. The rocks then give way to the most amazing site – that of the fantastically impressive Treasury. Walking down the gravel tracks, we’ll explore the ancient Nabatean tombs and the Roman rock-carved streets lined with temples, royal tombs and more. The intrepid can ascend to Ad Deir better known as the monestery.
We follow the ancient Kings Highway, a road that dates back to the Old Testament, and beyond. We reach Dana, where we have time to stroll though the ancient village. Continuing our journey, we reach the splendid crusader castle at Shobak, originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before falling to Saladin in 1189. Further on, at Madaba, we visit the Greek Orthodox church of St. George, which houses a 6th century mosaic map depicting the old city of Jersusalem.
The Roman city of Jerash is in a fine state of preservation. Founded in the time of Alexander the Great, it had become a centre of considerable importance by the 3rd century AD. Today it is one of the grandest ancient cities in the world, with an imposing collection of archways, theatres, baths and colonnaded streets. Later we enjoy a swim at the Dead Sea, before returning to Madaba.
Today we will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...