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Welcome to Egypt. Prepare yourself for an exciting 2 weeks of sightseeing and sunshine! Upon arrival at the airport we will meet and transfer you to your hotel, where you can rest before our adventure begins.
Today, enjoy a visit to the famous Pyramids at Giza, one of the sole survivors from the ancient Greek listed Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction and will not fail to impress even the most seasoned traveller. In front of the pyramids sits the Sphinx, an enormous statue with the face of a man and body of a lion. This afternoon we explore the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, with its litany of ancient tombs and famous centre piece, Zhoser’s step pyramid. Constructed in 27bc by the Pharaoh’s chief architect, it became the template for all future pyramid construction.
We start the day’s sightseeing with a trip to the Egyptian Museum to see the dazzling antiquities of ancient Egypt on display there, including the amazing treasures of King Tutankhamen and his stunning gold funerary mask. This afternoon we take a tour of Old Coptic Cairo, where we’ll find the Citadel and some of the oldest Christian churches in the world, including the Hanging Church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and built in the 3rd century.
It’s an early start today as we fly south to Abu Simbel, possibly the greatest and most awe-inspiring temple of ancient Egypt, created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. The four colossal statues of the pharaoh himself guard the entrance to this mighty temple with its spectacular rock-cut facade. This afternoon we fly to the Nubian city of Aswan where you will have time to amble around the cities excellent souk and relax by the Nile.
Today we travel out of town to visit the mighty High Dam; a modern feat of engineering, the by-product for this immense construction is Lake Nasser-the world’s largest artificial lake! We will also take a trip to the Philae Temple on Agilika Island, which is dedicated to the goddess Isis before boarding our luxury Nile Cruiser.
Anchors away, as we set sail up the Nile. Relax, enjoy the facilities onboard and soak up the sun. We stop en-route to visit the unique, riverside temple of Kom Ombo, with its perfectly symmetrical architecture.
Ancient Luxor is the final port of call on our cruise and at over 4,000 years old it’s steeped in history and often referred to as the world’s greatest open-air museum. Today we visit the immaculately preserved Temple of Horus at Edfu, dedicated to the falcon-headed god; it was the last monumental temple to be built on such a huge scale. This evening we view the Luxor Temple, which comprises of numerous pylons, columns, an inner sanctum and a giant granite obelisk. The temple is beautifully illuminated at night.
This morning we disembark the cruiser and tour the West Bank, home to the legendary Valley of the Kings, with its myriad of tombs, temples and monuments. The first monuments you’ll see are the imposing Colossi of Memnon; these massive enthroned statues are all that remains of the temple of Amenophis. The often highly decorated tombs were constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting their passage into the after-life. We also visit the Valley of the Queens (where the pharaohs’ wives were laid to rest), the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the spectacular Karnak temple, which is dedicated to the Theban gods.
This morning we take to the skies and fly from Luxor back to Cairo. Rest of your day today spent at leisure.
Starting early (7am) we drive North-west toward the Mediterranean coastline, to the World War II cemeteries of El Alamein. In 1942 the Allies under Britain’s field Marshal Montgomery halted the German- Italian advance towards the River Nile. Marked as a major victory for the Allies, though not without loss of life, with some 11,000 killed and 60,000 wounded. We visit the Commonwealth cemetery and recently erected memorials funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Through the arches and beyond the gardens, 7,000 white headstones commemorate the Australian, New Zealand and British soldiers who fought and died. Stopping for a light lunch, we continue onward to Alexandria.
This morning we have guided sightseeing of the Catacombs, Pompeii’s Pillar, National Museum and stop at the Library of Alexandria. After lunch we visit Montazzah Palace, home to King Farouk – the last monarch of the Mohamed Ali dynasty who abdicated and fled to Italy and Quat Bay Fort, the site of the Pharos – Alexandria ’s great lighthouse.
Today, we take to the skies and fly to Amman. On arrival we transfer down to Petra.
The jewel in Jordan’s archaeological crown is the Rose City of Petra , where you’ll spend a full day sightseeing. Catching your first glimpse of the Treasury through the corridors of the siq, will be a memory sure to remain with you forever. We wander down the ancient Roman rock carved streets, exploring the Nabataean tombs, amphitheatre and other hidden treasures this once-lost city has to offer. If you’re feeling daring, why not climb the hundreds of steps to Ad-Deir? Ad-Deir is better known as the Monastery and, with its impressive facade and the spectacular views, it is definitely worth the physical exertion!
You’ll have the chance to revisit Petra (without guide) before driving onward to Shobak castle to walk round the fantastic crusader castle and admire the brilliant views before continuing to St George’s Church in Madaba to view the fascinating 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land.
Today, we transfer from Madaba to Be'er Sheva in Israel.
Today, we transfer from Be'er Sheva back to Amman in Jordan.
This morning, we visit the Citadel and Archaeological Museum. Afernoon departure transfer to the airport.