Cairo to Damascus - 17 days


The ultimate adventure - Egypt, Jordan & Syria in one amazing holiday! Journey beyond the pyramids to ancient Thebes, sail the river Nile & relax by the Red Sea. Add the hidden city of Petra, a 4x4 safari in Wadi Rum & incredible Damascus - the oldest city on earth.

Day 1: Cairo
Saturday. Welcome to the start of your Arabian adventure! Arrive Cairo prior to 08:00, included transfer and hotel check in. At 10:00 we depart on a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum or officially the great Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. The prize exhibit has to be the priceless treasures of King Tutankhamen. Enjoy the remains of the day shopping and exploring Cairo. Overnight - Cairo
Cairo - Aswan. A big day out at the pyramids and sphinx at Giza, then a visit to the ancient tomb-strewn necropolis at Saqqara. Later there is time for dinner before travelling on the overnight seater train to Aswan. Upgrade to sleeper cabin available. Overnight - Train (B)
Cairo to Damascus - 17 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
The ancient Egyptian temple of Kom Ombo in Egypt
Arrive Aswan and check into our hotel. Today, we visit the High Dam and travel by boat to the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Remainder of day and evening free. Overnight - Aswan (B)
Days 4 - 5: Felucca Sailing
Aswan - Nile felucca cruise. Optional early morning air excursion to the colossal Temple of Abu Simbel. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage on the River Nile down stream, stopping along the way at local villages and islands. If sailing by felucca is not for you, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Pharaoh's Pass. Overnight - onboard Felucca (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor. Disembarking in Kom Ombo we visit the temple before travelling to the Temple of Horus at Edfu, a huge complex that began construction in 237 BC! We then continue to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at it’s best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, an optional visit to the Temple of Luxor (book and pay locally). Remainder of the evening at leisure to enjoy the facilities of our hotel. Overnight - Luxor (B)
On the beach in Dahab - Egypt's popular Red Sea resort
Luxor - Dahab. Optional early morning hot air balloon ride over Luxor. An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. Highlights of our visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against a backdrop of history, the legendary Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.

This afternoon after lunch and time to relax, we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular temple on a gigantic scale dedicated to the Theban gods. Karnak is ancient Egypt at its very best. You’ll feel like a star in a Hollywood epic, as you stroll around. This afternoon, we travel by overnight bus to Dahab via Hurghada. Option to foresake the overnight bus journey and upgrade with our Luxor to Dahab Flight Bolt-on! Overnight - Bus (B)
The beach at Dahab on the Red Sea
Days 8 - 9: Dahab
Dahab. Arrival and hotel check-in. Scuba diving, snorkelling, sun-worshipping, chilling, shopping - take your pick. On day 9, we offer an optional snorkelling excursion to the Blue Hole. 80 metres deep, the Blue Hole boasts an abundance of colourful coral, fish and marine life. Most of the aquatic species live within the first 5 metres beneath the sea level. Overnight - Dahab (B:2)
Day 10: Aqaba
Dahab - Petra (Jordan). Today we transfer to Nuweiba Port to cross the Gulf of Aqaba by ferry and travel onward to Petra. This evening we will meet our Jordanian tour guide and other tour members continuing with us through Jordan and onto Syria. Overnight - Petra (B)
Outside the rose red Treasury in Petra, Jordan
Day 11: Petra
To see Petra’s beauty, we first take a walk through the winding cleft in the rock that is known as the Siq, before reaching the awe inspiring Treasury. This rose red building actually served as a royal tomb, but got its name from the legend that pirates hid their treasure there. More amazing Nabataean and Roman ruins follow, including a huge 8000 seat amphitheatre and other Royal tombs and Mausoleums.

If you are feeling energetic, why not continue up the hillside along the ancient steps that take you to the Monastery, to take in the stunning views. Consider opting for our Petra Kitchen bolt-on tonight. Overnight - Petra (B)
Day 12: Wadi Rum
Petra - Wadi Rum. This morning we can return to the Rose Red city for further exploration. Then drive to Wadi Rum for a 4x4 desert safari before enjoying a traditional Jordanian dinner and a night camping in the desert. Overnight - Wadi Rum (B, D)
Salt and mineral deposits flank the Dead Sea in Jordan
Wadi Rum - Karak - Dead Sea - Madaba. This morning, we explore the well preserved 12th century crusader castle of Al Karak. It took the Crusaders some twenty years to erect their fortified stronghold, which through the proceeding centuries withstood countless attack and siege. Once finished in 1161, it became the residence of the lord of Transjordan, by then the most important fief of the Crusader kingdom, rich in produce and tax revenues. Note: Shobak crusader castle maybe visited as an alternative to Karak.

Descending some 1300 metres to the lowest point on the earth's surface we arrive at the Dead Sea. After an included lunch, spend the afternoon swimming, lathering up with a detoxifying mud bath and bobbing about in the ever warm mineral-rich body of water. After we continue onto Madaba - famed for its Byzantine mosaics. Here, if time permits you’ll have time to explore before dinner at a lovely local restaurant. Overnight - Madaba (B, L, D)
Day 14: Damascus
Madaba - Damascus (Syria). Spend the morning at leisure before travelling to the Syrian border. After attending to immigration we continue to the nation’s charming capital, Damascus. Overnight - Damascus (B)
The old city of Damascus leading to Ummayad Mosque and the tomb of Saladin
Day 15: Damascus
Today, we enjoy a tour of reputedly the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. Thoroughly charming, compact and bustling, Damascus (Ash-Sham to locals) is studded with rich examples of Islamic and Ottoman architecture. The heart of the city is Martyrs Square. In the side streets just off the square, there are lots of eateries serving shawarma and felafel, and pastry shops serving sweetmeats.

However, just east is probably the real beating heart of Damascus - the Old City. Surrounded by what was once a Roman wall and rebuilt several times over the last 2000 years, the Old City boasts a main thoroughfare, Straight Street which has been here since Graeco-Roman times. Just beyond the Citadel is the colourful Souk al-Hamidiyya, a stone’s throw from the Umayyad Mosque. Built in 705AD, the facades around the central courtyard are adorned with golden mosaics. South of the mosque is Azem Palace. This evening, enjoy a hamam at a Damascene bath house before taking in the magnificent views from Mt Qassioun. Overnight - Damascus (B)
The 2nd century BC roman theatre at Palmyra Syria
A free day to enjoy Damascus or book our optional excursion to Ma’alula, an ancient town where the locals still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ & Krac des Chevaliers, a crusader castle of epic proportion OR the spectacular ruins of Palmyra – perhaps Syria’s number one sight (payable locally). Overnight - Damascus (B)
Day 17: Damascus
Monday. Our tours ends after breakfast and onward departure transfer to Damascus airport. (B)

Perseids Meteor Shower departure - 04 August 2012

Why not combine this tour with the amazing celestial spectacle of the Perseids Meteor shower? The Perseids meteor shower is a spectacular celestial light show, that has mystified and amazed sky watchers for nearly 2000 years. The night sky is lit up by often over 60 meteors per hour! You can witness the incredible meteor shower from our desert camp in Wadi Rum, where you will spend two incredible nights star-gazing, when the meteor shower is at its peak on the 13th and 14th August. Please see the Go Guide for details of the amended itinerary. Supplement applies.

Alternatively opt for our 14 day Tutankhamen to Treasury tour or 18 day Pyramids, Petra, Promised Lands tour, both departing 04 August 2012 that also witnesses the spectacle at Wadi Rum!

PLEASE NOTE: Group size of 4 or more, the group will travel with a driver (not a tour guide) from Madaba - Damascus and from Bosra to Madaba. Our driver will attend to all immigration formalities for passengers and vehicles. If less than 4 persons, public transport will be used on the journey from Madaba - Damascus, with representation at the Syrian border.

Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Damascus
  • Departs: Saturdays - year round
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:16, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 4
  • Hotel Rating: 4 - 5 star (3 star Jordan & 2 star Syria hotels) + Wadi Rum camp
  • Tour Guide: Yes
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