Saturday 11th April 2015. Welcome to Egypt! Arriving into Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you please.
Cairo - Aswan. Today we visit the famous pyramids and iconic Sphinx at Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Cheops (Khufu), the largest of the three great pyramids is constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks and it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct.
Continuing to Saqqara, we explore the myriad tombs and temples at this site and see Zhoser’s step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC. Later there is a chance to have dinner before the overnight train to Aswan.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
After arrival into Aswan and hotel check-in we head off to the grand High Dam - an impressive feat of engineering which resulted in the creation of Lake Nasser. Next we enjoy a boat trip to Agilika Island where we visit the Temples of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Spend the remainder of the evening at your own leisure; shop in the colourful souqs or simply kick back and relax.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan - Nile felucca cruise. Optional early morning excursion by road to Abu Simbel, the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. If sailing by felucca is not for you, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Nile Cruise Upgrade.
Overnight: Felucca Cruise | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor. Disembarking in Kom Ombo, we enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Kom Ombo - dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek and the Temple of Horus at Edfu, before driving north 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 is available to the Temple of Luxor, alternatively enjoy the facilities of your hotel.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Luxor - Cairo. Consider opting to join our hot air ballooning excursion over ancient Thebes - fabulous early in the morning! An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce midday heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings today. Highlights of the visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against the backdrop of history, the Valleys of the Kings and the awesome ramped and colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
The Valley of the Kings is studded with often highly decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting passage into the after-life. This afternoon after lunch and time to relax we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak, with its stone-columned Hypostle Hall. Tonight, we return by overnight sleeper train to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Arrival into Cairo and hotel check-in. Today we visit the Egyptian Museum, famed for the treasures of King Tutankhamen and his solid gold funerary mask. This afternoon is free to independently explore Cairo. Consider visiting Khan el Khalili markets for a spot of souvenir shopping.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Sunday 19th April 2015. After hotel checkout onward transfer to the airport, it's time to bid farewell to Egypt and say hello to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines offers open jaw flights between Cairo and Istanbul, check the THY website for more details or we can arrange flights on your behalf. If you provide us with your incoming flight details to Turkey we will be there to meet you at Istanbul Airport and transfer you to our hotel. The rest of the day is free, why not explore some of the fantastic city that is Istanbul.
Please noteThe flight from Cairo to Istanbul is not included in the cost of this tour.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Today we take in some of the Istanbul's best landmarks including the iconic Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia (exterior only), Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome of Constantinople - an old sporting and social centre. Later we explore the Roman underground cistern, covered with glistening spot lights and full of intricately carved columns. After a break for lunch we'll take a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus before visiting the lively and colourful Egyptian Spice Market and Grand Bazaar, where you will be able to test your haggling skills.
This evening we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast, Dinner
This morning we say goodbye to Istanbul and start to travel south towards Pammukale. On the way we stop for an informative visit to a Turkish carpet weaving and manufacturing house.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Pamukkale - Kusadasi. Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s finest natural wonders, home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools, known locally as the Cotton Castles. Walk barefoot along the travertine pools and explore the ruins of Hierapolis, an old Roman spa town.
From Pamukkale, we travel on to Ephesus, regarded as one of the best preserved classical cities in the Western Med. Highlights of our guided tour of this incredible site, include the famous Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. En route to coastal Kusadasi, we visit a high grade leather garment house.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Edremit. This morning we travel north to Edremit, stopping en route at the Roman ruins of Pergamum, which was once the capital city of the Asian province of the ancient Roman Empire. Home to one of the steepest, vertigo-inducing amphitheatres in the classical world, Pergamum was also famous for its Asclepion (medical centre).
Overnight: Edremit | Breakfast, Dinner
Ayvalik - Gallipoli. We make an early start this morning, for our journey to Gallipoli, stopping en route to visit the famous Trojan wooden horse of Troy. Next we jump aboard the ferry and cross to the Gallipoli Peninsular to commemorate ANZAC Eve. Wrap up warm and pick yourself a great spot for the evening as we settle down for the night at the atmospheric ANZAC Eve vigil.
Overnight: Dawn Service Site (Anzac Cove) | Breakfast
Gallipoli - Istanbul. First light heralds the Dawn Service, then you’ll have plenty of time to independently explore the many trenches and memorial sites as you make your way up to Lone Pine or Chunuk Bair for the Australian or New Zealand National services. The service at Chunuk Bair starts 45 minutes after the Australian service at Lone Pine. If you’re a New Zealander, you will need to head straight to Chunuk Bair. This afternoon, we return to Istanbul, arriving very late in the evening. Hotel check in and a well-deserved rest, after an emotion-filled day at Gallipoli.
Overnight: Holiday Inn, Topkapi
Sunday 26 April 2015. Our tour ends after breakfast and hotel check-out today. We hope you have had a wonderful ANZAC and Egypt experience.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
In a great location for the Pyramids, the Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms are well furnished with modern interiors and en suite facilities. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and there is a beautiful outdoor pool perfect for relaxing by. Why not head to the restaurant on the roof for a delicious meal and impressive views of the Pyramids. Perfectly located across from the Pyramids and also close to Cairo University and the Hanging Church.
Set in manicured gardens, the Helnan Aswan is an elegant hotel with impressive views of the Nile. Guest rooms are spacious with modern interiors and located next to the beautiful pool. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and by the pool. There is also two restaurants and bars, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and a cinema. Why not relax by the pool before exploring the rest of Aswan. The hotel has an excellent location on the Corniche in the heart of Aswan, just a few minutes from the Nile.
Feluccas are simple, traditional Egyptian sailboats that have plied the Nile since ancient times. Feluccas carry between 8 - 12 passengers comfortably. The boat’s deck is draped with soft colourful cushions that serve as your lounging area during the day and as your sleeping area at night. A support boat travels alongside your felucca and is on hand if you need to use the toilet or wash. It is also where your meals are prepared and eaten. You'll need to bring a sleeping bag/sheet and a towel with you. The crew, as well as being experienced sailors, are responsible for the preparation of the included meals, though they welcome helpers!
A grand and classical hotel, the Sonesta is luxurious, ensuring you a comfortable stay. The hotel has a sweeping terrace with fantastic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with exquisite detail and a beautiful health spa.
The recently built Titanic Business Bayrampasa is a modern hotel affording wonderful views across the city. This contemporary building creates the perfect ambiance for a relaxing stay in an otherwise hectic city. Rooms are tastefully designed with hard wood flooring stylish cream tones. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout and guests can whet their appetite at the Alesta Restaurant where you can grab a cocktail, head to the rooftop and gaze across this sprawling city. Located in the European city of the city with good access links to the rest of the city.
Set in landscaped gardens, the Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel has an envious location in Pamukkale. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. The on site thermal spa offers guests a chance to relax and enjoy what this region is most famous for. Why not take breakfast on the terrace or dinner by the pool? Two of our top tips! The hotel is well located close to the travertines in Pamukkale.
Opening in 2012, the Alish Hotel and Spa is one of Kusadasi's most modern hotels. All rooms are well equipped with modern facilities, private balconies and laminate flooring. A number of restaurants and bars exist including the pool bar that serves refreshing beverages and snacks whilst you sunbathe. An early morning swim in the pool is a great way to start the day. Well located with close links to the city centre, local beaches and the famous waterparks.
Perched on the seafront, the Adrina Hotel de Luxe is a modern hotel offering excellent accommodation. Guest rooms are well appointed and comfortable. The expansive outdoor pool is a great place to relax by or take a dip in. A number of restaurants are at the resort including Italian, Turkish and Seafood specialities. Those who want ultimate relaxation should head to the Spa where you can indulge in Turkish baths ad other excellent spa facilities. Located right on the shores of the Aegean Sea near Edremit.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Turkey, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.