Beyond the Pyramids - 12 days

FROM USD $

Explore Egypt's best loved sights, from the pyramids to the Valley of Kings, then get off the beaten track & discover coastal Alexandria & Siwa - a verdent date palm oasis & reclusive community isolated by the Great Sand Sea.

Day 1: Cairo
Tuesday. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Arrive Cairo, included airport arrival transfer to hotel and overnight. Overnight - Cairo
Cairo - Luxor. Today, a visit to the incredible pyramids and Sphinx at Giza Plateau. It’s estimated the largest - Khufu (Cheops) was constructed from no less than 2.5 million quarried limestone blocks, weighing around 6 million tonnes. No mean feat, when you consider the pyramids were built without the use of modern equipment! Maybe opt for a camel ride. Travelling on to the necropolis of Saqqara, innumerable sand strewn temples and tombs await discovery. It’s at Saqqara where you’ll see Zhoser’s step pyramid. Rising 6 steps, it served as the prototype for ancient Egypt’s most enduring architectural legacy. Overnight train to Luxor - considering upgrading to a sleeper cabin. Overnight - Train (B)
Beyond the Pyramids - 12 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Two colossi and the central corridor of the Luxor Temple on the East Bank of Luxor
Day 3: Luxor
Arrive and check into hotel. One of the world’s greatest open-air museums, the 4000 year old site of ancient Thebes - known today as Luxor is our base for two exciting days of exploration. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, these is an optional visit to Temple of Luxor, which is magically illuminated by a thousand coloured lights at night fall. Remainder of the evening at leisure with a chance to enjoy the facilities of our hotel. Overnight - Luxor (B)
Luxor - Cairo. There is the option to float over Luxor in a hot air balloon at sunrise. From high above we look down upon ancient Thebes, remarkable landscape and local villages waking up to start their day. Afterward we cross to the West Bank of the Nile. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments we’ll see as we start our day's sightseeing. They are all that remains of the temple of Amenophis III. Today, we visit the Valleys of the Kings and the imposing colonnaded temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Returning to our hotel, we enjoy free time. Later in the afternoon, we visit Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, pylons and obelisks, built on a grand scale. During the height of Theban power, Karnak was the most important place of worship. Lose yourself here in the stone papyrus forest of the Hypostle Hall and go crazy with your camera. It’s ancient Egypt at it’s zenith. Tonight, we return to Cairo by overnight train. Overnight - Train (B)
Arrive to Cairo and hotel check-in. Later, a guided visit to the Egyptian Museum. See the famous King Tutankhamen solid gold death mask or opt to see the Royal Mummy room. Remains of the afternoon and evening free to do your own thing. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Egypt Tours -  running through the desert in the Great Sand Sea
Sunday. Cairo – El Alamein – Siwa. 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 in Marsa Matrouh we continue onward to Siwa. Evening walk and opportunity for optional dinner in a typical Siwan style restaurant. Overnight - Siwa Oasis (B, L)
Day 7: Siwa Oasis
This morning we take a leisurely bicycle ride through the verdant date palm groves, visiting the local sights en-route. Our first stop is the Temple of the Oracle, dating back to near 570BC, whose most famous petitioner was Alexander the Great. Alexander visited the Siwa in the spring of 331BC, seeking confirmation from the Oracle that he was the son of Zeus (whom the Greek’s identified with Amun – the sun god and creator of all life in Pharaonic history). We cycle to Cleopatra Spring for a dip in the pool as the spring fed warm water bubbles to the surface. Afternoon at leisure or optional (book/pay locally) sunset dinner, swim and campfire at the ‘Great Saltwater Lake’. Overnight - Siwa Oasis (B)
Egypt Tours  - Colourful fishing boats in Alexandria
Today we visit Mountain of the Dead and explore Old Shali. Old Shali is the old city abandoned in 1926 after 3 days of rain that literally melted the mud brick city. A hermetic labyrinth of secret corridors, homes, shops, granaries and mosques are all waiting to be explored. Afternoon - Desert Safari. 4x4 through the massive sand dunes of the Great Sand Sea, stopping off at an amazing natural spring fed lake surrounded by miles of sandy desert. We also visit the site of an ancient ocean abundant with marine fossils and finish the day at the hot spring of Bir Wahed for swimming and sunset dinner. Overnight - Siwa Oasis (B, D)
Siwa – Marsa Matrouh – Alexandria. An early start, we drive along the north coast to Marsa Matrouh. The city has a large Libyan/Berber population, distinctive in custom and dress. We stop for lunch, swim in the Med and have time to explore the Libyan souq (if open) before driving onward to Alexandria. Total - 9hrs drive. Overnight - Alexandria (B, L)
Day 10: Alexandria
A free morning to relax, afternoon sightseeing of 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. Evening tram ride into the downtown to shop followed by famous Alexandrian Fateer for dinner. Overnight - Alexandria (B, D)
The Roman Catacombs in Alexandria
Alexandria - Cairo. Today, sightseeing is undertaken with a qualified Egyptologist, visiting the Alexandria's best loved sights - the Catacombs, Pompeii’s Pillar, National Museum and later a stop at the Library of Alexandria. After lunch, we return to Cairo. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Day 12: Cairo
Saturday. Our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)

Extend your stay and sail the Nile!

See all this and more on our
15 day Nile Valley to Siwa Oasis tour.

See the mighty High Dam, take a boat out to the Philae Temple and visit the Nubian town of Aswan. Bolt-on an excursion to the incredible temples of Abu Simbel and sail the Nile aboard traditional felucca boats, enjoying two days and nights of pure relaxation as the felucca plies its course. Soak up the sun, swim and sleep under a blanket of stars!
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Cairo
  • Departs: Tuesdays - fortnightly year round
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:11, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 5 star (+ Siwan style hotel)
  • Tour Guide: Yes
The On The Go Theatre
On tour in Egypt. Pyramids, Nile cruising, Abu Simbel & Red Sea!

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