Treasures of the Nile Sun Festival - 10 days
Travel in style on an unforgettable 10 day journey through mesmerizing Egypt. Marvel at the impressive Abu Simbel Temple and observe the famous Sun Festival. Explore legendary pyramids, temples and tombs and enjoy the comfort of five star hotels, a luxury Nile cruiser and domestic flights.
Friday 18 Oct 2019. Upon arrival into Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to your 5 star hotel, located at the foot of the legendary Pyramids of Giza. Tonight your Welcome Meeting will be held at 7pm.
Today we visit the stunning pyramids and the 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. Leaving the pyramids behind, we visit a government supervised papyrus emporium where you can buy genuine papyrus at quite reasonable prices.
Continuing to the necropolis of Saqqara, we can 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.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
This morning is free for you to further explore Cairo. After check out we depart for our guided tour of the Egyptian Museum. See the famous Tutankhamen Gallery and opt to see the Royal Mummies. Later today, we board our flight to Aswan and upon arrival we transfer to our hotel where the remainder of today is at your leisure.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan - Abu Simbel - Aswan. This morning we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island where we visit the picturesque Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis. We then check-in on our Nile Cruiser where free time is offered, consider taking a walk along the majestic Nile corniche, framed by rolling sand dunes of the Sahara Desert or simply relax.
Later this evening we’ll head to the colourful local souq (market) for a little bargain hunting. The lively night market offers comic entertainment as the sellers go about the business of hocking their wares. The market also offers an extensive array of cotton products, spices, wooden and copper ornaments, alabaster statues, beaded jewellery and mother of pearl trinkets at some of the best prices in the country.
Back at the cruiser there will be time to rest and recuperate before departing in the early hours of the morning on our coach journey toward the Temples of Abu Simbel. Here we will await the first rays of sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Overnight: Overnight – Nile cruiser/coach journey to Abu Simbel | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
22 October. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Cruising. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple in all ancient Egypt, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was constructed between 1290 and 1224 BC to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler himself. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers.
Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an incredible self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple, hewn into the side of a mountain, are four colossal statues of the pharaoh himself. Over the centuries, the desert sands imperceptibly shifted until the temple was all but lost to humanity. It was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer called John Lewis Burkhardt. Only one of the heads of the pharaohs was showing and a small part of the rest of the temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon the temple and started excavating that the full glory of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, which is fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of them represent King Ramses II, whilst the other two are of his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.
In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the Great Temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on the date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) to illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds assemble in to the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creep through the inner Hypostyle Hall and through to the Sanctuary. Significantly, the sun illuminates statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statue of Ptah - the god of darkness, remains in the shadows.
Famously, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned, though the event this morning itself is no less stunning.
After watching this incredible event unfold we return to our cruiser in Aswan. Relax for the rest of day 5 and 6 as we sail the Nile. En route to Luxor we stop to visit the temple of Kom Ombo. This unique riverside temple is unusual because all of the architecture is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple, with twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
This morning we disembark at Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. This evening we visit the beautiful Luxor Temple, built by Amenophis III, which looks spectacular at night, illuminated by hundreds of lights.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Luxor - Cairo. This morning we set out to explore the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs.
After lunch we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the stone papyrus columns. Tonight, we return by flight to Cairo.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Day 9. Today is free for you to enjoy the hotel facilities or explore Cairo independently. Perhaps head to Khan el-Khalili bazaar and pick up a few souvenirs or join our optional Cairo city tour which is available to book locally.
Day 10. Sunday 27 Oct 2019. Today our holiday concludes. Hotel check out and included transfer to the airport.
Breakfast x 1
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Le Meridien Pyramids*, Cairo
Set within beautifully manicured gardens, Le Meridien Pyramids is a stunning modern hotel affording amazing views of the Pyramids. The guest rooms have been designed with optimum taste and comfort in mind and include state of the art facilities. The outdoor swimming pool includes waterfalls and hydro jets. head to the Citrus Pool Bar in the afternoon for a refreshing beverage under the gaze of the pyramids!
InterContinental Semiramis*, Cairo
Situated on the banks of the River Nile in the heart of the capital, the luxury InterContinental Semiramis is conveniently located next to the Egyptian Museum and the bustling bazaars of Old Cairo. The tastefully appointed guest rooms have been designed with comfort in mind, with all modern amenities and balconies offering Nile or city views. The hotel's large rooftop pool is perfect for a refreshing dip and with 12 restaurants offering cuisine from across the world there's certainly no shortage of dining options. At the end of the day, head to the Nile Terrace to watch a spectacular sunset over the Nile, with a cool drink in hand.
Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Cairo
The recently renovated Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Towers and Casino is a stylish, contemporary hotel with fantastic views over the Nile. The rooms are particularly spacious with large bright windows, complimentary WiFi and all of the modern amenities required to ensure a comfortable stay. If you're feeling lucky head to the casino, or relax in the spa tub and soak up the sun by the large outdoor pool. The hotel has a choice of three restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy a tasty meal and refreshing drinks after taking in the ancient wonders of Egypt's capital city.
Helnan Aswan*, Aswan
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 are 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.
M/S Farah*, Nile Cruising
The M/S Farah is a stylish and modern cruise boat, with large cabins that face out over the Nile. Contemporary in decor, the Farah has a large sun deck and swimming pool.
M/S Premium, Nile Cruising
The modern and luxurious M/S Premium cruise boat boasts stylish cabins equipped with all modern amenities and large panoramic windows. Facilities on board include a fitness centre, spacious deck with swimming pool, large restaurant and cocktail bar. Grab a good book and a refreshing beverage and relax on the Sund Deck - the perfect way to spend the day. The M/S Premium sets sail on Mondays on a 4 and 7 night cruise from Luxor and on Fridays on a 3 and 7 night cruise from Aswan.
Sonesta St. George Hotel*, Luxor
An elegant and luxurious classical hotel, the Sonesta's sophistication will ensure 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. All its rooms offer views of the city or the river, complemented by a wide range of restaurants and cafes. Just minutes away you will find the temples at Luxor and Karnak, home to two of ancient Egypt's most famed sanctuaries.
Steigenberger Nile Palace*, Luxor
The Steigenburger Nile Palace is a grand hotel and stylishly furnished, with many rooms overlooking the Nile River. The hotel has a health club with massage rooms, sauna, steam room and fitness room, and a tennis court on the roof, not to mention a riverside pool. Its four restaurants offer a choice between Nubian, Lebanese, Italian, and Thai cuisine.
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and add-ons