SUN FESTIVAL TOUR: : Discover the highlights of ancient Egypt and experience the ethereal Abu Simbel Sun Festival on this 10-day premium tour. From the Pyramids of Giza to the Valley of the Kings, enjoy the comfort of five-star hotels and domestic flights - and cruise the Nile in style aboard a luxury cruise boat.
Friday 16 February 2024. Upon arrival into Cairo airport you are met and transferred to your 5 star hotel located in downtown Cairo. The rest of the day is free to relax or those arriving early can opt to pre book our optional Backstreets of Cairo tour which departs the hotel at 10am today. This evening a Welcome Meeting will be held at around 7pm.
If you would like to extend your stay and see more of Egypt, we also offer a pre or post tour Alexandria Day Trip.
Today we visit Egypt's most loved and iconic sight: The Great Pyramids of Giza. We explore the Giza plateau, pyramids and massive Sphinx. We continue on to explore Saqqara - an ancient necropolis with many half-buried tombs and the famous Zhoser’s step pyramid. Then we return to our hotel where the rest of the day is free to relax by the pool and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Cairo - Luxor. We start the day with a guided tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum which contains a dazzling array of antiquities gathered from across Egypt and the world. Among the many exhibits in this vast new 490,000 sq.m complex are the magnificent treasures of King Tutankhamun and his solid gold funerary mask. After we've explored Egypt's flagship museum we head over to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization where we can see the incredibly well preserved mummies of ancient Egyptian pharaohs on display in the Royal Mummies' Hall.
Later we transfer to the airport for our flight to Luxor. Please note: your tour guide will not accompany you onboard your flight.
Please Note: the Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open in late 2024, though an official opening date has yet to be released. If travelling prior to the opening of the new facility we'll visit the Egyptian Museum instead.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Nile Cruising. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments we see during our morning visit to the West Bank - home to the legendary Valley of the Kings. We also see the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Return to Luxor for check-in on board our Nile 5 star cruiser. Lunch is at leisure and we have time to relax until our early evening visit to the Temple of Luxor. Luxor Temple looks stunning at dusk and is beautifully illuminated at night.
Note: Dependent upon Nile Cruiser scheduling, we may take an excursion to Karnak Temple this afternoon. Should this occur, day 5 is spent at leisure.
Overnight: Nile Cruising | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Luxor - Nile Cruising. This morning we tour the ancient city of Thebes (the East Bank) and gaze at the magnificent Temple of Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a gigantic and stunning complex of sanctuaries and pylons dedicated to the Theban gods. Anchors away this afternoon as we set sail downstream.
Overnight: Nile Cruising | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nile Cruising - Aswan - Abu Simbel. We sail the Nile to the Temple of Kom Ombo today, which is dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, and Horus the falcon-headed god. This temple is unusual because everything is architecturally doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple including twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances. After a guided tour of the temple we continue our journey, arriving into Aswan this evening.
At around midnight we depart for our coach journey to the Temples of Abu Simbel.
Overnight: Coach Journey to Abu Simbel | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
22 February. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Cruiser. Arriving at Abu Simbel we await the first rays of sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II. With its gargantuan rock-cut façade, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel is simply spectacular. The temple was built to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II and guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself.
Ramses II had the entire temple precisely positioned in order for the sun’s rays to align just 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 natural phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. The temple was re-located further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser in 1972 in order to avoid erosion and due to the move the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned.
We gather in the temple before sunrise watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the rock hewn inner Hypostyle Hall (replete with further statues of the King) and through to the Sanctuary. As we are lead through the temple there will be time to pause for a moment to watch the sun illuminating the statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statute of Ptah - the god of darkness - remains in the shadows. After the event, there will be plenty of time to explore the Sun Temple of King Ramses II, the Temple of Hathor and take plenty of pictures.
Returning to Aswan around noon we have free time before returning to the Nile Cruiser for our overnight voyage downstream on the River Nile.
Overnight: Nile Cruising | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nile Cruiser - Aswan. Today, enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island, giving us the opportunity the to visit Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple dates from 4th century BC but the Ptolomies and the Romans up to 3rd century AD built most of the existing structures. In danger of being completely submerged by the rising water of Lake Nasser, in 1972 UNESCO stepped in and an 8-year rescue effort was undertaken to relocate the entire temple 20m higher on nearby Agilika Island.
Tonight we will spend the night in Aswan, feel free to explore independently or enjoy the hotel facilities.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan - Cairo. Today we fly back to Cairo. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel, check in and rendezvous with your guide. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the hotel facilities or or you can join our optional excursion visiting Old Cairo, Coptic Cairo and the Citadel of Saladin (book locally).
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast
Sunday 25 February 2024. Tour ends after breakfast. Included onward transfer to airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
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.
Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel, Cairo
Just footsteps away from the Great Pyramids of Giza is the Cairo Pyramids Hotel. Combining ancient history with world-class hospitality, the hotel is the perfect base for sightseeing. Guestrooms are spacious and comfortable, with friendly staff offering 24-hour room service. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food, with four restaurants offering international and local specialities. Enjoy stunning views of the pyramids from the lush gardens and end your day with a refreshing dip in the pool.
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.
Hyatt Regency Cairo West, Cairo
The Hyatt Regency Cairo West Hotel is located less than 15km from Giza, boasting views of the Pyramids in the distance. These views are best soaked up from the hotel's garden and terrace, or from The Plaza bar which directly overlooks the Giza Pyramids. There's also an outdoor pool, fitness centre, spa, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. There are dining opportunities aplenty, with five separate onsite restaurants serving a variety of cuisine, including Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Peruvian. The Hyatt's 250 guest rooms are modern and bright, with large floor-to-ceiling windows offering great views of Giza for guests staying on the right side of the hotel! Rooms also boast marble bathrooms, TV, blackout curtains, coffee machines, a minibar, and security safe.
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.
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.
M/S Royal Lotus, Nile Cruising
Movenpick MS Royal Lotus is a 5-star deluxe Nile cruise that will enable you to discover the ruins of Ancient Egypt with style and comfort. This cruiser is appointed with elegant accommodations of 60 cabins and 2 magnificent Royal Suites. The cruiser features a range of leisure activities with a plunge pool and jacuzzi surrounded by a spacious sun deck, along with a spa and gymnasium with amazing views of the Nile. The restaurant offers both international and local cuisine in both buffet and a la Carte styles, with a selection of bars for enjoying a sunset cocktail whilst taking in the breathtaking views.
M/S Royal Lily, Nile Cruising
Mövenpick M/S Royal Lily offers a great chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Nile banks and enables you to experience a fascinating way to travel and relax at the same time. The 56 cabins and 4 Royal Suites are located on the upper decks to ensure beautiful views of Nile scenery. There are an excellent range of facilities on board including a rectangular shape pool located on the spacious sundeck along with a fully equipped gymnasium and massage room, Bedouin style seating with Bridge tables, a lounge bar and a gift shop. The expansive restaurant located under the Main Deck offers guests three gourmet meals each day offering an extensive mix of different cuisines; with authentic Egyptian cuisine and a tempting selection of international and vegetarian dishes accompanied by a selection of local and imported drinks. The Salon Deck with panoramic windows offers a relaxing lounge serving afternoon tea.
M/S Nile Premium, Nile Cruising
The modern and luxurious M/S Nile 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 Nile 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.
M/S Moon Dance, Nile Cruising
MS Moon Dance Nile Cruise is a floating hotel, designed for luxury 5 star cruising on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. It offers exquisite comfort for up to 132 passengers with its 60 cabins and 8 suites, which provide an ideal refuge for relaxation, along with a variety of enterainment and recreation on board. All rooms have a range a facilities you would expect from a luxury hotel, and enjoy panoramic view windows to take in the wonders of the Nile. On board the cruise, features include a luxurious lounge bar; plunge pool, sun deck with bar; beauty salon; spa and fitness equipment and gift shop. Breakfast and lunch are served as an open buffet, with a delicious variety of French, Italian and local specialties, whilst dinner is served on a la carte and buffet basis, with a fine list of international and local cuisine.
Movenpick Hotel, Aswan, Aswan
Situated on Elephantine Island, the Movenpick is a luxurious hotel with stunning views of the Nile River. There is a range of spacious and luxurious rooms with stylish furnishings, private balconies or terraces and a great selection of amenities including WiFi, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. The Movenpick offers three restaurants as well as the Lounge Bar and Panorama Bar. Guests can also make use of the outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts.