Abu Simbel | Egypt
FROM: £1,575 pp
Classical Egypt Sun Festival Feb 2024 - 11 days map

SUN FESTIVAL TOUR: Combine the ancient wonders of Egypt with the magnificent Abu Simbel Sun Festival. This mesmerizing 11-day group tour will take you cruising on the River Nile, marveling at the Pyramids, and exploring the ancient tombs at the Valley of Kings. You'll discover Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, and uncover the secrets of Dendera. From Kom Ombo to the magnificent Philae Temple, you'll never run out of things to see!

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Abu Simbel - Visit this awe-inspiring temple at sunrise to witness the incredible phenomenon of the Abu Simbel Sun Festival
Luxor West Bank - Discover exquisite tombs at the Valley of the Kings, see the towering Colossi of Memnon and explore the beautiful Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Dendera - Explore the beautifully preserved Temple of Hathor, with its exquisitely decorated ceiling
Aswan - Take a leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island to explore romantic Philae Temple and wander around the colourful souqs
Cairo - Gaze in awe at the ancient Pyramids of Giza, explore the Necropolis of Saqqara and see King Tut's treasures at the Grand Egyptian Museum
Luxor - Roam around the colossal Temple of Karnak and take an optional tour of the beautifully illuminated Luxor Temple at night
Nile cruising - Cruise the River Nile from Luxor to Aswan on board a 5 star river cruiser
Kom Ombo - Visit the Nile side Temple of Kom Ombo

Included

Breakfast daily, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
2 overnight trains from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan to Cairo (private 2 berth sleeper cabin)
Touring - Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Luxor, Dendera, Abu Simbel and Aswan
All relevant transfers and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles
Overnight bus journey from Aswan - Abu Simbel (approx 3.5 hrs)
4 nights 4-5 star hotels, 4 nights aboard a 5 star Nile Cruiser (en suite cabin)
An airport arrival transfer on day 1 and a departure transfer on day 11
Escorted by an Egyptian tour guide degree qualified in Egyptology
Guided visit to Abu Simbel at sunrise for the Sun Festival of King Ramses II including Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tip for your tour guide - we recommend you allow USD$8 per day, per traveller for your guide, though ultimately tipping is an entirely personal gesture

Itinerary

Day 1

Free Time in Cairo

Thursday 15 February 2024. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival at Cairo Airport you will be met by a representative from On The Go Tours. The rest of the day is free to relax or those arriving early can opt to join a Backstreets Tour of Cairo which departs the hotel at 10am. At 7pm this evening meet your guide and the rest of the group at a Welcome Meeting.

Note: If you would like to extend your stay we offer an Alexandria Day Trip on the Saturday before your tour starts or on the final day and can arrange pre/post tour accommodation upon request.
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 2

Pyramids of Giza

Today see the incredible pyramids and the iconic Sphinx at The Giza Plateau. Perhaps opt to ride a camel. Later we travel to Saqqara, to explore the myriad of tombs and temples at the site and see Zhoser's step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh's chief architect in 2700 BC.
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Grand Egyptian Museum

Cairo - Luxor. We take a guided tour of the vast new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza this morning. In this incredible 490,000 sq.m complex we'll discover a mind-boggling array of relics and antiquities from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun. Then we head over to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to visit the fascinating Royal Mummies' Hall, where the mummies of ancient Egyptian kings and queens are on display. Returning to the hotel there's time to relax by the pool before we board the overnight sleeper train to Luxor this evening.

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: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Luxor & Dendera

We arrive into Luxor this morning and drive to Dendera which is one of Egypt's best preserved temple complexes, located 60km north of Luxor. This vast complex covers 40,000 square meters and its temples, chapels and shrines were gradually built over thousands of years. Dendera's crowning glory is the 2000 year old Temple of Hathor with its exquisitely decorated ceiling. After our guided tour of this incredible site we return to Luxor where the afternoon if free to spend at leisure. Take a stroll around town or enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool and soak up the sunshine.

This evening there is an optional visit to view the beautiful Temple of Luxor at night. Book and pay locally.
Overnight: Luxor  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Valley of the Kings & Karnak Temples

4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its very best and this morning we visit Luxor’s famous West Bank. Our first stop is the famous Valley of the Kings, which is studded with beautifully decorated pharaoh's tombs, some of which you can enter. After exploring this incredible site we travel on to visit the striking limestone, colonnaded Temple of Hatshepsut, who was one of only three Egyptian ruling queens. On the West Bank we'll also see the imposing 18m-high Colossi of Memnon, which are all that remains of the temple of the hedonistic Amenophis III.

Returning to the East Bank we check-in on board a 5 star Nile cruiser which will be our home for the next four nights. Enjoy lunch and some rest and relaxation on board before we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak later this afternoon. More than a temple, Karnak is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, pylons, chapels, halls and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods and to the greater glory of Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdom rulers.
Overnight: Nile cruiser  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Nile Cruising

Nile cruising. Today we set sail downstream. Relax on deck and go for a swim, soak up the sunshine and enjoy the views as we cruise the River Nile.
Overnight: Nile cruiser  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Kom Ombo Temple

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

Day 8

Abu Simbel Sun Festival

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 Cruiser  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Philae Temple

Nile Cruiser - Aswan - Cairo. 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.

Late this afternoon, we board the overnight train (twin berth sleeper cabins provided) for our journey back to Cairo.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Cairo - Old City tour or relax

Arriving into Cairo this morning, transfer to the hotel and check in. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the hotel facilities or you can opt to or join us for an optional tour visiting Old Cairo, Coptic Cairo and the Citadel of Saladin (book locally).
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Cairo

Sunday 25 February 2024. Our tour comes to an end today with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Breakfast

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.

2024
Twin Share
Single Room
£1,575
£2,305

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre Tour Accommodation - Cairo
£115
£215
Post Tour Accommodation - Cairo
£115
£215
Backstreets of Cairo
£105
N/A
Alexandria Day Trip (Adult)
£125
N/A
Alexandria & El Alamein - 4 days (Adult)
£525
£775
Alexandria & El Alamein - 4 days (Child)
£525
£775

Hotels

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.

Holiday Inn Cairo Maadi, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Overlooking the Nile and offering distant views of the Great Pyramids of Giza, this Holiday Inn provides the perfect location for your stay in Cairo. Each guestroom features a balcony (not Nile View as standard) and is well-equipped with modern amenities including free WiFi. Evenings can be spent enjoying international or Egyptian cuisine and unwinding with a cocktail at one of the hotel’s bars. Thanks to the friendly hotel staff, you’ll soon feel at home. And with panoramic views of the city from the rooftop lounge and pool, there’s no better place to base yourself for exploring Egypt’s ancient wonders.

Sleeper Train, Cairo

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Train

When travelling on an overnight train in Egypt, sleeper carriages offer the highest level of comfort. Cabins are equipped with two beds (one above the other), a basin, electric points and air conditioning. Freshly laundered bedding is provided and in the early evening an attendant will come round and make up your bed for you. The carriages have toilets at each end and there is a club car which serves snacks and beverages. In the morning a very basic breakfast is provided.

Sonesta Hotel Cairo, Cairo

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The Sonesta Hotel & Casino is a sophisticated and luxurious hotel offering spacious, en-suit rooms with opulent furnishings. Enjoy a cocktail at the poolside bar or indulge in a relaxing massage or Turkish steam bath at the full-service spa. With 5 restaurants located within the hotel you'll be spoilt for choice over dining options.

Sonesta St. George Hotel, Luxor

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Deluxe Hotel

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

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Deluxe Hotel

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 Medea, Nile Cruising

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 star cruise boat

The M/S Medea is elegantly furnished with rich fabrics, wood panelling and classic style furniture, offering a refined setting for your Nile cruise. The restaurant offers 120 covers with a combination of waiter service and buffet meals which allows to sample both Egyptian and international cuisine. The spacious lounge bar is tastefully furnished with Chesterfield sofas and offers panoramic views of the Nile River.

M/S La Traviata, Nile Cruising

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 star cruise boat

M/S La Traviata has proved be a long term favourite with many regular Nile cruise guests. The cosy restaurant on the lower deck serves 88 guests and serves both - international and Egyptian cuisine. Lounge bar with dance floor and music system for evening entertainment. The sundeck offers a pool as well as sun loungers and a shaded area. The reception offers full services including an international phone. The gift shop on board has a wide range of gifts and souvenirs from Egypt.

M/S Miriam , Nile Cruising

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 star cruise boat

M/S Miriam is a beautiful Nile cruise boat offering 59 spacious cabins. Onboard you'll find a fantastic restaurant serving both international and Egyptian cuisine. As your cruiser makes it's way along the mighty Nile river, take the opportunity to relax on deck and watch the changing scenery or perhaps indulge in a book.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Cairo
Ends
Cairo
Departs
Thursday
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
4 - 5 star
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 4
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
Click to play videoThe city of Cairo at the end of a dusty path in front of the setting sun
Click to play videoThe entrance to the ancient city of Luxor
Cruise ship on the River Nile
Ancient ruins standing majestically against the sky in Aswan
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