Abu Simbel | Egypt
FROM: £2,195 pp
King Ramses Sun Festival Feb 2025 - 13 days map

SUN FESTIVAL TOUR: Head to the spectacular temple of Abu Simbel for the February 2025 Sun Festival and take in the best of Egypt including the legendary Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple. Cruise the Nile from Aswan to Luxor on a 5-star Nile cruise and spend three days relaxing by the Red Sea. All this and more on an unforgettable 13 day tour of Egypt.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Abu Simbel Sun Festival – Watch in awe as the rising sun illuminates the inner sanctum of this spectacular temple
Hurghada – Swim in the tranquil Red Sea, relax on the beach or explore the shops as we spend three days at this coastal resort
Aswan - Take a leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island to explore romantic Philae Temple and wander around the colourful souqs
Luxor - Roam around the colossal Temple of Karnak and take an optional tour of the beautifully illuminated Luxor Temple at night
Nile cruising - Spend 3 nights on board a 5 star Nile cruiser and cruise the River Nile from Aswan to Luxor
Cairo - Marvel at the legendary Pyramids of Giza, explore the Necropolis of Saqqara and see King Tut's treasures at the vast Grand Egyptian Museum
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
Kom Ombo - Visit the Nile side Temple of Kom Ombo

Included

Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
1 overnight train from Cairo to Aswan (Private 2 berth sleeper cabin)
Guided visit to Abu Simbel at sunrise for the Sun Festival of King Ramses II including Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee
Touring - Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo and Luxor
Escorted by an Egyptian tour guide degree qualified in Egyptology
8 nights 4-5 star hotels, 3 nights aboard 5 star Nile Cruiser (en suite cabin)
Overnight bus journey (3.5 hrs) to Abu Simbel, with Nile Cruiser to freshen up and rest prior to the festival event
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 13
3 days in Hurghada by the Red Sea - Swim, snorkel and relax
All relevant transfers and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$100-120pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$8 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$70-90pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Cairo

Tuesday 18 Feb 2025. Welcome to Egypt! Upon arrival at Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure. Tonight, your Welcome Meeting will be held at 7pm.
Overnight: Cairo

Day 2

Pyramids & Saqqara

Today visit to the legendary pyramids and iconic Sphinx at the Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. Continuing to 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

Day 3

Grand Egyptian Museum

Cairo - Aswan. Today we visit the famous new Grand Egyptian Museum, a vast 490,000 sq.m complex which houses a mind-boggling array of artefacts and makes use of new technology including virtual reality. The museum is home to a giant exhibition containing the treasures of King Tutankhamun. After our guided tour of the museum we drive over to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to see the incredible mummies of ancient Egyptian pharaohs which are now on display in the Royal Mummies' Hall. The hall contains 20 mummies in total and some are so well preserved, they still have locks of hair and finger nails.

Returning to the hotel, there's time to relax by the pool before we board the overnight train to Aswan 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

Aswan & the Philae Temple

Aswan - Abu Simbel - Nile Cruiser. This morning we arrive into Aswan and enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. Upon returning to Aswan we visit a perfume oil emporium, then check-in on board the Nile Cruiser, home for the next three nights. There is free time to perhaps enjoy some shopping in the colourful souks and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile.

At midnight we board our coach to the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel (journey time, approximately 4 hours). Upon arrival we await the first rays of sunlight, which will signify the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser/Coach journey to Abu Simbel  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

SUN FESTIVAL - TEMPLE OF KING RAMSES II, ABU SIMBEL

22 February. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Cruiser. 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 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.

Returning to Aswan, our Nile Cruiser departs this afternoon and we cruise the River Nile to Kom Ombo where we disembark to visit the temple which is dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek before returning to the cruiser for the night.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Nile Cruise to Luxor

Nile Cruiser - Luxor. Relax, enjoy a swim in the pool and chill out in the sun on deck this morning. Let your troubles melt away as we cruise the River Nile to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Arriving into Luxor this afternoon the rest of the day is free to explore the city before we spend our final night aboard the cruiser.
Overnight: Nile Cruiser  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Luxor

This morning we disembark and check into our 5 star Luxor hotel. The day is free to relax and explore. Tonight, an optional visit available to the Temple of Luxor, stunningly illuminated by hundreds of lights.
Overnight: Luxor  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Valley of the Kings

This morning we 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 can lose yourself wandering around the massive stone papyrus columns. Spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Overnight: Luxor  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Red Sea Riviera

Luxor - Hurghada. Departing Luxor we head east to Hurghada part of the beautiful Red Sea Riviera for 3 days on the beach!
Overnight: Hurghada  |  Breakfast

Days 10-11

R&R beachside

The next few days are free to independently explore Hurghada or simply relax. There is the option of going snorkelling on day 10 but the rest of the time it's up to you!

Hurghada is one of the Red Sea's most popular resorts and it is easy to see why. Hotels and expanded infrastructure provide holidaymakers with excellent aquatic facilities for sail boarding, yachting, deep-sea fishing, SCUBA diving and snorkelling. Hurghada’s central location provides a gateway to prime offshore reefs, some of which are of the finest in the world. For retail therapy, the town has lots of shops selling knock-off bags and tees, snorkelling gear and suchlike. Hurghada also offers plenty of good nightlife options to choose from. Just outside Hurghada is an ancient Roman quarry called Mons Porphyritis and Port Safarga – a famously windy place and windsurfer's paradise.
Overnight: Hurghada  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 12

Khan el Khalili Market

Hurghada - Cairo. We drive back to Cairo this morning, upon arrival we check into our hotel. The reminder of today is at your leisure, or you can opt to join our optional visit to the exotic Khan el Khalili Bazaar. It's a top spot to browse and bargain for authentic Egyptian souvenirs, from ornate free-standing tobacco pipes and pharaonic tat, to belly dancing costumes and spices and carpets.
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Cairo

Sunday 02 March 2025. Cairo - breakfast. Hotel check out and included onward transfer to airport.
Breakfast

Short on time?

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.

Guaranteed Departure
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
£2,195
£3,235

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre Tour Accommodation - Cairo
£115
£215
Post Tour Accommodation - Cairo
£115
£215
Alexandria & El Alamein - 4 days (Adult)
£505
£795
Alexandria & El Alamein - 4 days (Child)
£505
£795

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.

Holiday Inn City Stars, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The Holiday Inn Cairo City Stars Hotel is an ideal base for exploring the modern and historic attractions of Egypt's capital. Rooms are spacious, offering a flatscreen TV and private bathroom. There are restaurants on site, including the rooftop garden that offers panoramic views of the city.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Radisson Blu is in the Heliopolis area of Cairo, just 3 kms from Cairo International Airport. Providing spacious, well appointed guest rooms with amenities such as a daily newspaper and turndown service, the hotel is the perfect oasis for guests visiting the city. Its two restaurants, lobby lounge, and gourmet bakery offer a range of culinary choices. To top it all off, the hotel boasts a rooftop spa and pool with panoramic Cairo views.

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 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.

M/S Crown Emperor, Nile Cruising

Our Category: Luxury   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Deluxe Cruise

The M/S Crown Emperor invites travellers on a captivating journey through Egypt's historical marvels in luxurious comfort. This elegant vessel offers comfortable and well-decorated rooms that combine modern amenities such as WiFi, A/C, and a television with classic Egyptian designs. From the expansive sun deck, passengers can absorb panoramic views of the Nile's timeless landscapes. The M/S Crown Emperor features a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, spa, and fitness centre, ensuring relaxation and recreation on board in addition to the tasty cuisine served in the onboard restaurants. This ship promises its guests an immersive and indulgent exploration of the Nile's enchanting treasures.

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.

Marriott Beach Resort, Hurghada

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

The Marriott Beach Resort is a luxurious beachfront hotel, with every room enjoying a view of the Red Sea and Hurghada city centre just a few minutes drive away. There is a choice of 8 restaurants and bars for hungry travellers, and a health club, tennis & squash courts, and fitness centre to stay in shape. During the day, soak in the heated outdoor pool or book a watersport activity. The hotel even has its own private island if you fancy a massage among the palm trees.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Cairo
Ends
Cairo
Departs
18 Feb 2025
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
4 - 5 star
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 12, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 3
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
Ancient ruins standing majestically against the sky in Aswan
Click to play videoStone carvings in the side of the mountain at Abu Simbel
Cruise ship on the River Nile
Click to play videoThe entrance to the ancient city of Luxor
Perfect turquoise water and
Perfect turquoise water and

Tour Add-ons

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