The ancient wonders and legendary national treasures of Egypt are truly remarkable. Visit and see why Egypt has appealed to so many for centuries.
Day 1: Arrive in Cairo after overnight international flight. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Hilton Cairo Zamalek for a chance to rest and have dinner.
Day 2: After breakfast at the hotel visit the Grand Pyramids of Giza & Sphinx. Khufu, (also known as Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three Great Pyramids, thought to be over 4,000 years old. At the foot of the Great Pyramid see the mysterious Sphinx carved almost entirely from one piece of limestone.
In the afternoon tour the famous Egyptian museum. Inside is the greatest collection of ancient Egyptian archeological history in the world. The Egyptian museum houses over 120,000 artifacts, including the contents of Tutankhamen’s tomb and most of the mummies that have been discovered since the 19th century.
Day 3: After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Cairo airport for the flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, a representative will transfer you to board the Nile River Cruise, MS Semiramis. Aboard the River Cruise, all meals are included but not drinks. For the duration of the trip, a licensed English speaking Egyptologist, will be a friend and guide for all shore excursions. Hussein is excellent.
Day 4: Today visit the Nile West Bank to see the famous necropolis for pharaohs and nobles. The Valley of the Kings is most well known for being the place where Tutankhamun’s Tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Next visit Hatshepsut Temple. Dedicated to the first female Pharaoh, set at the head of the valley, this temple is the best example of Egyptian classical style architecture. The temple was built to express the grandeur of the Pharaoh as well as honoring the gods that she would need in the afterlife. After her death, all of her statues were defaced by her son Tuthmosis III.
Day 5: After breakfast visit the Temple of Edfu, built to honor Horus the falcon headed god. Edfu is the most well preserved and complete Egyptian temple. The walls are lined with inscriptions and hieroglyphics depicting the age old struggle between Horus and Seth. Overlooking the Nile discover the Temple of Kom Ombo, built to honor the crocodile and Falcon Gods Sobek and Horus. Dated from 180 BC it has beautifully carved columns, some still have their original brilliant colors.
Day 6: Wake up in Aswan after sailing overnight. Have breakfast on board before a journey to the High Dam. Bordering Egypt and Sudan, this is the world’s largest dam finished in 1970. The dam changed the life of Egyptian people by providing flood protection, irrigation, and electricity to Egypt. Construction of the dam required the enormous task of relocating many ancient monuments along the banks of the Nile. This was only possible by using very advanced engineering and the cooperation of many countries. The construction of the High Dam created Lake Nasser, the world’s biggest artificial body of water.
Next stop is the unfinished Obelisk at the granite quarry. Most of the red granite used to build Egypt’s Temples and Tombs came from these quarries. Here lies the unfinished Obelisk still attached to the bedrock. It was abandoned when a crack appeared while working on it. Its weight is calculated at 110 tons and would have been the world’s largest piece of solid stone ever carved.
In the afternoon, enjoy a Felucca ride and visit the Temple of Philae located on the island of Agilkia, dating from 380 BC. Erected to honor the goddess Isis, it was moved from its original location in 1960. Many of the buildings and monuments were painstakingly moved from Philae, as it was continually flooded and eventually submerged in Lake Nasser.
Day 7: This morning, travel by motor coach to Abu Simbel, one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt. For 3,000 years, Abu Simbel sat on the west bank of the Nile River. However, in a remarkable feat of engineering, the temple complex was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher hill to make way for the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. Built in 1244 B.C., Abu Simbel contains two temples, carved into a mountainside. The larger of the two temples contains four colossal statues of a seated pharaoh Ramesses II (1303-1213 B.C.) at its entrance, each about 69 feet tall. The entranceway to the temple was built in such a way that on two days of the year, October 22 and February 22, sunlight shines into the inner sanctuary and lights up three statues seated on a bench, including one of the pharaoh. In addition, Abu Simbel has a second, smaller temple that Ramesses built for queen Nefertari.
Day 8: Today relax and enjoy a day cruising the Nile as you journey back to Luxor.
Day 9: Today is your last day of sightseeing. Visit the famous temples of Luxor and Karnak.
Day 10: Have breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Cairo. Connect to your international return flight home after an extraordinary visit to ancient Egypt.