Menu

Itinerary

imageArrival in Cairo
Ahlan Wa Sahlan (Hello and Peace)

Day 1 (Meals included this day – Dinner)

We arrive in Cairo and take time to rest & revive before an Orientation Talk.

After we have rested, we visit the world’s largest and oldest bazaar, “Khan El Khalili”; it’s like stepping straight into the tales of Sheherezade! It is an Aladdin’s Cave of every Middle Eastern treasure you can imagine and the charming vendors will win your heart with their one-liners and genuine hospitality.

Amidst the Medieval architecture of this amazing bazaar we will be guided by Margaret to all the best shops, all marked on the map she provides so you can later explore by yourself without getting lost!  You are bound to find a new treasure to decorate your home, give as gifts or perhaps even find something exotic to wear at tomorrow’s photo opportunity in the desert overlooking  the Pyramids!

After an afternoon of adventures in this magical market, we rendezvous deep within the Khan at the famous “Nagib Mahfouz Restaurant” for an Egyptian banquet to perfectly round off our first amazing day.

As we fall into our beds tonight many of us will feel as if we have ‘come home’. One thing is for certain – the adventure has only just begun!

 

imagePyramid Dawn and Tanoura Folkloric Show

Day 2 (Meals – Breakfast, Lunch)

At dawn each day, the haunting strains of the Muezzin call out over the roof tops awakening Cairo to prayer. This morning we are already awake as we prepare for our visit to the Pyramids and for a photoshoot like no other! As the golden sun rises across the Giza Plateaux, our Camels will take us out into the desert, where, standing atop the dunes of the desert, we will have the most magnificent backdrop on earth; the Pyramids of Egypt themselves!

We then visit a family who train Arabian horses where we are treated to live Saiidi music and a spectacular Dancing Horse display before enjoying a home cooked Egyptian lunch.

After our energy is restored we head back out to the Plateau with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the three main Pyramids. Those brave enough have the option of actually entering one of these ancient marvels and journeying to its burial chamber!

Truly an adventure we will never forget!

We have a free afternoon and this evening you may like to visit the Medieval Caravansaray of El Ghouri and enjoy the Whirling Dervish Tanoura Dance which is free and held in the courtyard.

 

imageOld Cairo New Cairo

Day 3 (Meals – Breakfast, dinner)

Today we are swept back to the time of the crusades  when we visit Saladin’s medieval fortress complex known as the Citadel. In particular we will be awestruck by the grandeur and scale of the Citadel’s main mosque; that of Mohammed Ali.

We then visit the haunting Mamluk mosque of Sultan Hussan which most travellers recall as their favourite  mosque  because of  its incredible atmosphere architectural beauty.

The rest of the day is free to return to the Khan or to have a sleep in preparation for our outing tonight to experience modern Cairo; a 5-Star Cabaret dinner with one of Egypt’s top bellydancers perform with her live Egyptian orchestra.

 

Coptic Cairo

Day 4 (Meals – Breakfast)

Today’s tour is to Old Cairo, also known as Coptic Cairo. Originally a Roman fortress town called Babylon, this part of Cairo was important to the early Christians. We visit the Hanging Church; one of the oldest places of worship in Egypt built upon the old fortress gate-houses with its nave suspended over the passage.

A short distance away is the Church of St Sergius built on the spot where the Holy Family rested after fleeing from King Herod. Here we can gaze into the well Mary drew water from.

From Christian Cairo we now turn out thoughts to Jewish Cairo as we visit Ben Ezra Synagogue steeped in time and history. It is said that the temple of the prophet Jeremiah stood here and that he is buried under a ‘miracle rock’ on the grounds. The inside of this Synagogue is truly one of the most breathtakingly beautiful interiors in Cairo.

 

Aswan Awaits!

Day 5 (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner)

Today is free to visit the many museums and historic sites in Cairo. The Pyramid complexes of Saqqara and Dashur are easily reached from Cairo! Tonight we begin the next leg of our adventure as we board the first-class sleeper overnight train to Aswan; the jewel of the Nile in Egypt’s south!

 

imageTemples, High Tea & The Jewel of the Nile

Day 6 (Meals – Breakfast, High Tea)

We arrive in beautiful and picturesque Aswan, Egypt’s southern most city and the gateway to Africa. You will be amazed (and somewhat relieved!) at the relaxed and peaceful ambience of Aswan after the hustle and bustle of Cairo.

Aswan, also known as the Jewel of the Nile, has a decidedly African feel. Since the Aswan Dam caused the homelands of the Nubian people to be submerged, they have made Egypt’s southern cities their new home and have given Aswan its relaxed and happy go lucky ambience.

From ancient times right up to the 19th century Aswan has been the destination of caravans trading exotic goods from all over Africa, Egypt and India such as ivory, gold, spices, slaves, incense, skins and feathers. Its markets are still alive with activity, colour and unusual wares for sale. It is easy to imagine the trains of camels and elephants laden with their precious cargo in bygone days.

After we arrive, we travel to the boat landing of Shellal and set out across Lake Nasser to Aglika Island where Philae Temple; the temple of Isis awaits us. This beautifully feminine temple marks the site of the very last activities of the Ancient Egyptian religion. The great mother goddess, Isis was worshipped here well into the Christian era.

This afternoon we sample the national drink of Egypt, Karkaday, at a Nubian tea house built at the highest point of Aswan. It has the best views of the Nile in all of Egypt and this afternoon we gather on the terrace overlooking the majestic waters and relax as the red-gold Egyptian sun sets before us.

 

imageThe Grandeur of Ramses and Nefertari

Day 7 (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner)

We are up before sunrise again this morning to catch a convoy to the astounding temple complexes at Abu Simbel. These temples were built by the great Ramses II. He had them carved out of the mountains on the banks of the Nile around 1250BC to demonstrate his military might and the might of his love for his chief wife, Nefertari. These two temples were moved to higher ground by UNESCO to avoid the rising waters caused by the Aswan Dam. In an operation that took 4 years, the temples (and their mountains) were cut up into over 2000 blocks and reconstructed in their present positions. Few moments will live on in your memory as vividly as the moment you round the bend and first lay eyes on the overwhelming temples of Ramses II. Visiting Abu Simbel is sure to be a highlight of your journey.

We have a free afternoon planned! You may opt to visit Sharia e’ Souk; Aswan’s fabulous market street which overflows with tempting textiles and aromatic spices. You may like to buy a special Galabeya for our bon-fire party on the Nile banks or a simple Egyptian cotton outfit for our lazy days ahead on the river.

Tonight we sail across the Nile to a wonderful Nubian restaurant and enjoy a folkloric show of the traditional music and dances of Upper Egypt.

 

imageNubia!

Day 8 (Meals – Breakfast, Lunch)

Today we sail the Nile again, this time to the opposite bank where we find camels to ride along the water’s edge until we reach a local Nubian village. There we are welcomed into the home of a Nubian family and have lunch in their traditional mud-brick home.  We will discuss Nubian culture and touch on the bittersweet history of this proud race of people.

 

Free Day

Day 9 (Meals – Breakfast)

Today is free to experience Aswan! You may choose to discover the beautiful Nubian Museum – dedicated to the Nubian people by the Egyptian Government in acknowledgment of the sacrifices the Nubian people made to accommodate the Aswan Dam. Here you can see photos of the land and its temples before the lot became submerged under Lake Nasser. There is also a wonderful recreation of the relocation of the Abu Simbel temples. Others attractions you may opt to see are the magnificent Unfinished Obelisk, Kitchener’s Island Botanical Gardens or the Aswan High Dam.

 

imageFelucca Retreat

Days 10 & 11 (Meals – 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners)

It is now time to say goodbye to Aswan and begin the next leg of our journey – the Felucca Retreat. This will be a complete change of pace to that since our arrival in Egypt and perfectly timed to allow us to recover from the sensory overload of souks, spices, sightseeing and shopping!

As we sail north toward Luxor, our internal rhythms will slowly become one with the river. The sounds of the wind in the sails, the birdcalls and farmers at work on the banks will truly transport you to a bygone era as the last trappings of the western world melt away. It will take us around two days to reach our destination and this time on the Nile will stay in our minds a lifetime as we soak up the life of the river; meet the people who depend upon it and immerse ourselves in its timelessness. We sail past villages, farms, and Temples on route - just as the ancients would have thousands of years ago!

We have our meals cooked by our talented crew and we eat on board our felucca whilst entertained by local Nubians who dance, sing and play traditional instruments. We sleep on board our felucca, snuggled in our sleeping bags, under the Egyptian star-laden sky.

On one of the nights we enjoy a bonfire and party on the banks of the Nile! We will have the chance enjoy traditional Nubian and Saiidi music. For those really in the party-mood, you can dress up in your authentic Galabeyas and other treasures purchased for the occasion in the souks of Aswan!

 

“El Uqsur” The City of Palaces

Day 12 (Meals – Breakfast)

It will be with much sadness we say goodbye to our Nubian crew this morning. We re-board our coach and travel a short distance to the city of Luxor. Luxor is the site of ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom capital, Thebes and is home to an overwhelming number of major archaeological splendours.

We check into our hotel to enjoy a relaxed freshening-up and the rest of the afternoon is free.

Tonight we will head out to the massive Karnak Temple to see the ‘Sound and Light Show’ which retells the history of this ancient city and the lives of those who built this enormous temple complex in the honor of the god Amun.

 

imageThe Valley of the Kings

Day 13 (Meals – Breakfast, Lunch)

We arise early this morning to cross the river to the West Bank of Luxor to visit the most famous and mysterious cemetery in the world; the Valley of the Kings. We will enter three of the most beautiful and haunting tombs here as we explore this stark and desolate valley.

We then stop off for lunch at a lovely local restaurant before exploring the Mortuary Temple Ramesis III, Medinat Habu, which has the best preserved colour of any temple in Egypt still intact!

If the sun is not too hot, we will ride donkeys (hilarious!) a short distance to the Tombs of the Nobles and investigate the burial places of some of ancient Egypt’s non-royal citizens. Don’t be fooled; these tombs, although smaller, are breathtaking and possibly more atmospheric than those in the Valley of the Kings.

 

imageMarvelling at Karnak Temple

Day 15 ( Meals – Breakfast)

This morning is earmarked for those in our group who want to take a Hot Air Balloon ride over the Valley of  the Kings and the West Bank of Luxor.  This is an optional activity – not all have a stomach for heights!!!

After  breakfast at our hotel we enter Karnak.  This massive complex is actually made up of many temples and chapels dedicated to different Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. It seems each ruler sought to gain the blessings of their favourite deities by making bigger and better additions to this temple complex. and then take our time to explore the many wonders of this complex.

 

imageThe Goddess Is Dancing

Day 15 (Meals – Breakfast)

Today we head north of Luxor to reach Dendera; the site where, for millennia, the goddess of joy, beauty, revelry, and sensual arts, Hathor, has been honoured.   On this site today stands her incredibly beautiful temple which has recently been restored.  The existing temple was primarily built in the Greco-Roman era but this sacred site has housed shrines to Hathor since the dawn of Egyptian civilisation. Here we can gaze upon one of the worlds first depictions of the Zodiac , dip our fingers in the waters of an original ancient well said to have magical properties to this day, and gaze at Egypt’s only depiction of Queen Cleopatra.

The afternoon is free. Those with energy left after this most overwhelming of days, may like to take up the option of a traditional Saiidi dinner and live folkloric and belly dance show at ‘Fellahs Tent’ in the Movenpick JolieVille Resort.

 

The World’s Largest Open Air Museum

Day 16 (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner)

Over one third of the world’s archaeological sites are located at Luxor which has been acknowledged as the world’s largest open-air museum.  Today is free for you to discover some of the sites we haven’t covered on the itinerary – there are countless  and, realistically it would take years to see them all.  Still, do not be daunted and make a start on them today…

Tonight we catch our train bound for Cairo!

 

Return to Cairo’s Historic Streets

Day 17 (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner)

Check back into the Hotel and enjoy a leisurely day with the hard decision of what to do (there’s so much more to see!). Today we will go to Cairo’s hub of musical instrument makers and players, Mohammed Ali Street where our drummers and musicians can buy the instruments of their dreams! We will also go to the Tent Makers Street which has been the site of this craft for hundreds of years. Here you can watch the sewers at work and purchase some of the most beautiful and intricate appliqué work you will find anywhere in the world (at bargain prices!). This is where the locals shop! Don’t hesitate to wander down alleys which will take you far away from the main tourist traps and into the backstreets to see the artisans manufacturing the goods that are sold in the bazaar.

Tonight we dress up to the nines and venture out together to have drinks and dinner floating down the Nile on the cruise ship, The Nile Maxim. We will lap up the luxurious surroundings, enjoy a delectable buffet and see a famous belly dance star. The show also includes live Arabic music, El Tanoura Sufi Dance (a Whirling Dervish), and a chorus line of male dancers who will have you giggling in your seats!
 

The Egyptian Museum

Day 18 (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner)

The Egyptian Museum boasts one of the finest collections in the world. It has on display so many artifacts that, if you allowed one minute for each item it would take 9 months to see the 140 000 exhibits. Highlights for many are the splendid treasures of Tutankamun or gazing into the mummified face of Ramses II.

We also visit the Lehnert & Landrock Bookshop which sells historical prints, postcards, books and souvenirs which make wonderful gifts or keepsakes.

Those not finished can return to the Museum while others have the option of returning to the hotel and planning other adventures for this afternoon.

Tonight we will head out together for one last celebration as a group to celebrate with our new friends and reminisce about our adventure!

 

 

imageLast Minute Shopping and Sightseeing!

Day 19 (Meals – Breakfast)

Today we have precious time to fit in those things we promised we’d see again or perhaps spend time in the Khan doing that last minute gift and costume shopping!

 

Masalama Ya Masr (Goodbye Oh Egypt) Departure

Day 20 (Meals – Breakfast)

Check out and reluctantly return to the airport for our flight to Australia. Be prepared however, for you are bound to leave your soul dancing in Egypt.

 

Inclusions

*Itinerary is an indication of what to expect ; it may change slightly in accordance with group needs, service availability or matters beyond the tour operators’ control.

Included:

Not Included:

site by Media Two