2019: January: The Cradle Of Civilization

14 Days, Cairo to Cairo
10th – 23rd January 2019

Visiting:  Cairo (including Giza, Dazshur and Saqqara),  Alexandria, El Alamein, Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo,  Aswan, Abu Simbel and Wadi El Natroun

Click Here To Download Full Itinerary with Introductory Letter, Flight Suggestions, Hotel Previews and Destination Information.

Giza Two pyramids with camels

The Great Pyramids

Day 1 (Thursday), 10th January – Cairo Arrival:  On arrival in Cairo you will be met by a local representative after disembarking from your flight and guided through customs and immigration. Following your exit through customs our local office will transport you through the throngs of Cairo to Giza, where we have you staying for your first stay in Cairo.  We suggest taking a repast at the hotel before settling in for the night. Our stay in Giza is to provide you with as good nights rest as possible on arrival. With our proximity to our first touring days attractions this means we won’t need to wake you early for several hours of peak hour traffic to get to them.

We have organised a “Visa On Arrival” for Egypt, this is done with the assistance of our local office representative in Cairo on arrival at the airport just before we proceed through Customs & Immigration

Day 2 (Friday), 11th January – Cairo, A Land Of Pyramids (B,L):  Egypt is known for it’s Pyraminds and today we will be taking in more than any other tour as we visit Dazshur, Saqquara, and Giza. First thing this morning our Egyptologist Guide will take us out to Dazshur to see the Red Pyramid, built for Snefru (the father of Cheops) approximately 4,600 years ago, many scholars consider the pyramid to be more glorious than those of Cheops due to its size, angles and precision building. After visiting the Red Pyramid we may have a chance to see the Bent or Black Pyramid as we drive to Saqqara. These two are even earlier Pyramid Constructions and shows have even the ancients took a while to get things right! In Saqqara (or Sakkara) we will see the Step Pyramid of Djoser and the attached funerary complex. This Pyramid is often seen as a prototype for later Pyramid styles and was built and designed by the architect Imhotep for Djoser in the 3rd Dynasty. While near Saqqara we stop briefly to see traditional carpet weaving where families learn to craft as they have for generations before taking a break for lunch en-route to Giza. This afternoon we visit the Giza Plateau famed for the Great Pyramids—built for Cheops—whose image have captivated the world for centuries. Whilst here we will see the Pyramids, a royal burial chamber, the Valley Temple  as well as the Sphinx. We have a brief amount of time to visit a Papyrus institute to see how the common reed that lines the Nile’s banks made writing and artistry flourish in Egypt centuries before anywhere else. We round out our day with a return to Giza where we will watch the Sound and Light Show before returning to our hotel.

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Citadel of Saladin

Day 3 (Saturday), 12th January – Cairo, A City Of Contrasts (B,L): Today is a full day of touring through “Old Cairo” so we may leave the hotel a little earlier to tackle traffic. From the hotel we head straight to the  Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, where our Egyptologist Guide will guide us around the fascinating exhibits, giving us an exhaustive look at everything from Scarab Statues to Canopic Jars, with one of the real highlights being the treasures from the Tomb of Tutankhamen (you will be surprised to see later how small his tomb was for all the treasures),  We have also included the entry to one of the Museums exclusive wings most often referred to as the “Mummy Rooms” where you can see the incredible results of the mummification process with some names that will ring bells across the trip including Ramses III. Following the visit to the Museum we have a brief lunch before we head off to visit areas of Old Cairo starting with one of the cities most prominent Citadels built to honour Salah Din who conquered Egypt with his Mamelukes, as well as the iconic Mohammad Ali Mosque. From there we move to the part of Cairo known for its Coptic and Jewish Heritage and we will visit places like the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue and have the opportunity to mark the locations of places like the Church of St. Barbara and the Church of Abu Serga.  Before returning to the hotel for the night.

Day 4 (Sunday), 13th January – Abydos & Dendra (B): This morning we fly up to Luxor and then do something that most tours bypass—we take a trip down the Nile to the ancient sites of Abydos and Dendra which are home to some of the best preserved open air Heiroglyphs in Egypt, allowing you to see them in more colour and closer to their original form than anywhere else in the country. Known as the home of the dead we will visit the Temple of Seti I built to honour the God of the Dead, as well as the Temple of Osiris.  In Dendra we will visit the Temple of Hathor—goddess of Love and Joy, before we return to our hotel in Luxor, where you will have the evening free to wonder the waterfront boulevards, old souks and byways of the open air museum city.

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Temple of Karnak

Day 5 (Monday), 14th January – Luxor Eastbank (B,L,D): After a busy day yesterday this morning is left to be lazy, either soak up some sun by the pool, walk the old souk in search of souvenirs, or for those looking to learn maybe even a visit to the Luxor Museum is in order. Note: Having visited a number of museums in Egypt this can be  quite a treat, they often have many similar objects but the feel and ambiance of each museum is quite unique. Late in the morning we will transfer from our hotel to our Cruise Vessel where we will have lunch before we head out to visit the two greater temples of the East Bank.  Our tour starts with a visit to Karnak Temple, known as the “Temple of Temples”.  It was the largest place of worship[ ever built, and its name in Ancient Egyptian “Isep-Isut” means the most sacred place. The Temple, or rather complex of temples if we wish to be correct, was built over a period of two thousand years by generations of Pharohs, and  within the complex lies the great Hypostyle Hall, an incredible forest of giant pillars covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. Afterwards we visit the Temple of Luxor built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II for Rituals and festivals dedicated to the God Amun. With its waterside location and obelisks the Temple of Luxor has its own distinctive feel, and its carved walls depict a number of important historical events including the defeat of the Hittites by the Egyptians. Afterwards we return to our cruise ship for dinner and overnight on board in Luxor.

Day 6 (Tuesday), 15th January – Luxor Westbank (B,L,D): After breakfast onboard our cruise vessel this morning we will cross over to  the Westbank of the Nile. Back in the days of Pharonic Egypt the Westbank was exclusively reserved for the dead, and while much has changed the monuments raised in the honour of the departed remain. Our first visit is to the Valley of the Kings, a vast city or tunnels carved out for dead Pharohs and Queens of Egypts past with over 62 discovered so far. The tombs were carved during a Pharohs reign deep into the desert rock, richly decorated and filled with treasures for the afterlife. We will have the option to visit three of the tombs (whichever are open on the day) as well as the Tomb of Tutankhamen. These tombs are randomly opened to preserve air quality and preserve the interiors—if we are extremely lucky the tomb of Ramses III will be open and you can compare the tomb for a ruler of 70 years to a ruler of a few months (King Tut) and what was accomplished on their tombs during their lifetimes. From the valley we visit the Temple of Hatchepsut, one of the few female Pharohs to reign, rising out of the desert  plain in a series of terraces until the columned building merges with the limestone cliffs surrounding it the temple of one of the most impressive in Egypt. On the way back to our cruise vessel we visit the two Colossi Of Memnon, a pair of 66 foot, 1 thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III, which before their defacement by Napoleon, were known to emit haunting whistles at dawn. On return to our vessel it will set sail for Edfu and we will have time for a leisurely lunch and an afternoon of watching life along the river as the cruise makes its passage along the Nile to our next destination.

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Mummified Crocodiles at the Temple Of Sobek in Kom Ombo

Day 7 (Wednesday), 16th January – Edfu & Kom Ombo (B,L,D): When we awake this morning we will find ourselves in the City of Edfu, where after breakfast we will disembark the cruise and take a horse-drawn carriage ride to our destination. Surprisingly the Horse-Drawn Carriage is popular not only as a tourist gimmick but because it can often navigate the cities roads and ally-ways better than modern vehicles. Our visit will be to the Temple of Horus, which is perhaps the most well preserved and intact temple along the Nile’s entire banks. Horus, also known as Haroeris, was the falcon-headed god of War and son of the god Osiris. Following our visit we take the carriage back to the docks and depart for Kom Ombo which we should reach in the early evening, where after a visit to the Temple of the Crocodile Headed God Sobek (who was an ancient god of fertility and whose very temple overlooks a bend where once crocodiles were known to bask openly on the Nile’s banks), we will have some time for leisure down by the souks and docks before our cruise sets sail for Aswan, allowing us plenty of time to experience the Sunset and the early nightlife of this incredible little Egyptian river city.

Day 8 (Thursday), 17th January – Aswan (B,L,D): When we disembark our cruise this morning for the days adventures be prepared for a long but incredible day as we head out to visit  the sights of Aswan, Starting with a visit to the High Damn, the wonder of modern engineering in Egypt, perhaps what you could call a modern monument, where we will take a look at the dam itself before visiting the granite quarries which gave many of the temples in Egypt their building supplies, in the quarry we will be able to see the remains of an unfinshed Obelisk whose size would have been unmatched if it had been successfully completed. We then take a short motor boat ride across the damn to the Temple of Philae on the Island of Agilka. This beautifully situated temple was devoted to the worship if Isis, the sister/wife of Osiris, and the patron god on the Ptolemic Rule of Egypt . We have a brief lunch aboard our cruise vessel before we sail around the cataracts on a felucca, spotting Elephantine Isle, Kitchner and many others. Some are host to botanic gardens, or small villages, others are barren and only occupied by the wilds. As our cruise ends we will visit a traditional Nubian Village with all its bright colours and have the opportunity to visit a traditional Nubian House to share a drink and socialise before g to our cruise vessel for Dinner and our last night aboard.

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Temple of Ramsses at Abu Simbel

Day 9 (Friday), 18th January – Abu Simbel (B):  This morning we leave our Cruise-boat for the last time, leaving our baggage in the care of our local office whilst we head to the airport and fly down to the far south of Egypt and one of its more incredible sights, which if we are lucky enough to get seats on the left hand side of the plane you may see as we come in to land. When Nasser was president in Egypt he suggested the building of a monumental damn to control water movement on the Nile to monitor and control water levels for irrigation, farming and more, by the sixties the  High Dam project was well underway, but as the project continued and it became easily visible that so many historical sights would be lost under the rising waters UNESCO set about to save as many as possible, two of which were the Temples of Abu Simbel dedicated to Ramesses the Great and his wife Nefertari., a monumental effort saved them raising them to a location almost 90 feet above their original location. Originally their initial site during the summer and winter solstice the location would allow for a ray of light to perfectly land on the carved face or Ramses. After a morning spent visiting these temples and admiring the handiwork of both ancient and modern masons, we fly back to Cairo (via Aswan) where we will be met on arrival by our local operator and transferred to our hotel.

Day 10 (Saturday), 19th January – Cairo, Like a Local (B,L): Today we continue our exploration of the incredible cultures that define Cairo as we head out to El Moez Le Din Allah Street, one of the oldest streets in Egypt, a veritable witness for the passing of ages in Cairo with monuments from varying period lining both sides of the street, where we can see the old Babs (or Doors that gated the old Islamic Cairo), as we walk amongst the locals enjoying the Islamic architecture that the government has been working on restoring to its original condition (or as close as possible). During our walk we will have the chance to try our one of the most famed local Egyptian street dishe—a vegetarian concoction beloved by many: Koshary. Afterwards we will continue to the famed Khan Khalili Bazaar where you have free time, you can explore the tourist side stalls or venture further in and find the more local market, or sit in a local coffee shop and sip on mint tea and enjoy a Shisha (Water Pipe) and pass the afternoon watching the world go by, before returning to our hotel late in the afternoon.

Alexandria Palace

Montazah Palace, Alexandria

Day 11 (Sunday), 20th January – Alexandria (B,L):  We leave Cairo today and head for the Mediterranean with our first stop being the small centre of Wadi El Natrun in the Nile delta, which is known for its domed monastaries which are still in use today, and the incredible painted frescoes which adorn them. From here we continue across the desert to Alexandria, the Jewel of the Nile, On arrival in Alexandria we will take a visit to the New Library of Alexandria, built in homage to the Ancient Structure which was a wonder of the world. Afterwards we will take a stroll through the Gardens of Montazah where you can catch glimpses of the Palaces before we check into our hotel for a rest before we head out for the evening to enjoy the nightlife of Alexandria like a local with a gathering in a local coffee shop.

Day 12 (Monday), 21st January – Alexandria & El Alamein (B,L): We have a full day visiting the highlights of Alexandria today including Pompey’s Pillar (one of the largest free standing monolithic column’s in Egypt), the Roman Ruins and Amphitheatre being uncovered at Kom al-Dikka (or similar), the Ancient Catacombs, a drive along the foreshore and a look at the replica lighthouse (again built in homage to a wonder of the Ancient World) and a visit the Museum of Alexandria. After which we head out west to visit El Alamein, a site of contention during world war 2 between the allied forces led by general Bernard Montgomery and the Nazi forces led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. In El-Alamein we will visit the War Museum as well as the Commonwealth, German and Italian War Graves Sites—so if you have any relatives or specific graves you would like to visit please let us know and we can locate them before time for you. After our visit to El Alamein we then take the trip back across the desert and return to Cairo for the night.

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Commonwealth War Graves at El Alamein

Day 13 (Tuesday), 22nd January – Palaces of Cairo (B,D): This morning we have one of my favourite journeys in Cairo –  a visit to some of the famed palaces that give and incredible overview of the varying societies that have ruled over the City. One of the visited palaces will be the British Styled Aberdeen Castle, which now hosts a collection of gifts exchanged with the former president Mubarak over the years. Another will be the Ottoman styled  Manial Palace, built around a giant fountain from the centre of which concerts and performances were once held. Britsish, Mamaluke, Ottoman, Arabian, Phaoronic … the cultures that have defined modern Egypt are many and this half day tour is the perfect way to get a last, brief look at some of those that you may not have encountered much of previously in the tour. This afternoon is left free to do any last minute shopping or to revisit a site you may have more interest in seeing more of (such as the Museum or the Bazaar), before we gather together for our farewell dinner.

Day 14 (Wednesday), 23rd January – Egypt Departure (B): Following breakfast this morning the day is your to do as you will, remembering to check out in a timely fashion and be prepared to have our local representative meet you for your transfer to meet your homeward bound flight! We hope that you have had a fantastic time in Egypt.

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Gardens of Abdeen Palace

From AU$4491 Per Person Share Twin, Land Only
Single Supplement AU$1689

General Inclusions:

  • Accommodation in Twin or double rooms
  • Air Conditioned Coach transport for duration of the programme
  • All transfers to and from airports
  • Excursions as per programme with Entrance tickets to sites and monuments including special entrances
  • English Speaking Egyptologist Guides
  • Breakfast daily in hotels, other meals as mentioned (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
  • Regional Airfares
  • Egyptian Visa On Arrival
  • Tips & Gratuities

General Exclusions:

  • International Airfares inclusive of taxes and surcharges
  • Drinks including alcohol, soft drinks and juices
  • Meals not mentioned or indicated in the itinerary
  • Any camera or video fees charged at sites
  • Personal expenses for souvenirs, laundry, phone calls etc

 International Airfares: For international airfares to and from Cairo, please speak with the team at My Travel Expert

Please note that : Hotels mentioned are the foreseen properties but are subject to change at the Tour Operators Discretion. All properties (barring Alexandria) are 5 Star Deluxe.

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Monastery at Petra

Extend In Jordan
for AU$3240 per person Share Twin

Day 1, 23rd January (B, D) Arrival: Arrival to Amman via Queen Alia International Airport – transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 2, 24th January (B, D)  Amman / Jerash / Ajloun: After Breakfast – Start the trip by visiting the down town of Amman and the old city, visit the citadel and roman theater, then continue to Jerash one of the best preserved Roman Tone in the world. today you can walk through “ Street of Columns “Roman Cardo. The Tow Huge Temples of Zeus and Airtimes and a lot of other different sites, we later proceed to visit Ajloun castle,  then  back to Amman for overnight.

Day 3, 25th January (B, D) Madaba / Nebo / Petra: Drive to Madaba to visit St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church in Madaba, Mosaic map built on the Sixth Century AD. It is the oldest preserved and most detailed ancient map of the Holy Land; from Lebanon to Egypt, Then drive Mt. Nebo is the memorial of Prophet Moses. Later we proceed to visit Choubak castle, then we head towards Petra for overnight.

Day 4, 26th January (B, D) Petra: After Breakfast – Your ultimate destination is the astonishing rose-red city of Petra. Which was built by Nabateans (An early Arab people). Petra was renowned for its massive architecture, pools, dams and water channels. Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans who settle in the South of Jordan more than 2 thousand years ago. The TREASURY, Royal Tombs, The Court, Roman Theatre, Roman Street, and the  museum of Petra. Overnight in Petra.

Day 5, 27th January (B, D) Little Petra / Wadi Rum / Dead Sea: We visit little Petra, then heading to Wadi Rum for a jeep adventure. Later we head towards the Dead Sea for overnight.

Day 6, 28th January (B, D) Dead Sea: Relaxing by the beach, overnight in the Dead Sea

Day 7, 29th January (B) Departure: Transfer to the airport for departure.

General Inclusions:

  • 5 Star Accommodation based on Half Board Basis
  • Transportation for the entire program with modern air-conditioned vehicle including onboard refreshment.
  • Accompanying guide (4 working days: from Day 2 to Day 5 inclusive) and full tour accompanying guide for groups.
  • Entrance fees to all visited sites.
  • Horse rides in Petra.
  • Jeep tour in Wadi Rum for 2 hours.
  • Service charge & government sales tax.
  • WiFi in buses and mineral water in buses & cars.

General Exclusions:

  • International Airfares inclusive of taxes and surcharges
  • Drinks including alcohol, soft drinks and juices
  • Meals not mentioned or indicated in the itinerary
  • Any camera or video fees charged at sites
  • Personal expenses for souvenirs, laundry, phone calls etc
  • Tips & Gratuities
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Desert Wonders of Wadi Rum

If you would like to sign up, or have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to get in touch with me (Daniel) on the below details!

 For more details or to book aboard contact us now by calling (02) 4421 5577 or email daniel@mytravelexpert.com.au

 

 

 

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