Experience for yourself arguably the most iconic monuments ever created – the pyramids of Ancient Egypt – where a guide will impart their history and significance. Discover one of the world’s oldest stone constructions, the Pyramid of Djoser, while exploring the ancient burial grounds of Saqqara. Cairo’s Khan al-Khalili Bazaar is an essential Egyptian experience – interact with locals, take in the 14th-century architecture, and lose yourself in the colours and aromas of this fascinating marketplace. Draw on the expertise of a local guide while enjoying the flexibility of independent travel
This short trip takes you to some of the world’s most iconic archaeological relics, from the treasures of Tutankhamun to the famous pyramids of Giza. As well as visiting the burial grounds of Saqqara – one of Egypt’s largest ancient archaeological sites – you’ll have plenty of time to wander the streets of Cairo and explore its bustling and historic souk.
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Experiences are a range of short ‘mini tours’ that you can add to other Experiences or as an extension to a longer tour, to craft your perfect holiday itinerary. Independent Experiences are for 1-4 travellers, come accompanied by a local Peregrine guide and depart daily.
Before booking on this trip we recommend that you read the ‘Safety’ section in the trip notes regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.
Breakfast Included: 3 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
This Cairo Independent Experience begins with an arrival transfer – you will be met by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Cairo at any time. You will be met by your hotel by your guide, who will be able to offer you suggestions for your free time and help you out with whatever you need, including the best places to eat nearby. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can perhaps be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. In free time perhaps get out and explore the traffic-filled streets of this city of contrasts, where you can see donkey carts and expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls.
Notes: Please provide your arrival at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel, to organise the transfer.
This morning you will drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the most iconic structures ever created by man – the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. Explore pyramids that have withstood the ravages of 4,500 years, and for an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), although occasionally it may be closed to visitors. See the ‘Sphinx’, whose name comes from the Ancient Greeks after the legendary creature of Thebes that posed riddles to passers-by and slew those who answered wrongly. These major monuments were built on the Giza plateau that overlooks the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis, which sits across the river from modern day Cairo. The pharaohs and priests built vast temple complexes here and constructed cemeteries on the desert hills to the west and east of Memphis. You will continue out to one of Memphis' necropolises, Saqqara, where your guide will explain the significance of the various temples and colonnades. The site is the location of many royal and high prestige burials, and at the centre of the complex is the step pyramid of King Djoser. It’s believed to be over 5,000 years old and is a predecessor to great pyramids of Giza; a stepping-stone between older flat-roofed rectangular burial sites and the later perfect pyramids. Nearby you will visit the tombs of the nobles, containing exquisite bas-reliefs depicting everyday life in ancient times. At the conclusion of your visit you will return to Cairo.
After breakfast this morning you will visit the Egyptian Museum, simply one of the world's great museums. It is home to a stupendous collection of antiquities and the perfect introduction to your tour, exhibiting many of the region's treasures. It was founded by the archaqeologiust Auguste Mariette in the late 19th century; Mariette began his Egyptology career by excavating the temple at Saqqara in the 1850s, which lead to years of unearthed statues, bronze tablets, intact sarcophagi, and the clearing of the sands around the Sphinx. You will visit the museum (a new building constructed to accommodate the 12,000 items and opened in 2015) and take an audio tour that will guide you through Egypt's rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (optional and at extra cost). Just some of the highlights include the Tutankhamum exhibition, the Amarna Room, and the Old Kingdom Rooms. After the museum you can dive into another layer of Egyptian history, Medieval Cairo, by heading to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo's oldest mosque, and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. It retains a distinctly medieval feel. You will explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market). The gorgeous 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest in Egypt, possibly its most beautiful too. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas and vaunting a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia; a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period.
Your Cairo exploration comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned until your included departure transfer to the airport or train station.
Notes: Additional accommodation is available to extend your stay, or you may like to add on another of our Independent Experiences or Urban Adventures in Egypt.