A day spent among the incredible Pyramids of Giza is only the beginning. Discover the mighty Valley of the Kings, spend a spectacular morning in Abu Simbel and see both sides of Kom Ombo Temple.. A four-night river cruise is an ideal way to experience the Nile. Rest and relax on the sun deck and in the pool while local riverside life streams by.. Discover the traditions and cuisines of Egypt with an included meal at a local family home, plus a memorable evening with a Nubian community, full of food and dancing.. Cairo’s Khan al-Khalili Bazaar is an essential Egyptian experience, and you’ll have plenty of time to lose yourself in the colours and aromas of this fascinating marketplace.
The cruising route along the Nile is home to ancient wonders, desert landscapes and snapshots of everyday Egyptian life. Take to the Nile Valley on a nine-day Peregrine adventure by river, road and air, visiting the mighty pyramids of Giza, ancient temples of Abu Simbel, Aswan’s vibrant waterfront corniche and Cairo’s bustling Khan al-Khalili Bazaar. Spend an evening with a Nubian community and another with a local Egyptian family for a meal and have plenty of time dedicated to your own independent discoveries in each destination. An ancient past that has led to a colourful present – Egypt is a traveller’s dream.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 4 Dinner Included: 7
Welcome to Cairo! On arrival at the airport, take an included transfer to your hotel. You are free to arrive at any time today before an important welcome meeting, held at 6 pm. If you do arrive early, perhaps get out and explore the busy streets, finding a hole-in-the-wall eatery for a snack like ta’ameya – Egypt’s take on falafel. After your welcome meeting, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers, perhaps enjoy an optional dinner with the group. While your hotel may not serve alcohol, there are a number of great options for food and drink in the surrounding Zamalek area.
Cairo – Overnight Train
This morning, tour the mighty Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx with your small group. Seeing these structures up close is captivating, and for an additional charge, you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops). After stopping to purchase some lunch, continue to the Egyptian Museum – home to an incredible array of artefacts and antiquities. Your expert leader, who is a trained Egyptologist, will take you through some of Egypt’s dynastic history, and will have plenty of time to explore on your own – perhaps purchasing a pass into the Royal Mummy Room. Afterwards, return to your hotel to freshen up before transferring to the railway station for a comfortable overnight sleeper train to Luxor.
After an early breakfast on board, arrive into Luxor. It's a vibrant place with an excellent bazaar, situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important sites. Travel to Karnak – one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes built over a period of some 200 years, and some of it dating back to 2055 BC. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. Later today, transfer to your Nile cruise boat, which will be your home for the next four nights. You can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town. For the rest of the afternoon and evening, you are free to relax, shop in the bazaar or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
Valley of the Kings – Luxor – Nile Cruise
Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, and you'll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. Enjoy lunch on return to the boat and relax on deck as you set sail from Luxor to Edfu, taking most of the afternoon and evening (approximately 1 pm to 11 pm), and passing through Esna Lock on the way.
This morning, you will be moored near Edfu and may have the option to venture independently into town to see the nearby temple. Continue along the river, relaxing in the sun on deck and taking in the desert hills forming a backdrop over the lush riverbanks. This afternoon, arrive at Kom Ombo Temple, sitting spectacularly on the river’s edge. The temple was built in approximately 181 BC and is dedicated to two gods – Horus (god of protection) and Sobek (god of fertility, linked to the Nile’s water). Each god has a dedicated section – north or south – and there have been recent discoveries of mummified crocodiles in the Sobek section. Afterwards, board your boat around 6 pm and continue to Aswan, arriving at around 9.30 pm.
Explore Aswan today – Egypt's southernmost city. Its relaxed charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on time, you might visit the beautiful Temple of Isis – the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom – rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island. It's a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. The rest of your day will be free to wander, and Aswan is a great place for it. The Nubian Bazaar and the Nubian Museum are both recommended. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. Watch the waterfront come alive at dusk, with people strolling and socialising all evening.
Depart early this morning and visit the iconic Abu Simbel by plane. With four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. After your return, the rest of the day is free for you to make your own discoveries. A popular option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively, travel to the Monastery of St Simeon – an abandoned seventh-century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. You might even prefer to simply relax by the hotel pool or do some shopping in the local bazaar. Your group leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions. In the evening, visit a Nubian village with your group and enjoy the warm hospitality and cuisine of this local community. After dinner, watch some traditional Nubian dancing, perhaps attempting some moves yourself!
After breakfast, transfer to Aswan Airport for a short flight back to Cairo (approximately 1.5 hours) where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Drop your luggage and head with your group to the Al-Azhar neighbourhood to visit Khan al-Khalili Bazaar – a sprawling maze of alleyways with myriad products on sale, including the gold market, cloth market, 'perfume street' and the spice market. Continue to the ninth-century Ibn Tulun Mosque – one of the oldest and largest in Egypt. 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 with a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. Stop off for an Arabic coffee or mint tea, and in the evening, share a meal with a family, gaining an insight into local Egyptian life.
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 pm (midday) and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. If you would like to spend more time in Cairo, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).