Explore Ancient Egypt with a local who has qualifications in Egyptology and archaeology, the perfect person to illuminate the mysteries and marvels of places like Luxor and Aswan.. A three-night river cruise is an ideal way to experience the Nile. Alight at temples, cool off in the onboard pool and relax on the sun deck while local life goes by.. Geta a comprehensive view of Ancient Egypt with a mixture of iconic sights like the temples of Abu Simbel and lesser-known wonders like the inscriptions on Elephantine Island.. Enjoy a traditional dinner with a local family, a unique way to learn about life in Egypt while feasting on a home-cooked meal.
Fascinated by the ancient gods, goddesses and tombs of Egypt? Look no further – this two-week trip was made for you. Beginning and ending in energetic Cairo, this tour takes you to the tombs of the nobles in Aswan and Luxor, the rock temples of Abu Simbel and the Abydos Temple, interspersed with time cruising the Nile and relaxed evenings mingling with Nubian locals. From the famous pyramids of Giza to the lesser-known Red and Bent Pyramids in Dashur, through the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis and along the winding Nile, your local leader (a knowledgeable Egyptologist and history buff), will take you on a journey through Egypt’s incredible past, landscapes and mythology.
Breakfast Included: 13 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 6
Welcome to Egypt! If you’re arriving at Cairo International Airport today, you'll be met there by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. There is nothing scheduled for today apart from an important welcome meeting at 6 pm with your leader and group. Check at the hotel reception for details.
After breakfast, begin your tour of the Pyramids at the Saqqara complex, located 30 kilometres south of Cairo. The ancient burial ground is home to the step-shaped Pyramid of Djoser, constructed more than 4500 years ago. Continue to Dahshur by private vehicle, where you will see the famous Bent and Red Pyramids. With its smooth sides, the Red Pyramid marked an important departure from the step-shaped pyramids before it. Finally, explore Memphis, which functioned as the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.
Cairo – Overnight Train
Get set for another full day of sightseeing. Our first stop is Giza, home to the most iconic structures of ancient Egypt – the Pyramids and the Sphinx. You will have the chance to take an optional tour inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), but please note this is occasionally closed. Next, visit the Egyptian Museum, where your expert guide will take you through the exhibits followed by some free time to explore on your own. You may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (this is optional and at extra cost). Later, return to your hotel to pack your things and transfer to the station for your overnight train to Aswan (approximately 10 hours).
After you arrive in Aswan and check in to your hotel this morning, pay a visit to Elephantine Island, situated on the Nile River. Here, you will see ancient Nile measuring tools called nilometres as well as inscriptions dated to the 17th Dynasty (about 3500 years ago). Finish with a walk though the colourful Nubian villages in the middle of the island. Next, visit the Tombs of the Nobles, a cluster of graves cut into the western bank of the Nile. This evening you will be invited to visit a Nubian village and enjoy the warm hospitality (and cuisine) of a local family. This is a unique chance to be immersed in local culture.
In the morning, take a felucca excursion to the beautiful Temple of Isis, which was 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 is free. The Nubian Bazaar and the Nubian Museum are both great options. Or perhaps you’d prefer to relax by the waterfront? Chat to your leader for advice on how to spend your free day.
Abu Simbel – Nile Cruise
This morning take a short flight (approximately 45 minutes) from Aswan to Abu Simbel, where you’ll explore the magnificent twin temples, commissioned by Ramses II. The Great Temple is guarded by four gargantuan statues of Ramses and is definitely one of Egypt's most memorable sights. Return from Abu Simbel and transfer to the port, where you will embark on your Nile cruise.
Morning finds you moored near Komombo. Take a short walk around the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god). Sitting picturesquely on the river's edge, the temple provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period. Later, continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sun deck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working the land.
Spend another day cruising the Nile, with plenty of time to relax and watch life go by. Arrive in Luxor late this afternoon and spend a final night on board the boat.
This morning, disembark the boat and transfer to your hotel. Later, head to Karnak, one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes. A guided tour of the temple will reveal its finest sections. Next is Luxor Temple, dedicated to the gods Amun, Mut and Khonsu. Luxor Temple was the focus of one of the most important religious festivals in ancient Egypt – the annual Opet festival. Although the mudbrick houses and palaces of ancient Thebes have long since vanished, the stone temples are a poignant reminder of what life would have been like in Pharaonic Egypt. Stay for sunset and enjoy the changing colours of the temple and ambiance of the modern-day Nile cornice. For the rest of the evening you are free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
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'll visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. Later, visit the West Bank of Luxor, home to the Medinet Habu Temple. Dating back to the New Kingdom, it was one of the earliest temples where the ancient Egyptian god Amun was worshipped.
Today, drive north of Luxor (approximately 3 hours) to the Abydos Temple, the place where Osiris – god of the nderworld – is believed to be buried. The temple was built by King Seti I, probably one of the least known pharaohs of the New Kingdom period. Despite this fact, Abydos is among the best preserved and most impressive religious structures in all of Egypt. Later, visit Dendera and the Temple of Hathor, located approximately 60 kilometres north of Luxor. Your evening is free.
Luxor – Cairo
Visit Deir al-Medina, an ancient village located on the West Bank of Luxor. During the 18th–20th Dynasties it housed the artisans and workmen who built and decorated the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The workers also built their own – much smaller – tombs in the area. Next, head to Luxor's own 400 Tombs of the Nobles. The inscriptions inside the tombs are taken from the Book of the Dead and were to guide the nobles through to the afterlife. Later in the day, transfer to the airport and take a short flight back to Cairo with your group. Your evening is free.