Day 1: Australia – – Cairo
Make your way to the airport at the appropriate time in order to catch your flight to the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Day 2: Cairo
You have arrived in Egypt! You will be met upon arrival at Cairo International Airport and transferred to the hotel for check in.
Day 3: Cairo (B, D)
The group is picked up after breakfast at the hotel and is taken on a guided tour to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. The Egyptian Museum is brimming with a dazzling collection of ancient artefacts and antiquities, chronicling the history of the country. Among some of the Museum’s most famous pieces are those found in The Royal Mummies Hall and the King Tutankhamun Collection. Move towards the site of arguably Egypt’s most iconic sight – the Pyramids of Giza – afterwards and have lunch in the area. You then visit the Pyramids and the neighbouring Great Sphinx – a truly unforgettable experience getting up close to these magnificent structures! Return to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. The group heads out to the Zamalek neighbourhood and a local restaurant for a dinner of authentic Egyptian cuisine.
Please note that traffic conditions on the day may mean the visits may happen in reverse order.
Day 4: Cairo – Alexandria – Cairo (B)
It is an early start this morning as the group makes the drive from Cairo to the seaside city of Alexandria. This is the second-largest city in Egypt and was founded by Alexander the Great. Its lighthouse was famously one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World until it was destroyed by several earthquakes. Upon arrival in Alexandria, you will be taken on a guided tour of the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, the Roman Amphitheatre and the new Library of Alexandria. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant before setting out on the return drive back to Cairo (between two to three hours).
Day 5: Cairo (B)
A full-day tour of Old Cairo, or Coptic Cairo, waits for you after breakfast. The area is rich with important religious sites. Among these landmarks is Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church (also known as Abu Serga), one of the oldest Coptic churches in Egypt and believed to have been built on the site where Joseph, Mary and an infant Jesus Christ once visited. Another site is the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, the first Islamic mosque in Egypt. There is also a synagogue to see. Later on in the afternoon there is a walk around the Old Town, along El Moez Street and to Khan El Khalili Market.
Day 6: Cairo (B)
Learn more about Islamic Cairo with today’s outing. This escorted trip takes you to Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, Mosque of Ibn Tulun, and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. You have the evening as free time on your return to the hotel.
Day 7: Cairo – – Aswan (B)
You will be taken to the airport to catch a one-way flight from Cairo to Aswan, a city in the south of Egypt. A transfer takes you to West Aswan and to the location of the Nubian village where you will be spending the next two nights. The Nubians are a group indigenous to southern Egypt (as well as parts of Sudan). Use this afternoon to get your bearings around the village and settle in. There is also a guided tour to Heisa and Seheil Islands. These isles sit separate from the mainland and a visit here is excellent insight into traditional Nubian culture and way of life. You may even take up the chance to kayak around Heisa Island.
Day 8: Aswan – Abu Simbel – Aswan (B)
A morning tour takes you away from Aswan and to the unbelievable temples at Abu Simbel. This site boasts two temples carved into the mountainside – one dedicated to Ramesses II and the other to his queen, Nefertari. These astounding monuments were relocated in their entirety in 1968 upon the construction of the Aswan High Dam, and the richly adorned interiors remain in pristine condition. Return to Aswan in the afternoon.
Day 9: Aswan – Nile River Cruise (B, L, D)
There is opportunity for a lie-in and late breakfast this morning before checking out of the Nubian village and being transferred to the dock to meet your River Nile cruise ship. Lunch is served on-board and is followed by a visit to the Temple of Philae. Head back to Aswan to enjoy your first dinner aboard the cruise ship.
Day 10: Aswan – Kom Ombo – Edfu (B, L, D)
Your time in Aswan ends with a final visit to the High Dam site. You then sit down to lunch back on-board the ship as it begins its journey along the legendary River Nile towards Kom Ombo. The major lure of this town is the eponymous temple; unique for its ‘double’ design. The southern section of the temple is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god of fertility, while the northern portion of the temple is dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder. Spend time learning about the temple’s architecture and history before returning to the ship for lunch. Set a course for Edfu, arriving later tonight.
Day 11: Edfu – Luxor (B, L, D)
Visit the Temple of Edfu after breakfast. This is one of the best preserved shrines in Egypt and is dedicated to chief god, Horus. Continue to Luxor by bus and visit the famous sights of the East Bank, including the sprawling complex at Karnak and the Luxor Temples. The boat will meet you at port in Luxor and dinner is served aboard. Tonight is the final night of your Nile River cruise.
Day 12: Luxor – Hurghada (B)
Disembark the ship after breakfast, and head out to see Luxor’s West Bank. Among the sites on this side of the river are the Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatshepshut and the Colossi Memnon. A land transfer waits to take you to Hurghada afterwards. Hurghada is one of Egypt’s most popular resort towns, located on the picturesque shores of the Red Sea. Check into your beach resort upon arrival. Your stay at the resort in Hurghada is on a full-board basis.
Day 13: Hurghada (B)
There is no set itinerary today and you have the whole day as free time. You might make a beeline for the beach and while away the hours moving between a sunlounger and dips in the ocean. There is also an optional boat trip (additional cost applies) to the Red Seas Islands.
Day 14: Hurghada (B)
You have another day of total free time. You may choose to rent some snorkelling equipment to take a peek into the underwater world of the Red Sea, or landlubbers can continue to soak up some Vitamin D from atop a sunlounge.
Day 15: Hurghada – Cairo (B)
A private bus transfer takes you from Hurghada to Cairo. Enroute there is a stop at the Monastery of Saint Anthony. It is the oldest monastery in the world. Arrive back in Cairo in the afternoon and check into the hotel.
Day 16: Cairo – – Australia (B)
Breakfast is served at the hotel and a transfer will pick you up at the necessary time to take you to Cairo International Airport for your return flight home.
Day 17: Australia (B)
Arrive back in Australia today.