Day 1: Australia – – Cairo
Make your way to the airport and get ready to board a flight to Egypt to begin your incredible tour of Arabia.
Day 2: Cairo
Land at Cairo International Airport (CAI) where a hotel transfer will be waiting. Flights may arrive into Cairo at any time and you will have the rest of your day to explore the Egyptian capital at your leisure. Please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. Return to the hotel for a 6pm welcome meeting. Details for this meeting can be confirmed with hotel reception.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Cairo –– Luxor (B,D)
This morning sees the group tick off a bucket list experience: visiting the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza. These incredible man-made structures are an icon of Egypt and its culture. Travellers will have a chance to get up close to these wonders and, for a small fee, can head inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops). It is then onto the Egyptian Museum to wander between galleries and exhibits that showcase an incredible collection of antiquities, artefacts and local treasures. There is some free time before a transfer takes you to the railway station, where you board an overnight sleeper train bound for Luxor.
Your accommodation tonight is aboard this sleeper train. The two-berth cabins convert to bunk beds and all bedding is provided. There is a Western-style toilet located in each carriage. Meals are served in-cabin, however please note that it is worth bringing snacks or your own food if you have dietary requirements. Your tour leader can help organise this.
Day 4: Luxor – Embark on Nile Cruise (B,L,D)
The train rolls into Luxor in the early morning and an airline-style breakfast is served in your cabin. Discover Luxor today. This vibrant city features a bustling bazaar and is close to Karnak, the location of the eponymous temple complex that dates to 2055 BC. Upon your return to Luxor, a transfer takes you to the Nile cruise boat; your home for the next four nights. Settle into your cabin and begin to take advantage of the on-board facilities or disembark and continue exploring Luxor at your leisure.
Day 5: Valley of the Kings, Edfu (B,L,D)
Venture into the Valley of the Kings on an early morning excursion. This site holds more than 60 tombs and is home to Tutankhamun’s final resting place. Your guide will offer insight into the funerary rites of ancient Egyptians and some of the paintings and hieroglyphics around the complex. Visit three royal tombs, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. It is back to the boat for lunch and to set sail for Edfu. The voyage time for this journey is usually from 3pm to 11pm, however it varies depending on river traffic.
Day 6: Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan (B,L,D)
Wake in your cabin this morning to find the cruise moored near Edfu. The boat then continues its way up the Nile towards Kom Ombo. Expected arrival time is in the afternoon, so travellers can kick back on the sundeck and watch the passing landscape. Learn about the Kom Ombo temple upon arrival. It sits on the riverfront and is dedicated to two gods: Horus and Sobek. The boat embarks for Aswan at 6pm with an expected arrival time of 9.30pm.
Day 7: Aswan (B,L,D)
You have free time today to explore Aswan. This city has played an important strategic role in Egypt’s history and is also home to number of ruins and sites. Or, visitors may choose to wander through the Nubian Bazaar, stroll the promenade or relax with a cup of mint tea at a local cafe. Tonight is your final evening spent aboard the Nile river cruise.
Day 8: Aswan – Abu Simbel – Aswan (B)
Disembark from the cruise this morning and hop onto a private coach for a trip to the Abu Simbel temples. One of the most recognisable features of this site is the set of four statues of Ramses that guard the entrance to the Great Temple. Head back out onto the water this afternoon aboard a traditional Egyptian felucca for a joy ride to some of the nearby river islands. The rest of the day is free time.
Day 9: Aswan –– Cairo (B)
A transfer takes you to Aswan International Airport (ASW) where you will board a short flight back to Cairo. A transfer to your Cairo hotel will meet you on arrival. The group ventures out into Cairo following check in to discover a new facet to the city’s history: its medieval past. Roam between market stalls and alleyways in Al-Azhar, an area that is also known as ‘the Khan’. Also see the Mosque of Ibn Tulun.
Day 10: Cairo – Alexandria (B)
The tour travels along the desert road towards Alexandria today. This fabled city sits on the Mediterranean coast and was built at the behest of Alexander the Great. Experience an orientation tour on arrival and learn about Alexandria’s incredible history. There is also an opportunity to go underground and see the Kom ash-Shuqqafa catacombs, a Roman burial site that was uncovered by a lost donkey.
Day 11: Alexandria – El Alamin – Cairo (B,L)
Hear about Egypt’s more recent history today with an excursion to El Alamein. This region played a pivotal role in the North Africa campaign of World War II and there are now memorials, a cemetery and a museum commemorating the events that happened here. Return to Cairo in the afternoon.
Day 12: Cairo –– Amman (B)
Leave Egypt behind today as you are transferred to the airport and catch a flight to Amman, Jordan. The flight lands at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) and a hotel transfer will be waiting to greet you.
Day 13: Amman – Jerash – Amman (B)
Travel to Jerash today and discover its collection of Greco-Roman ruins, from archways and theatres to baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets.
Day 14: Amman – Dead Sea (B,D)
Enjoy time on the shores of the legendarily buoyant Dead Sea. This super salty lake is so dense that paddlers often struggle to submerge their heads below the water’s surface.
Day 15: Dead Sea – Wadi Rum (B,D)
Make for Wadi Rum today. This wild landscape is all sandstone mountains, desolate desert and wind-eroded rock formations. A jeep takes you deep into the region and you will enjoy lunch at the small village of Rum. There is some time to learn about the area at the visitor’s centre before a camel ride takes you to a Bedouin camp; your home for the night.
Day 16: Wadi Rum – Petra (B,D)
Wake up in the Bedouin camp this morning and strap on your shoes for a walk around the area. You may even scale a sand dune for better views. Then bundle into a 4WD for the trip back to Wadi Rum’s main entrance; it sits opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s novel. The tour continues to Petra.
Day 17: Petra (B,D)
Petra is arguably the symbol of Jordan. It is, after all, called the ‘Jewel of Jordan’ and features on many visitors’ must-visit lists. The lost city of the biblical Nabateans was only rediscovered in 1812 and is made up of dwellings hidden by intricately carved facades. Feel your jaw drop as you round the passageway and catch the first glimpse of the Treasury and follow your guide as you uncover Petra’s other pearls: the Monastery, amphitheatre and tombs. Spend the rest of the day discovering Petra at your leisure.
Day 18: Petra – Amman (B)
Such is Petra’s power that is deserves more than one visit. So, head back in the early morning to walk to the High Place of Sacrifice and see the old-world Crusader castle at Shobak. Seek out Dana, a village on the fringe of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, to browse wares from local artisans and then continue by car to Madaba. Return to Amman in the later afternoon and have the evening as free time.
Day 19: Amman – Jericho – Bethlehem – Jerusalem (B)
A transfer takes you to Allenby Bridge where the group crosses into Israel. The tour guide meets you once customs and immigration have been cleared. There is a quick orientation tour of Jericho before the group drives to Jerusalem. Check in at the hotel and then be taken to Bethlehem for a visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Walled Off Hotel. Return to Jerusalem in the evening.
Day 20: Jerusalem (B)
Take in the view of Jerusalem’s Old City from the Mount of Olives and visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. You will walk along the Way of the Cross on Via Dolorosa and the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter. Other sites on today’s sightseeing itinerary include Lions’ Gate (St. Stephen’s Gate), the Church of Saint Anne, the Church of Holy Sepulchre and the Four Sephardic Synagogues. This afternoon is free time.
Day 21: Jerusalem – Masada (Dead Sea) – Jerusalem (B)
Join your tour guide for the journey across the Judean Desert to Masada, the former fortress of King Herod. See where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran and return to Jericho to tick off the Mount of Temptations and the Zacchaeus’ sycamore tree. Tonight is spent back in Jerusalem.
Day 22: Jerusalem – Nazareth (B,L)
Today’s itinerary takes you to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. From there, continue to Tiberias to visit Tabgha, the site where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes. You will also stop at Capernaum before checking in at your hotel for the night.
Day 23: Nazareth – Tel Aviv (B)
An early start takes you out to Acre. This port city sits on the Mediterranean coast and is known for its Crusader history. See the buildings occupied by the Knights Hospitaller and the Templars’ secret tunnel. Admire the Bahai Gardens and Carmel Mountains in Haifa, and drive to Caesarea en route to Tel Aviv.
Day 24: Tel Aviv –– Australia (B)
A transfer takes you to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) for the flight back to Australia.
Please note that due to flight schedules, a stopover may be necessary in one of several European travel hubs to accommodate your homeward journey. Our well-trained team of professionals will ensure that you are on the most convenient route at all times.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way to your next travel arrangements.
Day 25: Australia
Arrive in Australia today.
Please note that some flights may arrive 1 day later.