Summary

Destinations: Middle East
  • Trip code: AED
  • Activity: Culture, Cultural Wonders
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 4 - 20
Leisurely

Travel the length of Eygpt and explore its history, food and landscapes.

Few countries can rival Egypt’s wealth of magnificent archaeological sites, with the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza ranking as two of the most recognisable in the world. It is a place like no other and on this two-week itinerary we explore its treasures across the length of the country. In the north there is the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and El Alamein, the site of the famous Second World War battle. Cairo’s attractions are world famous but on this itinerary we also experience the bazaars and culinary delights on a food tour. Journeying south by sleeper train we reach the Nubian city of Aswan where we board our Nile cruise boat and discover the monuments and temples all the way to Luxor.

Key information
  • 8 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels, 3 nights on a cruise boat and 1 night sleeper train
  • Travel by private minibus, cruise boat and sleeper train
  • Abu Simbel Sun Festival departure
Activities
  • 8 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels, 3 nights on a cruise boat and 1 night sleeper train
  • Travel by private minibus, cruise boat and sleeper train
  • Abu Simbel Sun Festival departure
Highlights
  • Visit tombs in the Valley of the Kings

    The Mediterranean port city of Alexandria

    Sightseeing on a Nile River cruise

    Guided food tour in Cairo

What's included
  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches,  5 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
    Food

    All breakfasts , 6 lunches and 5 dinners included.

    In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day.  We suggest you allow GBP60-90 (approx. . USD100-140) for meals not included. Food in Egypt involves such things as kebabs, chicken, stews, pitta-bread, felafel, beans, aubergine and other vegetables, pickles, salads. Dishes tend to be simple and wholesome and vegetarians can be catered for if they accept that the options may be somewhat limited.

Highlights

  • Visit tombs in the Valley of the Kings

    The Mediterranean port city of Alexandria

    Sightseeing on a Nile River cruise

    Guided food tour in Cairo

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
11 Oct 2019
23 Oct 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 26300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
25 Oct 2019
06 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 25200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
01 Nov 2019
13 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Limited Availability)
R 25400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Nov 2019
27 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 25200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
29 Nov 2019
11 Dec 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 26200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
24 Jan 2020
05 Feb 2020
Guaranteed (Available)
R 25600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Feb 2020
26 Feb 2020
Guaranteed (Limited Availability)
R 27500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
06 Mar 2020
18 Mar 2020
Guaranteed (Available)
R 26000
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
09 Oct 2020
21 Oct 2020
Available
R 26000
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
30 Oct 2020
11 Nov 2020
Available
R 26000
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
27 Nov 2020
09 Dec 2020
Available
R 26000
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
18 Dec 2020
30 Dec 2020
Available
R 28800

Reviews

Seeing more of Egypt

I had visited Egypt before, but wanted the opportunity to see Alexandria, nmore of Cairo, and aspects of Aswan which I had missed due to gut problems. nPlus Luxor is always worth seeing. So the trip worked well for me.

Rating 4
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Old Cairo, Al Moaz street and Al Azhar park are a welcome contrast to the nvast and dusty city. The food tour is fun, and gives a chance to walk the ndowntown streets. And the people really are genuinely friendly and welcoming.nThe (old) Egyptian and (new) Nubian museums are excellent.nThe Nile cruise is a great experience, seeing landscapes and lifestyles which nseem not to have changed for thousands of years.nThe tombs in the Valley of the Kings now have much better lighting and nfooting than before, making them more interesting and revealing to visit.nThe temples of Luxor and Karnak are awe inspiring sites.nAnd the hotels in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor are good, with great swimming pools!

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Sayed is knowledgeable, professional and very helpful. He is as informative nabout modern Egypt as he is about ancient Egypt, while constantly fixing nthings for us behind the scenes.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Days 6 and 7 are very (maybe too) full, with no chance to shower or change nuntil after dinner on Day 7, before a very early start on day 8.nThe sleeper train has 2 berth compartments and is a better experience than in nmost countries.nTake food and hand hygiene seriously and you'll be fine - none of our group nhad any real stomach problems.nAlcohol is rarely available outside the hotels and boat.nWifi is usually unavailable, and unreliable even when paid for.nUpgrade in Luxor - for $24 you can get a balcony and views over the Nile to nthe Valley of the Kings, plus watching the hot air balloons rising in the ndawn.nEven in March you may need warm clothes for Egypt!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • This trip is an opportunity to see more of Egypt, as well as the incredible nhighlights. Day 7 needs a rethink though, especially the mass tourism nexperience of joining other groups being processed through the Nubian n'village' and souvenir stalls. Maybe more time on the felucca and time at the nhotel for people to refresh and maybe swim?

A totally memorable experience

We normally organise our own visits but for a destination such as Egypt we nfelt it important to put our trust in professionals ... and our faith In nExodus was well-rewarded. The itinerary was full-on but packed with such nvariety and richness that it left us quite overwhelmed. By the end we felt nwe had not only visited a huge number of outstanding sites of world nimportance but also come to know and understand a country that has played and ncontinues to play a major role within the world.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Impossible to choose one but amongst themn- experiencing the thrill of witnessing the rising sun shining on the ninnermost statues at Abu Simbel just as ancient Egyptians had thousands of nyears ago ... a sense of shared experience across millennian- cruising down the Nile and watching ordinary lives unfold in the timeless nriverside sceneryn- being overwhelmed by the scale and magnitude of the temples and their art

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Outstanding. Not only did Sayed demonstrate a huge depth of knowledge based non his study of Egyptology but he gave us daily insight into the lives of nordinary Egyptians and the culture of the country of which he was so rightly nproud. In today's often divided world he gave us all an example of how nmeaningful communication can lead to a far greater understanding of different ncultures and religions and promote world harmony. He also tended to nindividual needs, was patient and empathetic and made us all feel valued nwithin the group. . A wonderful ambassador for his country, his culture and nhis religion.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • When applying for a visa make sure you use the correct website (Visa2Egypt) nas there are numerous other ones that look authentic but charge a huge ncommission (about 300%!!).nCheck arrangements for obtaining money carefully. We would suggest budgeting nfor at least u00a3250 - u00a3300 per person to cover cost of general tips / tip to nleader, optional visits (irresistible!), additional meals and purchases. nEgyptian currency can be obtained from ATMs (with a charge) or you can take nu00a3s and exchange them in banks. When in banks try to get small coins to navoid embarrassment in loos (when you have nothing for the person handing out nthe paper!!).nBe very clear about what is covered by the tipping kitty proposed by Exodus nand when additional tips might be necessary.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • We would not hesitate to recommend this trip to others and, in fact, have nalready done so! We are already considering our next trip with Exodus as a nresult of our good experiences.

Monumental Egyptian Odyssey

Another excellent Exodus adventure. I was pleasantly surprised that we were nfully occupied every day with tours and activities. Temples, tombs, mosques, nmonastery, local baths, perfumery, pottery, animal sanctuary, papyrus ninstitute, museums, war graves and souqs. We used all forms of transport n(luxury coach, horse and carriage, felucca, cruise boat, sleeper train, ncamel, power boat, plane). Truly a memorable trip, so much fascinating nhistory, colossal architecture and lovely weather too!

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • We had the privilege of enjoying the moment when the sunrise reaches far ninside the temple at Abu Simbel and lights up the statues of Ramses II n(pharaoh), Ra (sun god) and Amun (king of the gods). Only the statue of Ptah n(god of darkness), remains in shadow. This only happens twice each year. We nhad to wild-camp (many thanks to our tour guide for organising blankets, npillows and breakfast boxes for us all) just outside the temple for 4 hours nto wait for the moment but it was well worth the wait.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Sayed Mansour is a true legend, Egyptologist, organiser, friend of many and nhas the patience of a saint.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Be prepared for full days, never a dull moment and a surprise round every ncorner.nIf you are travelling in February then take warm clothes for the north and nlighter clothes for the south.nBe firm but polite with street vendors.nEat like a local, their food is amazing.nTake a Steripen and your own water bottle so you can sterilise tap water ninstead of buying plastic bottles of water.

Sun festival at Abu Simbel

The tour was very well thought out and organised. We had a full programme of nseeing temples, tombs and the way Egyptian people lived. There was never a nspare moment.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The sunrise at Abu Simbel.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Our group leader, Sayed Matour, was excellent. We could not have asked for nmore. He spoke excellent English, had an amazing knowledge of Ancient Egypt, nwas charming and coped with every situation in the nicest, calm manor. He norganised everything brilliantly even procuring thick blankets for everybody nwho was queuing for hours to be the first to see the sunrise in the temple of nAbu Simbel. And we were there in time to see it.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Make sure you are fit enough to climb into and out of all the tombs .

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I would have liked a meal waiting for us at the first hotel, the Pyramid nParks resort, when we arrived at 11 pm, not having had anything to eat since nthe flight. And the restaurant itself was closed by now.

Accommodation

Cruise Boat, Sleeper Train & Hotels

We use comfortable 4/5 star hotels (Egyptian Classification) on a twin-share basis. The Basma Hotel in Aswan is located on the East Bank on Aswan's highest hill, directly opposite the famous Nubian museum. All the rooms have balconies with views of the Nile or the surrounding desert. The facilities in the rooms and in the hotel itself are excellent, including a choice of bars and restaurants, a huge swimming pool and all set amid well-maintained gardens. In Cairo we typically use the Pyramids Park Hotel which is located close to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. The hotel has 25 acres of lush gardens as well as a gym and swimming pool. All rooms are en suite. *Cruise boat* We sail the Nile on the M/S Mirage. This cruise boat offers impressive service and great facilities including a swimming pool, a sun deck, gift shop, leasure and sports facilities, restaurant and a sundeck bars. Wi-Fi is available at a cost of $20 (subject to change). *Sleeper Train* We use first-class cabins with shared bathroom facilities.

Single rooms are available on request.

Essential Info

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts , 6 lunches and 5 dinners included.

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day.  We suggest you allow GBP60-90 (approx. USD100-140) for meals not included. Food in Egypt involves such things as kebabs, chicken, stews, pitta-bread, felafel, beans, aubergine and other vegetables, pickles, salads. Dishes tend to be simple and wholesome and vegetarians can be catered for if they accept that the options may be somewhat limited.

Meals on the cruise are open buffets that include Western and Egyptian dishes.

The Cairo food tour gives us the chance to try a number of Egyptian dishes such Ful Medames (which is a mixture of beans and tehini) and Kushari (a dish made of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed with garlic, tomato, chickpeas and crispy fried onions).

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded as grade 1 (leisurely.) Leisurely grade trips are suitable for all clients with average health and fitness. No experience of any activity involved is necessary.

Some days involve early starts but this allows us to get the most from our time in Egypt and avoid the worst of the heat.

Egypt can be hot, especially during our summer, which can cause discomfort whilst travelling. Care should be taken to keep hydrated. The hottest months tend to be June to September when temperatures can reach as high as 38 to 40ºC in the south of the country.

The hotels and cruise boat that we use on this trip are of a high standard, providing excellent levels of comfort. The night on the sleeper train is in first-class cabins with shared bathroom facilities.

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start Cairo.

The group flight usually arrives in Cairo this evening. The welcome briefing will either take place this evening or tomorrow morning. *Pyramids Park Resort Hotel or similar*

Day 2

Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza.

We begin our day with a visit to the Pyramids at Giza. Home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus and the enduring and mysterious Great Sphinx, these great monuments to the afterlife defy the imagination. Only the throng of sightseers, Egyptian and foreign, milling around their huge foundations, keep the viewer in the 21st century. The afternoon is free to relax at our hotel, explore Cairo or join an optional excursion to Saqqara, Memphis, and Dahshur. *Pyramids Park Resort Hotel or similar*

Day 3

Cairo tour.

After breakfast we enjoy a full day tour of Cairo. We begin with a visit to the Egyptian Museum – home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts including the incredible golden riches of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Following this piece of history, we experience modern Cairo with a tour of the El Darb El Ahmar School for Arts and a walk along the bustling El Moaz Street. We also explore Al Azhar mosque which dates back to AD970 and is Cairo’s oldest. The mosque is still frequently visited by locals to this day and we will need to cover up (long sleeves and trousers) to enter – as when entering all mosques. Women will also need to cover their hair with a scarf. *Pyramids Park Resort Hotel or similar*

Day 4

Transfer to Alexandria, city tour.

Today we have a journey of 3-4hrs to Alexandria. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331BC, the city was home to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and it’s Great Library was the largest of its time. Unfortunately, these parts of Egypt’s glorious history did not survive up to modern times but there is still much to see in this Mediterranean port city. Our tour begins with a visit of the city’s catacombs followed by the impressive Qaidbay Fortress and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Alexandria’s revival of the Great Library. *Mediterranean Azur Hotel or similar*

Day 5

Visit El Alamein and El Anba Bishoy Monastery; return to Cairo.

We have an early morning drive to El Alamein, the site of the famed allied victory during World War Two, where we will visit the War Cemetery and Military Museum. More than 80,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in the two battles. It was a decisive win for the Allies with Winston Churchill saying, “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat”. After lunch we stop by El Anba Bishoy Monastery on our return to Cairo. *Pyramids Park Resort Hotel or similar*

Day 6

Food tour of Cairo; transfer to sleeper train.

Today we embark on a food tour of Cairo’s restaurants and discover some of the fantastic local cuisine available across the city. The tour also includes the bazaars of Khan el-Khalili located in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo. This evening we transfer to the railway station and board our sleeper train to Aswan. *Sleeper train.*

Day 7

Arrive Aswan; Nubian tour and Felucca ride.

Arriving in Aswan during the morning, we spend the rest of the day exploring the Nubian way of life. We begin with a visit to the Nubian Museum, which chronologically charts the history and culture of the people, followed by a tour of the Monastery of St. Simeon by camel. Following this we move on to the nearby Nubian village of Gharb Sohil and enjoy a spot of lunch at a local guesthouse. We finish our day exploring the Nile and the surrounding landscape by Felucca – the traditional sailboats of the Egyptian Nile. Dinner will be on board the Felucca. *Basma Hotel or similar *

Day 8

Optional visit to Abu Simbel; board cruise boat.

This morning we transfer to our cruise boat and have some time to relax before enjoying lunch on board. For the rest of the day there is the option to explore the Aswan market or attend the Sound and Light Show at Philae Temple. For those who want to do the optional visit to Abu Simbel, the tour starts at approximately 3.30am when we get picked up from the hotel. A breakfast box is provided. Around 8am we will arrive at the destination, where we are given around three hours to visit the temples. Built by Ramses II, the temples of Abu Simbel rank amongst the most impressive in the country and well worth the journey south across the Nubian Desert. We will be back in Aswan around 3pm. For our Sun Festival departures, the visit to Abu Simbel is included. The festival is a bi-annual event that has been taking place for over 3200 years. During the celebrations the sun perfectly aligns with the usually dark interior and lights up the seated statues of Ramses II, the sun god, Ra and the king of the gods, Amun. Only the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, remains in the shadows. There are traditional Nubian dances being performed, street food everywhere (save stomach space for some fresh koshari) and live music outside the temple. *M/S Mirage or similar*

Day 9

Visit Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam; sail to Edfu.

We begin today with a visit to the Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam. In the 1970s the temple was relocated by UNESCO to Aglika Island after it became evident that the original site of Philae would submerge on completion of the dam. This morning represents a magnificent and enduring testament to both ancient and modern engineering. After lunch we sail to Kom Ombo and visit the temple there before continuing our journey to Edfu which is where we will spend the night. *M/S Mirage or similar*

Day 10

Tour Edfu; sail to Luxor.

Waking in Edfu, we start our day exploring the city and its temples before sailing further north along the Nile. After crossing the Esna lock we reach our destination, Luxor where we will have our final dinner on board and hopefully witness a stunning sunset over the river. *M/S Mirage or similar*

Day 11

Disembark in Luxor; explore the Valley of the Kings.

After breakfast on board we disembark in Luxor and explore the Valley of the Kings. For nearly 500 years this was the site of royal burials and it contains the tombs of over 62 Pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Seti I, Ramses III and IV. One ticket allows us to see three tombs. The ticket usually allows entry into what are regarded as the most impressive tombs, but if you have time a visit to the tomb of Ramses VI is also highly recommended. Visits to tombs are now strictly controlled to halt further deterioration of wall paintings – each tomb is periodically closed for a number of weeks. Afterwards we visit the massive stone statues of the Colossi of Memnon before transferring to hotel.  The rest of the day is free to relax or wander around the streets of Luxor. *Iberotel Luxor or similar*

Day 12

Luxor tour including Karnak and Luxor temples.

For our penultimate day we have a half day tour of Luxor’s east bank. Luxor is commonly called the world’s greatest open-air museum and this morning we visit the extraordinary Karnak and Luxor temples which both stand within the modern city. After a leisurely afternoon we enjoy our final dinner together at one of this historic city’s local restaurants. *Iberotel Luxor or similar*

Day 13

End Luxor.

Our trip ends today. Those on the group flights will be taken to airport for the flight to London.

Map