Explore the wonders of Ancient Egypt as you marvel at pyramids, discover temples, stroll through medieval streets, bustle in bazaars and cruise down the majestic River Nile. Your own private Egyptologist will be on hand to unravel all the mysteries of classical Egypt as you follow in archaeologist Howard Carter’s footsteps and peek inside Tutankhamun’s final resting place in the Valley of the Kings.
Holiday Length: 10 days
Days 1 to 3: Cairo
You will be met at at Cairo International Airport and take you to Fairmont Nile City, a centrally located hotel with views of the mighty river, the bustling city and the pyramids of Giza.
On day 2 you will plunge straight into the ancient world with a trip to Sakkara. Here there are hundreds of tombs and among the 14 pyramids is the oldest stone structure in the world: the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Having served your appetiser today’s main course is some of the most iconic monuments in the world. At the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids the ancient stonemasons’ feat of engineering will leave you speechless.
On day 3 a trip to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities will reveal the ancient mummies and opulent burial treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb. You can explore the maze of medieval alleys in Cairo’s Old Town and visit Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, home to hundreds of tightly packed stalls selling a huge array of goods.
Day 4: Cairo to Luxor
Hop on a plane to Luxor and myriad more ancient wonders await you. The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV will transport you down the meandering Nile, past treasures and temples and ethereal landscapes. This will be your home for the next seven nights.
Day 5: The Nile is the perfect vantage point from which to appreciate the wonders of this ancient land. The banks of the river have set the scene for daily life for thousands of years, and today it can seem as though nothing has changed. Dendera is home to the Ptolemaic Temple of Hathor, complete with underground passages and pillars covered in inscriptions. Later, enjoy dinner on board, accompanied by traditional Egyptian dance. Note, this day may be done overland if water levels are low.
Day 6 & 7: Luxor – Kom Ombo – Aswan
The Sun Boat IV will head south today, past the city of Esna, with its ancient Temple of Khnum. You’ll reach the Temple of Horus at Edfu, dedicated to the falcon-headed god. After a day’s sightseeing, head back to the cool environs of the cruiser at Kom Ombo, for a delicious Egyptian supper.
Today you’ll head for Aswan and the Temple of Philae on Agilkia Island. The temple didn’t start life here – it was moved when the Aswan Dam was constructed across the Nile, flooding its original home. Watching the sun set over the Nile from the deck of the Sun Boat IV has to be the perfect way to round off the day.
Day 8 & 9: Aswan – Kom Ombo
You get the chance to explore beautiful, ancient Aswan today. Right on the river, this city has been a place of strategic importance since antiquity. Today you can peruse its vibrant souks and take shade under the palm trees. Catch a single-sail felucca and visit some of the small islands around here, which are home to some important ruins.
We head back up the river and the Temple Kom Ombo now, home of 300 mummified crocodiles dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god. When you return to the Sun Boat IV this evening, take your time relaxing and getting ready for dinner – an Egyptian banquet awaits.
Day 10: Nom Ombo – Luxor
We’re coming to the end of the trip, but there’s still much to see and do. Your Egyptologist will guide you through the Temple of Karnak. After lunch, you’ll visit the Valley of the Kings, where Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered nearly 100 years ago. Over at the Valley of the Queens is the resting place of the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut.
Day 11: Luxor – UK
After breakfast, you’ll be transported to the airport so you can catch your flight back to the UK.
Best time to go: September to May
Price: From £2,325pp
The price shown is a guide – based on two people sharing and generally includes economy flights. Your holiday will be tailor-made to suit you and there are many factors that can influence the price, such as standard of accommodation, class of flight and time of year. Please do provide us with your chosen dates and we can provide a more accurate cost – 01428 658777
NB: Gemma took a very similar trip in October 2017. She stayed 2 nights in Cairo at the Four Seasons First Residence followed by 3 nights cruise on the Sun Boat IV – a shorter itinerary to above. This itinerary would be from £1,775pp