Today is the start of your adventure through the holy lands. Included transfer from Cairo airport and hotel check in. The rest of the day is free to relax or those arriving early can opt to pre book our optional Backstreets of Cairo tour which departs the hotel at 10am today.
For those who wish to extend their stay, we also offer a pre tour Alexandria Day Trip.
Today we visit the Egyptian Museum for an informative guided tour. The Egyptian Museum holds a mind-boggling array of relics and antiquities from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history are housed in the museum, making it one of the foremost in the world. Arguably the most famous exhibit is the solid gold funerary mask of King Tutankhamun. Made of solid gold and weighing 11kg, the mask was found covering the head of mummy, where it lay inside a series of 3 sarcophagi. You can also opt to see also the Royal Mummies for a small additional fee, if you wish.
The rest of the day is at leisure, you may wish to visit the splendid souk of Khan el-Khalili or simply relax by the hotel pool. (B)
3 Pyramids of Giza
We start the day with a visit to the Giza Plateau to see the ancient Pyramids of Giza and the iconic Sphinx. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet's oldest tourist attraction! Next we explore the sand-strewn tombs and temples of the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, home to Zhoser's step pyramid. This evening we board an overnight sleeper train to Aswan. (B)
After arrival and check in in Aswan we enjoy a boat trip to Agilika Island where we visit the Temples of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. We stop at a perfume oil emporium on return to Aswan. Spend the remainder of the evening at your own leisure; shop in the colourful souqs or simply kick back and relax. (B)
5-6 Felucca Cruise
Optional early morning excursion by road to Abu Simbel, the famous rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage on the River Nile down stream, stopping along the way at local villages and islands. In the afternoon on day 5 we dock near Kom Ombo and take a motorboat to visit the temple before returning to the felucca for the night.
If sailing by felucca is not your style, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise, please see the tab above for prices. For more information about Nile Cruising please click here. (Bx2/Lx2/Dx2)
This morning we disembark and drive to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, an optional visit to the Temple of Luxor is available alternatively, enjoy the facilities of our hotel. (B)
Today we will be exploring the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs.
After lunch we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the stone papyrus columns. The rest of the evening is at leisure. (B)
Departing Luxor we head east to Hurghada part of the beautiful Red Sea Riviera for some beach time! (B)
Today can either be spent relaxing by the beach in Hurghada or on an optional boat trip to snorkel and swim at Giftun Island. Hurghada is one of the Red Sea's most popular resorts and it's the gateway to prime offshore reefs, which are some of the finest in the world. The resort also has an array of shops, restaurants and bars for evening entertainment. (B)
We have an early start this morning as we make our way to Hurghada airport. From here we'll fly to Amman via Cairo. Travellers need to independently book these flights at a personal cost (total flight cost approx USD$250 - $350) however, we can assist in booking these flights should you require. The flights to be booked are detailed in the tour Trip Notes. If your tour commences after 15 Apr 2020, please do not book this flight at this point in time.
Upon arrival into Amman we drive south to Petra arriving near sunset. Tonight you may wish to take a candlelight stroll through Petra's Siq….a romantic preview of things to come on, by joining the 'Petra By Night' excursion (book locally).
Please note this flight is not included and needs to be booked separately. Please see our Trip Notes for more details. (B)
To discover the archaeological treasures of Petra, we first take a walk through the winding cleft in the rock that is known as the Siq, before reaching the awe-inspiring Treasury. This rose red building actually served as a royal tomb, but got its name from the legend that pirates hid their treasure there. More amazing Nabataean and Roman ruins follow, including a huge 8000 seat amphitheatre and other Royal tombs and Mausoleums.
If you are feeling energetic, why not continue up the hillside along the ancient steps that take you to the Monastery, to take in the stunning views. Consider opting for our Petra Kitchen Add-on tonight. (B)
13 Wadi Rum
There is a chance to revisit Petra this morning before our afternoon drive to Wadi Rum. A vast, silent landscape of ancient riverbeds, pastel coloured stretches of sandy desert and amazing rock formations known as jebels that rise from the desert floor awaits. Boarding 4x4 jeeps, we take an exhilarating desert safari across the sand dunes, taking in the breathtaking scenery of Wadi Rum. Tonight, we enjoy a Jordanian dinner at our desert camp. (B/D)
14 Dead Sea
After breakfast at the campsite, we head north along the Desert Highway to visit Shobak Castle, which is perched dramatically on a hill top and was built by the Crusader king Baldwin I in 1115. After exploring the castle we descend some 1300 meters to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth's surface. More than 400 meters below sea level, the mineral-rich Dead Sea is the world's original health and beauty spa. Drift out and bob in the waters and slap on some of the famous black Dead Sea mud to give your skin an invigorating boost.
For departures between April and October we'll head up the King's Highway to Wadi Mujib. We'll embark on a moderate –paced two hour trek along the Siq Trail. Measuring 500 metres in depth and spanning 4 kilometres across, the impressive Wadi Mujib is one of Jordan's most remarkable natural features. This dramatic canyon features sheer rocky walls and sparkling waterways that range from puddle height to depths that are perfect for swimming (chest height or deeper) depending on the rainfall. When the water level is high you should be prepared for having to climb up ladders, clamber across boulders and be happy to wade through water. The canyon is just one feature of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, the lowest nature reserve in the world, home to a surprising diversity of wildlife and plant species. For those not interested in taking the full hike, you can walk part of or wait by the Visitor Centre till the group returns. After our trek we make our way to the Dead Sea. (B)
15 Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a natural phenomena and high on most travellers' bucket lists. Lucky for us we have a whole day to spend here, whiling away the time bobbing in its mineral-rich buoyant waters and lathering up with a detoxifying mud bath. Option to visit the Ma'in hot springs and the site where it is thought Jesus Christ was baptised by John (book locally). (B)
This morning travel to the Jordanian border where after immigration formalities you will transfer by public shuttle bus over the border into Israel, here you'll be met by a driver and transferred to your hotel in Jerusalem. The afternoon and evening offer free time. Today is the Sabbath and offers good opportunity to explore the World Heritage Listed city on foot without the usual crowds. (B/D)
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Jerusalem (West Bank) and Bethlehem (West Bank). Our first stop is the holy Mount of Olives where there are amazing panoramic views of the old city. We take a walking tour of the atmospheric old city; wander through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the Cardo (ancient Roman road). We continue on through the old city and the Christian quarter, visiting the famous Wailing Wall - a place of constant prayer and one of the most revered Hebrew sites. Retracing the final laboured steps of Jesus, burdened under the weight of the cross, we walk along the Via Dolorosa to the hallowed Church of the Sepulchre; the site of the crucifixion, Jesus' tomb and the resurrection.
A short drive from Jerusalem is Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus; where we visit Manger Square and the Church of Nativity, which is reputed to be the oldest Church in the world and the site where Jesus was born. Spend the evening at leisure in Jerusalem. (B/D)
We bid farewell to Jerusalem today and head north to the port city of Haifa. Here we'll visit the UNESCO world heritage listed Bahai Shrine and the beautiful tropical gardens set on the slopes of Mount Carmel. Travelling down the coast we stop in the historic city of Caesarea where Roman and Crusader-era ruins are strewn along the sea front. Continuing south we reach Jaffa, an ancient port where we enjoy a walking tour of the picturesque fortified town and marvel at the hilltop views. Then it's just a short drive to the vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv, where we spend our final night. Dubbed "the city that never sleeps" Tel Aviv is renowned for its hedonistic nightlife and the city also has a plethora of trendy bistros, high-end restaurants and delicious street food stalls to choose from for dinner. (B)
19 Tel Aviv
Our tour ends today with an included transfer from Tel Aviv to Ben Gurion Airport at any time of day. There's so much to see and do in Tel Aviv that we highly recommend extending your stay to enjoy its beautiful beaches, art galleries and markets. We can book post tour accommodation upon request. (B)