Just last week, travellers on our first ever Dreams of Egypt tour were basking under the desert sun, admiring ancient temples, discovering long lost tombs and sailing the Nile in 5* comfort. Exploring the entire length of this history-steeped country, from the shores of Alexandria to the astonishing temples of Abu Simbel, this is one of the grandest adventures an explorer can accomplish, and we are thrilled that our customers have finally ticked the incredible sights of Egypt off their travel wish list!
Day 1: Pyramids of Giza, The Sphinx & Egyptian Museum (Cairo)
After a restful night in Cairo, the tour started on a high with the iconic Pyramids of Giza – the last surviving Wonder of the Ancient World. Comprising over two million blocks and standing at 479 feet, the Great Pyramid is believed to have been intended as the tomb of Egyptian king Khufu (Cheops) who reigned from 2589-2566 BC.
After came visits to the famous unblinking Sphinx and Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, packed with collections of statues, mummies and pharaonic treasures, including the mask of Tutankhamun.
Day 2: Step Pyramid of Djoser (Sakkara) & Cairo’s Coptic Quarter
The morning was spent exploring Sakkara, an ancient necropolis famed for its painted catacombs and the Step Pyramid of Djoser – Egypt’s first ever pyramid. Inside the 27th century BC structure sits a platform overlooking a deep shaft to the main burial chamber, complete with enormous granite sarcophagus.
The afternoon was enjoyed discovering Cairo’s oldest district, the Coptic Quarter, with visits to the Hanging Church and the Coptic Museum with its impressive collection of Christian artefacts.
Day 3: Roman Theatre, Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa & Qaitbay Citadel (Alexandria)
On Egypt’s northern coast sits Alexandria, once the capital for over 900 years and home to Cleopatra. The port city is packed with ancient Greek and Roman history and here we explored the immense Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, the Roman Theatre and its surrounding ruins, and the Qaitbay Citadel – a 15th century defensive fortress built upon the ruins of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Day 4: El Alamein & Monastery of St. Macarius the Great
Today was spent learning about some of Egypt’s more recent history with a visit to El Alamein, the site of two key battles during World War II, and its Military Museum and Cemetery. Heading south back to Cairo gave the ideal opportunity to stop at the historic Monastery of St. Macarius the Great, still active today and inhabited by Coptic Orthodox monks.
Day 5: Karnak & Luxor Temples & Start of Nile Cruise
A short flight from Cairo took us to Luxor, arguably one of the finest cities to get to grips with ancient Egyptian history. Starting on the East Bank at the Temple of Karnak, famous for its majestic Hypostyle Hall with its 134 gigantic stone columns, this monumental complex is one of the grandest in all of Egypt. Less than two miles down the road sits the Temple of Luxor and the Avenue of Sphinxes, both best explored at sunset as the imposing statues cast looming shadows of past rulers across the temple walls.
Day 6: Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatshepsut & Colossi of Memnon
On Luxor’s West Bank you’ll find the legendary Valley of the Kings, home to over 60 richly-painted tombs of New Kingdom pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, including that of Tutankhamun where his mummy still lay. After, we visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, dramatically located beneath the cliffs of Deir-el Bahari, and the 64 foot-tall twin statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, known as the Colossi of Memnon.
Day 7: Temple of Edfu & Kom Ombo Temple
After soaking up the scenery of the passing countryside as we peacefully sail the Nile, we arrived in Edfu to explore the spectacular Temple of Horus of Edfu. Built from 237-257 BC and once buried under centuries of sand and silt, this complex is one of the most well-preserved sites in Egypt with a wealth of legible inscriptions. Kom Ombo Temple is equally as impressive and here you’ll see many Greek and Roman influences in the carvings, including representations of Roman emperors making offerings to Egyptian gods.
Back on board the cruise ship, passengers dressed up in traditional Galabeya and were treated to authentic Egyptian cuisine – the perfect way to end the day!
Day 8: Temple of Rameses II & Temple of Nefertari (Abu Simbel)
A three hour drive through the Aswan Desert travelling the length of mighty Lake Nasser, Abu Simbel feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Cairo, but here you are met by some of the most atmospheric temples in all of Egypt – The Great Temple, dedicated to Rameses II, and The Small Temple, dedicated to his chief queen Nefertari. With enormous statues flanking the temple entrances, interior halls filled with exquisite wall paintings and a beautiful setting overlooking the lake, the long journey is unequivocally worth it.
Day 8: Unfinished Obelisk & Temple of Philae (Aswan)
Our final day was spent soaking up the many sights of Aswan, including the Unfinished Obelisk which remain in the Aswan quarry having been abandoned due to cracking, and the towering High Dam. Surrounded by the waters of the Nile, we visited the Temple of Philae, built to honour the goddess Isis, before enjoying a traditional felucca ride to Elephantine Island and a delicious farewell dinner of authentic Nubian fare.
Dreams of Egypt
11 days from £3190pp
Fully Inclusive of Tour & Flights
Cairo - Alexandria - Luxor - Aswan - Cairo