Essence of Egypt Itinerary
This is a 9 – day (8 night) discovery itinerary of an ancient civilization, a world of wonder, where time is measured by dynasties and distance by the setting sun. Explore the ancient sites of Egypt along with museums and a luxury Nile cruise. Stay in luxury hotels and a luxury Nile boat.<!–– start itin loop ––>
Arrive at Cairo International Airport (CAI). Transfer to the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo.
Visit the Citadel, the Hanging Church, Alabaster Mosque, Khan El-Khalili bazaar and Egyptian Museum.
Visit the ancient capital of Memphis, Alabaster Sphinx, the Colossus of Ramses II, Sakkara, the Step Pyramid, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza.
Always bustling, Cairo is a juncture of four worlds: modern and ancient, Christian and Muslim. Explore the Ancient World, the three Pyramids of Giza. The Great Pyramid of Cheops, largest in Egypt, is still mysterious 45 centuries after its construction.
Transfer to Cairo Airport. Take a scheduled flight to Luxor.
Visit the temples at Abydos. One of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt, the sacred city of Abydos was the site of many ancient temples, including a royal necropolis where early pharaohs were entombed. Today, Abydos is notable for the memorial temple of Seti I, which contains an inscription from the nineteenth dynasty known to the modern world as the Abydos King List. It is a chronological list showing cartouches of the most dynastic pharaohs of Egypt from Menes until Seti I’s father, Ramesses.
Board the elegant River Tosca Nile River boat.
After lunch, visit Karnak Temple and its great Hypostyle Hall.
The Great Hypostyle Hall within the Karnak temple complex, is one of the most visited monuments of Ancient Egypt. The structure covers an area of 54,000 square feet, with 134 papyrus columns representing the primeval papyrus swamp from which Amun, a self-created deity, arose from the waters of chaos at the beginning of creation. Dendera is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. Dendera was inhabited in prehistory, a useful oasis on the banks of the Nile. The dominant building in the complex is the Temple of Hathor. After an extensive, painstaking cleaning, a spectacular ceiling painting was exposed in the main hall, and some of the most vibrant and colorful paintings dating from antiquity are now visible.
Continue sailing north to Dendera.
Visit the Temple of Hathor. Dendera is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. Dendera was inhabited in prehistory, a useful oasis on the banks of the Nile. The dominant building in the complex is the Temple of Hathor. After extensive, painstaking cleaning, a spectacular ceiling painting was exposed in the main hall, and some of the most vibrant and colorful paintings dating from antiquity are now visible.
Cruise back to Luxor
Visit Karnak. The Great Hypostyle Hall within the Karnak temple complex, is one of the most visited monuments of ancient Egypt. The structure covers an area of 54,000 square feet, with 134 papyrus columns representing the primeval papyrus swamp from which Amun, a self-created deity, arose from the waters of chaos at the beginning of creation.
Visit the Valley of the Kings, the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the colossal remains of the two statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
For a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for pharaohs and powerful nobles on the west bank of the Nile. The official name for the site in ancient times was The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes.
Hatshepsut was the second historically-confirmed female pharaoh, and generally regarded as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty, and the masterpiece of her various building projects was her mortuary temple
Enjoy a festive Galabeya party on board.
Cruise to Aswan. Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo en route. Visit the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple.
The temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple constructed 180–47 BC, and atypical for its perfect symmetry. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world, while the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Horus, The One Far Above, Sky God, War God and Hunter’s God.
The unfinished obelisk is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished, it would have measured around 138 ft and would have weighed nearly 1,090 tons. The Philae temple complex was dismantled and moved to nearby Agilkia Island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, protecting this and other complexes before the 1970 completion of the Aswan High Dam.
In the afternoon, sail on a traditional felucca.
Disembark after breakfast.
Take a scheduled flight to Abu Simbel. Visit the Temples of Ramses II and Queen Nefertari.
The twin temples of Abu Simbel were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II, to serve as a lasting monument to the king and his Queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, to avoid them being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the River Nile.
Transfer to the Abu Simbel airport. Take a scheduled flight to Cairo International Airport (CAI).
Depending upon the time of your international flight, transfer to the airport for your flight home or spend a night in Cairo.