DAYS 124 – 142: EGYPT
You will cross the border into Egypt via a transport ferry from Wadi Halfa to the west side of Lake Nasser and the small village of Abu Simbel. Here you will have an included visit to the phenomenal Temples of Ramses and Nefertari, with a possibility to visit the sound and light show after sunset (if it is running).
Today your drive will continue by joining the 11:00am convoy to Aswan, where you will have 3 full days to enjoy to wealth of history and culture that Aswan has to offer, and to make optional visits to Philae Temple, Elephantine Island, the Nubian Museum, and the Aswan Dam.
On your final night in Aswan you will board a traditional felucca sailboat for an overnight adventure exploring the Nile by boat.
The following morning you will start your overland journey north through Egypt and visit the incredible Temple of Edfu, an awe-inspiring temple dedicated to Horus built during the Ptolomaic era, which is considered to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt. After this you will head to Luxor, a beautiful modern town built on the site of the Ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, where you will spend 3 nights exploring the incredible historical sites here.
You will have an included guided tour around the world-famous Karnak Temple, which is walking distance from your hotel. This temple contains some remarkably preserved painted walls and many awe-inspiring pillars and obelisks, and was the centre of religious life in Thebes. Your tour will last about 2 hours, and then you will have free time for the rest of the day to explore the temple independently, and to visit the other sites in Luxor such as the smaller Luxor Temple in the town centre, and the small but beautiful Luxor Museum, which is filled with priceless treasures from the area. You will also have a guided tour to the West Bank, which will encompass the Hatshepsut Temple and the phenomenal Valley of the Kings, the location of the tombs of the Pharoahs of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.
From Luxor you will drive to the beautiful southern Red Sea village of Marsa Alam. You will also have an included visit the remarkably preserved Temple of Hathor at Dendara en route. In Marsa Alam you will have 2 days to relax on the beaches, enjoy many activities on the Red Sea, or to take an overnight camel safari out into the nearby deserts of Wadi-el-Gamal.
You will then continue up the Red Sea coast to El Quesir, exploring the nearby Ottoman fort.
Travelling further up the stunning Red Sea coast you will then head into the Eastern Deserts, visiting the ancient Coptic Monastery of St Anthony en route.
Continuing your overland tour north, you will follow the Suez Canal to its northern outflow into the Mediterranean Sea at Port Said, before following the Mediterranean coast across the Nile Delta to reach the bustling city of Alexandria where you will spend 2 nights exploring the sights including the beautiful modern Alexandria Library.
And so, after 20 weeks on the road you will reach your final destination, Cairo. Situated on the banks of the River Nile, Cairo is the largest city in Africa. There are plenty of things to see and do with free time in Cairo. Take a walk along the Corniche or travel along the river by felucca. If the crowds and the noise of the city are too much, catch the metro into the oldest part of the city, the Coptic Christian sector – with its narrow cobbled streets and ancient churches, it’s a haven of peace and quiet.
You will have two nights in Cairo and while there you will have an included full-day guided tour to Memphis, the pyramids at Saqqara, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, and the following morning, on the last day of the trip, you will have an included half-day guided visit to the Egyptian Museum.