CITIES OF THE NILE

Day 1 – Saturday 5th October 2013
Fly London to Cairo with EgyptAir and on arrival we transfer to the Iberotel Hotel close to the airport for one night on a room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Aswan
This morning we take our flight to Aswan and on arrival check in to the Movenpick Hotel on Elephantine Island for three nights on room and breakfast basis. This afternoon we will see one of the hidden gems of Aswan, the relief of the sculptors Bek and Men standing before a statue of Amenhotep III. We take to the river and sail to Sehel Island where we find hundreds of inscriptions including the famous Famine Stelae. (B)

Day 3 – Sun Temple
This morning there is an optional excursion by air to Abu Simbel saved from the flooding of Lake Nasser by UNESCO in the 1960s. This afternoon we all make the short boat journey to Kubbet el Hawa where we will enter the tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdom Nobles. Later we visit the Nubia Museum. (B)

Day 4 – Island of Isis
This morning we visit the beautiful Temple of Philae where we have plenty of time to explore this most romantic of sites. We will then visit the Unfinished Obelisk set in its open-air museum. This afternoon we go to the southernmost part of Elephantine Island to walk through the vast settlement of ancient Yebu. Here we can follow a timeline that leads from the Old Kingdom through to the Greco-Roman period. (B)

Day 5 – To Thebes
We drive north to Luxor and visit the temple of Haroeris and Sobek on the banks of the Nile at Kom Ombo. We continue to el Kab with its 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs and the small temple of Amenhotep III. We have a picnic lunch close to ‘Vulture Rock’ with its ancient graffiti. On arrival in Luxor we check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for three nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 6 – West Bank
A private launch takes us across the Nile as we head to the Kings’ Valley where we have entry to three tombs, plus, we also have an extra ticket to enter the stunning tomb of Ramesses VI. Then we visit Deir el Medina and see the tombs and homes of some of the artisans and craftsmen who created the royal tombs in the valley. We have lunch at the Africa Restaurant before visiting some non royal tombs including that of the vizier Ramose, Userhat and Khaemhat. We study the wonderful Kadesh reliefs at the Ramesseum before a final stop at the Colossi of Memnon. (BL)

Day 7 – Temple of Amun
An in-depth tour of Karnak with plenty of time to explore the site fully and wander through the lovely restored kiosks and shrines in the Open Air Museum. This afternoon we visit Luxor Museum which holds one of the finest collections of Egyptian sculpture in the world. Our final stop of the day will be a visit to Luxor Temple. (B)

Day 8 – Dendera and Abydos
First stop today will be the Temple of Dendera, where we will have a chance to see the newly cleaned ceilings and walls. Then to Abydos to view the beautiful reliefs and famous ‘King List’ in the Temple of Seti I, before exploring the Osireion and the Temple of Ramesses II. We have a picnic lunch and then our journey continues to Sohag. Tonight we dine on board the M/S Hotep – a floating hotel moored on the banks of the Nile. (BLD)

Day 9 – Akhmim and Meir
We take the short drive to Akhmim, ancient Ipu to view the magnificent statue of Meritamun standing to a height of 35 feet. Then to Meir and the rock-hewn tombs set in the cliffs high above the valley floor. In these remote tombs we see some lovely reliefs of daily life dating from both the Old and Middle Kingdoms. On arrival in Asyut we board the M/S Tut another fine floating hotel for three nights on full board basis. (BLD)

Days 10 and 11 – Tell el Amarna
We spend the next two days visiting Akhetaten, capital city of Akhenaten. Barry who has worked here for more than 30 years will guide us around the site. No one can possibly tell us more about this purpose-built city and surrounding areas. We visit the tomb of Akhenaten in the Royal Wadi, the Southern Tombs, including the tomb of Ay with the ‘Hymn to the Aten’ and the Northern Tombs before exploring the central city, the palaces and the Aten Temple. We also hope to walk to the Workers’ Village, the Cemetery site and Stone Village. Barry will of course give us all the news on recent work and future plans for this intriguing site. We have a picnic lunch on both days before returning to our hotel in time for sundowners on the top deck. (BLD)

Day 12 – Cairo
After breakfast we journey north for Cairo and en route we stop at Meidum with its spectacular pyramid and fascinating ‘Mastaba 17’. Those who wish can enter the pyramid itself or explore the mastaba tomb. On arrival in Cairo we check in to the first-class Movenpick Hotel at Giza for three nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 13 – Giza
This morning a visit to the magnificent Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. We explore the plateau, satellite pyramids, mortuary temples, causeways and the mighty Sphinx itself. This afternoon we head to Cairo Museum where our guide will take us on a chronological journey covering around 3,000 years. (B)

Day 14 – Sakkara
An exciting day as we board four-wheel drive vehicles and head to Sakkara and the Step Pyramid of Djoser and associated mastaba tombs where we see fine reliefs. Then to Abu Sir on the very edge of the desert to see 5th Dynasty pyramids including that of Sahure. Today we have arranged lunch the Sakkara Palm Club. This afternoon we have a special permit from the SCA to visit Abu Roash and the pyramid of Djedefre. After full exploration of the area we will have some time to relax and enjoy this stunning location where we will have farewell drinks as the sun goes down. (BL)

Day 15 – Saturday 19th October 2013
We take our private transfer to the airport for our direct EgyptAir flight to London. (B)

Expert: Barry Kemp is the director of the Amarna Project and the chairman of the Amarna Trust. He has directed the excavations and archaeological survey work at Amarna since 1977. Barry is the author of numerous journals, texts and books including the widely renowned ‘Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization’.

(B) = Breakfast (BL) = Breakfast and Lunch (BLD) = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

 

CITIES OF THE NILE

DEPARTURE DATE  Saturday 5th October 2013 

TOUR CODE AWCN 051013

 

BASIC HOLIDAY PRICE: £3,245

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £311

LAND ONLY DISCOUNT: £530  (If you arrange your own flights)

Optional Abu Simbel by air: £185 per person

 

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