Journey through Middle Egypt with Dr Chris Naunton

A JOURNEY THROUGH MIDDLE EGYPT

DEPARTING 3rd December 2024

Amarna

As part of tour 30th anniversary celebrations, we have created this comprehensive tour which explores fascinating sites from Cairo to Luxor, including some hidden gems rarely visited by other tourists.

Meidum Pyramid

We have no fewer than three special permits.

Join us in a rare chance to explore the pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Roash.

We visit the remote tomb of Djehutyhotep at Deir el Bersha.

Our final permit visits the colossal Mastaba at Beit Khallaf.

The tour is accompanied by Dr Chris Naunton who will be providing illustrated talks and insights throughout the journey.

Day 1 - Tuesday 3rd December 2024

We fly London Heathrow to Cairo, and on arrival we take our private transfer and check in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel at west Giza, for four nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 - Wednesday 4th December – The GEM

A full day at the Grand Egyptian Museum with plenty of time to explore fully this amazing house of treasures. Lunch with be under own arrangements at one of the new concessions at the museum. (B)

Day 3 - Thursday 5th December – Pyramids

We begin our day with an exploration of the Giza Plateau including some of the lesser visited mastaba tombs. Our lunch is at the 9 Pyramids Lounge which must surely provide one of the most spectacular views in the world. After visiting the Sphinx, we leave by mini-bus to Abu Roash for our first ‘special permit’ visit. The pyramid of Djedefre at Abu Roash is provides a fascinating insight into pyramid building and also some breathtaking views back to Giza. (BL)

Day 4 - Friday 6th December – Saqqara

There can be few archaeological sites in the world quite as rich as Saqqara. With tombs from almost the entirety of Egyptian history. We will explore the most iconic parts of the site as well as some of the lesser well known jewels. Entry to the Step Pyramid and the Serapeum included. Lunch will be taken during the visit at the delightful Sakkara Palm Club. (BL)

Day 5 - Saturday 7th December – Heading South

Today we leave Giza and head down the western desert highway to Meidum, of first stop of the day. There are three interiors that can be visited this morning, that of Sneferu’s pyramid itself, the first pyramid of the 4th Dynasty, and the interior of Mastaba 17 – a real thrill to visit! The third is the interior of the Senusret II 12th Dynasty pyramid at Lahun. We travel with Lunch boxes from the Hotel. We end our day at our newly refurbished corporate hotel in Assyut for the first of three nights on a full board basis. (BLD)

Day 6 - Sunday 8th December – Horizon of the Aten

A full day at Tel el Amarna for a thorough exploration of the city of Akhenaten. Our visit will include the Northern and Southern Tombs, The Royal Tomb, Stelae U and the city areas of the site. We travel with lunch boxes from our hotel and will picnic at the charming rest house where we can buy cold and cold drinks and use the facilities. (BLD)

Day 7 - Monday 9th December – Deir el Bersha

Our second ‘special permit’ of the tour will be visited this morning, Deir el Bersha. This is quite a climb but absolutely worth it! We visit the tomb of Djehutyhotep where there is a famous scene of a colossal statue being pulled on a sled. The views from the tomb are magnificent! Next a visit to the baboon and ibis galleries, sacred to the god Thoth, at Tuna el Gebel. There is a further opportunity here to see of one the Amarna boundary stelae too. We pay our respects to the mummy of Isadora and enter the temple of Petosiris. We travel with lunch boxes today. (BLD)

Day 8 - Tuesday 10th December – Towards Abydos

An exciting morning as we head to Meir. Rarely visited and surrounded by breath taking dunes, Meir is a great AWT favourite. The tomb of Pepiankh is of particular interest with its partly finished walls showing clearly the method of tomb painting employed. Armed with lunch boxes from our hotel we continue to Abydos and the delightful House of Life hotel where we have three nights on a full board basis. (BLD)

Day 9 - Wednesday 11th December – Strange Places

Today, we head out to three extraordinary sites once again travelling with lunch boxes supplied by our hotel. Hawawish has only recently become accessible and here we find Old Kingdom and 1st Intermediate period tombs. The tombs are not in wonderful condition, but the site is fascinating nonetheless. As we head back towards the river, we will visit the 5th century ‘White Monastery’ of Aba Shenouda with its beautiful central court and magnificent limestone blocks, some of which were ‘harvested’ from pharaonic temples. Our final stop is the lovely temple at Athribis, sometime capital of the 10th nome and occupied until the end of pharaonic Egypt. (BLD)

Day 10 - Thursday 12th December – Beit Khallaf

This morning we have a permit to visit the colossal mastaba at Beit Khallaf. Once thought to be the burial place of pharaoh Djoser, the site was an Old Kingdom necropolis of considerable size and stature. The largest mastaba is some 30 feet high and dominates the surrounding desert. This afternoon our visit to the Abydos area culminates in an exploration of the Temple of Seti I – surely one of the most spectacular in Egypt. (BLD)

Day 11 - Friday 13th December – Hathor – House of Horus

Dendera was founded some four thousand years ago and remains one of Egypt’s best preserved temples. The recent cleaning and renovation project has transformed the soot covered interior into a blaze of colours and gorgeous hieroglyphs. We continue to Luxor and check into our favourite hotel, the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion, the address in Luxor, for the first of three nights on a bed and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 12 - Saturday 14th December – The West Bank

This morning, we begin at the Valley of the Kings for our visit to three currently opened tombs with an option to buy extras including Seti I or Tutankhamun on the day. Next, we enter the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, a glorious building with remarkable quantities of colour still preserved. We take lunch at our favourite local restaurant before an afternoon visit to the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri. The day ends at the Colossi of Memnon where we’ll bring to mind the Emperor Hadrian and the poet Julia Balbilla! (BL)

Day 13 - Sunday 15th December – Sunrise at Karnak

Arriving at dawn, we’ll see the sunrise down the central axis of the great temple of Amun – a breathtaking experience never to be forgotten. An exploration of Karnak follows returning to the hotel in time for a late breakfast. Lunch today is on the river, with a delicious picnic served by the Winter Palace as we sail through timeless scenery. Our final visit of this tour will be the Luxor museum with its outstanding exhibits. (BL)

Day 14 - Monday 16th December 2024 – Homeward Bound

We board our direct flight to London Heathrow, arriving early afternoon. (B)

Egyptologist, Chris Naunton has appeared in numerous television documentaries, most notably as the presenter of ‘ Flinders Petrie: The Man who Discovered Egypt’ (BBC4) and ‘Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy’ (Ch 4) and Egypt’s Lost Pyramid (Ch 4). He was CEO of the EES from 2012 -16 and President of the International Association of Egyptologists from 2015-19. He is now Director of the Robert Anderson Trust. His books; ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt’, and ‘Egyptologists’ Notebooks’ are now on sale.

B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Journey through Middle Egypt

  • Tour Code: AWME031224
  • Departing: 3rd December 2024
  • Returning: 16th December 2024
  • Cost Per Person: £5380
  • Single Supplement: £750

AWT's 'Single Supplement Guarantee' means that we only charge you what we are charged ourselves - we do not 'mark up'!

  • Land Only Discount: £400

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