NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON THIS TOUR
- Friday 16th September 2022
Fly London to Cairo with EgyptAir and on arrival we check in to the first-class Steigenberger Hotel at Giza for two nights on room and breakfast basis.
- Saturday 17th September - Grand Egyptian Museum
A thrilling start to our tour with a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum. We can spend all day at the museum but for those who wish we will arrange an afternoon visit to the Giza Plateau to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
- Sunday 18th September - To Middle Egypt
Today we head south for Minya and the fabled city of Amarna. On the way we stop to enter the lovely Middle Kingdom tombs of Beni Hassan with their striking paintings and wonderful views over the Nile Valley. We travel with a lunch box from our hotel. On arrival in Minya we check in to the medium-class Nefertiti Hotel for two nights on a full board basis. Tonight, ahead of our visit to Tell el-Amarna, Bill will talk about the celebrated ‘Hymn To the Aten’ and the stelae which mark the boundary of Amarna.
- Monday 19th September - Nefertiti at Amarna
To Tell el Amarna for an in-depth tour of the fascinating remains of an ancient city. We can start by visiting one of the famous boundary stelae. Then we will travel along the Royal Wadi to the tomb of Akhenaten, where we find extraordinary scenes of triumph and tragedy, including Nefertiti and the royal princesses in mourning. We will also enter the Southern Tombs, including the unfinished tomb of Ay with the best example of the ‘Hymn To the Aten’. Afterwards we head into the city itself, where we will explore the central area and the Temple of the Aten. We also look at the Northern Palace, residence of the queens and princesses, and the Northern Tombs cut high into the surrounding cliffs. We return to Minya for our second night. Later this evening, ahead of our visit to Tuna el-Gebel, Bill will chat about Ptolemaic rule and about Greeks and Romans in Egypt.
- Tuesday 20th September - Tuna el-Gebel
Our day starts at Tuna el-Gebel, where we find the tomb chapel of Petosiris with its lovely, unusual decoration. There is also time to visit the resting place of Isidora, which holds one of the sadder stories from Ancient Egypt. We also enter the wonderful baboon and ibis catacombs dedicated to Thoth, god of all understanding. Then we have time to view another of the famous boundary stelae of Amarna. Our final stop of the day will be at the White Monastery, founded in the 4th Century AD, where we can briefly chat about its venerated early abbot, Shenoute. We continue our journey to Abydos and on arrival check in for one night at the House of Life Hotel on half board basis.
- Wednesday 21st September - The Wonders of Abydos
In Abydos we explore one of the glories of ancient Egypt, the Temple of Seti I. The raised relief in this temple is among the finest quality work anywhere in Egypt and many vibrant colours remain. We also discuss the famous ‘King List’, then view the mysterious, subterranean Osireion. Then we head out across the desert sands to view the Temple of Ramesses II with its striking battle reliefs. After lunch we continue to Luxor and on arrival check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for five nights on a room and breakfast basis.
- Thursday 22nd September - The West Bank I
We take our private launch across the river to join our vehicle and head to the wadi where Bill is working with Egyptian and Spanish colleagues. We have a special permit to walk to the fascinating area of the famous Royal Cache Tomb where we can stop to talk about the celebrated ‘cache’ of mummies from the Valley of the Kings. Close by we see Hatshepsut’s magnificent temple at Deir el Bahri, which we will explore at length. Next, to Deir el Medina, where we can visit the ‘jewel box’ tombs beside the village of the workmen who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. We also enter the Temple of Hathor, built by Ptolemy IV and later converted to the Church of St Isidore, and take a look at the New Kingdom shrines next door. After a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant we head straight to the Valley of the Kings to enter three royal tombs. This evening Bill will talk about the early history of Thebes and its links to the tombs we are going to visit tomorrow.
- Friday 23rd September - El Kab
Today we take an excursion south by road to the fascinating site of el-Kab, where we explore several impressive tombs, including that of the famous marine Ahmose, which overlook the remains of the ancient walled city. The wadi below is an ancient festival route for us to follow, past another temple of Ptolemy VIII to a shrine for the goddess Nekhbet, built by Amenhotep III. Next, we travel Esna to enter the newly cleaned and restored temple of Khnum, to discuss its historically fascinating decoration. Also a rare chance to enter the tomb of Ankhtyfy at Mo’alla, where Bill previously worked as part of an archaeological survey with Egyptian and British colleagues. We travel with a packed lunch from the Old Winter Palace today. This evening Bill will talk about tomb-robbery, and dramatic events which took place over 3,000 years ago in the sites we are going to visit tomorrow.
- Saturday 24th September - The West Bank II and Nefertari
After breakfast we cross the river once again and this time we head to the Valley of The Queens and the stunning highlight of the trip. We include tickets to enter the Tomb of Nefertari, perhaps the most famous of all Egyptian Queens, principal wife of Ramesses and often shown with him in artwork and sculpture. We also have time to enter the other open tombs in the Valley of Queens and Princes. Our next stop will be at the impressive Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, where we see a royal palace along with the temple itself and colourful scenes of royal festivals as well as battles. A short walk leads us to the small temple of Ptolemy VIII, known as the Qasr el-Aguz, which is rarely visited but has some fascinating reliefs, and has undergone recent restoration. We have lunch at a local Restaurant before visiting the tomb of Ramose perhaps the most famous of the Nobles group. Then we continue to the Ramesseum, Mortuary Temple of Ramesses the Great, husband of Nefertari and inspiration for Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’. This evening Bill will talk about the temples of Karnak and Luxor, their places in the Theban landscape, and how they developed over many hundreds of years.
- Sunday 25th September - Karnak and Luxor Temples
This morning we head to Karnak, the world’s largest religious complex. We have an in depth tour of the site including the main elements but, also, more hidden gems, including the newly restored Khonsu Temple. We include tickets to the Open-Air Museum to see the magnificent White Chapel, the Alabaster Chapel and of course the reconstructed Red and White Chapels of Hatshepsut. We return to the hotel for some free time over lunch before taking a walk to Luxor Temple for a guided tour with free time for photography before returning to the hotel.
- Monday 26th September 2022
We fly Luxor to London on our direct flight with Egypt Air arriving early afternoon.
Dr Bill Manley is a best-selling author, an Egyptologist and a Coptic scholar. He is currently working with the Wadi C2 Archaeological Project, based in Luxor, while his own specialist research encompasses a wide range of challenging Ancient Egyptian and Coptic texts. His most recent book, Egyptian Art (2017), was part of Thames & Hudson’s prestigious ‘World of Art Series’, while his next book, due in 2021, is about ancient philosophy. In addition, Bill has taught Egyptology at the University of Glasgow for more than twenty years.
B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner