- Monday 6th January 2020
We fly London Heathrow to Luxor and on arrival take our private transfer to the Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion, for seven nights on room and breakfast basis.
- Tuesday 7th January - Karnak
After a leisurely breakfast we make the short journey to Karnak, where our first stop will be at the Temple of Mut, the consort of Amun, to explore Rameses III’s little-visited temple on the shore of the unique crescent shaped Scared Lake. Moving to the main part of the Karnak temple-complex, we take a particularly close look at the great Hypostyle Hall, built by Sethy I, and also the various pieces of work left behind by Rameses III, in particular the lovely temple of Khonsu. There will be plenty of time to explore other parts of the temple (and perhaps a relaxing drink by the Sacred Lake), our tickets include the Open Air Museum, with its ever-expanding range of reconstructed buildings. We will return to the hotel in time for a late lunch; later in the afternoon, Professor Dodson will be giving an illustrated talk on each of the kings we are studying on this tour.
- Wednesday 8th January - Wadi Abad
An exciting day as we head south and into the Eastern Desert. Driving up the Wadi Abad we will find before us the portico of Kanais Temple, part of a settlement established by Sethy I to serve the gold-miners working in the region, including a well. We have a special private permit for entry into this rarely-visited rock-cut temple, with well-preserved painted reliefs. There are also contemporary rock-stelae and a Roman guard post close by. We travel with a lunch box from our hotel today and we return to Luxor late afternoon.
- Thursday 9th January - Houses of Eternity
This morning we take a private launch and cross the River Nile to our waiting vehicle for the short journey to the Valley of the Kings. Here we will of course be visiting the tombs of Sethy I and Rameses III, two of the largest tombs in the Valley, and both with unique features. You will also have the opportunity to visit two more tombs of your choice. After a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant, we will head to the Rameseum, the memorial temple of Sethy I’s son, Rameses II where we will see a unique representation of Sethy’s parents-in-law, and a colossal statue of his wife Tuy. After a break at our hotel, we plan an evening visit to Luxor Museum.
- Friday 10th January - Abydos
We board our bus and today we head north to Abydos, with its stunning temple of Sethy I, said by many to be the finest in the whole of Egypt. It has a range of unusual features, all of which we will investigate, including its seven sanctuaries and the famous ‘King List’. Having inspected the king’s apparently-unique cenotaph, the so-called Osireion, behind the temple, we will walk across the desert sands to the nearby Temple of Rameses II, who had also been responsible for the completion of his father’s Abydene monument. We have a lunch box from our hotel today as we will be out all day.
- Saturday 11th January - Mansions of Millions of Years
Once again we cross the river by launch and today our first stop will be at Medinet Habu, dominated by the memorial temple of Rameses III. Here, we will examine the extensive reliefs documenting the king’s military exploits, as well exploring its role in the king’s afterlife – and also probably as the venue for his murder. We then travel to the northern end of the necropolis to visit Sethy I’s memorial temple, in which one can appreciate the difference between the art of Sethy I and that of his son Rameses II, who finished-off his father’s work. Finally, we will make a stop at the tomb-chapels of Roy and Shuroy at Dra Abu’l-Naga, which provide excellent examples of way in which private sepulchres were decorated during the Rameside epoch. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and this afternoon is free time, to perhaps enjoy the gardens and pool at the hotel or take a walk to the souk, or stroll along the Corniche.
- Sunday 12th January - The Place of Beauties
Our first visit on the West Bank today will be the Valley of the Queens where we have included entry to the exquisite Tomb of Nefertiry, Sethy I’s daughter-in-law. We will also visit three other tombs, all dating to the reign of Rameses III, and providing some of the key information on that king’s family. Next, we head to Deir el-Medina to view the homes and tombs of the workers who built the royal tombs, including of course those of both Sethy I and Rameses III. There will be plenty of time enter a selection of the small but well-preserved tombs, before finishing at the Ptolemaic Temple of Hathor. After lunch at our local restaurant we head back to the hotel to rest, before we walk to Luxor Temple to visit the structure (including tracking down the reliefs of Rameses III) as the sun sets and the floodlights come on.
- Monday 13th January - Homeward Bound
This morning we take our private transfer to the airport for our flight to London arriving early afternoon.
Aidan’s Latest Publications. Sethy I out now and Rameses III due in November.
Aiden’s personal amazon page.
B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner