A new tour aimed at visiting many of the Great Monuments to be found in Egypt today. We travel from Cairo where we see the Great Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Abu Simbel. In Luxor we explore the Valley of the Kings, Deir el Medina, Hatshepsut’s Temple, the Ramesseum and much more. A perfect tour for anyone wanting to visit the most spectacular sites in Egypt. Escorted throughout by Dr Campbell Price Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum.
- Tuesday 6th December 2022
We take our direct flight from Heathrow to Cairo and on arrival take our private transfer to the 5-Star Cairo Sheraton Hotel. We check in to our deluxe city view rooms for four nights on room and breakfast basis.
- Wednesday 7th December - Giza
After a leisurely breakfast we set off for the Giza Plateau. Time to explore the famous pyramids, surely the Greatest Monuments of all time. A tour of the Valley Temple and the magnificent Sphinx will complete our time in this most famous of all Egyptian sites. After some free time at the hotel for a late lunch we plan an early evening lecture meeting to learn more about the days ahead. (B)
- Thursday 8th December - Old Cairo
A full day to explore Old Cairo. We will look at relics of the Fatamid era, admire the famous Citadel of Saladin with time to view Babylon’s Roman walls and towers, the Hanging Church and the Coptic Museum. We include the Mosque of Ibn Tulun the oldest surviving mosque in Egypt and The Gayer Anderson House. We have lunch at the lovely Naguib Mahfouz restaurant in the Khan el Khalili. (BL)
Please note: if the new Grand Egyptian Museum is open by the time we are in Cairo we will change this day and spend our whole day at GEM instead.
- Friday 9th December - Saqqara
A full day at Saqqara where Campbell worked with the only Scottish mission to operate in Egypt. We begin with an introduction to the site at the lovely Imhotep Museum. Visits to the Step Pyramid and the Pyramid of Unas include entry to the pyramids if they are open on the day. We view the wonderful scenes in the Old Kingdom mastabas of Mereruka, Ptahhotep and Kagemni. We also enter the mastaba tomb of Mehu with its brightly coloured reliefs and the New Kingdom tombs of Maya and Horemheb the General. Finally the Serapeum, burial place of the Apis Bulls. During the day we will have a break at the Sakkara Palm Club with time to relax over lunch and cold drinks. (BL)
- Saturday 10th December - To the Southern City
Our day begins with a drive to the ancient city of Fustat and the wonderful new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. After lunch at Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant in Khan el Khalili we drive to Cairo Airport to board our flight to Aswan. On arrival in Aswan we check in to the Movenpick Hotel on Elephantine Island for four nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)
- Sunday 11th December - The Island of Isis
Our journey begins with a visit to the vast Unfinished Obelisk set in its open air museum. We continue to the Island of Philae with its Temple of Isis dating from the Ptolemaic Period. Saved from the rising waters of the new High Dam in the 1970’s the temples are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our guided tour will include the temples of Isis, Imhotep and Hathor, the Kiosk of Trajan and Hadrian’s Gate. We return to the hotel for free time to relax and take lunch before our afternoon visit to the archaeological site on Elephantine where we find the Temples of Satis and Khnum and the Sanctuary of Heqaib. This ancient site covered all periods of Ancient Egyptian history. At some point today we will have a meeting in the hotel with Campbell to learn more about Abu Simbel and our visit tomorrow. (B)
- Monday 12th December - Abu Simbel
Today we take a coach trip to the most famous site in Nubia, Abu Simbel, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will enter the Great Temple of Ramesses II and the Small Temple of Nefertari. This is a long day trip and we will travel with lunch boxes supplied by our hotel and refreshments are available at the site. (BL)
- Tuesday 13th December - On the Nile
We board our private launch and head to Qubbet el Hawa and the tombs of the Nobles on the hillside dating from the Old and New Kingdom. Next we head to Sehel Island where we find many inscriptions including the famous ‘Famine Stela’. This afternoon Campbell will give a talk on the motivations behind the important monuments we will see on our next day’s journey before we take a trip to the lovely Nubia Museum to view finds from the local area. (B)
- Wednesday 14th December - To Luxor
Today we leave Aswan and head by road to Luxor. We travel with lunch boxes provided by our hotel. On our way we will visit one of the best preserved and most complete of ancient monuments in Egypt, The Temple of Horus at Edfu. Our next stop will be at el Kab the ancient city of Nekheb where we find some delightful tombs including that of the commander Ahmose with its unusually detailed historical inscriptions. On arrival in Luxor we check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for five nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)
- Thursday 15th December - The Valley of the Kings
We cross the Nile by private launch and our first stop will be at the Colossi of Memnon fronting the vast mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. Then to the Valley of the Kings where we have tickets allowing access to three tombs of those open on the day. We allow plenty of time to explore the Valley before heading to our local restaurant for a relaxing lunch. This afternoon we visit the Ramesseum the mortuary temple of Ramesses II. Time to admire the toppled colossi that is said to have inspired Shelley’s Ozymandias and the stunning reliefs showing scenes from the battles of Qadesh and Dapur. Tonight Campbell reflects on the fascinating topic of royal deification as witnessed at Western Thebes. (BL)
- Friday 16th December - Felucca sailing
A traditional Friday beginning with a sail along the Nile in a felucca. We will have a special lunch on board prepared by the Old Winter Palace. Time for peace and calm taking in the beauty of the river. Later as the sun goes down and the lights go on we have a guided tour of Luxor Temple. This evening Campbell gives a special preparatory lecture on what to look at for at Karnak, the subject of his PhD and of a forthcoming book. (BL)
- Saturday 17th December - Karnak Temple
After breakfast we will head off to the Temple of Amun at Karnak, the world’s largest temple complex. We have an in depth tour of the site looking at the Pylons, the Great Hypostyle Hall, The Sanctuary and the Sacred Lake. We include all the main elements but also the more out of the way hidden gems, including the newly restored Khonsu Temple. Plenty of time to photograph and explore this amazing site. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and later we visit Luxor Museum with a superb collection of artifacts including recently unearthed finds from the local area. (B)
- Sunday 18th December - The West Bank
Once more to the West Bank and this morning we visit the site of Deir el Medina where we view the village and enter the tombs of the artisans and workmen who built the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. We also look at the Great Pit and the nearby Ptolemaic Temple. Finally we head to Deir el Bahri and the Temple of Hatshepsut. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and the rest of the day is free. Time to relax by the pool, visit the bazaar or maybe take another walk to Luxor Temple. (B)
- Monday 19th December 2022- Home
This morning we take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for our direct flight to London. (B)
Dr. Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptological collections. He studied Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, where he is now an Honorary Research Fellow, and has undertaken fieldwork in Egypt at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, Saqqara and the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Campbell is currently the Chair of Trustees at the Egypt Exploration Society, a UK-based charity that supports Egyptian heritage. He has published widely on ancient Egyptian material culture, most recently Golden Mummies of Egypt (Manchester Museum & Nomad Exhibitions, 2020). He has lectured internationally and regularly contributes to TV and radio.
B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner