- Tuesday 15th November 2022
We take our direct flight from Heathrow to Cairo and on arrival take our private transfer to the 5-star Steigenberger Giza Hotel. We check in for six nights on room and breakfast basis.
- Wednesday 16th November
We begin our adventure with a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum. Plenty of time to view the galleries at leisure in this wonderful new Museum. You can chose to stay on at the museum for the afternoon or for those who wish we offer a trip to the Giza Plateau to view the Great Pyramids, causeways, mastaba tombs, the great Sphinx and the Valley Temple. Tonight we plan a meeting to discuss the journey ahead and look at the history of excavation at Saqqara and the search for Imhotep.
- Thursday 17th November
We have a full day exploration of Saqqara where Chris will explain some of his theories on this vast complex, and why it yet conceals the tomb of the architect of the Step Pyramid. We visit the Imhotep Museum, the Step Pyramid Enclosure, the Unas Pyramid, the tomb of Tutankhamun’s wet nurse Maya, and the Serapeum. We have a break for a refreshing lunch at the Sakkara Palm Club. This evening Chris will give a talk on the history of Alexandria and thoughts on the lost tomb of Cleopatra.
- Friday 18th November
After an early breakfast we drive to the lovely coastal city of Alexandria. First we visit the Graeco-Roman catacombs at Kom el Shuqafa to get a feel for the kind of tombs that were being created in the time of the Ptolemies and Cleopatra. On to the Serapeum, centre of worship to Serapis with time to see the famous ‘Pompey’s Pillar’ and then to the rarely visited Mostafa Kamel necropolis. We travel with a lunchbox from the Steigenberger Hotel today. Late afternoon we check in to the 5-star deluxe Helnan Palestine Hotel close to the famous ‘Montaza Royal Palace’ one of Alexandria’s famous landmarks. As we are keeping our rooms at the Steigenberger Hotel in Cairo for the night we are away you will only need to travel with an overnight bag.
- Saturday 19th November
A rare treat as we drive along the Mediterranean coast to the ancient city of Abu Sir known by its Roman name as Taposiris Magna. We have a special AWT private permit to explore the excavations looking for the lost tombs, including that of Cleopatra herself, at this fascinating site. We continue along the coast road to El Alamein where we plan to visit The Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial. We take a break at a local hotel where you will be able to get refreshments and use the facilities before we start our journey back to the Steigenberger Hotel in Cairo.
- Sunday 20th November
This morning we Drive to Dahshur where we have a special permit from the Ministry of Antiquities to enter the Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III dating from the twelfth Dynasty. We also have time to enter the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. As this is a busy day we will travel with lunch boxes from our hotel.
- Monday 21st November
Our destination today is the town of Minya known as the ‘Bride of Egypt’ where we have rooms at the Nefertiti Hotel on half board basis for the next two nights. Our archaeology treat will be a visit to the rock-cut tombs of Beni Hassan with their colourful reliefs depicting daily life from the Middle Kingdom. We have a lunch box from our hotel today. After our evening meal Chris will give a talk on Amarna and the history of EES work at the site.
- Tuesday 22nd November
A whole day at Amarna to explore the site and visit all the most important areas including the Royal Tomb of Ahkenaten, the Southern and Northern Tombs, the Central City, main palaces and the Great Temple of the Aten. We have a lunch box from our hotel and will picnic at the Amarna Rest House where we can buy hot and cold drinks and use the facilities. This evening our meeting will focus on the exciting visits planned for the next two days.
- Wednesday 23rd November
We drive south and head to the rarely visited rock-cut governor’s tombs at Meir, set in a spectacular location, in the cliffs high above the Nile Valley. We have lunch boxes again today as we continue our road trip south to Abydos. On arrival we check in to the House of Life Hotel for one night on half board basis.
- Thursday 24th November
In Abydos we view some of the finest reliefs in Egypt within the Temple of Seti I. We walk past the Osireion and across the desert sands to the Temple of Ramesses II where we see the latest excavations and fine reliefs of the Battle of Kadesh on the outer walls and colourful painted scenes inside the temple. The highlight of our visit will surely be the special AWT private permit to enter the hidden tomb of Senusret III. The tomb’s location making use of the desert cliffs known as ‘Anubis Mountain’ is still being researched by Joseph Wegner and his team from the Penn Museum. Chris will have all the latest news on this fascinating site. We have lunch at our hotel before continuing to Luxor. On arrival we check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for four nights on room and breakfast basis.
- Friday 25th November
This morning we head to Karnak where our first visit will be to the Precinct of Mut where we discover the Mut Temple, the Ramesses III Temple, the unusual Sacred Lake and many statues of Mut in the form of Sekhmet. We also take time to follow the avenue of Mut to the 10th Pylon of Karnak Temple. Time then to enter Karnak through the main gate and enjoy an in-depth guided tour. Free time follows then the choice is yours. You can stay at Karnak for the afternoon or return to the hotel on the coach for a free afternoon at the hotel. This evening Chris will give his final lecture talking about our next two days in Ancient Thebes.
- Saturday 26th November
We take our private launch to the West Bank to join our vehicle for the day and head straight to the village of Deir el Medina to look at the homes and private tombs of the workmen who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. A look at the Ptolemaic Temple and the ‘Great Pit’ nearby. Next, to Medinet Habu the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III.
After a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant we head to Qurnet Murai to enter the tomb of Amenhotep called Huy, Viceroy of Kush dating from the reign of Tutankhamun. We can also enter the smaller tombs of Amenemonet and Amenemhab.
- Sunday 27th November
Again we cross the Nile, and this time we head to the Valley of the Kings. We have three tickets for tombs of those open on the day, plus we also have a special AWT private permit for entry to the intriguing tomb KV55. Chris will discuss the latest theories on the burial of the Amarna royals, and the role played by tomb 55 in the tangled story of this short but endlessly intriguing period of history. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and the rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps take a walk to Luxor Temple, the Museum or a stroll through the souk.
- Monday 28th November 2022
After breakfast we take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for our direct flight to London, arriving early afternoon.
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