Egypt at New Year

Egypt, Luxor, Karnak temple
Egypt, Luxor, Karnak temple
Temple of Luxor
Temple of Luxor
Ancient ruins of Karnak
Ancient ruins of Karnak
Great Hypostyle Hall and clouds at the Temples of Karnak
Great Hypostyle Hall and clouds at the Temples of Karnak
Temple of Seti I
Temple of Seti I
Temple of Seti I
Temple of Seti I
Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahri
Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahri
Horus guarding Hatshepsut temple in the Valley of The Kings, Luxor
Horus guarding Hatshepsut temple in the Valley of The Kings, Luxor
Philae Temple of Isis, Aswan
Philae Temple of Isis, Aswan
Feluccas on the river Nile
Feluccas on the river Nile
 Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens

Temples, tombs and mummies - ancient Egypt’s archaeology is among some of the world’s most revered and it is a great place to welcome in the new year with colourful streets, local entertainment and lavish food.

Starting our adventure in the heart of ancient Thebes, we sail south through Upper Egypt, before exploring ancient Egypt’s southern border. The grand finale of this journey will be our visit to Egypt’s most impressive temple site, Abu Simbel, on the shore of Lake Nasser. We discover the wonders this country has to offer with the expertise of Guide Lecturer, Lucia Gahlin.

  • Led by seasoned Egyptologist and expert, Lucia Gahlin
  • Privileged access to the Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Discover Abu Simbel, one of the most impressive temples in Egypt
  • Explore rarely-visited sites in Western Thebes, such as the tomb of intriguing Pharaoh Ay
  • Cruise the Nile aboard the MS Farah, while visiting the beautifully preserved temples of Upper Egypt

Themes

  • Ancient Egyptians

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

In the morning we depart London and travel to Luxor via Cairo. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel where we will unwind ahead of tomorrow’s tour.

Day 2

We take into consideration our late night and begin our day of visits at a leisurely pace, starting with the fantastic Luxor Museum. A masterfully arranged collection of archaeological artefacts and home to celebrated works of art, including the famous statue of Tuthmosis III - an extraordinarily realistic figure carved out of greywacke, we tour its fantastic collections before stopping for lunch. Later, and there will also be a visit to Aboudi’s bookshop, which is the world’s best English language Egyptological bookshop. Later, we visit Luxor Temple at sunset and this atmospheric visit will be followed by a stroll through the souk.

Day 3

Our day begins with a boat trip across the west bank and we are then treated to a very special visit to the Valley of the Kings. This has been the final resting place of royals and nobility for almost 500 years, with excavations dating the site back as far as the 16th century BC. Its most notable occupant, of course, is King Tutankhamun. We visit this famous tomb, along with very special access to the Tomb of Seti I. After our visit, we will stop for lunch before continuing on to the Valley of the Queens, where we also have special access to the Tomb of Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Our evening will see our minds illuminated by a fascinating lecture.

Day 4

Today is comprised of an unusually comprehensive day of visits to the Temples of Karnak, where we will discover the three temples of the Theban Triad. This captivating complex is the second largest religious site in the world after Angkor Wat. This spectacular, multi-period location has a wealth of historical and religious inscriptions at every turn, and we visit the Temples of Amun and Khonsu in the morning before checking into our next hotel - a boat - where we will stay for the next four nights. After lunch aboard our boat, we return to Karnak to explore the Temple of Mut - Amun’s consort and mother of their divine child Khonsu. There will be a captivating lecture in the evening and dinner will be back on the boat.

Day 5

We take in rarely visited sites on the Theban west bank this morning, including the Tomb of Ay in the Western Valley and the Temple of Seti I (the Qurna Temple). We return to our boat for lunch and then enjoy a glorious afternoon of cruising, before another evening lecture and delicious dinner.

Day 6

In the morning, we make our way to the Temples of the gods of Upper Egypt, starting with the Temple of Edfu. One of the country’s most magnificently preserved shrines, the construction of which is thought to have spanned an incredible 180 years, from the 3rd to the 2nd century BC. Towering at a jaw-dropping 37 metres, its pylon - or gateway - is the highest among all of Egypt’s surviving temples, and is decorated with vivid scenes of King Ptolemy VIII destroying his enemies before Horus. The complex even houses a Nilometer - a structure made to measure the depth and clarity of flooding Nile waters. We also explore the Temple of Sobek, Horus the Elder, Kom Ombo and the site museum.

Day 7

Today, we make our way to ancient Egypt’s southern border and visit the impressive Temple of Isis in Philae. The flooding of Lake Nasser caused the whole complex to be moved from its original location. After, we move onto Aswan Dam and then stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the unfinished obelisk, which is still attached to bedrock as it was abandoned during its creation process. Later, we enjoy a sunset felucca ride to the Botanical Gardens on an island, where we enjoy a gentle stroll and a drink. Dinner will be back on board our boat.

Day 8

A visit to Egypt’s most impressive temple site is where our day begins as we fly to Abu Simbel to visit the temples of Ramesses II and Nefertari. After lunch, we fly to Cairo and transfer to our final hotel of the trip, where we will enjoy our final dinner together as a group.

Day 9

This morning we make our return journey from Cairo back to London, where we say farewell to the friends we’ve made over the past nine days.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

In the afternoon, we travel from London to Luxor via Cairo. Often referred to as the world’s greatest open-air museum, this vibrant town on the banks of the Nile is simply extraordinary. Upon our arrival, we will transfer to our hotel.

Day 2

We take into consideration our late night arrival and begin our day of visits at a leisurely pace, starting with the fantastic Luxor Museum. A masterfully arranged collection of archaeological artefacts and home to celebrated works of art, including the famous statue of Tuthmosis III - an extraordinarily realistic figure carved out of greywacke. Our morning continues with a visit tot Aboudi’s bookshop, which is the world’s best English language Egyptological bookshop. We return to our hotel after lunch for a lecture from our Guide, Lucia, to prepare us for our next temple visit. Ahead of this, there is an opportunity to stroll through the city’s souk. At Luxor Temple, we explore its avenue of sphinxes, military reliefs and papyrus columns, made all the more atmospheric by coinciding with the sunset.

Day 3

After breakfast we travel by boat and coach across the west bank to visit the Valley of the Kings. This was the final resting place of royals and nobility for almost 500 years, with excavations dating the site back as far as the 16th century BC. Its most notable occupant, of course, is King Tutankhamun, whose tomb was famously discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. We visit this famous burial chamber, followed by special access to the Tomb of Seti I. After stopping for lunch, we continue to the Valley of the Queens, where we also have special access to the Tomb of Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II.

Day 4

Today is comprised of an unusually comprehensive day of visits to the Temples of Karnak, where we will discover the three temples of the Theban Triad (three Egyptian gods). This spectacular, multi-period location has a wealth of historical and religious inscriptions at every turn. During our time here we will also see the Temples of Amun and Khonsu in the morning before checking into our next hotel - a boat - where we will stay for the next four nights. After lunch aboard our boat, we return to Karnak to explore the Temple of Mut - Amun’s consort and mother of their divine child Khonsu. There will be a captivating lecture in the evening, followed by our first dinner onboard the MS Farah.

Day 5

We take in rarely visited sites on the Theban west bank this morning, including the Tomb of Ay in the Western Valley and the Temple of Seti I (the Qurna Temple). Ay was prime minister during Tutankhamun’s reign, how he succeeded to the throne on the death of the boy-king is shrouded in mystery. It is a rare treat to visit both the tomb and Theban Temple of the Great Pharaoh Seti I, father of Ramessus II. We return to our boat for lunch before an afternoon of cruising, before another evening lecture and delicious New Year’s Eve gala dinner.

Day 6

In the morning, we make our way to the Temples of the gods of Upper Egypt, starting with the Temple of Horus at Edfu. One of the country’s most magnificently preserved shrines, the construction of which is thought to have spanned an incredible 180 years, from the 3rd to the 2nd century BC. Towering at a jaw-dropping 37 metres, its pylon - or gateway - is the highest among all of Egypt’s surviving temples, and is decorated with vivid scenes of King Ptolemy VIII destroying his enemies before Horus. The complex even houses a Nilometer, a structure made to measure the depth and clarity of flooding Nile waters. This afternoon we explore the Temple of Sobek and Horus the Elder at Kom Ombo and the site’s museum.

Day 7

Today, we disembark and make our way to ancient Egypt’s southern border and visit the impressive Temple of Isis in Philae. The flooding of Lake Nasser caused the whole complex to be moved from its original location. After, we move onto the Aswan Dam and then head back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the unfinished obelisk, which is still attached to granite as it was abandoned during its creation process. Later, we enjoy a sunset felucca ride to the Botanical Gardens on an island, where we enjoy a gentle stroll and a drink. Dinner will be back on board our boat.

Day 8

It’s an early morning start as we transfer to Aswan airport and fly to Abu Simbel, located on the shores of Lake Nassar. Here, we make the most of our last day exploring what is considered to be Egypt’s most impressive temple site, home to the temples of Ramesss II and Nefertari. After lunch, we fly to Cairo and transfer to our hotel, where we will enjoy our final dinner together as a group.

Day 9

This morning we make our return journey from Cairo back to London.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Cairo

Travel Information

Please note: Egypt will be warm with average daily temperatures between 20 and 30 c. Extreme temperatures are however moderated by the prevailing northern winds. Sun protection is the most important thing to consider and wearing a sunhat is essential. Cheap, and pure cotton, sunhats are made locally and available everywhere. Travel clothing should be light and comfortable, 100% cotton clothing is the best.

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2018 Tour Details

Fri 28th December - Sat 5th January

Call for Availability

£3,850

inc.

sgl supp: £465

EGX18A

Led By: Lucia Gahlin

2019 Tour Details

Fri 27th December - Sat 4th January

Available

£3,795

inc.

sgl supp: £495

EGX19A

Led By: Lucia Gahlin

Guide Lecturer

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