Egypt at New Year
Pyramids, tombs and mummies – the archaeology of ancient Egypt is one of the most instantly recognisable of all the great civilisations and is a great place to welcome in the new year with colourful streets, local entertainment and lavish food!
We build up your excitement to the New Year celebrations with visits to these incredible monuments and ‘meet’ the real ancient Egyptians: from the legendary pharaohs to the humble workers who laboured to build their tombs and palaces. We discover the wonders this country has to offer with the expertise of Guide Lecturer Lucia Gahlin.
- Led by seasoned Egyptologist, Lucia Gahlin, a wonderful travel companion who has lectured extensively throughout Egypt & excavated Tell el- Amarna for several years.
- 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.
This is one of the best places to enjoy New Year’s Eve!
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.
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.
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. After our visit, we will stop for lunch before continuing on to the Valley of the Queens, where we also have special access. Our evening will see our minds illuminated by a fascinating lecture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Field Notes
- Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Cairo