Bare Bones | Essential Cairo
The area around Cairo, just before the Nile branches into many streams in the Nile Delta, bears some of the most fascinating sites of Pharaonic Egypt. On this 6-day trip based in the heart of the capital, we will explore both its modern buzz and ancient glory, as we visit the most important sites of this region. In Cairo, we will wander the halls of the Egyptian Museum, housing the most fascinating Pharaonic artefacts worldwide including the iconic golden mask of Tutankhamun. On a walking tour, we will explore the famous Saladin Citadel. On our excursions to Saqqara, Memphis, Dashur and Giza, our expert guide will introduce you to the compelling history of the country, pieced back together by egyptologists for over a hundred years.
- See the Great Pyramid at Giza and the step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara
- Led by expert guides – all specialists in Egyptian archaeology or ancient history
- Enjoy a guided visit to the Egyptian Museum, home of the golden mask of Tutankhamun
- Great Cities
- Ancient Egyptians
- Just One Hotel
We arrive in bustling Cairo, and transfer to our central hotel for a night to unwind and adjust before we begin tomorrow morning.
Our introduction to Cairo starts with an orientation walk around the centre with our expert guide. This includes a visit to the city’s magnificent medieval Saladin Citadel, which has stood for almost 1,000 years. This afternoon, we spend some time at the Museum of Eyptian Antiquities to view its vast collection of various artefacts, including the gold mask of Tutankhamun. Following the tour, you are free to browse the collections further at your leisure, or venture back and experience the city itself.
We journey out to Saqqara, the vast necropolis to the Old Kingdom capital Memphis, started during the Early Dynastic period and used throughout thousands of years. Our guide will introduce us to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the Mastaba of Mereuka and the Pyramid of Unas. In the Imhotep Museum the masterpieces of the area are on display for us to discover. In the afternoon, we journey to the open-air museum of Memphis to view the ruins of the ancient city. On returning to Cairo, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax or continue sightseeing at your own pace.
This morning we make our way to the Royal necropolis of Dashur, south of Cairo. Here, we visit some of the oldest pyramids of Egypt, including the aptly named Bent Pyramid, built by Pharaoh Sneferu during the Old Kingdom. After pausing for lunch, we make our way to the Giza plateau, home to the last still standing official Wonder of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid. We also visit the enigmatic Sphinx, and the Solar Boat Museum, where a preserved ship discovered in 1954, can be viewed in its entirety. We end the day admiring the Great Pyramid of Khufu and wander its passageways into the Royal chambers and grand gallery.
Our last full day in Cairo starts with a visit to the fairly recently re-opened Museum of Islamic Art, the largest specialised museum of its kind in the world. Next stop will be at the Coptic Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Christian artefacts from Egypt, which display the influences of Pharaonic, Graeco-Roman and Islamic cultures. We then take in the sights, smells and sounds of the Khan el Khalili bazaar, a historic spot brimming with merchants and various goods. On breaking for lunch the choice of what to do next is yours, as our guide leaves us to pass our final afternoon in Cairo. Order a delicious Arabic coffee, barter for souvenirs, and lose yourself in the splendours of the city.
Our tour concludes this morning. Transfers are available to the airport for your onward travel.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Breakfast only
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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