Including Siwa Ecolodge
This is a Private Tour – Choose Your Own Date
A Grand 21-Day Tour of the Egypt
Here are all the splendors of Egypt, from the magnificence of the pharaohs to the glory of Alexandria to desert oases and the triumph of El Alamein. Including the Western Sahara Oases, Siwa, El- Bahariya and El Farafra as well as Luxor, Thebes (the capital of Ancient Egypt), and of course Cairo.
DAY 1 – CAIRO – Daily – Year Round – Choose Your Own Date – This is a Private Tour
VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport Upon Arrival.
Our local representative will greet you at the airport and whisk you to your hotel. Visa fee is included and will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport for: Australian, NZ, American, EU, Canadian & Japanese citizens. You are responsible for having your passport in order valid at least for 6 months beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo.
Visa will be issued upon arrival. As you exit the gate, you will pass through a door or two, down some stairs, then walk for 2-5 minutes, until you pass the duty free shops. At the end of a wide corridor you will see the security officers. There you will be met by a local representative, who will be holding a sign with your name.
Our local representative will then take your passport to obtain a stamp from the cashier / bank window and escort you to speak with the passport officer. He will escort you through another last check on your passport as you exit the passport control. In customs area he will assist you in collecting your luggage and clearing customs. After exiting the terminal, our local representative will escort you (private vehicle) to the hotel.
DAY 2 – CAIRO (BLD)
Today you’ll explore the wonders of the Egyptian Museum, with its treasures of the ancient pharaohs: mummies, statuary, and precious stones and metals. Travellers have long come to Cairo just to gaze on these sights, we have the full morning devoted to the Egyptian Museum.
Remainder of the day at leisure, or simply extend your stay at the Museum with the guide at no additional charge until 5 PM. Lunch is included at a charming local restaurant, for example Taboula behind the British Embassy or similar. Dinner is included at Abu-El Sid restaurant.
DAY 3 – CAIRO-GIZA (BLD)
Morning drive to the edge of Cairo and the Giza desert to tour Memphis, Sakkara, including the Step Pyramids, the Serapeum, Unas, Pyramid of Teti and key Mastabas of the Nobles and Imhotep Museum. After lunch at the Mena House you’ll see Cheops Royal Barge Museum, and in Giza, on the edge of the desert, you’ll view the mysterious Sphinx and the Pyramids. Dinner is included at La Bodega Restaurant.
DAY 4 – CAIRO El Bahariya Oases (BLD)
Early morning departure before sunrise to be able to watch the sunrise over the Sahara. We board a private four wheel vehicle and proceed west on the Sahara Highway, (180 Kilometers from Cairo to El Bahariya), visiting Qaser Sleim, Alexander Tomb and Museum of Golden Mummies. Lunch and Dinner at the hotel: Hotel Palm Village Bahariya Oases, Desert Rose Eco Lodge, or Beshimo Lodge, or similar. Evening Bedouin folk show.
DAY 5 – El Farafra Oases (White Desert) (BLD)
After a morning tour of El Bahariya we head for the White Desert (180 Kilometers), on the way we’ll stop ay Crystal Mountain to marvel at the different shapes of limestone, arrive Farafra Oasis. Dinner is included at El Farafra Oases Badawiya Hotel
DAY 6 – CAIRO (BL)
After breakfast, early morning drive back to Cairo (380 Kilometers). Lunch box including bottled water and fruit will be provided. Remainder of the day at leisure in Cairo.
DAY 7 – CAIRO (BLD)
Today, we’ll get to know more of Cairo, both historic and contemporary. We’ll set off for Khan el-Khalili, the labyrinthine bazaar district with its array of spice shops and clothing merchants and purveyors of baskets and brass ware and a thousand other specialties. We’ll also stop at the Citadel of Saladin, the Alabaster Mosque, Sultan Hassan Great Mosque, a true master piece. The afternoon is devoted to seeing more of Islamic Cairo’s sights: Ibn Touloun Mosque, Muiz LedeenAllah District, Beit El Sehiimi,and Wekalet el Ghouri.
We’ll continue to the Gayer-Anderson House, a serene and classic domestic oasis, right down to its central fountain and exquisite furnishings. Our visit is also a journey into a vanished way of life—the residence is actually two traditional medieval Cairo houses restored by an English physician to a former king. We’ll stop for lunch at a restaurant where Cairenes go, then visit the Bab an-Nasr, the Gate of Victory in Cairo’s old walls. You’ll even see graffiti that survives from soldiers of Napoleon and of the British Empire, among the many who passed this way.
Evening buffet dinner at Zeitouni restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo. Authentic Lebanese flavours come alive in Zeitouni: Guests enjoy a wide range of authentic Lebanese specialties such as breads, mezzes and grilled dishes, prepared by a team of gourmet Lebanese chefs.
DAY 8 – Luxor – Dendera – Abydos (BL)
Morning flight to Luxor! Air fare is included in economy class with tax. In Luxor, we proceed from the airport – private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur, private Egyptologist – and we drive inland to tour Denderah Temple which is among the best preserved in Egypt. This temple as a sight to hold. Indiana Jones would have felt at home, with the massive stones and underground passages.
DENDERAH IN A DAY:
We’ll travel to Denderah to visit the Temple of Hathor, one of the best-preserved in all of Egypt, and also one of the most important. In the ancient beliefs, Hathor was the consort of the god of daylight, ruler of the west, and protector or the underworld. In the manner of wise desert wayfarers, we’ll leave before dawn to take advantage of cool temperatures. Our air-conditioned van will take us through timeless Nile-side villages, where life revolves around the irrigation and harvest of crops. Finally, we’ll reach the temple precincts. We’ll take note of the unusually deep tombs, and pass under the celebrated Zodiac, in a chapel dedicated to Osiris. (Denderah is the traditional site of his rebirth.) Our full day will also include a visit to Abydos, traditional home of Osiris, god of the underworld, and a stopping point on the journey of wayfaring souls. We’ll enjoy a box lunch, and return to Luxor and your hotel where dinner is included.
Sample Deluxe:Old Winter, Sonesta St. George, Hilton or Sheraton, Steigenberger, or similar. Sample First: Novotel. Mercure or similar.
DAY 9 – LUXOR (BD)
Breakfast at leisure. Morning tour of Luxor Museum, then we’ll set out for the imposing Great Temple of Amon at Karnak and the Temple of Luxor, in the evening your guide will call on you for a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout Luxor souks and water front. Dinner is included at a charming local restaurant.
DAY 10 – VALLEY OF THE KINGS (BLD)
We’ll set out across the Nile to view an array of ancient splendors: the tomb chambers of the Valley of the Kings; the imposing tomb-temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Queens. Stop at the Colossi of Memnon before we head for Medinet Habu, and the Ramesseum.
Deir El Medinah is on Luxor’s west bank where you get a totally different perspective on ancient Egyptian life at the ancient workers’ settlement of Deir el-Medinah. While most of the imposing stone monuments and sites of Egypt honor the lives and after-lives of royalty, Deir el-Medinah gives us unique and surprising insights into the ordinary citizens who constructed and decorated the tombs.
Here we’ll see the excavated homes shared by laborers with their domestic animals. These quarters were surprisingly large, with three good-sized rooms, courtyard, kitchen, and even storage cellars. While ancient Egypt might not have been a workers’ paradise, we’ll see that artisans and builders were highly regarded in their community. We are proud to be the only operator to offer regular visits to this singular ancient settlement in its tour and cruise programs.
Lunch is included at Al-Moudira Hotel. Dinner is included at the Old Winter Palace.
DAY 11 – ESNA, EDFU- KOM OMBO-ASWAN (BLD)
Private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur, private guide. We’ll make our way up the Nile Valley, and on to Esna, visit its temple set in the middle of the town’s square, then off to Edfu and the Temple of Horus, best-preserved in all of Egypt.
We will break to enjoy our lunch box (bottled water included), then off to Kom Ombo to explore the twin temples of Haroeris, the sun god, and Sobek, the crocodile god, then continue our voyage to Aswan.
Deluxe: Old Cataract (closed for renovations), Mövenpick Elephantine Island. First class: Basma Hotel). Dinner is included at your hotel.
DAY 12 – Philae/ Camel Caravan (BLD)
This morning we go by motor launch to the island temples of Philae, dedicated to the Ancient Goddess ISIS.
The Mystery of Isis: Two millennia ago the Mediterranean world was enthralled by the mystery of Isis: “I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or shall be; no mortal man hath ever seen me unveiled.”
Called Aset by the ancient Egyptians, the goddess was a Madonna in the Mediterranean tradition that stretches far, far back to the primitive Mother Goddess from Anatolia, home to some of the oldest human communities on earth.
Isis was the powerful and quick-witted protector of her son Horus, the Sun God. Ancient peoples throughout the Mediterranean regarded Isis and Horus as the perfect Madonna and Child. Another legend says she was also the mother of the fertility god Min who, judging from the depiction of him on temple walls, needed no help from Viagra!
Because of her wisdom and skill at protection, she was admired as a good magician capable of healing the sick and protecting the dead in their journey to the Underworld.
Isis is portrayed regally, as a queen seated on a throne (which may be the meaning of her name), often holding her son Horus as a baby. Other images show her with broad, magnificent gilded wings able to protect the world. Isis, the great Mother Goddess.
All the while, you will have seen feluccas sailing the Nile. Now we’ll experience Egypt at its most authentic, as we sail in one of these graceful craft. We’ll include a tour of the Elephantine Island.
Then to really immerse yourself, try your hand at a complimentary camel riding! We’ll take willing passengers on a traditional caravan to enjoy tea with Nubian villagers.
DAY 13 – CAIRO, ALEXANDRIA (BLD)
After breakfast proceed to the airport of Aswan, where we’ll board a plane to fly northward to Cairo. We’ll be met at the airport, then proceed northward overland (private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur, private guide) to the great port of Alexandria. Lunch box included and delivered at Cairo Airport, with bottled water and fruit where we’ll settle in to our hotel. Dinner is included at your hotel in Alexandria.
Conqueror of the Mediterranean Coast – Alexander the Great
In 332 BC, Egypt was laboring under Persian military control when Alexander the Great arrived to drive out the invaders without the shedding of a drop of blood. The Persian governor surrendered and the conquering hero was hailed as a liberator and given Egypt’s double crown symbolizing control of Upper and Lower Egypt. Alexander reinstated Egypt’s traditional government and founded the city of Alexandria at the country’s most important crossroads: where the Nile meets the Mediterranean.
DAY 14 – ALEXANDRIA (BLD)
Today in Alexandria we tour Qayet Bey Fortress built on the same site of the ancient wonder of the world: the famous Alexandria Light House. A brief stop at ” El Selsela” the site of the Underwater reserve where Cleopatra Place was discovered, as well as Caesar Kiosk. Lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the Crown Jewels Museum, then its off to the new site for the Alexandria Library, and the Museum of Alexandria. The building was originally built in 1926 for the US consulate in Alexandria and is a masterpiece in 1920’s architecture and Mediterranean style buildings. Off to Zanket El Setat and the local souks before we take a short break at the hotel to get ready for an evening walking tour of El -Raml and downtown. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant.
DAY 15 – ALEXANDRIA, EL ALAMEIN (BLD)
We’ll cross into another era of history today, as we motor westward through the dunes along the Mediterranean coast, following the route of Field Marshall Montgomery to El Alamein. Here we’ll visit the fields of battle where Rommel’s advance on Cairo was finally halted. We’ll visit the museum, and stay the night.
As the gateway to Egypt, the Nile and Africa, Alexandria has been contested by armies and navies ever since. In 1798, Lord Nelson defeated Napoleon¹s navy just east of Alexandria.
In 1807 the British occupied the city. In 1941, General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps stormed across North Africa all the way to El Alamein, only 70 miles west of Alexandria.
Rommel was driven back in desperate fighting by British forces under the command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, yet another of the many generals to have struggled for control of this strategic land.
Lunch and dinner are included at your charming hotel in Al-Alamein.
DAY 16 – SIWA, ORACLE OF AMON (BLD)
It’s back to ancient days as we follow the pilgrimage route of Alexander the Great to the Oracle of Amon. He marched westward along the Mediterranean coast, then inland (south) to the great oasis of Siwa. His aim was to visit the great temple of Amun which, tradition says, his legendary “ancestors” Heracles and Perseus had visited. He entered the temple and was hailed by the priests as pharaoh, the son of Amun. He then had a private audience with the High Priestess of the oracle, who proclaimed him to be a god, the son of Zeus. She predicted that he would conquer vast territories. He did. Leaving Egypt, he marched into Persia conquering all who came before him, all the way to what is now Lahore in Pakistan. On his return trip, however, he fell ill and died at the ripe age of 33 in Babylon. According to ancient inscriptions, Alexander’s body was returned to Egypt and buried – but where? Both Siwa and Alexandria are possibilities. His tomb has not yet been identified for sure.
For Deluxe accommodation in Siwa:
The Adrere Amellal lodge (40 rooms and suites) is a boutique oases of luxury in the Egyptian desert that was built with Siwan labour and care so that it would fit entirely into the architectural styles of the oasis. Siwa and the Adrere border the largest ocean of sands in the world. Built out of indigenous material using traditional Siwan building techniques and styles so as to have a minimal impact on the land. The Adrere Amellal Ecolodge sets an example for being environmentally friendly hospitality establishment. Situated at the base of a majestic white mountain and overlooking palm groves and Siwa lake,
Adrere Amellal consists of a series of traditional Siwan houses that have been restored and re-designed into guests suites and rooms, all of which offer genuine desert-style comfort. Furnishing is simple, but of the highest quality, drawing exclusively on local material and design to reflect Siwa’s rugged spirit. The Siwan homes are built using a a mixture of sun dried salt rock mixed with straw for wall building. Furniture and fixtures are made of palm trunks and ceilings are beamed with palm logs, the carpentry and accessories display the rich and colorful variety of Siwa’s indigenous handicraft. Oil lamps and candles are used for lighting. On cold winter nights, coal-filled braziers are used for heating.
A brazier is a container for fire, generally taking the form of an upright standing or hanging metal bowl or box. Used for holding burning coal as well as fires.Braziers are mentioned in the Bible. The Hebrew word rendered “brazier” (´ach) is of Egyptian origin, suggesting that the brazier itself was an innovation from Egypt. Please do not expect that you ‘ll be able to access e.mail tonight!
DAY 17 – Siwa, Oracle of Amon (BLD)
All meals are included today. Today’s tour includes: At Gebel Mawta, we’ll see tombs of the Greco-Roman era, including one that’s reputed to be Alexander’s own tomb. At Siwa, we’ll see an ancient fortress with winding alleyways, and the Temple of Amon, where Alexander’s divinity and legitimacy were proclaimed. Within a short distance we’ll traverse centuries as we visit Cleopatra’s Pool, a Roman outpost, and a Ptolemaic temple. Our lunch break will be at the springs of Ain Sharouf, where we might be able to take a dip.
At your Adrere Ecolodge, your meals are a true culinary delight using a mix of Egyptian, and Siwan cuisine. Always fresh, it is the nearest thing you get to organic in an oases. Fresh yogurt, thick date syrup, eggs, local bread, fruit and rich coffee make up breakfast which is served in natural rocky grottos at the base of the mountain; lunch in village style by the swimming pool, hidden within a palm and olive grove and fed by one of the 230 springs in the area; while dinner is by candle light and served in the maze of dining rooms, alcoves and bars, their mud walls studded with salt mini slabs (from nearby salt lakes) that make dining under candlelight like eating in a “Star War” movie set. The lodge is telephone and electricity free. Candles and torches are used for lighting.
DAY 18 – SIWA, ALEXANDRIA (BLD)
We’ll retrace the desert route to Alexandria this morning (the portion never completed by Rommel), and have the rest of the day free, to stroll the Corniche, acquire mementos of our trip, or look in on daily life in the ancient capital of Cleopatra. Lunch included enroute. Dinner is included in Alexandria: Suggesting Cecil Hotel for location and old world charm.
DAY 19 – ALEXANDRIA, CAIRO (BL)
Today we’ll get to known Alexandria in depth, the Roman Amphitheater, the Koum El Shougafa Tombs, the fortress of Kayet Bey, and the Museum of the Crown Jewels. We will lunch in an Alexandrine restaurant before heading to Wadi El Natroun monastery, almost midway to Cairo, where early Coptic Christians retreated here to escape the Roman persecution in the 4th century AD. The Egyptian Pope of Alexandria is always chosen from the Monks of wadi El Natroun. Reach Cairo early evening and your hotel.
DAY 20 – Dahshour (BL)
Today we tour Dahshour, the pyramid field south of Cairo only opened a few years back after Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel, and the Army let go of this strategically “important” area.
DAHSOUR – we’ll motor to the edge of Cairo, to Dahshour, the newly-opened pyramid field south of Cairo. We visit the great pyramid of Senfru, father of Cheops, and other structures.
The “Discovery” of Dahshour:
For almost half a century, the great field of huge pyramids near the desert village of Dahshour, 25 miles south of Cairo, has been off limits to the public. Confined within the perimeter of a military base were many pyramids, including the great 4500-year-old pyramid built by Senfru, father of Cheops. Senfru’s pyramid, the largest in Egypt until his son built Giza’s Great Pyramid, is rhomboidal in shape: it tapers more distinctly on its upper half. All the pyramids were coated in thick plaster at one time. Most have lost these protective, decorative sheaths, but Senfru’s–miraculously–is still in place. We’ll tour as well the famous “Bent” Pyramid. Lunch is included in Giza, before we head back to Cairo. Remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 21 – RETURN HOME (B)
After breakfast, our Cairo staff will accompany you to the airport, where you’ll board your flight to start your journey home. This tour departs weekly.
RATES per person in USD $:
|Rates per person in USD$|
- All ground transportation to and from airports and touring, always on a private basis, private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur and private guide for all the tours.
- Tips to guides, drivers, porters, your Nile cruise crew, etc.
- Hotel accommodations with tax.
- Domestic air fare in Egypt as per itinerary, economy class, tax included.
- Sightseeing with private guide and entrance fees as indicated.
- Meals as indicated, preset menu (B:Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner).
- Meals as listed, please check the listed symbols on each day: pre-set menu: B/L/D = pre-set menu breakfast / lunch / dinner
- Visa fee is included and will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport for a limited number of nationalities such as: Australian, NZ, American, EU, Canadian, Mexican, South African & Japanese citizens. You are responsible for having your passport in order valid at least for 6 month beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo.
- VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport Upon Arrival.
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
- Personal expenses, such as phone calls, room service, laundry etc.
|Sample Deluxe Hotels (Or similar)
(El Bahariya and El Farafra oases hotels are not as deluxe as the ones in Cairo Alexandria.)
|Cairo||Grand Hyatt, Conrad, Inter.Continental, Marriott|
|Luxor||Deluxe: Old Winter – Nile View
Steigenberger, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Hilton
First: Mercure, Novotel to similar
|Nile Cruise||Movenpick Royal Lotus, Movenpick Royal Lilly, Movenpick Radamis II, M/S Beau Soleil. M/S Sonesta: Sun Goddess, M/S Nile VisionPlease add %20 supplement for: M/S Amarco, Sonesta M/S Moon Goddess|
|Aswan||Elephantine Island Movenpick Aswan,
the Old Cataract Hotel is closed for renovation
|Siwa||Deluxe:Siwa Adrere Ecolodge
First: Safari Paradise Siwa
|El Bahariya||Hotel Palm Village Bahariya Oases, Desert Rose Eco Lodge, or Beshimo Lodge, or similar|
|El Farafra||If you prefer Tent / Camping, please lets know in advance
(please click for info on your camping experience)