A True Grand 16-Day Egyptian Adventure
Alexandra and Siwa Edition
The search continues for the tomb of Alexander the GreatHere are all the splendors of Egypt, from the magnificence of the pharaohs to the glory of the Egyptian desert oases from Alexandria to Siwa and Al-Alamein. This 16-day itinerary includes a Nile cruise, of course, plus the attractions that most visitors miss.
DAY 1 – DEPARTURE – Weekly -Tuesday – Year Round
We take off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, bound for Cairo. Overnight across the Atlantic. Guests who are leaving from the West Coast: You need not to fly via NYC, you fly non-stop to Europe then onward to Cairo.
DAY 2 – CAIRO – Wednesday
VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport Upon Arrival
Our local representative greets you at the airport and whisks 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 month 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, into 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 3 – CAIRO, Thursday (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, but your day includes much more. You’ll see the Cheops Royal Barge Museum, and in Giza, on the edge of the desert, you’ll view the mysterious Sphinx and the Pyramids. Lunch is included at the Mena House. Dinner is included at La Bodega restaurant in Zamalek.
DAY 4 – CAIRO, Friday (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, City of the dead with it’s architectural treasures from Medieval Cairo and more contemporary Ottoman Times, Including Khedive’s tombs & Qait Bey.
Evening buffet dinner at Zeitouni restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo. Authentic Lebanese flavours come alive in Zeitouni, 24 hours a day. An extensive buffet display situated in front of the restaurant’s open kitchen offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests enjoy premier views of the Nile from large picture windows. Secluded alcoves, featuring contemporary wood décor, provide a more intimate dining alternative. Specialties: 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 5 – LUXOR – Nile Cruise – Saturday (BLD)
After breakfast, we fly to Luxor and proceed right to our Nile cruiser for breakfast. While our bags are looked after, we’ll set out for Luxor Museum, then 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 waterfront.
DAY 6 – VALLEY OF THE KINGS – Sunday(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 back to the boat.
Deir El Medinah is on Luxor’s west bank 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.
DAY 7 – ESNA, EDFU -Monday- On Board Your Nile Cruise (BLD)
We’ll make our way up the Nile during the night. After breakfast, we’ll proceed through the Esna locks, and on to Esna itself. Horse-drawn carriages meet us at riverside to take us to the Temple of Horus, best-preserved in all of Egypt. While we continue our sail up the Nile in the evening, we’ll party in Egyptian style. You might well have bought a galabia, the flowing national dress. Now’s your chance to wear it!
DAY 8 – KOM OMBO, ASWAN – Tuesday- On Board Your Nile Cruise (BLD)
Soon after daybreak, we’ll disembark at Kom Ombo to explore the twin temples of Haroeris, the sun god, and Sobek, the crocodile god, then continue our voyage to Aswan. 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. To really immerse yourself, try your hand at camel riding! We’ll take willing passengers on a traditional caravan to enjoy tea with Nubian villagers.
DAY 9 – CAIRO, ALEXANDRIA – Wednesday (BD)
We’ll leave our cruiser after breakfast. Tour he awesome Aswan dams, and next an ancient granite quarry complete with an unfinished obelisk. Then we go by motor launch to the island temples of Philae, dedicated to the Ancient Goddess ISIS.
We 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 to the great port of Alexandria where we’ll settle in to our hotel.
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 Egypt¹s 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. In the evening we enjoy a leisurely walking guided tour of the old medina and “El Raml”. Private Egyptologist – Private Air-Conditioned Vehicle. Private Chauffeur
DAY 10 – ALEXANDRIA, EL ALAMEIN – Marsa Matrouh – Thursday (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 museums war memorials.
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 is included at Ala-Alamein Charm Hotel or similar then we are off to Marsa Matrouh where dinner and comfortable beds await us.
DAY 11 – Marsa Matrouh – SIWA, ORACLE OF AMON – Friday (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. In Siwa expect nothing but the best: Adrere Amellal Ecolodge (must book in advance). Imagine a hotel without electricity, let alone internet access, a true dream come true, no faxes, no e.mail!!
The Adrère Amellal lodge (40 rooms and suites), this 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 12 – Siwa, Oracle of Amon – Saturday (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 get 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, 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 13- SIWA, ALEXANDRIA – Sunday (BLD)
Today is a very full and long day as we head back north, we break for lunch at Marsa Matrouh, then off to Al-Alamein for a brief stop at Al-Alamein Charm hotel. Day use rooms will be available for one hour to take showers, freshen up, enjoy supper/light dinner then we’ll retrace the desert route to Alexandria the ancient capital of Cleopatra and your hotel.
DAY 14 – ALEXANDRIA, CAIRO – Monday (BLD)
Today, we’ll get to known Alexandria in depth, as we visit the Roman Amphitheater, the Koum El Shougafa Tombs, the fortress of Kayet Bey, and the new Library of Alexandria. After lunch in an Alexandrine restaurant, we’ll travel to Cairo with a stop at wadi El Natroun, lunch is included enroute. Dinner is included at the hotel.
DAY 15 – Pharaonic Giza, Tuesday (BLD)
Today we tour Memphis and Sakkara, including the Step Pyramid of Zoser & Nobles tombs/Mastabas, The Serapeum, Unas, Pyramid of Teti and key Mastabas. In the afternoon the tour takes us to Dahshour, the pyramid field south of Cairo:only-opened 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. Dinner is included at La Bodega Restaurant.
DAY 16 – CAIRO – Home Hosted Dinner – Wednesday (BLD)
The Culture of Cairo: Today we’ll explore deep into the heart of Cairo, and get to know its daily rhythms, its spirituality, its history, and its modern diversions. We’ll start early, with a visit to a local market, with an immense variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables on offer, both familiar and exotic.
You’ll see that shopping in Cairo goes far beyond a supermarket experience. Be prepared for whispers, gestures, shouting, and controlled chaos. It’s all part of the bargaining process, engaged in by women in traditional modest garb as well as others in Western dress.
Then it’s on to the Museum of Islamic Art, with its tapestries, textiles, swords and other objects exemplifying one of the world’s great decorative traditions. 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.
Dinner is included at a local home:
Meet the locals: This evening we’ll venture where few ordinary visitors ever tread… right into the homes of some of the people of Cairo! You’ll be invited to a family dinner, and while you enjoy wholesome home-cooked specialties, you’ll learn about and appreciate the outlook, aspirations, and way of life of your hosts. Be assured, as curious as you may be about your new friends, they’re sure to have questions about your own background. Once the ice is broken, you’ll enjoy a lively evening, and find that you have more in common than you ever suspected. Of course, if you prefer, you may enjoy a quiet evening with your travel companions by letting us know your preferences. You may wish to bring token gifts to exchange with the host family (T shirt, small souvenirs of your home town).
DAY 17 – RETURN HOME – Thursday (B)
After breakfast, our Cairo staff will accompany you to the airport, where you’ll board your flight to start your journey home. Click here for more images from the Oases.
RATES per person in USD, based on departure from New York on Egyptair, Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Air France via Paris or British Airways via London or Olympic Airways via Athens, etc, we will confirm to based on availability at the time you book with us.
Rates per person in US$
- Air fare supplement: Doesn’t apply when you handle your own air fare.
- For travel in May thru end of Sep, please note that a $ 350 airfare supplement is added to the above rates.
- Air fare from your home city: For departures from most west coast cities, as well as Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Orlando or Atlanta please add $ 350 to the above rates. Boston, Miami: $ 250
- All ground transportation to and from airports and while touring overland.
- Hotel accommodations with tax.
- Domestic air fare in Egypt as per itinerary, economy class, tax included
- Cabin on Nile cruise vessel, with all meals & shore Excursions. Cruise embarkation is from Luxor or Aswan.
- Your Nile Cruise will always Include: Complimentary welcome drink upon arrival on board the Nile Cruise.
- Complimentary welcome fruit basket on board the Nile Cruise.
- Large bottle of water (per person) delivered to you cabin daily while you are on board the Nile Cruise.
- Tea or coffee an bottled water with each / every meal while you are on board the Nile Cruise.
- Airfare from New York to Cairo and return, and domestic air within Egypt as per itinerary, all in economy class, tax included.
- Sightseeing with guide and entrance fees as indicated.
- Meals as indicated, preset menu (B:Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: 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 months beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo.
- VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport Upon Arrival.
- Abu Simbel Excursion
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
- Personal expenses.
- CAIRO – Bahariya Oasis: 365 Kilometers
- Bahariya Oasis – White Desert: 140 Kilometers
- White Desert – Farafra Oasis: 40 Kilometers
Ask us for more details.
Activities and Tours
This program gives you an idea of the daily flow of activities in Adrere Amellal: Breakfast is served on a shaded terrace overlooking the lake. If you do not know where to head for breakfast, just listen for the sound of the cutlery and plates and they will lead you to the right place.