Add a unique element to your Egyptian holiday by combining it with the magical Abu Simbel Sun Festival. Explore the Pyramids and Sphinx, historic temples, the Valley of the Kings and sail down the Nile on a traditional felucca, taking in village life with various stops for swimming.
- Abu Simbel - visit this awe-inspiring temple at sunrise to witness the incredible phenomenon of the Abu Simbel Sun Festival
- Cairo - marvel at the legendary Pyramids of Giza, explore the Necropolis of Saqqara and see King Tut's treasures at the Egyptian Museum
- Luxor West Bank - discover exquisite tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the towering Colossi of Memnon and the beautiful Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
- Luxor - roam around the colossal Temple of Karnak and take an optional tour of the beautifully illuminated Luxor Temple at night
- Aswan - take leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island to explore the romantic Philae Temple and wander around the colourful souqs
- Nile felucca cruising - sail the River Nile on board a traditional felucca and spend two nights sleeping under a blanket of stars (or upgrade to a 5 star Nile Cruise)
- Kom Ombo - visit the Nile side Temple of Kom Ombo
16 + if accompanied by an adult. Where a tour includes an overnight felucca the minimum age to travel by felucca is 18 yrs. An alternative for those aged 16+ would be to take the Nile Cruise upgrade, if offered for this section of the trip.
Day 1: Cairo
Saturday 19 Oct 2019. Welcome to Egypt! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or those arriving early can opt to join our optional Backstreets of Cairo tour which departs the hotel at 10am. Tonight your Welcome Meeting will be held at 7pm.
Day 2: Pyramids & Saqqara ( overnight in Sleeper Train)
Cairo - Aswan. Today visit to the stunning pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. Continuing to Saqqara, we can explore the myriad tombs and temples at this site and see Zhoser’s step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC. Later there will be a chance to have dinner before the overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Day 3: Philae Temple ( overnight in Hotel/Coach Journey to Abu Simbel)
Aswan - Abu Simbel. After arrival and check in in Aswan we visit the Temples of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Spend the rest of the day at leisure; shop in the colourful souqs or simply kick back and relax.
Back at the hotel there will be time to rest and recuperate before departing in the early hours of the morning on our coach journey toward the Temples of Abu Simbel. Here we will await the first rays of sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Day 4: ABU SIMBEL SUN FESTIVAL & Kom Ombo
22 October. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Felucca Cruise. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt, with its gargantuan rock-cut façade, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers. Celebrating a life that spanned nearly a centenary, Ramses had plenty of time for his more than 200 wives and concubines who produced him some 96 sons and 60 daughters.
Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an awesome self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself, which sit majestically staring out across the desert. Over the centuries, the desert sands imperceptibly shifted until the temple was all but lost to humanity. It was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer called John Lewis Burkhardt. Only one of the heads of the pharaohs was showing and only a small part of the rest of the colossal temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon Abu Simbel and starting excavating, that the full glory of the temple of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world.
The temple was dedicated to the deified Pharaoh, King Ramses II, known also as the great builder and the gods Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ptah. In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the entire temple precisely positioned in order for the sun’s rays to align just twice a year, on the date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) to illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible natural phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds pack into the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the rock hewn inner Hypostyle Hall (replete with further statues of the king) and through to the Sanctuary. As we are lead through the temple there will be time to pause for a moment to watch the sun illuminating the statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statute of Ptah - the god of darkness - remains in the shadows.
Famously, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned, though the event this morning itself is no less stunning. After the event, there will also be plenty of time to explore the Sun Temple of King Ramses II, the Temple of Hathor and take plenty of pictures.
Upon returning to Aswan around noon we board our Nile felucca for a 2 night voyage downstream on the River Nile. In the afternoon we dock near Kom Ombo and take a motorboat to visit the temple before returning to the felucca for the night.
If sailing by felucca is not your style, navigate the River Nile on board a 5 star Nile Cruiser with private cabin and ensuite bathroom. See our Nile Cruise Upgrade for more info.
Day 5: Felucca Sailing
Nile Felucca Sailing. Relax, go for a swim or just chill out in the sun on deck. Let your troubles melt away, as the felucca plies its route and Egyptian life carries on all around you.
Day 6: Luxor
We disembark this morning and drive a few hours north too Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight, an optional visit to the Temple of Luxor is available, alternatively enjoy the facilities of our hotel.
Day 7-8: Valley of the Kings ( overnight in 1 night Sonesta St George Hotel & 1 night Sleeper Train)
Luxor - Cairo. On day 7, Today we explore the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs. After lunch we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the stone papyrus columns.
Day 8 is a free day for you to explore the wonders of Luxor independently or take advantage of the facilities at the hotel that include a relaxing pool with swim up bar and health and fitness facilities. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
Day 9: The Egyptian Museum
This morning we arrive back into Cairo and embark on a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum, acclaimed for its treasures of King Tutankhamun and his famous solid gold funerary mask. Then we offer an optional visit to the exotic Khan el Khalili Bazaar.
Day 10: Cairo
Monday 28 Oct 2019. Our Egyptian adventure comes to an end today. Included departure transfer to the airport later today in time for your international flight.
Touring with On The Go Tours
Group tours are their speciality. It's what they do well. They started with one trip to Egypt and their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco. Featuring exotic destinations in Europe like Turkey, Iceland, Croatia & Russia, and the colourful countries of India, Sri Lanka and Nepal in the subcontinent, they're now very much a Southeast Asia specialist too, with Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand proving very popular. Japan was recently added as a group touring destination to complement China in the Far East. And Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico are their top picks in Latin America.
Visiting exotic far flung places across the globe, their group tours, which generally consist of between 16-18 people, strike a balance between well-planned itineraries which include key highlights and spare time to do your own thing as well. They include unique travel experiences and there’s lots of real local interaction too, giving you a true flavour of the countries you visit. They organise everything to make your holiday seamless; your transportation, complimentary airport transfers, sightseeing, guiding and some meals. Your tour will be lead by their expert and passionate tour leaders. Captivating, informative and caring, they will ensure your holiday is fun and hassle-free. And, with international English speaking guests and no upper age limit, their tours make for a really fun, unique and eclectic group mix.