Take a 13 day tour of incredible Egypt, from Mediterranean Alexandria and the Commonwealth War Graves of El Alamein, to the legendary Pyramids of Giza, the sunny southern city of Aswan and Luxor's tomb strewn Valley of Kings. Cruising the Nile, exploring ancient wonders and more.
Tuesday. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday. Arrive Cairo Airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day offers free time for you relax and maybe have a dip in the swimming pool.
Bright and early this morning we drive to the port side city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast. Arriving at the windswept city known for its broad beaches and seafront corniche dotted with sun loungers, amusements and cafes we embark on a guided tour of the Roman catacombs. Heading underground we view the largest known Roman burial site in Egypt, complete with burial chambers, labyrinth alleyways and entertaining rooms for families coming to visit the dead. <br/><br/> From the catacombs we visit Pompey's Pillar, a modest 25m tower, which is all that remains of an ancient column, from the ruined Temple of Serapis. Our next stop is the impressive Library of Alexandria, where free time will be offered for photos of the exterior (and if we are fortunate and it is open to the public during our stop here, those who are interested can go inside). Lastly today, we take a leisurely stroll along the corniche to the Citadel of Quaitbey. We explore this attractive fortress, which was built on the site of the legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which was destroyed by a powerful earthquake 1323AD. <br/><br/> After hotel check in and time to freshen up we'll head out for a drive along the corniche followed by dinner (included).
Today we visit the Commonwealth War Graves of El Alamein. It is here where two extended battles were fought during World War II. The first began on the 1st July 1942 and lasted for 27 days, it ended as a stalemate. After 3 months of holding back the enemy, the Allies launched a second attack which lasted for 13 days. This saw the Allied forces (including British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers) push back the Axis powers for ultimate defeat in Tunisia. Some 13,000 Allied soldiers were killed and 70,000 were wounded in the battle. <br/><br/> Later, we tour the compact El Alamein military museum that acts as a memorial for the battle and houses lots of original war vehicles, weapons, uniforms and records. Displays in the museum detail the complete history of World War II in North Africa from all sides and stands on the site where the actual battle took place. This afternoon we return to Cairo.
Enjoy a free day in Cairo before the rest of your Egyptian adventure. Relax by the hotel pool or join our optional Backstreets of Cairo tour, which departs the hotel at 10am and takes you off the beaten track in Egypt's bustling capital, visiting Downtown Cairo, the exquisite mosques and monuments of El Moez Street in Islamic Cairo, Garbage City and the incredible Cave Church of St. Simon.
Visit the famous pyramids and iconic Sphinx at Giza Plateau today. 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! A visit to a government supervised Papyrus Museum will also be made at some point during today.
Cairo - Aswan. On today’s excursion we visit the Grand Egyptian Museum. This newly opened site is just 2km from the pyramids and is home to a vast collection of artefacts from across ancient Egypt’s diverse history. Many of the exhibits have never been on public display before and many more have been recalled to the museum from across Egypt and the rest of the world. There is a full exhibition dedicated to the treasures of Tutankhamun and the museum makes use of modern technology including virtual reality. <br/><br/> After our guided tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum we head over to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to visit the incredible Royal Mummies' Hall, where the mummies of 20 ancient Egyptian kings and queens are now on display. Then there's time to relax back at the hotel before we board the night train to Aswan this evening. <br/><br/> Please Note: the Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open late 2021. An official date has yet to be released. If travelling prior to the opening of the new facility we'll visit the Egyptian Museum instead.
This morning we arrive into Aswan and enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. Then a brief stop will be made at a perfume oil emporium before check-in on board your Nile Cruiser which will be home for the next three nights. Later, there is free time to perhaps enjoy some shopping in the colourful souks and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile.
Aswan - Nile Cruising. Today there is an optional early morning excursion by road to Abu Simbel, the famous the rock-cut temple of King Ramses II. Our Nile cruiser departs Aswan this afternoon and we cruise the River Nile to Kom Ombo where we disembark to visit the temple which is dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek before returning to the cruiser.
Nile Cruise - Luxor. Relax, enjoy a swim in the pool and chill out in the sun on deck this morning. Let your troubles melt away as we cruise the River Nile to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Arriving into Luxor this afternoon the rest of the day is free to explore the city before we spend our final night aboard the cruiser.
This morning we disembark and check into our 5 star Luxor hotel. The day is free to enjoy the hotel facilities, relax and explore. Tonight, we have the opportunity to visit Luxor Temple with dinner afterwards. Built by Amenophis III, Luxor Temple looks stunning at night when it's illuminated by hundreds of lights (book and pay locally).
Luxor - Cairo. Today we will tour the West Bank of the Nile. An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce midday heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. Highlights of the visit include the Colossi of Memnon, a massive pair of statues that stand silent against a historic backdrop, the Valleys of the Kings with its beautifully decorated tombs, constructed to once house the regal sarcophagi enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting passage into the after-life and the awesome colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. <br/><br/> This afternoon after lunch and time to relax we visit the colossal Temple of Karnak, with its stone-columned Hypostle Hall. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
We arrive back in Cairo where today is free for you to relax or explore Egypt’s capital at leisure. You can opt to visit Khan el Khalili bazaar, the ideal place for some last minute souvenir shopping.
Sunday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport.
From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.
With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodation. Essentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.
Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.