An epic journey to uncover the iconic sites and hidden gems of glorious Egypt

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every detail taken care of

  • Personalised journeys from start to finish

  • Every trip helps support Conservation

  • Every detail taken care of

Itinerary highlights

  • Unravel the mysteries of Dam Temple and the Unfinished Obelisk
  • Embark on a magical evening visit to Luxor Temple
  • Witness ancient treasures at the Egyptian Museum
  • Marvel at the magnificent Pyramids

What's included

  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
  • Expert guides in each destination
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Meet and greet airport service
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Embark on a journey of discovery through the enchanting wonders of Egypt. Your extraordinary adventure begins with an arrival transfer to your stunning hotel in Cairo. Begin by immersing yourself in the timeless grandeur of ancient Egypt with an expert briefing that will give you detailed insights into this captivating land.

Set off on an expedition along the Nile to Saqqara and Dahshur, where the echoes of history resonate through the magnificent pyramids. Stand in awe before the pyramids and Sphinx, then traverse the landscapes of Alexandria. Take a domestic flight to visit Abu Simbel, a breathtaking testament to ancient architectural artistry. Surrounded by Nubian tradition and hospitality, you will be treated to an authentic encounter with the welcoming locals. In Aswan, the Dam Temple and Unfinished Obelisk offer a glimpse into antiquity, while the Crocodile Temple of Kom Ombo beckons with its mystical allure. Visit the sacred Edfu Temple, and let the beauty of Gebel El Silsila captivate you.

In Esna, the Temple of Khnum and the Valley of Kings and West Bank unveil a deeper dive into the stories of ancient royalty. As the sun sets, a magical evening visit to Luxor Temple envelops you in an ambiance of pure enchantment. Stay near the Red Sea and witness the magnificence of Karnak Temple, then indulge in a day of leisure. Take a domestic flight and explore the treasures of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation. In Old Cairo, an expert briefing on Egypt today connects you with the country’s current affairs. Then marvel at the artefacts in the Egyptian Museum and visit the Cairo Synagogue. 

Ascend to the Citadel and Mohammed Ali Mosque, the epitome of architectural opulence, and gain first-hand insight into life in Manshiyat Nasser. As the sun sets, Cairo, a city that never sleeps and always enchants, reveals its captivating allure by night.

Example trip itinerary

Days 1 - 2

Cairo

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Mena House Cairo

Expert Briefing: Ancient Egypt Expert Briefing: Ancient Egypt

Meet with an expert academic Egyptologist today for an approximately hour long meeting that will help you to understand the fascinating history of this incredible part of the world. This briefing will help you to put into context the ancient Egyptian sites you will see, or have already seen, while on your adventure. Together you will explore some of the vital questions, and of course learn the answers, surrounding ancient Egypt, such as: What was an ancient Temple, and what was its purpose? What was the role of the King and the expectations upon him (or her) in terms of religious and cosmic obligations?
You will also gain a basic understanding of ancient Egyptian sacred art and hieroglyphics, the fundamental principles around tombs and the afterlife and begin to grasp what was the concept of the afterlife, who got there, and how?

Saqqara and Dashur Saqqara and Dashur

Visit the ancient pyramid site of Saqqara where you'll learn more about the history and evolution of these pyramid structures. At Saqqara, you will discover how the ancient Egyptians experimented with stepped pyramids, including the famous step pyramid of Djoser which is the oldest stone building complex in the world. Astonishingly you will also learn how at Saqqara the Egyptians tried to rebuild entire worlds for use in the afterlife. If you would like to enter a pyramid you might consider doing so at Saqqara where it is less busy than Giza and some of the pyramids have inscriptions inside (please note this is more physically difficult than most people anticipate and is not advised for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, or neck, back or knee problem). You will also view the bent pyramid of Dashur and your guide will tell you about the history of the Red Pyramid.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Transfer to your hotel in Alexandria

Days 3 - 4

Alexandria

Four Seasons Alexandria

Sphinx carving in front of Egyptian pyramid with tourists below
Pyramids and Sphinx, half day tour Pyramids and Sphinx, half day tour

Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only one remains today: The Great Pyramid of Giza. These massive structures served as a way for kings to journey to the next world and emerge as gods. Despite their age, the pyramids still overwhelm and impress visitors. You will visit all three of the pyramids at Giza, and also get to see their collective grandeur from a panoramic view point. You will have a chance to enter a pyramid should you want to, however please note climbing into a pyramid is much more physically demanding than most people realise and is not recommended for anyone who is unfit, or has even slight physical ailments.

Proceed to the Great Sphinx with its head of a man and body of a lion, gazing imposingly across the valley and try to unravel some of the mysteries behind this monument together with your guide.

Alexandria Alexandria

The modern city of Alexandria has a very interesting past. For many years it was one of the most important cities in the world, its great library the repository of a world of scientific knowledge and literary achievement. The historic remains of the city include the fascinating catacombs which demonstrate the merging of Hellenic and Egyptian cultures and religions. Pompey's Pillar towers more than 25 meters high and provides access to an ancient library. You'll also discover the Roman amphitheatre of Kom El Dekka; and from the Mumluk period the impressive Citadel of Qaitbay which stands on the site of the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria. You will also visit the present-day great library of Alexandria which stands on the site of its famous antique predecessor which Caesar destroyed. Alexandria is a laid-back coastal city and we recommend enjoying a super fresh lunch at a local fish restaurant with views onto the sea

Day 5

Aswan and Abu Simbel

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Domestic flight to Abu Simbel

Old Cataract Aswan

Abu Simbel Abu Simbel

It's well worth the journey down to the border of Sudan to marvel at the temples at Abu Simbel which were built by Ramses II to demonstrate the might and glory of Egypt to the nearby Nabatean tribes. There are 20m tall twin statues of Ramses II carved into the mountainside as well as images of the king bearing the double crown of lower and upper Egypt. Knee high to Ramses, you'll see his wife Queen Nefertari and his children, their diminutive form indicative of their lower status. The great temple of Abu Simbel was dedicated to the sun god Amun, the god Ra-Horakhty and the god Ptah, and to the deified form of Ramses himself. The rescue story of these monuments from the rising waters of Lake Nasser is also remarkable – the monuments were cut into blocks and then moved, stone by stone, to more elevated land.

Nubian Experience and Hospitality Nubian Experience and Hospitality

Embark on a fascinating journey to Aswan, where you will have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating Nubian community of Egypt. The Nubians, an ethnic group hailing from Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt, have been an integral part of the Nile region for centuries, renowned for their expertise in trading precious goods such as gold and spices. This tour takes you beyond the surface, offering an authentic glimpse into the lives of the Nubian people. Unlike conventional tourist encounters, we steer clear of the well-trodden path and guide you to the unexplored side of a genuine Nubian village. Here, you will interact with the locals, step inside their homes, and discover their unique infrastructure. Accompanied by the villagers themselves, you will embark on a village tour, encountering remarkable ancient remnants that deviate from the typical tourist routes.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Transfer to your Nile cruiser

Days 6 - 8

Nile

The Oberoi Zahra

Aswan: Dam, temple and unfinished obelisk Aswan: Dam, temple and unfinished obelisk

The relaxed city of Aswan definitely deserves its reputation as Egypt's most beautiful city. Much of what you will see here is in some way connected with the momentous damming of the Nile here during the 1960s to control the annual flooding and create Lake Nasser. The ambitious project took decades to complete. The scale of the engineering works is impressive and standing at the top of the dam you will enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding arid desert scenery. Continue to the temple of Philae, an outstanding temple complex dedicated to the goddess Isis and dating back to the Ptolemaic age of about 690 BCE. There are many legends associated with Isis and the temple, but the most famous is the story of Isis finding the heart of Osiris after his murder by his brother Seth. As with Abu Simbel this temple was dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt on higher ground to avoid it being flooded by the damming of the Nile. The temple is accessed by motorboat.

Next you will visit the unfinished obelisk which was ordered by Pharaoh Hatshepsut (1508–1458 BC), and had it been finished it would have been the largest obelisk around at over 40 meters. It seems that its creators started the work of carving it out of the bedrock but the stone became cracked and the project was abandoned. Today it gives fascinating insights into ancient Egyptian engineering and stone cutting techniques.

Kom Ombo (the Crocodile Temple) Kom Ombo (the Crocodile Temple)

Visit the enchanting temple of Kom Ombo, nestled on the picturesque banks of the Nile River, midway between Luxor and Aswan. This magnificent temple traces its origins back to the Ptolemaic dynasty around 200 BCE and holds a captivating tale of dual deities. Dedicated to Horus, the Falcon God symbolizing keen vision and the love of the people, and Sobek, the crocodile god representing earthly instincts and revered out of fear, this unique double temple embodies the profound notion that within each of us reside both good and bad. It stands as a timeless reminder that humanity's purpose lies in maintaining a harmonious equilibrium within ourselves and in the universe.

Kom Ombo Temple, beyond its spiritual significance, played a pivotal role in ancient Egypt's medical practices. With Sobek revered as the god of fertility, the temple became a prominent hub for fertility treatments and various other forms of healing. Adorning its walls are intricate depictions of ancient Egyptian medicine and hygiene practices, including the meticulous washing of food before consumption, offering glimpses into the civilization's advanced understanding of health and well-being.

To honor Sobek within the temple, priests would embark on a ritual journey to the Nile, selecting a living crocodile to reside in this sacred space. When the crocodile eventually passed away, it would be mummified and replaced, a custom that highlights the reverence bestowed upon the deity. Today, you can witness these preserved crocodile mummies at the adjacent museum—a small but truly captivating treasure trove.

Edfu Temple Edfu Temple

Today you will get the chance to explore the iconic, towering temple of Edfu, also known as the temple of Horus. Extremely well preserved and dedicated to the falcon god, Horus, this huge structure lies on the west bank of the river Nile. The temple’s history stands out in a land full of ancient stories, as it’s believed to have been constructed during Ptolemaic times, about 200 BCE. This is a later period than many of Egypt’s key monuments.

What makes this temple so impressive to visit is that the entire structure of the sanctuary – walls, floor and ceiling – remain intact today. Also in exceptional condition are the inscriptions visible on the temple walls which, according to Egyptian mythology, depict the battle between Horus and the god Seth and also refer to daily life in Egypt during this time.

Gebel El Silsila Gebel El Silsila

Gebel El Silsila is the narrowest site of the Nile. Here you'll visit the ancient quarries and learn more about how the Egyptians used to source materials and build.

Esna: Temple of Khnum Esna: Temple of Khnum

Venture south of Luxor today to the town of Esna to explore its famous temple dedicated to the god Khnum, as well as his consorts and son, and the goddess Neith. Khnum temple is often peaceful and, with less tourists visiting, you should get to experience an exclusive and meaningful visit here. A tour of the temple will reveal stunning remains as well as centuries of sand and dirt debris that still shroud around half of the ruins - creating a dramatic juxtaposition.

According to ancient Egyptian mythology, Khnum had the head of a ram and created humans from his potter’s wheel. The temple would have been astonishingly beautiful when it was built by Ptolomy VI. It was however the Romans who finally completed the building using a vibrant red sandstone and featuring an impressive portico of six rows of four columns each with lotus leaf capitals, individually designed and different from one another.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Luxor

Day 9

Luxor

Winter Palace Luxor

Aerial view of Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt
Valley of Kings & West Bank Valley of Kings & West Bank

Explore the mystical West Bank of Luxor, once the renowned necropolis of Thebes. Symbolically positioned where the sun bids its farewell, this ethereal city of the departed embodies the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Journey through a captivating array of intricately painted tombs, narrating the afterlife voyage of the honored deceased. Admire the miraculously preserved burial chambers, like Queen Nefertari's, where vivid colors defy the passage of millennia. Immerse yourself in meticulously restored tombs, such as Queen Hatshepsut's temple tomb, offering a vivid glimpse into their former glory. Delve into legend as you witness the world-renowned discovery of Howard Carter—the complete tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, adorned with treasures and provisions for his celestial transition. Time permitting, venture further to the tomb of Ramses I and behold the timeless Colossi of Memnon—monumental stone statues guarding the Theban Necropolis since 1350 BCE.

Luxor Temple Evening Visit Luxor Temple Evening Visit

Revel in the atmosphere, glowing light and cooler temperatures on your evening visit to Luxor temple. You’ll feel mystified as you try to comprehend how the enormous statues and granite obelisk at the entrance could possibly have been created without the use of modern machinery. These statues and the obelisk were signs of fertility and prosperity and were capped with precious metals to capture the light so everyone could find their way to the temples. The temple of Luxor dates to 1400 BCE and was intended for priests rather than the general public. This is also the site where kings were crowned. Alexander the Great claimed to have been crowned at Luxor, but in fact it is unlikely he travelled this far south.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Transfer to hotel in Red Sea

Days 10 - 11

Red Sea

The Chedi El Gouna

Karnak Temple Karnak Temple

Experience the awe-inspiring marvel that is the Karnak Temple, situated in Luxor, the ancient city of Thebes, which once pulsated as the spiritual epicenter of ancient Egypt. It comes as no surprise that Luxor and its surroundings boast an unparalleled concentration of temples, tombs, and monuments, with Karnak reigning as the pinnacle of this sacred landscape. As the earthly abode of the sun god Amun-Re, Karnak held immense significance in the spiritual tapestry of ancient Egypt, showcasing a breathtaking ensemble of shrines, obelisks, and temples.

Days at the Red Sea Days at the Red Sea

Enjoy the beautiful beach destination of the Red Sea - a place for true relaxation or fun activities, the choice is yours. Whether relaxing by the pool, sipping a refreshing drink, or taking a boat for a scuba diving adventure beneath the warm waters there's something for everyone. The waters here are known to have some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. The brightly coloured reef is illuminated by the strong Egyptian sunshine, which is so powerful it can easily penetrate the water to the deepest reef areas. For those looking to explore the region away from the beach there's plenty of interesting things to do such as visiting fishing villages, UNESCO heritage sites and scaling majestic sand dunes for quad biking adventures.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Domestic flight to Cairo

Days 12 - 15

Cairo

St Regis Cairo

National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation

Embark on an extraordinary journey through time at the magnificent National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). Opened in 2021, this meticulously designed museum is nestled in the captivating Fustat area of Cairo. Step into a world of wonder as you explore a vast collection of 50,000 artifacts that unveil the fascinating story of Egyptian civilization, spanning from prehistoric eras to the vibrant present.

Old Cairo Old Cairo

Step back in time and delve into the captivating history of Old Cairo (Fustat), a city that emerged in 641 as the seat of power for Egypt's first Muslim rulers. Flourishing for centuries, it experienced a tragic turn of events in 1168 when its young ruler, King Athid, set it ablaze to prevent its capture by the Crusaders. Today, amidst ongoing restoration efforts, you can witness the rich tapestry of the three major monotheistic religions that have left their indelible mark on this extraordinary place. Embark on a journey where the echoes of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism resound harmoniously. Explore the revered holy sites, subject to restoration works, that stand as testament to the religious and cultural diversity of the region.

Expert Briefing: Egypt today Expert Briefing: Egypt today

Step away from the ruins of the past and explore the Egypt of today as you meet with an expert speaker for an approximately hour long briefing. Your guide for this fascinating talk will be either a journalist, writer, risk analyst and think tank professional who will be able to explain the current state of affairs in Egypt today. Topics covered will include the Arab Spring and how the country has been shaped since then. You will discuss the main opportunities and challenges in Egyptian politics, society and economy, along with an explanation on the role of the military and much more.

Egyptian Museum Egyptian Museum

Enter a world of ancient artefacts and incredible finds in one of the world's most famous museums, The Egyptian Museum. Also known as the Cairo Museum, you’ll witness the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world within its walls, including the iconic pure gold death mask of Tutankhamun, among countless other treasures. Your excursion at the museum will help you to gain an understanding and invaluable insight into how the Pharaohs and nobles of ancient Egypt once lived.

Cairo Synagogue Visit Cairo Synagogue Visit

Discover the enthralling history of Jews in Egypt, from ancient times to the present. Explore Elephantine Island, where the earliest recorded Jewish presence dates back to Jewish mercenaries. Learn about the renowned Medieval Jewish community of Cairo, home to influential figures like Maimonides. Delve into the 19th-century influx of Jewish immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and Greece, drawn by the Suez Canal's trading opportunities. Witness how the Jewish community became deeply integrated into Cairo's society, leaving an indelible mark on trade, art, culture, newspapers, and cinema. Hear captivating stories from a specialist speaker at the synagogue. This immersive experience is a must for those passionate about Jewish history and heritage.

Curated Cairo Curated Cairo

Join a captivating journey through one of Cairo's most luxurious neighborhoods, where modernity meets Egyptian art and design in a harmonious blend. Departing from the ancient wonders, you will delve into the realm of successful female entrepreneurs, exploring their inspiring stories and the exceptional establishments they have created. This curated tour offers an exclusive collection of four unique venues, each showcasing the best of Egypt's contemporary art and design scene including Egypt's premier modern bookstore. You will also get to delight in the finest craftsmanship of the region, as traditional artisan techniques are intertwined with contemporary designs, resulting in luxurious fabrics that embody both elegance and heritage. Next, you will step into the world of Egyptian jewelry, where the rich heritage of pharaonic and arabesque designs is beautifully reflected before ending at a photographic art gallery, where visual storytelling unfolds in mesmerizing displays.

Citadel & Mohammed Ali Mosque Citadel & Mohammed Ali Mosque

Explore the iconic Cairo Citadel, a historic fortress initially built in 1183 CE by Salah El Din, the esteemed Arab conqueror and leader. Over time, the Citadel was expanded by the Mamluks, serving as a strategic military stronghold against potential Crusader attacks. Discover the captivating history of the Arab, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods, delving into the rise of Mohammed Ali and the final dynasties of Egypt, including King Farouk's reign and the subsequent revolution led by young generals like Nasser and Sadat. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking Byzantine Ottoman architecture as you visit the remarkable Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali, a true highlight of the tour. If you have a particular interest in Islamic architecture, please inform your guide, and if time permits, we will endeavor to include a visit to the nearby and awe-inspiring Sultan Hassan Mosque as well.

Manshiyat Nasser discovery with visit to the Cave Church Manshiyat Nasser discovery with visit to the Cave Church

Meet Adham, a well-known character in Cairo, who appears in feature length documentary film; Garbage Dreams. During your time with him you will gain first-hand insight into life in Manshiyat Nasser, also known as ‘Garbage City’.

The population in this part of the city supports themselves by collecting the garbage from Cairo’s 20 million residents, sorting through it and creating an impressive recycling system. During your tour you will spend your time at the incredible St Saaman’s cave church which has arena style seating for 15,000 people and is the largest church in the Middle East. You will have the chance to discuss the status of the Christian community in contemporary Egypt and even learn about some of the church’s lesser known activities such as exorcisms. This experience lasts for about two hours.

View of Nile river with El Gezira, zamalek, cairo tower
Cairo by Night Cairo by Night

Embark on an evening exploration of the vibrant city alongside a knowledgeable local resident, well-versed in the captivating food and drink scene. Together, you'll venture into Downtown Cairo, a charming district that has retained its character since its establishment in the 1860s. The area's central and pedestrian-friendly nature, with its wide promenade streets and spacious sidewalks, makes it an ideal hub for people from all walks of life. Discover the bustling shopping scene, diverse culinary offerings ranging from authentic eateries to elegant belle-époque cafes, and observe how Egyptians unwind after work, savoring street food and ice cream. Keep an eye out for artists congregating in specific cafes and indie film cinemas. In this treasure trove of hidden gems, we'll visit various stops, including a place renowned for serving Egypt's national dish, Koshary, and culminate the evening with a refreshing beer atop a rooftop bar in a vintage hotel. The tour lasts approximately two hours, offering an enchanting glimpse into Cairo's nightlife.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Departure transfer to airport

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Luxury Grand Tour of Egypt

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