10 days

Classical Egypt

Classical Egypt

The Valley of the Kings

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo

The Great Pyramids and Sphinx

Nubean Aswan

Nile cruise

Edfu and Komombo temples

Luxor's open air museum

Cairo Museum

Trip rating
  • The chaos of Cairo and the tranquil out-of-the-way site of Abu Simbel combine as Egypt’s ancient history unravels over ten days. Cruise along the Nile, catch the sleeper train to Luxor and ride horse-drawn carriages to the Karnak temples – what a way to witness the scope of Egypt.

    Why we love it

    • The chaos of Cairo and the tranquil out-of-the-way site of Abu Simbel combine as Egypt’s ancient history unravels over ten days.
    • Cruise along the Nile, catch the sleeper train to Luxor and ride horse-drawn carriages to the Karnak temples – what a way to witness the scope of Egypt.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Cairo

    • On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Cairo at any time.
    • Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The balance of the day is free to explore your surroundings, but normally a welcome meeting is held in the evening where you meet your tour leader and fellow travellers.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar

    Day 2 - Cairo

    • After breakfast and a briefing from your tour leader you will drive out to Memphis on the edge of the Western Desert, where a small museum marks the site of the ancient city.
    • You will then continue to its necropolis, Saqqara, where your guide explains the significance of the various temples and colonnades. At the centre of the complex is the step pyramid of King Djoser, believed to be over 5000 years old and the predecessor to the great pyramids at Giza.
    • Nearby you will visit the tombs of the nobles, containing exquisite bas-reliefs of everyday life in ancient times.
    • At the conclusion of your visit you will return to Cairo, where the balance of the day will be free to explore this busy metropolis or just relax at the hotel.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Cairo - overnight sleeper train

    • The Egyptian Museum is simply one of the world's great museums, home to a stupendous collection of antiquities and the perfect introduction to your tour, exhibiting many of the region's treasures.
    • You will head there after breakfast and your expert guide takes you through Egypt's rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (optional and at extra cost).
    • You will then drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man - the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. For an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), although occasionally it may be closed to visitors.
    • Afterwards you will return to your hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up and pack before you are transferred to the railway station for the overnight sleeper train to Luxor.
    • Sleeping berths (beds and linen) are provided in private cabins and an airline-style dinner will be served. It is worth bringing additional snacks and your tour leader can help you to arrange this. A toilet is located at the end of each carriage.
    Sleeper Train
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - Luxor

    • After an early breakfast on board, the train rolls into Luxor - a buzzing place with a great bazaar and situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important and extraordinary sights.
    • You will be transferred to your Nile cruise boat, which will be your home for the next four nights. You can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town.
    • Later in the day you will a take horse-drawn carriages to Karnak - one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 2000 years.
    • Your guided tour of the temple reveals the complex's finest sections. For the rest of the afternoon and evening you will be free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Valley of the Kings - Luxor - Nile Cruise

    • You will rise early this morning (much earlier during summer!) and head into the Valley of the Kings, where buried under the arid hills are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings.
    • It's a compelling place, vast and spectacular, and discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, but entry to this small tomb is quite limited. It is at additional cost, but you will be given some free time when you will have the opportunity to visit it.
    • Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon - giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade.
    • You will return to the boat and enjoy lunch on board. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before you set sail for Edfu. Departure time may vary, depending on river traffic – please refer to the note regarding cruise schedules in the 'Other Information' section. You will pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue your journey upstream.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Nile Cruise (Edfu - Komombo)

    • Morning finds you moored near Edfu, an excellently-preserved temple dedicated to Horus - the falcon-headed god. You will disembark and explore the temple as well as experiencing the bustling town centre.
    • Returning to the cruise boat, you will continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights - desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land.
    • Arriving at Komombo, your short walk around the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god) that lies picturesquely ruined on the river's edge provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Aswan

    • You will arrive in Aswan today, Egypt's southernmost city and a place with an easygoing charm that is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively you will visit it tomorrow).
    • It is an absolute gem, its decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings - definitely one of the highlights of Upper Egypt. The rest of our day will be free to wander – and Aswan is a great place for it.
    • The Nubian Bazaar is a must, while the excellent Nubian Museum is recommended by many. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside the one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea.
    • Aswan is a great little town and there are plenty of relaxing and interesting options here. Dusk is when the waterfront comes alive with families out strolling, socialising and relaxing along the corniche.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Aswan

    • You will disembark the cruise boat and check into your hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to make your own discoveries. The visit to Abu Simbel will take place this morning for those who booked this option with your tour leader back in Cairo. This optional trip is well worth it. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights.
    • A popular afternoon option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island.
    • Alternatively, take a camel ride to the Monastery of St Simeon - an abandoned 7th century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. Your tour leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions.
    • Alternatively, you may just prefer to relax by the hotel pool or do some shopping in the friendly bazaar.
    • In the evening you will visit a Nubian village and enjoy the hospitality of your hosts as you dine out on some delicious local cuisine. You will also be treated to some Nubian dancing and may even have the chance to perform some of the moves yourself!
    Hotel Basma or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9 - Cairo

    • After breakfast you will be transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Today you will dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. You will head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo's oldest mosque and the Gayer-Anderson Museum.
    • The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience - a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes and retaining a distinctly medieval and sometimes carnivalesque feel. It's Cairo's finest area to practice your bartering skills!
    • You will explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market).
    • The beautiful 9th century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest, largest and arguably the most beautiful mosque in Egypt – the perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret both help to mark it out as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
    • Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas (dating to the 16th and 17th centuries AD). Once owned by an English army officer, the two houses contain a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia, offering you a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Cairo

    • Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time.
    • Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Cairo.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local leader throughout the tour. Our tour leaders are all licensed as professional local guides.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Memphis and its necropolis in Cairo, Sakkara, Egyptian Museum, pyramids, Sphinx, Gayer-Anderson Museum, Ibn Tulun Mosque and the Khan al-Khalili bazaar
    • Sightseeing: Karnak Temple; Valley of the Kings; Temple of Hatshepsut; Colossi of Memnon; Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples; and Philae Temple.
    • Four nights on Peregrine's comfortable Nile river cruise boat sailing from Luxor to Aswan, with sightseeing stops along the way.
    • Horse-drawn carriage ride to Karnak.
    • One way transport by air-conditioned sleeper train in a private, two-person sleeping berth with beds and linen, an ‘airline-style’ dinner and breakfast, and toilet facilities located at the end of each carriage.
    • Flight between Aswan and Cairo with all transfers on Day 9.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry
    • Any optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Classical Egypt

    Jacqueline - Australia, 13 Jan, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    Egypt is a stunning country that lived up to the expectations I had been building up since my school days. The best part of my trip however was our guide, Hoda Sayed.

    Classical Egypt

    leonie - Australia, 28 Jun, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    our guide was so passionate about his country and his knowledge of the region, i am inspired to follow this region more closely and find out more of its history. i will be telling my family and friends to come to this country

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PGCE
Group size 6 - 16
Start City: Cairo
End City: Cairo
Style: Small Group

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