12 days

The Nile, Alexandria & El Alamein

The Nile, Alexandria & El Alamein

Cairo Museum

The Valley of the Kings

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo

The Great Pyramids and Sphinx

Nile cruise

Edfu and Komombo temples

Mediterranean port town of Alexandria

Nubean Aswan

Trip rating
  • Soak up the history and mystery of ancient Egypt over 12 days. From Alexandria to Aswan, this is an in-depth look at ancient battlefields, the Nile River and those little things called the Pyramids of Giza!

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Cairo

    On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you are 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 - Alexandria

    This morning we drive north from Cairo and follow the desert road to Alexandria. After stopping half-way for short break and a cup of tea we expect to reach the coast around midday, where we check in to our hotel and have time for a light lunch. In the afternoon in the company of our local guide we make a visit to the new Alexandria Museum, which houses many artefacts relevant to the region , before continuing to the Roman Catacombs - a fascinating underground warren. We can also see the site of the great lighthouse, built during the time of Alexander the Great on the nearby island of Pharos and considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the evening we enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the Cecil Hotel that was built in 1930 - the perfect way to end the day.
    Windsor Palace Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - El Alamein - Alexandria

    Nothing quite conjures up the hostile desert conditions endured by both Allied and German forces than the landscape around El Alamein. From Alexandria we drive west along the coastal road before turning south towards El Alamein. It is a journey of around 2-3 hours and on arrival we visit the small military museum housing a variety of tanks, armoured vehicles and other war relics. We also visit the nearby Allied Cemetery. Eating facilities are limited, so at a suitable point we open the lunch boxes supplied by our hotel before making our way back to Alexandria in the afternoon. This evening our tour leader may suggest a visit to one of the many excellent seafood restaurants in town.
    Windsor Palace Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 4 - Alexandria - Cairo

    The morning is free for you to make your own discoveries. Many will enjoy a stroll along the beach front while others might prefer to head downtown to one of Alexandria's celebrated coffee shops – 'Athinios' or the 'Grand Trianon' being two of the best. Other options include a visit to Montazah Palace (if open) or Qaitbey Fortress. In the early afternoon we make our way back to Cairo, where after checking in to our hotel, the rest of the day is free for us for us to to relax or enjoy a swim in the hotel pool.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - 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 our tour, exhibiting many of the region's treasures. We head there after breakfast and our expert guide takes us 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). We 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 we return to our hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up and pack before we 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 is 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 6 - Luxor

    Breakfast is served on board the train and just after dawn we arrive in Luxor, where we are transferred to our Nile cruise boat and our home for the next four nights. We can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the bazaar in town. Later in the day we take horse-drawn carriages to Karnak, which is one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years. We enjoy a guided tour of the temple and the rest of the afternoon and evening is free to relax, shop in the bazaar (which stays open till quite late) or experience the atmosphere of a local coffee shop.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Valley of the Kings - Luxor - Nile Cruise

    We rise early this morning (very 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. Our guide explains the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. We visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Our final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon - giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. We return to our boat and enjoy lunch on board. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before we 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. We pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue our journey upstream.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Nile Cruise (Edfu - Komombo)

    Morning finds us moored near Edfu, an excellently-preserved temple dedicated to Horus - the falcon-headed god. We disembark and explore the temple as well as experiencing the bustling town centre. Returning to our cruise boat we 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, our 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 9 - Aswan

    We arrive in Aswan, 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 our arrival time, we may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively we 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 is 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 10 - Aswan

    We disembark our cruise boat and check into our hotel. The rest of the day is free for us to make our own discoveries. The visit to Abu Simbel will take place this morning for those of us who booked this option with our 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. Our tour leader is on hand to help us 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 we visit a Nubian village and enjoy the hospitality of our hosts as we dine out on some delicious local cuisine. We are also treated to some Nubian dancing and may even have the chance to perform some of the moves ourselves!
    Hotel Basma or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 11 - Cairo

    After breakfast we are transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo where we are transferred to our hotel. Today we dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. We 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 for you to practise your bartering skills! We 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, giving us a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 12 - Cairo

    Your trip ends 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.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Peregrine tour leader, arrival transfer, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees.

    Not Included

    • International flights, meals unless specified, drinks, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance, tips (see below), spending of a personal nature, departure transfer.
  • 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.

    The Nile, Alexandria & El Alamein

    Lyn - Australia, 22 Jan, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    We had the most wonderful time in Egypt. The monuments are so magnificent, I can't believe we were lucky enough to see them. The food was fantastic (unexpected) and the Egyptian people were gracious. You feel so much for them as tourism has reduced so much because everyone is concerned about safety - and so many Egyptian people have lost their livelihood because of this. We felt completely safe and looked after the entire time and would highly recommend the tour to everyone. A life's highlight! Our guide Eman was brilliant and we all learned so much.

    The Nile, Alexandria & El Alamein

    Kelton - Australia, 27 Jan, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    Any issues were due to events outside Peregrine's control, So I do not have any feedback to offer.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PGNX
Group size 6 - 15
Start City: Cairo
End City: Cairo

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