Nile Valley and Western Desert
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Discover the oases and history of the Western Desert together with the temples of the Pharaohs along the Nile River
This remarkable journey begins with a visit to the renown Great Pyramids of Giza. From here the adventure moves to the Western desert to experience the Baharya Oasis, spectacular White Desert and breathtaking Kharga Oasis. A four day cruise on the Nile allows for great exploration of the Valley of the Kings and Queen Hatshepsuts Temple, Edfu, Ko Ombo and Aswan. Discover the amazing monuments of Luxor and Karnak and explore the bustling city of Cairo. This all-encompassing journey truly reveals Ancient Egypt.
- Luxor & Karnak Temples
- Cruise on the Nile
- Valley of the Kings
- Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsuts Temple
- Edfu & Ko Ombo Temples
- Explore Cairo
- Baharya Oasis & White Desert
- Kharga - Hibis Temple & Bagwat Cemetery
Day 1 Arrive Cairo
Arrival at Cairo airport, meet and assist through formalities transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Visit Memphis, and the Great Pyramids of Giza
After breakfast we will drive to Memphis at the edge of the western desert, the capital of the ancient kingdom, and one of the most important monuments throughout the history of ancient Egypt. From here we make our way to Sakkara, the vast necropolis of ancient Memphis. We visit the Step Pyramid of Zoser (3rd dynasty, 2668 BC – 2649 BC). This afternoon we drive to the Pyramids of Giza, whose grandeur and architectural brilliance will render you speechless. Cheops Pyramid, the largest of the three, was built in the 4th dynasty about 2690 BC,. It is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world! In front of the pyramid of Chephren, there stands the Sphinx a lion with a Pharaoh’s head thought to be a portrait of the pharaoh Chephren. It is a remarkable architectural feat. We complete today's sightseeing with a transfer back to the hotel and overnight.
Day 3 Exploring the sights of Cairo
After breakfast we visit the Egyptian Museum, famous for its antiquities from Egypt’s Pharaonic period, dates back some 50 centuries, and includes the fabulous treasures of King Tut Ankh-Amon. This afternoon we explore Old Cairo, the old Coptic churches, and the oldest Jewish Synagogue of Ben Ezra. We continue our visit of this area my making our way to the Citadel of Salah El-Din and Mohamed Ali alabaster Mosque. Transfer back to the hotel.
Day 4 Drive to Baharya Oasis
Leaving Cairo behind, we start a 350 km journey to Baharya Oasis. The Baharya Oasis is the northernmost oasis of Egypt. This oasis has particular historical significance as it was an important transit point for the Caravan tracks and the Nile Valley; as it is famous for its natural ancient Roman hot springs. It is also the theatre of great and important archeological finds in modern times. We enjoy a visit to the Museum of the golden Mummies, and Amon Temple. Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 5 White Desert, overnight Farafra
After breakfast, we leave Baharia and head for the Black Desert, with a visit to the Crystal Mountain as well. Continuing on we visit the White Desert, a spectacular region of wind-eroded limestone formations. The continual erosion has left a layer of fine white dust on the desert sands, hence the name 'white desert'. We enjoy a sunset walk in this surreal landscape and then transfer to the hotel overnight in Farafra.
Day 6 To Dakhla Oasis
After breakfast, we visit the Farafra museum and continue to Dakhla for the night. The Farafra depression is the second biggest depression by size located in Western Egypt and the smallest by population - near latitude 27.06° North and longitude 27.97° East. It is located in the Western Desert of Egypt, approximately mid-way between Dakhla and Bahariya. Farafra has an estimated 5000 inhabitants mainly living in the town of Farafra and is mostly inhabited by the local Bedouins. Parts of the town have complete quarters of traditional architecture, simple, smooth, unadorned, all in mud colour. Local pride also endeavors to secure local culture. Also located near Farafra are the hot springs at Bir Sitta and the El-Mufid Lake. The Dakhla Oasis lies to the northwest of Kharga and is about 310 km to the southeast of Farafra. This oasis consists of 14 settlements and has a population of about 70 000 people; it's surrounding rose-colored cliffs dominate the environment. Dakhla is the farthest oasis out of Cairo and is considered one of Egypt's most beautiful oases.
Day 7 Drive to Kharga, visit Hibis Temple and Bagwat Cemetery
Today we will drive to Kharga, and visit the Hibis temple. From here we continue with a visit to the Bagwat Cemetery and overnight in Kharga. The Kharga Oasis is breathtaking and considered by some to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially at sunset; everything you see at this “green island in the middle of a yellow ocean of sand” is natural! Whether you are sleeping under the stars, or just relaxing between the high palm-trees, you will find a feeling of integration with the environment.
Day 8 Drive to Luxor, visit Karnak Temples
Today we journey from Kharga to Luxor. Our visit focuses on the East bank of the Nile to visit the Luxor and Karnak temples, the greatest cities of the Ancient Egyptians. The Temple of Karnak is the largest Temple in the World! The complex contains a group of Temples such as the Great Temple of Amon Ra, the Temple of Khonso, the Ipt Temple, the Temple of Ptah, the Temple of Montho and the Temple of the God Osiris. A 20 meter high, mud brick enclosure wall, surrounded all of these buildings. We will overnight at hotel in Luxor.
Day 9 Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Nile cruise to Edfu
Today our adventures focus on west bank of the Nile, to visit the world-renowned Valley of the Kings, which houses 62 tombs of Egyptian pharoahs, and Deir El-Bahari, Queen Hatshepsut’s monumental rock-cut temple. We will stop to take pictures at the two Clossi of Memnon guarding the valley. The Valley of the Kings was the royal cemetery for 62 Pharaohs, and is located on the west bank at Luxor. The only entrance to this place was a long narrow winding path. This was a secret place, where sentries were placed at the entrance of the Valley, as well as along the top of the hills, in the hopes of discouraging tomb robbers, who had in the past plundered all royal tombs, including the treasures of the Pyramids! Some thefts were probably carefully planned, but others were spur of the moment because a tomb might be accidentally discovered while cutting a new one and the workmen took advantage of the opportunity. Hatshepsut was one of the most interesting female figures and most capable Pharohs of Egyptian history (1490-1468 BC), so our visit to her 3,500 year old temple in the Valley of Kings (Thebes West) is in many respects a quite special experience. From here we drive back to the ship where we will enjoy a relaxing sail to Edfu. Overnight on board the Nile cruise.
Day 10 Nile cruise, explore Edfu and Kom Ombo
This morning we board horse-drawn carriages for a drive through Edfu, to the temple of Horus with its menacing black stone statue of the Falcon god. Later, we re-board the boat and sail to Kom Ombo to visit Sobek temple, which is home to an intricate collection of hieroglyphs and inscriptions. From here we continue sailing and take in the tranquil Nile scenery all the way to to Aswan. Overnight on board the Nile cruise.
Day 11 Nile cruise, visit sights of Aswan
After breakfast, we enjoy an excursion to the Old Dam and the gigantic Aswan High Dam completed in 1970. Here we board a motor launch to the island of Philae, to visit the temple of Isis. We also stop at the ancient granite quarries to see the famous Unfinished Obelisk. The Unfinished Obelisk lies, in its original location, in a granite quarry in Aswan. It is 42m in length and was most probably abandoned when some cracks appeared in the rock, during its construction. Had this obelisk been completed, it would have been the heaviest obelisk ever cut in Ancient Egypt, weighing nearly 1100 tons! It is believed that it was constructed and abandoned during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty). Overnight on Board Nile cruise.
Day 12 At leisure in Aswan. Optional Abu Simbel Temple and/or felucca sail trip
After breakfast, we enjoy a free day at our leisure in Aswan. There is an optional trip to Abu Simbel, one of the most amazing monuments of Ancient Egypt. Here the Great Temple of Ramses II was carved from a mountain between 1290 and 1224 BC and was dedicated to the gods Ra-Harakhty, Amun and Ptah. Threatened by the rising Waters of Lake Nasser, UNESCO organized a rescue of the temple in the 1960’s. The rescue involved carving the temple in more than 2000 blocks, weighing up to 40 tonnes each, and transferring them 210 meters away to a man made mountain. From here they were reconstructing the temple facade which stands 30 meters high and 35 meters wide. From the outside it is hard to imagine that the temple is not original, and only by entering the mountain constructed in steel and concrete, is it possible to appreciate the enormous feat achieved by the archaeological teams. On the way back from Abu Simbel, marvel at the impressive High Dam at Aswan which straddles the Nile to form Lake Nasser. This afternoon there is also an optional traditional felucca sail to relax and enjoy the Nile. Overnight on board the Nile cruise.
Day 13 Disembark Nile cruise, overnight train to Cairo
Today we disembark the Nile cruise after breakfast and visit El-Souk. From here we make our way to the Aswan rail-way station to get the sleeper train to Cairo. Dinner and overnight on board the train.
Day 14 In Cairo, trip concludes
Today is the final day of our Nile Valley and Western Desert Adventure. Upon arrival Cairo we have a transfer to the airport, where trip arrangements conclude.
- 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 10 dinners
- Arrival and departure transfers on Days 1 & 14 only
- Comfortable hotel accommodation
- Overnight train Aswan to Cairo
- First class Nile cruise
- Local English speaking guide throughout
- Site guides at the major sites visited
- All site and national park entrance fees
- Internal transport by private air-conditioned vehicle
- 14 day trip
- 8 nights hotels
- 4 night Nile cruise
- 1 night train
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
Specialist gear required include comfortable walking shoes and a day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).
What You Carry
We recommend you take a small day pack to carry all the things you need during the day whilst sightseeing or exploring. In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc.