23 Day Egypt And Israel Tour

The Classic Combo
TOURCODE: IS2

Duration:
23 Days

Activity Level:
2

When To Go:
Feb, Oct

Countries Visited:
2

Arrive In / Depart From:
/

Max Group Size:
18

Tour Style:
Cultural

Price From:

  Overnight in: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, Dead Sea Israel, Jerusalem, Cairo, Aswan, Nile, Luxor

Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides.

  • Small group sizes to help escape the beaten path.
  • All-inclusive with top-rated restaurants and hotels.
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Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 2 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

Experience a land of timeless appeal, where cultures date back to an ancient time and are rich in their human history; a region where every corner seems to present a once in a lifetime experience, with wondrous sites and unforgettable destinations.

Discover a landscape as dramatic as it is beautiful all while joining a local expert that brings each site to life. Learn first hand why Israel and Egypt tours promise to amaze everyone, from first time visitors to seasoned travellers.

In a land as old as time, finding a historical site is never a difficult task while on our Israel and Egypt tours. From the calm waters and verdant green shores along the Nile River, to the pilgrimage sites that have been visited for a millennia across Israel, there is much to see in this relatively small region. Following our guides, from Egyptologists to archeologists, religious scholars to camel drivers, we capture an in-depth and comprehensive look at these intriguing countries.

Stand in awe beneath the Great Pyramids of Giza, one of the great mysteries of human history. Admire the painted petroglyphs still clearly visible in the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Delight in the countless temples, with incredible details and built on an enormous scale such as that of Luxor or Karnak Temples.

Israel tours follow in the steps of Egypt's tours in terms of historical intrigue. Considered the birthplace of three of the world's largest religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, no trip to Israel would be complete without a thorough look at Jerusalem, a city holy to all three of those religions. Follow our guide to sacred sites such as Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or Mount of Olives, to better understand their place in history and their position in modern life.

Follow the footsteps of prophets as well as ancient empires ranging from the Turks, Romans, Crusaders to the more modern Napoleon and British Empires as you wander alleys full of cafes, galleries and restaurants in the 4,000 year old Jaffa.

Sail the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias, a relaxed seaside resort located in the cradle of Christianity. Dip your toes or go for a float in the salty water of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth with mineral-rich mud that acts as a natural spa.

Our Israel tours will not only focus on the historical importance of this holy land, but we will dive into modern times with a visit to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, to better comprehend the nation of Israel and the complex establishment of this country.

If it is a land before time you seek, with larger than life historical monuments to explore, than joining our Israel and Egypt tours is a must for you.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

 

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

 


The above prices are subject to an additional $125 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.

Optional Single Supplement: $2390 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $2390 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.

 


 

Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Tel Aviv
Today we arrive in Tel Aviv and transfer to our hotel.

Stretched along the beautiful beach strip of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is Israel's largest city and main commercial center. It is a busy metropolis that inspires visitors with a unique energetic atmosphere. Tel Aviv presents a lively combination of entertainment venues, shopping malls, exotic markets, and golden beaches. It is also the country's greatest cultural center, home of a variety of museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls.

Please note: Given that today is Saturday (Shabbat), it is possible that hotels will be allowing check-in later than usual (+/- 5pm).

Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Tel Aviv & Jaffa
Today we have a tour of vibrant Tel Aviv, a modern city with a unique mix of European and Middle Eastern influences. We see the Independence Hall (possibly closed for renovations) and the colourful Carmel Market. We also visit the Ayalon Institute, now a museum. The Ayalon Institute was a secret ammunition factory disguised as part of a kibbutz to fool the British back in the 1940s. Jewish people used the factory in their efforts to fight for the independent state of Israel, and organizers went to extreme measures to build and sustain this secret factory within the kibbutz.

We then head off to the Old Port City of Jaffa (Yaffo), an ancient and beautiful city located in the south of Tel-Aviv. Jaffa claims over 4,000 years of history and is the place where the prophet Jonas was swallowed by the whale, and the Rock of Andromeda can be seen jutting from the water. The Turks, Napoleon and the British also established their rule of the region through control of this city. We have a walking tour of the old city of Jaffa, a major attraction with winding alleys full of cafes, restaurants and art galleries.

You will have free time for independent exploration. Jaffa is a mixed city with Jews, Christians, and Muslims living together in harmony.

Return to Tel Aviv.

Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Tel Aviv - Caesarea - Akko - Haifa
Travelling north along the scenic Mediterranean coast road, we will cross Netanya and visit the impressive ruins of Caesarea, once Roman capital of the Holy Land. Caesarea, whose construction began in 22 BC was dedicated by Herod to his patron Augustus Caesar. When it was completed 12 years later, only Jerusalem outshone it in its grandeur. The Roman theatre here once seated 3,600 people. By the main gate to the theatre is proof that Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea during the time of Jesus, actually lived in this area. At various times in its history, this beautiful coastal town has been a Roman Capital, a port and a major conquest for the Crusaders.

After visiting Acre (Akko), with its underground Crusader city and the crypt of St John, we arrive at the beautiful city of Haifa.

Overnight in Haifa.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Haifa - Nazareth - Tiberias
We begin our day with a visit to the summit of Mount Carmel with its breathtakingly panoramic view of the town, the bay, and a considerable part of western Galilee. Later we will tour the Persian Gardens and the Bahai Shrine.

We continue to Megiddo, named in the Book of Revelations as the place of Armageddon, the place where the forces of good and evil will meet in the final battle for mankind. Of particular interest are the outlines of 5,000 year old early Bronze Age temples.

We travel onwards to Nazareth where we visit the largest Basilica in the Middle East -- the Church of Annunciation. According to one of the ancient traditions, it was here that the archangel Gabriel foretold the coming of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. The interior of the present church has a most beautiful design, incorporating fragments of much older buildings.

We continue to Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Yam Kinerett).

Overnight in Tiberias.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Tiberias - Capernaum - Tabgha - Tiberias
At the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee we visit Capernaum, one of the most important Jewish and Christian sites of the Roman and Byzantine period and home of some of the Disciples. Jesus is believed to have moved here from Nazareth because it was the home of his first converts, Peter and Andrew.

Continuing, we arrive at Tabgha where Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes. We visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. The mosaic floor is incredible, featuring ancient Egyptian motifs.

We then board our boat for a delightful cruise on the Sea of Galilee to ancient Tiberias,* a relaxed seaside resort located in the cradle of Christianity. We have an opportunity to visit Kibutz Ein Gev.

We also visit the Mount of Beatitudes (also known as Mount Eremos), where it is believed the Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. The church is surrounded by peaceful gardens and in the expansive courtyard in front of the church is a mosaic floor created by Italian artist Vasco Nasorri in 1984.

* Ever-changing water levels may require that we defer this activity if impractical. Please note that the order of today's sightseeing elements may be reversed at the discretion of your Tour Leader/local guide.

Overnight in Tiberias.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Tiberias - the Dead Sea
Today we journey through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea stopping at Beit She'an, a former Roman metropolis home to 30,000 to 40,000 citizens covering approximately 370 acres. Visitors to the park can see the ancient wall that surrounded the city, public baths, a Roman temple, stores, artisan workshops and other well-preserved structures.

We also visit the ancient synagogue of Beit Alpha, located in the Beit She'an Valley. The mosaic floor of the synagogue was discovered in 1929, when members of Kibbutz Beit Alpha dug irrigation channels for their fields.

Once we check in at the hotel (after 2pm), you can use the hotel spa and beach where you will have the chance to bathe in the mineral-enriched mud or have a float on the Dead Sea.

Overnight at the Dead Sea.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Dead Sea - Masada - Wadi David - Jerusalem
This morning we travel south to visit Masada.

This great flat-topped mountain and natural fortress was once held by a small band of Jewish zealots for three years despite the force of Roman armies. On this site 1,000 people committed mass suicide rather than be enslaved. Flavirus Josephus said, "Who decided a long time ago, brave soldiers that we are, not to be slaves of the Romans or of any person other than God; for he alone is the true and just master of men." We enjoy an introductory video before proceeding to the top of the mountain by cable car. After our formal guided tour, you will have time for some independent exploration.

From Masada we travel northward to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. After a short walk we reach Wadi David (David's Spring), a waterfall hidden in an oasis of luxuriant green vegetation that hangs clustered in a canyon wall.

We continue our journey toward Jerusalem. On the northwest shore of the Dead Sea we encounter the settlement of Qumran. In 1947 it was here that two shepherd boys made one of the most significant discovery in religious history, the Dead Sea Scrolls (written texts of the Old Testament) hidden in the caves. The people who wrote them are believed to have been the Essenes who lived here until AD 68.

Later in the day we arrive in Jerusalem, the City of David.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Jerusalem & Bethlehem*
Today's focus is the main Christian sites of interest in Jerusalem and its surrounds. Our first visit is Bethlehem,* where we visit the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. Built like a citadel over the cave where it is believed Jesus was born, the original 4th century church commissioned by Constantine was altered in AD 530 by Emperor Justinian. It was later captured by the Crusaders and then came under the jurisdiction of Saladin and then the Mamluks.

Back in Jerusalem, we will see the Old City from the vantage point of the Mount of Olives and then enter the old city and visit the Christian sites. Following the last steps of Christ along Via Dolorosa, we approach Calvary and the most sacred site in Christendom, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Most Christians venerate this site as the location of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

We also visit the Garden of Gethsemane, a strikingly beautiful garden, located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. A visit here is a highlight of any trip to Jerusalem’s Christian sites; steeped in biblical history, the Garden of Gethsemane is most famously known as the place where Jesus went with his disciples to pray after the Last Supper on the eve of his crucifixion.

* NOTE: Due to security concerns/procedures that change frequently, Bethlehem exists in our program on a provisional and tentative basis only. In the event that a visit to the West Bank is not appropriate by departure time, we may remain in Jerusalem and expand our sightseeing there with a visit to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea scrolls and a model of the second temple.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Jerusalem: City Tour
Today we shift our attention the important Jewish and Islamic sites of this timeless city, where old and new merge seamlessly. You may hear the Muslim call to prayer competing with the clanging of bells from Christian churches and the prayers of Jews praying before the Western Wall. Everywhere you turn you'll see reminders of the three religions -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- that have shaped this part of the world.

We have a morning visit to the Temple Mount, one of the glories of Islamic Jerusalem, where you will view the Dome of the Rock. We then enter through the Jewish Quarter to witness the Herodian Mansions, a lavish palace in antiquity and built formerly of white marble, followed by a visit to the most important site in Judaism, the Western Wall.

Our tour also takes us by way of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, to the President's House, and the Yad Vashem Memorial. At some point in our day we will also visit the Holocaust Museum for a visit and tour.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Jerusalem, Israel - Fly to Cairo, Egypt
Today we fly to Cairo.

Al-Qahira, literally "The Vanquisher" or "The Conqueror", is the capital of Egypt and the second largest city in the Muslim World, the Arab world and Africa and the 17th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Cairo: Great Pyramids & the Sphinx - Grand Egyptian Museum
This morning we kick off our comprehensive sightseeing program with some of the most iconic of Egyptian monuments: The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx.

Impressive in their grandeur, the pyramids are estimated to have been constructed over a period of 20 years using more than 100,000 labourers each year. The Great Pyramid of Cheops, constructed from over two million stone blocks, is 135m (443 feet) high! You may enter one of the pyramids through a long, narrow passageway and explore the deep inner chambers (OPTIONAL - extra fee applicable).

Later we visit the Sphinx. This feline-human was named by the Greeks because it resembled the mythical winged monster with a woman's head and lion's body. Legend has it that this "Sphinx" proposed a riddle to the Thebans and killed all who could not guess the correct answer! The Sphinx was carved from one solid piece of limestone.

We then continue to the Great Egyptian Museum (GEM), where we can break for lunch at your choice of one of several on-site restaurants/cafes.*

After our break, our visit of the museum begins with a 45-minute guided tour, with a "sneak peek" into this vast facility prior to the official opening of all of the galleries. As part of our tour, we will also learn about the history of the museum itself, including answers to the inevitable question: “why has it taken 20 years to build?” We will also learn of how the inspiration of ancient Egypt is reflected in the museum’s design and its various components.

We’ll also receive an explanation of one of the main themes that repeats throughout GEM -- “Kingship and Eternity” -- and witness how this is reflected in the monuments accessible to us on today’s visit, namely: The Hanging Obelisk, the Colossal Statue of King Ramesses II, the ten Statues of King Senusret I (distance view), the Grand Staircase (distance view), double statues of Ptolemaic King and Queen, the Victory Column of King Merenptah, the statue of the god Hapy, and the Statue of King Ramesses II.

Our visit will culminate with the ground-breaking "Tutankhamun - The Immersive Exhibition," which takes us on a mythical journey to the mesmerizing world of Ancient Egypt. Through state-of-the-art digital projections, you will have the unparalleled opportunity to step into the astonishing life of the legendary Golden King via an awe-inspiring audiovisual adventure that spans an astonishing 3,400 years of history.

After our visit we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

* PLEASE NOTE that the above day description refers specifically to how our time in Cairo will be spent for our tours that occur in February/March 2024. After this time, as conditions warrant, this day will be adjusted to reflect our plans from Fall/Winter of 2024/25, when the GEM is expected to be fully-open to visitors.

Overnight in Cairo (Giza).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Cairo: Dahshur, Memphis & Saqqara
We have an early start for a full-day day of sightseeing. Our drive this morning takes us through the suburbs of Giza, past some small, colourful villages and plantations in the fertile Nile Valley.

We first travel to the stunning site of Dahshur, known chiefly for several pyramids, mainly Senefru's Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, which are among the oldest, largest, and best-preserved in Egypt, built from 2613 to 2589 BC. These pyramids were an extremely important learning experience for the Egyptians as they provided knowledge and know-how to transition from step-sided pyramids to smooth-sided pyramids. Ultimately their breadth of experience would allow them to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.

We continue to Memphis and Saqqara, chronologically the two most important sites in all of Egypt. Memphis was the capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom (ca 2700-2180 BC). Here we will see several statues in a garden-like setting, including the colossal statue of Rameses the Great.

From Memphis we travel a short distance to Saqqara, the ancient burial site for the people of Memphis. On the site, considered by many archaeologists to be one of the world's most important excavations, is the Step Pyramid, constructed by Imhotep in the 27th century BC. The pyramid began as a simple mastaba, or long, flat tomb building. Over the course of time, Imhotep added to this mastaba five times -- the pyramid eventually measured 62m (203 feet) in height!

While at Saqqara we also see the Serapeum, the tomb of the sacred Apis bulls that were associated with the god Ptah, whose cult center was in Memphis. An avenue of sphinxes leads to the Serapeum, which is composed of two long corridors that once housed the mummified remains of the bulls.

After a full day we return to our hotel.

Overnight in Cairo (Giza).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Cairo - Fly to Aswan: The High Dam, Unfinished Obelisk & Philae Temple
Another early start for our flight to Aswan in Upper Egypt.* Aswan is Egypt's sunniest southern city and an ancient frontier town. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life in Aswan is slow and relaxing.

On arrival we'll take a trip to the High Dam of Aswan. Constructed between 1960 and 1971, the High Dam collects and stores water over a number of years so that the annual Nile flood can be controlled. From here we will have a panoramic view of Aswan to the north and Lake Nasser to the south.

We also visit Philae Temple. The temple is dramatically situated on an island, so we enjoy a short boat journey to get to the site. The site is relatively small, but the charm of the setting and the excellent state of preservation makes this a must-see.

On our way back to town, we'll visit the 'Unfinished Obelisk'. The obelisk's creators began to carve it directly out of bedrock, but cracks appeared in the granite and the project was abandoned. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers' tools still clearly visible as well as ochre-coloured lines marking where they were working.

* NOTE: The actual order of our sightseeing in Upper Egypt may vary depending on variables such as flight schedules and weather. Your Tour Leader will keep you apprised of any adjustments as the tour progresses.

Overnight in Aswan.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Aswan: St. Simeon Monastery & Kitchener's Island
This morning we will take a private boat across the River Nile to the west bank. From here we travel by camel across the sandy desert to the Christian Monastery of St Simeon. Before we begin this easy trek, our Tour Leader and camel trainer will teach you the technique of riding a camel. This is a journey that can be undertaken by anyone at any age (one rider per camel). Our trek is about 45 minutes to the monastery, and then 15 minutes back to the riverbank. Those who prefer not to ride can travel by open truck to the monastery and meet up with the group there.

Dating from the 6th century, and in use until the 13th century, the Monastery of St Simeon is one of the best-preserved Christian sites in Egypt. Inside we will see the chapel, living quarters, kitchen and dining areas, wine press, bake area and storerooms. On our tour we will also see the remains of some Coptic frescoes -- depictions of Christ and saints as well as many geometric patterns.

We then return to the banks of the Nile and re-board our boat and ride among the islands dotting the Nile. Up the hill, above the river, is the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismailis, a Shi'ite sect based principally in India but with followers around the world. The tomb is an elegant pink granite structure of late 1950 origin.

The main island in the middle of the Nile is called Elephantine Island because many of the rocks look like elephants bathing in the Nile. On the west side of the river is the beautiful Kitchener's Island, where we will have time to stroll through the rich botanical gardens.

Later this afternoon we have a leisurely sail on a felucca, a traditional sailing vessel used for centuries for carrying goods and passengers along the Nile.

Overnight in Aswan.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Aswan: Abu Simbel
A pre-dawn departure by road (+/- 3 hours, each way)* takes us south from Aswan across the Western Desert to Nubia, or the "Land of the Gold". Our destination this morning is the impressive Abu Simbel -- the imposing rock temples of Rameses II and his queen, Nefertari.

We have a guided tour of this site, including the interior of the colossal temples. The Temple of Rameses II, with its immense statues of the Pharaoh seated on his throne, is one of the classic images of the power of the Pharaohs. Inside the temple you will see well-preserved wall decorations and several murals. There is a wonderful relief of Rameses presenting captives to various gods, including himself! We also gain insight into the reconstruction process by visiting the interior of the artificial mountain. Return by road to Aswan in time for a late lunch.

* When visiting Abu Simbel we choose to travel by road instead of flying as the air schedules tend to be rather restrictive and do not always allow enough time at the site (much time is taken up by check-in, security, boarding, transferring etc). Driving frees us from this inconvenience and adds flexibility, plus allows us to see the High Dam en route. Departing very early ensures that we are at the site at the optimal time for photography; later in the morning, shadows fall across the temple making conditions less than ideal.

Overnight in Aswan.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 16 Aswan - Luxor via Kom Ombo & Edfu
This morning we say farewell to Aswan and travel by road to the Temple of Kom Ombo. In ancient times, Kom Ombo was strategically important as a trading town on the caravan route from Nubia to Cairo. Kom Ombo, actually two temples in one, is dedicated dually to Haroeris (Horus) and Sobek, respectively the god of the sky and the crocodile-headed god. Here we are able to see the remains of a mummified crocodile. Crocodiles no longer exist in the Egyptian part of the River Nile, but in Pharaonic times they lived here in great numbers and were worshipped as gods!

From Kom Ombo we travel to the site of Edfu. As the largest and most completely preserved Pharaonic temple, albeit Greek-built, Edfu is dedicated to the god Horus. Construction of this temple began under Ptolemy III Euergetes I in 237 BC. We will allow time to explore this massive and impressive site, enclosed by walls and flanked by two large pylon gateways. Here we will also be able to see a Nilometer -- an ancient technique of measuring the Nile's water fluctuations and setting the level of taxes

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 17 Karnak Temple & Luxor Temple
This morning we start our day with a guided tour of Karnak Temple.

Karnak was built, added to, dismantled, restored, enlarged and decorated during its colourful history of over 1,500 years. At certain points in Egyptian history, this temple was the most important in all of Egypt. When we arrive at the temple you will be awed by the grandeur of the tremendous pylon gateway and the Avenue of 1,000 Sphinxes that originally ran all the way to the Nile and Luxor Temple! We will have a guided tour of the complex, massive by any standard.

After our visit, we enjoy a break before our evening visit to Luxor Temple. The temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons and was built during the New Kingdom, the focus of the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple to stay there for a while, with his consort Mut, in a celebration of fertility. Luxor temple is considered one of the largest ancient Egyptian temple complexes situated on the eastern bank of the river Nile. At the entrance is a huge tower built by King Ramses II.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 18 Luxor: Valley of the Kings
Early this morning we cross the River Nile by boat to the West Bank where the wealth of antiquities is outstanding. On the other side we will meet our donkey-cart transport for our excursion into the Valley of the Kings through the New Gourna Village and into the countryside. Avoiding the busier road, we will witness quiet village life along the way for about 40-45 minutes before re-uniting with our road transport for the final leg into the Valley of the Kings.

Once in the isolated valley, dominated by large pyramid-shaped mountains, we will have a guided tour of three of the many tombs that are here.* The valley was the burial ground for kings throughout the New Kingdom. Note that some of the tombs have steep stairways and all are quite dark inside (you might find a pocket flashlight useful).

We then proceed to the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut -- the first woman to rule as pharaoh! We have a tour of this impressive complex, discovered in the mid-19th century and still under restoration.

After our tour we return by bus through the countryside back to the river and the East Bank. During free time this afternoon, we suggest a visit to the excellent Luxor Museum or Mumification Museum.

Tonight you may choose to visit the Sound and Light show at Karnak Temple (optional).

* We do not include the tomb of King Tut, as it is very small and not very interesting, relatively speaking, but we allow time for you to see it if you wish (separate ticket).

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 19 Luxor: Valley of the Queens
This morning we make an excursion the Valley of the Queens.* After crossing the Nile we will board our bus for the short journey to visit this wonderful necropolis on the western shore of the Nile.

The Valley of the Queens was used as a burial site for the royal women of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties. Ancient Egyptians called this place "Set Neferu" meaning Seat Of Beauty, and today only a few of the eighty tombs are open to the public (we will visit three). The Valley of the Queens holds far more than graves of queens. Please note that an OPTIONAL visit of the tomb of Queen Nefertari is available for an extra charge (your Tour Leader will advise of the current fee).

As well as our visit to the Valley of the Queens we will also have a guided tour of the workers' village and the Madinat Habu temple. Madinat Habu, also known as the temple of Rameses III was known in ancient times as Djanet, and according to ancient belief, was the place were Amon first appeared. Both Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III built a temple dedicated to Amon here, and later Rameses III constructed his larger memorial temple on the site.

* Due to periodic and unannounced closures of the tombs at the Valley of the Queens, your Tour Leader may substitute the Tombs of the Nobles, which are equally interesting.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 20 Luxor: Dendera Temple & Time at Leisure
This morning we enjoy an excursion to the fascinating temple of Dendera located north of Luxor on the banks of the Nile.

Dendera Temple is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. Located in the city of Qena (60 km north of Luxor) Dendera was constructed for the worship of Goddess Hathor, goddess of love, beauty, and motherhood in the ancient Egyptian religion. The temple was founded by pharaoh Pepi I (2250 BC) and continued during the New kingdom (1550-1080 BC). What was left dates back to the Greco-Roman time in Egypt. The recent cleaning of the ceiling of the Dendera Temple has revealed has exposed some of the most vibrant and colourful paintings dating from antiquity. The temple has two decorated crypts, two halls with ceilings supported by columns and two funeral chapels, from where the famous "zodiac" from the Louvre comes.

We return to Luxor for some well-deserved free time for independent exploration, shopping, napping etc after some full days of touring. The Luxor Museum is also worthwhile, as it displays a very good contextual story of Luxor and the nearby valley of the Kings and Queens. The wooden sarcophaguses are the highlight -- so vivid that it's hard to believe they are thousands of years old.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 21 Luxor - Cairo: Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Today we fly back to Cairo.

On arrival we proceed to the famous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities,* where enjoy a guided tour of some of Egypt's most beloved treasures. Among the 100,000 pieces housed on the museum's two floors is the famous exhibit of Tutankhamun whose tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The tomb and treasures of this young Pharaoh, modest by Pharaonic Egyptian standards, is perhaps the best-preserved of the discovered tombs. We also see archaeological relics from the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom and Greco-Roman periods. There is also a separated area devoted to the best-known of the Tut antiquities (the Mummies Room), which you can enter for an optional extra fee (ask your Tour Leader for the current rate).

* Please note that the above description is likely to be accurate for our tours scheduled for early 2024, when it is expected that the King Tut exhibition will still be housed at this site (rather than at the GEM). It remains unclear as to exactly what exhibits will be moved to GEM and when, but we expect that this museum will continue to function even after GEM is fully opened. Once this situation becomes clearer we will update this day's description.

Overnight in Cairo (central).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 22 Cairo: Coptic & Islamic Cairo - Khan el Khalili
Today visit the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), a nice addition to the Cairo museum landscape and an excellent way to recap all that we have done and seen during our tour.

We then drive through the neat, tree-lined streets of the Garden City area to Coptic Cairo, the centre of Christianity in Cairo.* We will walk the cobblestone streets and stop at a few of the churches, including that of Saint Sergius, presumed to be the spot where the Holy Family lived during their flight into Egypt. The present building dates from the 11th century. As we stroll along we will come to the recently restored Synagogue of Ben Ezra, the oldest Jewish synagogue in Egypt. Despite the 45 Jewish families that remain in Cairo, the synagogue is no longer operational.

We then proceed to Islamic Cairo, where we will tour the Citadel, begun by Saladin in the 12th century. Today the Citadel's buildings are mainly from the Ottoman period, and are truly grand. From the Citadel, actually a complex of three mosques and four museums, we enjoy an amazing view of Cairo spread beneath the hilltop. Here we will see the fabulous Mosque of Mohammed Ali, also known as the "Alabaster Mosque."

Finally we make a stop at Khan el Khalili, one of the most interesting bazaars, not only in Egypt, but also in all the Middle East. The atmosphere of this traditional market, together with the labyrinthine layout of the streets, gives visitors a glimpse into what medieval markets were once like.

* The Coptic Cairo section of our program exists here in a tentative basis given ever-changing security considerations in this district. Your Tour Leader will advise of the current status once you have arrived on tour and a substitution may be put into place.

Overnight in Cairo (central).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 23 Departure
Departure from Cairo.

RHLAH S'IDAH!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner are included daily.

All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides.

Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving/departing on tour dates and for any early arriving/late departing travellers who book both their air and extra nights through us.

Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour.

Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'.

Airport transfers for Land Only customers.

Optional trip cancellation insurance.

Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, and visas.

Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in spring and fall, outside of the hotter summer months May-September when we are able to achieve our busy program, which involves a lot of time outdoors, with greater comfort and safety. That said, once can still expect heat in some locales, especially in Upper Egypt, and especially during "shoulder" times, ie March/April & early October. At these times, your Tour Leader will do his/her best to structure our activities to take advantage of the more comfortable times of day to head out, which could mean some early starts and possibly a block of leisure time midday.

Transport and Travel Conditions
Over two weeks we travel by bus, felucca sailboat, horse carriage, plane, donkey cart, and camel. Distances covered are not great and roads are good. The tour is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some heat and some extensive archaeological sites. We also have some early starts, owing largely to internal air schedules and the imperative to maximize sightseeing time/conditions.

Our rating "Level 2" on this tour refers to its ambitious nature, full days, and plenty of time spent on your feet. Some days involve some early starts as dictated by internal flights as well as some excursions, ie Alexandria & Abu Simbel, for which early departures are necessitated by distance and traffic. We also like to get to Abu Simbel in time for sunrise and before large crowds arrive. Many sites visited are LARGE; surfaces are uneven and sloped, and stairs will factor into our visits. Heat can also be a factor in some locations which can, over time, cause fatigue. This is not an 'easy' tour; if you are unsteady or slow on your feet, rely heavily on a cane or any other mobility aid, or tire easily, we regret that this tour would not be suitable.

Though baggage handling is available throughout, you must still be able to fully manage yourself and your things, especially at airports.

IF YOU'RE WONDERING why we don't offer a Nile cruise between Aswan and Luxor, we find that by travelling between these two points overland we are able to include more sites (ie Abydos & Dendara) in addition to Kom Ombo and Edfu, where we enjoy private sightseeing instead of having our group combined with other groups on the cruise program. Our independence also allows us to avoid peak periods and crowds at the times that cruise ships generally dock. We know that the notion of a Nile cruise has a special romantic appeal, but we (including our Tour Leaders) have always preferred this alternative. The ships spend most of their time tied up at the docks in Luxor and Aswan and the time actually sailing is rather limited and may occur at night due to the limitations of the transit lock system, which often gets backed up. As cruise programs tend to feature quite a lot of "down time," this option was rarely well-received by past travellers back in the day when we included it. We hope this clarifies!

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation
Hotel accommodation used on tour is on average, 3-star in Israel, and 4-star (some 5-star) in Egypt. Most properties have outdoor swimming pools. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins.

Please click on the "Map & Hotels" tab for more information.

Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.

Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

Tour Extensions
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:

30 Day Egypt, Jordan & Israel
JAN OCT
TOUR CODE: EG11
Tour Overview

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Middle East
Countries visited: Israel and Egypt


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Ein Gedi Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Dead Sea Israel
Country: Israel
The Ein Gedi Hotel is located at the wonderful point of connection between the sea and the desert. On one side the Dead Sea in a thousand shades of blue and on ... other the Judean Desert. Between both of them lies the Ein Gedi nature reserve, a green pearl, abundant with water and full of wild animals. The hotel rooms continue the experience of nature and peace around you. They are all built on one or two levels, surrounded by manicured gardens and spacious lawns. You are invited to spend a pampering romantic vacation at the Synergy Spa, enjoy the pool surrounded by a view on all sides, end the evening in an Uber with a glass of wine and a good show and travel throughout the area with our guides.
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Leonardo Hotel Jerusalem
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Jerusalem
Country: Israel
Because first impressions matter, Leonardo Jerusalem welcomes you with graceful courtesy from the moment you step through its doors into the fabulous lobby that is ample enough to have a bar and ... bright seating area. It’s a business and family-friendly hotel that combines modern luxury with traditional hospitality to give you the experience you expect and deserve when you vacation in Jerusalem.
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Cairo Pyramids Hotel
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Cairo
Country: Egypt
Indulge in an experience that brings together both authenticity and modernity at Cairo Pyramids Hotel. Our 172 rooms have their own private terraces with modern facilities and services, offering you a range ... outstanding views over the city, pool, Great Pyramids of Giza or the Egyptian Grand Museum.

Our spacious and comfortably furnished hotel rooms offer comfort at a high level. Indulge in culinary delights in our restaurants & bars.
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Movenpick Aswan
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Aswan
Country: Egypt
We believe in indulgence done right. At Mövenpick Resort Aswan we, treat our guests to deliciously fresh cuisine, abundant treats and flavours. All dishes are served with a generous portion of ... care at our 5 star hotel in Aswan.

Help yourself to the good life at Mövenpick Resort Aswan. From sunny pool days with the family to indulgent spa time, energizing workouts to immersive cultural experiences, we invite you to enjoy it during your stay in Aswan.
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Sonesta St. George Hotel - Luxor
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Luxor
Country: Egypt
Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor redefines magnificent contemporary style. Come and enjoy a sweeping terrace with majestic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with ... detail, a sumptuous health spa, an array of fine dining choices, and every amenity to please the most discerning traveler. With the mystical Nile just a whisper away and the temples of Luxor and Karnak preserved in time, you can easily experience a city of fascinating antiquity.

Our luxurious 5-star hotel specializes in organizing outstanding business events in the city of history and ancient Egyptian temples. We feature one-of-a-kind Royal Rooms with breathtaking views of the Nile, spacious suites, versatile meeting spaces, and state-of-the-art technology.
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Gallery

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is via our website; during office hours, you are also more than welcome to contact us by telephone. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Please review our cancellation policy page for details.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

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Countries Visited: 2

Israel; Egypt.
Activity Level: 2

These are particularly busy tours that feature a lot of moving around, sometimes by train and short journeys on local transport. Walking tours of towns and cities are leisurely but you should be prepared to be on your feet for several hours. Some of our cultural trips that occur at high altitude and/or require greater independence with baggage handling (at hotels, airports, train stations) also fall into this category.
Tour Style: Cultural

These three- and four-star hotel-based, "soft adventure" trips concentrate on the culture, history, and natural attributes of our destination. Though there are no strenuous activities built into these tours, you need to be prepared for some full days with some early starts, plenty of walking on uneven surfaces through villages, cities and archaeological sites, and not a lot of "down time." Independence, reasonable fitness, and an ability to be steady on one's feet are critical in order for you to get the most out of these programs.
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