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22 Day Egypt And Israel Tour
TOURCODE: IS2
Duration: 22 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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22 Day Egypt And Israel Tour

The Classic Combo
22 Days
TOURCODE: IS2

Vibrant Tel Aviv; Historic Nazareth; Floating in the Dead Sea; Masada fortress; Jerusalem: Old City tour; The Great Pyramids & Sphinx; Museum of Egyptian Antiquities; Massive Karnak Temple; Donkey cart trek into Valley of the Kings

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 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.

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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: $1516 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $758 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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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* across the emerald 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.

* Ever-changing water levels may require that we defer this activity if impractical.

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 Shean and Beit Alpha on the way. 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 we will see the Old City from the vantage point of the Mount of Olives.

We 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 stop at Mount Zion to see St Peter in Galicantu and the Upper room.

From Jerusalem we continue to Bethlehem.* 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.

*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, Israel - Cairo, Egypt
Old and new merge seamlessly in Jerusalem. You may hear the Muslim call to prayer competing with the clanging of bells from Christian churches and the prayers of Jews bobbing 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 and Museum to the Holocaust.

Later this evening we fly to Cairo.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Cairo: Memphis & Saqqara, Great Pyramids & the Sphinx
We have an early start for a full-day day of sightseeing. We first travel 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), and Saqqara was used as a burial place for residents of Memphis including kings, princes and nobles. Our drive this morning takes us through the suburbs of Giza, past some small, colourful villages and plantations in the fertile Nile Valley. At the ancient city of Memphis 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. 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!

After lunch we pay a visit to 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 (extra fee applicable - ask your Tour Leader).

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 and measures 50m (164 feet) in length and 22m (72 feet) in height.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Cairo & Alexandria
Early this morning we travel by road from Cairo to Alexandria. The second largest city in Egypt, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean," has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern; its ambiance and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country although it is actually only 225 km from Cairo (3-4 hours, depending on traffic).

We head to the southwest of the city and a hill littered with the remains of ancient walls, architectural fragments and rubble on which stands Alexandria's largest ancient monument, Pompey's Pillar, rising from the ruins of the ancient and famous Serapeion (Temple of Serapis). This column of red Aswan granite with a Corinthian capital, standing on a badly ruined substructure and rising to a height of almost 90ft / 27m, is traditionally believed to have been erected by the Emperor Theodosius. We will also see the famous Roman theatre of Alexandria. Dating back to 2nd century AD, this theatre is the only one of its type in all of Egypt.

We also visit the Roman Catacombs, the last existing major construction for the sake of the old Egyptian religion. Though the funerary motifs are pure ancient Egyptian, the architects and artists were schooled in the Graeco-Roman style. Applied to the themes of Ancient Egyptian religion, it has resulted in an amazing integrated art, quite unlike anything else in the world.

Another highlight today is a visit to Bibliotheca Alexandria.* Once the greatest library in the ancient world, the Bibliotheca is dedicated to "the writings of all nations." Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the modern Bibliotheka cost some USD150 million, all by donation from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iraq.

* Due to admisssion limits related the Covid pandemic and a ticketing system that does not allow for advanced booking, it is possible that our visit to the library may be an exterior viewing only.

We return to Cairo in time for dinner.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Cairo - Fly to Aswan - The High Dam & Unfinished Obelisk
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.

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.

You'll have some well-deserved time this afternoon for relaxation and independent exploration.

* 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 13 Aswan: St. Simeon Monastery & Felucca Sail Adventure
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 14 Aswan: Abu Simbel & Philae Temple Sound & Light Show
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.

Later this afternoon we will attend the Sound & Light Show at Philae Temple. The temple is situated on an island, and so we enjoy a short boat journey to get to the site. It is a good idea to have a small flashlight with you.

* 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 15 Aswan - Luxor via Kom Ombo, Edfu & Esna
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

Before arriving in Luxor we will make a short visit to the Temple Of Esna. This temple is located on the west bank of the Nile in the ancient city of Senat - called Latopolis by the Greeks. It was "the city of the fish" where the Nile perch fish was worshipped as divine. The temple, which was buried beneath debris for many centuries, is located in the center of the town close to the Nile. The temple is dedicated to the ram-headed god Khnum, the god of creation. Tuthmosis III laid the foundations of the Temple in the 18th Dynasty, but Ptolemaic and Roman Emperors completed it between 40 to 250 A.D., and their names are recorded all over the temple walls.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 16 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 17 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 18 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.

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 19 Luxor: Full Day Trip to Abydos Temple & Dendera Temple
Today we enjoy a full day excursion north of Luxor to two cities on the banks of the Nile where the fascinating temples of Dendera and Abydos can be found.

Abydos Temple was built by Seti I and his son Ramses II for the God Osiris of the afterlife and resurrection. The temple here is considered by many to be one of the most impressive religious structures in Egypt. Abydos was both an important religious and pilgrimage centre, and here can be found representations of the "Mysteries of Osiris", a ceremony which reproduced the death and resurrection of the God Osiris. Abydos is much less visited than other Nile temples, but the vibrantly colored wall and ceiling paintings, as well as the sculpted column work of the Temple of Seti I, are a highlight of a Nile journey and shouldn't be missed.

On our way back to Luxor we will visit Dendera Temple, 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.

Overnight in Luxor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 20 Luxor - Cairo: Archaeological Museum & Islamic Cairo
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. We also allow some time for you to explore the treasures on your own (extra fee: ask your Tour Leader for the current rate).

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."

* A new museum is being built, though the much delayed opening date is as yet unclear. As the move takes place, some items may not be on display in either location. Once the museum opens, it will become a part of this itinerary.

Overnight in Cairo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 21 Cairo: Coptic Cairo & Khan el Khalili
Today we 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 make a stop at the Khan el Khalili Bazaar, one of the most interesting bazaars, not only in Egypt, but also in the whole Middle East. The atmosphere of this traditional market, together with the labyrinthine layout of the streets, gives visitors a glimpse into what medieval markets once were like.

We will also visit the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) while back in Cairo, a nice addition to the Cairo museum landscape and an excellent way to recap all that we have done and seen during our tour.

* 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.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 22 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.


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.

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

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

*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.


Kibbutz Ein Gedi
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Dead Sea Israel
Country: Israel
Location: Ein GeA kibbutz environment situated inside the magical botanical gardens, on a cliff plateau, overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a true oasis within the Judean Desert. Facilities: Outdoor ... pool (seasonal), bar. All rooms are located in the heart of the fabulous gardensand are on ground level.
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Moriah Classic
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Jerusalem
Country: Israel
Moriah Classic Jerusalem Hotel (former Novotel Jerusalem) located at the unique meeting point of East and West, old and new, historical and spiritual. The hotel is 20 minutes walking from ... Old City Walls, the Via Doloroza, the Wailing Wall, Jaffa Gate, the Oriental Bazaar. The hotel offers 397 fully air-conditioned rooms with private bathroom, mini bar, direct dial phone, and cable TV. Outdoor swimming pool (seasonal).
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Hotel Steigenberger Pyramids
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Cairo
Country: Egypt
This upscale hotel is 3 km from both the ancient Egyptian Khufu ship and the Pyramid of Khafre.Featuring refined decor, the elegant rooms offer free Wi-Fi, safes and terraces, plus ... TVs.
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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
A 14-minute walk from Elephantine Island, this upscale resort hotel overlooking the River Nile is 2 km from Nubia Museum and 3 km from the ancient Unfinished Obelisk museum.
Sonesta St George
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Luxor
Country: Egypt
Welcome to five-star splendor on the banks of the Nile in a city of ancient pharaonic treasures, the Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor redefines magnificent contemporary style. The hotel is ... sophisticated and above all, elegant.

Come and enjoy a sweeping terrace with majestic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with exquisite 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, experience a city of fascinating antiquity and indulge in the rich splendor of the Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor.
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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 to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. 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?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
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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