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Nile Valley Highlights – Independent Journey

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StartsCairo, Egypt
EndsCairo, Egypt
RegionMiddle East & North Africa
Duration9 days
Tour OperatorPeregrine
Tour Map
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Starting: Cairo & Finishing: Cairo

Arrive at Cairo International Airport and be transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Cairo at any time. Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city, but an important welcome meeting will be held in the evening. Check the hotel reception for details.

Day 2 - Starting: Cairo – overnight sleeper train & Finishing: Cairo – overnight sleeper train

After breakfast, visit the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's great collections of ancient treasures. Your expert guide will take you through Egypt's rich and fascinating dynastic history. Afterwards you'll have some free time to explore on your own. You may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (this is optional and at extra cost). Your next stop is Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man – the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, these pharaonic tombs are incredible to see up close. There's the option of going inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), although occasionally it may be closed to visitors. Return to your hotel, freshen up, pack your things and transfer to the station for your overnight train to Luxor (approximately 10 hours). Notes: Sleeping berths (beds and linen) are provided in private cabins and an airline-style dinner will be served. It is worth bringing additional snacks; your tour leader can help you arrange this. Facilities are located at the end of each carriage.

Day 3 - Starting: Luxor & Finishing: Luxor

After an early breakfast on board, the train rolls into Luxor. It's a vibrant place with an excellent bazaar, situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important and extraordinary sights. You will be transferred to your Nile cruise boat, which will be your home for the next four nights. You can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town. Later in the day you will a take a horse-drawn carriage to Karnak, one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. For the rest of the afternoon and evening you will be free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.

Day 4 - Starting: Valley of the Kings - Luxor - Nile Cruise & Finishing: Valley of the Kings - Luxor - Nile Cruise

Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Explore this sprawling and spectacular place where discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, and you'll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. Enjoy lunch upon your return to the boat. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before you set sail for Edfu. Generally the journey from Luxor to Edfu is from 1 pm to 11 pm. Departure time may vary, depending on river traffic – please refer to the note regarding cruise schedules in the 'Other Information' section. You will pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue your journey upstream. Notes: Entry to Tutankhamun's small tomb is quite limited and incurs an additional cost.

Day 5 - Starting: Nile Cruise & Finishing: Nile Cruise

Morning finds you moored near Edfu, a beautifully preserved temple dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. You will disembark and explore the temple, and get acquainted the lively town centre. Returning to the cruise boat, continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land. After arriving at Komombo around 4 pm, your short walk around the Temple of Sobek, which sits picturesquely ruined on the river's edge, provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period. Board your boat again at around 6 pm and continue to Aswan, arriving at around 9.30 pm.

Day 6 - Starting: Aswan & Finishing: Aswan

Explore Aswan today, Egypt's southernmost city. Its easygoing charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively you will visit it tomorrow). It's a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. The rest of your day will be free to wander, and Aswan is a great place for it. The Nubian Bazaar is a must, while the excellent Nubian Museum is recommended by many. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. Watch the waterfront come alive at dusk, as families are out strolling, socialising and relaxing along the corniche.

Day 7 - Starting: Aswan & Finishing: Aswan

Disembark the cruise boat and check into your hotel. A highly recommended optional activity is to visit Abu Simbel this morning. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. The rest of the day is free for you to make your own discoveries. The departure time for Abu Simbel is between 5am and 6am. A popular afternoon option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively, take a camel ride to the Monastery of St Simeon, an abandoned 7th-century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. Your tour leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions. Alternatively, you may prefer to simply relax by the hotel pool or do some shopping in the friendly bazaar. In the evening you will visit a Nubian village and enjoy the warm hospitality (and cuisine) of these locals. You will also be treated to some Nubian dancing, and may even have the chance to try some moves yourself. 

Day 8 - Starting: Cairo & Finishing: Cairo

After breakfast you will be transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes) where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Today you will dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. Head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo's oldest mosque and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. It retains a distinctly medieval feel. You will explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market). The gorgeous 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest in Egypt, possibly its most beautiful too. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas and vaunting a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. This evening you will get to share an authentic Egyptian meal with a local family. Visit a family home, chat with the local family members about life in the Middle East, and learn some of your favourite traditional Egyptian dishes while enjoying a delicious dinner

Day 9 - Starting: Cairo & Finishing: Cairo

Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Check-out is usually around 12 noon, and you are free to leave at any time.

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More Information

You’ll have the ultimate views of the Nile and surrounding desert from the top deck of your cruise boat. With a splash pool, bar, sun loungers and a shaded sitting area you can spend your days watching life unfold on the bank of this ancient body of water. 

Highlights

  • Nubean Aswan
  • The Valley of the Kings
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo
  • Nile cruise
  • Cairo Museum
  • Edfu and Komombo temples
  • Luxor’s open air museum

Included

– The services of expert English-speaking local tour guides. – Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, pyramids, Sphinx, Gayer-Anderson Museum, Ibn Tulun Mosque and Khan al-Khalili Bazaar; Karnak Temple; Philae Temple, Valley of the Kings; Temple of Hatshepsut; Colossi of Memnon; and Edfu and Komombo Temples. – Four nights on a comfortable Nile river cruise boat sailing from Luxor to Aswan, with sightseeing stops along the way. – Horse-drawn carriage ride to Karnak. – Transport by air-conditioned sleeper train in a private, two-person sleeping berth with beds and linen, an ‘airline-style’ dinner and breakfast, and toilet facilities located at the end of each carriage. – Flight between Aswan and Cairo with all transfers on Day 8. – Arrival transfer.

Additional Accommodation

Extend your holiday by booking some pre or post tour accommodation – ask us or your travel agent.

Day 1 Accommodation

Novotel El Borg or Similar (1 nights)

Day 2 Included Activities

  • Cairo - The Egyptian Museum
  • Cairo - The Egyptian Museum headset
  • Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx

Day 2 Accommodation

Sleeper Train (1 nights)

Day 2 Optional Activities

  • Cairo - Camel ride at the Pyramids - EGP 25
  • Cairo - The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP 40
  • Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP 200

Day 3 Included Activities

  • Luxor - Karnak Temple

Day 3 Accommodation

Riverboat (1 nights)

Day 3 Optional Activities

  • Luxor - Sound and Light Show at Karnak - EGP 100
  • Luxor - Luxor Museum - EGP 100

Day 4 Included Activities

  • Luxor - Hatshepsut Temple
  • Luxor - Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)

Day 4 Accommodation

Riverboat (1 nights)

Day 5 Included Activities

  • Edfu - Edfu Temple

Day 5 Accommodation

Riverboat (1 nights)

Day 6 Included Activities

  • Kom Ombo - Kom Ombo Temple
  • Aswan - Philae Temple

Day 6 Accommodation

Riverboat (1 nights)

Day 7 Accommodation

Hotel Basma or similar (1 nights)

Day 7 Optional Activities

  • Aswan - Unfinished Obelisk - EGP 40
  • Aswan - Nubian Museum - EGP 60
  • Aswan - Sound & Light Show at Philae Temple - EGP 100

Day 8 Included Activities

  • Cairo - Gayer Anderson
  • Cairo - Home Cooked Meal

Day 8 Accommodation

Novotel El Borg or Similar (1 nights)

Included Meals

Breakfast: 8

Lunch: 4

Dinner: 7

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