CAIRO AND NILE CRUISE - SAHARA DESERT

Overview

  • 12 Days
  • Cairo - Luxor - Aswan - Black dessert
  • Schedule:Daily
  • Tour Type:private
  • Included:
      • Meet, greet and assist upon arrival and departure 
      • Accommodation in Cairo for 2 nights (includes breakfasts) 
      • Accommodation on sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan for 1 night (half-board) 
      • Accommodation in Aswan for 1 night (includes breakfast and taxes) 
      • Accommodation on a Nile cruise ship for 3 nights (full basis) 
      • Accommodation in Kharga (camping) for 1 night (full board basis) 
      • Accommodation in Dakhla for 1 night (half-board) 
      • Accommodation in Dakhla (camping) for 1 night (full board) 
      • Accommodation in White Desert (camping) for 1 night (full board) 
      • All sightseeing tours as stated in the itinerary 
      • Camel riding in Dakhla for about 20 km 
      • Transfer from Cairo to Dakhla/Kharga to Luxor 
      • All transfers from Kharga to Bahariya (air-conditioned 4×4 vehicle) 
      • Entrance fees to all sites as indicated in the itinerary 
      • Lunch during sightseeing tours 
      • Mineral water and soft drinks when camping in the desert 
      • English speaking guide (Egyptologist) for all tours 
      • All transfers to/from airport/station and hotels in A/C vehicles 
      • Mineral water during your tours 
      • Portage when needed 
      • All service charges and taxes
  • Excluded:
      • International flights 
      • Egypt entry visa 
      • Optional tours not mentioned in the itinerary 
      • Meals except where indicated 
      • Personal expenses 
      • Tips and gratuities

Itinerary

Arrival in Cairo; meet and greet at Cairo International Airport by a Mody Egypt Tours representative. You will be transferred to your hotel accommodation with check-in assistance. After an information meeting, you will spend the rest of the day to your leisure. Overnight – no meals included.

Breakfast, check-out and pick up for your official introduction to Cairo. Your first day will be inundated in ancient history and starts at the Giza Plateau where your first impression will be the overwhelming sight of the Great Sphinx. You will visit the pyramids of Menkaure, Cheops and Chefren, dating from approx. 2580-2560BC. Your next stop is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities with artifacts from tombs, temples and palaces throughout Egypt from ancient dynasties. You will have a guided tour but also enough time to wander around. After lunch in a good authentic restaurant you will continue to Coptic Cairo with historical churches and the recently renovated Ben Ezra Synagogue. You conclude the day with a shopping opportunity in the famous Khan el Khalili Bazar, stimulation to the senses with explosions of color, sounds, smell of bakhoor and spices and Egyptian hospitality. Finally, you will head to the Giza train station, where you will board a very comfortable sleeper train to Aswan. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner.       

After breakfast on board of the train, you will be met at Aswan Station to be transferred to your hotel. You can spend the day at your leisure with an optional tour to the magnificent, must see, Nubian Temples of Abu Simbel, commissioned to be an everlasting memorial of Egyptian power and its most famous Pharaoh Ramses II and his beloved Queen Nefertari. Overnight - breakfast.

Breakfast, check-out and a transfer to your luxury Nile Cruiser will start your day. After lunch on board, you will be picked up for a stopover at the technical and architectural wonder of the High Dam, followed by a visit to the ancient stone quarry where rests the unfinished obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, largest of its kind, if not for a breakage of the stone. You continue with a short boat ride to the famous Philae Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Isis and used through Pharaonic and Ptolemaic eras, Roman times and Christianity. The last hieroglyphic writing can be found here as well as a reminder of the Napoleon Army and an interesting Nilo-meter. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The day starts with breakfast and a mesmerizing journey on the Nile north to Kom Ombo where you visit the symmetrical double Temple of Sobek and Harouris (Horus the Elder). You will be guided and shown the most remarkable features of the structure, like the ancient seasonal calendar and astonishing and recognizable inventory of medicinal equipment. Of course you must also visit the picturesque Crocodile Museum with huge mummified Nile crocodiles, dedicated to Sobek. Back on board, you will enjoy lunch while sailing to Edfu where a horse carriage will take you to the Temple of Horus, a beautifully preserved Ptolemaic temple, finalized during the reign of Cleopatra VII. Inside the sanctuary you will find a beautiful replica of the bark of Horus, a ship like construction in which the holy statue of Horus was carried around. The rest of the day, you will spend sailing further north in luxury; taking in life along the Nile shores, villages, palm trees, birdlife and banana plantations until you reach Esna. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

After breakfast the journey continues to Luxor. The first excursion of the day is to the West Bank of the Nile for a visit to the Valley of the Kings where you descent into 3 Pharaonic tombs with dazzling decorations and magnificent sarcophagi, demonstrating superb ancient craftsmanship. A short ride brings you to the glorious memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female Pharaoh, famed for her foreign trade expeditions. On your way back to the East Bank, you have a photo stop at the Colossi of Memnon, two enormous statues that guard the ongoing excavations of the Palace of Amenhotep III. Next is the magnificent Karnak Temple aka Ipet-Isut "Most Sacred of Places". You will be guided around the fast complex of temples, hypostyle halls, and sacred lakes and decorated walls before driving on to the smaller and more elegant Luxor Temple, build for the rejuvenation of kingship. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
 

An early breakfast and check-out will take you with a 4x4 car to your first introduction to the Western Desert with today's destination being the Oasis of Baris, famed for its ruins, dating from numerous eras, scattered through the desert. Here you will set up camp for your first night in natural surroundings, under the starry desert sky. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

After breakfast and breaking up camp, you will continue the safari towards the Al Kharga Oasis, part of a more than 4,500 year old 40-days trade route named Darb El Arba'een (The Way of 40) and now the most modern oasis in the Western Desert. Here you will visit the Temple of Hibis, dedicated to the God Amun, but its walls are decorated with hundreds of other deities. The next stop is the necropolis of Al Bagawat, one of the oldest and best preserved Christian cemeteries in Egypt with numerous chapels decorated with fresco's which are still visible. You will continue the desert tour to the Dakhla Oasis where you will spend the night in a traditional reed hut. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

A traditional breakfast is your start of the day, followed by a trip to Al Qasr, a medieval, fortified Islamic town, where you will visit the Ethnographic Museum with traditional handicrafts. Our next stop is at one of the natural hot springs where you can take a rejuvenating dip. Back in Dakhla, you enjoy lunch after which you will have the unique experience of a true camel ride through the desert to the Great Escarpment where your camp awaits you for another night in the desert, perfect for star-gazing. Overnight – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast, break up camp and a new day waits. In the luxury of a car, we continue our desert tour towards the Farafra Oasis, mainly inhabited by Bedouins, to pay a visit to the Badr Museum, showcasing the work of local artist Badr AbdelMoghny, and the delightful sulfur hot springs. Continuing your journey, you enter the White Desert. This protected, National Park is a natural phenomenon of large white chalk rock formations, created by erosion, sand and wind. Its dunes and cliffs will be a mesmerizing part of your vacation. Overnight at a desert camping – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The last day starts with breakfast and a drive to the Bahariya Oasis with a visit to the Crystal Mountain, a ridge in the middle of the desert, made entirely out of calcite crystal. The crystals are made of white quartz and startling to see. A beautiful photo-opportunity is a pose underneath the Crystal Arch. A drive through the Black Desert, a region of volcano shaped dunes of iron quartzite, takes you back to your hotel in Cairo. Overnight – breakfast and lunch.

After breakfast and check out, you will be brought to Cairo International Airport for your flight back home. 

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