A Remarkable Two Week Journey to Egypt… like no other!
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of history’s most famous discovery on an exquisite two-week tour of Egypt. Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring wonders as part of a small, cultured group on this deluxe, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
With both a Canadian and a local Egyptian Egyptologist to bring the history alive – and some remarkable special guests — you’ll gain insight, inspiration, and exclusive access to Egypt’s most famous sites and best kept secrets.
- See the Pyramids, Saqqara, Dashur – and the great sites and museums of Cairo
- Experience beautiful Middle Egypt – and revel in special behind the scenes experiences and site entrances
- Be in awe… during exclusive private encounters with world-leading archaeologist Barry Kemp in Amarna & surprise archaeological experience in Luxor.
- Raise a toast at a private reception at Howard Carter House & Old Winter Palace farewell dinner
- Enjoy deluxe Nile view accommodations – including The Old Winter Palace
- Cairo: ancient and modern: From its bustling medieval souk to its towering minarets, you’ll be immersed in the colour and cacaphony of the city. Enjoy Islamic & Coptic sites and an authentic Sufi show
- Pyramids of Giza & the Museum(s): See the last surviving wonder of the world, the Sphinx, the Solar boat, Old Kingdom tomb(s) and enter inside one of the Great Pyramids to connect viscerally to thousands of years of history
- Saqqara, Dashur & Meidum: Visit rarely entered tombs, temples and pyramids including: Step, Bent, Red, Meidum — and newly-opened mastabas at Sakkara
- Valley of the Kings and the Wonders of Luxor: Experience the famous Hatshepsut Temple, Karnak Temple, Deir el Medina, Colossi of Memnon and Luxor Temple at night, among other experiences
- Rarely seen tombs, temples and Middle Egypt towns and sites including:
- The rock tombs of Beni Hassan and Tuna el Gebel in Middle Egypt
- Dendera Temple – a Ptolemaic masterpiece
- Seti I Temple at Abydos – arguably the most exquisite art in Egypt
- Private tour of Tel El-Amarna — Visit the site of Akhenaten’s lost Kingdom – and Tutankhamun’s birthplace — with Barry Kemp CBE (or a member of his team), British archaeologist and director of the Amarna Project.
- Private tour of Colossi of Memnon – a go behind the scenes exclusive at one of the great temples of Egypt
- Private Valley of the Kings & Tut Experience: Visit Tut’s tomb and a special archaeological experience in Luxor
- Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor: Enjoy Nile view accommodations and a spectacular final dinner in the grand hotel where Lord Carnarvon loved to holiday.
- Private 100th Anniversary Reception at Carter House
- Lively talks, exotic dining experiences – and once-in-a-lifetime adventures
Day 1: Welcome to Cairo
For those who arrive early there will be an optional afternoon excursion.
Overnight Ramses Hilton Hotel, Cairo D
Day 2: The Egyptian Museum & The Giza Pyramids
After breakfast, we will set off to visit the iconic Egyptian Museum, home to many of the greatest treasures of ancient history. Opened in 1902, this museum is undergoing an incredible transformation into a museum of Masterpieces, with beautiful new displays – and new items never seen before on exhibit. From the magnificent gold and silver Tanis treasures and masterwork statues of the Old kingdom to the stunning coffins and funerary furniture of Tuya and Yuya, Tutankhamun’s grandparents, this museum is an embarrassment of ancient riches. (If open, we will be touring the new Grand Egyptian Museum on this day).
Lunch at the Historic Mena House This afternoon we visit the Giza plateau. The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is perhaps the most famous tourist site in the world. The Giza plateau itself, with its three major pyramids plus Queen’s pyramids, ancient mastabas, Sphinx and the ubiquitous and colourful camel drivers is a much-anticipated highlight of any trip. You will have the opportunity to crawl inside a pyramid – and explore right to the burial chamber. While on the plateau, we will also visit the iconic Sphinx and Khafre’s magnificent valley temple.
Overnight at Steigenberger Pyramids or similar B, L
Day 3: Islamic Cairo & Khan El Khalili & Sufi Show
Islamic Cairo – Your day begins with a half-day immersion into the fascinating world of Islamic Cairo, site of some of the oldest mosques in the world. We start with a gorgeous panoramic view of the city from way up in the medieval Citadel of Saleh el din, a marvel of medieval warfare, built in places with limestone from the Great Pyramid. There, we’ll also tour a 14th century open air mosque and the beautiful 19th century mosque of Mohammed Ali. Next, we’ll proceed to the breathtaking 14th century Sultan Hasan mosque, considered the pearl of Islamic architecture. Before lunch, we’ll also visit El Rafai, another ornate 19th century mosque which is the resting place of many early Egyptian rulers, including King Farouk.
Lunch at the beautiful Al Azar Gardens. Enjoy a walking tour of the 13th Century covered oriental market – the largest of its kind and age in the world: Khan El Khalili Bazaar is a marvel to experience and an onslaught to the senses. This evening we visit a colourful and authentic Sufi show (whirling dervishes) at the 1100 year-old Wekalet El Ghouri Arts Center .
Overnight at Steigenberger Pyramids or similar B, L
Day 4: Dashur and Saqqara – Step Pyramid
In the morning we visit two more of the earliest pyramids in Egypt: the Bent, and the impressive and intact Red, both built by Senefru in the 26th and 25th century BC. The Bent, an eerily collapsed pyramid, has been recently re-opened to the public and you will be free to crawl inside and explore. . Entrance inside both the Bent and Red will be optional – and for the fit and adventurous minded only as it is an athletic climb. This Dashur region presents a wonderful opportunity for pyramid exploration …far from the crowds of Giza.
Lunch in the garden of the beautiful Sakkara Palms. We will explore this rich archaeological treasure trove – the largest and oldest necropolis in the world. It is famously the site of Djoser’s Step Pyramid, the first pyramid in Egypt (and world’s first building in stone) built by his architect Imhotep around 2650 BCE. Our visit begins at the modern Imhotep museum, where we’ll view stunning Old Kingdom artifacts, such as cobra reliefs, ancient harps, surgical instruments and the Old Kingdom mummy of King Merenre. We will then proceed to see the famous Old Kingdom tombs of high officials, notable for their colourful reliefs – vibrant scenes of daily life. We may visit the breathtaking Mereruke, the mastaba of Ty, the tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhknum (The gay Manicurists) or the tomb of Ptahotep – and always a surprise newly-opened tomb! Tomb opening and closures change, and we will see where we can get some special access at the time. We will also be sure to explore seldom visited New Kingdom tombs associated with King Tut, which may include the tombs of Maya, his wet nurse, Aye his successor, and Horemheb, his general – and later a king of Egypt. While at Sakkara, we will also visit the Pyramid of King Unas, the last ruler of the 5th Dynasty. Although small, Unas’ pyramid is one of Egypt’s most important as the very first to feature pyramid texts carved on its walls, some still retaining traces of ancient colour. Next, we will tour the Saqqara complex, including the Step pyramid itself, Djoser’s court and the causeway. Also newly open in recent years we will have the opportunity to climb inside this oldest pyramid of Egypt – and explore its labyrinthine passageways!
Overnight at Steigenberger Pyramids or similar B, L
Day 5: Meidum , Beni Hasan to Minya.
This morning, we say goodbye to the Cairo area and Lower Egypt, boarding our air-conditioned motor coach to drive to Minya in the middle of the country. We will stop at the rarely-visited ancient Meidum Pyramid, second oldest in Egypt after the Step Pyramid, and yours to explore inside and out! Adventure option: Test your ‘tomb raider’ skills by crawling on knees and hands into one of the challenging nearby Old Kingdom mastabas to reach the burial chamber. Before arriving in the modern city of Minya, we will cross the Nile and climb up a windswept hill to visit the great rock-cut tombs of Beni Hasan (2000-1800 BC), remarkable for their unique middle kingdom art featuring colourful scenes of wrestling men and rural life. You will enjoy secluded surroundings and the beautiful panoramic views of the middle Egypt countryside all around. After touring 4 of the tombs and possibly the nearby temple of Artemis, we continue to Minya for hotel check-in and dinner.
Overnight Horus Hotel B,L,D
Day 6: All day Tell El-Amarna and region: an exclusive tour with Prof. Barry Kemp
This morning we cross the Nile early to visit the great site of Tell El-Amarna, a city built by Akhenaten and Nefertiti during the New Kingdom – and the birthplace of Tutankhamun! A fascinating city of palaces, open air temples, zoos — it lasted only 15 years. When young Tutankhamun took over, it was abandoned and the capital moved back to Luxor This will be a very special day where we will be the VIP guests of the esteemed Prof. Barry Kemp, director of the Amarna project who has been excavating here for decades. He will take us on a private tour and introduce us to the site. Since the site was settled for only 15 years, it is an archaeological gem – yielding amazing insights and discoveries. The Temple of Aten is currently being restored – and we should see the team in action.
Highlights of the sprawling site include the north and south tombs of the nobles that feature remnants of beautiful, vibrant and naturalistic wall relief. Like Beni Hassan, these tombs are located high in the hills, affording us some lovely countryside views. We’ll also see the Northern Palace, one of the Boundary Stele (a marker of the city limits), the Southern Palace and the beautifully restored tomb built for Akhenaten.
Overnight Horus Hotel B,L,D
Day 7: Ashmunein, Tuna El-Gebel to Abydos
This morning we’ll leave the desert cliffs of Amarna to explore the rolling green fields with their ruins of Ashmunein (also known as Hermopolis). This legendary site was an important cult centre dating from New Kingdom right through Roman times and closely associated with the creation myth. A great colossus of Thoth, the baboon headed god of wisdom, will greet us at a charming open air museum of treasures. Then, we’ll continue to trek through the thick brambles to discover beautiful ornate Ptolemaic columns and walls of this ancient city. Venture a little further afield to view interesting ruins from a New Kingdom Seti I temple. Next, we’ll visit fascinating Tuna El-Gebel, the nearby necropolis of Ashmunein. Here, we’ll explore the colourful Ptolemaic chapels and Greco Roman tombs (Petosiris, and Isadora) and even venture deep into the eerie catacombs where ibis and baboon mummies were interred.
Drive to Abydos
Overnight House of Life, Sohag B,L,D
Day 8: Seti Temple & relaxing afternoon
Today you will visit the first of two great temples in Egypt – and ones not always on the mainstream travelers’ itinerary. The great Temple of Seti I. In the morning we take a pleasant stroll from our hotel to the cenotaph-temple of Seti I. The carvings within are probably the most symmetrically beautiful the Egyptians ever created. Explore behind the temple to find the eerie Osirium and a little visited temple of Rameses II. Lunch at hotel Late afternoon and evening will be yours to enjoy at leisure at this “spiritual hotel’ complete with meditation rooms. We may gather for a special social occasion.
Overnight House of Life B,L,D
Day 9: Denderah, Cleopatra’s Temple
Today we leave for Luxor visiting the magnificent Temple of Hathor at Denderah enroute It built in part during the time of the famous Cleopatra VII – and is the most complete of Egypt’s ancient temples. It is also one of the best restored – with a stunning astronomical ceiling. Our favourite temple in all of Egypt there is so much to do, see and experience: Climb into the sacred lake (now a palm grove), up onto the roof of the temple, and also enter one of the crypts under the floor of the temple.
From Denderah, we drive to check into our beautiful Nile view rooms at the Old Winter Palace (dinner on your own).
WELCOME TO LUXOR
Overnight Winter Palace Hotel B,L
Day 10: West Bank - Deir el Medina & Ramesseum & Carter House Reception
Optional sunrise balloon tour – Come sail above Luxor and watch the sun rise over the Nile! (approx cost $300USD) After breakfast this morning we cross to the West Bank, site of the ancient Necropolis of Thebes or “city of the dead”. We will visit Deir el Medina (the valley of the workers), home to a complete ancient village and stunning tombs of the craftsmen who built the King’s final resting place. Lunch at local restaurant. We will then visit the gigantic Colossi of Memnon, gateway to the temple of Amenhotep III, a tomb of a nobleman and the Ramesseum of Rameses II where you may gaze upon the colossal “Ozymandias”. We will also have a special experience with Dr. Kent Weeks, a famous American archaeologist who mapped the valley, discovered the tomb of Ramses sons (the largest in the valley) – and is a world authority on the Valley of the Kings and Luxor. To end our day we will have a very special reception and Tut presentation at the Howard Carter/Carnarvon House.
Overnight Old Winter Palace Hotel B,L
Day 11: Luxor & Karnak
Today we explore Luxor and Karnak Temples and the Luxor Museum. We will have all morning to explore the great complex of Karnak – largest in Egypt. Karnak was built over a period of 3000 years by almost every Pharaoh of Egypt from the Middle Kingdom onwards. Marvel at the great Avenue of the Sphinxes, Hatshepsut’s obelisk – and the great Hypostyle Hall of Ramses the Great and his father Seti I. We’ll also visit the sacred lake and zoological gardens (engraved in stone) of Thuthmosis III. In the afternoon we will have an optional visit to the Luxor market.
Overnight Old Winter Palace Hotel B,D
Day 12: Hatshepsut temple, Valley of Kings,Tut’s Tomb Medinet Habu
We will cross back over for a 0inal full day on the awe-inspiring west bank. Visit the mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, nestled into the pink mountains – Meret Seger – meaning “she who loves silence.” This was the great temple of the woman who would be king – one of Egypt’s greatest builders in the New Kingdom. We will visit the world-famous Valley of the Kings where you can enter three tombs and a very special entrance into Tut’s tomb. (Tomb openings change – we will enter the tombs that are currently opened at the time.)
Lunch at Marsam, oldest hotel on the west bank Next we will witness Medinet Habu, the last great temple of Pharaonic Egypt, a massive enclosure with deeply-etched reliefs and dynamic and graphic scenes of King Ramses III’s battles with the Sea Peoples.
This evening we will say farewell to Egypt and our group. Our final gala dinner will be held at the Old Winter Palace Hotel.
Overnight Old Winter Palace Hotel B,D
Day 13: Departure Day
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Or join the Aswan extension.
Barry Kemp CBE, Director of the Amarna Project
Lobby of the Winter Palace Hotel, Luxor
Luxor Temple entrance
View of the Nile from balcony of Winter Palace Hotel
Farmers in Middle Egypt
Inside the burial chamber, Medium Pyramid
Visualization of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) opening at Giza end of 2022
Inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun
A Glimpse of Tutankhamun – at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt
Your Tour Guides:
Laura Ranieri Roy
Our dynamic Canadian Egyptologist guide. She holds her Egyptology MA from the University of Toronto, lectures widely and teaches Egypt at Ryerson’s Life Institute. She is also a writer and the cofounder of Ancient Egypt Alive, an association devoted to inspiring passion about Ancient Egypt. She has developed and led tours to Egypt since 2010.
Our local Egyptologist tour guide – known for his humour, warmth, knowledge, and engaging storytelling. Hossam is a graduate of Helwan University and has brought the sites of Egypt Alive for many high-profile dignitaries, special interest groups – and educational, cultural tours from around the world.
Our Very Special Expert Guest
One of the most esteemed archaeologists working in Egypt today, Professor Kemp will meet our group for a special experience site tour… of Amarna.
Barry John Kemp, CBE, FBA
An English archaeologist and Egyptologist. He is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge and directing excavations at Amarna in Egypt. His widely renowned book Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization is a core text of Egyptology and many Ancient History courses.
Real Travel Reviews
“I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. Every part of the tour was executed brilliantly… Thank you for an unforgettable experience.”
“ The experience was exciting, educational and we had the company of a small group who became friends. We highly recommend it!”
Karen and Brian Markham
“The planning was awesome. Sites spectacular. Laura provides great insights.”
“ Anna and Laura’s itinerary and attention to every detail made this trip outstanding.”
Tour Cost $5,995 USD per person based on twin share
Single $1095 USD
$500USD Deposit due at time of booking.
International airfare (flights booked separately)
Egyptian Entry visa – approx. $25 USD –
Tips for guides and bus driver,
Beverages with meals, meals not listed above
61 days or more deposit is non refundable
60 – 31 days prior to departure 50% is non refundable
30 days or less prior to departure 100% non refundable
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