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Speedy Egypt

This five night tour allows you to pack in Egypt's highlights of the pyramids, the Pharaoh's tombs and greatest temples of ancient Egypt, together with a Cairo city tour.

Indicative price guide

From $3,999 per person

Based on two people sharing a room.

Itinerary

This sample itinerary can be tailored to your precise requirements and interests. That is what the Egypt specialists at Pomegranate Travel excel at!

An exhilarating , fast paced and speedy trip to Egypt in which you will see the key ancient wonders of the pyramids and of the Pharaonic times, taking in Cairo, Giza and Luxor for the great temples of ancient Thebes and the Valley of the Kings.

Day 1

Welcome to Egypt!

Cairo, Egypt

Arrive Cairo airport where you will be met and assisted through airport procedures, transfer to hotel.

Experience a different side of Cairo, experiencing the city by evening and night.  We will introduce you to a young, easy going and knowledgeable resident of Cairo, who is also an expert of the evening food and drink scene.  Together you will explore Downtown Cairo, built in the 1860s today it still maintains character and charm because of how central and walkable it is, due to its promenade streets with large sidewalks.  People from all walks of life live and work in Downtown Cairo, and it has a bustling shopping scene, and a diverse food scene with a mix of authentic eateries and belle-epoque style cafes.  This area is also a great place for people watching and seeing how Egyptians unwind after work, enjoying street food and ice cream, while artists and intellectuals can often be found in specific cafes and cinemas showcasing indie films.  With tons of hidden gems in Downtown, we will visit a few different stops including a place selling the Egyptian national dish of Koshary, an Arab sweet store, and we will round off the evening sipping a cold beer on the rooftop bar of a vintage hotel. The tour lasts for about two hours.

Day 2

Cairo City Tour

Cairo, Egypt

The Egyptian Museum (also known as the Cairo Museum) has long been the jewel in Cairo’s crown, and one of the most famous museums in the world. Inaugurated at the turn of the twentieth century, it houses the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world including the iconic pure gold death mask of Tutankhamun, together with many of the other treasures found in his tomb.  The glamour and design of these riches is absolutely staggering, and provides an insight into how the Pharaohs and nobles of ancient Egypt must have lived.

One of the best ways to enjoy being in Egypt is to ‘Eat like an Egyptian!’, and today we are hooking you up with a local expert in Egyptian cuisine and the Egyptian street.  Your food tour involves four stations, so please come hungry!  You will try the national dish Koshary which consists of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, crispy fried onions and more; falafel which in Egypt is made of fava beans rather than chickpeas and is considered to be a breakfast food; a meze of various traditional dips and starters; and a local fruit or coffee parlor.   In addition to enjoying the flavoursome delights tucked away in places you would never walk into on your own, this is a great opportunity to spend some time with a local of Cairo and quiz them on the realities of life in the city.

The famous Cairo citadel was constructed in 1183 CE by Salah El Din, the great Arab conqueror and leader. The Citadel is one of Cairo’s most iconic destinations and recognizable landmarks. You will visit the various parts of the medieval Citadel including the stunning Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali, which for many is the highlight of the tour.

 

Day 3

Luxor Temples

Luxor, Egypt

This morning fly to Luxor and start touring.  Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, seat of the spiritual life of ancient Egypt. It is therefore hardly surprising that the area of and surrounding Luxor is amongst the most densely populated with temples, tombs and monuments. Karnak was the earthly dwelling of the sun god Amun-Re, the most important spiritual site in all of ancient Egypt and consisted of shrines, obelisks and temples. Huge does not even begin to describe the scale of Karnak. This site took hundreds of years to build and refine from the time of the Middle Kingdom (about 2000 BCE) into the Ptolemaic Kingdom (about 300 BCE), with around thirty Pharaohs contributing to the build. Because of the period of time over which it was built, the variety and diversity of archeological remains at Karnak is quite simply unparalleled. One of the highlights of a visit is the Great Hypostyle Hall in the Precinct of Amun-Re, the hall is 5000 squ m in size and contains 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows.

Return to your hotel for some downtime or visit the Luxor Museum, established in 1975, it contains a collection of high-quality Pharaonic relics excavated in Luxor and nearby areas. Here you will admire some of the objects that were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, such as the golden cow’s head of goddess Hathor and Tutankhamun’s horse carriage and weapons, as well as the stunning double statue of Sobek, the crocodile god, and king Amenhotep III, and well as several mummies.

Around sunset enjoy the serenity of the Nile on a Felucca ride, simply sitting back and taking in the scenery, watch as the sky floods with the most amazing colours.

Visit the beautifully lit temple of Luxor, you will find an evening visit incredibly atmospheric and evocative of times gone by.  The temple of Luxor dates to 1400 BCE and is smaller than that at Karnak and was intended for priests rather than the general public. This is also the site where kings were crowned (Alexander the Great claimed to have been crowned at Luxor, but in fact it is unlikely he travelled this far South). The temple is flanked by two seated statues and a pinkish coloured granite obelisk. As with Karnak, just how these obelisks were created in ancient times is beyond the imagination, the huge structures were capped with precious metals to capture the light so everyone could find their way to the temples, and were signs of fertility and prosperity (there is no denying their phallic nature!). Luxor’s missing obelisk can be found at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The temple of Luxor is beautifully lit at night and can be visited in the early evening for an atmospheric tour.

Day 4

Valley of Kings

Luxor, Egypt

The West Bank of Luxor was the necropolis of Thebes – a city of the dead – symbolically located where the evening sun sets. Just as the sun set every night and rose every morning, it was believed that man died and was born again, and the mode of burial was crucial in enabling that journey. A huge array of tombs are here to be explored. Some of the burial chambers such as those of Seti I and Queen Nefertari were miraculously protected from both man and the elements, and the colours of the paints have to be seen to be believed, it is as if they were decades not millennia old. Others, such as the temple tomb of Queen Hatshepsut have been painstakingly restored to their former glory which provide an excellent insight into how the tombs must have looked in their day. Perhaps the most famous of the tombs is that discovered in 1922 by the British explorer and archeologist Howard Carter – the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, which was discovered complete with thousands of gold and jewelled objects, military equipment, clothes and food, all to enable him to pass to the next life. In addition to these tombs you will visit that of Ramses VI and the fascinating valley of the workers. You will also see the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III and have stood over the Theban Necropolis since 1350 BCE.

Day 5

Pyramids & Sphinx

Cairo, Egypt

Fly to Cairo and head to the pyramids.  Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only one remains today: The Great Pyramid of Giza. If that’s not certified unmissable, we don’t know what is. Giza emerges as a sublime structure, the miraculously accurate realisation of an ideal pyramid structure inside which the kings would journey to the next world and emerge as gods. Despite their age, these structures still overwhelm and overpower visitors. You will visit all three of the pyramids at Giza, and also witness them from a panoramic view point where you can see the grandeur of all three together. Proceed to the Great Sphinx with its head of a man and body of a lion, gazing imposingly across the valley.

This afternoon you might want to spend at leisure or alternatively to explore your special interests, here are a couple of ideas which might appeal:

  • Explore the antique churches which have existed in Cairo for two thousand years, and the very ancient history of Christianity in Egypt.
  • Explore the Jewish heritage of Cairo including medieval and nineteenth century synagogues, meet with a leader of the Jewish community and hear about the history of Egyptian Jewry firsthand and complete with personal anecdotes, and visit the second oldest Jewish cemetery in the world.
  • Explore Islamic architecture including hidden architectural Mamluk palaces, which are like an oasis in the chaos of Cairo, beautifully designed mosques, and visit with artisans of intricate inlay and fabric weaving to learn about these age -old traditions and select some special gifts to take home.
  • Deepen your knowledge of Egypt’s long and rich history with a visit to the excellent new National Museum of Civilisation.

Day 6

Transfer to airport

Cairo, Egypt

Time to enjoy your last day in Egypt before your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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