This journey through Egypt, Jordan and the Holy Land traces the footsteps of history and civilization. This is the region where history has not only been in the making, but it can best be described, "where it all began". The tour covers the most important of the many historical sites in a manner that the setting of bygone days will be facing us, for us to understand the how, why, what and where of today.
|Tour Duration||:||18 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||N/A|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Cairo (EGYPT)
Arrival. We are welcomed at the airport and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Safir Hotel, Cairo (2 nights)
Day 02: Cairo
Giza, the capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the pyramids were considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We drive to the Necropolis of Giza* and explore the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Great Pyramids. We may take an optional camel ride in Giza. In the afternoon we explore Memphis and its Necropolis*. Of the grandeur of Memphis, as it was known to the ancient Greeks, all that survive today are a few ruins of the sanctuary of Ptah, from which have come many votive statues depicting pharaohs and dignitaries and monumental necropolises. In the necropolis of Saqqara, the closest to the capital and the largest in the land, stands the first great stone pyramid. It was built as a mausoleum by Djoser, the founder of the Third Dynasty. This was a transformation of the earlier tombs, shaped like great brick rectangles, with the walls sloping inward and a flat roof, commonly referred to as mastabas. For the first time brick was replaced by stone. The pyramid is located inside a funerary complex enclosed by a curtain wall rising to a height of 10 m built from a fine-grained limestone. There are 14 false stone doors in the enclosure wall and a monumental entrance consisting of a corridor and a hall flanked by columns. The entry path leads to a plaza known as the Courtyard of the Jubilee. One side of this is occupied by a great stepped podium upon which were arranged the thrones of the Pharaoh; to the east and to the west of the podium sanctuaries were constructed. In the necropolis of Dahshur stands the Red Pyramid, named after the reddish hue of the limestone that was used to build it. To the south is the Rhomboid Pyramid, with its double slope on each of the four faces, apparently an intermediate form. With Snefru for the first time the annex construction appeared. (B)
Day 03: Cairo/Aswan
We explore Historic Cairo*, including visits to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Tahrir Square, the Citadel with Mohamed Ali Mosque and the awesome Khan El-Khalili Bazaar. Tucked away amid the modern urban area of Cairo lies one of the world's oldest Islamic cities, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains. Founded in the 10th century, it became the new centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century. In the evening we take our overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Overnight: On board the train (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Nile Cruise: Aswan
Upon arrival in Aswan we will be met and transfer to board our cruise ship, our home for the next 3 nights. Afternoon we head out to visit the High Dam, the astonishing Granite Quarries of Aswan*, exploited by pharaohs from early antiquity, where colossal unfinished obelisk-like monuments have been discovered. We then explore the Temple of Philae*, located on an island in Lake Nasser. The approach by water is quite beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage.
Overnight: Sherry Nile Cruise (3 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 05: Nile Cruise: Aswan/Kom Ombo/Edfu
This morning we depart for Kom Ombo to visit to visit the temple shared by two Gods – Sobek & Haroeris. Continue to Edfu to visit the Horus Temple. (B, L, D)
Day 06: Nile Cruise: Edfu/Esna/Luxor
Passing through the Esna Lock we continue onto Luxor to visit the Karnak Temple Complex, composed of three temples, one of which is consecrated to Mut, one to the warrior god Montu, and one to Amon. The building dedicated to the father of the gods is the product of a series of ingenious project of expansion and renovation ordered by Pharaohs eager to leave behind marvellous testimonials to their reign: the immense courtyard at the centre of which stands the enormous aedicule of Taharqa; the portico of Bubastis; the temple of Sethi II; the colossi of the pharaohs Thutmosis III and Ramesses I and II; the great hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns; the six monumental entrances; the granite pillars and obelisk; the rooms decorated with religious and military scenes and the hall of the botanical garden; the sacred lake flanked by storehouses; the temple dedicated to the hippopotamus goddess Opet, placed on the site in which she is said to have given birth to Osiris; and finally the Southern Propylaea, four portals adorned with bas-reliefs, columns, obelisks and colossi, which adorned the sacred way that led to the Temple of Mut. After our visit we head to the Temple of Luxor, built by Amenophis III and Ramesses II. The entrance to the temple is adorned with scenes from the Syrian and Hittite military campaign and leads to the great courtyard of Ramesses II and to the chapel that served as a storehouse for the boats, dedicated to the triad of Amon, the father, Mut, the mother, represented in the form of a vulture or a lion, and Khonsu, the lunar son of the couple. The second complex, with a magnificent and immense entrance and colonnade, a courtyard, and a hall crowned with tall columns, was built at the command of Amenophis III. (B, L, D)
Day 07: Luxor/Sharm-el-Sheikh
Disembarkation after breakfast. We then cross the West Bank to explore the Necropolis of Ancient Thebes* on the West Bank of the Nile with visits to the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. For almost 15 centuries, great funerary temples were built at the foot of the hills. They were entirely separate from their corresponding tombs, which were dug into the mountains, safe from violation and tomb robbers. To the north were built the Temple of Qurna al Gedida, dedicated to Amon-Re, and the temple consecrated to Hathor, the goddess of sweetness and joy who was venerated in the form of a cow. It was commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut for herself and her father Thutmosis I. Even better known is the magnificent funerary Temple of Ramesses II, a building situated at the edge of cultivated fields which, because of its courtyards, sacraria filled with statues, decorations and colossi, was admired by many ancient writers. All that remains of the temple of Amenophis III are the colossi of Memnon, two impressive quartz monoliths that depict the pharaoh sitting on his throne, accompanied by the figures of his mother and his wife. The tombs of the pharaohs and of their dignitaries, priests and princesses are instead hidden in the bowels of the mountains and form the great cemeteries of al-Asasif, al-Khokha, Qurnet Mura, Deir al-Medina, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. This afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Overnight: Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Sharm El-Sheikh (2 nights) (B)
Day 08: Sharm-el-Sheikh
We have all day to relax at this world-class resort. (B)
Day 09: Sharm-el-Sheikh/St. Catherine
Afternoon depart though the Sinai desert to the holy site of St. Catherine.
Overnight: Catherine Plaza Hotel, St. Catherine (1 night) (B, D)
Day 10: St. Catherine/Aqaba (JORDAN)
Early in the morning we begin our Mount Sinai hike to catch the sunrise. After our descent we visit the Monastery of St. Catherine*. The Orthodox Monastery of St Catherine stands at the foot of Mount Horeb where, the Old Testament records, Moses received the Tablets of the Law. The mountain is known and revered by Muslims as Jebel Musa. The entire area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Monastery, founded in the 6th century, is the oldest Christian monastery still in use for its initial function. Its walls and buildings of great significance to studies of Byzantine architecture and the Monastery houses outstanding collections of early Christian manuscripts and icons. The rugged mountainous landscape, containing numerous archaeological and religious sites and monuments, forms a perfect backdrop to the Monastery. After our visit we drive to Nuweiba to travel by speed ferry to Aqaba in Jordan.
Overnight: Marina Plaza Hotel, Aqaba (1 night) (B)
Day 11: Aqaba/Wadi Rum
Free morning to enjoy the beautiful Red Sea. We take a short drive northwards to the Wadi Rum Protected Area*, situated in southern Jordan, near the border with Saudi Arabia. It features a varied desert landscape consisting of a range of narrow gorges, natural arches, towering cliffs, ramps, massive landslides and caverns. Petroglyphs, inscriptions and archaeological remains in the site testify to 12,000 years of human occupation and interaction with the natural environment. The combination of 25,000 rock carvings with 20,000 inscriptions trace the evolution of human thought and the early development of the alphabet. The site illustrates the evolution of pastoral, agricultural and urban activity in the region. Here we board our 4X4 open top jeeps to explore Wadi Um Eshreen, the Moving Sands, Al Khazali, Abu Aineh and Rum Mountain. Evening BBQ dinner under the stars of the desert sky.
Overnight: Bait Ali Camp, Wadi Rum (1 night) (B, D)
Day 12: Wadi Rum/Petra
We take a short drive northwards to explore Petra*, one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture. Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.
Overnight: Petra Moon Hotel, Petra (1 night) (B, D)
Day 13: Petra/Amman
We travel to the Dead Sea; visit St. George’s Apostle Church in Madaba and Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land, before our arrival in Amman.
Overnight: Al-Qasr Metropole Hotel, Amman (2 nights) (B)
Day 14: Amman/Jerash/Amman
We visit the Roman Amphitheater, the Citadel, the Archaeological Museum and King Abdullah Mosque before our excursion to Jerash to explore the Greco-Roman ruins. (B)
Day 15: Amman/Jerusalem (ISRAEL)
We cross the border into Israel and transferred to Jerusalem*. As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs. It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham's sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ's tomb. We enjoy a free afternoon.
Overnight: Grand Court Hotel, Jerusalem (3 nights) (B)
Day 16: Jerusalem
We visit the Church of Visitation in Ein Keren; the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial; the Israel Museum; the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Rolls are housed and proceed to Bethlehem, to visit the Church of Nativity.(B)
Day 17: Jerusalem
Walking tour of the Old City starting at Stephens Gate, visiting the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Jewish Quarter, the Cardo, the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (B)
Day 18: Jerusalem/Tel Aviv
After a journey into Antiquity and Biblical times we are transferred to the airport. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|2018||US$ 6995||US$ 1325|
High season supplement surcharges of US$ 680 per person for traveling between Mar 25 – Apr 08 & Dec 14 to Jan 10, 2019. Plus compulsory Christmas & New Year Gala dinners at hotels (TBA at the time of booking)
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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