•Exploring the Cairo Bazaar with your own Personal Guide
•Viewing the cave dwellings of the hermitic Coptic Christian monks in Wady El-Natron
•Staying at a luxury resort in the city founded by Alexander the Great
•Visiting the church where Jesus and his family took refuge
Day 1 Depart USA
This evening you depart on your overnight Business Class flight to Cairo which William Lithgow, in 1614, described as "this little world, the great Cairo...the most admirable and the greatest city seen upon the earth... the microcosmos of the greater world..."
Day 2 Welcome to Cairo
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide for a private transfer to your hotel. As you drive to the hotel you will start to be immersed in the culture of Cairo. Cairo has been the largest city in Africa for centuries. Modern Cairo encompasses many former cities and their monuments: the pyramids of the pharaohs, early Christian monasteries and churches; Salah al-Din's Citadel; mosques of the Mamluke and Ottoman sultans. Five thousand years of culture are concentrated here, at the center of three continents... and you are part of it. This evening you have a relaxing dinner at your hotel overlooking the Pyramids.
Day 3 Cairo By Day and Night
Cairo is really three cities in one, Pharonic Cairo, Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo and each continues to influence the city. After breakfast you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the Egyptian Museum for an introduction to Pharonic Cairo. This is one of the world's most famous museums. The magnificent collection of antiques includes mummies, Sarcophagi and the highlight of it all... the fabulous treasure from Tutankhamun's tomb. After lunch at a local restaurant you will see the Islamic side of Cairo with a visit to the Mohammed Mosque and the Citadel of Salah Al-Din. Built between 1176 and 1182 AD, the citadel provides a panoramic view of Cairo from the Moqattam Hills. This evening you enjoy dinner as you cruise the Nile and view the sights of Cairo by Night.
Day 4 Luxor, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings
An early morning departure from the hotel to the airport for the short flight to Luxor. Originally called Thebes: or the "one-hundred gated city" as it was later called by the renowned Greek historian, Homer, because of its buildings and large gates. And the Arabs, impressed by its beautiful palaces re-named it Luxor: City of Palaces. Luxor is divided by the Nile. In the East is city of the Living, where the life-giving sun rises; and in the west is the City of the Dead, where the sun, in its never-ending orbit, bids farewell to life. You will start your exploration on the west side of the Nile where you will visit The Colossi of Memnon, two statues, 60 feet high, the only remains of a temple commemorating Amenhotep III. You will then visit the Tombs of the Valleys of the Kings and Queens carved into the rock face to safeguard them against grave robbers (unsuccessfully) they include the tombs of Nefertari, wife of Ramses II, Seti I, Ramses III and Amenhotep II. After lunch, you visit the East bank to explore the Temple of Luxor built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II. You conclude your Luxor excursion with a visit to the temple of Karnak world famous for its history and architecture. You return to the airport for the return to Cairo.
Day 5 Memphis, the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids at Giza
Your day begins with a visit to Memphis. One of the oldest cities on earth, legendary Memphis was the capitol of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom (2705-2155BC). You then visit Saqqara, the royal burial ground during the Old Kingdom. There are so many periods represented that Saqqara could almost be a book, in whose pages the story of Egyptian Civilization through the Pharonic, Greek and Roman periods is told. Your last visit is the reason many people visit Egypt. You will stand face to face with The Sphinx, the "sacred symbol of the union of the strongest physical with the highest intellectual power on earth" and stand in awe of the Pyramids. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, King Cheops' pyramid was built in 2650BC and as Amelia Edwards said in 1877 "it is impossible to get tired of the Pyramids" You return to your hotel to relax and freshen up before heading to Cairo for a true taste of Egyptian cuisine.
Day 6 Wady el-Natron and the Journey to Alexandria
After breakfast, your guide will have the car ready to head north to Alexandria on the Red Sea. During the trip you will travel though the Nile Delta, stopping at Wady el-Natron the main base for the Coptic Christian Church in Egypt. Once a much larger community, it was decimated by plague centuries ago and never really recovered. There are still four monasteries in existence surrounded by fortified walls. Many Coptic monks live the lives of hermits actually digging their own caves in which to live. After stopping for lunch you arrive in Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city. You have a chance to relax in your deluxe beachfront hotel.
Day 7 The Legacy of Alexander the Great
Alexandria has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern; its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331BC, Alexandria became the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by its famous library and the setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.Today you will visit Pompey's pillar, the catacombs of Kom al-Shgafa and the modern incarnation of the Library of Alexandria, once again a center of culture.
Day 8 Alexandria and Old Cairo
After breakfast you will return to Cairo. Upon arriving you will head to Old Cairo to visit the magnificent Coptic church of St Sergius where Jesus and his family stayed after fleeing from Jerusalem you will then visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest in Egypt and the first and oldest mosque in Egypt. Tonight, a special farewell dinner.
Day 9 Return to USA
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up one last time for your trip to the airport and your return flight to the US. You arrive back the same day.
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Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
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