Throughout history Egypt’s vast array of breathtaking monuments has proved an irresistible draw to travellers from all over the world. Jordan’s treasures are different, and newer to the world’s tourists, but equally impressive and interesting in their own right. Combining these with the Red Sea and a safari through the Egyptian Western desert and desert camps in the White Desert and Wadi Rum, this tour gives you a taste of everything these ancient countries have to offer. Read more
We greet you on your arrival into Cairo airport, and transfer you straight to your hotel where you can settle in before starting the main tour tomorrow morning.
Our first tour today takes in Cairo's most impressive, important and famous sites, the Pyramids and Sphinx at Gisa, and the Egyptian Museum in the centre of the city.
We leave Cairo today and drive out through barren and rocky flat desert to the villages in the Bahariya Oasis depression.
This morning we tour the oasis, visiting several interesting sites including a pyramid shaped mountain. We then leave Bahariya by 4x4 jeep and start our main desert safari. This takes us through the Black Desert and past some huge sand dunes and spectacular cliff and sand scenery to the flat expanses of the White Desert, filled with strange rock formations that have been eroded by years of wind and sand. We make a basic but comfortable camp here and sleep under the stars.
We drive out of the White Desert this morning and leave our jeeps at the Farafra Oasis, one of the smallest and most traditional in the Western Desert. Here we may enjoy a welcome bathe in one of the hot water springs before driving on to one of Egypt's most remote Oases, Dakhla, where we tour the main oasis town of Mut, the Islamic village of Al Qasr and the restored Roman temple of Deir al Haggar.
We leave Dakhla this morning and drive on to Kharga Oasis where we stop to visit the Temple of Hibis, Deir-al-Kashef monastery, and Al-Bagawat necropolis. We then drive on through the desert and into the Nile Valley and the city of Luxor, home to the greatest concentration of Pharaonic historical monuments and sites in the whole of Egypt. In the evening we visit Luxor temple in the middle of town, which is atmospherically lit up at night.
We rise early this morning and tour the West Bank of the Nile, including stops at the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatchepsut and Medinat Habu temples, and the Colossi of Memnon. In the afternoon you can visit Luxor temple in the middle of town, explore Luxor's markets, take a felucca sailboat trip on the Nile, or visit the Mummification Museum, before we tour the huge complex of temples at Karnak and board the overnight sleeper train for the journey back to Cairo. There is also an option available this morning for a spectacular hot air balloon flight.
After arriving back in Cairo this morning, your day is free to explore the city a little more, perhaps visiting the ancient churches in Coptic Cairo, the mosques and palaces of the Citadel of Saladin, and the busy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar on an optional city tour. We can also arrange day trips to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, or to the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales in the Fayoum region close to Cairo.
We leave Cairo early this morning for the drive to Dahab. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax by the hotel pool or beach or head to the bay area to enjoy the unique feel of this friendly village. If you wish, you can climb up Mt. Sinai to see the sunrise from the summit, and then visit St. Katherine's monastery, home of the 'Burning Bush'.
These two days are free to enjoy the laid back atmosphere of this unique beach resort. You can try a number of activities including snorkelling at the Blue Hole, a sunset camel ride, quad biking or scuba diving.
After relaxing in Dahab we have an early start today to catch the ferry to Jordan. After breakfast and a visit to Aqaba Fort, we head into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum for a jeep safari, Bedouin lunch, and overnight desert camp under the stars. Options for a camel ride in the desert are also available if you wish.
We leave Wadi Rum after breakfast, and drive to the impressive hilltop fortress of Shobak, the earliest of a string of Crusader castles built across Jordan. In the afternoon we tour 'Little Petra', and get a great introduction to the Nabatean architecture and history we'll see much more of tomorrow. In the evening you may like to take the optional Petra by Candlelight tour for a beautiful first sight of the Siq and Treasury.
The whole day is set aside today to tour the amazing 'Rose City' of Petra. A morning guided tour explains about the Nabatean traders who built it, the way the colourful rocks were carved, the stories behind the temples and tombs, and the more recent history of Roman and other occupiers. After lunch you have plenty of free time to explore more of the site, perhaps heading up to the High Place of Sacrifice, or to the imposing Monastery from where there are great views over the Jordan Valley.
Today's drive is up the scenic King's Highway, with stops en-route to view the majestic valley of Wadi Mujib, see the intricate Roman mosaics at Madaba, and enjoy views over Israel from Mt. Nebo. We finish the day at a resort by the Dead Sea where we can swim in the strange salty waters before driving back to Amman for our last night in Jordan.
The tour finishes today, and your time is free in Amman until we pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Optional tours are available today to visit the capital Amman, the extensive Roman ruins at Jerash, Ajloun Castle, or the nearby Baptism Site at Bethany. You can also add an optional extension into Israel to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem if you wish.
We use a range of carefully selected hotels on our group departures. If you have specific requests for hotels, please ask for a private or tailor-made tour.
"Thanks for organising such a great trip for us! We all had an amazing time and it really opened our eyes to the country, both ancient and modern. Our guide, Emad Hussain was wonderful – very knowledgeable, friendly, accommodating and willing to put up with four archaeologists (including one Egyptologist) for the 12 days. I’m just downloading my 1200-odd photos now..."
Tim Dawson (Egypt Revisited)
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