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Deserts, Tombs & Jordan

16days

Optional extras

Listed below is a selection of optional extras that can be added to your tour. Just select which options you want to add to your booking when you reserve your tour, or alternatively just let us know and we'll add them to your booking. Further options are also available when you get to Egypt (such as Sound & Light shows, dinner cruises, scuba-diving courses).

  • Bethany & Ajloun Castle - UK£65

This tour takes in two important sites with very different but linked history. Your first stop is in the Jordan Valley, at a relatively recently excavated site believed to be the biblical ‘Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan’ where John baptised Jesus Christ. Several churches, caves and pools dating from Roman and Byzantine periods have been discovered here. Both Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI have visited here. An electric minibus takes you from the visitor centre to your choice of one of three sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and/or John the Baptist's Church. You can also walk between these, but the distances are quite long and the low lying land in the valley can lead to stifling temperatures Ajloun castle is an hour or so’s drive away, which involves a long climb up from below sea level up to Jordan’s highest point (around 1240m). The scenery in the region is beautiful with forested hills and olive groves. You can stop for a short walk in the Ajloun Forest Reserve if you wish. The castle itself is now partly ruined but is still huge and a very good example of an Arab/Islamic military fortress. It was built in AD 1184-1185 to control entry into the Jordan Valley, protect against Crusader attacks from nearby Kerak and Bisan, and to control nearby iron mines. There are many rooms, narrow passages and staircases to explore, and you can enjoy magnificent views over the Jordan Valley.

Note: You will need to add an extra night to your booking in order to book this option.

  • Single Room Supplement - UK£0

This option guarantees you a single room in all the hotels throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller, then you may share a twin or triple room with other single travellers of the same sex in the group. If we do not have any other single travellers available for you to share with at the time of your booking, then we will need to add this supplement to your tour price (this can be refunded to you later if other people book who you can share with). Couples will always be given a private double room.
Note - Prices shown are for the Egyptian low-season of May to September - higher supplements may be required during high & peak seasons. These are shown on our online reservation form and are also available on request.

  • Sleeper Train upgrade (one way) - UK£60

Our standard tours use the First Class carriages on the ‘sitting train’ from; Cairo to Aswan, Cairo to Luxor, and Luxor to Cairo. These are comfortable reclining seats with plenty of space around them. If you wish, you can exchange this train for the European-style ‘wagon-lit’ sleeper train, where you get your own private cabin and berth. This option covers a one-way journey on the train and includes transfers and a light evening meal & breakfast on the train.

  • Hot Air Balloon Flight - Luxor - UK£80

This spectacular flight runs early in the morning over the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor, so that you catch the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. Start times vary through the year, but the option is priced to use one of the very first flights in the morning that are timed to fit with the rising sun. You get around 1 hour in the air. We normally book the flight for the morning before your West Bank tour).
There is a minimum number of people required for the trips to run, and weather conditions are also an issue, so we can't guarantee that the trip will run everyday (they are rarely cancelled however). You can either book and pay for this option in advance to secure a sunrise flight, or arrange it when you get to Egypt when we can't guarantee this. Once booked and paid for, refunds are not available if you choose not to do the option while you are in Egypt, though of course if it is cancelled we will refund you in full.

  • Alexandria Day Trip - UK£85

This day trip to Alexandria leaves Cairo early in the morning, and includes a private A/C car or minibus to and from Alexandria (approx. 2½ hours each way), and a guided tour of the city. The tour is flexible, but will include the Roman amphitheatre, which has twelve semi-circular marble tiers and is in remarkably good condition, and the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa, which is the largest Roman cemetery in Alexandria. Dating from the beginning of the Second Century AD this cemetery displays a unique blend of Pharaonic and Roman art. Later in the afternoon we have the chance to stroll around Alexandria, see the famous library and other sites before returning to Cairo. The tour includes all transportation, lunch, entrance fees, a local English-speaking Egyptologist and lasts for the full day, returning to Cairo by around 19.00.
Note: If travelling on your own, a single supplement will be added. If other people in your group also take the option, this supplement will be removed.

  • Wadi Rayan & Valley of the Whales day trip - UK£85

This tour features a day trip from Cairo to the Fayoum region where we head for the Wadi Rayan Protected Area, which surrounds a fresh-water lake in the middle of the desert, filled by the remaining irrigation water from the Fayoum area. There are several waterfalls here, and a bird hide which gives good views of the lakes birdlife, particularly in the winter months when the lake is an important stop for migrating water-birds. We also visit the Springs Oasis area, a rare example of an uninhabited Saharan oasis, and host to many different plants and animals, including Dorcas Gazelle, Ruppell’s Sand Fox and Fennec Fox.
After a stop for a packed lunch, we then drive into the stunning desert & mountain scenery of Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales). This World Heritage Site is accepted as the most significant site in the world to demonstrate the evolution of whales, and we take a 2-3km walk here to see several specimens of fossilised whales of different types sitting on the surface of the sand, as well as fossilised mangroves and the remains of crab holes. This tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run.

  • Cairo Belly Dancing Class - UK£60

This option included a 2 hour belly dancing class at a local studio. You will be taught all the basic moves by a well qualified and experience instructor. Great fun for the girls!

  • Egyptian Cookery Class (1 day) - UK£80

If you're visiting Egypt and have an interest in cooking, why not join our one day Cookery School? Our cookery teacher will have you preparing delicious, well-known Egyptian dishes in no time, which you'll then be able to impress your friends with back home! In addition to the cooking you will also learn about Egyptian ingredients and their Arabic names. The tour price includes transportation, cooking materials and full instruction. This option requires a minimum of 2 passengers to go ahead.

  • Baptism site at Bethany, and Ajloun Castle - UK£140

This tour takes in two important sites with very different but linked history. Your first stop is in the Jordan Valley, at a relatively recently excavated site believed to be the biblical ‘Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan’ where John baptised Jesus Christ. Several churches, caves and pools dating from Roman and Byzantine periods have been discovered here. Both Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI have visited here. An electric minibus takes you from the visitor centre to your choice of one of three sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and/or John the Baptist's Church. You can also walk between these, but the distances are quite long and the low lying land in the valley can lead to stifling temperatures.
Ajloun castle is an hour or so’s drive away, which involves a long climb up from below sea level up to Jordan’s highest point (around 1240m). The scenery in the region is beautiful with forested hills and olive groves. You can stop for a short walk in the Ajloun Forest Reserve if you wish. The castle itself is now partly ruined but is still huge and a very good example of an Arab/Islamic military fortress. It was built in AD 1184-1185 to control entry into the Jordan Valley, protect against Crusader attacks from nearby Kerak and Bisan, and to control nearby iron mines. There are many rooms, narrow passages and staircases to explore, and you can enjoy magnificent views over the Jordan Valley.

  • Desert Castles & Azraq wetland reserve - UK£140

This tour heads into the desert to the east of Amman to visit some of Jordan’s ‘Desert Castles’. Really palaces, fortresses and bath houses rather than castles, many of these numerous sites are now in ruins, but still make for an interesting tour. We start with a stop at Qasr Hallabat, with its elaborate mix white limestone ruins from the 8th century, and some remaining black basalt stones from an earlier 2nd century Roman fort. There is also an old bathhouse about 3km away we can visit. Another stop is at the World Heritage Site of Qasayr Amra, another bath house, famous for its detailed and exuberant frescoes covering the whole of the interior. Our other main historical visit is to Qasr Hraneh, one of Jordan’s most impressive ancient buildings, visible for miles around.
You then visit the Azraq Wetlands Reserve which is an area of marshland and lakes once home to numerous water buffalo, wild horses, and hundreds of thousands of ducks and water birds which stopped off here on their migrations to feed, or over-winter and breed. Over the last few decades extensive draining of the lakes and aquifers has diminished the oasis, and the visitor centre gives a good explanation of the work being done to counteract this, and information about the extensive wildlife which still makes the reserve home. A boardwalk provides access through the reeds.

  • Extra Night in Cairo pre-tour - 4-star - UK£40

This option adds an extra night to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability at the time of booking). Your airport arrival transfer is still included.

  • Extra Night in Amman post-tour - 3-star - UK£35

This option adds an extra night in Amman to the end of your tour, staying in a 3-star hotel. Your departure airport transfer is included. If you would like to add more than one extra night, please make a note when you make your reservation and we will add them to your booking.

  • Um Qais and Ajloun Castle - UK£125

Umm Qais is located around 110 km north of Amman and is the site of Gadara, one of the most brilliant ancient Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis. There are extensive ruins, and you can see a large portion of the Roman Theatre as well as the main colonnaded street, the Terrace with a courtyard, church and a basicia. As well as these, there is a well-preserved Roman Mausoleum and the ruins of the Nymphaeum, a bath complex. There are great views over the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias and the Yarmouk River.
Your drive through this region of northern Jordan to Ajloun is beautiful, through wooded hills and olive groves. Ajloun castle is now partly ruined but is still huge and a very good example of an Arab/Islamic military fortress. It was built in AD 1184-1185 to control entry into the Jordan Valley, protect against Crusader attacks from nearby Kerak and Bisan, and to control nearby iron mines. There are many rooms, narrow passages and staircases to explore, and you can enjoy magnificent views over the Jordan Valley from the highest point in the country.

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Important update

Due to current UK Foreign Advice, we are not able to drive through the Sinai from Cairo to Dahab. We therefore plan to fly you from Cairo to Sharm-el-Sheikh and then drive from there to Dahab. There will be a supplement of between UK£50 and UK£70 per person to cover the extra flight costs. If the Foreign Office advice changes by then, and we are comfortable with driving through the Sinai again, then we will revert back to the standard itinerary.


Dahabiya upgrade

On this tour we are offering a very special optional upgrade to a Nile Dahabiya cruise in place of the felucca sailboat. More about feluccas and Nile Dahabiyas


News & features

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Luxor is one of the world's most popular and largest 'open air' museums.

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Guide to the sights and sounds of Amman, Jordan's capital city.

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Customer feedback

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Egypt Uncovered, Head office: Leigh House, Varley Steet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6AN

Phone: +44 (0) 845 130 48 49 Fax: +44 (0) 845 130 48 84

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