DAY 1: CAIRO
Arrive in Cairo, and be transferred to your overnight hotel. Rest of day at leisure to relax and rest.
Overnight: in bustling Cairo
DAY 2: CAIRO – EL MINYA
Depart Cairo heading south, and see the Meidum Pyramid, which suffered a catastrophic collapse in antiquity. Today, only the central parts of its stepped inner core remain standing, giving it an odd tower-like appearance that is unique among Egyptian pyramids. Continue via Beni Suef, where a cemetery including several tombs belonging to statesmen was uncovered, and then onwards via the city of Ahnsia, following the Nile southwards to arrive at El Minya.
Overnight: in El Minya (BLD)
DAY 3: EL MINYA
Enjoy a full day’s visit to Tel-El-Amarna, the ancient capital of Egypt during the reign of Akenathen. See the ancient tombs and remnants of the city. Later, visit Beni Hassan on the east bank of the Nile, where thirty-nine Middle Kingdom tombs are cut into the cliffs. The architectural features of the tombs and the important inscriptions and representations of scenes from everyday life, make this the most important necropolis between Memphis and Assiut.
Overnight: again in El Minya (BLD)
Day 4: EL MINYA – ASSIUT – SOHAG
Continue south to Assiut, located on a bend in the Nile. En-route, visit Tuna El Gabal with the fantastic monuments of the Greco-Roman period. Proceed to Sohag, a major Coptic Christian centre in Upper Egypt and see the White and Red Monasteries. The White Monastery was built of white limestone and from a distance resembles an Egyptian temple with sloping walls like a pylon. The Red Monastery, build of burnt brick, was originally an aisled basilica with finely carved capitals. There are Roman columns in the apses and hieroglyphics on the outer rear wall, which suggest it was partly built of stone taken from other monuments from an earlier period.
Overnight: in Sohag (BLD)
Day 5: SOHAG – ABYDOS – DENDERA – LUXOR
Drive to Abydos, a sacred city and the site of many ancient temples including a royal necropolis where early Pharaohs were entombed. Visit the beautifully decorated Temple of Seti I, which was built to honour Osiris. Proceed to Dendera; visit the Greek-Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor. The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a mudbrick enclosure wall. Then continue to Luxor, one of the world’s greatest open-air museums.
Overnight: in Luxor (BL)
DAY 6: LUXOR
At leisure in Luxor. Optional visit to the West Bank where the Karnak and Luxor Temples are located. Departure in time for the transfer to Luxor Airport (flight not included). (B)