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Hatshepsut's Temple, Deir El Bahari, 3rd Level, Luxor West Bank Sunset over the Giza Plateau The Goddess Sekhmet holds counsel, Medinet Habu Temple, West Bank of Luxor


"Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"
12-day Egypt Tour : Sunday - Thursday
with optional Add-On Extensions

Beginning in Cairo, Egypt  (departing one day earlier if leaving from the USA, Canada or Australia)

Optional Extensions Before or After your Tour


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Day-by-Day Itinerary


Includes: Two 5-star hotels, 2 meals per day, bottled water at all times, sightseeing with entrance fees as described below.  

Limited to 20 participants.  Additional fees may be required for activities listed as Optional.  
Complete list of what is included.

Departure for Egypt

 from USA or Australia

For those departing from USA or Australia:  Departures on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 will arrive in Cairo on Sunday, Nov 18, 2013.  

Contact Us for help with booking your flights from whichever airport is most convenient for you.  Flights from North America, Asia and Australia will arrive in Egypt the day after departure.  From NY, nonstop flights with Egypt Air and Delta leave on Sunday evening and arrive on Monday afternoon in Cairo.  Time difference NY-Cairo is usually 7 hours.

You can also arrive on Saturday and have a day to rest up before the tour starts.  We can book a hotel night for you at the same hotel as we will be using for the tour (additional cost).

Day 1


Giza Pyramids 
from the air

Giza Pyramids from the planeYou can arrive anytime of the day or evening on Monday, November 14, 2011.  

Contact Us
for help with choosing the best flight for you.  Flights from Europe and UK depart and arrive the same day.  People leaving from North America, Australia or Asia will need to leave the day before.

You will be met inside the Cairo airport by a representative who will help with obtaining your Egyptian visa and with customs formalities.  Afterwards you will be brought to our hotel in Giza.  Our 5-star hotel is right near the pyramids. Welcome to Egypt! 

Overnight: Le Meridien Pyramids, Mena House or other 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 2 

Bent Pyramid, Dashur

Dashur Pyramids - Red, Bent & Black

Local Farmer, Saqqara
Local Farmers

Niuserre Sun Temple altar, Abu Gurab
Niuserre Sun Temple

Red Pyramid, DahsurWe begin our tour together with sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.).  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to the pyramids at Dashur, dated even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin savoring the riches of Egypt without huge crowds and souvenir sellers.  
More photos of Dashur.

We spend time inside the Red Pyramid (nearly as large as Giza's Great Pyramid) and then have the opportunity for an unforgettable walk across the open desert to the Bent Pyramid.  The desert is rich with inspiration and the vastness is exhilarating.  The Bent pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom, and was much more important than Giza at that time.  The Bent pyramid is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.  The Black Pyramid (Middle Kingdom mud brick) can also be seen from here. 

Ruth has some friends in the Saqqara area who have a guesthouse in the Black Land, the farming area.  Hopefully they will be home and able to welcome us for lunch.  It's also a chance to see some the nearby farmers and their animals up close.  The farmers love getting the photos of themselves that Ruth brings to them each time. One well-known Egyptologist said, "If you want to learn about Ancient Egypt, study the traditions of the local farmers."  They may well be the closest link we have to the ways of the ancients.  See Blue Lotus of Saqqara Guesthouse.

In the afternoon we visit a site that is not open to the general public - the Niuserre Sun Temple at Abu Gurab. Again, we will be applying for a special permit that will allow us entrance to this site.  At the Sun Temple the central alabaster altar represents the sun surrounded with "hotep" blessings in the four directions.  

Shopping opportunities: 
-Visit to a local Carpet School. They have folkloric scenes in rough wool, Persian-style carpets and silk carpets, also prayer rugs. 
-Gold Shop  (jewelry).  Get a cartouche with your name in hieroglyphs.  
Overnight: Le Meridien Pyramids, Mena House or other 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 3 

Step Pyramid, Saqqara


Rashepses wooden statue, Imhotep Museum, Saqqara
Imhotep Museum 

Today we visit the Saqqara complex where we see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the Dead in the Teti Pyramid and some tombs with scenes of the daily life in the Old Kingdom.  There have also been some recent discoveries at Saqqara which we hope our friend Ashraf Mohie el-Din (part of the excavation team) will have time to tell us about.  

There are many things to see here at Saqqara.  We will also see: the Mortuary and Valley Temples of Unas, the causeway of Unas, the Tomb of Mereruka (now an extra ticket, which is included) and anything else which is of particular interest to those on the tour.

We also have the pleasure of seeing the newly opened Imhotep Museum - a beautifully laid out modern museum with a number of wooden statues from the Old Kingdom that are particularly memorable.  All the items on exhibit were found here at Saqqara and have not been on public display before.

Shopping opportunity: Perfumery.  Egypt is famous for its perfume oils.

Sound & Light Show
at the Giza pyramids (unless it is canceled by the Egyptian government).
Overnight: Le Meridien Pyramids, Mena House or other 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 4

with options

Mohammed Ali Mosque, Citadel, Cairo
Citadel Mosque 

Applique bedspread at the Avenue of the Tent Makers, Cairo

Roman Amphitheater, Alexandria

or Relax!

FREE DAY* with 4 Options:

1) Old Cairo - Coptic & Islamic.  Day trip into Cairo to see the Coptic churches in the area known as "Old Cairo."  See the Church of St. Mary, called El Moallaqah (the "Hanging Church"), which was built in the 4th C. AD on two towers of the Roman fortress of Babylon, and also the Church of St. Stergius.  The newly opened Coptic Museum also has a number of interesting items.

In the afternoon visit the Citadel and Mohammed Ali Mosque, one of the most beautiful mosques in the city (also known as the "Alabaster Mosque").  You also get a wonderful view of the whole city of Cairo from this vantage point.

2) Shopping with Ruth.  Visit the Avenue of the Tent-makers in the old city where you can buy appliquéd items directly from the makers.  Then visit Kerdasa where they make a wide variety of galebeya dresses worn by the local women (not the tourist variety), clothing from the Sinai and oases, as well as small souvenir items.  Cost: $50 USD pp.

3) Take a day-long to trip to Alexandria*.  With the feel of a European city, Alexandria is quite different than the rest of Egypt.  Your trip includes visits to the Catacombs of Kom el Shugafa, "Pompey's Pillar," the Roman Amphitheater and the Greco-Roman Museum (if it has reopened).  Or you may prefer to spend the whole day at the newly opened Alexandria Library.  Return to Cairo by evening.  Cost: $140 USD pp.
*Note that you can also add a day-trip to Alexandria at the beginning or end of your tour by adding an extra night.

4) Take the day off.  Relax by the pool while gazing up at the pyramids, catch up on your postcards and/or have a massage.  Or hire a taxi and have your own adventure.

*Note: On this free day, only breakfast is included.  All other days 2 meals a day are included in your tour price (and you get to order whatever you would like, we pick up the tab!).

Evening Optional: 
- Nile Dinner Cruise
with belly dancer and other entertainment. Cost: $95 pp.

Overnight: Le Meridien Pyramids, Mena House or other 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 5

Ramp inside the Menkaure (3rd) Pyramid, Giza
Giza Plateau

Solar Boat, beside Khufu Pyramid ("The Great Pyramid"), Giza
Solar Boat

Camel ride at the pyramids
Camel Rides

Khafre (2nd) Pyramid, GizaToday we spend a full day on the Giza Plateau.   We visit and go inside whichever pyramids are open.  Of the three pyramids, two will be open and one closed for renovations - dates are not announced in advance. Tickets for entering the individual pyramids are included in your tour package.

In the Solar Boat Museum we see a boat that is almost 5,000 years old and was found 50 years ago, here beside the pyramid.  

We will also see the Great Sphinx & Valley Temple.  There are legends of the Sphinx speaking.  Does the Sphinx have a message for you?  The Valley Temple is built with huge granite blocks that fit together snugly even today, almost 5,000 years later.  Some think it is even older than that!

Camel rides for the adventurous (no additional fee).  Camel Videos

The Great Sphinx of GizaWe are applying for 2  special government issued permits.  We have every reason to believe that we will receive these permissions, as we have on our previous tours.  However, we cannot guarantee this because government policies can change unexpectedly. 

The special permits are for:
- a private entrance to the Great Pyramid (for just our group and with all 3 chambers open to us)
- a visit inside the Great Sphinx enclosure  

Overnight: Le Meridien Pyramids, Mena House or other 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 6

Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian Museum
Cairo Egyptian Museum

Flight to Luxor

Today we will be leaving Cairo to fly to Luxor.  We check out of our hotel in the morning and drive into downtown Cairo where we will visit the famous Cairo Egyptian Museum.  Your guide points out the most famous pieces and then there is free time to look at whatever interests you the most.  The treasures of King Tut, the Royal Mummy Room, Middle Kingdom papyruses, statues from all time periods.  

Evening one-hour flight to Luxor.  Egypt Air flight MS 162 leaves Cairo at 6:15pm and arrives in Luxor at 7:15pm.  Our hotel in Luxor is right on the bank of the Nile.  We can enjoy breakfast on the veranda overlooking the West Bank hills across the water.  In the evening there are delightful places to sit and look out over the river.

Shopping opportunity: Papyrus Institute
Overnight:  Sofitel Karnak Resort, Sonesta St George or other Luxor 5-star Hotel directly on the Nile.

Day 7

Workers' Village, Deir El Medina, West Bank of Luxor
Workers' Village

Ramesseum Temple, West Bank of Luxor

Hathor at_Bahari2R.jpg (31695 bytes)
Hatshepsut's Temple


"Colossi of Memnon" 

Luxor Bazaar

Here in Luxor, we begin our New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) experiences on the West Bank, one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. 

The west represented the hereafter and is where the dead were buried.  The first site that we visit, Workman's Village, Deir El Medina, has
some of what are probably the most colorful tombs presently available for viewing in Luxor.  These are some of the tombs most often pictured in books about Ancient Egypt. 

Whereas at Saqqara we saw scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom, today we see the daily life represented during the New Kingdom (about 1,000 years later).  We also see here the foundations of the village where the artisans and their families lived.  See the streets where they walked...

The rarely visited Ramesseum, is a favorite of many of our travelers, and a very good introduction to the New Kingdom Mortuary Temples.   There is a splendid hypostyle hall, an astrological ceiling and some excellent wall reliefs in good condition.  This is also where we find the fallen statue of Ramesses II which inspired a poem by Shelley.

Here on the West Bank live some villagers who have been friends of Ruth for many years.  The food is the best!  So we are hoping to be able to enjoy one of their delicious lunches.

In the afternoon we visit one of the the earliest New Kingdom temples.  Called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, the famous Deir El Bahari has inspired many, including the founders of modern architecture. One of the outstanding features is the picturesque Hathor columns in the Hathor Chapel on the second Level. We are also privileged to be admitted to the third level which was only recently opened to the public.  More photos of Hatshepsut's Deir El Bahari Temple.

As we leave the West Bank of Luxor we see the "Colossi of Memnon," the two large statues of Amenhotep III that still stand, even though their temple is long ago destroyed.  The Greeks believed they were statues of Memnon, the son of Eros.

This evening we will stop at the Luxor Bazaar area for shopping, enjoying the local night life and bargaining at the many small shops that line the street.  Scarves, galabeyas, souvenirs of all kinds, and a shisha bar where you can sit with Ehab and try the apple flavored tobacco in a water pipe.

Shopping opportunity: Alabaster shop.
Optional: Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the evening.  Cost: $30 pp.

Overnight:  Sofitel Karnak Resort, Sonesta St George or other Luxor 5-star Hotel directly on the Nile.

Day 8

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Luxor Temple by night, Luxor
Luxor Temple

Today we leave Luxor for an excursion to Abydos, the place of pilgrimage during Ancient Egyptian times.  We drive north, following the Nile to Qena and then to Abydos.  The Temple of Seti I (with the renowned Osireion), is a place of legends, mystery and power.  Many feel that the reliefs of this temple are the highest art found in Ancient Egypt.  It is truly unforgettable.  More than 270 pictures of Abydos!

We also hope to visit the Temple of Ramesses II which is nearby and has some strikingly colorful reliefs.

During our journey we pass through Nag Hammadi where the writings were found that are now called the Nag Hammadi Library.  Discovered in 1945, these ancient codices (dating from 390 AD) contained the Gospels of Thomas, Mary and others. 

In the late afternoon and early evening we visit the Luxor Temple when the lighting is optimal for seeing the wall reliefs.  When the sun sets, the temple is lit up giving the temple a special feeling.  It also gives us an opportunity for some dramatic photos.  Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the "Bride of Karnak" during the annual Apet festival.  There was an Avenue of Sphinxes that connected Luxor Temple with Karnak and many of them are still standing near the Luxor Temple.

Overnight:  Sofitel Karnak Resort, Sonesta St George or other Luxor 5-star Hotel  directly on the Nile.

Day 9

Dendera &
Day-long Nile Cruise

Astrological Ceiling, Hathor Temple, DenderahToday we visit to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera from a 1-day Nile Cruise.  This temple was built during the Ptolemaic (Greek) era on a much older site that had been a place of worshiping the Goddess Hathor in earlier times.  The ceilings and walls of the main hypostyle hall are full of astrological imagery.  The famous circular zodiac was found in the ceiling of a chapel on the roof of the temple.  

We are fortunate to see the newly renovated ceiling of the main hypostyle hall.  The breath-takingly vibrant colors which had been covered in black soot for hundreds of years have now been exposed again.  Those who have visited this temple in the past will be amazed!

Taking the Nile Cruise to Dendera gives us a chance to relax and watch the timeless life along the Nile pass by at a pace that brings us into the life of times past.  Lunch and afternoon tea served on board.

Overnight:  Sofitel Karnak Resort, Sonesta St George or other Luxor 5-star Hotel directly on the Nile.

Day 10

 Luxor Temple, Luxor
Luxor Temple
(2nd visit) or

Balloon Ride

Karnak Temple complex

Senwosret "White Chapel", Open Air Museum, Karnak
Open Air Museum

Cube statue, Luxor Museum
Luxor Museum

Morning options:
1) A second visit to the Luxor Temple, this time in the early morning.  It's a wonderful setting for an early morning meditation, or perhaps you would rather photograph, sketch or just wander around.  It is a pleasure to be there before the crowds of tourists arrive. Cost: $10 USD.

2) Early morning Balloon Ride over the West Bank of Luxor.  See the temples from a very different perspective! You decide about this option while you are in Egypt, a few days before arriving in Luxor.  Cost: about $140 USD.

We start a bit later today.  This will give you a chance to do the early visit to Luxor Temple, the balloon ride, or get some extra sleep in the comfort of our hotel.  You may even decide to take the whole day off and lounge by the pool.

The splendors of Karnak fill our day today.  Karnak was the center of government during the New Kingdom and each Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive at Karnak. The largest temple complex in Egypt, we see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates and the famous hypostyle hall - unequalled to this day.  We also see the Sacred Lake, the Festival Hall and Botanical Garden of Tutmosis III (a precursor of Napoleon's later record of the fauna and flora found in Egypt).

Also at Karnak, we visit the fascinating Open Air Museum where we view the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut and Tutmosis III (Karnak's original Holy of Holies) and Senwosret's White Chapel with its finely-carved Middle Kingdom hieroglyphs.  These are in raised relief - some of the best to be found anywhere.  There is something new each time we visit, as reconstruction of new pieces is ongoing.

Bring extra film (or memory cards) for Karnak.  

In the late afternoon (Karnak closes at 4 PM) we make a visit to the modern Luxor Museum. There is a special exhibit room for a cache of statues found in near-perfect condition. They were buried under a courtyard at the Luxor Temple and found only recently during renovations.  There is also a new wing, just opened recently, with an excellent mummy exhibit and a number of splendid artifacts.  Our friend, Rachid, has painstakingly put together a wall from Tel el-Amarna which is displayed here.

- Sunrise Balloon Ride, cost: about $140 pp.  
2nd Visit to Luxor Temple in the early morning. $10 pp.
- Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the evening.  Cost: $30 pp.

Overnight:  Sofitel Karnak Resort, Sonesta St George or other Luxor 5-star Hotel directly on the Nile.

Day 11

Astrological ceiling in tomb of Valley of the Kings, West Bank of Luxor
Valley of the Kings

Hall of Pillars, Medinet Habu Temple, West Bank of Luxor
Medinet Habu

Farewell Meeting
Flight to Cairo

On our last day of touring together we begin with the most famous archeological site in the world, the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut's tomb was found.  There are many tombs here, and excavations are still going on, as well as renovations to tombs that have been uncovered a long time. One never knows which tombs will be open that day, but there will be a variety to choose from.  

Recent highlights are the opening of the Ramesses I tomb, restored with modern techniques pioneered during the restoration of the tomb of Nefertari (Nefertari's tomb is no longer open to the public), and the Tomb of Ramesses V & VI -- also recently restored and opened to the public.  The Ramesses V & VI is truly breathtaking.  Ruth does not want you to miss this one, so the extra ticket has been included in your tour.  The Ramesses I tomb is included in the standard Valley of the Kings ticket, so you can see that, too!

An additional ticket is required for King Tut, 100 LE or about $18 USD.  

The last great temple built while Egypt was still ruling supreme, Medinet Habu Temple, is a fitting site for our last visit together.  Built by Ramesses III on a site seeded by Hatshepsut at the very beginning of the New Kingdom, it is second only to Karnak in size.  There is a wonderful hall of pillars with colored reliefs of the many gods & goddesses that you have come to know through your lectures with Ruth and Ehab.  How many can you identify now?

Time for one last farewell meal together before going our separate ways.  Those following the tour schedule will return to Cairo by air this evening. 

Optional Felucca Sailboat ride in the late afternoon with sunset for those who choose it.  Those returning home fly from Luxor back to Cairo on Egypt Air flight MS 358, leaving Luxor at 8:40pm and arriving in Cairo at 9:50pm.

Overnight: Cairo hotel, 5-star hotel beside Cairo airport -- Iberotel Heliopolis Hotel & Casino or similar.

Day 12

Tour is finished.


Horus statue at Edfu Temple
Edfu Temple

Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo

Abu Simbel temples in the early morning light
Abu Simbel

Return flights home, Thanksgiving Day or extend your time in Egypt.  For those leaving for New York with Egypt Air, your flight leaves at 10 AM and arrives in New York at 3:15 PM - the same day but with an increase of 7 hours for the time difference between Cairo and New York.  For those traveling to the UK the time difference is 2 hours. 

There may be changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.

To Register for this Tour

Optional Add-on Extensions

-Add an extra night or two in Cairo to revisit the Cairo Egyptian Museum.  Now that you have seen each of the sites where the artifacts came from, you will understand more about them than you did the first time. 

Petra & Jordan
-Cairo to Amman, Jordan is just a 90 minute flight.  Choose one of our Petra & Jordan add-on extensions

Luxor-Aswan, Nov 28-30, 2011.  Includes Edfu, Kom Ombo & Philae (LA-R): 
Visit the Ptolemaic (Greek era) Temples south of Luxor by road.  These are the temples visited by the Nile Cruise boats.  Visiting them by road enables us to arrive at the times when the crowds on the cruise boats are not there. 

Thursday: Visit Edfu Temple of Horus and Kom Ombo Temple for Sobek & an aspect of Horus.  Overnight in Aswan.
Friday: Visit the Philae Isis Temple, the Nubian Museum and shop in the local street bazaar. Late flight back to Cairo.  Overnight at a hotel near the Cairo Airport.  
Saturday:  Flights home.
Price: TBA pp in double occupancy

Luxor-Aswan-Abu Simbel, Nov 28-Dec 1, 2013.  Includes Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae & Abu Simbel (AS&LA): 
Visit the Ptolemaic (Greek era) Temples south of Luxor by road.  These are the temples visited by the Nile Cruise boats.  Visiting them by road enables us to arrive at the times when the crowds on the cruise boats are not there.  Afterwards visit Abu Simbel, also without the crowds.

Thursday: Visit Edfu Temple of Horus and Kom Ombo Temple for Sobek & an aspect of Horus.  Overnight in Aswan, Basma Hotel.
Friday: Visit the Philae Isis Temple, trip to Abu Simbel by road, visit the temples in the afternoon when the crowds are not there.  See the Sound & Light Show in the evening.  Overnight at a hotel near the temples, Seti First Hotel. 
Saturday:  Return to Aswan by road.  Flight back to Cairo.  Overnight at a hotel near the Cairo Airport, Concorde El Salam Heliopolis Hotel.  
Sunday:  Flights home.
Price: TBA  pp
in double occupancy


Nile Cruise - Luxor-Aswan after the main tour.  Includes Edfu, Kom Ombo & Philae.
Contact Us for options.

Contact Us for details and to clarify the options which would suit you the best.  Also see

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Photo credits this page: all photos by Ruth Shilling.


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