Grand Egypt tour is an in-depth tour of the land of Pharaohs. Visit Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel (optional) and enjoy a 7-night deluxe Nile cruise on this unforgettable trip.
DAY 1 – Wed: Arrive in Cairo, Sound & Light Show
Welcome to the land of the Pharaohs! Flo Tours Representative will be waiting for you at Cairo International Airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Tonight, enjoy an unforgettable sound & light show above the Giza Pyramids. It will tell a story of the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Inaugurated in April of 1961, with the narrative voice of the late Richard Burton, magnificent sound and lighting effects, the show begins with the narrative of the Sphinx, who has been the guardian of the city of the dead for five thousand years. Overseeing the building of the three pyramids, the Sphinx reflects on the historical contributions of Thutmose IV, Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun. Overnight in Cairo.
DAY 2 – Thu: Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis & Sakkara [B,L]
This morning, we drive to the Giza Pyramids in the Giza Plateau, home of Egypt’s signature attractions: The Great Pyramids, proclaimed by the Greeks to be among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The largest among these is the Great Pyramid of Cheops, probably built more than 2,600 years before the time of Christ. Standing 480 feet tall, this is the last of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world still standing. Little is known of Cheops, you’ll also see the inscrutable and mysterious Sphinx, known in Arabic as Abu-al-Hol (“the Father of Terror”) and carved almost entirely from one piece of limestone.
After lunch, continue to Memphis, founded around 3,100 B.C., is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Early on, Memphis was more likely a fortress from which Menes controlled the land and water routes between Upper Egypt and the Delta. Having probably originated in Upper Egypt, from Memphis he could control the conquered people of Lower Egypt. However, by the Third Dynasty, the building at Saqqara suggests that Memphis had become a sizable city.
Proceed to the Sakkara site, Sakkara is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis, the Old Kingdom capital and the kings of the 1st Dynasty as well as that of the 2nd Dynasty. are mostly buried in this section of The Memphis Necropolis. It has been of constant interest to Egyptologists. Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister tomb, a queen pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty-founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story, with many adventures for the archaeologists as they revealed the secrets of the past.
DAY 3 – Fri: Old Cairo Tour & The Citadel [B,L]
Today, we will experience the Spiritual Cairo tour and explore some of the early religious monuments of Cairo. You’ll visit the El Muallaqa Church, dating to the late IV and early V Century. This basilica was named for its location on top of the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Muallaqa means “suspended or hanging.” Destroyed in a IX Century earthquake, the church became the center of the Coptic (or Christian) Church of Egypt from the time it was rebuilt in the eleventh century until the XIV Century.
Make a stop at the Ben Ezra Synagogue, built sometime between the sixth and IX Centuries A.D. The temple contains a Jewish Heritage Library, containing documents found here in 1896 that describe the economic and social conditions of Jews under Arab rule as well as descriptions of relations between various Jewish sects.
Stop for lunch, Continue Cairo tour with a visit to The Citadel of Mohamed Ali (the Fortress of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi), built in 1183 and overlooking the city from the Muqattam Hills. The structure, with its domes and minarets, looks over several important buildings, including the Alabaster Mosque. Its domed interior, used by Muslims for daily prayers, is a spectacular sight of twinkling lights and beautiful mosaics.
DAY 4 – Sat: Cairo, Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili [B,L]
After breakfast, gather for a briefing on your upcoming Cairo trip. Your Program Director will go over the details of the trip and answer any questions you may have. You’ll also attend a Discovery Series discussion on “Ancient Egypt,” as a prelude to the discoveries ahead.
Start your Cairo tour by visiting the world-renowned Egyptian Museum Antiquities. Accompanied by your certified Egyptologist Program Director, you’ll stroll through the halls highlighting each historical period of this ancient land. Marvel at the glittering treasures of King Tutankhamen, unparalleled in their variety, exquisite beauty, and sheer weight in gold. Seeing this treasure of more than 1,700 fabulous items buried with a young and relatively unimportant king, who can even imagine what the tombs of great and long-lived pharaohs must have contained? You may want to enter the Royal Mummies Room for an additional fee and view the “sleeping” Kings of ancient Egypt.
After lunch at local restaurant, proceed to the largest traditional shopping bazaar in the world, the Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar. In the tiny alleyways, there are hundreds of shops where you can watch gold and coppersmiths, brass makers, and fortune tellers at work. Look also for leather goods and woodwork inlaid with camel bone and mother-of-pearl. Bargaining, Arab-Style, is the norm here, and practiced as a national pastime.
DAY 5 – Sun: Alexandria Tour [B,L]
Start your day excursion to Alexandria by private car accompanied by an English-speaking Egyptologist. Visit National Museum, and The Catacombs. Stop for lunch, and then explore the well-preserved ruins of the Roman amphitheater, which in Ptolemaic times was part of a vast pleasure garden known as the Park of Pan. Built between the II and IV Centuries A.D., it is the only known Roman Theater remaining in Egypt. Continue to the Alexandria Library. Alexandria ancient library was the most famous in all antiquity, attracting scholars from all over the ancient world it was here that Euclid discovered geometry, and Eratosthenes measured the earth circumference. See the Fort of Qaitbay from the outside. In 1480, the Sultan Qaitbay built the fort on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, return to Cairo.
DAY 6 – Mon: Cairo, Luxor East Bank [B,L,D]
Early morning flight from Cairo to Luxor. Arrive at Luxor and transfer to your luxury Nile Cruise where you will spend the next 7 nights – 8 days. Start Luxor tour by visiting Luxor Temple, built by the two Pharaohs, Amenhotep III and Ramses II. Ancient Thebes was a center of festivals, and the Temple of Luxor was the setting for the most important-the festival of Opet, designed to merge the ruler’s human and divine aspects. The temple was dedicated to Amun-Ra, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually, when the sacred procession moved by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple.
Proceed Luxor tour to visit Karnak Temple, in ancient Egypt, the power of the God Amun of Thebes gradually increased during the early New Kingdom, and after the short persecution led by Akhenaten, it rose to its apex. In the reign of Ramesses III, more than two thirds of the property owned by the temples belonged to Amun, evidenced by the stupendous buildings at Karnak. Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometers North of Luxor. Egypt is situated on 247 acres of land. Karnak is the sites modern name. Its ancient name was Ipet-Isut, meaning “The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places”. This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen-hundred-year period. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls. Embarkation and lunch on deluxe Flo Tour Nile Cruise. Tonight, you may enjoy an optional Sound & Light Show. Dinner and overnight aboard our cruise in Luxor.
DAY 7 – Tue: Luxor, West Bank, Esna [B,L,D]
Visit the West Bank, including the Valley of the Kings, with its many tombs chiseled deep into the Cliffside. From the XVIII to the XX Dynasty, the Memphis area and pyramid-style tombs were abandoned in favor of the West Bank of the Nile in Thebes. Several great leaders as well as many less important rulers are buried here, and more tombs are being discovered even today. This is where Howard Carter discovered the treasures of Tutankhamun and was struck “dumb with amazement” when he beheld its “wonderful things” in 1922.
Proceed to the Valley of the Queens, the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir El Bahari and the Colossi of Memnon, back to the cruise for lunch, sail to Esna and overnight.
DAY 8 – Wed: Edfu, Kom Ombo [B,L,D]
Sail to Edfu and visit Edfu Temple, also known as the Temple of Horus, the falcon-god, (237 B.C.) considered the best-preserved temple in Ancient Egypt and the second largest after the Temple of Karnak. Sail to Kom Ombo and Overnight in Kom Ombo.
DAY 9 – Thu: Kom Ombo, Aswan, Papyrus Institute, Optional Sound & Light Show [B,L,D]
Sail to Aswan in the afternoon, then you will start your tour to Aswan with a visit to the High Dam, Unfinished Obelisk and Philae Temple, dedicated to Isis and perched majestically on an island. The temple complex dates from the XXVI Dynasty, with additions through the Roman period when the Emperor Hadrian built a pavilion at the water’s edge. Pilgrims would come from all over the Mediterranean to worship Isis here.
Sail around The Botanical Garden by Felucca. Finally, end Aswan tour with by visiting the Papyrus Institute and learn about the centuries-old technique of creating paper from papyrus, the material we can thank for recording so much of Egypt’s ancient history. Evening you may choose our Optional Tour: Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temple, it will tell the story of the temple. Overnight in Aswan.
Optional Tour – Abu Simbel tour by air or bus early morning: Situated 174 miles Southwest of Aswan, exploring the magnificent monuments carved into solid rock 3,000 years ago. In a monumental feat of modern engineering, these massive temples were moved to their present location when construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1960 created Lake Nasser and flooded their original location. This extraordinary operation to save one of the world’s greatest treasures took years and the efforts of an international team of engineers and archaeologists. The two temples at Abu Simbel were built by Egypt’s great Pharaoh Ramses II (Egypt’s longest-ruling king) as a tribute to the deities and his favorite wife Nefertiti. Four colossal statues, 60 feet high and directly facing the rising sun, are of the Pharaoh himself, with his queen and daughters at his feet. More tremendous statues surround you as you enter the temple. And in the very depths of the temple, Ramses sits in state flanked by the gods to whom the construction is dedicated.
DAY 10 – Fri: Aswan [B,L,D]
Free day at your leisure to enjoy Aswan!!
DAY 11 – Sat: Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor [B,L,D]
Early sail to Kom Ombo to visit Kom Ombo Temple (the Ptolemaic Temple of Sobek & Haroeris), set dramatically on a hill overlooking a bend in the river. This Greco-Roman style temple (two temples) is unique, as it is Egypt’s only double temple dedicated to both Sobek, the Crocodile God, and Haroeris, the great, winged solar disk. Everything here is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along a central axis-twin entrances, twin courts, and twin colonnades. Sail to Luxor via Edfu & overnight.
DAY 12 – Sun: Luxor, Dendera Temple Tour [B,L,D]
Today enjoy a half-day tour of Temple of Dendera – built by Romans and Greeks and dedicated to Hathor, goddess of maternal and family love.
The temple complex contains birth houses, a Coptic church, the Hathor Temple, and a Hypostyle Hall. One of the celebrated features of the temple is an astronomical ceiling beautifully decorated with vultures, winged disks, and the union between Hathor and Horus. Paintings on the ceiling also represent the two halves of the sky with its northern and southern constellations, the hours of day and night, the sun and moon, and the symbols of the zodiac. Lunchbox will be provided by the cruise. You’ll return to the ship late afternoon, the rest of the day is free at your leisure. Dinner and entertainment aboard our deluxe cruise ship.
DAY 13 – Mon: Luxor – Cairo, Optional Hot-Air Balloon Ride [B]
After breakfast, check-out and transfer to Luxor Airport for your flight back to Cairo. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure!!
Or you may enjoy an optional hot-air balloon ride at sunrise in Luxor.
Optional Tour – Hot-Air Balloon Ride (4:00 AM pick-up time): As the sun rises over Luxor, so can you, aboard an optional hot-air balloon ride. The sights, sounds, and sheer spectacle of seeing these antiquities from the sky will surely make for a morning you’ll remember forever. Back to the cruise, check out and transfer to Luxor Airport for your flight to Cairo, arrival and transfer to your hotel.
DAY 14 – Tue: Departure from Cairo [B]
After an early breakfast, transfer to Cairo International Airport for your departure flight.