Channeling our inner Cleopatra!

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Highlights

  • Sail the Nile aboard a traditional Dahabiya
  • Ride camels amidst the ancient Pyramids
  • Discover a rich & diverse history
  • Experience fascinating Nubian culture
  • Sleep in luxury hotels
  • Walk through other-worldly landscapes
  • Fully hosted journey of like-minded women

Key Facts

  •   Egypt

  •   For history buffs, culture fans & lovers of landscapes

  •   13 days

  •   Escorted by Sarah Hoyland

Travel from the capital of Cairo, to Alexandria, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor on this awe inspiring Secret Women’s Series foray through Egypt!

Visit the iconic and legendary Sphinx in Giza and witness the awe-inspiring enormity of the great pyramids. Walk through the Valley of the Kings and visit the rock-hewn tomb of King Tutankhamen. Wander the edge of the Mediterranean in the ancient city of Alexandria. Enjoy a three night cruise on a Dahabiya - a traditional Egyptian boat - booked exclusively for us and the only way to truly appreciate sailing the Nile. Photograph magnificent Abu Simbel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, carved out of a rock cliff during the reign of Ramses II.  Meander down the sphinx-lined entrance and bask in the grandeur of Luxor Temples at twilight. Meet local Nubian families, learn to create traditional Egyptian culinary delights and shop until you drop in colourful and chaotic bazaars.

And above all enjoy a journey where you will laugh, learn and celebrate life with a group of like minded ladies!

Itinerary Details

Day 1 | Cairo | 2 nights

Welcome to Egypt!  On arrival transfer to Marriott Mena House for 2 nights.  After check in enjoy a welcome drink and a bite to eat (if you wish) before retiring for the evening to prepare for the exciting fortnight ahead!

Day 2 | Cairo

Visit two iconic ancient Egyptian sites this morning - the Giza Pyramids and the enigmatic Sphinx. Explore the interior of one of the legendary pyramids and take in the panorama of the Giza Plateau on foot or riding a camel before enjoying traditional Egyptian fare at a local restaurant.  The afternoon at leisure to adjust to the time zone - relax, take a dip in the pool or head to the spa.  This evening attend the Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids before our hosted Welcome Dinner.

Day 3 | Alexandria | 1 night

The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is home to the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including treasures from Tutankhamun and items dating to 4000 BC. Enjoy a guided tour including access to the famous Mummy Room, housing the remains of many kings & queens of ancient Egypt, including Ramses II, Egypt’s longest-ruling pharaoh. After lunch escape the chaos of Cairo and travel to Alexandria located on the Mediterranean Sea. Founded in 312BC it is the old capital of Egypt and the nation's second-largest city. After checking in enjoy a tour of Pompey's Pillar & the catacombs of Kom El-Shoqafa. Return to the hotel to prepare for dinner followed by a walk along the Corniche.

Day 4 | Alexandria - Cairo - Aswan | 3 nights

This morning we visit the strikingly modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina, inspired by the original great library of Alexandria & built to hold over 8 million books, before exploring the Qaitbay Citadel, a fortress built by Sultan Qaitbey in the 14th Century to defend Alexandria from the advances of the Ottoman Empure. Finally visit the Royal Jewellery Museum before returning to Cairo in time to take our flight to Aswan.

On arrival in Aswan we check in to the new wing of the historic Old Cataract Hotel. Dating back to 1899 the original property was built by Thomas Cook to house European travellers, including Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher & Agatha Christie, whose novel "Death on the Nile" was set in the Palace (upgrade to Nile View Palace rooms available at additional cost)

Day 5 | Aswan 

Board a traditional wooden felucca (sailboat) this morning to cruise the Nile relaxing and taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling shores of the city of Aswan with light lunch on board.  Early afternoon at leisure; later we board a Nubian motorboat to travel along the Nile to a traditional Nubian Village to enjoy an evening of music, dinner and dancing! Return to the Old Cataract Hotel for overnight.  

Day 6 | Aswan

An early start to drive to Abu Simbel to view the iconic, commanding twin temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari. This entire site was moved here and reassembled to save it from the floodwaters created by the Aswan High Dam. Return to Aswan by road with a lunch stop enroute.  Remainder of the afternoon at leisure with an optional visit to a parfumerie and a walk through the souk this evening.

Day 7 | Depart Aswan | 3 night Nile Cruise

This morning we board a motorised boat to Philae Temple on the island of Agilika. This sacred complex was dedicated to the Goddess Isis and reflects a fusion of three great civilizations - Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. The temple was dismantled and painstakingly reassembled when the Aswan High Dam was constructed. Cruise past the Aswan High Dam wall before being delivered to our Dahabiya - our floating hotel for the next 3 nights. We will discover the Nile’s significant impact on ancient Egyptian civilization as we sail from Aswan to Luxor. We have exclusive use of our Dahabiya and will enjoy lunch and dinner on board as we sail towards Esna.

Day 8 | Nile Cruise

Enjoy breakfast at leisure before we visit the Greco-Roman Temple of Kom Ombo (Hill of Gold) dedicated to the Sun God Haroeris and the Crocodile God Sobek, considered by some ancient Egyptians to be the creator of the world. While there, view the mummified remains of several crocodiles that once basked along the ancient Nile shore, just as their descendants do today. Later we will journey to the Temple of Gebel el Silsila & Meneh Island, one of the less frequented sites along the mighty Nile as larger vessels cannot reach this site (on our small Dahabiya we can!). Dinner will be served in the grounds of the temple (if possible) or on the upper deck of our boat.

Day 9 | Nile Cruise

After breakfast on the shores of Edfu we will board a horse and carriage and travel to the Temple of Horus, the Falcon-headed God of the sky. This stunningly well-preserved and colourful structure is one of the largest in Egypt. Built in 230BC by Ptolemy III it reveals what temple worship was like in ancient Egypt.  Back on board we sail north to an island where we will celebrate our final night on board with an evening of traditional Egyptian food, Arabic Music and dancing (time to breakout your bespoke Gallabeyah or Belly Dancing outfit!)

Day 10 | Luxor | 2 nights

Disembark from our Dahabiya after breakfast this morning and travel to the West Bank of the Nile to explore the Valley of the Kings, including Tutankhamun’s tomb enclosed in 35-century-old walls, the enormous Temple of Hatshepsut, ancient Egypt’s first female pharaoh and the gigantic Colossi of Memnon.  Having worked up an appetite we will travel to the Africa Cafe to undertake a traditional cooking class before devouring our culinary creation.  Crossing to the East Bank we will check in to the Hilton Hotel where the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.  We recommend languishing in an 'in pool' sunchair!

Day 11 | Luxor

This morning is yours to relax and revive.  You may wish to indulge in the incredible spa or read by the pool. This afternoon we will visit the Temple of Karnak, featuring the Temple of Amun and the amazing Avenue of the Sphinx. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall; its expertly aligned columns are an amazing sight to behold before venturing on to the striking Temple of Luxor where six large statues of Ramses II once stood (only 3 remain). Marvel at the Colonnade of Amenhotep III consisting of 14 papyrus-headed columns and the Courtyard of Ramses II behind the East Tower. This is the perfect time of day for photography! We will continue on to a hosted dinner overlooking the Nile River this evening.

Day 12 | Luxor to Cairo | 1 night

An early morning departure for the airport for our flight to Cairo.  On arrival we will proceed straight to the Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan, admiring the early Mamluk architecture, before viewing the twin-towered Bab el-Foutouh, a fortified gate in Cairo’s Old City walls and the entrance to Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.  We will have time to explore this vast souk housing all manner of treasures from carpets to jewellery and antiques to spices before checking in to the Four Seasons Nile Plaza this afternoon.  |This evening we will view the Cairo skyline after dark on a Nile River Dinner Cruise including traditional belly dancers, incredible Tanoura performers and a buffet smorgasboard - a final celebration in true Egyptian style!

Day 10 | Homeward bound

 

Do as little, or as much, as you like this morning.   For those who wish to return to the bazaar a guide will be available, alternatively you may wish to visit the spa or spend the morning preparing for our flight home this evening.  We depart for the airport no later than 2:30pm and farewell our new-found Egyptian friends before checking in for our outbound flight.


Key Facts

Escorted by Sarah Hoyland
Start: Cairo | Finish: Cairo
21 March - 04 April 2020
US $5,990 per person twin share
Single supplement from US$ 2,100
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