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ABU SIMBEL SUN FESTIVAL

Price from
US$999
(per person)
Duration
9
Days
Tour Type
Small Group

HIGHLIGHTS

Abu Simbel Sun Festival, The Pyramids & Sphinx at Gisa, Cairo's famous Egyptian museum, Philae Temple by boat, traditional felucca sailing, ancient Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Luxor temples
COUNTRIES : Egypt

This unique 9-day Egypt tour take you to the capital city of Cairo, Aswan and Luxor and is scheduled to align with the Abu Simbel Sun Festival which takes place twice a year.

During the construction of Abu Simbel Temple, Ramses II wanted its internal chamber to light up twice a year – the first time on 22 February, on the anniversary to his ascension to the throne and the second time on his birthday on 22 October.

Every year, the temple faces east, and at the solstices – twice a year – the dawn sunlight is aligned to light the entire length of the temple entrance corridor (some 200 feet inside), lighting up three of the four statues at the end of the corridor. Only the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, fittingly, remains in darkness.

The Egypt tour begins with a visit to the Great Pyramids and Sphinx located on the outskirts of Cairo, before visiting Aswan to explore the Philae Temple and the Aswan Dam. The following day, we’ll make our way to Abu Simbel before sunrise, as we head inside the temple and see the statues in the early morning sunlight.

We head back to Aswan to board a traditional felucca sailboat as we take a relaxing cruise down the Nile River, in the direction of Luxor. Our support boat will join the group during the felucca cruise, providing welcome clean toilets, showers, and a hygienic kitchen. An alternative upgrade to an extra night in the hotel in Aswan is available if you prefer.

En-route to Luxor, we’ll stop to visit the Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples and once we arrive, we’ll explore its massive Karnak Temple Complex and explore the tombs in the Valley of the Kings as well as Queen Hatshepsut and Medinat Habu temples and the Colossi of Memnon.

You’ll have some free time to explore the markets and relax by the hotel pool before we make our way back to Cairo. If you'd like to add some time by the Red Sea to this trip, then please contact us for details as extensions are easily arranged from Luxor to Hurghada, and then back to Cairo from there.

Once you arrive in Cairo, one of our staff members will be there to meet you at the airport before transporting you to your hotel located near the pyramids. You’ll have some time to settle in before being introduced to the local area and we’ll arrange a time to collect you tomorrow.

You have the rest of the day free to explore Cairo independently. In fact, if you’ve arrived early, you have the chance to enjoy an evening dinner cruise on the Nile, or enjoy a spectacular sound and light show at the pyramids (both available to book locally on arrival).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Single room supplement (EGSGDE)

Today, we make our way to Giza situated just outside of Cairo to get up close and personal with the Great Sphinx of Giza and the three Great Pyramids of Egypt. Our guides have a wealth of knowledge about these monuments and their history, so feel free to pick their brains with any questions you may have.

The largest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, made with massive stone blocks placed in a hard limestone casing. As years have gone by, the limestone casing has eroded to reveal the inner block structure. Alongside Khufu are the smaller pyramids of Khafre (Chephern) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), which also make for breathtaking viewing. If you’d like, you can climb inside the pyramids, however, your guide won’t be able to join you as there are a limited amount of tickets available.

After exploring the pyramids, we’ll head back to central Cairo to witness the Egyptian Museum and its magnificent Tutankhamun display and other ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Tonight, we’ll head to the local station to board an overnight sleeper train to Aswan, which is approximately 12 hours away.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board train
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Internal flights upgrade

After your overnight train journey from Cairo to Aswan, you’ll be transported to your hotel which overlooks the Nile River. Aswan is located at one of the most scenic parts of the Nile River, as it's dotted with lush green islands and its waters are filled with traditional felucca sailboats.

You have some free time today to explore its busy markets along the banks of the Nile River or if you’d like to learn more about its rich history, a visit to the Nubian Museum is a must.

Once afternoon comes around, we’ll head via boat to the Philae Temple, a stunning island complexed built to commemorate Isis. We’ll also make our way to the massive Aswan Dam before heading back to the shore, where you have the rest of the day to do as you please.

There's time to rest in the evening in preparation for a very early start tomorrow morning for the journey to Abu Simbel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Aswan hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We start early this morning as we visit the Abu Simbel temples constructed by Ramses II. Abu Simbel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we’ll head out early to listen to historical explanations by our Egyptologist guide, before going inside the temple while the sun is rising to see how 3 out of the 4 statues at the end of the tunnel are lit up, leaving Ptah, the god of Darkness in shadow.

This afternoon, we’ll board a traditional Nile felucca as we float away on its waters, relaxing and watching rural Egyptian life on the banks of the Nile River. Our Nubian crew who navigate the felucca will be there to entertain and feed you, with a separate facilities boat joining up with us every now and then, which boasts a toilet, showers and a hygienic kitchen.

We’ll overnight on the felucca, with mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided or as an optional extra, you can upgrade your felucca trip with an additional night in the Aswan Hotel and rejoin the group in the morning as we head to Kom Ombo.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board felucca
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to the felucca and head to the temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu before we head to Luxor. Located in and around the ancient site of Thebes, Luxor is home to the biggest collection of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley.

In the west, you’ll find the City of the Dead, it's Mortuary Temples and rocky tombs and in the east you’ll find the Temples of Luxor and Karnak.

Tonight we'll take a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Luxor hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We’ll head back on the waters of the Nile River this morning as we make our way to Luxor’s West Bank towards the Valley of the Kings, an ancient burial site and one of the most important archaeological destinations on the planet. We’ll explore its pharaonic tombs as well as Queen Hatchepsut and Medinat Habu temples. As an optional extra, you can choose to experience a breathtaking sunrise hot air balloon flight over the West Bank this morning.

This afternoon, you have some free time to relax, enjoy the facilities of our five-star hotel on the banks of the Nile River, explore Luxor a little more or browse through the bustling markets. You can also choose to visit the mummification museum or enjoy a felucca trip to nearby Banana Island.

If you want to learn more about Egyptian history, we can arrange additional tours to the Rammesseum, Workers Village and Valley of the Queens on the west bank of the Nile.Your tour guide will be happy to arrange any extra visits for you (an extra cost will apply to cover transport, entrances and the guide's services).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Luxor hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Hot air balloon in Luxor

After a few early starts, you have the morning free to lie in a little bit later or do some exploring independently.

We’ll have some lunch before exploring the towering Karnak Temple complex, walking through its huge pillars, towering columns, massive avenues of sphinxes, and an obelisk that stands 97-feet tall and weighs 323-tons.

Dedicated to the gods Amun, Khous and Mut, Luxor Temples huge Hypostyle Hall has 134 towering columns, adorned with scenes of gods and pharaohs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions engraved on the walls.

Later this evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train back to Cairo (approx. 9 hours).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board sleeper train
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Hot air balloon in Luxor, Internal flights upgrade

Once you arrive in Cairo, you have free time to relax or explore, or try one of our optional additional tours.

Some of the optional activities you can try includes a city tour through Cairo’s streets, exploring the citadel and its bustling markets or head just outside of Egypt’s capital city to learn about the history of pyramid building by visiting the early pyramids of Saqqara and Dashour.

Other options include exploring the colonial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, or a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Alexandria day trip, Cairo city tour, Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales), Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

You have day free to do some last minute shopping and sightseeing before being transported to the airport for your flight back home.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation in 5-star hotels
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Overnight sleeper train in private twin-berth cabins (flight upgrades available)
  • Felucca support boat with toilet and showers
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (allow approx. US$45)
  • Tipping kitty (allow US$30)
  • Drinks, snacks, guide tips and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Hotel gala dinners (see Tour notes)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

Notes:

Hotel Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.

Abu Simbel Sun Festival accommodation
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
le-meridien-pyramids-cairo.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Le Meridien Pyramids
Cairo, Egypt

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa boasts unparalleled views of the majestic Giza Pyramids, located just a short distance away. It features a la...


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

Le Meridien Pyramids is a large, modern resort style hotel set in its own landscaped gardens with excellent views of the Pyramids. The hotel has a good outdoor swimming pool and a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from offering Oriental, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. Many of the rooms have been recently renovated and the pool area is family friendly.

Location:

The hotel is located in Gisa, 10 kilometers south west of Cairo on the outskirts of the city and is within walking distance of the Pyramids and Sphinx. There is a busy roundabout outside, but once inside the hotel you do feel cut off from this. It is only a 15-25 minute drive to the centre of Cairo and 35-45 minutes to Cairo International Airport.

Accommodation:

The 532 rooms and suites are all generously sized and  furnished with Egyptian ornaments and artwork. 218 rooms enjoy views of the Pyramids while many others overlook the swimming pool. Upgrades to Pyramid view rooms are available on request for a small supplement.

All rooms have deluxe marble bathrooms with bath and shower, hair dryer, mini-bar, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, safety deposit boxes and 24-hr room service. There are electrical sockets in every room for charging cameras, telephones etc. Non-smoking rooms are also available.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a variety of international restaurants to choose from, including The Med which offers the finest Mediterranean dishes in elegant surroundings to Laredo which is a Tex-Mex restaurant with a fun and informal atmosphere. Al Shams is open 24 hours a day and offers a range of international dishes either buffet style or A la carte. The Nubian Village overlooks the Pyramids, has both indoor and outdoor dining and offers a selection of Oriental and Lebanese specialities with live entertainment every night. There is also The Harris Cafe, offering freshly prepared cakes, pastries and breads and the Shisha Cafe for a typical Egyptian evening with specially flavoured shisha (water pipe).

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large freeform swimming pool with waterfalls, swim up bar and a children's pool. Le Mirage Health Club boasts the very latest exercise equipment and also provides saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi and massage facilities. Within the hotel there is a shopping arcade, beauty salon, 24-hour exchange bank and a children's play area.

Other services include:

  • 24 hr concierge desk
  • Business Centre
  • Modified Rooms for Disabled Travellers
  • Doctor (on call)
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning
  • Baby Sitting (on request)
  • Tennis Courts
  • Golf Course (10-min)
  • Jogging (nearby)
egypt-sleeper-train.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Sleeper train
Cairo, Luxor & Aswan, Egypt

On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blan...


On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline style evening meal and breakfast are included. The carriage steward will make up and put away your beds in the evening and morning. All transfers between your hotel and the station are also included (these may well be separate to the main group if train times are very different on your dates). Single cabin supplements apply.

Note: We can arrange an internal flight upgrade for anyone not wishing to use the sleeper train.

moevenpick-resort-aswan.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Movenpick Resort
Aswan, Egypt

Located on Elephantine Island in the middle of the River Nile, Movenpick Resort Aswan offers luxurious accommodation with countless services i...


Located on Elephantine Island in the middle of the River Nile, Movenpick Resort Aswan offers luxurious accommodation with countless services including a swimming pool, tennis court, and gymnasium. Guests can enjoy free WiFi in the whole property including the rooms.

The well-appointed rooms are spacious and stylish. All of them offer private balconies or terraces, and many enjoy panoramic views across the river.

Guests at Movenpick Resort Aswan have a range of dining options with 3 restaurants, 2 bars. Some are located by the picturesque pool, while others boast romantic views across the water. For more casual dining, guests can also make use of the barbecue facilities.

felucc-sailboats-aswan.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Felucca Sailboat
Aswan, Egypt

Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river....


Felucca Sailboats

Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.

Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.

Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.

The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.

As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.

The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.

We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.

nile-palace-luxor.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel
Luxor, Egypt

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001. It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within e...


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001.  It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor. The hotel has views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings on the opposite bank. The outdoor pool, restaurants, cafes and shops are all located in a central courtyard area.

The location and the high standards within the hotel make this one of our first choice hotels for stays in Luxor on our small-group tours, and for private & tailor-made trips (together with the Sonesta St. George hotel).

Location:

The hotel is centrally located next to the Nile in the heart of the tourist area of Luxor with shops and bazaars within a short walk. It is just 1.5 kilometres from the train station and 10 kilometres/15 minutes from Luxor International airport.

Accommodation:

The hotel offers excellent standards of accommodation and the rooms are spacious and modern. The 302 rooms and suites are located on 6 floors built around the courtyard. The standard rooms overlook Luxor or the courtyard area and upgrades to Nile view rooms are available on request for a small supplement. There are also disabled and non-smoking rooms available.

All rooms have deluxe en-suite bathroom, private balcony, air-conditioning, Satellite TV, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, hairdryer and electrical sockets.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. The main hotel restaurant is the Nubia which is open from 6.00-10.00 am for breakfast and then 6.00-10.00pm for dinner, serving local and international dishes. There are two other restaurants within the hotel which are open for both lunch and dinner. These are the Casa de Napoli Italian restaurant serving pizza and pasta and El Tarboush serving Lebanese dishes.

For light meals and snacks during the day there is the Tropicana poolside bar and the Cafe des Delices which is located in the courtyard.
In the evening there is the Nile bar & lounge, which is open until 2.00am, and you can enjoy views of the Nile while trying out the various cocktails on offer.

Pasha's Pub also has views of the Nile and has regular evening entertainment.

Facilities & Services:

The freeform outdoor pool which is heated in winter has views of the River Nile and the Valley of the Kings and is the perfect place to relax after a day spent sightseeing or exploring Luxor. Guests also have free use of the leisure centre and gym within the hotel and other activities such as golf are available nearby. The are various shops within the hotel including gift and souvenir shops, a beauty salon and foreign exchange services.

Other services include:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • 24hr Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Business centre
  • Porters
  • Games room
  • Library
  • Lifts
Abu Simbel Sun Festival options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (EGSGDE)
Price from
US$419
per person



Single room supplement (EGSGDE)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a ..


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will aim to pair you up with another traveller of the same sex. If a room share is available, you will not need to pay the supplement.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - pre-tour
Price from
US$59
per person



Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your air..


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour
Price from
US$59
per person



Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airpo..


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Internal flights upgrade
Price from
US$159
per person



Internal flights upgrade
Min numbers: 1 person

Upgrade the Cairo-Aswan and Luxor-Cairo overnight train journeys to internal flights...


This option provides an upgrade from the overnight train to an internal flight with Egypt Air for the journeys from Cairo/Aswan and Luxor/Cairo. Two extra nights in the hotel are included in place of the overnight train. Flight times vary and are subject to availability. Single room supplements apply.

Note: If the overnight sitting train is not available for any reason (eg. local regulations or government travel advice) then you will need to pay to upgrade to either the sleeper train or internal flights.

 Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan
Price from
US$69
per person



Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan
Min numbers: 1 person

Although our overnight felucca journey is an amazing experience and often a highlight of the tour, the basic overnight accommodation is not fo..


Although our overnight felucca journey is an amazing experience and often a highlight of the tour, the basic overnight accommodation is not for everyone. This upgrade is designed for those who would like a little more comfort in place of the overnight felucca sailboat trip, where you sleep on the deck of the boat.

You will leave the main group after they leave Aswan on the felucca, and remain there with some free time in the afternoon to explore the city and its markets a little more, before spending the night in a 5-star hotel. The next morning we will transfer you to rejoin the group after they leave the felucca, and the rest of your tour will continue as normal from there on. Prices shown are based on travelling in low season (April to September) and staying in a shared twin/double room. High season and single room supplements apply.

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Price from
US$99
per person



Hot air balloon in Luxor
Min numbers: 1 person

A trully memorable, approx 1-hour, early morning flight over the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor...


This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavour to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.

Cairo city tour
Price from
US$49
per person



Cairo city tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This tour visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque as well as the bustling market streets of Khan El Khalili bazaar...


This half day guided tour of Cairo tour begins with Islamic areas including the Citadel of Saladdin, boasting the famous Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Then we head onto the Coptic area of Cairo where the Romans constructed the fortress of Babylon. The church of St. Mary was built over the ruins of two towers of the fortress whilst it is more commonly known as the Hanging Church next stop is St. Sergius which is said to be the resting place of the Holy Family. The tour finishes with time exploring the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
Price from
US$79
per person



Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
Min numbers: 1 person

This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the ..


This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt. First we'll visit Saqqara, a huge desert necropolis which was built for the kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. Here we see Zoser's 'step' pyramid and the adjacent Imhotep museum where we learn more about Memphis and the history of the region. Next we head to Dashour to see one of the next attempts at pyramid building. Dashour's moniker of the 'bent pyramid' shows they still had a bit to learn, but this is a fascinating site and the pyramid still has much of its original limestone cladding. We'll then return you to your hotel.

Alexandria day trip
Price from
US$119
per person



Alexandria day trip
Min numbers: 1 person

A comprehension fulll day tour to the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria...


Alexandria is about 2.5 hours north of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. This city is the second largest in Egypt and this full day tour will include the Roman amphitheatre with its twelve semi-circular marble tiers, the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa which is the largest Roman cemetery in Alexandria, Pompey's Pillar, Fort Qaitbey (from outside), the famous modern library before returning to Cairo. If time allows you can tour inside Fort Qaitbey (entrance fee extra) and we may also visit the Montazah Palace gardens. Lunch at a seafood restaurant is included.

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Price from
US$59
per person



Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Min numbers: 1 person

Egyptian entertainment and food while cruising the Nile...


This option offers an evening of cruising up and down the Nile through the centre of Cairo on a 5-star riverboat while enjoying some middle eastern cuisine as well as a traditional Egyptian Sufi and Belly Dancing show. A great way to spend a free evening in Cairo and see some more of the city. Transfers to and from your hotel are included.

abu-simbel-sun-festival-map.jpg
Abu Simbel Sun Festival tour notes

This tour features an overnight felucca cruise.  Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and are a fun and relaxing way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and some blankets are provided, but we suggest that you bring a sleeping sheet, blanket or light sleeping bag during the winter months of November-February).  There are no toilet facilities on board, but you will be joined several times each day and at night by our support boat where a toilet and warm showers will be available.  Mosquito nets are provided for use while you are sleeping but you should bring mosquito repellent for the evenings and early mornings. Your Nubian boat crew will cook all your meals while on board and entertain you in the evenings.

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. In Egypt we do not use any public tourist buses or overnight coach journeys as we know that people don't sleep on board and end up very tired for the following few days. All the vehicles we use are air-conditioned, many are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily. Some 4WD vehicles used on desert safaris may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.

For the overnight train journeys from Cairo to Aswan (approx. 12 hrs) and Luxor to Cairo (approx. 9 hrs) this tour uses the overnight sleeper train. This train has private twin berth cabins with large seats and fold-down beds with sheets, pillow & blanket. The lockable cabins also have a washbasin and storage cupboard, and an airline tray-style evening meal and breakfast is included. If you wish you may upgrade these journeys to internal flights.

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.  You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A

Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon

Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using ‘black henna’ instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

We recommend that you contact your closest Egyptian consulate or embassy for current information for your nationality.

In general official advice is that all nationalities obtain their Egypt visas in advance, as we cannot guarantee that you can get them in the airport. In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA, Canadian) can and do generally obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The cost is currently US$25 p/p and must be paid in hard currency (i.e. GBP, USD or EUR) – you’ll be given change in local currency if necessary. There are no forms to fill in and you don’t need to bring passport photos. Visas are issued at one of the bank desks in the immigration hall, before you get to passport control. Our representative will have met you by this stage and will assist with the process.

All African & Indian nationals, and some others, will need to obtain their visas in advance.

For further information on your visa requirements, please either contact us or your local Egyptian embassy/consulate.

The time in Egypt, Jordan and Israel is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, often denoted ‘LE’. The Egyptian Pound can vary significantly in value against the British Pound, but sticks fairly close to the value of the US Dollar. You do not need to arrange to bring any Egyptian Pounds with you to Egypt, as change facilities are available in all the hotels, airports and banks. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Egypt you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Egyptian Pounds. You may also need to pay for the tour Tipping Kitty and site Entrance Fees while you are in Egypt. Payments for these may be made to your tour guide in hard currency (USD, GBP, EUR) at the start of your tour. Please see your tour Included/Excluded details for more information and guideline amounts for these.

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.

This tour runs twice a year with departures timed so that we are in Abu Simbel on the right day for the Sun Festival (22nd February and 22nd October). All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers and unlike many operators we maintain our small group size on this very popular date with a maximum of 18 people to each guide.  We may share a large coach with another of our groups for the drive between Aswan and Abu Simbel, but otherwise your group runs independently throughout. 

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through a financial failure insurance policy provided by Affirma for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Egypt Uncovered shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/EgyptUncovered
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

Travel Aware campaign

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Abu Simbel Sun Festival dates & prices
Unlike other operators we maintain a small group size of maximum 18 people on this most popular departure date. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
19 Feb, 2018 27 Feb, 2018 US$1339 US$999
25% Discount
- Book now
19 Oct, 2018 27 Oct, 2018 US$1339 - - Book now
19 Feb, 2019 27 Feb, 2019 US$1339 - - Book now
tripadvisor winner 2014 and 2015
EGYPT Reviews
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Posted Oct 24, 2016
Very informative and smooth transaction with booking!
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Posted Oct 14, 2016
Service rating : I had a wonderful time on my encounters adventure. I felt safe and the tour guides did their best to accommodate us on the tour. The trip was above my expectations.

Product : Discover Egypt was very educational. I learned so much about Egypt that left me yearning for more. I would love to visit again. Thank you Encounters
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Service rating : Excellent service

Product : Wonderful holiday
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Great time in Egypt, thanks especially to Waleed
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
I had an amazing time on the trip. Everything was incredibly well organized and planned out to a tee. Our tour guide, Big Mo, was amazing and super knowledgeable. I couldn't have imagined a better trip to Egypt!
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. You will thoroughly enjoy it. Egypt Uncovered is a very professional company and so easy to deal with. We are already looking for another trip and doing it with Encounters. Thanks for a great experience!!

Product : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Sheriff was an excellent guide and much fun. I can say I will never go back to Egypt because I was shown everything I wanted to see and more, and I was expecting a lot. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. The Egyptian people are friendly and fun. You will thoroughly enjoy it.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
The customer service agents have been responsive to my emails and questions. But last time I contacted them about the Egypt trip and was told the deal will end in 9 days (back on Sep 20th) and they will be able to provide confirmation, now it's been 17 days and I haven't heard from them. It would be helpful to be informed of the status of the tour. Overall everyone was competent and pleasant.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
This was one of the best experiences that I have ever had working with a travel group! I would quickly recommend Egypt Uncovered to friends and family.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. My only issue was, it seemed like staff members were trying to prevent us from being taken advantage of by merchants, however, they would take us to stores, who they clearly had a personal relationship with, and expect us to spend money there.

Product : The time spent with the locals was the most enjoyable portion of the trip. I feel there was entirely too much packed into a short amount of time. The vacation felt more like a school trip as opposed to a vacation. I did not enjoy the 4-5am wake-up calls and obligations during vacation.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
The alternative dates I needed were provided. Payment and booking was straight forward and filled with ease.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
Help with sorting out a flight at competitive rate
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Posted Sep 13, 2016
The staff were very helpful, incorporating all our wishes for extra nights and excursions. The actual booking process was very straightforward.