Even at the height of the recent revolution Egypt remained a relatively safe destination for visitors, and many will want to return there before the sites become crowded. I shall be leading three tours to Egypt for Ancient World Tours in the coming months – one later this year, and two in 2012.
I believe there are still some places left on Journey To The Oracle (from October 8th 2011 – 12 days) which starts in Cairo where I, for one, will be very interested to see the situation in the Museum following the raid and subsequent restorations. After this it is off to the desert where we probably follow the route taken by Alexander the Great in reverse. First stop is the Bahariya Oasis with its tombs and vestigial temple of Alexander. The next stretch of desert is one of the least travelled and takes us eventually to the remote oasis of Siwa, home to the Temple of the Oracle, where Alexander had his divine ancestry confirmed. Having explored the sites and taken in the atmosphere over two days, we head up to the coast, and on via El Alamein to Alexandria. Here we see all the key monuments before returning to Cairo and making the most of the spectacular sites of Giza and Saqqara. See www.ancient.co.uk for further details.
The Grand Tour (from February 26th 2012 – 15 days) travels virtually the full length of Egypt – from Alexandria to Abu Simbel – visiting all the major sites, and thus providing an excellent introduction to ancient Egypt. Cairo – including the Egyptian Museum, highlights of the old Islamic city, and trips to Saqqara and Giza to see the mastabas, pyramids, and sphinx; Alexandria – including the National Museum, the catacombs, serapeum, Anshufi tombs, Pompey’s Pillar, and Qaitbay Fort on the site of the legendary Pharos; Luxor – including the elegant Museum, tombs in the Valley of the Kings (including Ay, and optional Tutankhamun), the vivid and beautiful tombs of the nobles, the Ramesseum, Karnak and Luxor Temples, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the workers’ village at Deir el Medina, the fabulous temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, the Colossi of Memnon; a day trip to the sublime temples of Seti I at Abydos (with also that of Ramesses II), and Dendera with the depiction of Cleopatra; the Temples of Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo; Aswan – including the unfinished obelisk, the magical Temple of Isis at Philae, the Nubian Museum, the tombs of the nobles at Kubbet el Hawa, and an optional trip to Abu Simbel.
We are still confirming some details of the Cairo-based Lower Egypt Tour (from November 3rd 2012 – 9 days), but certainly included are the Egyptian Museum; the Giza pyramids and sphinx; trips to Bubastis and Tanis; and to the Faiyum – certainly including the legendary Labyrinth at Hawara, and probably also Medinet Madi, Qasr Qarun, and Biahmu. At Saqqara we hope to include the newly-opened New Kingdom tombs of Horemheb, Maya, Tia and Tia etc., and maybe the Serapeum, as well as the Step Pyramid, the Old Kingdom mastabas, and the pyramid of Teti. More to follow.
Hope to see some of you on these!