Egypt & Jordan

Explore these two historic countries and their wealth of antiquities.

Egypt & Jordan Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Jordan

,

Egypt


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel

,

Family Travel

,

Recommended


(Tour Length)

11 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $3,980
  • New graphic smBegin your Egypt adventure with an exploration of the ancient city of Cairo with its incredible wealth of antiquities
  • Sail the mythic Nile River during a four-night cruise aboard the Sonesta St George
  • Journey to the famed Valley of the Kings splendid royal tombs and the intricately decorated tombs in the Valley of the Queens
  • Discover the splendor of  the 2,000-year-old city of sandstone – Petra, Jordan’s most prized historic national treasure, and beautiful Wadi Rum
  • Visit Mount Nebo, the supposed      burial site of Moses and, in Madaba, view the oldest known mosaic map of the Holy Land, dating back the 6th century, stay overnight at the Dead Sea

Day 1: Arrive / Cairo, Egypt   
Egypt has been a place of fascination and source of inspiration to travelers for thousands of years. The capital, Cairo, offers great culture along with the ancient wonders that attract millions each year. Today you’ll arrive in Cairo and are met by a Big Five representative who will escort you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Four Seasons Nile Plaza – Superior Room

Day 2: Cairo
After breakfast, you meet your Egyptologist specialist guide to begin exploring the desert antiquities dating from the beginnings of a civilization more than 5,000 years ago.  Venture through the countryside to visit some of Egypt's oldest sights.  See the phenomenal Pyramids of Giza. Nothing evokes the long and intriguing history of Egypt as powerfully as the pyramids. Rising from the desert, Khufu (Cheops), Khafra and Menkaura seem to symbolize the enigmatic tug of Egypt on the imagination. The Great Pyramid of Cheops immortalizes the son of Sneferu and Hetepheres. Though little is known of this pharaoh, his monument, the largest of the three, is comprised of 2.3 million stone blocks, each weighing an average of 2.5 tons.  Take in the site of the Great Sphinx, which has stood guard over the pyramids for more than 4,500 years. Carved from an outcrop of rock, the Sphinx remains the ultimate symbol of ancient Egypt with its lion’s body and human head. The history and the lives of Egyptian pharaohs come alive through the skilled narrations of your specialist guide. Visit the Solar boat Museum. In 1950, Kamal el-Mallakh an architect and archaeologist, first noticed a thin line of mortar which delineated the edge of a pair of long narrow pits, end to end, on the south side of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. At the time the area was being cleared for a tourist road and when the men dug further they uncovered 41 huge slabs of limestone in the eastern pit (the western one contained 40 slabs) and a mason's mark with a cartouche of Djedefre, Khufu's successor.  Next tour the Egyptian Museum that houses the greatest collection of pharaonic items the world. Your guide will lead your through the centuries of treasures, including the Tutankhamen Collection. You will visit the mummies room. Four Seasons Nile Plaza – Superior Room  (B,L)  

Day 3: Cairo / Luxor / Nile Cruise
This morning, you fly to Luxor where you board your Nile cruise.  Later, you encounter the temples on the East Bank. The Temple of Luxor was built by two pharaohs: Amenhotep Ill and Ramses II. Karnak Temple is a complex of temples, obelisks, pylons, courts, colonnades, halls, reliefs and sanctuaries. The most famous part is the Hypostyle Hall, which contains 134 columns. Karnak was the center of worship of the Sun God Amun. Back aboard your cruise ship, enjoy a buffet lunch and afternoon tea.  Later, savor a cocktail reception, dinner and entertainment. Sonesta St George Nile Cruise (B,L,D) 

Day 4: Nile Cruise
Today explore the famed Valley of the Kings, where you tour a selection of splendid royal tombs.  For nearly 500 years, from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt) in the alley of the Kings. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, across from Thebes (modern Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley (where the majority of the royal tombs situated) and West Valley. The area has been a focus of concentrated archaeological and Egypt logical exploration since the end of the 18th century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (with its rumours of the Curse of the Pharaohs), and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. The valley was used for primary burials from approximately 1539 BC to 1075 BC, and contains some 60 tombs. Nearby, visit some of the intricately decorated tombs in the Valley of the Queens. In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning, the place of the Children of the Pharaoh, because along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, many princes and princesses were also buried along with a few members of the nobility.  Investigate the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir El-Bahari considered by many to be the finest building of antiquity in Egypt and certainly among the most impressive in the world. The temple is set in a great amphitheater and its three terraces echo the rock formations in the cliff behind. Hatshepsut was the first Egyptian woman to rule as Pharaoh and her reign spanned nearly 20 years. Approached through a sphinx-lined avenue, the temple is entered via monumental ramps that lead to three broad terraces flanked with porticos and rows of Doric columns. Fascinating carved reliefs adorn the second terrace depicting a maritime expedition to the land of Punt (Sudan) and the exotic gifts, such as ivory, ebony, wild cats and incense trees that the Queen of Punt sends back to Egypt. These tombs, ordered by the kings and queens of the New Kingdom, were carved in the rock-faces of the valley to safeguard them against grave-robbers. Sail on to Essna. Sonesta St George Nile Cruise (B,L,D) 

Day 5: Nile Cruise
Explore the Temple of Horus in the heart of Edfu. Discovered in the 1860s, this remains the best preserved temple of ancient Egypt. Visit Horus Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu, which was known in Greco-Roman times as Apollonopolis Magna, after the chief god Horus-Apollo. It is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the temple's inscribed building texts provide details of its construction, as well as information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation. Sail to Kom Ombo to explore the temple shared by two gods Sobek and Haeroris. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along "with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands)." The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (51-47 BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and "probably represents a set of surgical instruments. Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Copts who once used the temple as a church. All the temples buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893. A few of the 300 crocodile mummies discovered in the vicinity are displayed inside the temple. Sail to Aswan. This evening enjoy the Galabya Party onboard. Sonesta St George Nile Cruise (B,L,D) 

Day 6: Nile Cruise
This morning, survey the island temple of Philae, which was nearly lost by the rising waters of Aswan Dams. In a massive effort, it was dismantled piece by piece, and reassembled on the higher ground of Aglka Island.  Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan. It was called in Hieroglyphic "Apo" which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek "Elephantine," most probably because it was an important centre of trade, especially for ivory. The Ancient Egyptians built a beautiful and magnificent Temple on this island for the Goddess Isis, but the temple became submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906, and it was not until many nations attempted to save the temple in the 1970s. All these countries, together with UNESCO, selected a suitable place, but they had to wait until the completion of the High Dam, in 1971, which would stabilize the level of the water around their chosen island. The granite quarries in Aswan produced all the "red Aswan granite" used in monuments throughout the Nile valley. The quarries aren't that interesting, really, except for the enormous unfinished obelisk that lays in situ on the wall of the quarry. The obelisk was discovered by an Egyptologist named Rex Engel Bach in 1922. The obelisk was roughly finished, but a crack was discovered before it was finished and it was abandoned. This is the largest obelisk ever found -- despite not being erected -- and would have stood about 42 meters high and weighed in at 1168 tons. It was intended as a mate for the obelisk that originally stood at the Temple of Karnak (now in Rome and known as the Lateran Obelisk), but the flaw was too severe.  Enjoy a sail on the Nile by traditional felucca around Kitchener's island, named for Lord Kitchener during his military campaigns in the Sudan made the island his head-quarter for his army in 1899. Enjoy a Nubian Folkloric show this evening. Sonesta St George Nile Cruise (B,L,D) 

Day 7: Aswan / Cairo
This morning, you disembark your cruise in Aswan and are transferred to the airport. Four Seasons Nile Plaza – Superior Room  (B) 

Day 8: Cairo / Amman
This morning, you disembark your cruise in Aswan and are transferred to the airport for you’re the next part of your adventure.  Fly to Cairo and connect to your flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan. After you clear customs at the Queen Alia Airport, you meet your Big Five Tours & Expeditions representative, who will transfer you to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to relax and enjoy your hotel’s amenities. Four Seasons Amman – Superior Room (B)        

Day 9: Amman / Petra
Set out from Amman and travel on to magical Petra, one of Jordan's national treasures and by far its best-known tourist attraction. Located about three hours south of Amman, the rose-red city carved out of a canyon. Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, this city of stone, once almost lost to time, is now a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Much of Petra's appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge.  From the main entrance, the visitor travels on foot through the awesome "SIQ", an immense crack in the sandstone that winds for one kilometer between overhanging cliffs. Petra's most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq.  As you explore, you see hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls and temples as well as a stunning 3,000-seat theater, which dates from the 1st Century AD. Movenpick Petra – Superior Room (B,L) 

Day 10: Petra / Wadi Rum / Dead Sea
After breakfast, drive to Wadi Rum. Uniquely shaped massive mountains rise vertically out of the pink desert sand, and offers magnificent desert scenery of strange breathtaking beauty, with towering cliffs of weathered stone. Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18, and as the setting for the film that carried his name "Lawrence of Arabia". Everywhere in this moonscape place are indications of man's presence since the earliest known times. Drive to Dead Sea hotel for overnight.  Kempinski Dead Sea Resort & Hotel - Ocean View Room (B,L) 

Day 11: Dead Sea / Bethany / Madaba /Nebo / Amman / Depart
The Jordan Valley has profound meaning religious travelers; the area opposite Jericho has been identified foe nearly two millennia as the area where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Stunning archaeological discoveries between the Jordan River and Tall al-Karrer since 1996 have identified this area as biblical "Bethany beyond the Jordan" where John was living when he baptized Jesus. Then drive to Madaba and Mount Nebo. The trip south of Amman along the 5,000 years old King’s Highway is one of the most memorable Journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a string of ancient sites. The first city along the way from the north is Madaba, "The City of Mosaics" which has been  inhabited for nearly 3,500 years. The chief attraction in this city is a vivid, 6th century Byzantine mosaic map showing Jerusalem and other holy sites, there are also literally hundreds of other mosaics scattered throughout Madaba is churches and homes. Ten minutes to the west is Mount Nebo, the memorial of Moses, and the presumed site of the prophet's death and burial place then back to Amman Airport for departure with the assistance of Travel Plus representative or guide to finish departure procedures. (B)


 

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Valid until March, 31, 2014 from $3980. Internal air, Egypt and Jordan $680.

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