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Ancient Capitals(Cairo , Alexandria and Luxor)

Created with Sketch. Cairo, Egypt
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Duration

4 days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

___

Overview

Start your journey with Cairo : the city that is one of the capital of the Ancient Egypt and the current capital of this country. Face the greatness of the Ancient Egypt : the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara. Loose yourself in the Egyptian Museum where you can admire several mummies and of course the most important and beautiful treasure of the Ancient Egypt : that of king Tutankhamen.

The magnificent religious buildings will make you feel the spiritual vibes of this city : Alabaster Mosque, Sultan Hassan Mosque, the Hanging Church, Ben Ezra Synagogue. Loose yourself in El Moez street and the medieval, but still operating, souk of Khan El Khalili. No doubt that the Islamic and Coptic Cairo will deep you straight into the Middle Ages. 

Travel to Alexandria, an Ancient capital during almost 1000 years, and explore its splendid monuments : Qaitbay Citadel, the Catacombs, Saint Catherine Church, Pompey Pillar and the sphinx. As reflected in the variety of its monuments and the miscegenation of its inhabitants, Alexandria used to be for most of its history a cosmopolitan town. Have a walk on the coastline to enjoy the fresh Mediterranean air and the pleasing sound of the waves. 

Discover the Ancient capital of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom : Luxor, formerly called Thebes. All the temples and ancient monuments scattered on both banks of the Nile river make this city a real open-air museum. The temple of Hatsheptsut, The valley of the Kings, Karnak temple… these are so many wonders that will not fail to impress you.

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Itinerary

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Day 1 : Pyramids/Saqqarah/Memphis/Museum

After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel.

Start your private tour by discovering the last remaining ancient wonder of the world : the Pyramids of Giza : Cheops, Mykerinus and Chephren. Learn the history of this miraculous edifices that still keep the mystery of their construction. From the Plateau, enjoy the unique view of the Pyramids emerging from the golden sand of Giza. It’s the moment to take the pictures of your life ! Before leaving the site, let’s greet Abu El Hol, the 3000 years old great Sphinx.

Reach now the second step of your journey : the Pyramid of Saqqara also know as the Pyramid of Djoser. Saqqara is the vast necropolis of the ancient Memphis. It’s on this site that King Djoser built his tomb more than 4000 years ago. It was the first time in history that the pyramidal shape was used to build the tomb of a kind.

After lunch, finish your day by visiting the Museum of Cairo which contains the most beautiful artifacts of Ancient Egypt, royal mummies and the amazing treasure of King Tutankhamun. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day 2 : Islamic & Coptic/Khan El Khalili

Travel back to time by visiting the medieval district of Cairo. Start your day with a prodigious sample of Ottoman architecture : the Alabaster mosque. You can’t miss this building majestically standing on the summit of the hill El Mokattam so that you can admire its overlayed domes and great minarets. Constructed by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848 as a tribute to his oldest son who died in 1816, Alabaster mosque is mostly made of limestone which plausibly comes from the Pyramids of Giza. The first floor and the forecourt are tiled with the emblematic white alabaster, which gives its name to the mosque.
Once you proceed inside, you can admire the main dome, with a diameter of 52 meters it will not fail to impress you.

Visit one of the most beautiful and impressive historic construction of the Mamluk epoch : Sultan Hassan Mosque. It’s an islamic complex composed of a mosque and a madrassa where the 4 islamic schools of thought used to be taught.

Proceed to the coptic part of the city and pay attention to Ben Ezra Synagogue. Famous for its Geniza, this temple is believed to have been built where Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter when he was a baby.

Hanged above the gate of the old Babylone Fortress, the Hanging church seeks to be admired. Proceed inside this holy edifice and examine the 13 pillars the whole nave stands on. It’s believed that the pillars symbolise Jesus and his 12 apostles, and the darker one represents Juda.

Stroll along El Moez street and admire the beautiful buildings : madrassas (Koran schools), mosques and traditional houses. You might visit one of them, Bayt El Suheymi. You will probably find in your way many young Egyptians looking for the perfect selfie. Then, make your way through the streets of Khan El Khalili. Built in the 14th century this souk is still the first choice for all locals who want to buy gold. Spices, gold, soap, handmade souvenirs… you can find almost anything here. And in the case that one merchant can’t provide you what you are looking for, he will be happy to find you a seller who can. Need to go back home with a souvenir : Khan El Khalili is the ideal place for that !

You will be escorted back to your hotel for overnight.

Day 3 : Travel to Alexandria

After your breakfast, take a sit in an air-conditioned vehicle to Alexandria.

Venture into the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. Mixing the best of Egyptian, Greek and Roman funerary art, this roman necropolis was one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. Nowadays, you can still admire the set of tombs, statues and archaeological items.

Nearby, you can’t miss the monumental Pompey Pillar. Contrary to what its name suggests, this pillar has nothing to do with the famous Roman general Pompey ! The pillar was actually erected in the glory of the emperor Diocletian in 291. Made of one whole piece of Aswan’s red granite, Pompey pillar reaches a height of 26.85 m. This impressive structure is located on the ruins of the temple of Serapis, the Egyptian-Greek god and protector of Alexandria. Next to the Pillar, you can admire a sphinx built in honor of Serapis.

Your journey leads you now to Saint Catherine Church. Facing the religious building, examine the details of its neo-baroque architecture. Once you get inside, you will be amazed by the way the sunlight enters the building and highlights its magnificence. According to christian tradition, Saint Catherine was a princess and a scholar who became christian at the age of 14 and converted with her hundreds of pagans. After being tortured and imprisoned, she was finally executed by emperor Maxentius and as a result became a martyr.

Have lunch in a nice local restaurant.

Discover Qaitbay Citadel, a legacy of the Mamluk Dynasty built on the vestige of what used to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world : the lighthouse of Alexandria.
Erected in 1477 by Sultan Ashram Sayf El Din Qait Bay the citadel is a perfect example of the Mamluk military architecture. It was specially constructed to protect Alexandria from the invasion of the Ottoman Empire.

End you day in the Cornish, with a walk on Stanley Bridge from which you can enjoy an incomparable view on the sea. At night the bridge is beautifully enlightened, making spark the water it overhangs.
Return to Cairo for overnight.

Day 4 : Luxor East & West Bank

After breakfast, your guide will meet you in order to reach the West bank of Luxor : the first step of your day.

Discover first the valley of the Kings, a symbol of pharaohs’ glory. This valley was chosen by the pharaohs to be their royal necropolis after the Pyramids of the lower Egypt were stripped of their treasure. The site contains 63 tombs excavated in the rock of the mountain, the most famous one is that of the young king Tutankhamen.
Adventure yourself inside a royal tomb and examine the colored scenes on the walls, these give you insights on the beliefs and funerary rites of Ancient Egyptian. Here you understand that to get prepared for death is the first goal of a pharaoh, therefore, the tomb was for each king the great achievement of his life. The royal tombs are until now a great witness of the prestige and greatness of the pharaohs.

Continue your excursion with the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut. Arriving to the site, the impressive cliff will not miss to captivate your eyes. But it’s at the foot of this masterpiece of nature that remains the real wonder : Hatshepsut temple. The external architecture match perfectly with the refined cliff, the building seems to have been sculpted into the rock. Once inside the temple, you are able to examine on the walls, scenes that tell the story of the female pharaohs that has made Egypt strong and wealthy under her reign. You can notice that many figures have their face damaged, these are representations of Hatshepsut that Tutmosis III wanted to get rid of. Indeed after her death Tutmosis III became king and finally took revenge on his stepmother that had stolen the power from him. Actually, he did everything to erase the name of Hatshepsut from history : he ruined the face of some of her statues, destroyed her cartouches or removed them.

Last site in the West bank : the colossi of Memnon. Massive, proudly standing, and the gaze fixed toward the Nile, the two colossi of Memnon were the guardians of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. This complex was the vastest and the most sumptuous in Egypt, here Amenhotep was venerated as a god. After an earthquake of 27 BC, the remaining part of one of the colossi was believed to sing at the time of sunrise. But this sound disappeared after the renovations. The several earthquakes and floods took away this prodigious temple. Today the area is a vast archaeological research site, still guarded by the two great colossi.

Have lunch in a nice local restaurant.

Continue your day with the visit of the two glorious temples of the East bank of the ancient Thebes. Get into Karnak temple : the vastest Ancient temple dedicated to the Theban triad Amun, Mut and their son Khonsu. Karnak temple was connected to Luxor temple by an alley of sphinx which was used during the Opet Festival : the statues of the Theban triad were carried in procession from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple so that Amun-Ra (the solar shape of god Amun) meets Amun-Min (the shape of Amun in Luxor Temple). The ancient complex is composed of three precincts, only the one of Amun-Ra is accessible to the public. Make your way through the papyrus field of the hypostyle hall. The 134 columns shaped like papyrus will not miss to impress you. The walls will captivate you with their colored engravings and hieroglyphs. At the back of Amun-Ra precinct : a charming sacred lake of natural spring water that was used by the priests to purify themselves before entering the temple. The whole complex was built and developed during more than 2000 years. Hence, about thirty Pharaohs have contributed to the construction of the building, making it unique by its size, its degree of elaboration and the diversity of styles.

End your day with Luxor temple : this is the perfect time to enjoy the splendor of the Ancient architecture highlighted by the shimmering rays of the setting sun. Enter the site facing the immense pylon of Ramses II, his monumental colossi and of course the unique obelisk since the other was given to France by the viceroy Mehmet Ali. Once a year, during the flood season of the Nile, the temple used to welcome the statues of the Theban triads for the Beautiful Feast of Opet. During 12 days, several rituals and celebrations used to take place in the temple. Here, Mut renewed every year her marriage with Amun and gave birth again to Khonsu. This rebirth ceremony radiated on the Pharaoh, who could thus renew his power above whole Egypt. The site also hosts a roman chapel and a mosque that you can still admire on the top of the ancient columns of the temple.

Here ends your amazing tour.

Included/Excluded

  • Egyptology Tour Guide
  • Air-conditioned Private Vehicle
  • Pick up & Drop off
  • Permissions
  • Taxes
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks / soft drinks
  • Entrance Fees
  • All Accommodations
  • Lunch
  • Tipping

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Cairo, Egypt

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