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  • Experience a wealth of iconic archaeological sites rarely featured on most Egypt tours

  • Visit the stunningly restored Tomb of Nefertari, one of the greatest artistic achievements of the ancient world

  • Appreciate Egypt’s multi-faceted culture on a journey from the Mediterranean to Nubia

The ancient wonders of Egypt are too numerous to be encompassed in a single tour, and some genuinely extraordinary treasures are omitted from the first-time visitor’s itinerary simply through lack of time. Return to Egypt and you can discover a whole new range of less visited but scarcely less iconic sites.


This tour is very much designed for the second-time visitor or those wishing to travel off the beaten track and away from the majority of the tourist crowds. You may have already experienced the Pyramids of Giza, the great Temple of Karnak and the Valley of Kings, but not yet the breathtakingly colourful Tomb of Nefertari, the majestic Temple of Abydos or the poignant cemeteries of El Alamein. Even as familiar a route as an Upper Egypt Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan – a must-see for any traveller to Egypt – has some surprises for the second-time visitor, such as the Gebel el-Silsila, once the centre of worship of the ancient cult of the Nile. And there are new ways to appreciate old favourites, such as the ultramodern Grand Egyptian Museum (due to open in 2024) and the now spectacularly vibrant Temple of Khnum at Esna, almost unrecognisable after five years of highly-skilled restoration and recolouring.


We start amid the hectic energy of Cairo, but there are plenty of oases from the hustle and bustle to be found. We may be the only visitors to the Ibn Tulun Mosque and the Sultan Hassan Mosque, yet both are majestic – the former is one of the oldest mosques in Africa and retains its helical staircase minaret said to be influenced by the Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria; the latter, dating back to the 14th century, supposedly used limestone from the Pyramids of Giza in its construction.

Adjoining the Ibn Tulun Mosque, the Gayer Anderson Museum is an engaging collection of artistic and cultural artefacts housed in neighbouring Old Cairo townhouses. We will also visit the Ottoman Citadel and the characterful churches of Coptic Cairo, and see a different side of the only surviving Ancient Wonder of the World with views of prototype pyramids at Dahshur, a walk around the little-known Pyramid Workers’ Cemetery and an exploration of the brand-new Grand Egyptian Museum, relocating the country’s greatest historical treasures to Giza.


Moving on to Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, we will make stops at the cemeteries and museum of one of the great battles of the 20th century, El Alamein. In Alexandria, the city of Cleopatra, we will visit sites ancient, medieval and modern, ranging from the Ptolemaic Taposiris Magna and Roman-era catacombs to the ultra-modern library.
Cleopatra features in a monumental carving at the Nile-side Temple of Hathor at Dendera, which follows an appreciation of the equally impressive but relatively little-visited Temple of Seti I at Abydos. At Dendera, we will embark a traditional dahabiya for a cruise to Aswan. En route, we will see in Luxor the Valley of the Queens, including the spellbinding Tomb of Nefertari, the Valley of the Nobles, Howard Carter’s House and the Sound and Light spectacular at Karnak; along with the newly-restored temple at Esna and fascinating Gebel el-Silsila. In Aswan we will make stops at the Nubian Museum, the Botanical Gardens and Gharb Soheil Nubian Village, and there is the option to travel further south to the awe-inspiring Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel.


This tour will be led by Gillian Hovell, BA (Hons), a specialist in archaeology and the ancient world, who lectures at York University and for the Arts Society, British Museum and Ashmolean Museum. She runs online courses in archaeology, ancient history and Latin as ‘The Muddy Archaeologist’. Gillian’s expertise spans Neolithic to Roman Britain and the Greek and Roman Mediterranean, and her particular passion is the ebb, flow and interaction of ancient civilisations. Gillian will be joined by an expert local Egyptologist.


Nile Lily is a faithful replica – complete with period furniture – of a 19th century dahabiya, a two-masted sailing yacht that once was a common sight on the Nile in the days of the monarchy, when travellers meandered from temple to temple. On board, guests will enjoy modern comforts and conveniences, including air conditioning, en-suite cabins and international and Egyptian cuisine, as well as the highest levels of service. A maximum of 18 guests will be accommodated in ten cabins.
We will also stay at the five-star Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Cairo, the five-star Sonesta St George Hotel in Luxor and the historic four-star Steigenberger Cecil Hotel in Alexandria.



Optional Abu Simbel excursion
At an additional supplement, we hope to include an optional excursion by air to Abu Simbel on day 13, giving participants the opportunity to visit the Great Temple of Ramses II on the shores of Lake Nasser. Please note that this excursion must be pre-booked and cannot be guaranteed as it is dependent upon flight availability nearer to departure. Please speak to a member of our Sales team for more information.
Tour Code

Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded cabin/room, thirteen breakfasts, twelve lunches with water & coffee, thirteen dinners with water & coffee (wine included on board Nile Lily), excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: visa, travel insurance, optional excursion by air to Abu Simbel on day 13 £425, double cabin/room for single use supplement £3250 (on request).

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