Egypt and Jordan in Depth

Egypt and Jordan in Depth

From $ 8,220 AUD

Description

Discover the contrasts of modern and ancient Egypt and Jordan on this in-depth journey through two of the Middle East’s most iconic countries. Beginning in Cairo, Egypt’s capital, you’ll witness the magnificent pyramids, take a four-day cruise down the legendary Nile River and learn about the mystery and beauty of these ancient lands. From here, you’ll fly to Jordan to discover the unique culture of the Bedouin in Wadi Rum, float in the salty Dead Sea and stand in awe in front of “Al-Khazneh” the elaborate Treasury of Petra. With premium accommodation and a relaxed pace, you’ll have time to enjoy these ancient masterpieces without skimping on modern comforts.

Trip Name
Egypt and Jordan in Depth
Last Updated
2020-01-18
Days
22
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Spend a night in Abu Simbel and discover this magnificent monument carved out of the mountainside, dedicated to Pharaoh Ramses II and his queen, Nefertari.
  • Relax for four nights on a Nile cruise. Our premium boat includes two restaurants and terrace bars, so you can sit and enjoy river life as it unfolds.
  • Spend two nights at Giza, a stone’s throw from the great pyramids.
  • Journey through the desert to a traditional Bedouin camp and get to know these friendly people before spending a night under a staggeringly beautiful starry sky in our Feature Stay accommodation.
  • You never forget your first glimpse of The Treasury through narrow canyon walls in Petra, often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Spend a day taking in the majesty and mystery of this unforgettable place.
  • Experience the unique sensation of floating in the Dead Sea and the famed mosaic map in Madaba.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. NILE CRUISE SCHEDULES: Nile cruise boats must negotiate the lock at Edfu. As a result, boats arrive and depart Luxor continuously throughout the day. This printed itinerary is therefore only a guide and you may find you have more (or less) time in either Luxor or Aswan. The actual cruising time from Luxor to Aswan (and vice versa) is about a day and a half and this journey is accomplished both during the day and at night.

Day 1 - Cairo
Welcome to Egypt! You’ll be met at Cairo International Airport by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. You’re welcome to arrive at any time, but please note that there’s an important meeting at 6 pm with your local leader and fellow travellers, which the hotel reception will have details about. If you do happen to arrive early, there’s plenty to hold your attention in this chaotic city of contrasts. Perhaps take a stroll around the markets or, if there’s time, jump in a felucca for a sail down the Nile.
Day 2 - Cairo
Be sure to charge your camera because after breakfast we’ll travel to arguably the most recognisable structures in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet so utterly mysterious, these incredible feats of engineering are simply breathtaking when seen up close. For an additional charge you may be able to step inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), though these are occasionally closed to visitors for various reasons. After spending some time exploring these ancient wonders and eating lunch, we’ll continue to the Egyptian Museum where an expert guide will talk you through Egypt’s rich history. This is one of the world’s great museums and home to an unimaginable collection of antiquities, making it the perfect introduction to your Egyptian experience. You’ll have some free time to explore on your own, perhaps choosing to visit the Royal Mummy Room for an additional cost. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you wish. The facilities at your hotel, the Meridian Pyramids, are phenomenal making it the perfect place to recuperate from the day’s activities. In the evening you may want to consider the sound and light show at the pyramids, which your leader can help with, or maybe grab a taxi and explore Cairo on your own. For something a little bit special, you could also take a dinner cruise down the Nile.
Day 3 - Alexandria
The journey continues along the Cairo–Alexandria road after breakfast, stopping in Wadi El Natrun after approximately 100 kilometres. This area became a sanctuary for Christians after Saint Macarius the Great retreated here in AD360, and there were once some 60-odd monasteries in the Wadi though now only four remain. One of these is Anba Bishoy Monastery, named for Saint Bishoi who came to the site to live in solitude. Take a wander around the gardens and observe the resident monks as they go about their daily lives, then visit the church itself for expansive views over the desert. Continue this afternoon to the city of Alexandria, which was founded by Alexander the Great and is often referred to as the Pearl of the Mediterranean.
Day 4 - Alexandria
Enjoy a full day exploring Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city. Visit Pompey’s Pillar and the Catacombs of Kom El Shuqafa, a Roman burial site dating back to the 2nd century that wasn’t discovered until 1900, allegedly when a donkey fell through a hole in the ground. The fascinating tombs were created during a transitional period in Alexandria’s history and interestingly feature Greek, Egyptian and Roman elements. Continue to the Great Library of Alexandra (now the Bibliotheca Alexandrina), which is found where the Library of Ptolemies once stood some 1700 years ago, or so archaeologists believe. Finish up with a stop at the Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens, a complex featuring beautifully maintained gardens and two royal palaces built during the 19th and 20th centuries. Spend the evening by the water wandering along The Corniche or relax back at your hotel.
Day 5 - Cairo
Today the group will travel 100 kilometres south of Alexandria for a more sombre experience at the historic battle site of El Alamein. It was here that British and Commonwealth soldiers fought a decisive Allied victory against the German Afrika Korps that defined the North African campaign. Both sides suffered heavy losses and the memorial commemorates nearly 12,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died in the Western Desert campaigns during the Second World War. Return to Cairo in the afternoon and spend the evening visiting Tahrir Square in Downtown Cairo, the site of the political demonstrations that led to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Day 6 - Nile Cruise
Transfer to Cairo Airport after breakfast and board a one-hour flight to Luxor. Often referred to as Thebes, its ancient name, Luxor was the pharaoh’s capital during their height of their power and is now perhaps the world’s greatest open-air museum. Upon arriving in Luxor, transfer to your premium Nile cruise ship where you’ll unpack, settle in and become acquainted with your floating home for the next four nights. This afternoon you’ll visit Karnak, one of the world’s most celebrated temple complexes, which was built over a period of approximately 200 years. Some parts of it date back to 2055 BC and your guided tour will take you to its finest sections. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to relax, take a shopping trip through the bazaar or perhaps relax in the atmosphere of a local teahouse.
Day 7 - Nile Cruise
Rise early this morning to journey into the Valley of the Kings. There are over 60 pharaoh tombs buried under the hills here, many of which are richly decorated, and your guide will take you through this sprawling, spectacular place where discoveries are still being made. Learn about the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and the significance of the paintings and hieroglyphics, and visit the final resting place of Tutankhamun, the boy-king whose tomb was once thought to be cursed. You’ll visit another three royal tombs and continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which is set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that once formed part of an impressive colonnade – before returning to the boat for a leisurely lunch. Enjoy some time relaxing either on deck or in your cabin before setting sail upstream to Edfu, where you’ll arrive late in the evening.
Day 8 - Nile Cruise
Wake up by the city of Edfu, home to a beautifully preserved temple dedicated to Horus (please see the ‘special information’ section below today’s itinerary regarding visiting the temple). Continue travelling upriver and soak up life on the river as farmers and fishermen work on the Nile’s bank. This afternoon’s destination is the Temple of Kom Ombo, about 45 kilometres north of Aswan, which sits ruined on the river’s edge. The temple, which sits by the river’s edge, is dedicated to Horus and Sobek, the god’s of protection and fertility respectively, and was built during the Ptolemaic dynasty around 180 BC. The temple itself is split into two identical sections with each dedicated to either god, and there have been recent discoveries of mummified crocodiles in the Sobek section that are now displayed in the attached museum. After visiting the temple, board your boat around 6 pm and sail on to Aswan, arriving at approximately 9.30 pm.
Day 9 - Nile Cruise
Spend the morning visiting the temple complex of Philae including the stunning Temple of Isis, located on Agilkia Island. The temple was reassembled in this location after being saved from rising waters and is a true architectural gem featuring some of Egypt’s finest carvings. Some Egyptologists believe that Philae was the last active site of the ancient Egyptian religion and where the last Egyptian hieroglyph was written. The dramatic approach to the temple is undertaken by motorboat. After exploring the site, return to your sailboat for lunch before boarding a simple Nile felucca and visiting either El Nabatat Island or Kitchener’s Island, home to the Aswan Botanical Gardens. These lush gardens are filled with palms and plants from all over the world. After soaking up the serenity of the gardens, return to the boat for a final evening being rocked to sleep by the Nile’s waters.
Day 10 - Abu Simbel
Travel by road this morning to Abu Simbel, a journey of approximately 3.5 hours. Your memorable hotel is located right by Lake Nasser and features lush grounds, two swimming pools and fantastic views over the lake. Spending the night here allows the group a chance to visit the Abu Simbel temples at a more leisurely pace as opposed to a rushed, half-day trip. Built during the reign of Ramesses II, these mammoth temples took 20 years to complete and feature rock-cut statues of the pharaoh and the queen, some of which are 20 metres in height. This evening will see the group heading back to these temples for a sound and light show.
Day 11 - Aswan
Travel back to Aswan, arriving in time for lunch and to check into the hotel. Enjoy some free time before meeting up with the group later in the afternoon to discover whether Agatha Christie really did write Death on the Nile in Aswan. No trip down the Nile would be complete without a visit to the Old Cataract Hotel, a 19th-century luxury hotel built by Thomas Cook that has hosted guests including Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Tsar Nicholas II and, of course, Agatha Christie. Enjoy high tea in the luxurious surrounds then make the most of a free evening to find a local gem for dinner – your leader can help with recommendations.
Day 12 - Aswan
This morning you’ll visit a more modern example of Egyptian engineering. President Nasser ordered the construction of the Aswan High Dam, located 13 kilometres south of Aswan, after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution and while it may have been a controversial project that required the relocation of many ancient temples and statues, it’s had a huge, mostly positive impact on the region. Afterwards the group will swing past the Unfinished Obelisk, an abandoned obelisk that, had it been completed, would’ve been the largest obelisk ever erected in ancient Egypt. Return to Aswan for some time to relax and refresh, then meet your loeader in the late afternoon to board a felucca and sail to the settlement of Elephantine Island. This island was once thought to be the home of Khnum, the god who guarded and controlled the Nile’s waters. Enjoy a sunset drink on the river before disembarking at a village to join a local family for a traditional Nubian feast.
Day 13 - Cairo
This morning you’ll transfer to the airport for a 1.5-hour flight back to Cairo. Settle into your hotel in Downtown Cairo then meet up with the group in the early afternoon for a walking tour of the area. Bring your appetite, as you’ll discover the Downtown food scene and taste some local favourites such as koshari, which is made of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed together, topped with a spicy tomato sauce with garlic vinegar and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions – it’s unbeatable.
Day 14 - Cairo
Spend the day discovering yet another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. Visit Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and the Gayer-Anderson Museum, a building associated with several fascinating legends. Explore the ‘Khan’, a labyrinthine area filled with sprawling alleyways packed with shops, cafes and more. This is a quintessential Cairo experience, home to the gold market, perfume street and the spice market. If you need a quick break, don’t miss a chance to relax and drink Arabic coffee or mint tea from El Fishawy – Cairo’s oldest café. To celebrate your final evening, you’ll get to share an authentic Egyptian meal with a local family. Be welcomed into their home, chat with the family about life in Egypt and learn how to make some of your favourite traditional dishes while enjoying the delicious food. It’s the perfect way to end this adventure.
Day 15 - Amman
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Amman. On arrival you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel in Amman. Cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history, Amman has served as both the modern and ancient capital of Jordan. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a 1994 excavation uncovering homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age (circa 7000 BC). Enjoy a free afternoon to maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, find fine culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, look down on the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or relax in a Turkish bath house or soak up the atmosphere as you sip mint tea in a cafe. Meet your new local leader tonight at a welcome meeting at 6pm in the hotel. As this is a combination trip, the members of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Day 16 - Wadi Rum
After breakfast you will be drive from Amman to Wadi Rum (appx 4.5hour drive). After lunch in the small village of Rum and a browse around the excellent and informative visitor's centre, jump into rickety old but safe and reliable jeeps operated by the Bedouin Community and join our Bedouin friends as we journey into the Rum. You will visit several of Wadi Rum's distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence and spectacular desert landscapes. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place with towering sandstone mountains. Continue to your traditional Bedouin tent situated deep within Wadi Rum. The Bedouins live in scattered camps throughout the area. You will enjoy an evening with them at one of their camps, which is set in an amazing location. Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean's movie on his exploits, 'Lawrence of Arabia', was actually filmed in Wadi Rum.
Day 17 - Wadi Rum - Petra
After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a walk around the area (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted. You will then take 4WDs from your camp back to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site, and to just relax… ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.
Day 18 - Petra
Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate facades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer. The iconic Petra view – the Treasury's glorious facade, glimpsed from the narrow cleft known as the Siq – is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The first taste of this exquisite craftsmanship among such stark scenery is a moment that manages to be both eagerly anticipated and also an almost surreal surprise. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side, and it is impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. Petra's greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the second beautiful façade of the Monastery, from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site. This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination, a highlight of your trip. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you can enjoy a light lunch. The rest of the day will be at your leisure – perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night. Seeing the Treasury plaza lit up by flickering candle light while Bedouin music plays is a magical experience.
Day 19 - Petra - Dead Sea
After a very early start for those in the group who wish to visit Petra a second time, we drive to the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak, which was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189.  Enjoy superb scenery and stop off at the view point overlooking the Dana nature reserve before  arriving in the late afternoon at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, where we spend the evening. Named for the dearth of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult.  
Day 20 - Dead Sea - Madaba - Amman
After a relaxing morning spent at the Dead Sea; perhaps use the facilities of the hotel or of course no visit is complete without taking a dip like no other – the warm, highly saline waters make swimming difficult but bobbing on the water's surface is a unique pleasure. After lunch, we depart the Dead Sea for Mount Nebo, considered to be where Moses saw the Promised Landed before he died, the modest Church here with foundations dating back to 4thcentury houses some of the best mosaics in Jordan.  Continue to Madaba “The City of Mosaics” and a stop at St Georges Church best known for its Byzantine mosaic depicting a map of the Holy Land. We spend the evening of day six in Amman.
Day 21 - Amman
Today you will leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best ruins Greco-Roman ruins around. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash's riches.  Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe spend your final night at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman, or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.
Day 22 - Amman
Your trip will end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Amman.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-02-202026-02-2020AUD $ 8,550-
04-03-202025-03-2020AUD $ 8,550-
18-03-202008-04-2020AUD $ 8,220-
01-04-202022-04-2020AUD $ 8,385-
15-04-202006-05-2020AUD $ 8,220-
22-04-202013-05-2020AUD $ 8,220-
13-05-202003-06-2020AUD $ 8,465-
02-09-202023-09-2020AUD $ 8,300-
09-09-202030-09-2020AUD $ 8,220-
16-09-202007-10-2020AUD $ 8,975-
23-09-202014-10-2020AUD $ 8,550-
30-09-202021-10-2020AUD $ 8,890-
07-10-202028-10-2020AUD $ 8,550-
14-10-202004-11-2020AUD $ 8,890-
21-10-202011-11-2020AUD $ 8,220-
28-10-202018-11-2020AUD $ 8,220-
11-11-202002-12-2020AUD $ 8,220-
25-11-202016-12-2020AUD $ 8,550-
24-02-202117-03-2021AUD $ 8,220-
10-03-202131-03-2021AUD $ 8,220-
24-03-202114-04-2021AUD $ 8,220-
31-03-202121-04-2021AUD $ 8,220-
07-04-202128-04-2021AUD $ 8,220-
14-04-202105-05-2021AUD $ 8,220-
21-04-202112-05-2021AUD $ 8,220-
12-05-202102-06-2021AUD $ 8,220-
26-05-202116-06-2021AUD $ 8,220-
18-08-202108-09-2021AUD $ 8,220-
08-09-202129-09-2021AUD $ 8,220-
15-09-202106-10-2021AUD $ 8,220-
22-09-202113-10-2021AUD $ 8,220-
06-10-202127-10-2021AUD $ 8,220-
20-10-202110-11-2021AUD $ 8,220-
10-11-202101-12-2021AUD $ 8,220-
01-12-202122-12-2021AUD $ 8,220-

Accommodation

Riverboat (4 nights,Feature Stay) Le Meridian Pyramids Cairo (2 nights Feature Stay) Luxury Desert Camp (1 night Feature Stay Comfortable Hotels (14 nights)

Transport

Private aircon,bus,Riverboat,Plane

Map