Egypt, Jordan & Oman

Sale!

Egypt, Jordan & Oman

Was From $ 9,460 AUD
Now From $ 8,514 AUD
Sale!

Description

Travel to Egypt and experience the history and culture on a tour that explores Cairo, cruises along the Nile and visits Luxor, Asawan and the famous Abu Simbel temple
Then continue on to Jordan, with the sweeping desert and echoing formations of Wadi Rum, the hidden, hand-hewn facades of Petra and the ancient Roman ruins at Jerash all make Jordan a true adventurer’s paradise. Travel to Oman and explore the historic city of Muscat and drive along the coast to the bubbling fishing village of Seeb. By 4WD, travel to the rugged interior and the splendid forts of Nakhal and Al Hazm, framed by the spectacular Jebel Akhdar Mountains. Continue on to explore the beautiful oasis at Wadi Bani Khaled, before entering the vast Wahiba Sands – where we sleep at a rustic desert camp under a blanket of brilliant stars. Meet the people, learn of their delicate silverware, woodwork and embroidery, and unwind in the cool heights of the Mountain of the Sun, this an inspiring Middle Eastern journey.

Trip Name
Egypt, Jordan & Oman
Last Updated
2019-09-18
Days
22
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • A day spent among the incredible Pyramids of Giza is only the beginning. This trip packs an impressive number of highlights  without compromising on comfort and relaxation.
  • A four-night river cruise is the ideal way to experience the Nile. Rest and relax on the sundeck and in the pool while local riverside life streams by on our Feature Stay Riverboat
  • Experience not only the warmth and charm of Nubian hospitality, but also some delicious traditional cuisine.
  • Cairo's Khan al-Khalili Bazaar is an essential Egyptian experience, and you'll have plenty of time to lose yourself in the colours and aromas of this fascinating marketplace.
  • Discover the many different sides of Jordan on a trip that reveals hidden treasures and iconic highlights over eight exciting days.
  • 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 Jordan Camp
  • 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.
  • Discover the Grand Canyon of Oman the views from Oman's highest peak are breathtaking
  • Treat yourself some some traditional Omani hospitality with a onenight camping getaway under the stars in the Wahiba Sands in our Feature Stay tented camp in the Golden Sands for the desert

Itinerary

WADI RUM: Please note that the two days in Wadi Rum are quite active. You'll ride a camel, enjoy a jeep safari and Wadi Rum is a great place for walking. So, while you don't need to be particularly fit, there is a fair amount of activity. You also spend the night in a basic Bedouin tent. This is all a lot of fun and a great experience, but please be aware of the nature of the experience. 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. 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.

Day 1 - Cairo
Arrive at Cairo International Airport and be transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Cairo at any time. Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city, but an important welcome meeting will be held at 6pm this evening. Please check the hotel reception for details. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can perhaps be symbolised by two imposing landmarks - the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. In free time perhaps get out and explore the busy streets of this city of contrasts, where you can see donkey carts and expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls. Please note that the Novotel is a dry hotel. However there are a number of great options to grab a drink and a meal in the surrounding Zamalek area.
Day 2 - Cairo – overnight train
This morning after breakfast drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man - the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. For an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), although occasionally it may be closed to visitors. The Egyptian Museum is simply one of the world's great museums, home to a stupendous collection of antiquities and the perfect introduction to your tour, exhibiting many of the region's treasures. You will head there after lunch and your expert guide will take you through Egypt's rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (optional and at extra cost). Afterwards you will return to your hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up before you are transferred to the railway station for the overnight sleeper train to Luxor. Accommodation aboard the overnight train is in two-berth cabins which convert to bunk beds. All bedding is provided on board and western-style toilets are located in each carriage. Your bags will be stored in your cabin, where airline-style dinner and breakfast will be served. However it may be worth bringing some additional snacks, especially if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements. Your tour leader can help you to arrange this. Despite being a tourist class train facilities are basic. Please also keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to.it may be worth bringing some additional snacks, especially if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements. Your tour leader can help you to arrange this. Despite being a tourist class train facilities are basic.
Day 3 - Luxor
After an early breakfast on board, the train rolls into Luxor. It's a vibrant place with an excellent bazaar, situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important and extraordinary sights. Travel to Karnak, one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years, and some of it dating back to 2,055 BC. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. Later you will be transferred to your Nile cruise boat, which will be your home for the next four nights. You can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town. For the rest of the afternoon and evening you will be free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house. Notes: Audits were carried out on balloon operators within Egypt to confirm the safety of their operations, unfortunately we were not able to ascertain the safety standards of these balloon operators therefore, we are not able to recommend or assist in the booking of any balloon excursions.
Day 4 - Valley of the Kings – Luxor – Nile Cruise
Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Explore this sprawling and spectacular place where discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, and you'll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. Enjoy lunch upon your return to the boat. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before you set sail for Edfu. Generally the journey from Luxor to Edfu is from 1 pm to 11 pm. Departure time may vary, depending on river traffic – please refer to the note regarding cruise schedules in the 'Other Information' section. You will pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue your journey upstream.
Day 5 - Nile Cruise
Morning finds you moored near Edfu, a beautifully preserved temple dedicated to Horus. Please see the special information below regarding visiting the temple. Continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land. This afternoon we will arrive at Kom Ombo temple (about 45km north of Aswan city) which sits picturesquely ruined on the river's edge and provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period.  The temple was built approx. 181BC and is dedicated to 2 Gods; Horus the protection god and Sobek fertility god linked to the Nile Water . The temple consists of 2 identical northern sections the North and South each dedicated to either god. In the Sobek section recent discoveries have been made of mummified Crocodiles, which are now displayed in the Crocodile museum attached to the temple - don't miss it! Board your boat again at around 6pm and continue to Aswan, arriving at around 9.30 pm.
Day 6 - Aswan
Explore Aswan today, Egypt's southernmost city. Its easygoing charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis (the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom) that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively you will visit it tomorrow). It's a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. Access to the temple is by small motorboats. The rest of your day will be free to wander, and Aswan is a great place for it. The Nubian Bazaar is a must, while the excellent Nubian Museum is recommended by many. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. Watch the waterfront come alive at dusk, as families are out strolling, socialising and relaxing along the corniche.
Day 7 - Aswan
We depart early this morning to visit the iconic Abu Simbel by plane. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. The rest of the day is free for you to make your own discoveries. A popular afternoon option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively travel to the Monastery of St Simeon, an abandoned 7th-century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. Your tour leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions. Alternatively, you may prefer to simply relax by the hotel pool or do some shopping in the local bazaar. In the evening you will visit a Nubian village and enjoy the warm hospitality (and cuisine) of these locals. You will also be treated to some Nubian dancing, and may even have the chance to try some moves yourself. 
Day 8 - Cairo
After breakfast you will be transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes) where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Today you will dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. Head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo's oldest mosque and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. It retains a distinctly medieval feel. You will explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market). The gorgeous 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest in Egypt, possibly its most beautiful too. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas and vaunting a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. Also dont miss the chance to drink arabic coffee or mint tea from Cairo's oldest cafe, it has a long history and fantastic atmosphere. This evening you will get to share an authentic Egyptian meal with a local family. Visit a family home, chat with the local family members about life in the Middle East, and learn some of your favourite traditional Egyptian dishes while enjoying a delicious dinner
Day 9 - Amman
This morning you will be transferred to Cairo international airport to take your flight to Jordan. On arrival at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. You will have a Welcome Meeting with your leader tonight. In your free time why not walk the streets, where you’ll soon hear “Welcome to Jordan” from the locals. Maybe pick up a coffee from one of the cafés and partner it with an ara’yes, a toastie filled with spicy mincemeat. 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 begin your trip with a relax in a Turkish bath house.
Day 10 - 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. Later ride camels 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 11 - 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 12 - 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 13 - 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. You will stroll through the site and continue to the ancient village at Dana, where local artisans sell attractive silver jewelry and charms. Late in the afternoon arrive 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 14 - 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 15 - 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 16 - Muscat
Travel to Oman. Although the flight is not included, a complimentary departure transfer to Amman Airport and a complimentary arrival transfer in Muscat are included with your trip. Please remember to let your booking agent know your flight details. On arrival at Muscat International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Muscat at any time. There will be an important welcome meeting in the evening, usually at around 5 pm. The afternoon is your free time to relax or start exploring the city of Muscat
Day 17 - Muscat
Be met by your guide at the hotel this morning, ahead of a full day tour of Muscat City. The skyline of this ancient settlement is quite different to its glitzy Gulf neighbours, with the Sultan ordering all modern construction to fit with classical Arabic architecture styles. You’ll see this in the dazzling Indian sandstone of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the third largest mosque in the world, and home the second largest carpet in the world, a vast weave covering the prayer hall. Continue on to the relatively new Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque and appreciate its architecture. Set high on a hill in the valley of Boushar Sands, its beautiful domes have become an essential part of the Muscat skyline. Afterwards, drive to Old Muscat, the walled part of the city, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Dig into the exhibits about Oman’s cultural history at the Bait Zubair Musuem, then drive along the picturesque Corniche, stopping to see the residence of his Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the Al Alam Palace, which is flanked by the 16th-century Portuguese forts Mirani and Jalali. Pass the busy fishing harbour at Muttrah, with its quaint wooden dhows and fishing boats, then stop into the bazaar. There you can mingle with the locals and browse the silver and spice shops. Conclude your day with a visit to the Sidab Women’s Group to learn about Omani culture and support a local women’s initiative. Enjoy your  Omani coffee and dates from the center before you drive back to the Hotel
Day 18 - Barka-Nakhal- Al Hazm- Muscat
Leaving Muscat, you'll head north along the coast to the fishing village of Barka. Here you'll see the daily catch being hauled onto the sands from tiny fishing boats. Afterwards, continue to the Bait Al Na’aman for a visit to the beautiful old fortified houses. The tall, narrow houses alternating with square and round towers are thought to have been built in 1691-92 by Iman Bil’arab bin Sultan. The house was restored in 1991 with a lavish selection of traditional fittings and furnishings to give visitors an insight into the domestic livelihood of its former inhabitants. Continue then to the splendid fort at Nakhal, which sits atop a rocky spur and vaunts commanding views of the surrounding countryside. This is the best-preserved of all Oman's forts, and the interior is still furnished, giving visitors an excellent feel for period life. A little further on is the fort of Al Hazm, situated on the northern slopes of the Jebel Akhdar, with its elaborate carved doors. There will be time to explore the various rooms and chambers before returning to Muscat. (Total driving time today is approximately 5 hours.)
Day 19 - Nizwa
Today we move from our mini bus to comfortable 4WD vehicles and head North East towards Nizwa via some marvelous forts and villages, not to mention some lovely mountain scenery. Arriving in Jebel Shams the highest peak in Oman, this is popular spot for Omani's on the weekend to escape the heat of the city. Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Oman a stop here and a stroll along the balcony walk, reveals some magnificent mountain scenery. Continue to the villages of Misfah and Al Hamra. Enjoy a short trek into the village of Misfah where you can see the famous falaj network (the old Omani water distribution system and Al Hamra one of the oldest villages in Oman at the foot of the Hajar Mountains we take a walk around the mud brick houses before arriving in Nizwa (driving time today 6 hours)
Day 20 - Wahiba Sands
This morning we explore Nizwa. The Nizwa Fort was built over a span of 12 years in the 17th century by Sultan bin Saif al Yaruba, the first imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty, the fort boasts a 40m tall tower with stellar views of the date palm plantations. The central fort is surrounded by ancient traditional souqs where the locals trade in traditional and imported merchandise. Here you can browse for some of Nizwa's famous silver jewelry, or simply watch expert craftsmen in action as they fashion exquisite silverware and other artefacts. Continue to Ibra, one of the oldest cities in Oman. This charming, traditional old town was once a centre of trade, religion, education and art. You will also head to Jabrin Fort, this may well be the finest and most eye-catching of Oman's forts. See its elegantly carved wooden doors, and the delicate and ornate lattice work of the windows. Continue your 4WD journey and arrive at the edge of the extensive Wahiba Sands. After deflating the tyres you'll follow an amazing route across the sand dunes to a desert camp. Watch sunset over the sand dunes of our desert camp and feature stay in Wahiba Sands. Enjoy an evening of traditional food and music (seasonal) this evening, sitting around an open fire under the stars. Drift off to sleep tonight in your simple tent among the desert ambiance. Your accommodation this evening is our Feature Stay Property; you will stay in the Sheikh Tents in the desert camp with private bathroom facilities including hot showers adjoining each tent. (Total driving time today is approximately 4 hours.)
Day 21 - Muscat
Travelling through rugged landscape, we arrive a  the Wadi Bani Khaled. With turquoise waters, lush vegetation and palm trees, this is a slice of paradise. You'll follow a well-worn path into the heart of this rocky oasis and discover a large pool fed by a natural mountain spring. Enjoy some free time in the Wadi and a traditional lunch with a local Bedouin family today before arriving  back in Muscat in the late afternoon.  A farewell dinner is included this evening an opportunity to celebrate your journey in Oman with your travelling companions.
Day 22 - Muscat
Your trip comes to an 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 Muscat.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-10-201926-10-2019AUD $ 8,514-
19-10-201909-11-2019AUD $ 8,514-
29-02-202021-03-2020AUD $ 8,816-
21-03-202011-04-2020AUD $ 8,816-
26-09-202017-10-2020AUD $ 8,816-
10-10-202031-10-2020AUD $ 8,816-
24-10-202014-11-2020AUD $ 8,816-

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Cruise boat (4 nights Feature Stay Egypt),Desert Camp (2 nights Feature Stay Jordan and Oman)

Transport

4WD vehicle,Camel,Jeep,Private aircon bus,Public aircon coach

Map