Itinerary: Flight Berlin or Frankfurt - Cairo; Transfer by bus to the center of Cairo, city tour, excursion to the Gizeh pyramids; cross-country via Cairo - Luxor - Aswan - Al Ghurdaquah - Sinai back to Cairo; excursion from Aswan to Abu Simbel, boat (felucca) ride on the Nile; excursions from Luxor: Valley of the Kings, temple of Dendera; excursions on Mt. Sinai and to the cloister of Katrinah. Transfer by bus to Cairo airport. Flight Cairo - Frankfurt or Berlin.
Accommodations: In Cairo at hotel in multiple-bed rooms; in Luxor at hotel in multiple-bed rooms; in Aswan at hotel in multiple-bed rooms; during ride along the Nile from Aswan to Luxor on felucca; in Al Ghurdaquah at bungalows in multiple-bed rooms; in Asyut or Al Minya at hotel in multiple-bed rooms; in Jabal Katrinah in large tent; in Nuweiba camping in tents.
Meals: Breakfast depending on hotel
Tour Escort: Tour coordinator, sometimes local tour guide
Extra: Visa for Egypt (approx. $10-$15), entrance fees, food, drinks, additional excursions by boat, camel, bike, etc.
Climate: Very sunny and warm
Currency: US $1 = 2.35 Egyptian Pounds
Visa: A tourist visa for US-citizens is required for Egypt. Although it can be obtained at Cairo airport it is recommended to get it at the Consulate in the US to avoid long lines in Cairo. More information at the Official Internet Site of The Ministry of Tourism, Egypt and The Egyptian Tourist Authority
Extra: If you like to visit the pyramids inside in advance, then
we suggest you an exclusively, virtual trip with NOVA
online adventure. That's very impressive! Go and have fun.
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Pharaohs, Camels and Coral
A trip to Egypt with Alternativ Bus Reisen offers the opportunity to become acquainted with a culture filled with ancient mystery and charm. We've carefully chosen five locations along the Nile, Red Sea and Sinai as our destinations. Here in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Al Ghurdaquah and Nuweiba, we'll be visiting the most beautiful and imposing structures of this over 5,000 year-old civilization. We'll walk in the footsteps of the pharaohs and kings. If that isn't enough, we'll also enjoy a sun and fun-filled vacation on Egypt's splendid beaches, sailing on the Nile in charming, old feluccas (just as in the days of the kings and pharaohs). We'll experience the timeless beauty of the sea, with its endless coral reefs and exotic marine life!! This is certainly a vacation which offers something for even the most discriminating vacationer.
At each of the aforementioned locations, we'll be offering several interesting excursions and sight-seeing tours. In Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, hotel accommodations will be provided, and in Al Ghurdaquah, we will stay in bungalows. On the Sinai we will be sleeping in tents which we rent out (included in price). We therefore recommend bringing sleeping bags, air mattresses or sleeping mats.
After taking a flight from New York to Cairo, an Egyptian bus will pick us up at the airport. We will arrive at our three-star hotel in the heart of Cairo, a city that was originally planned for only 2 million people, not the 10 million that now live there. We will spend the first few days in Cairo and in surrounding area. This will give us some time to recover from jet-lag and orient ourselves to a new culture. Naturally, we will take time to see the Gizeh pyramids, built in 2,690 B.C. These three pyramids are the tombs of the pharaohs: Cheops, Chepren and Mykerinos. Directly adjacent to the pyramids is the well-known Sphinx. This beautiful piece of architecture is, unfortunately, suffering from the environmental pollution of Cairo and threatened by decay. In addition to this, you'll certainly want to make a point of visiting the Egyptian museum, which houses the golden mummy-mask of King Tut. If you're in the mood for some shopping, the countless spice markets and bazaars strewn throughout the city are always a good way to experience the lively hustle and bustle of old Cairo. After three days here, we'll begin our journey.
And off we go through the desert, to the Oasis of El Fayum. Our trip through Egypt has begun. After a 2-hour drive, we arrive at Karun Lake, which feeds the most fertile oasis in Egypt. We will get our first look at Egyptian agriculture in this lush, green oasis before we pack up and drive on to Al Minya over the Nile highway. Al Minya is a city that is not at all touristy, rather typically Egyptian, and that's why we will be staying there for the next two nights. We can visit the Nile promenade, several old tea houses and maybe even one of the old cotton mills. Along the route, we'll be stopping at the tombs of Beni Hassan and the Temple of Abydos. The tomb of Beni Hassan is an excellent place to get a taste of what awaits us in the opulent Valley of the Kings. It houses 39 tombs which were built by affluent nobles around 2,000 B.C. The temple of Abydos was consecrated to seven gods and was built on the edge of the fertile land under Sethos I.
Our next destination is Luxor. Present-day Luxor was once Thebes, the ancient capital of Egypt. We will spend two days and three nights here, where King Tut once lived. Like Memphis, Luxor was the city where all power was centralized, and was the second largest stronghold of ancient Egyptian culture. We will spend a few days visiting some of the most imposing and magnificent temples and tombs. The El Bahril was built as a temple for the dead, and as a memorial to the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. This temple is especially interesting as it was built into a sheer rock face. The remains of King Tut, Ramses and Merentaph are all here in the Valley of the Kings. Although much has been taken away to be exhibited elsewhere in the world, there is still much that remains. On the outskirts of Luxor, we'll find the Karnak Temple, which is the largest temple site in the world, and, like the Valley of the Kings, unmatched in fame and splendor.
From Luxor, we'll continue on to Aswan, the last city situated on the Nile river. On the way to Aswan, we will visit the Horus Temple in Edfu, one of the most well-preserved temples in Egypt. With its inscriptions and drawings, it is a gold mine of information about the ancient culture of Egypt.
Once again this year, we're going to include an excursion to Abu Simbel, which will take us through a 200-mile stretch of desert to one of the most beautiful temples ever built by Ramses II.
Don't forget ... this mammoth program is designed so that you can take a day or two off if you aren't in the mood to do anything. If you'd prefer just lounging around the swimming pool in Aswan, feel free to do so!! Although it's important to see and discover as much as possible, the emphasis is still on relaxation ... not stress!
In Aswan, we'll change our mode of transportation. With typical Nile sailing boats, (feluccas), we will sail back towards Luxor, until three days later, our bus picks us up again. We'll spend the time on the boats, half lying down, half sitting up being gently rocked by the waves as we enjoy the Nile landscape. We'll spend two nights on the felucca under a starry sky, tethered to the riverbank. Not only is the captain of the felucca a fine sailor, but also a good cook!! He'll provide us with some typical Egyptian cuisine.
After three days, we'll climb back into our bus which will take us through mountainous sand dunes until we finally reach Al Ghurdaquah on the Red Sea. Here, we'll take a break, and give ourselves some peace and quiet, some swimming, snorkeling and certainly some exploring of the Red Sea's endless and colorful coral reefs.
After several days of relaxation, we'll be off to the north, along the
Gulf of Suez, on our way to the Sinai. The
Sinai certainly rates as the high point of our journey. Remember that Mount
Sinai is the place where Moses is supposed to have received the 10 Commandments.
We'll take a very typical mode of Egyptian transportation up the 7,000
foot high incline. For those who really want to experience the Sinai mountains,
the best way to go is by camel. From our camp on the beaches of the Gulf
of Aquaba, we can take a 1-3 day camel-tour with Bedouin guides to hidden
water holes, gullies with beautifully eroded walls, and spend nights under
ripe date trees. Filled with impressive views and shadows from sunrise
to sunset, Sinai is not something that one forgets easily. We'll spend
the last 4 or 5 days of our vacation here, before heading back to Cairo
to catch the plane back to New York.
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