Egypt: People, Nature and Mystical Pathways

Cairo • Aswan • Luxor • Sinai • Alexandria

Countries visited:  Egypt

Sample itinerary   •   14 days/15 nights

 

Overview

Itinerary

Details

Egypt: People, Nature and Mystical Pathways

The cradle of one of the most captivating and powerful civilizations in history, Egypt offers a unique conjunction of vibrant cultures, passionate faiths and stunning landscapes. The fathers of the desert found in this country a place to reconcile their inner struggles. Fascinating ancient monasteries can still be visited today, including an Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine on the ascent to the peak of Mount Sinai, the sacred space where the Lord spoke to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments. This journey will cover all the highlights of Egypt, connecting us with the lives and traditions of local people, along a path from Cairo, Alexandria and the North Coast down to Luxor and Aswan, from Hurghada to the top of mystical Sinai.

Highlights

Egyptian Museum, the Great Pyramids, High Dam, Abu Simbel, Aswan, Kom Ombo temple, Edfu temple, Luxor temple, Valley of the Kings, Karnak temple, the Colossi of Memnon, Saqqara, Memphis, Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo, Alexandria, El Alamein, Rashid, St. Catherine and Mount Sinai. Special activities include a donkey ride, Nile River cruise, felucca ride, climbing Mount Sinai.

Extension options

Sinai peninsula, snorkeling or diving in Dahab, Bedouin interaction, trekking in the desert, Western Oasis, White Desert, Upper Egypt, Nubian experience, Jordan connection

*This itinerary is organized only by Kairos and is not done in cooperation with ORP.

 

Days 1-2:        Cairo

Days 3-6:        Nile cruise, Aswan to Luxor

Days 7-8:        Hurghada

Day 9:              Saint Catherine

Days 10-11:    Cairo

Days 12-13:    Alexandria

Day 14:            Rosetta, Cairo

 

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are invited to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

Our itineraries that have dates and prices listed are open to all and are guaranteed departure if the minimum number of participants is met.

 

Itinerary

Day 1  •  Cairo

Arrival and meeting with one of our representatives at Cairo Airport. Transfer to our accommodations. Our representative will inform travelers about all practicalities of the trip, and the rest of the day is free for relaxing or enjoying a beautiful walk through the historical sites of the city.

Day 2   •  Cairo

All tours will be fully escorted by professional guides—archaeologists and/or Egyptologists. After breakfast we visit the Egyptian Museum. A dozen royal mummies, monumental statues from the Old Kingdom and the Amarna era, unique artifacts and treasures of Tutankhamun are only a few highlights of this marvelous collection. After lunch we view some of the world’s most legendary monuments: the three Great Pyramids (Kufru, Khafre and Menkaure), and the massive, magnificent Sphinx guarding Giza plateau. The Great Pyramids are only three of ninety-seven spread across forty miles of desert. Late in the afternoon we board a sleeping train to Aswan. Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 3  •  Aswan

We make a morning transfer from Aswan rail station to our cruise boat on the Nile. In the afternoon we visit the unfinished obelisk, the granite quarries and the High Dam, the best-known attraction in the city. At sunset we enjoy an unforgettable felucca ride—a local-style sailboat and a timeless way to view the Nile's scenery and temples. We stop at Kitchener Island to visit the Botanical Garden, Elephantine Island and the Aga Khan Mausoleum. Dinner and overnight on cruise boat.

Day 4  •  Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo

Option in the early morning to visit Abu Simbel, the temple built up by Ramses II, where four statues of the pharaoh at different ages were carved into the mountain. Once back aboard the cruise boat, we sail to the temple Kom Ombo, from which the view of the Nile is without equal. This temple of Sobeck and Haroeris is right at the edge of the Nile, a unique example of a double temple dedicated to two gods: Sobeck, the crocodile-headed god, protector of the Nile’s fertility, and Haroeris, the falcon-headed god, the healer. The sun will sink into the shimmering golden waters of the Nile as we sail. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 5  •  Edfu Temple, Luxor

Today we visit another marvelous sight—the temple of Horus, the most well-preserved temple in Egypt.  It was hidden under sand for hundreds of years until the French archaeologist Mariette started his excavation and revealed the incredible holy building. For the rest of the day we sail towards Luxor, better known as Thebes, the grave of Tutankhamun and the site of thousand ancient mysteries. In the evening we experience another stunning sunset from the boat deck. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 6  •  Luxor, Valley of the King, Karnak

Luxor contains a third of the oldest monuments in the world. This morning we start our sightseeing on the west bank, with a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings, the direct descent into the Underworld where the Judgment of Osiris and the rebirth of the pharaohs are depicted on the walls and ceiling of royal tombs. We then explore the Valley of the Queens, with the temple of Hatshepsut (the only female pharaoh accepted by the Egyptians), Deir el Medina (city of the artisans), Deir el Habu, temple of Ramses III, and the colossi of Memnon. In the afternoon we move to the east bank, heading for Karnak Temple on horse-drawn carriage. Construction of this site took over a millennium to complete, and it is the largest cultural center of the ancient world. After a visit to Luxor Temple, we enjoy dinner and overnight on board.

 

Day 7   •  Hurghada

After breakfast we disembark from the cruise and take our convoy to Hurghada, which was at one time just a simple fishing village. Now, with its crystal clear water, virgin reefs and a multitude of shipwrecks, it has become one of the main Egyptian tourist destinations. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Hurghada.

Day 8  •  Hurghada

After breakfast, a free day at leisure. Hurghada has something to delight every visitor, from some of the world’s best scuba diving to windsurfing to desert safaris. A short journey from the hotel is a group of islands whose dive sites are guaranteed to amaze even the most experienced divers. Dinner and overnight in Hurghada.

Day 9   •  Sinai & Saint Catherine

After breakfast we take a ferry to Sharm el Sheikh. A three-hour drive brings us to our special destination: Saint Catherine Monastery. Tomorrow we will have the rare opportunity to see the sunrise from atop Mt. Sinai, locally known as the Moses Mountain, the holy place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. The climb takes about three hours and it is led by the Bedouins of the Gabelaya tribe, great experts of the Sinai mountains and guardians of the camels. Overnight at hotel in Saint Catherine.

Day 10   •  St. Catherine/Cairo

After the sunrise hike, we go down to visit Saint Catherine Monastery, one of the world’s great centers of religious pilgrimage for over 15 centuries. Within its imposing walls rests a citadel like no other, incredibly rich in important religious and historical structures. Among its treasures is a library of ancient manuscripts and icons second only to the Vatican's itself, and a 6th century church reputed to sit directly on the site of the Burning Bush. A visit to the monastery is a mystical experience, and a defining feature of the Holy Land like none other. We drive back to Cairo, crossing the Suez Canal. Overnight at hotel in Cairo.

Day 11  •  Memphis, Saqqara, Islamic Cairo, Coptic Cairo

After breakfast we head for Memphis, one of the ancient capitals of Egypt, stopping to see another wonder: Saqqara, the famous step pyramids. After lunch we drive back to Cairo to explore the old area of the capital, the Hanging Church, Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Citadel of Saladin and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. We end our afternoon enjoying some shopping time in Khan Khalili Bazaar, the biggest market in Egypt. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 12   •  Alexandria

After breakfast we drive to Alexandria by way of the desert road. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, who conquered Egypt at the age of 25, Alexandria was revived by Mohammed Ali Pasha and then transformed by Europeans, who gave the city its present shape. Today we visit the Greco-Roman Museum, which contains Egypt's best collection of antiquities from the Classical era, the Catacombs and Pompey's Pillar. Overnight in Alexandria.

Day 13  •   El Alamein, Alexandria

Today we drive to El Alamein to visit the cemeteries of World War II. In October 1942, Allied troops defeated the Axis forces led by one of most brilliant German commanders, General Erwin Rommel (The Desert Fox), in a battle that changed the course of the war in North Africa. From September 1940 to March 1943 the total casualties of the North African campaign exceeded 100,000. On our drive past the seashore we stop at Qaitbay Citadel and at the magnificent El Muntazah Palace, which was the king's summer residence. Overnight in Alexandria.

Day 14  •  Rosetta, Cairo

After breakfast we drive to Rosetta. Founded in A.D. 870, in the era of the Caliphs, Rosetta was from medieval to modern times the principal Egyptian port and a major center of Mediterranean trade. After the construction of the Mahmudiya Canal, however, it was rapidly overshadowed by Alexandria. Rosetta has several rice mills and is still an important hub of the rice trade, and also has foodstuffs, tobacco and textile industries. In the afternoon we drive back to Cairo for our last dinner as a group. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 15   •   Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure home.

 

 

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are welcome to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

 

The price includes:

Accommodations in double rooms, 3/4 star hotels, private bath

Train transportation with one overnight on board in first class compartment

4-star cruise on Nile with accommodations for 4 nights

Full board, or half board, depending on package

Transportation on private coach as per program

Visits, excursions and entry fees as per the program

English-speaking guide

Gratuities

 

The price does not include:

International flights. However we will be happy to assist you with flight quotations as soon as they are available. Please let us know your departure city.

Insurance for medical assistance, loss or damage of baggage, cancellation fees. However we are able to offer medical, luggage and cancellation insurance upon request.

Beverages

Extras

Anything not specified in “the price includes” section