March 5-13 (+ optional extension)
DAY 1 (March 5) The first day will start off with a relaxing night in Cairo to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. After dropping off our luggage at the hotel, we will head to one of Cairoʼs best restaurants for dinner. The restaurant is located on Zamalek Island, one of the most cosmopolitan of neighborhoods. After dinner, we will go out for a few drinks

DAY 2 (March 6) Accompanied by an Egyptologist we will start by visiting the Necropolis of Saqqara: This palm tree surrounded site has the largest concentration of pyramids in the world. If you thought there were only 3 pyramids in Egypt, you will be pleasantly surprised! We will see dozens of pyramids, and we will have the chance to see the latest archeological discoveries. We will also see the first attempt at a pyramid: the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur and we'll get to enter the neighboring Red Pyramid. Next stop: the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx! The Great Pyramid of Kheops is the only wonder of the Ancient World still standing today. Imagine standing in front of 2.6 million blocks of stone, each weighing approximately 2 tons! After a good Egyptian lunch we will visit the Cairo Museum, which is filled with some of the most remarkable collections of Pharaonic artifacts, including the famous mask of Tut Ankh Amun. The density of these treasures is unparalleled in any other museum in the world. Dinner will be at one of Cairoʼs most trendy restaurants serving typical delicious Egyptian meals. We will aim for a relatively early night since we have a very early flight to catch the next morning.

DAY 3 (March 7) Early in the morning, we will get to airport for a short flight to Abu Simbel on Lake Nasser in Nubia. Abu Simbel is a UNESCO Heritage Site constructed during the rule of Ramses II and relocated during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

After exploring the temples and enjoying the dramatic scenery surrounding the site we will jump on a bus for Aswan, the Nubian Capital. In Aswan weʼll visit the Isis Temple on Philae Island and take a felucca ride to discover the botanical gardens. In the late afternoon, we will head to Luxor for dinner followed by a traditional nubian and belly-dancing show.

DAY 4 (March 8) In the morning we will take horse carriages to make it to the Temple of Karnak, a site that many archeologists say should have been categorized as a wonder of the ancient world. This gigantic temple is host to a plethora of hieroglyphs, columns, obelisks, statues and even parts with the original ceiling that are still standing! We will have lunch and relax at the hotel before starting our excursion on local donkeys (a traditional way of getting around in this area) to make our way to the Temple of Ramses III. To get to Medinat Habou, where the temple is located, weʼll cross some beautiful sugar cane plantations and hopefully some locals as they go about their daily farming activities. Situated on the West bank, weʼll have an Egyptologist take us around as we visit this funerary temple, which is very close to the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. This evening, we will walk around downtown Luxor where we will have the possibility to explore the local market for some souvenirs. Although much smaller than Cairoʼs Khan El Khalili, many hidden treasures can be found. Night fall will give us the opportunity to get some rest and prepare for tomorrow's desert trek.

DAYS 5 (March 9) Our 2-day expedition in the Western Desert begins on this day. The bus will take us close to Kharga oasis where 4x4s will take us a few kilometers deeper in the desert to meet with our camels and the rest of the Bedouin crew. We will have a delicious picnic in the "middle of nowhere" before we start trekking our way towards the lost Oasis of Ain Om El Dabadib. We will trek for about 4-5 hours today through some of the Western Desertʼs most dramatic landscapes. Our camp will be set-up in advance so weʼll just need to relax and prepare for good Bedouin food and live music

under the stars. We will reach the Ain Om El Dabadib Oasis in the evening and should have enough time to discover the site with its unique Roman ruins before sunset. At night weʼll get the chance to experience one of the Bedouinʼs most ancient rituals: a goat traditionally cooked under the sand. They will also play music on traditional instruments and entertain us with their traditional dances.

DAY 6 (March 10) In the morning those who wish to be more physically active will be able to try some sandboarding on the beautiful sand dunes located in the nearby area. The Jeeps will take us back to the Kharga Oasis for a walk through the 5th Century Roman Necropolis of Bagawat. The Necropolis also holds one of the oldest churches in the world and several chapels with graffiti dating from the 4th and 5th centuries. The site offers beautiful views over the palm tree gardens of Kharga Oasis. Those who wish will also get to take a hot bath in one of the local hot springs before we head off to lunch. In the evening, we will check into our hotel in Luxor for a shower. The evening will bring us to one of Luxor's best traditional restaurants for dinner.

DAY 7 (March 11) This morning brings us to the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut. Our Egyptologist guide will join us again as we will have the opportunity to see the exposed mummified body of King Tut, recently exposed in his tomb. Also, depending on which tombs the Antiquities has deemed acceptable to open to the public, we will be able to walk inside 3 other ancient tombs of previous kings. These tombs are almost all decorated with amazingly precise artwork that still boasts the original paint and vibrant colors from the original day is was finished, thousands of years ago. In the afternoon we will spend some time on a felucca for a sunset ride as we make our way to Banana Island. In the late evening we will check-out from our hotel and take the night train to Cairo. For those who prefer to fly back to Cairo, that is also an option (although ads to the cost of the trip). In that case, they will have dinner and a night out in Cairo.

DAY 8 (March 12) Today, our local guide will take us around the capital for an overview of Islamic Cairo with its beautiful mosques and minarets. We will start with the Citadel of Saladin and the Ottoman-styled Mohammed Ali Mosque, located at the top of the tallest mountain in the heart of the city. We will also visit the unique Sultan Hassan and Al Rifaï mosques. Finally, the oldest mosque in the city and one of the oldest in the world, the Persian-styled Ibn Touloun Mosque is a perfect way to finish the tour. The “Suspended Church” is found not too far, dating back to the Roman days, as well as the old Virgin Mary Church. Right next to these, we will find the Ben Ezra Synagogue, an authentic Jewish synagogue that was built before the Arab invasions (just like the churches). We will take the rest of the day to wonder around the streets of the Khan El Khalili Market, the perfect place to practice the art of negotiation! This ancient market, still very much alive today, is a real labyrinth of stores where anything can be found. For dinner we will make our way to a local restaurant where youʼll be able to try other traditional meals that your taste-buds still haven't experienced thus far: Molokheya, Fatta and Moussaka.

DAY 9 (March 13) This day's schedule will depend on the flight time to return home. We will organize a low-key activity in Cairo for those flying out that day. Those of us who choose to stay in Egypt for the optional Red Sea extension will be relaxing along the Red Sea's deserted beaches in some charming little bungalows along the shore, where we can enjoy the marvelous colors of the water world by snorkeling in the crystal clear sea sitting in front of us. We can simply relax and sunbathe or play beach volleyball or frisbee... but one thing is for sure, we'll all be able to enjoy the great local seafood and vegetarian cuisine that our chefs will prepare for us.

DAYS 10, 11 & 12 (March 14, 15 & 16) Our final 2 nights in the Sinai Peninsula will bring us to Sharm El Sheikh. Known for hosting most of the Middle-East peace talks, Sharm is also an

epicenter for many tourists coming to Egypt. During the day we will rent a yacht and go snorkeling (optional Scuba Diving). The main theme of these few days is rest and relaxation. However, if you feel like being more culturally active we can go see St Catherineʼs Monastery, the oldest working Christian monastery in the world and Mount Sinai (According to Jewish and Christian tradition this is the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments). At night, we'll experience the other main attraction of Sharm El Sheikh - the vibrant night life.   ANY QUESTIONS? Cherif Habib ( Adel El Senoussi (  

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