“The Delights of Egypt”

Day-by-Day Itinerary

10-Day Historical & Cultural Egypt Tour

SMALL GROUP TOUR: Limited to 10 Travelers

Monday – Wednesday, October 14 – 23, 2024

What’s Included   •   Prices   •   Registration Form 


Sunday, October 13, 2024: Departures from home.

Cairo is 7 hours ahead of New York, 10 hours ahead of California. Your flights will arrive in Cairo on the following day. The only nonstop flights from the USA to Egypt are on Egypt Air from Washington-Dulles, Newark, NJ, and New York-JFK. Flights from the USA to Cairo arrive on the following day, so Sunday departures arrive on Monday.

Note that the SIGHTSEEING BEGINS on the MORNING of TUESDAY, October 15, 2024.

International flights are not included in your tour. Flights within Egypt – Cairo/Luxor and Aswan/Cairo – are included.

* NOTE: The EXPIRATION DATE on your passport needs to be after April 14, 2025, for this October 2024 Tour which is 6 months after your arrival in Egypt. US, UK, and Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa for Egypt in advance. Tourist visas are issued upon arrival at Cairo airport. Cost is $25 USD. You can also obtain a visa online (onine is not recommended, there are a number of scam sites).

Note: The Real ID requirement for US domestic flights does not go into effect until May 7, 2025.

DAY 1 – Monday, October 14, 2024: Arrivals in Cairo. Welcome meeting. OPTIONAL HALF-DAY TOUR: Dashur – Red & Bent Pyramids, Memphis.
Hotel: Hotel overlooking the Giza Pyramids.. Meal: D

Welcome to Egypt! Most people will arrive today in the afternoon. No matter what time you arrive, there will be an English-speaking representative there at Cairo airport to meet you,  bring you to our hotel, and get you checked in.

We’ll have dinner together for those who have arrived by then. Our hotel is near the Sphinx and overlooks the Giza Pyramids tonight.


OPTIONAL HALF-DAY TOUR FOR EARLY ARRIVALS: Includes the Pyramids of Dashur, lunch, and Memphis.

If you have arrived in the early morning today or late yesterday evening, you may want to do an optional half-day tour of Dashur and Memphis today. It will begin at 10:00 AM and include lunch. We drive southward from Giza through fertile farmlands to the pyramids at Dashur, dated even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin savoring the riches of Egypt without huge crowds and souvenir sellers. We spend time inside the Red Pyramid (nearly as large as Giza’s Great Pyramid) and then have the opportunity for an unforgettable walk across the open desert to the Bent Pyramid.  The desert is rich with inspiration and the vastness is exhilarating.  The Bent Pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom and was much more important than Giza at that time.  The Bent pyramid is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.  The Black Pyramid (Middle Kingdom mud brick) can also be seen from here.

After lunch we visit the ancient capital city of Memphis. This was constructed of mudbricks so not much remains, but there are some interesting artifacts on display – the Alabaster Sphinx, the huge fallen statue of Ramesses II, and a number of other statues.

Red Pyramid

Bent Pyramid

BENT Pyramid

RED Pyramid



Black Pyramid

Bent Pyramid

DAY 2 – Tuesday, October 15, 2024: PYRAMIDS DAY!
PRIVATE VISIT* inside the Great Pyramid. Giza Plateau – Great Pyramid, Sphinx, Valley Temple, camel ride (not obligatory), and Khafre Pyramid/Menkaure Pyramid. Saqqara: Serapeum, Step Pyramid, Old Kingdom Tomb, Teti Pyramid. Flight from Cairo to Aswan.
Hotel: Basma Hotel, Nile Obelisk Hotel, or similar, night #1. Meals: BB, L, D.

*Note: We are applying for a special government-issued permit which will allow us to have a private visit for our group alone in the Great Pyramid before the other tourists arrive for the day.  We have every reason to believe that we will receive this permission, as we have on our previous tours.  However, we cannot guarantee this because government policies can change unexpectedly. These special permits allow us to have 2 hours of time inside the Great Pyramid with only our small group of 10 travelers. It also allows us access to all three of the chambers – King’s, Queen’s, and Pit (subterranean chamber). The King’s Chamber is the only one available to the normal tourists.

Today is Pyramids Day! We first visit the most famous pyramids of all, the Giza Pyramids, with the Great Pyramid (Khufu), the 2nd Pyramid (Khafre), and the 3rd Pyramid (Menkaure). You can go inside whichever pyramids are open. Of the three pyramids, two are usually open while one is closed for renovations – dates are not announced in advance. Tickets for entering the individual pyramids are included in your tour package.

We will also see the Great Sphinx & Valley Temple. There are legends of the Sphinx speaking. Does the Sphinx have a message for you? The Valley Temple is built with huge granite blocks that fit together snugly even today, almost 5,000 years later. Some think it is even older than that! Note that the Solar Boat is no longer on the Giza Plateau but has been moved to the new museum (GEM) for restoration.

Camel rides for the adventurous (no additional fee).  Camel videos HERE.

After lunch, we drive south to the Saqqara Complex (also spelled Sakkara). We begin with a special treat that is not included in the standard Egypt tours. The Serapeum, is a place shrouded in mystery. Archeologists are not even sure exactly when it was first constructed. There are a series of underground galleries with HUGE stone sarcophagi. Truly a place like none other! 

Also here on the northern side of Saqqara we will visit the Teti Pyramid and an Old Kingdom tomb with fascinating scenes of the daily life in Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom (which tombs are open varies). The Step Pyramid Complex is next on our list of things to see here. Archeologists tell us that this is where the first stone monuments were made and that the Step Pyramid was the first pyramid.

The newly reopened Imhotep Museum is also here at Saqqara. It is a small site-museum (all artifacts were found here at Saqqara). It houses a number of interesting pieces.

A quick dinner together near Cairo Airport before our evening flight to Luxor.


Kings Chamber

Camel Ride

Giza Pyramids




KHAFRE Pyramid





DAY 3 – Wednesday, October 16, 2024: Philae Isis Temple, Hatshepsut’s Unfinished Obelisk, Spice Shop, Aswan Street Bazaar. Optional: Nubian Museum (if open).
Hotel: Basma Hotel, Nile Obelisk Hotel, or similar, night #2. Meals: BB, L.

We begin our day today with a beautiful treat. The Philae Isis Temple is on an island near Aswan. This temple was partially submerged when the Low Dam was constructed (1899-1902) by the British. With the construction of the High Dam (1959-1970), it would have been underwater completely. Thankfully, it was moved to higher ground on a neighboring island and its beauty continues to shine.

After lunch, we visit the granite quarry where we see the Unfinished Obelisk of Hatshepsut. Although the fact that it cracked before it could be removed and brought to Luxor was a disaster in ancient times, it is a wonderful opportunity for us in modern times to see how the obelisks were created.

Aswan has been known for its spice trade for 5,000 years! And it is still true today. The chefs in our group will be delighted to be able to purchase some of the fresh spices that would be much more expensive or not even available at home.

After that, you will have a choice: 1) time at the Aswan Street Bazaar where you can test your bargaining skills, 2) a visit to the Aswan Nubian Museum (if it is open), or 3) return to our hotel for some rest.









DAY 4 – Thursday: Free morning or OPTIONAL: Abu Simbel Temples road trip.  The cost of the day-long trip to Abu Simbel is not included in your tour. 
Hotel: Our own private dahabiya Nile Cruise, night #1. Meals: BB, L, D  

OPTIONAL ABU SIMBEL by road, approx. $180 USD (not included): 
The Abu Simbel Temples were made famous when the high dam was constructed and they were soon to be submerged under the new lake, Lake Nasser. A UNESCO international effort saved the temples by moving them to higher ground. The two large temples of Abu Simbel (constructed by Ramesses II) were carved into the cliff itself. The smaller temple is for the Goddess Hathor and was dedicated to his queen, Nefertari. With our Egyptologist tour guide, you travel by private A/C vehicle via the desert road, visit the temples, have lunch at a Nubian restaurant in Abu Simbel, and return to Aswan where you board our Nile Dahabiya Cruise boat. The total tour, including the drive, temple visit, and lunch is about 8-9 hours in duration.

If you do not choose to do the Abu Simbel trip, you will have a free morning at our hotel in Aswan. You may decide to go back to the Aswan Street Bazaar and wander there at your leisure, or it might be time to write in your journal about what has happened so far or check your email. At noon we will be moving to our new home for the next 3 nights, our own private Nile cruise or “Nile yacht.” This size boat is called a “dahabiya” or “dahabeya.” There are just 10 guest cabins, but we have a full staff – a chef and cook to feed us wonderful meals, housekeeping to keep our cabins clean, and all the other staff people who are needed to keep the boat running smoothly. What a luxury!

Lunch is on the boat and the afternoon is free. When the folks who went to Abu Simbel join us in the late afternoon, we begin our journey sailing down the Nile. The landscape begins to slowly drift by and we enjoy a delicious dinner together on the boat (made just for us)! 

The Nile River flows from deep in Africa out to the Mediterranean Sea, so it is flowing from south to north. We are now traveling northward and will be stopping to see temples built by the Greek emperors. Tonight our boat docks near Kom Ombo Temple.









DAY 5 – Friday: Kom Ombo Temple, Nile Cruising to Edfu.
Hotel: Our own private dahabiya Nile Cruise, night #2. Meals: BB, L, D  

Today we visit our second Greco-Roman temple (Philae Isis Temple was the first). These are temples that were built during the time the Greeks ruled Egypt (332 BCE – 30 BCE and afterward). The Philae, Kom Ombo, and Edfu Temples are all from this era.

The Kom Ombo Temple sits high on a hill above the Nile. It’s a special feeling when we approach it. This temple has two parallel entrances, one for each of the deities it honors. Sobek was a crocodile god and Haeoris was an aspect of the hawk-god Horus. The medical instruments carved on the walls long before the Christian Era are easily recognizable to us today. There is also a hieroglyph representing a woman giving birth and an ancient calendar that shows us the seasons, months, and days.

After our temple visit, we will continue sailing down the Nile to Edfu.

For many of our travelers, these days on the dahabiya boat are some of the most pleasant memories of their time in Egypt. The soothing rhythm of the boat, the many birds and wildlife that we watch from the sundeck, the locals with their animals… it is easy to forget which century we are in. It could be the 1800’s, biblical times, or just last year. It is an experience that feels transcendent.









DAY 6 – Saturday: Edfu Temple, Nile Cruising to Esna.
Hotel: Our own private dahabiya Nile Cruise, night #3. Meals: BB, L, D  

Our temple visit today is to the Edfu Temple. It is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. Built during the Ptolemaic era on an older site, it is dedicated to the god Horus. Horus was the original superhero. Even the word hero is derived from Heru, his name in the Ancient Egyptian language. He is the savior and redeemer, the one who fights for what is right. He is represented as a falcon (a type of hawk).

We continue sailing to Esna where there is a lock that regulates the height of the river. We will dock on the south side of the lock and not go through. Tomorrow we will be leaving the boat and making the short drive from Esna to Luxor.









DAY 7 – Sunday: Driving from Esna to Luxor, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple Complex with Open Air Museum, Jewelry Shop, Luxor Street Bazaar.
Hotel: Luxor Hotel night #1. Meals: BB, L  

We disembark from our Nile Cruise boat this morning. I know, no one ever wants to leave our cozy haven on the Nile, but we have more to see! More to do!

We continue our journey north, this time by road. Soon we arrive in Luxor. Luxor has been a tourist attraction from long before the New Testament era. The Greeks looked to Egypt as the place of great wisdom and were enthralled by the temple ruins they found there. We begin our visits here with the Luxor Temple. Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the “Bride of Karnak” during the annual Apet festival.  There is an Avenue of Sphinxes that connects Luxor Temple with Karnak Temple and it is one of the newly opened attractions! You may have seen the extravagant ceremony that was broadcast recently when it opened. Youtube video.

After an early lunch, the splendors of Karnak fill the rest of our day. Karnak was the center of government during the New Kingdom and each Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive there. The largest temple complex in Egypt, we see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates, and the famous hypostyle hall – unequaled to this day.  We also see the Sacred Lake, the Festival Hall and Botanical Garden of Tutmosis III (a precursor of Napoleon’s later record of the fauna and flora found in Egypt).

Also at Karnak, we visit the fascinating Open Air Museum where we view the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut and Tutmosis III (Karnak’s original Holy of Holies) and Senwosret’s White Chapel with its finely-carved Middle Kingdom hieroglyphs.  These are in raised relief – some of the best to be found anywhere.  There is something new each time we visit, as the reconstruction of new pieces is ongoing.

When the temple closes in the late afternoon, we visit a shop that sells jewelry with Egyptian motifs  If you enjoy bargaining and shopping, or just plain people-watching, you might enjoy an evening visit to the Luxor Street Bazaar. Souvenirs, scarves, dresses, and more. You can even try smoking the shisha (flavored tobacco) in a water pipe.












White Chapel – Karnak

DAY 8 – Monday: OPTIONAL. Early morning Balloon Ride* over the West Bank.
TOURING: Luxor West Bank sites – 
Valley of the Kings (Tomb of King Tutankhamen and Ramesses V&VI), Colossi of Memnon, Deir El Bahari (Hatshepsut’s Temple), Visit with Village Children.
* The cost of the balloon ride is not included in your tour.
Hotel: Luxor Hotel, night #2. Meals: BB, L  

If you don’t mind getting up in the morning before sunrise, you might like to take the optional balloon ride this morning. We cannot guarantee the availability of this, as it is dependent on the weather (wind), but if you would like to try it you will feel like a drone flying over the West Bank of Luxor. 

We begin our touring on Luxor’s West Bank with the famous Valley of the Kings (where King Tut’s tomb was found). There are many tombs there, and excavations are still going on, as well as renovations to tombs that have been uncovered for a long time. One never knows which tombs will be open that day, but there will be a variety to choose from.  The special tickets for the remarkable Tomb of Ramesses V&VI and the Tomb of King Tutankhamen are included in your tour, in addition to 3 other tombs of your choice. The Ramesses V&VI is the tomb you may have seen with the spectacular scene of the sky goddess Nut arched across the ceiling.

On our way to lunch, we will stop to see the “Colossi of Memnon.” They are actually two huge statues of Amenhotep III which stood at the entrance to a temple that no longer stands. During our first tours of Egypt, there were fields of grain behind these statues. Today it is an active archeological site with new artifacts being discovered on a regular basis.

In the afternoon we visit one of the earliest New Kingdom temples.  Called “The Most Splendid of All” by the ancient Egyptians, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, the famous Deir El Bahari, has inspired many, including the founders of modern architecture. One of the outstanding features is the picturesque Hathor columns in the Hathor Chapel on the second Level. The third level has now also been opened to the public.

At the end of our sightseeing, we will visit a local village. The kids there are always delighted to see us and to practice their English. After all our sightseeing, it is a delightful change of pace to spend time with them. Their exuberance and delight in making friends with us is a favorite part of the trip for many. Ruth brings school supplies and candy to share with the kids, and there is always lots of fun and playfulness when we visit.

USE FULL SCREEN (bottom right square icon) to watch the video below of the burial chamber of Ramesses V&VI Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

The Ceiling of the Burial Chamber of the Tomb of Ramesses V&VI





kv – RAMESSES v&vi



Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings

KV – Tomb Ceiling



DAY 9 – Tuesday, October 22, 2024: Flight from Luxor to Cairo, Old Coptic Cairo Churches and Synagogue, Papyrus Demonstration/Shop.
Hotel: Cairo Airport hotel, Novotel or similar, night #1. Meals: BB, L  

We fly from Luxor back to Cairo this morning. After lunch in downtown Cairo, we visit the Old City with its fascinating medieval architecture.

Often simply called “Old Cairo,” we will walk the cobblestone streets, see the Babylon Fortress (more info), some Coptic Christian Churches, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Egypt became a mostly Christian country in the 1st Century when Saint Mark brought the faith to Egypt. The Islamic faith came with the Arab conquest in 641 AD.

The Coptic literature tells us that the Holy Family visited a number of sites in Egypt when they fled from King Herod – see Matthew 2:12-23. These sites now are holy places in Egypt. Here in the old city of Cairo, we visit the Hanging Church (more info) and the Saint Sergius and Bacchus Church which is said to have been built over a place where the Holy Family rested during their journey (more info about this church). It is also suggested that Joseph may have worked on the Fortress of Babylon here in Coptic Cairo.

The ancient Egyptian “paper” was made from the papyrus plants that grew in the marshy areas of the delta and Nile River. We will visit a papyrus shop this afternoon where they will demonstrate how this “papyrus paper” was made, and of course, there will be a wide variety of papyrus pictures for sale. Many of these have representations of Ancient Egyptian art from the walls of the tombs. The objects from the King Tut collection are also a favorite subject of these hand-painted papyri.

If people are interested, we may also visit a perfumery with perfume oils from local Egyptian flowers. It certainly is a fun place to visit!









DAY 10 – Wednesday, October 23: FINAL DAY. Museum in Cairo, Khan El Khalili (Historic Street Bazaar), Farewell Dinner.
Hotel: No hotel is included. Meals: BB, L, D.

We have high hopes that the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will be open at the time of these tours. Just as the name implies, this will be a world-renowned museum. It is the largest museum in Africa and will also house the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities.

If for some reason the GEM is not open yet, we will visit the Cairo Egyptian Museum.

The historic Khan El Khalili is both colorful and full of history. Enjoy your last chance at Egyptian-style bargaining (for this trip at least, we hope you will come back!) or relax and take in all the sights from one of the street cafés. This place is teeming with life, and people from all over Egypt and the world at large come to shop here.

It’s hard to believe our time has reached an end. We have a final meeting and dinner together before going our separate ways. Most people will fly home late tonight. If your flight does not leave until tomorrow morning, you will need to add an additional hotel night.

Farewell Egypt! You will continue to live in our hearts!










Thursday, October 24, 2024

Additional days can be added if there is more you would like to see.


Note that there may be changes to the above itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.
However, every effort will be made to maintain this program as it is stated.

What’s Included   •   Prices BELOW    •   Registration Form 

Prices – October 14-23, 2024


$400 USD: Supplement for SUITE CABIN on the CRUISE BOAT for 3 nights ($200 pp in double, $400 in single)

$4,295 USD: Sharing DOUBLE or TRIPLE rooms. EARLY BIRD, paid by CHECK by June 14, 2024.

$4,445 USD: Sharing DOUBLE or TRIPLE rooms. EARLY BIRD, paid by CREDIT CARD by June 14, 2024.

$4,595 USD: Sharing DOUBLE or TRIPLE rooms. Paid by August 14, 2024.

$4,895 USD: In SINGLE rooms. EARLY BIRD, paid by CHECK by June 14, 2024.

$5,045 USD: In SINGLE rooms. EARLY BIRD, paid by CREDIT CARD by June 14, 2024.

$5,195 USD: In SINGLE rooms. Paid by August 14, 2024.