We are finally here, in Egypt! Our tour leaders welcome our guests at the airport and everyone arrives to the Mena House hotel in Giza, near the Great Pyramids. We always choose this 5-star hotel for our tour guests, originally a private residence of the Egyptian king, with splendid gardens and a view of the Great Pyramid of Khufu that is towering over the Giza Plateau.
The check-in process was quick and all our guests are already here, enjoying their evening meal in the Mena House. We cannot wait to meet Dr. Zahi Hawass for the first time tomorrow!
In the morning we met our tour guide Ahmed, an archaeologist who will spend the next two weeks with us, sharing his extensive knowledge of Egypt.
We started exploring Egypt in Saqqara with the oldest pyramid in the world – the Step Pyramid. Archaeological Paths has arranged for our guests the special entrance inside the Step Pyramid itself - it has been always closed for the public. We also had a chance to go inside the Pyramid of King Unas and take a close look at its unique Pyramid text.
After the sightseeing and lunch, we came back to our hotel to meet Dr. Zahi Hawass. During our first lecture, Dr. Hawass discussed his 20-years of work and excavations in Egypt, including the mysteries of Tutankhamun, the search for the grave of Queen Nefertiti and new findings in the Valley of the Kings. The lecture also included some very new information coming out of Egypt including the mysteries of the Pyramids. Dr. Hawass is currently leading the pyramid scanning project and our guests got to hear the latest news of what can be hidden inside the Great Pyramid!
TOUR VIDEO 09.18.2016:
Today we visited the Pyramids of Dashour – the Bent Pyramid with unique construction angle and the Red Pyramid – both built for one pharaoh, Snefru. We went to Memphis to visit the ruins of the ancient capital of Egypt. We saw the giant, flawless statue of Ramses II carved of limestone – a truly breathtaking example of the artistic skills of Ancient Egyptians.
Another great highlight of the tour was waiting for us today – we went to the Pyramid Builders Tombs together with Dr. Zahi Hawass. He showed us everything that he discovered at this site.
Dr. Hawass: "I always say that this discovery is even more important than the tomb of King Tutankhamun, because there we found mainly gold, but the tombs of the Pyramid Builders reconstructed our history.”
TOUR VIDEO 09.19.2016:
That was a huge day for all our guests – today we had the ENTIRE GIZA PLATEAU to ourselves – with special visit in the Great Sphinx enclosure together with Dr. Zahi Hawass. We visited the Great Pyramid of Khufu privately and our special permissions opened additional chambers in the Pyramid that are closed to the public.
The evening held more special treats for Archaeological Paths’ guests. We had the honor to meet Mrs. Jehan Sadat, a world figure and widow of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the presidential residence.
We could talk with the first lady and listen to her lecture in her home. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the residence where president Sadat was meeting all heads of states and the most important personages from all around the world.
TOUR VIDEO 09.20.2016:
We took a quick flight to Luxor, another beautiful city, in ancient times known as Thebes and full of stunning monuments. We checked-in on our 5-star cruise ship and soon after we started sightseeing one of the most famous and iconic sites in Egypt: Karnak temple complex in Luxor.
Our guide explained some of the most interesting ancient carvings on the walls of the temple, which is a real maze of smaller temples, chapels and enormous, impressive pillars.
After the time spent in the Karnak temple complex, our guests had time for souvenir shopping on the oriental bazaars. Afterwards we returned to our cruise ship for dinner.
TOUR VIDEO 09.21.2016:
After breakfast on the cruise ship, we started our sightseeing of the Valley of the Kings, hidden among sand-colored mountains. We visited several different tombs with our guide. What is more our guests had an opportunity to visit additional tombs closed to the public, such as Seti I tomb, one of the biggest and most decorative tombs ever built for a Pharaoh.
We returned to the ship for lunch and started our cruise towards Edfu.
On our luxurious 5-star ship the guests can relax on the beautiful sundeck, while admiring the view of the Nile banks and the surrounding nature and wildlife. Tomorrow morning in Edfu we will visit one of the best preserved temples in Egypt.
TOUR VIDEO 09.22.2016:
After breakfast we visited the temple of Edfu dedicated to Horus, the falcon god. Edfu temple is the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt and it was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC. After the return from the temple, we had some time to enjoy the comforts of our 5-star cruise ship while cruising to Kom Ombo. Our guests enjoyed the beautiful sun deck and the pool.
In the late afternoon we reached Kom Ombo to see the temple dedicated to Horus and Sobek – the crocodile god.
After the sightseeing of the temple, we took time to visit the museum where the mummies of crocodiles once kept in the temple are displayed.
TOUR VIDEO 09.23.2016:
We woke up in Aswan and started the sightseeing from the famous Unfinished Obelisk, that was supposed to be carved for Hatshepsut. The obelisk can be observed from above and its size is truly overwhelming – if it had been finished, it would have been the biggest obelisk in the world.
We continued to the huge Aswan High Dam which controls irrigation to help the Egyptian agriculture. The view from the top of the Dam was stunning.
We continued our sightseeing of Aswan and our group took a motorboat to reach the Temple of Isis, located on the Philae Island. In the late afternoon we took a motorboat ride to the Nubian village to experience the culture and the way of living of the local Nubians.
TOUR VIDEO 09.24.2016:
We started our day with a journey to one of the biggest highlights of Egypt - enormous Abu Simbel temple. In Abu Simbel we visited the beautiful temples dedicated to Ramesses II and his beloved queen Nefertari. After the sightseeing and free time to enjoy the temples, we returned to our cruise ship for lunch.
Next our guests enjoyed a relaxing feluca ride on the Nile River in Aswan. Those interested could also mount a camel and travel in a camel caravan to a viewpoint on the desert.
TOUR VIDEO 09.25.2016:
We spent a relaxing day, sailing back to Luxor. Our guests had time to enjoy the comforts our 5-star cruise ship has to offer – the sun deck, the pool and the bars and restaurant while cruising.
In the evening we arrived to Luxor. We welcomed Dr. Zahi Hawass, who flew to Luxor specially for us. During dinner with our special guest, we were also joined by Dr. Mostafa Waziri - General Manager of Upper Egypt Antiquities.
After dinner we started our private sightseeing tour of Luxor temple after the opening hours. The entire Luxor temple was opened just for us! This is a highlight offered only during Archaeological Paths Egypt Tours thanks to a special permission from the Ministry of Antiquities. Dr. Hawass shared his archaeological research in Luxor and discussed with us the news from the Valley of the Kings! Is the Valley still hiding undiscovered tombs?
TOUR VIDEO 09.26.2016:
In the morning the interested guests could enjoy a balloon flight and see the temples from a bird’s eye view and take the most stunning photographs. Next, we drove to Medinet Habu temple, the best preserved and largest temple on the West bank of the Nile, with beautiful colors and hieroglyphics on the walls and ceilings.
We continued to one of the most recognizable temples in Egypt – the Hatshepsut temple. We learned more about Queen Hatshepsut, a Pharaoh known as one of the greatest rulers of Ancient Egypt.
We enjoyed the possibility available only for Archaeological Paths’ guests to enter the tomb of the legendary Egyptian architect, Senenmut. That was some adventure!
We visited Deir el-Medina, the ancient village of the artisans who worked on the construction of famous tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Today the guests of Archaeological Paths – thanks to special arrangements with the Ministry of Antiquities– had the rare opportunity to visit the most exquisite tomb in the Valley of the Queens – Nefertari’s tomb. The paintings of extraordinary quality recount the events from the Queen’s life and the story of her journey to the afterlife and express the love of Ramses II for his wife.
TOUR VIDEO 09.27.2016:
In the morning we took a flight from Luxor back to Cairo. After the check-in and some rest, we went to the Old Cairo to see the Coptic Churches and the most famous bazaar in Egypt – Khan El-Khalili. It offers to the visitors unusual, typically oriental souvenirs and handmade crafts and allows us to feel the Medieval atmosphere of this traditional market.
In the evening we had a chance to take part in another multimedia lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass in the Mena House hotel. The discussion included the research in the Valley of the Golden mummies.
Our guests could take pictures with Dr. Hawass, get his signature on their books and ask all the remaining questions during the Q&A session that followed the lecture. Afterwards, Dr. Hawass joined our group for a special dinner.
Moreover, because of our unique itinerary, the BBC became interested in preparing a reportage about our tours. Today and tomorrow the BBC crew will follow our guests on their Egyptian journey. They also interviewed Dr. Zahi Hawass about our one-of-a-kind Royal Tour.
TOUR VIDEO 09.28.2016:
We are sightseeing Cairo today, including the mosque of Muhammad Ali and the Saladin Citadel – representing the height of Arabic religious architecture with its beautiful mosques, ornaments and fortified buildings.
After the discussion about Muslim religion and tradition in the mosque, we drove to the centre of Cairo where we visited the Egyptian Museum, a treasury of Ancient Egypt – where thousands of artifacts are gathered all in one exhibition.
One of the most stunning artifacts that we have seen today in the museum was the golden mask of Tutankhamun. We also could see the most famous mummies of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Later we returned to our hotel for the farewell dinner. During the two weeks that we have spent together we have learned a lot, found new friends and had so many memorable moments, that it was hard to decide which one was our favorite. We hope that we will meet again soon in the Land of the Pharaohs.
TOUR VIDEO 09.29.2016: