Ancient Egypt tours can be booked with Luxury Escapes at unbeatable prices right now and their itinerary is dreamy: the Giza pyramids and sphinx, a languorous Nile cruise, Luxor’s stupendous Valley of the Kings, Tutankhamun’s gleaming tomb and treasures, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo… ah, Cairo…

It’s been over 12 years since we’ve been to Egypt so I have to confess that my feet started to itch when I received the latest Luxury Escapes newsletter promoting its ancient Egypt tours at insanely affordable prices. My heart also ached a little when I read that they’re selling fast… and this amazing deal ends in just four days. Sniff.

The Luxury Escapes Ancient Egypt tours offer incredible value: 13 days for A$3,999 per person twin-share (valued at A$7,950!), including return flights from Australia with Emirates or Etihad, domestic flights, five-star hotels, a three-night Nile cruise, some meals, transfers, excursions with local guides… and it’s a small-group trip with just 16 travellers, not one of those awful big group tours with 30+ people.

Egypt’s tourism is on the rebound (tourism numbers have nearly doubled in the last three years) and there are a lot of reasons to go to Egypt now. For one, in recent days they’ve just discovered another Sphinx near Luxor. Also, a new law prohibiting touts from pestering tourists has made visiting archaeological sites and shopping the Khan el Khalili bazaar so much more pleasant. (If you’re going, see my post for things to buy in Cairo and shopping tips.)

We’re very tempted to return to the land of the pharaohs, Omar Sharif and Oum Kalthoum… what about you?

Ancient Egypt Tours with Luxury Escapes

Egypt was one of the first countries we travelled to in the Middle East after we moved to the United Arab Emirates back in 1998 and I have to say that it fulfilled all my Orientalist fantasies with its bustling bazaars dripping with coloured lanterns, exquisite tiled mosques with tinkling fountains, and the dusty Egyptian Museum crammed with glass cabinets of gilded relics.

I’d been teaching at a women’s university in Abu Dhabi for a little over six months when we first visited Cairo and Luxor for a short break and so my priorities were the quintessential experiences, from gawking at the Giza pyramids and sphinx to lolling about on a felucca on a Nile sunset cruise.

We travelled independently, as we mostly have in life, so we still had the hassles to deal with, from touts in the bazaars trying to sell us carpets to haggling with drivers for good deals (nobody used the internet for booking tours back then) – which is why a small-group tour is very tempting. I spend so much time planning trips for other people and hosting my own tours and retreats, I wouldn’t mind someone taking care of things for a change…

On our last trip to Egypt, we were there as Lonely Planet authors, researching and writing a Cairo accommodation guide for their booking website. Some years later I found myself writing a monthly travel column for an Egyptian magazine for a year or so, but last Cairo work for Lonely Planet was our last Egyptian trip. It’s been way too long.

And as both a travel writer and travel planner, I have to say that the itinerary for these Ancient Egypt tours is perfect: the great sphinx and pyramids of Giza, a slow Nile cruise, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the tomb and treasures of Tutankhamun, the dazzling Red Sea coast, and Cairo, saved until the end, for its exotic bazaars, exquisite mosques and churches, and extraordinary Egyptian Museum. I’d return in a heartbeat for Cairo alone.

This Ancient Egypt tour also includes a few site that we never got to: the temple at Edfu, home to Egypt’s best-preserved ancient hieroglyphs and original ceilings, the unique double temple of Kom Ombo on the banks of the Nile with its mummified crocodiles, and the incredibly romantic, riverside city of Aswan with its colossal dam – a place I’ve always wanted to visit.

I’ve pasted the full itinerary for Luxury Escapes Ancient Egypt tours below but you’ll have to click through for the details including dates (they’re filling fast, but I see they’ve also added a few new tours), prices (2018 price above, but the prices are slightly higher for 2019 and, if you want, to add on some time in Jordan or Israel), and booking conditions etc.

As much as I’d love to do one of these Ancient Egypt Tours this year, our obligations in Cambodia are going to keep us in Southeast Asia. And if we’re going to go anywhere it’s going to be home to see family in Australia. Hopefully we’ll get back to Egypt next year. Please do let us know if you do one of these ancient Egypt tours! I’ll be very envious and will be following your trip closely on social media.

If you do go, make sure you pack copies of Naguib Mahfouz’sThe Cairo Trilogy and Adhaf Souief’s In the Eye of the Sun. No other books capture Cairo better.

For your convenience I’ve pasted Luxury Escapes’ Ancient Egypt Tours itinerary, below, from their website.

Ancient Egypt Tours Itinerary by Luxury Escapes

Today you depart Australia for Egypt (your departure city will determine your time of travel).

Arrive in Cairo and as the Egyptians say, ‘ahlan wa sahlan’ – which means welcome. As you come off your flight you will be met by our local representatives who will direct you through customs and immigrations then assist you with your luggage. Arriving at the hotel you will have some time to freshen up from your travels. This evening meet with the rest of your group for a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa
Meals included: Dinner

After breakfast, head to the airport to board a short flight to Aswan. Aswan is a beautiful city, with gorgeous greenery accompanied by the calm of the Nile River, which flows right through the city. Visit the Aswan high dam, which is considered an engineering marvel. You’ll also have a chance to see the Philae Temple, which is dedicated to the Goddess Isis. Next, check into our five-star Nile cruiser, which will be your home for the next three nights. Tonight, enjoy a welcome drink to toast the start of your Nile adventure.

Accommodation: M/S Esmeralda Nile Cruiser
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

This morning you have the opportunity to visit Abu Simbel by flight. Abu Simbel is a temple built by Ramses II in ancient Nubia, where he wished to demonstrate his power and his divine nature. One of the most magnificent monuments in the world, its removal and reconstruction was a historic event in itself (optional excursion at an additional cost).

Set sail to Kom Ombo, where we visit the Kom Ombo Temple, the double temple of Egypt. Before heading back on board, be sure to visit the markets along the Nile – you can find all sorts of treasures and souvenirs here. Enjoy lunch back on board and a relaxing afternoon as we cruise to Edfu via the Esna lock. Getting through the lock might take a while so you can occupy your time with some shopping from the local villagers. You won’t have a chance to disembark, but the Egyptian merchants will still try and entice you – they’ll paddle right up to you in paddle boats. Good fun to watch, even if you’re not looking to buy anything.

We make a stop at the Edfu Temple to marvel at Egypt’s best-preserved temple, the Temple of Horus, with its ancient hieroglyphs and original ceilings. It’s remarkable to think that someone hand-drew those things thousands of years ago, and we can still see them today. Finish the night with a Galabia Party – an Egyptian dress-up party.

Accommodation: M/S Esmeralda Nile Cruiser
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning we explore Luxor’s amazing temples: The Temple of Karnak complex (Egypt’s largest), and the Luxor Temple, known as the Southern Shrine. Luxor Temple is unique in that it’s one of the few temples which wasn’t built for the sake of a God or for any proper divine reason – in fact, it was built to celebrate the rejuvenation of kingship. Some archaeologists think that many of the Kings of Egypt were crowned here. Enjoy an afternoon relaxing on deck.

Accommodation: M/S Esmeralda Nile Cruiser
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast, we check out of our cruiser and set out to visit the west bank in Luxor. You’ll visit the famous Valley of the Kings followed by a visit to the remarkable Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. You’ll also see the Colossi of Memnon – breathtaking stone statues which guarded the gates of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes.

This afternoon, we check into our hotel for the night. Luxor is full of amazing temples but it also has such a lively nightlife, so tonight you will have the opportunity to go out and explore and make your own discoveries.

Accommodation: Steigenberger Luxor Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast before we head to Hurghada and the Red Sea. It’s a three-hour drive, so a good opportunity to rest up from a busy few days. On arrival in Hurghada we check in to our beachfront resort – and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Accommodation: Mövenpick Resort Soma Bay
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

The next couple of days are at your leisure in Hurghada. Situated on the Red Sea, Hurghada is a fantastic spot for those seeking a little extra R&R, snorkelling or to go on a desert safari. Some of the best sea life is found here in the Red Sea.

Accommodation: Mövenpick Resort Soma Bay
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Today we fly back to Cairo and check in to our hotel – our base for the next three nights.

Accommodation: Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa
Meals included: Breakfast

Today you get to experience one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the extraordinary pyramids. Beginning with the ancient necropolis, Saqqara, we’ll visit one of the oldest stone structures in the world: The Step Pyramid. You’ll get to learn the secrets of this desert world which have been forgotten over the years, buried in the expansive sands. With excavation underway all year round, progress towards new discoveries is made every day.

From here you’ll have a bit of free time for lunch (not included) before arriving at The Great Pyramids of Giza to witness the beautiful architecture and appreciate all the work that really went into making these marvels. You’ll also have a chance to get up close to the Sphinx. Your tour guide will give you a rundown of the history and cultural significance of the things you’re seeing, and you’ll get a true taste of what it was like in Ancient Egypt. The evening is at your leisure.

Accommodation: Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast you start your adventure with an understanding of Egypt’s history at the famous Egyptian Museum. You’ll have a chance to view major historical pieces discovered literally thousands of years ago, dating back to 3000BC. There are approximately 1,200 items in the Museum, including the 11kg Gold Mask of Tutankhamun.

This afternoon you’ll get a chance to discover Old Cairo. Our guide will help you to ensure you’re respectful of the religious gatherings and ceremonies going on as you visit the beautiful Muhammed Ali Mosque, as well as the breathtaking Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary. End the day with a visit to Khan El Khalili Bazaar, where you can smoke watermelon shisha, drink an Egyptian coffee, go shopping, or all of the above. Tonight we enjoy a last dinner together as a group and relive our stories from the adventure just had.

Accommodation: Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Today you’ll transfer to Cairo Airport to catch your flight back home – depending on your flight time the day will be at your leisure.

While we love the sound of these Ancient Egypt tours, we’d recommend that you add a couple more days on to your Egypt trip and head up to Alexandria, my favourite Egyptian city, which lies on the glittering Mediterranean Sea.

Click through to Luxury Escapes for more info on their Ancient Egypt tours. As advised, we’ve partnered with Luxury Escapes and earn a commission from any bookings you make if you click through from Grantourismo to book one of their Ancient Egypt tours or another tour or hotel on their site. You won’t pay any more than if you went directly to book on their site, but that commission supports our work on Grantourismo to provide you with travel inspiration, information and advice.

Image above supplied by Luxury Escapes.

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