JERUSALEM 43ºF - 43ºF
Arrival at Tel Aviv airport (Ben Gurion). After customs our transfer will be waiting for you to continue by road to JERUSALEM. Accommodation.
JERUSALEM 43ºF - 43ºF
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: Full day visit of Jerusalem.Breakfast. Full day visit. We will start going up the Mount of Olives, where we will appreciate a magnificent view over the city. We will also visit the Garden of Gethsemane. We will enter the Old City, where we will walk the Via Dolorosa to reach Golgotha, place of the crucifixion of Jesus and the Holy Sepulchre. Already in the Armenian quarter, we will discover the legends that are hidden in the tower and citadel of David, where we will explore some of the most exciting archaeological treasures of this ancient settlement, the first foundations of present-day Jerusalem. Free time for lunch. Next, visit to the complex of the four Sephardic synagogues. We will visit the upper part of the Hurva synagogue (allowed for non-Jewish tourists), where we will have the possibility to learn their customs and traditions. From its terrace we will have an unparalleled view of the Jewish quarter of the city. We will admire the exterior architecture of this group of temples, which also treasure a very particular history, to finish the route we will approach the Western Wall, where we will also know the Tunnels of said Wall with its huge quarry stones that today are part of the foundation of ancient Jerusalem 2000 years ago. We can even see some grottoes that make improvised churches or sacred rooms that serve for the prayers of the most religious. Return to the hotel. Accommodation.
JERUSALEM 43ºF - 43ºF
Breakfast. Departure to the Sanctuary of the Book in the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are exhibited, and where the Model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus is located. Visit the neighborhood of Ain Karen where the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is located, and visit of Yad Vashem, Museum and Holocaust Memorial. Visit the lively Mahane Yehuda Market where Orthodox Jews, Palestinians, Armenians, Arabs mingle with tourists creating a multicultural atmosphere. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon we enter PALESTINE to visit the city of Bethlehem. We will visit the Mosque of Omar (exterior) and the Church of the Nativity with the Grotto of the Manger, the Basilica of Santa Catarina and the Grotto of Saint Jerome. Short walk through the old city before returning to Jerusalem. On the outskirts of Bethlehem stands the Salesian monastery of Cremisan where the only Palestinian wine is made. Return to the hotel Accommodation. Note: Don´t forget to bring your passport to cross into Palestine.
JERUSALEM 43ºF - 43ºF - EILAT 72ºF - 72ºF - SAINT CATHERINE 77ºF - 77ºF
After breakfast we leave for the south of Israel. We will skirt the Dead Sea and traverse the beautiful landscapes of the Negev Desert. Arrival at EILAT, a modern and touristic city with its excellent beaches. A relaxing time for lunch and walking. After lunch departure to the border of EGYPT. Passage to Sinai, on our route we photograph the island of the pharaoh with the powerful fortress of Saladin. Continuation to SAINT CATHERINE -Arrival, dinner included and accommodation. NOTE: In the passage from Israel to Egypt, entry / exit taxes must be paid by the traveler in the different countries. Israel: 32 $ (exit tax), Egypt: Entrance fee to Taba: 25$, Entry visa: 45$ (which is actually 25$ visa + 20$ processing fee)
SAINT CATHERINE 77ºF - 77ºF - MOSES WELL - CAIRO 57ºF - 57ºF
At the foot of Mount Sinai, we visit the impressive walled monastery of SAINT CATHERINE. According to tradition, this is where Moses saw “the Burning Bush that burned without being consumed”. The monastery, which is a sacred place for Jews, Christians and Muslims, belongs to the Orthodox Church and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We then continue on through the Sinai Desert’s picturesque landscapes. Lunch included in route. Stop at the WELL OF MOSES, a biblical site that looks like a small oasis. We will leave Sinai through the tunnel under the SUEZ CANAL. Arrival in CAIRO at the end of the afternoon. Accommodation.
CAIRO 57ºF - 57ºF
Full day visit where we explore the famous Pyramids of Cheops, Kefren and Micerinos (tickets to go inside the pyramids are not included), and also the impressive Sphinx, which is sculpted from rock. Visit to the Egyptian Museum with its ancient art and where the treasure of the Lost Tomb of Tutankhamen is kept. Lunch included. Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque. We will take a walk through the Coptic neighborhood where we visit the Hanging Church built above a Roman fortress.
CAIRO 57ºF - 57ºF - MEIDUM - FAIYUM OASIS - WADI EL RAYAN - WADI AL HITAN - MINYA 41ºF - 41ºF
We will leave Cairo early, we will get to know an Egypt that you probably had never imagined: a country of great lakes in the middle of the desert! Stop (entrance included) at the PYRAMID OF MEIDUM, considered as the first pyramid that the ancient Egyptians tried to build, 2600 years before Christ, we are surprised by its stepped structure. We can climb to the door that gives access to the burial chamber (after descending 75 meters) and see the large mastabas that house the tombs of some relatives of the pharaoh.After that we visit the Oasis of Al Faiyum, we outline the great QARUM LAKE that allows the irrigation of the entire oasis making this area "the garden of Egypt". The shores of the lake have numerous leisure points for Egyptians. Al Fayoum is also known for "the Al Fayoum portraits", the oldest portraits in the world (today we can see them in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). We will stop and have lunch at TUNIS village, a nice place with great ceramic crafts, lunch included. Afterwards we enter among magnificent desert landscapes, we stop at WADI RAYYAN, a saltwater lake where rare species of birds and gazelles live, an area declared a National Park. Time for a walk next to the small falls. We continue entering the desert, we travel to the enclosure of WADI AL HITTAN -the valley of the whales-, declared by Unesco a World Heritage Site. The number, concentration, and quality of the fossils, as well as their location in a protected landscape of great beauty, make the site an exceptional place. We get to visit the museum with fossilized whales (where we get to see their skeletons) and get to know about climate change.Continue to MENIA, a city of 300,000 inhabitants by the Nile, active and pleasant walk along the river. Dinner included.
MINYA 41ºF - 41ºF - BENI HASSAN 72ºF - 72ºF - MALLAWI 79ºF - 79ºF - DEIR EL MUHARRAQ - MEER GRAVES - ASYUT 84ºF - 84ºF
We start another exciting day in the center of the Nile Valley. Leaving Menia we stop at ZAWIYYET SULTAN, place of the dead, at the foot of a small pharaonic necropolis an immense cemetery with a very peculiar architecture of vaulted adobe mausoleums leads us to feel "in another world". After that we visit BENI HASSAN, the necropolis stands on cliffs above the Nile valley, 39 tombs (four are visited) dating from 2125 to 1795 years before Christ and offer us a fascinating idea of the daily life of that time. Lunch included.Following the Nile valley we stop at the TOMBS OF MIR, with its nine tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdom open to the visit. The solitude of the place is impressive (practically without tourism). Next to the tombs we visit DEIR AL MUHARRAQ, monastery and place of Coptic pilgrimage, the monks indicate that Mary and Jesus inhabited a cave in this place for six months after fleeing from Herod; according to tradition the church was built around the year 60 "the oldest Christian church in the world".Continuation to ASSIUT, provincial capital. Dinner included.
ASYUT 84ºF - 84ºF - SUHAQ - ABYDOS - LUXOR 88ºF - 88ºF
We leave Assiut for SOHAG, we are in one of the main Coptic areas of Egypt. We visit the WHITE MONASTERY, built in the fourth century (several times destroyed) and powerfully walled, in its construction stone was used that came from pharaonic temples and some blocks still show ancient Gods and hieroglyphics, at the time housed the largest library in Egypt. After that we visit the RED MONASTERY, one of the most impressive Christian buildings in Egypt, its ancient chapel of the fourth century, have most of its surface covered with frescoes (restored) that give us an idea of what religious buildings were like at the end of antiquity. We continue our route to ABYDOS, lunch included, the most important place of worship of Osiris -God of the dead-, was a place of pilgrimage and necropolis for over 4500 years (from years 4000 BC to 600 AD), there are still many tombs unexcavated. The impressive temple of Seti stands out, one of the most complete and beautiful in Egypt.Continuation to LUXOR. Arrival at the end of the day.
LUXOR 88ºF - 88ºF
During our stay in Luxor we will get to know one of the most impressive ancient cities on the planet. Early, from our hotel we will take a private boat to cross the Nile River, with its peace and breathtaking views early in the morning, we pass to the west bank. We visit the "Valley of the Artisans" Deir el-Medina, a place that is not visited often, here lived and are currently located the tombs of great builders and craftsmen who built and decorated the royal tombs of ancient Egypt; we will visit three tombs, their paintings show scenes of daily life of that time. Subsequently, transfer to the ship, boarding procedures on the cruise and accommodation. Full board on the ship. In the afternoon, visit to the impressive temple complex of Luxor and Karnark. Accommodation on board.
LUXOR 88ºF - 88ºF - ESNA 84ºF - 84ºF
Today you will be able to admire the Necropolis of Thebes, visiting the famous VALLEY OF THE KINGS, where are hidden the tombs of the main pharaohs. Composed of several rooms and corridors that lead to the burial chambers, are among others, Ramses III, Seti I and Amenhotep II. You will also visit the Colossae of Memnon, two impressive statues of Amenophis II, as well as the Temple of Queen Hatsepsut (Deir el Bahari) and the Temple of Medinet Habu. During this day we can enjoy the beauty of the Nile riverbanks. You could do different activities on the boat and at evening enjoy the music at the disco. Full board. Night on board, navigating to ESNA.
ESNA 84ºF - 84ºF - EDFU - KOM OMBO 90ºF - 90ºF - ASWAN 86ºF - 86ºF
Arrival to EDFU and visit the Temple of Horus (God represented by a Falcon), which in the past was partially covered by lime during the periodic flooding of the river Nile. The rescue and restoration work complete, we now have one of the most beautiful temples of Ptolemaic times, in an exceptional state of preservation. Navigation to KOM OMBO. Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, the only temple dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Haroesis, where we find a Nilometer (former system for measuring the level of the Nile River) and a mummified crocodile. During the evening you will be able to enjoy the Chilaba’s party, local typical outfit (on route you could economically acquire them at local markets). Full board. Accommodation on board, navigating to ASWAN.
ASWAN 86ºF - 86ºF
Arrival to ASWAN. Possibility of getting the optional tour to Abu Simbel (visit NOT included in the itinerary), located two hundred and eighty kilometers from Aswam, visit the western desert and the temples carved on the cliff by Ramses II during the twelfth century BC, with 20 meters high statues, dedicated to the god Amon Ra, and the Temple of Nefertari, dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Visit the Red Granite quarry where is the famous 41 meters high Unfinished Obelisk. We will also visit the Aswan Dam, one of the largest in the world, which created Lake Nasser with a length of more than 500 km. We will visit the beautiful Temple of Philae dedicated to the goddess Isis and located on a small island that can only be accessed by boat. In the afternoon, a felucca cruise on the Nile, typical sailing boats in the area, heading to the island of Kitchener where the Botanical Garden is located. Full board. Accommodation on board.
ASWAN 86ºF - 86ºF
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.
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