The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Travel from northern Egypt to the south, discovering tombs, temples, exotic cities, and rural life whilst sailing along the Nile River.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 29330
Easy countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day. You are unlikely to walk more than 6 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to 300m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
The pyramids are the most well-known attraction in Egypt however, there is so much more that makes this country so unique. Where else would you find two religions living in peace, a country so heavily linked with its past and so hospitable, and with such a wealth of different attractions. We aim to reveal as many of the different sides of Egypt as possible.
Throughout history, all life has stemmed from the River Nile so by following its path from North to South, we hope to show you how much the landscape changes. In fact, the months when it flooded were instrumental in sailing gigantic stone blocks down to Giza for construction of the pyramids. Therefore, experiencing Egypt along The Nile is the best way of truly understanding the country.
The unmissable experiences of this country and listening to the call to prayer cascading over loudspeaker throughout the city, gazing up at the pyramids pointed spire towering overhead, visiting Alexandria library and enjoying the solitude of sailing along the Nile.
Cruise this ancient river by cruise ship and open-air ‘felucca’ sailboat, observe villages and Egypt’s rural life and witness the lush side of this desert country. There are some countries which constantly remind you of being in a foreign land and Egypt is one of them, what more could you possibly want!
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Today we depart for Cairo where upon arrival we transfer (approx. 45 minutes) to our hotel for the night.
Transfer Time = 45 mins
Our day begins the way any first day in Cairo should begin, with a visit to its most treasured site – The Pyramids of Giza. We will see its pointed spires long before arriving at the site, but it isn’t until we stand beside them that we are able to appreciate the magnitude of their construction. It is utterly magnificent. The site is home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, but also the Sphinx which sits as a guard over the dead kings who have passed onto the afterlife.
In the afternoon, we travel out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saqqara (Sakkara). Here we find the step pyramids which once provided the final resting place for the pharaohs and nobles of Memphis. The collection of pyramids and mastabas (mud-brick tombs) cover a huge area of the desert. The main structures include the Pyramid of Djoser which is possibly the oldest intact stone building in the world.
This morning we drive out of Cairo and up to Alexandria. Please note that the traffic can at times be busy and slow down progress. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and have lunch, before joining a guided city tour. Much of this will be on foot.
We begin at the New Library, a stunning modernist structure that celebrates the Alexandria library which was destroyed in ancient times. We then continue to the site of the lighthouse that was once a wonder of the ancient world and relive Roman imperial triumphs at Pompey’s Pillar. Go underground in the 3rd-century catacombs that combine Greek, Roman and Egyptian art, and take in some of the city’s modern monuments and elegant corniche before returning to your hotel.
Today is a busy day but an exciting one. Most of today’s attractions are further off the beaten path and we come here to learn about the famous battle at El Alamein. The Battle of El Alamein was an important moment in the sway of power between the Allied and Axis forces in North Africa during WWII. There are separate memorials for the soldiers from each of the countries who fought on this battlefield.
Following this, we visit the Monastery of Anba Bishoy which consists of five churches before making our way back to Cairo where we overnight.
Our next stop is the Cairo Citadel, located on the city's eastern edge. It was started by Saladin in 1176 as a fortification against the Crusaders. Here we fill find three very different mosques and a couple of terraces offering superb views over Cairo. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Giza.
This is followed by a walking tour of Coptic Cairo and to admire the architecture of El Moaaz Street.
We end the day by visiting the Cairo Museum of Antiquities which contains relics dating back to 4000 BC, including those famous items taken from Tutankhamun's tomb. There is so much to see within one building however, our guide will ensure we sample the more important items.
Today we enjoy a later start and a walking tour of El Moaaz Street, or Islamic Cairo. It’s a 1 km long pedestrian street and has the greatest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. This is a must-see for any visitor to Cairo.
In the afternoon we board the overnight sleeper train to Aswan, waking up to date palms and rolling sand dunes in the city of Aswan.
Aswan is a beautiful city, framed by the rolling sand dunes across the river. Here the river is wider, flowing gently down from Lake Nasser around dramatic black-granite boulders and palm-studded islands.
After checking into our hotel, we enjoy a visit to Philae temple, one of the most beautiful in Aswan which involves a short trip by vehicle and motorboat ride. In the morning we take a trip out to the Aswan High Dam whose construction ended in 1970. Its construction stopped the seasonal flooding and resulted in some ancient temples being submerged and lost forever. On the way back we enjoy a guided walk of Aswan Bazaar.
Today we have included a visit to Abu Simbel (300 km each way). It is included in the tour cost but given the early morning is entirely optional (no refund is given if not joining). This results in an early morning departure at around 3.30/4 am to fall in line with the mandatory police convoy departure, arriving at the site by 8 a.m. We have approximately three hours at the site with our local guide to learn of its historical importance, and how the site was dismantled and relocated before the area was flooded by the Aswan Dam. Both temples are magnificently impressive. We will return to Aswan around 3 pm where we board our cruise boat. The rest of the day is free before dinner.
After lunch, we enjoy a felucca trip to the west bank and begin our desert walk up to the Monastery of St Simeon. Surrounded by desert sands, the monastery was built on two levels – the lower level of stone and the upper level of mud brick – surrounded by 10m-high walls. It was first dedicated to the local saint Anba Hedra, who renounced the world on his wedding day. It was later rebuilt in the 10th century and dedicated to St Simeon. From here the monks travelled into Nubia in the hope of converting the Nubians to Christianity.
In the afternoon, we depart Aswan and make our way towards Kom Ombo where we overnight. The ship is a great place to watch an Egyptian sunset (or sunrise if you get up early enough).
We visit Kom Ombo temple followed by Edfu Temple later in the day, before arriving to Luxor. The temple of Kom Ombo is a double temple dedicated to Sobek the Crocodile, describing the Stellar Bennett Pinch as well as Horus, the Peregrine Falcon describing the strong electric field as the source of the Bennett Pinch. The Temple of Edfu is the second largest temple in Egypt. It is also known as the Temple of Horus (the falcon-headed God) and it is the most beautiful and well-preserved of all the Egyptian temples.
Upon arrival into Luxor, we check out and disembark and before checking into our hotel, we visit the Valley of the Kings. The site contains the once hidden tombs of over 62 Pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Ramses III and IV. This is an active site and archaeologists are still unearthing relics to this day. A series of unassuming entrances in the hillside takes us underground and into the burial chambers where the sarcophagus was laid. In some cases, the walls are adorned by brightly coloured hieroglyphs, sometimes the colours have worn away and in other cases when the king died suddenly, the tomb was unfinished and sealed up to ensure the king's safe passage into the afterlife.
Our ticket enables us to visit three tombs (Tutankhamun can be purchased separately) and generally the most treasured tombs although they can shut without warning with rotation in mind. No photos are allowed inside unless you purchase a photography ticket (not included).
We then travel back to the east bank and check into our Luxor hotel.
Luxor is often called the ‘largest open-air museum in the world’ and today you will understand why. We join an Egyptologist lead walking tour of Luxor Temple, before descending on Karnak Temple on the east bank of the Nile.
Karnak is an extraordinary complex of sanctuaries, towering pylons, sphinx and obelisks dedicated to pharaohs. Its Hypostyle hall has 134 columns 23 metres high and 15 metres in diameter! The site covers more than 2sq km and at its heart is the Temple of Amun, the earthly 'home' of the local god. The complex was built, added to, dismantled, restored, enlarged and decorated over nearly 1500 years. Karnak was the most important place of worship in Egypt during the New Kingdom. We arrive at our cruise boat in time for lunch before having a guided walking tour or free time in the afternoon to explore Luxor.
This morning we fly back to London direct Cairo having sampled the best of Egypt along the Nile.
Departure dates for your selected tour
31st Mar 2021 - 12th Apr 2021 (12 Nights)
15th Dec 2021 - 27th Dec 2021 (12 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
This 4-star hotel is located in the elegant Saba Pasha district, between the Montaza Palace and the centre of the city. The hotel features gourmet restaurants, a coffee shop, bar, free Wi-Fi, spa and gym facilities.
The overnight sleeper train is a wonderful yet rustic experience. There are two trains available, the hard or soft sleeper, we enjoy the soft sleeper with fold-down beds and bedding. A staff member will come along and make up your bed for you and there are two to a room regardless of whether you have booked a single supplement. You are free to walk up and down the train isles or watch out of the window. Smoking between carriages is tolerated and it is common that the smell does waft through the isles. This is Egypt and unavoidable. A mixture of western and squat toilets are available. It is recommended to keep a supply of your own toilet paper.
Pyramisa Isis Corniche Aswan Resort is located on the Nile Corniche, just 5 minutes' drive from the centre of Aswan. All rooms have a garden view. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas around the lobby. Each of the tastefully-furnished guest rooms is well-appointed, with air conditioning and cable TV. All rooms have a spacious work desk. Pyramisa Isis features an outdoor swimming pool, with a bar and plenty of loungers. There is also a fitness centre and massage facilities.
We sail the Nile on the M/S Esmeralda or on a similar cruise boat. We do not confirm the name of the boat until arrival into Egypt, although we can ensure that there will be wonderful service and facilities including a swimming pool, sun deck, gift shop, restaurant, and bar. Cruising the Nile is a fantastic way of truly discovering what the country is all about, especially as all of Egypt's life stems from this river. Grab yourself a lounger, relax and enjoy some of the finest of Egypt's scenery.
Set by the Nile River, this laid-back hotel near restaurants is 5 km from the iconic ancient temple complex, Karnak. It's 3 km from the Luxor Museum. Featuring balconies or terraces, the down-to-earth rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minifridges, as well as tea and coffee making facilities and a safe. Amenities include 3 restaurants, a tennis court, and 2 outdoor pools with sunloungers.
This is a Grade 3 leisurely holiday which includes countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day, and is likely to include an element of sightseeing. You are unlikely to walk more than 8 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to up to about 300m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a qualified Egyptologist guide to provide you with rich country and historical insights. A local will always know their country better and you will find your RWH leader and local guide with complement each other.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included (as per the daily itinerary). The group will eat in a mixture of local and hotel restaurants to enable you to try the different flavours of the country. Food in Egypt involves many different flavours and combinations, but popular dishes include kebabs, chicken, stews, pitta-bread, falafel, beans, aubergine and other vegetables and salads. Dishes tend to be simple yet delicious, and vegetarians are catered for although options can at times be limited.
Our local partner has hand-selected the most reputable restaurants to ensure you can enjoy the best that Egypt has to offer, with less risk of developing a funny tummy. Food onboard the Nile Cruiser will be on a buffet basis; we only work with boats with a better track record for stomach issues.
We encourage all visitors to Egypt to only drink bottled water or make use of our Water to Go water purifier bottle.
It is worth noting that some travellers in the past have had upset stomachs whilst in Egypt. This is caused for several reasons from drinking tap water, dehydration from not drinking enough water, not washing hands or using hand sanitiser frequently enough or after touching the money, and finally food. Our RWH leader will carry a bottle of hand sanitiser and only take you to the most tried and tested restaurants, although the risk to illness remains. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick, moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are likely to be all that is required for these holidays. If you are a frequent walker and are comfortable in good quality hiking sandals, these may be adequate for some walks. You can wear lightweight walking boots if you prefer.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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