Day 1 – Arrive in Luxor. Board the dahabiya ABUNDANCE.
Day 2 – Visit Western Thebes with the famous Valley of the Kings, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and the fascinating private tombs where the rich colours of life 3500 years ago have been preserved. Afterwards, visit the largest temple complex in the country, the Temple of Karnak with its stunning Hypostyle Hall.
Day 3 – Travel to Qena. Visit the Hathor Temple at Dendera with its breathtaking ceiling relief of the Dendera zodiac and its enigmatic images. Continue to Nag‘ Hammadi. We pass through the lock there around midnight.
Day 4 – Continue to El Balyana, from where we visit Abydos. One of the most sacred sites in Pharaonic Egypt, with numerous temples and tombs.
Day 5 – Sail to Sohag, passing through idyllic countryside and tranquil villages to left and right.
Day 6 – Moored in Sohag. Visit to the Archaeological Museum there, with a short detour to see the monumental statue of Meritamun. Followed by a visit to the 4th-century White Monastery, built from the ruins of the nearby Pharaonic-era temples of Athribis (el-Sheikh Hamad). Then a short detour to the unusual rock-cut church of Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite, established in a Pharaonic-era quarry and lined with reliefs portraying sacred scenes. We then visit one of the highlights in this area – the Red Monastery with spectacular paintings from the 6th to 8th centuries. The monastery is often justifiably compared to the Hagia Sophia or San Vitale. We depart for El Maragha, where we moor overnight.
Day 7 – Sail to Asyut.
Day 8 – Visit to the spectacular Deir Durunka, perched on a high crag. Continue to Mallawi. We stop at the rock-cut tombs of Meir, dating back to the Old and Middle Kingdom, and visit Deir El Muharraq, Egypt’s most important monastery complex.
Day 9 – Stop in Mallawi. Visit to the Archaeological Museum there, with its unparalleled collection of artefacts from the region. Followed by a visit to the necropolis of Tuna El Gebel with its mysterious underground passages in which thousands of mummified animals were deposited, and the Tomb of Petosiris, designed in a blend of Egyptian and Greek styles. We continue to Tell El Amarna – where the “heretic king” Akhenaten, who designated monotheism as the state religion, created a short-lived city of palaces, temples, and breathtaking tombs.
Day 10 – Continue to El Minya. Visit to the tombs of the provincial governors and nomarchs at Beni Hassan, containing many unusual depictions of mythical creatures, wrestlers, and the famous Asiatic caravans. Followed by a stop at Zawyet El Meitin, city of domed tombs. Visit to the Museum of Hassan El Shark – a well-known Egyptian artist whose colorful images vibrantly capture Upper Egyptian village life.
Day 11 – Disembark in El Minya. Coach to Cairo. Optional excursions there.