Friends of the Petrie Museum 25th Anniversary Tour  DESERT FRINGES EXPLORED



Day 1 – Thursday 8th January 2015
Fly London to Cairo with EgyptAir and on arrival we check-in to the first class Movenpick Hotel at Giza for three nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Sakkara and the Serapeum
We board our four wheel drive vehicles and head to Sakkara where we begin at the lovely Imhotep Museum before we explore the Step Pyramid Enclosure and associated Mastaba Tombs. Lunch is included and we will take a rest mid-way and enjoy a meal at the Sakkara Palm Club. During the course of the day we will enter the Serapeum, the galleries of the tombs of the 'Apis Bulls'. We also enter the tombs of the Butchers and Brothers and the newly opened New Kingdom tombs of Maya and General Horemheb. (BL)

Day 3 – Tanis and Bubastis
To the Eastern Delta and the ancient city of the cats at Bubastis. Dating from the Old and Middle Kingdoms, the city was known as 'House of Bastet' and the cemeteries and vaulted catacombs were found to be full of feline mummies. Next, to the most impressive archaeological site in the Delta, the massive site of  Tanis, known as Zoan in the Bible. We will walk around the ruined Ramesside Temple of Amun with its shattered fallen colossal statues and see the tombs of Osorkon II and Psusennes II. We have a picnic lunch before returning to our hotel. (BL)

Day 4 – The Faiyum
After breakfast we head off to explore some fabulous sites on the north shore of  Lake Qarun. First to Karanis, one of the largest Greco-Roman cities in the Faiyum.  Excavation work at this site has given us a huge understanding of everyday life under Greek and Roman rule. We also explore to the Middle Kingdom temple remains at Qasr el Sagha, known as the Golden Fortress. Plenty of time to view the extensive remains of the nearby village that once stood on the shoreline of the Lake. We have a picnic lunch before driving to the Auberge Hotel on the shore of Lake Qarun where we check in for two nights, on half board basis. (BLD)

Day 5 – Valley of the Whales
This morning we  drive to Qasr Qarun, a temple dedicated to the Faiyum god Sobek, built during the Ptolemaic period. The ruins of the ancient town Dionysias, and the fortress, are thought to have been abandoned in antiquity. We continue across the desert to the Wadi el Hitan a World Heritage Site to visit the Valley of the Whales. We view the fossil  remains of mammals and vegetation on a well laid out trail in a wonderful Open Air Museum. Our driving team will prepare a picnic lunch and before returning to the hotel we stop at a Saharan waterfall in Wadi el Ryan. (BLD)

Day 6 – Faiyum Cities
A full morning visiting two important sites, first, Medinet Maadi, City of the Past, with its Middle Kingdom Temple dedicated to Renenutet with two distinct towns close by. Then to Tebtunis another important large  town in Roman times. After a picnic lunch we head to Cairo Airport for a late afternoon flight to Luxor. On arrival we check in to our rooms at the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for four nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 7 – Temples
Our day begins with the short drive to Karnak. Here we catch up on the latest work at the site and enter the newly opened Mut Temple. After our guided tour we head to the West bank where we will have lunch at the Moon Valley Restaurant. We plan to have a tour of Medinet Habu, Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III before walking a short distance to the newly opened  temple of Thoth at Qasr el Aguz. Finally, a short drive takes us to the small  Temple of Isis at Deir el Shelwit. One of the last temples to be built in Egypt the central shrine has recently undergone conservation work. (BL)

Day 8 – Eastern Desert
In our four wheel drive vehicles we travel north to Wadi Hammamat. First we head in to Wadi Qash, driving through spectacular landscapes before arriving at  the famous 'Site 18' recorded by Hans Winkler in the 1930's but then lost until 2004 until an AWT Eastern desert survey team relocated it. We have a picnic lunch in the desert before heading back to the tarmac to view the Hammamat 'Schist' Quarries now identified at ancient 'Bekhen' stone. Lots of wonderful inscriptions to be seen as well as many quarried pieces in situ including a shattered sarcophagus. We head back to our hotel late afternoon. (BL)

Day 9 – To Aswan
Today we head south to the fascinating site of el Kab with its 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs, the small temple of Amenhotep III and the ancient inscriptions at 'Vulture Rock'. We continue south to Wadi Barramiya where we find the rock-cut Temple of Seti I at Kanais.   We have arranged entry to the temple dedicated to Amun-Re where we find some brightly coloured scenes on the walls and ceilings.  We have a picnic lunch and take time to explore  the well cut in to the desert floor by Seti's army, the Roman guard post and the ancient rock carvings. We make a visit to Edfu Temple and then we continue to Aswan. On arrival we check in to the Basma Hotel for two nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 10 – Aswan City
We begin with a look at the Unfinished Obelisk in its Open Air Museum and then head to the Temple of Isis at Philae. There will be free time at the hotel for lunch before we all meet again to take a launch to Kubbet el Hawa where we will enter the tombs of Old and Middle Kingdom Nobles. Then we will visit Sehel Island to view fascinating inscriptions including the 'Famine Stela'. Later a visit to the Nubia Museum with its many locally discovered artefacts. (B)

Day 11 – Gebel Silsila to Luxor
This morning we leave Aswan and make the journey back to Luxor. On the way we will make a stop at the huge sandstone Quarries at Silsila where we will see many shrines including the rock-cut chapel of Horemheb. This is the site that provided the  blocks of stone that built Aten’s Temple at Karnak. We have a lunch box today provided by the Basma Hotel. On arrival in Luxor we check in to the Old Winter Palace Garden Pavilion Wing for our last night in Egypt. (BL)

Day 12 – Monday 19th January
Fly Luxor to London with EgyptAir departing at 08.55 arriving in the UK early afternoon. (B)

Expert: Egyptologist, Lucia Gahlin, is Chair of the Friends of Petrie Museum and is well known for her lively and fascinating talks.  Lucia has been leading tours to Egypt for over 20 years and will accompany the group throughout.


(B) = Breakfast (BL) = Breakfast and Lunch (BLD) = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner


DESERT FRINGES EXPLORED  Friends of the Petrie Museum 25th Anniversary Tour  


DEPARTURE DATE  Thursday 8th January 2015





LAND ONLY DISCOUNT: £450  (If you arrange your own flights)


AWT's 'Single Supplement Guarantee' means that we only charge you what we are charged ourselves - we do not 'mark up'!