EGYPT'S GOLDEN COAST

Day 1 – Sunday 15th February 2015
Fly London to Cairo with EgyptAir, and on arrival we transfer to the Movenpick Hotel at Giza for two nights.

Day 2 – Giza
This morning we will make the short journey to the Giza Plateau and head to the Pyramid of Khufu. We explore the plateau, the Mortuary Temple of Khafre and the causeway leading to the great Sphinx. We also have tickets to enter the Solar Boat Museum to view the solar barge of Khufu and the boat pit where the ship lay undisturbed until 1954. We return to the hotel for a lunch break (own arrangements) and then head in to the city to visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. We begin with a guided tour that takes us through the chronology of the exhibits before free time to head back to favourites. The Amarna room, Tutankhamun’s treasures or perhaps an optional visit to the Mummy Room. (B)

Day 3 – Dahshur to the coast
After breakfast we board our four-wheel drive vehicles, leave the city and head to Dahshur, to see more 4th Dynasty pyramids. We have time for those that wish to enter the Red Pyramid before crossing the desert sands to look at the remarkable Bent Pyramid. A picnic lunch today before we cross the Nile and take the desert road to the coast of the Gulf of Suez. On arrival we check in to our first-class hotel the Stella Grand in Ain Sukhna for two nights on half-board basis. (BLD)

Day 4 – Ain Sukhna
An exciting day as we head to the site of the newly discovered pharaonic harbours that are still being excavated. We plan to meet the team of the University of Paris-Sorbonne now working at Ayn Sukhna to hear all the latest news. We will see the archaeological remains of a site used extensively from the Old Kingdom to the New Kingdom. Texts at the site tell us about crew numbers, the size and importance of the site, and to the close connection to Sinai for Turquoise mining. We have a picnic lunch today and head  down the coast to Wadi el-Jarf. Here we find another harbour, probably the oldest ever found in the world, dating back to the 4th Dynasty. This site is still being recorded but we hope to be able to see signs of the history of this port that is only fifty kilometres from the small Sinai fortress of Tell Ras Budran. We return to our comfortable hotel for the night. (BLD)

Day 5 – Desert Monasteries
We take the coast road south once again and this time at Za’farana we head inland for the Monastery of St Anthony. A small museum gives the history of the area and we can enjoy the chapels, churches, gardens and wonderful wall paintings all now lovingly restored. For those that wish we can climb to St Anthony’s Cave where Anthony spent the last twenty five years of his life. Stunning views across the Red Sea, desert wadis and distant Sinai mountains reward the effort of the climb. After a picnic lunch we  continue to the Monastery of St Paul the Anchorite dating from the fourth century AD. After our visit we continue southwards to our hotel, the Marriott in Hurghada, where we will stay for three nights. (BL)

Day 6 – Mons Porphyrites
We head to Gebel Dokhan and the source of Imperial Porphyry much sought after in the Roman and Byzantine worlds. Travelling along Wadi Umm Sidri, we will cross harsh terrain rarely visited by man these days, apart from occasional archaeologists, local Bedouin and AWT passengers. We will spend time at the fort, explore the Workers’ Village, the Temple of Isis and the Temple of Serapis. For the adventurous, time to hike a rugged slipway to view a quarry wall worked by the workers. We will also  stop to look at some of the nearby loading ramps. We have a picnic lunch today. (BL)

Day 7 – Mons Claudianus
Today a thorough investigation of the great quarry at Mons Claudianus. Under the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian this quarry supplied much of the building material for Rome. We walk over the ancient footpaths of this heavily worked site to discover the huge abandoned column that measures some twenty metres in length and was surely destined for a great building in Rome. Known as the ‘Mother of Columns’ we take the time to discuss the visible repairs to this massive pillar and try to visualise the means of removing such pieces from the desert hills for transport overseas. We also look at the settlement buildings and enjoy another picnic lunch before looking at the temple to Serapis, the animal lines and bath houses. (BL)

Day 8 – Wadi Hammamat
This morning our journey will take us to Quseir and then we will head across the Eastern Desert towards Qift. We will have a picnic lunch in the desert but our last adventure will take us to the pharaonic quarry at Wadi Hammamat. A chance to study the fascinating hieroglyphic inscriptions that cover the dark rock face. Here we can study much rock art, some known to date back to the reign of Khufu. Later we dive on to Luxor, say goodbye to our driving team and check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for one night on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 9 – Monday 23rd February 2015
After breakfast we take our private transfer to the airport for our flight to London arriving early afternoon. (B)

Expert: Dylan Bickerstaffe, well known for his publications, lectures, and TV work, combines a longstanding interest in both the Pharaonic and Roman periods in recent studies of expeditions into the Egyptian Eastern Desert to obtain sacred stone, and launch voyages on the Red Sea.
 

B=Breakfast   L=Lunch   D=Dinner

 

EGYPT'S GOLDEN COAST

DEPARTURE DATE  Sunday 15th February 2015

TOUR CODE AWGC150215

 

BASIC HOLIDAY PRICE: £2,435

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £132

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

 

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