Pharaohs, Crusaders & Kings Trip Notes
Trip code: GEPK
Trip valid from: 01/01/2012
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 20
Trip starts in: Cairo
Trip ends in: Jerusalem
Maximum group size: maximum 16
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo
- Abu Simbel
- Cairo Museum
- Nubean Aswan
- Bethlehem's Manger Square And The Church Of The Nativity
- Luxor's Open Air Museum
- Sunrise On Mt Sinai
- Nile Cruise
- Jordan's Capital Amman
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jerusalem
- 2000 Year-old Ruins Of Jerash
- The Dead Sea
- Wadi Rum's Red Earth Desertscapes
- The Sea Of Galilee
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Petra
- Crusader Castle At Shobak
Egypt is an amazing country; home to some of world's great ancient sites. We explore the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx before heading south into the Nile Valley. Here we visit the awesome temples at Abu Simbel before boarding our felucca for a relaxing cruise to Luxor – a great way to observe everyday Egyptian life along the Nile. We then cross the Sinai to Jordan; for anyone wanting to experience the highlights of the Middle East, Jordan is a ‘must’. The people are extremely friendly, the food is excellent and the monuments are among the most impressive in the region. While Petra is undoubtedly the ‘jewel in the crown’, Jordan also boasts a fine crusader castle at Shobak and an outstanding Roman city at Jerash. Our final destination is holy Jerusalem - where the fabrics of various great religions can be found intertwined in the narrow streets of the Old City.
CairoOur trip starts today in the busy city of Cairo. No activities are planned so you may arrive at any time.
Cairo - overnight trainCairo is the mother of all cities. This morning we head out to the edge of the city for a guided tour of the pyramids, the Sphinx and the superb Valley Temple. In the evening we take the night train to Aswan. (B, D)
AswanWe visit the amazing temple complex at Abu Simbel and have time to explore the vibrant Nubian bazaar. We also spend an evening with the friendly local sailors – enjoying dinner, music and dancing. (B)
Abu Simbel - Nubian village - AswanWe begin sailing in our Feluccas towards Edfu where we visit the Temple of Horus. The sailing is peaceful and we have plenty of time to read, chat and chill. Along the way we have time to explore the magical ruined Temple of Sobek at Komombo. (B, D)
Felucca CruiseWe reach Edfu and have time to visit the bazaar before driving into Luxor. The next morning we cross the river and ride donkeys into the Valley of the Kings. On our second evening we take the train to Cairo. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Edfu - LuxorWe arrive in Cairo in the morning and have a full day to check out the scenery and shopping. Many will want to head off to the fabulous Khan al-Khalili bazaar – Cairo’s ‘Aladdin’s Cave’. (B)
Luxor-CairoWe drive into the Sinai, an untamed wilderness of immense beauty, where we sleep at the foot of Mt Sinai. (B, D)
CairoWe have an early start to climb Mt Sinai this morning (2285m) and watch the awesome sunrise over the southern end of the peninsula. Later we catch the hydrofoil to Aqaba in southern Jordan. (B)
Cairo-Mt. SinaiArriving in Wadi Rum we spend the afternoon exploring the red sands in local jeeps and then head to the lost city of Petra. (B, D)
Mt Sinai-AqabaPetra is one of the great cities of the ancient world. With our local site guide we spend a full day exploring the tombs, colonnades, amphitheatre and other places of interest. (B)
Aqaba-Wadi Rum-PetraAt Dana we visit the rejuvenated ancient village where local artisans produce beautiful crafts. We then travel along the biblical Kings Highway, visiting the a crusader castle and the ancient mosaic map at Madaba. (B)
PetraThe Roman city of Jerash is one of the grandest ancient cities in the world, with an imposing collection of archways, theatres, temples and cobbled streets. In the afternoon we can take an optional trip to the Dead Sea. (B)
Petra-The Kings Highway-AmmanWe cross the Jordan - Israel border at the Allenby Bridge this morning, afternoon free in the amazing city of Jerusalem. (B)
JerashWe spend a full day visiting Jerusalem including the Old City, Western Wall, Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Garden of Gethsemane and Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum). In the afternoon we visit Bethlehem. (B)
Amman-JerusalemWe drive north to Nazareth for a visit to the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of St Joseph, before passing the baptismal site on the Jordan River on our way to the Tiberias and Sea of Galilee. (B)
JerusalemA free day for further exploration in this timeless city or choose from a selection of optional activities, including the Dead Sea and Masada. (B)
Bethlehem - Masada - Dead Sea - JerusalemOur trip comes to an end after breakfast in Jerusalem. Additional accommodation is available on request in either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Whether you’re taking in man’s greatest works at places like Petra or Angkor Wat, experiencing grand set-pieces like the Trans-Mongolian Railway or trying your hand at regional specialities like tango in Buenos Aires, getting to grips with local cultures is what travel’s all about. A few tips from a guide and a sense of adventure are pretty much all you need. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the lowdown on high Tibet among Lhasa’s magisterial temples; follow up Delhi’s eye-popping bustle with a fix of its fiery food; and mix manic markets and Incan masterpieces in Peru.
Maybe you’re after a ramble through Morocco’s Dades Gorge, or a stroll in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. Or perhaps something more energetic, a hike in South Africa’s spectacular Drakensberg Mountains or along a stretch of China’s Great Wall. Whatever you want, the same principles apply: keep it simple, and slow it down. Stretching the legs is a great way to discover somewhere, whether a city’s downtown or remote countryside. You quickly get into the feel for how life’s lived, the local rhythm of where you’re travelling. And there’s no better way of meeting locals – take a walk through African plains or South American valleys and you’ll soon be trying to hurdle language barriers with friendly villagers and farmers.
Some people find the ascent of Mount Sinai quite arduous. There are steps all the way but for most of the time you will be walking in darkness. A torch is necessary (preferably a head-torch) and a decent pair of shoes is recommended. It takes a couple of hours to reach the top.
- Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide in Egypt, and local site guides in Jordan and Israel. - Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Cairo’s pyramids and the Sphinx; Valley of the Kings, Kings Highway; Dana ancient village; Crusader castle at Shobak; Madaba's Greek Orthodox Church of St. George; Roman city of Jerash; Jerusalem; Nazareth; ruins at Capernaum; Tabgha; Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes; Sea of Galilee; baptismal site on the Jordan River; Jericho; Bethlehem; and Masada. - 2 night felucca sail from Aswan towards Edfu, sleeping onboard and enjoying meals prepared by Gecko’s Nubian crew and the use of an amenities boat. - Excursion to Abu Simbel. - Full day exploring Petra. - Jeep safari in the Wadi Rum. - Donkey ride to explore the Valley of the Kings. - Optional ascent of Mt Sinai (included in price). - Time to relax at the Dead Sea. - Traditional dinner with the felucca crew's family in a Nubian village. - Free time to explore Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Amman and Jerusalem. - 2 nights on an overnight train sleeping in an air-conditioned carriage with comfortable seats (similar to business class seats on a plane) that recline back about 45 degrees. Toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage. Breakfast is delivered to us when we arrive in the morning. - Hydrofoil from Egypt (Nuweiba) to Jordan (Aqaba).
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, visas, airport taxes, additional meals, drinks, optional sightseeing tours, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
19 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
Felucca,Hydrofoil,Jeep,Overnight train,Private busThe itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 10/01/2013