Crusaders, Petra & Pyramids (Family) Trip Notes
Trip code: PTPP
Trip valid from: 01/11/2011
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 15 days
Trip starts in: Cairo
Trip ends in: Amman
Maximum group size: 15
- Red Sea Resort Of Aqaba
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Petra
- Wadi Rum's Red Earth Desertscapes
- Jordan's Capital Amman
- The Great Pyramids And Sphinx
- Edfu And Komombo Temples
- Luxor's Open Air Museum
- Nile Cruise
- Cairo Museum
Arriving in Cairo, we visit the Egyptian Museum, pyramids and Sphinx. Further south we ride camels and take a sailboat trip around Aswan's islands. A relaxing Nile cruise then brings us to Luxor, where we visit Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings before returning to Cairo. A morning is spent exploring the bustling, centuries-old Khan el Khalili Bazaar. Mt Sinai is the next stop, before crossing into Jordan, where we spend a night in a traditional Bedouin camp deep in the spectacular setting of Wadi Rum – a real highlight! We take a full day to discover the amazing city of Petra, visit a Crusader castle, and swim (or float!) in the Dead Sea, before our adventure ends in Amman.
CairoUpon your arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Cairo. No activities are planned so you may arrive at any time. Rooms are generally available after 1.00 pm. Your tour leader will meet you tomorrow morning, shortly after breakfast. There will be a message at the hotel giving details.
Cairo - TrainOur tour briefing today will be held after breakfast, before we start our sightseeing. Our first stop is the Egyptian Museum where we see all the major exhibits. Our guide explains the complexities of Egypt’s many dynastic periods, starting with the Old Kingdom and ending with the Greco-Roman occupation, and we visit the fabulous gold room of King Tutankhamun. This contains many fine pieces including the celebrated Golden Mask. We also make a special visit to the Mummy Room, where we the body of King Ramses II, the greatest pharaoh of all. It is incredible to think that his body is over 3200 years old. After our visit we travel out to the nearby Western Desert to visit the pyramids and the nearby Sphinx. There may be a chance to even to go inside one of the pyramids (entry fee not included – availability of tickets varies). We return to downtown Cairo, where some day use rooms are available until it is time to go to the train station for the overnight sleeper train to Aswan. Sleeping berths (beds and linen) are provided in private cabins and a pleasant ‘airline-style’ dinner is served on board. A toilet is located at the end of each carriage. We suggest that light sleepers bring ear-plugs and eye-shades. (B, D)
AswanAswan one of our favourite places. Despite the fact that it is Egypt’s third-largest city, it has an easy-going, laid-back atmosphere that belies its size. After checking in to our hotel, we visit the incredible Nubian bazaar, a hive of activity which snakes through the backstreets of town, with an endless number of things to see and buy. In the afternoon we take a traditional felucca boatride on the Nile, the life-blood of Egypt, sailing around the islands for a relaxing change of pace. This sort of boat has been used on the Nile for thousands of years for trade and travel, and it’s easy to imagine that we are time-travellers returned to another age. The same applies later in the day when we enjoy a fun camel ride towards St. Simeon's Monastery, with great views out over the river. It’s a bit bouncy, but there’s a fairly comfortable saddle. Make sure the camel takes your photo! (B)
Aswan - KomomboThe visit to Abu Simbel will occur this morning for those who booked this option with the tour leader back in Cairo. In the late 1960s the temple was moved, stone by stone, and re-sited in its current position above the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Alternatively, for those staying in Aswan you can have a late start, wander into the Nubian bazaar again and perhaps visit the excellent little Nubian Museum. For greater detail, see the section later in these notes headed Optional Tours. Around midday we are transferred to our cruise boat, our home for the next three nights. After lunch on board we set sail in the afternoon and begin cruising towards Komombo. Dinner is served on the boat, and the sunsets on the Nile are often spectacular. As you sail towards Luxor there will be ample opportunity to relax on board and watch the passing scene - you may want to bring a few small games, cards etc to help you while away the hours. Please refer below to the note below regarding cruise schedules. (B, L, D)
Komombo - EdfuToday we visit the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed God) that lies, classically ruined, on the edge of the Nile. Its most spectacular view is undoubtedly from the river itself, but a short walk around the temple also provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period. We then continue cruising to Edfu where we visit the Temple of Horus, the falcon-headed God. We also have time to explore the local bazaar in the bustling town centre. Returning to our boat we spend the rest of the day cruising downstream, enjoying views of the desert and everyday life that are almost as timeless as the monuments themselves. (B, L, D)
LuxorWe pass through Esna lock, which can sometimes be a slow process, depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue our journey upstream to Luxor. In the afternoon we head to Karnak Temple, one of the world’s most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years. We return to our cruise boat in the late afternoon and the rest of the day is free to relax, shop in the bazaar (which stays open quite late), or experience the atmosphere of a local coffee shop. (B, L, D)
LuxorRising early (very early in summer time!) we drive across to the west bank of the Nile, to visit the Valley of the Kings. Along n the way we have the chance to stop at Colossi of Memnon, the remaining two magnificant figures each cut from a single block of stone and weighing 1000 tons, were only a small part of the alrgest temple ever built in Egypt. Our next stop is the impressive Temple of Hatshepsut, almost hidden in the base of the towering cliffs above and another of Egypt stunning suprises. In the Valley of the Kings our guide explains the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and the significance of the many tomb paintings and hieroglyphics which date back thousands of years. We visit three of the more important tombs and then head back to the east bank, where we check into our hotel. If we want to see more of Ancient Egypt, Luxor Temple is well worth a visit and the small Luxor Museum is a gem. Alternatively, Luxor boasts a large and extensive bazaar where we can happily spend a few hours haggling over prices. The afternoon is free to explore or for those wanting to relax can head for the hotel pool. (B)
CairoAfter breakfast, we fly from Luxor to Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo we head for our hotel. After time to ‘freshen up’ we dive straight into the heart of downtown Cairo, we explore Khan El Khalili bazaar – a chaotic jumble of shops and stalls that have traded goods and gossip since the Middle Ages. This is a great chance to pick up some souvenirs, but, as always, be prepared to bargain! We then have time for some great views over Cairo from the hilltop Citadel. The afternoon is free – you may want to relax at the hotel or undertake some final exploration or some further shopping for souvenirs. (B)
Cairo-Mt. SinaiThis morning we travel east towards Suez where we drive through the Suez Canal tunnel and then turn south towards Mt. Sinai. It’s a long day’s drive (around 8 hours) and on the way we stop for a light lunch. We reach our hotel in the late afternoon where there may be time to relax before dinner. (B, D)
Mt. Sinai - Nuweiba - AqabaThose wishing to ascend Mt. Sinai to watch the sun rise over the peninsula will be woken up between 2.00am and 3.00am (depending on the season). It is a fairly steep climb (with stairs all the way) and most people take about an two and a half to three hours to reach the summit. It’s well worth the effort and you return to your hotel for a well-earned breakfast. Note that during the winter months (Oct-Mar) it can get very cold on the mountain and may even snow during the height of winter. Please ensure you have warm thermal clothes during this period. Around mid-morning we drive to Nuweiba to board the hydrofoil to Aqaba. Please read the notes below regarding the ferry journey. On arrival in Aqaba we are transferred to our hotel where the balance of the day is at leisure. (B)
Wadi RumWith our guide we enjoy a brief orientation of Aqaba. We can visit the old castle (time permitting). We then drive to Wadi Rum. We have lunch in the small village of Rum, and can browse the new (and very good) visitor centre, before we meet our Bedouin friends and ride camels to our traditional Bedouin tent, deep within Wadi Rum. There's plenty of time to explore our surroundings and enjoy a memorable sunset. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, with towering sandstone mountains rising from the desert. It fully deserves the amount of time we spend here, as wind-sculpted rock formations change hue throughout the day as the sun rises and sets. Wadi Rum is home to Bedouin tribes who live in scattered camps throughout the area. We enjoy an evening with our friend Mzied in his Bedouin camp – it has an amazing location! Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in Wadi Rum. (B, D)
Wadi Rum - PetraIt’s well worth rising early and watching the cliffs change colour as the sun comes up. We enjoy a walk in the morning (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you’re feeling!), and scaling one of the large dunes affords sensational views of the surrounding area - and keen photographers will be delighted! We then take 4WDs from our camp back to the main entrance. The visitor centre is a great spot to buy some well made jewellery and knick-knacks – most are made by a women’s co-operative which aims to support traditional industry. We then continue our journey to Petra. There is time in the afternoon to check out the town, withdraw or change money, or just relax…ready for a big day exploring Petra tomorrow! (B, D)
PetraFor most people the image of Petra is a narrow chasm with glimpses of the ‘Treasury’ building in the distance, and you are likely be quite surprised by the size of this ancient city. With our guide we explore the old roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. We also climb up to the ‘Monastery’ for a fine view of the entire site. It’s a memorable day and one of the highlights of the trip. There is a cafeteria on site where we purchase a light lunch. In the mid-afternoon we return to our hotel and your tour leader will try hard to persuade you to take a Turkish bath! This is a great experience and Petra is an excellent – and safe - place to try one. The cost is around US$14 per person. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B, L, D)
Petra - Shobak - Dead Sea - AmmanThis morning we drive along the King’s Highway, a road that dates back to the time of the Old Testament, and beyond. We reach Shobak Castle, originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before falling to Saladin in 1189. We enjoy a walk through the site and continue to the Dead Sea. There is plenty of time to experience the warm waters, which have an unusually high saline content, or to relax on the shore. We expect to arrive in Amman in the late afternoon, and this evening we can try one of several fine restaurants. Please note that Kerak Castle is not included in your tour, as it can get very congested and busy. However, if there is sufficient interest among members of the group, your leader can arrange to visit Kerak. Most people, however, prefer the extra time in Amman. (B)
AmmanYour trip ends today after breakfast. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. (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.
The greatest cities in the world and the richest historic sights; the finest regional food and the must-see spectacles. Museums and markets, medinas and mosques – from Hobart to Hong Kong, Cairo to Caracas, get under the skin of local life and explore what your destination means to its own people. Dive headlong into exotic metropolitan buzz – the souks of Marrakech, La Paz’s markets – or adventure to remote African hills to explore ancient and mysterious rock art. Take in cutting edge art at Bilbao’s dazzling Guggenheim, or soak up timeless rhythms sitting under a balanzan tree in Mali listening to Tuareg musicians. Whatever it is, wherever you are, there’s no greater adventure than learning how another culture ticks.
• Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, the pyramids, Sphinx, Khan El Khalili bazaar; Aswan’s Nubian bazaar; Komombo; Edfu; Karnak Temple; Valley of the Kings; Aqaba; Shobak Castle; and the Dead Sea.
• 3 night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Accommodation onboard Peregrine’s comfortable vessel, with sightseeing stops along the way.
• Full day exploring Petra’s old Roman road, amphitheatre, tombs and the ‘Monastery’.
• Camel ride to a traditional Bedouin tent for an overnight stay in the Wadi Rum.
• Traditional felucca boat ride on the Nile.
• Camel ride towards St. Simeon's Monastery.
• Ascent of Mt. Sinai.
• Overnight sleeper trains from Cairo to Aswan. Accommodation in private cabins (linen provided) with an ‘airline-style’ dinner included.
• Flight between Luxor and Cairo with all transfers on day 8.
• Free time to explore Aswan, Luxor, Cairo and Amman.
• Arrival transfer.
International flights, taxes, meals unless specified, drinks, visas, travel insurance, tips (see below), spending of a personal nature, and optional sightseeing.
14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
3 nights Riverboat,9 nights Comfortable hotel,1 night Air-con sleeper train,1 night Bedouin camp
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.
Camel,Hydrofoil,Jeep,Plane,Private aircon bus,Riverboat
*prices below are guide onlyAbu Simbel - By Bus
- - Approx US$80 (min 4 people)
- - Approx EGP120 pp (min 4 people)
- - US$175-$230 (must be bought in Cairo)
- - Approx EGP100 pp (based on 4 people)
- - Approx EGP25 (based 4 people)
- - Approx EGP40 pp (min 4 pax)
- - Approx EGP50 pp
- - Approx EGP70 pp but prices may vary locally
- - Approx EGP40 pp
- - Approx EGP100 pp entrance only
- - Approx EGP100 pp
- - Approx EGP90 pp
- - Approx EGP70pp
- - Approx EGP120 pp
- - US$21
Well before travelling, please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport. Some countries may require that you have a return air ticket, or have sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket.
On all our holidays you must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel as your tour leader will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive without travel insurance they will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Your leader will need to record your credit card type and number as this is required to activate your request for emergency assistance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.
Egypt - Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British and Canadians require a visa for Egypt. All other nationalities should check with the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information. If you require a double entry visa for Egypt you will need to obtain this from an overseas embassy prior to arrival. Single entry visas for most nationalities can be obtained on arrival at Cairo Airport. The current cost for most nationalities is US$15. You must pay in cash in US dollars, UK pounds, euros, Japanese yen or any other convertible currency to a bank located next to immigration.
If you are arriving in Egypt by land from Israel you must obtain your visa beforehand.
If you are arriving in Egypt by ferry from Aqaba, Jordan, a single entry visa can be obtained upon arrival and costs approximately US$15.
All travellers departing Egypt at the Port of Nuweiba must pay a 50 Egyptian pound departure tax (subject to change). Your tour leader will collect this amount from you to pay at immigration control.
Jordan - Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British and Canadians require a visa for Jordan. All other nationalities should check with the Jordanian Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
Visas are available on arrival at the airport in Amman for approximately US$30 however this must be paid for in Jordanian dinar. As the process can sometimes be time consuming, you may wish to consider obtaining your visa prior to arrival.
If you are arriving in Jordan by ferry at the port of Aqaba it is possible to obtain a Jordanian visa on board, either as an individual or as a group. There is normally no charge for this visa.
Important For those continuing on to Israel after Jordan please ensure that you obtain an individual visa only. Do not enter Jordan on a group visa, as you will find entry to Israel at the Allenby Bridge border difficult. If you obtain your Jordanian visa on the ferry boat from Nuweiba keep your passport separate from your group and obtain the visa individually.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.The 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 email@example.comThe Imaginative Traveller & Peregrine Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Peregrine Adventures. Peregrine is an Australia based company with more than 30 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a codeshared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Peregrine travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 17/02/2012