Mysteries of the Middle East

This carefully tailored travel package in the Middle East has the most perfect name to describe it; the Mysteries of the Middle East!

It offers the guests with a marvelous chance to explore the wonders of Egypt, Jordon, and Israel in a wonderful vacation in the Middle East. This tour is finely designed for those who would like to spend a longer vacation and explore more than one country while being in the region of the Middle East.

We begin our tour in Egypt by spending three nights in Cairo exploring the most attractive monuments of the Egyptian capital, including the pyramids of Giza, the Saqqara step pyramid and complex, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, and the open-air museum of Memphis. This is besides exploring the Saladin Citadel and Khan El Khalili.

Afterwards, the guests will be traveling to Aswan to take a luxurious Nile Cruise journey from Aswan to Luxor featured with the highest standards of services, marvelous entertainment program, all meals included. Being popular among tourists who travel to Egypt lately, the Nile Cruise ships offer the guests with a comprehensive program of visits to all the highlights of Aswan, Luxor, and the area between the two cities like the High Dam, the Temple of Philae, the Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan, the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Colossi of Memnon, the Temple of Luxor, the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, and the Temple of Kom Ombo and the Temple of Edfu.

The Egypt tours we offer are neatly tailored to match the needs of all types of guests who travel to Egypt to enjoy their vacation in opulence and comfort.

The second section of this marvelous tour to the Middle East includes spending three nights in Amman, the capital of Jordon to explore sites like the historical town of Jerash, the Citadel of Amman, the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, The Roman Theatre of Amman, The Amman Museum, St George’s Greek Orthodox Church, the Nebo Mountain, the Dead Sea, and Petra.

The last section of this wonderful vacation would be spending two nights in Jerusalem visiting the most important religious monuments like the Wailing Wall, The Mount Temple, The Church of the Holy Sepulture, The Tomb of King David, The Church of Nativity, and Ain Karem.

After finishing this great vacation, the guests will surely feel satisfied visiting three of the most interesting countries in the region of the Middle East and exploring the most important historical monuments.

Program Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival to Cairo

Upon arrival to Cairo International Airport, you will be met with GAT Tours’ representative, your best friend for the coming few days, who will help you in passing the passport control and collecting your luggage. Then, you will be transferred to the hotel in Cairo by air-conditioned vehicle with qualified driver. Arrival to your hotel in Cairo, we will check in the hotel within few minutes! Then you will proceed to your nice room to have some rest before the beginning of your awesome tour in Cairo.

At night, free at leisure on your own pace and with your own style in Cairo. You can take the chance to go for a marvelous “Optional Tour” to Islamic Cairo in the Mouiz Street, where you can visit the most unique collection of our Islamic monuments like the collection of Qalaun, El Aqmar Mosque, Beit El Sehemy and other interesting places. After your free tour, you will get back to your hotel to spend your first night in Egypt before the superb coming days enjoying your holiday in the land of the Pharaohs. [No Meals]

Day 02: Giza Pyramids, Sakkara & Memphis

Enjoy your first breakfast in Cairo at your hotel. Later on, you will be met with our professional long-experienced Egyptologist, who will join you today in order to add more amazement to your trip, providing you with all the historical facts, the fabulous legends, and the amazing stories of ancient Egypt and the construction of the various pyramids in Cairo. Our first visit of the day will be to The Pyramids of Giza, the most popular monument in the world. Constructed around 2500 BC as the necropolis of the kings of the fourth dynasty, there is the pyramid of Cheops or the Grand Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the smaller pyramid of Menkaure, and the marvelous sphinx constructed with a body of a lion and the head of a human to guard the pyramids from any threats.

Our next stop will be to Saqqara, the royal burial site of the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom in Egypt and one of the richest archeological places in Egypt with treasures being discovered until today. The highlight and the centerpiece of Saqqara is the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest surviving stone monument in the whole world and the first proper pyramid to ever be constructed in Egypt in the 27th century BC. This would be a marvelous chance to understand the evolution of the pyramids building in ancient Egypt. The step pyramid is considered to be one of the most important landmarks of pyramids construction in Egypt.

Our last stop of the day will be to Memphis, the first capital of unified Egypt. Established in 32nd century BC by King Narmer after he unified Upper and Lower Egypt. The city served as the seat of the government until the 22nd century. However, all the displayed exhibited in the open-air museum we will explore today belong to the New Kingdom with the highlights being the amazing Colossi of Ramses II, the alabaster sphinx, and many other statues and items.

Later on, you will proceed to have the lunch meal at local restaurant. After lunch we will drive back to the hotel for rest and refresh. At night, free at leisure on your own in Cairo or (optional) sound & light show at Giza pyramids, where the startling sphinx will tell you the whole story and history behind the creation of the pyramids in an entertaining blend of sounds and lights. Finally, we will get back to the hotel for overnight.

Meals Plan : Breakfast & Lunch

Day 03: Museum_Citadel_Old Cairo

Breakfast meal will be served at your hotel. After that, you’ll join your expert tour guide in such awe-inspiring tour in the city center of Cairo. We begin our visits of the day by exploring The Egyptian Museum, the largest museum in the world with a huge collection of displays dating back to various periods of the ancient Egyptian history with the highlights being the golden exhibits of Tutankhamen, the mummies’ hall, large impressive reliefs, statues, and many other fascinating items.

Our next visit will be Coptic Cairo including One of the most remarkable historical churches in Egypt the Hanging Church also you will see other churches and historical sites in the area.

Later on, we will proceed to have lunch at local restaurant. After lunch we will proceed to visit the Citadel, constructed in the 10th century by Saladin to protect Egypt and became the residence of the rulers of Egypt for a period that lasted more than seven centuries. The citadel itself is one of the most impressive medieval fortresses and it contains many remarkable monuments like the famous Mosque of Mohamed Ali, the Mosque of El Nasser Mohamed, and many interesting museums. This is besides offering the guests amazing panoramic views of the city of Cairo. 

Finally, you will proceed to have the lunch meal at local restaurant. After lunch, we will transfer you by private A/C vehicle to Giza train station in order to catch your Sleeper train to reach Aswan early morning of the following day. Dinner meal will be included on board the train.

Meals Plan : Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 04: Dam_Philae_Obelisk

Enjoy your buffet breakfast on board train. Your train arrives to Aswan at approximately 08:30 AM, where you will find our local representative in Aswan, featured with the fluency of English and multi-cultured experience, will welcome you at the Aswan train station. Another comfortable air-conditioned vehicle will transfer you to the location of the Nile Cruise ship. Check in within few minutes, then you will enjoy your lunch meal. After lunch, you’ll visit the High Dam, constructed in the 1960s by the former Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The dam helped Egypt to store the water from the flood of the River Nile and it also generates a large volume of the electricity of Egypt. It is also considered to be a great architectural achievement.

We will then ride in a motorboat to reach Agilika Island, the new location of the marvelous Philae Temple, constructed in the 3rd century BC in the Greco Roman era as the center of the worship of the goddess Isis. It is one of the most remarkable ancient Egyptian temples that were relocated after the construction of the High Dam and the water of the River Nile affected many historical monuments, the temple was transferred under a huge project funded by many nations and supervised by the UNESCO.

Our last visit of the day will be to the Unfinished Obelisk, which was found in the granite quarry in the Southern part of the city of Aswan. If completed, the unfinished obelisk would have been the largest piece of stone humans ever dealt with. Dating back to the New Kingdom, it documents however the miraculous process of the construction of obelisks in ancient Egypt.

After the day tour, we will drive back to our Nile cruiser for rest and refresh. Afternoon, free at leisure on board in order to relax beside the pool on the sundeck and enjoy the incomparable view of the River Nile. Evening time is free at leisure in Aswan or there is a wonderful opportunity to go for an optional tour to the sound and light show at Philae Temple, in order to know the full story of the goddess Isis and her husband Osiris in the most marvelous ambience. There are in fact many legends and interesting stories which date back to the era of ancient Egypt. After that, you’ll get back to your Nile cruise ship for dinner and overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 05: Kom_Ombo_and_Edfu

Energizing breakfast will be served on board before our full day tour. Our Nile Cruise ship will land at the location of the Temple of Kom Ombo, established in the Ptolemaic period and completed in the Roman era, the temple is dedicated to two gods, the local crocodile, Sobek and the famous eagle god, Haroeris. This was why the temple was divided into two sections; one for each god.

After visiting the amazing temple of Kom Ombo, you will get back to the ship, so we can enjoy the lunch on board while sailing to the city of Edfu. Enjoy the wonderful landscape of the Nile from the sundeck. Arrange yourself for the second visit of the day, whereas we will meet Temple of Horus in Edfu, the finest preserved ancient Egyptian temple in the land of the Nile. It was constructed by the Ptolemies in the 3rd century BC for the worship of the god Horus. The temple is featured with its marvelous stone columns and fascinating wall carvings.

Evening time is free at leisure to enjoy the Egyptian folklore show in the ship with a belly dancer and many other entertaining performances, or (optional) we can attend the sound & light show at Temple of Edfu, a wonderful chance to know the story of the temple through a startling sound and lights show which is enjoyed by everybody. Usually it depends on the cruise schedule, as some cruisers don’t have an overnight in Edfu.

Meals Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 06: West_Bank_of_Luxor

Morning time is free at leisure or (optional) you can enjoy a Hot-air Balloon adventure to explore Luxor from the sky, having amazing views of the city. It is as if you are a bird flying across the marvelous monuments of Luxor. Enjoy your delicious breakfast before exploring the West bank of Luxor, the city of the dead where many marvelous mortuary temples and necropolises are located. Our first visit of the day will be to the Valley of the Kings, the richest and most fascinating ancient tombs in Egypt. This was the burial site of the kings from the New Kingdom. This includes the marvelous tomb of Tutankhamen, discovered intact by Howard Carter in 1922 as the most important archeological discovery in the 20th century. The tombs are featured with marvelous wall painting which survived until today.

The next visit will be to the Temple of Deir El Bahari, which was constructed during the reign of the 18th dynasty by Queen Hatshepsut, one of the greatest rulers of Egypt. The Temple is featured with its many terraces, the statues of the Queen with a beard, and its magnificent location carved out of one of the great mountains of Thebes.

Our last visit at the West Bank will be to the Colossi of Memnon, these two huge statues are the only remaining items of the great funerary temple of Amenhotep III constructed in 1350 BC and became a landmark of Luxor afterwards.

After the tour, we will get back to the Nile cruiser to have our delicious lunch meal on board. Enjoy your Afternoon tea on board while relaxing on the sundeck facing the amazing view of the Nile. At night, we will enjoy the funniest party on board “Galabeiya Party” or listen to international music.

Meals Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 07: East_Bank_of_Luxor

Enjoy your wonderful buffet breakfast on board before exploring the east bank of Luxor. Our first visit of the day will be to Temple of Karnak, the largest Pharaonic temple complex in the world. Constructed over a period of more than one thousand years, almost all the impressive items of the Karnak we see today date back to the new kingdom specially the huge amazing columns of the hypostyle hall which are constructed by Ramses II, the greatest builder of ancient Egypt.

Our next visit of the day will be to the Luxor Temple, another startling temple which was established around the 14th century BC and the construction continued for many years afterwards by Ramses II, Queen Hatshepsut, and many other Pharaohs. The temple is featured with its variety of design outlines and architecture. This is besides the huge two statues of Ramses II which ornaments the façade of the temple.

The most comfortable vehicle will be awaiting you afterwards to transfer you to the Luxor train station in order to catch your Sleeper Train which will take you back to Cairo. Dinner and overnight on board.

Meals Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 08: Free_at_Leisure_in_Cairo

Enjoy your breakfast meal on board train. Your train arrives to Cairo at approximately 06:30 AM, where you will be met with our representative who will transfer you by private A/C vehicle to your hotel in Cairo for check in, rest and refresh. You have the rest of the day free at leisure to enjoy the Egyptian capital on your own doing some shopping, exploring one of the monuments, or just chilling out for the rest the excitements yet to come.

At night, free at leisure on your own in Cairo or (optional) we can offer Nile Cruise Dinner, with the most delicious open buffet, a Tanoora show, a belly dancing performance, live music, and remarkable views of the river Nile. Finally, we will get back to the hotel for overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 09: Flight_to_Amman

Check out after breakfast. Later on, you’ll be met with our English-speaking representative who will transfer you by private A/C vehicle to Cairo International Airport in order to catch your flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan and the biggest city in the country. Arrival to Queen Alia International Airport, where you’ll be met with our local representative in Jordan, who will help with all the procedures with the entrance visa and everything. Later on, you’ll be transferred by private air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel in Amman for check in and overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 10: Jerash_ Citadel of Amman_ Roman Theatre of Amman

Breakfast meal will be served at your hotel. After that, you’ll join your expert tour guide for an amazing day in your tour in the Middle East. An air-conditioned vehicle will be ready to transfer you to Jerash, situated 48 kilometers to the south of Amman, in around 45 minutes. This historical city goes back to the Greco Roman period around the 4th century BC by Alexander the great and then other Greek kings after him. We begin our visits in Jerash by exploring the Hadrian’s Arch,  constructed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 1st century BC and it is a huge arched passageway gate which is around 11 meters high forming a very impressive monument.

Our next visit will be to the Hippodrome of Jerash, constructed in the 1st century. This was where the Roman soldiers used to get trained and carry out horse races. It is 244 X 52 meters and it used to accommodate a very large number of audiences in the past. We move on with our tour of Jerash to explore the Cathedral of Jerash which was built in the 4th century BC in the Roman period. Later on, we will visit the Jerash Museum, established in 1932 and it hosts a large number of archeological findings dating to different periods of time and discovered in and around the ancient city of Jerash. We go on to explore the Southern Theatre of Jerash, built in the 1st century AD and it can accommodate up to 3000 spectators.

We then explore the Eastern Theatre of Jerash, which is still used until today to host musical concerts and cultural events and it takes up to 1500 people. After that our vehicle will be ready to take us back to Amman, we arrive in Amman and begin our tour of the city by exploring the Citadel of Amman,  established in the 16th century BC and it has ruins and monuments that date back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyads periods.

We will be visiting the Temple of Hercules, one of the largest and best preserved Roman temples in the world which was constructed in the 2nd century AD. Afterwards we visit the Umayyad Palace, which dates back to the 7th century AD and it was constructed on the ruins of some Roman establishments. We move on to visit the Roman Theatre of Amman, which dates back to the 2nd century AD and it accommodates more than 5000 spectator and it is the largest theatre in Amman until today.

Our last visit of the day will be to the Amman Museum, which hosts a huge number of displays dating to different ears of the Jordanian history. After the tour, we will transfer you back to your hotel in Amman for overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 11: Madaba_Mount Nebo_ Dead Sea

Breakfast meal will be served at your hotel. Our modern vehicle will be awaiting you to be transferred to Madaba, situated 30 kilometers to the South West of Amman, the city is famous for its remarkable Roman and Umayyad monuments. Upon arrival, we will visit the St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, famous for its notable mosaics with scenes from Jerusalem, other towns in Amman and Palestine, and some scenes from the River Nile in Egypt. Then we will proceed with our trip to visit the Nebo Mountain, situated more than 6000 meters above the sea level which offers amazing scenes of the whole area. This is besides its religious significance for Christians and Muslims.

 

Our next visit will be to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, it consists of a salty closed lake with a surface area that is more than 650 kilometer square, the Dead Sea is featured with its high level of salts and minarets that are quite beneficial in curing many diseases and offers a marvelous feeling of relaxation. Afterwards we drive to Petra, one of the most amazing historical sites in the world as this city was established in the 3rd century BC as the center of the Nabataeans. Arrive to Petra, where you will check in at your hotel and overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 12: Full_Day_Petra

After breakfast, you will be ready, accompanied by the best tour guides to explore the wonders of the ancient city of Petra. We will start touring the remarkable monuments of Petra including the Treasury, the most astonishing building in the city, this amazing hewn into the stones of the cliff as the preservation storage section of the city that used to host many treasures. Our next visit of the day will be to theatre of Petra, which is also hewn into the rocks and it used to host more than 8000 people in ancient times.

We will then move on to visit the Monastery of Petra, the largest and one of the most impressive monuments of Petra that dates back to the 1st century AD as one of the oldest surviving monasteries in the world. After exploring many other sections of the amazing ancient city of Petra, we will take our car and return to Amman. Arrive to Amman and proceed to your hotel for check in and overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 13: Depart_to_Jerusalem

Check out after breakfast. Later on, we will drive towards Jerusalem, one of the most important spiritual and religious centers in the whole world. We begin our visits by exploring the Wailing Wall, one of the walls surrounding the Temple Mount and it is believed by the Jews to be the last remaining section of the Solomon Temple.

You will then have the opportunity to visit the Mount Temple, the holiest section in the world for the Jews who believe it was constructed in the 18th century BC and it also hosts the Dome of the Rock Mosque, which is the second holiest place for Moslems after Mecca.

Later on, you will proceed to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulture, which is also called the Church of the resurrection. This was believed to be the place where the Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected. Enjoy your tour by visiting the Tomb of King David, the king of Israel and the son of Solomon, which is one of the most remarkable religious and spiritual sites to explore.

Our last visit will be to the Room of the last Supper, which is called the Cenacle and it witnessed many important and significant Christian events during the life of the Christ. After the tour, you will be transferred by private air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel in Jerusalem for check in and overnight. Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 14: Bethlehem

Energizing breakfast will be served at your hotel. After that, if the security conditions allow, we will be heading towards Bethlehem, situated 10 kilometers to the South of Jerusalem, the city was established as early as the 14th century BC and it is mentioned in the New Testament that it witnessed the birth of the Christ.

We will then visit the Church of Nativity, constructed in the 4th century BC by the Roman Empress, Helena, damaged in the 6th century by the Samaritans and rebuilt in the 7th century by Justinian I. The rest of the day will be free at leisure to enjoy the magnificence of the historical city of Bethlehem.

At the end of the tour, we will be having a ride to Ain Karem, which is believed to have population since the 2nd millennium BC and it is also recorded that it was visited by the Christ and Virgin Mary many times. Finally, we will drive back to the hotel for overnight.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 15: Departure_from_Jerusalem

Check out after breakfast. Later on, you’ll be met with our English-speaking representative who will transfer you by private A/C vehicle to Ben Gurion Airport in order to catch your departure flight carrying wonderful memories about your last trip to the Middle East.

Meals Plan: Breakfast

Tour Details

15 Days / 14 Nights
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Validity

From 01 January 2017

To 31 December 2017

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Package Includes:

03 nights’ accommodation in Cairo – on (Bed & Breakfast) basis.

03 nights’ accommodation on board Nile Cruiser – on (Full Board) basis.

03 nights’ accommodation in Amman – on (Bed & Breakfast) basis.

01 night’s accommodation in Petra – on (Bed & Breakfast) basis.

02 nights’ accommodation in Jerusalem – on (Bed & Breakfast) basis.

Meet and assist by our Professional English-speaking representatives.

Entrance fees to all the indicated historical sites, temples, museums, etc.

Professional English-speaking Egyptologists in all the indicated historical sites.

Lunch meals at local restaurants during the tour in Cairo only.

Complimentary Local SIM Card for using within Egypt for local calls, messages, etc.

All transfers by private A-C vehicles with qualified drivers.

Swimming at Dead Sea.

Short horse ride in Petra.

Excludes

Entry visa to Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

International flight tickets.

02 night’s accommodation on board A/C Sleeper train (within Egypt).

Exit taxes from Jordan and from Israel.

Shuttle buses between borders.

All personal expenses like laundry etc.

Tipping to Guide, Driver, etc.

Any Optional tours may require.