This special Egypt tour features the amazing Sun Festival at the Abu Simbel temple to Ramses II on the 22nd Feb and 22nd Oct each year. We combine this with time in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor, discovering more of ancient Egypt.
Egypt truly is a distinctive destination so it would only make sense that the activities you can experience there are too. The challenge arises when you have to decide what to do and where to do it.
When travelling with one of our carefully curated Egypt tours, you will not be faced with any of these problems, instead you can revel in the adventure and take it all in!
The city of Luxor, also known as the 'world's greatest open-air museum' is home to an overwhelming number of ruins, temples and ancient monuments. Many of our Egypt group tours will travel to Luxor and you will have the opportunity to soar above the area in a hot air balloon.
Located on the east bank of the Nile River and on the site of ancient Thebes, Luxor was the pharaoh's capital during the 16th-11th centuries B.C.
The Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens can be found on the river's west bank. Our Egypt tours explore the Valley of the Kings and show you around the pharaonic tombs along with the temples of Queen Hatshepsut and Medinat Habu and the vast Colossi of Memnon.
Trying to tick off the immense collection of historical splendors in Luxor can be difficult and time consuming. This is why taking to the air is an excellent idea - allowing you to relax and observe the sights from above. Karnak Temple is the most remarkable spectacle and the largest religious building ever constructed.
This is an optional outing on our Egypt tours and sets off in the early hours of the morning so as you rise into the sky, so does the sun. The hot air balloons fly from the west bank of the Nile and float over the Valley of the Kings and the temple complexes below.
Encounters Travel only use hot air balloon companies that are highly reputable with a legitimate track record to ensure your safety.
Nothing can compare to lazing on the deck of a felucca (a traditional wooden boat) and cruise down the Nile. Sailing down the longest river in Africa gives you a chance to recline and reflect on your travels and have a rest from sightseeing.
For over 5,000 years, the Nile has resulted in lush land for farming and serves as a lengthy link for transportation.
Dating back to Ancient Egypt, the Nile has been a lifeline for the people and today 95% of the population continues to reside by the banks of the river. It is on these embankments that the oldest civilisation thrived and the Nile lead to the rise of wealth and power in Ancient Egypt. As the country's climate is generally warm and dry, locals rely on the Nile to keep their agriculture fertile.
There is a festival every year in Egypt that celebrates the Nile called Leylet en Nuktah. This event has been celebrated for thousands of years and marks the rising of the Nile waters. If it appeared that the flooding of the Nile was delayed in ancient times, the locals would sacrifice a beautiful woman to appease the gods.
Today, the sacrifices are replaced by the gathering of families and friends on the banks of the Nile and partying into the night.
Our Egypt tours promise to make sure that you travel in comfort on a felucca cruise. Most of the feluccas sail from Aswan and pass Egyptian rural life and riverside temples and monuments.
You can sleep on the open deck in the night (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are provided). A Nubian crew will provide entertainment and cook you traditional dishes during your trip.
Egypt's dreamy coast on the Red Sea attracts divers from all over the world to explore its natural wonders. With a stretch of shallow shelves, temperate waters, colourful reefs and an assortment of marine life, the Red Sea is one of the world's top scuba diving destinations.
The Red Sea is the world's northernmost tropical sea with a diverse ecosystem of more than 1200 specifies of fish. The reefs along this coastline are 5000-7000 years old and 10% of the fish species are unique to the region.
Our Egypt tours travel to the seaside resort of Hurghada and give you ample time to unwind. Formerly a quaint fishing village, Hurghada is now a popular sunny spot to dabble in a variety of activities. If you are not keen to spend your holiday swimming underwater, there is plenty to do on land.
You can venture around the resort or go into the nearby desert on a quad bike, enjoy a camel ride across the beach or do some retail therapy in the collection of shops and boutiques.
If you really want to embrace the sea, snorkeling, wind surfing and fishing are some appealing options. Alternatively, you can just pick a shaded spot under one of the many umbrellas and lounge for the rest of the time.
Throughout your Egypt tour, you will come across many temples. The most memorable will undoubtedly be at Abu Simbel. Here, two momentous temples make up part of the complex that was built during the reign of Ramses II.
The complex was fully completed in 1244 B.C.E. and looks out onto Lake Nasser. You will also notice four giant statues of Ramses II that rest in front of the main temple and are brilliant examples of Ancient Egyptian art.
It was believed that these temples were created to reflect the power and authority of Ramses II and to impress Egypt's neighbors to the south. Six rock temples were erected in the Nubian region when Ramses II was in power, but the Abu Simbel Temples are the most breathtaking with their towering height and design.
This complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments". In the 1960s, a team of international engineers carefully relocated these temples from their original location to save them from the rising waters of the Nile. The construction of the nearby Aswan High Dam meant that the waters rose significantly.
One of our Egypt tours is timed to coincide with the Abu Simbel Festival. This festival occurs twice a year - on the 22nd of February (the anniversary of Ramses' accession to the throne) and the 22nd of October (his birthday).
When the sun rises on these specific days, the internal chambers of the temples are irradiated. The sunlight spreads across three of the four statues, except for the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness.
This unique 9-day tour gives you the special opportunity to experience this event and even enter the chambers to see the brightened statues. After the sun has risen, the festivities start outside with a lively market, traditional dancing and local food.