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The Secrets of Ancient Egypt and the Lost Technologies of the Pharaohs

Ancient Origins Tours In Association With
Award Winning Travel Company Travel The Unknown

 

Day 1 – Saturday, September 25, 2021
Arrive in Cairo
Arrive in Egypt, Land of the Pharaohs. Private pick up at Cairo International Airport and transfer to Giza hotel. Orientation in evening.
Meals: No Meals are included
Overnight in Giza hotel
Day 2 – Sunday, September 26, 2021
El Fayyum
In the morning travel by bus to the El-Fayyum Oasis. See the Pyramid of Hawara, built for Amenemhet III, the father of Sobekneferu, and visit the site of the fabled Egyptian Labyrinth. One of the most mysterious constructions of the ancient world, it was begun by King Amenemhet III and completed by his daughter Sobekneferu. Lunchtime at hotel. Free afternoon with lecture on and preparation for the next day’s visit to the Qasr el-Sagha temple in the El Fayyum desert.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight in el-Fayyum
Day 3 – Monday, September 27, 2021
El Fayyum
Journey by 4 x 4 vehicles north in the El Fayyum desert, lying beyond the Birket Quran. This is the Lake Moeris of classical writings associated in the Old Testament with the prophet Joseph, who may well have helped design the canal that bears his name linking Birket Quran with the Nile River. Arrive at the Qasr el Sagha temple. Built using cyclopean masonry, this mysterious megalithic structure remains an enigma. Devoid of any inscriptions and constructed using polygonal blocks more familiar to pre-Incan Peru than Egypt, it has suspected links with the cult of the crocodile god Sobek, as well as the Middle Kingdom king Amenemhet IV and his sister, Sobekneferu. We spend the day looking for clues as to who built it, when, and why. Experience the evening at the temple site before returning to Giza.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight in Giza
Day 4 – Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Saqqara
In the morning travel to Saqqara. Visit the enigmatic Serapeum, a labyrinth of underground catacombs housing gigantic sarcophagi once containing mummified bulls. Inspect evidence of advanced technologies behind the construction of these massive granite sarcophagi. Visit the Pyramid of Teti to see the Pyramid Texts recording the journey of the pharaoh into an afterlife among the stars, and enter the newly opened Step Pyramid, built for the pharaoh Djoser around 2675 BC and designed by the architect Imhotep. Also visit the Imhotep Museum. Return to Giza.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight at Giza
Day 5 – Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Giza Pyramid and Sphinx
Private visit to the Sphinx enclosure for sunrise. The Sphinx is one of the most iconic monuments in the world. With the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion, it is thought to represent Khafre, the builder of the Second Pyramid, although its true history remains unclear. Most likely it was revered for thousands of years before the age of the pharaohs as a natural rock formation with the head of a lion. Afterwards see the exterior of the Great Pyramid, a panorama of the Giza Plateau, and the Valley Temple of Khafre. Also join us on a special private visit of the Great Pyramid to examine its enigmatic interior chambers.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight at Giza
Day 6 – Thursday, September 30, 2021
Egyptian Museum
Visit the Egyptian Museum, with thousands of exhibits and treasures from dynastic times through to the Roman era. Depart to Cairo Airport for flight to Aswan.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight in Aswan Hotel
Day 7 – Friday, October 01, 2021
Philae Temple & Unfinished Obelisk
Visit the temple of Philae dedicated to the goddess Isis. Later, visit the gigantic unfinished granite monolith still attached to the bedrock in its quarry at Aswan. Examine the methods used to extract obelisks and statues from the living rock, including the inexplicable scoop marks suggestive of a lost technology. Visit a Nubian village if time permits.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight in Aswan
Day 8 – Saturday, October 02, 2021
Abu Simbel
Drive in a bus to Abu Simbel. On the journey through the Libyan Desert stop to inspect an isolated rock formation known as an inselberg. Examine its unique geology and take in the ambience of the desert environment. In the afternoon visit the iconic rock-cut temple of Abu Simbel, built during the reign of Rameses II and moved to its current position during the building of the Nasser Dam in the 1960s. Also see the rock-cut temple of his wife Nefertari.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight on Nile Cruise
Day 9 – Sunday, October 03, 2021
Kom Ombo Temple
Sale north to Luxor. Disembark to visit the temple of Sobek at Kom Ombo, built under the rule of the Ptolemaic kings circa 180–150 BC.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight on Nile Cruise
Day 10 – Monday, October 04, 2021
Edfu Temple
Continue on Nile Cruise. Disembark to visit the magnificent temple of Horus at Edfu, built during the Ptolemaic period, circa 175 BC. On its walls are Building Texts containing the most complete accounts of the creation of the world and the coming of the gods during the age of zep tepi, the First Time. See the temple’s holy of holies, including a wooden boat on which the god Horus arrived from the sky.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight on Nile cruise
Day 11 – Tuesday, October 05, 2021
West Bank & Luxor Temple
Arrive in Luxor, ancient Thebes, the capital of Egypt in the south. Cross the Nile by boat and enter the Theban West Bank. Visit the Valley of the Kings and see the Tomb of Tutankhamun, along with other tombs decorated with age-old reliefs showing the books of the afterlife. Also explore the Ramesseum, with its astronomical ceiling and colossal statues of Rameses II, as well as the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Stop off for photos at the Colossi of Memnon, gigantic statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III dating to circa 1375 BC.
In the evening visit the temple of Luxor, illuminated by lights. Built during the New Kingdom period, 1575-1050 BC, it marks the beginning of the newly reopened Sphinx Avenue, which has 1600 sphinxes - 800 on either side - lining the ceremonial road to Karnak temple.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight at Luxor hotel
Day 12 – Wednesday, October 06, 2021
Abydos Temple & Dendera Temple
Journey north by luxury bus to the temple of Abydos, built for King Seti I around 1290-1279 BC. Also see the extraordinary ancient structure known as the Osireion, a sub-surface cyclopean temple thought to be a symbolic representation of the Tomb of Osiris, lord of the dead. After lunch continue on to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. Visit its underground crypts where strange reliefs have suggested to some the existence of advanced technologies in ancient Egypt. Return to Luxor.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight at Luxor hotel
Day 13 – Thursday, October 07, 2021
Karnak Temple
Visit the ruins of Karnak temple complex, built in stages throughout the New Kingdom, circa 1575-1050 BC. Depart for Luxor airport to catch flight to Cairo.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight in Cairo hotel
Day 14 – Friday, October 08, 2021
Coptic Cairo & Khan el Khalili
Visit Coptic Cairo. See the Coptic Museum, the Church of Abu Serga, where the Holy Family - Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus - sheltered in an ancient cave during their legendary flight through Egypt. Shop at the world famous Khan el-Khalili souk and market in the Old City.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight at Cairo hotel
Day 15 – Saturday, October 09, 2021
Cairo Departure
Final goodbyes and transfer to Cairo airport.
Photos © Andrew Collins

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The Splendours of Ancient Anatolia and Turkey *New Dates: September 2021

Join Ancient Origins' exclusive tour of Turkey’s sacred past in September 2021, visiting some of the country’s most important ancient sites including:
Göbekli Tepe – twice!— Çatal Höyük, Mount Nimrod, the Hittite centers of Hattusa and Alaca Höyük, Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, Ankara's archaeological museum, Şanlıurfa’s Pools of Abraham, the mysterious landscape of Cappadocia including the underground city of Derinkuyu, and many more sites besides.

Day 1 - Sunday, September 12, 2021
Istanbul
Arrival at Istanbul International Airport. Transfer to hotel. Evening lecture and orientation with Ancient Origins and special guests.
Overnight in Novotel Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul
Day 2 - Monday, September 13, 2021
Istanbul – Ankara
After breakfast, visit the Sultan Ahmet district, called the “historical peninsula”. See the Blue Mosque, the most important mosque in Istanbul with its more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles and 200 stained glass windows. Visit the 1000-year-old Hagia Sophia mosque (prayer times permitting). See also the Basilica Cistern, which was the main water provider for the ancient city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine Hippodrome where we will view beautiful obelisks and columns from the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman periods. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Ankara. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Ankara.
Meals: B L
Overnight in Hotel Tunali, Ankara
Day 3 - Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Ankara Anatolian Civilization Museum - Gordion – Hattusa
After breakfast visit the Anatolian Civilization Museum of Ankara, and see artifacts and reconstructions from Neolithic sites such as Çatalhöyük as well as the incredible bronzes from the Bronze Age sites of Alaca Höyük. Lunch in Ankara. After lunch drive to Gordion (the tumulus of King Midas), one of the most important archaeological sites in Turkey. The metropolis enjoyed its golden age in the first millennium when it was the royal capital of the Iron Age Kingdom known as ‘Phrygia’ to the Greeks and ‘Mushki’ to the neighboring Assyrian Empire. Excavated in 1957, the mound of Midas is 300 meters in diameter and is 43 meters high. In the wooden chamber, the corpse of a man was found along with the remains of his last dinner. It still contains funerary furniture, possibly from Midas’ palace. Return to Ankara.
Meals: B L
Overnight in Tunali Hotel, Ankara
Day 4 - Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Hattusa - Alaca Höyük – Cappadocia
Visit the ruins of the Hittite capital of Hattusa. See its green nephrite omphalos stone and sphinx gates. Lunch in Hattusa. After lunch journey on to the magnificent ruins of Alaca Höyük, a Hittite city with origins dating back to the Chalcolithic or Copper Age. Visit the museum, and see the site's extraordinary polygonal walls, similar to those in Peru, Easter Island, and ancient Egypt, as well as its own iconic Sphinx Gate. Drive on to Cappadocia and arrive at your hotel for a late dinner. Time permitting, evening presentation.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 5 - Thursday, September 16, 2021
Cappadocia
After breakfast take a walk through the Red Valley with its varying types of rock formations and color, and rock-cut cave churches with beautiful frescoes and paintings. Stop for photo opportunities in this scenic lunar landscape of unique rock formations called “fairy chimneys” Lunch. Climb the Uchisar natural castle with its labyrinth of rock-cut rooms, and later visit the Goreme open-air museum. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the capital of Turkey’s eastern province of Cappadocia. See its many rock-cut churches and beautiful art, some of which is very likely shamanic in nature, harking back to a prehistoric age.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 6: Friday, September 17, 2021
Urgup - Derinkiyu - Ihlara Valley
Visit the enigmatic underground city of Derinkiyu, constructed in part at the end of the last Ice Age, and the tranquil Ihlara Valley, within which can be found various rock-cut churches containing well preserved religious art. Stop briefly at the 10,000-year-old archaeological site of Aşıklı Höyük, an important urban centre where beautiful obsidian items were manufactured during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 7: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Catalhöyük - Konya
After an early breakfast set out for the ancient city of Konya in the south of the country for a tour around its archaeological museum, which includes spectacular treasures from Çatalhöyük and beautiful art from the Greek and Roman ages. On the way, stop for pictures at the Sultan Han, a large 13th-century Seljuk caravanserai located in the town of Sultanhanı, Aksaray Province. Lunchbox on the coach. Later, visit the famous prehistoric city complex of Çatalhöyük, over 9,000 years old. In the evening, experience the breathtaking Mevlana Whirling Dervishes show at the nearby Mevlana Cultural Center.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Konya
Day 8 - Sunday, September 19, 2021
Konya – Şanlıurfa
Travel throughout the day from Konya east into southeast Anatolia. Enjoy talks, discussions, and DVDs on the coach. There will also be regular convenience stops. Arrive at Şanlıurfa by mid-evening. Evening dinner at hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 9 – Monday, September 20, 2021
Şanlıurfa - Göbekli Tepe – Harran
Visit Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldest stone temple complex, constructed nearly 12,000 years ago. See its extraordinary rings of T-shaped standing stones with carved reliefs of birds, animals, and other abstract forms. Learn its history and place in the origins of civilization. After lunch, visit the ancient city of Harran, home of the ancient Sabaeans and Chaldeans, as well as the point of origin of the hermetic tradition. See Harran’s ancient city mound, its Seljuk period castle, and also its compelling “astronomical tower,” the possible inspiration behind the imagery of The Tower card in the Tarot pack. Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 10 - Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Şanlıurfa - Göbekli Tepe - Şanlıurfa Museum
Visit Şanlıurfa’s Archaeological Museum in the morning to see the extraordinary display of artifacts from Gobekli Tepe. See also a full-size model of the site’s fabulous Enclosure D, as well as the reconstructed stone temple of Nevalı Çori, which is 10,500 years old. Packed lunch. Afterward, visit the Pools of Abraham and birthplace of Abraham in the heart of the old city of Şanlıurfa. Later, make our second visit to Göbekli Tepe to get a real taste of this incredible site, this time for meditation and contemplation of the unfathomable motivations behind its construction at the end of the last ice age. Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 11 - Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Cendere Bridge - Mount Nemrut - Arsemia – Adiyaman
After breakfast in Şanlıurfa, depart north for Adiyaman province, one of the most sacred regions of southeast Turkey. Visit Karakus Tumulus, and also Cendere Bridge, one of the world’s oldest surviving bridges, constructed during the reign of Roman emperor Septimus Severus (193-211). See also the ancient site of Arsemia, the summer capital of the Commagene kingdom and burial place of King Mithridates. See the largest rock inscription found in Anatolia, which describes the political and religious beliefs of the inhabitants, and view a stone stela showing King Antiochus I of Commagene shaking hands with the god Hercules. At sunset, we visit Nemrut Dagi (Nimrod’s Mountain), one of East Turkey’s most spellbinding attractions. At its peak sits enigmatic statues of King Antiochus I of Commagene, as well as representations of various deities believed to be his ancestors. The views from the summit are sublime. (NOTE: it is a 20-30 minute walk up steps to reach the summit). Drive to Adiyaman and Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Adiyaman
Day 12 – Thursday, September 23, 2021
Adiyaman
Free morning in Adiyaman. Leave the hotel at about 12:15 to go to the airport to catch your flight back to Istanbul for completion of the tour. Flight arrives back into Istanbul airport at 15:45.
Photos © Andrew Collins

Booking Conditions

Please read carefully - Travel The Unknown Ltd ('the Company') accepts bookings subject to the following conditions. 

 

1. Your Holiday Contract 

The contract is between the Company and the Client, being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the Company. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. 

 

Travel The Unknown

Thank you for choosing to book with us.

Ancient Origins is partnered with award-winning tour operator Travel The Unknown to provide comprehensive escorted travel tours to some of the most ancient and most mysterious monuments and sacred places around the globe.

Register your details to hold your place on this exclusive tour. To secure your place a deposit payment of US$900 per person is required within 48 hours of completing the form. Payment details are noted at the end of the form.

Experience the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx, Saqqara, and more

Ancient Origins is partnering with award-winning tour operator Travel the Unknown to provide its readers with comprehensive escorted travel tours to some of the most ancient and most mysterious monuments and sacred places around the globe.

We will visit classic destinations as well as more obscure locations where the magic of the past remains as strong today as it did thousands of years ago. 

Day 1 - February 4th
Cairo - Giza
Arrive in Cairo. Meet and greet upon arrival at the airport. Assistance with immigration, passport control, baggage claim, and customs. Transfer to hotel. Lecture and orientation hosted by Andrew Collins and Ancient Origins' Alicia McDermott. We advise arriving Day 1 by 2pm to be able to comfortably participate in the evening talk.
Meals: D
Overnight in Le Meridian Pyramids, Giza
Day 2 - February 5th
Giza Plateau — Great Pyramid – Sphinx
Early morning start with a private tour of the Sphinx enclosure and Great Pyramid, forming part of the extraordinary pyramid complex built for the kings of the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egyptian history. Explore the Giza plateau and enjoy a panoramic view of its iconic scenery with the three great pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure as a constant backdrop. Visit the Solar Boat Museum housing a 4,500-year-old wooden ship of the dead constructed following the death of the Pharaoh Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid. See the extraordinary workmanship of the Valley Temple of Khafre close to the Sphinx monument.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in Le Meridian Pyramids, Giza
Day 3 - February 6th
Meidum — Hawara: Labyrinth
Visit the enigmatic pyramid of Meidum, built by the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Snoferu around 4,600 years ago, and at Hawara see the enigmatic ruins of Egypt’s fabled Labyrinth, built nearly 4,000 years ago by King Amenemhet III and his mysterious daughter, the female king, Sobek-nofru. See the nearby pyramid of Hawara, which dates to the same age as the Labyrinth.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in Le Meridian Pyramids, Giza
Day 4 - February 7th
Saqqara – Dahshur – Abu Ghorub sun temple
Visit the Old Kingdom necropolis and Hebsed court at Saqqara. View the step pyramid of Djoser, and also the pyramids of Dahshur, built by King Snoferu around 4,600 years ago. Later, experience a private visit to the sun temple of King Niuserre at Abu Ghurab, considered one of the most powerful energy spots in Egypt.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in Le Meridian Pyramids, Giza
Day 5 - February 8th
Cairo - Egyptian Museum day tour – Luxor
Checkout of hotel and visit the world-famous Egyptian Museum, Cairo, which includes thousands of breathtaking exhibits, including the treasures of Tutankhamun. Fly to Luxor and overnight in hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in the Sonesta St. George Hotel, Luxor
Day 6 - February 9th
Abydos – Denderah
Visit Abydos and see the temple of King Seti, as well as the enigmatic megalithic structure known as the Osireion. Journey on to the celebrated temple of Hathor at Denderah, built in Ptolemaic times. Experience its tranquility and examine its famous wall reliefs in the crypts, which show themes favored by theorists of ancient lost technologies.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in the Sonesta St. George Hotel, Luxor
Day 7 - February 10th
Valley of the Kings – Ramesseum – Memnon Colossi - Luxor
Check out of the hotel, then visit Valley of the Kings. Explore royal tombs of various New Kingdom pharaohs. See also the Ramesseum temple, which includes a gigantic statue of King Rameses II and a well-preserved astronomical ceiling. Visit the Colossi of Memnon, two enormous seated statues of King Amenhotep III, once said to sing at dawn before being fractured by an earthquake. Check in to Nile Cruise and enjoy lunch. In the evening enjoy the atmospheric Luxor temple, lit up for visitors for a truly unique experience.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Legacy Nile cruise
Day 8 - February 11th
Karnak – Edfu
Visit the temple of Karnak, with its towering obelisks and sacred lake, and sail to the town of Edfu, seat of the god Horus.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Legacy Nile cruise
Day 9 – February 12th
Nile Cruise - Edfu – Kom Ombo
Visit the magnificent Edfu temple, dedicated to the god Horus. See its star boat of heaven in the holy of holies, as well as its unique building texts revealing how mythical beings created the first temples of Egypt even before the coming of the neteru-gods. Later visit Kom Ombo temple, home of the crocodile god Sobek.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Legacy Nile cruise
Day 10 - February 13th
Nile Cruise – Philae – Aswan – Elephantine Island
Visit the island of Philae with its beautiful temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, and walk around Aswan’s Nubian Museum with its reconstruction of the Nabta Playa calendar circle. In the afternoon visit Elephantine Island, the source of Egypt's famous red granite and home of the Nile god Hapi. Later enjoy a felucca ride.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Legacy Nile cruise
Day 11 - February 14th
Nile Cruise - Nubian Desert – Nabta Playa – Abu Simbel
Checkout of Nile Cruise and drive to Abu Simbel. En-route, visit the Nubian Desert and see the original 7,000-year-old Neolithic calendar circle of Nabta Playa. Check in to the Lake Nasser cruise and have Lunch. In the afternoon visit the monumental Abu Simbel temples.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Omar El Khayam Nile Cruise
Day 12 - February 15th
Nile Cruise – Kasr Ibrim – Amada – Wadi el-Seboua
Sail to Kasr Ibrim, once an ancient city perched above the Nile, now an island of scenic ruins. Take photos from the Sundeck. Sail to Amada and visit Amada, Derr, and tombs of Pennut. Sail to Wadi el-Seboua, the Valley of the Lions, named because of the sphinx-lined approach to its temple of Amun.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Omar El Khayam Nile Cruise
Day 13 - February 16th
Nile cruise Wadi el-Seboua - Aswan
Visit the Wadi el-Seboua temple and sail to Aswan.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight on Steigenberger Omar El Khayam Nile Cruise
Day 14 - February 17th
Nile Cruise - Kalabsha - Aswan – Cairo
Visit Kalabsha temple, dedicated to Mandulis (Merul), a Lower Nubian sun god, and checkout of Nile Cruise. Fly to Cairo in the afternoon. Overnight in a hotel near the airport.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight in Le Meridian Heliopolis
Day 15 - February 18th
Departure to Cairo Airport for return journey.
Photos © Andrew Collins

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