Day 1: Hurghada – Cairo – Great Pyramids – Egyptian Museum - Luxor (L)
Start your 2-day tour with an early morning pickup from your centrally located Hurghada hotel and a short drive to Hurghada International Airport. After your 1-hour flight, meet your guide at Cairo International Airport and set off on your private tour of the city.
Soak up the views of the bustling streets as you head first for Giza, a desert plateau on the fringes of the city that’s home to the Sphinx and the three Giza Pyramids: Cheops, Khafre and Menkaure.
Admire the Sphinx, the mysterious human-headed lion statue that guards the pyramids, as your guide explains why it was built, and the secrets behind its strange form.Then, walk up to the pyramids to wonder at these three, huge pharaonic tombs.
Hear how they were built in around 2550 BC to provide the deceased with safe passage to the afterlife. Gaze in awe at the 481-foot (147-meter) tall Cheops, view Khafre — distinctive for still bearing the remains of its outer casing — and see the third tomb, Menkaure. Then, visit the Valley Temple of Khafre, a maze of ruins that was once the main entrance to the pyramid.
Afterward, enjoy lunch at a Nile-side restaurant and then visit Cairo's spectacular Egyptian Museum. Brimmed with more than 250,000 ancient artifacts, the museum tells the story of ancient Egypt with incredible collections of art, statues and funerary artifacts. Explore with your guide and focus on the star attraction, the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb, including his gold death mask and chariot.
Next, hop back into your private minibus for your transfer back to Cairo airport and your 1-hour flight to Luxor. On arrival, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel, and enjoy free time this evening to sample Luxor’s restaurants (own expense) or have dinner at your hotel (own expense).
Overnight: 5-star Steigenberger Nile Palace, Sonesta St George or Karnak Resort hotel in Luxor
Day 2: Luxor – Valley of the Kings – Temple of Hatshepsut – Karnak Temple - Hurghada (B, L)
After breakfast, check out and meet your private guide for your tour of Luxor's highlights. Standing on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, this modern city bursts with archaeological sites that testify to its importance as Egypt’s long-ago capital.
Drive to the Valley of the Kings, where the tombs of pharaohs from the 18th to the 20th dynasty, including Ramses II, are burrowed into mountains. Guides are not permitted into the tombs, so visit three of the burial complexes independently to admire their richly decorated interiors. If time allows and you wish to visit the tomb of Tutankhamen, you will need to buy a separate ticket (additional cost).
Continue to the Temple of Hatshepsut, the famously modern-looking temple of Egypt’s great queen. Climb the ramp to this symmetrical temple to marvel at its columns and courtyards carved into the mountain face.
After a stop at the Colossi of Memnon, enjoy lunch at an island on the Nile. Savor a typically Egyptian meal here before picking up on your sightseeing trail again.
Visit Karnak Temple, a vast religious complex that was built and expanded between 2055 BC and 100 BC and consists of three inner temples dedicated to the Theban gods of Amun, Mut and Khonsu. Follow the Avenue of the Sphinxes into the complex and gaze in awe at the Great Court and Great Hypostyle Hall, where 134 thick columns tower above you like a high forest. Roam the sanctuaries and chambers as your guide explains their religious functions, and see the Sacred Lake, where pharaohs were cleansed.
While you’re in Luxor, also enjoy a short ride on a felucca (traditional sail boat) on the Nile. Step aboard and soak up the surrounding scenery, perhaps capturing photos of the passing palm groves and mountains.
Having explored Luxor, return to your private minibus and relax on a drive back to Hurghada. After a 3.5-hour journey (approx.), enjoy a drop-off at your hotel, where your 2-day tour ends.