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Cairo

Cairo is a must for anyone fascinated by the magnificent Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza. Situated on the Nile, Cairo is exciting, vibrant and fascinating; it is a perfect blend of old and new. Take time to explore the treasures of Tutankhamen in the Egyptian museum or take a stroll around the bustling Khan El Khalili bazaar. Away from the city centre, there is still more to see from the capital of ancient Egypt at Memphis to the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Giza_Camel_Ride4-800x600.jpg - Cairo Tutankhamun - Cairo Sphinx_resort.jpg - Cairo

Marvel at the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza

 

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is a must for anyone fascinated by the magnificent Great Pyramids and the sphinx of Giza. Situated on the Nile this vibrant and fascinating city is a perfect blend of old and new.

Modern Cairo lies between the Pyramids and the Citadel where you will see a mix of minarets and skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, parks and gardens - but you can still see the sunset over the Nile which. flows through the heart of this unique city.

Cairo can easily be combined with any of our Nile Cruises and a range of resorts across Egypt. In addition we offer a city break with a difference. Three nights is the perfect amount of time to see the fascinating sights of this cultural city. For more details please call our specialist staff.

Cairo can be divided into 4 categories:
• Pharonic Cairo
• Coptic Cairo
• Islamic Cairo
• Shopping and entertainment

 

It is impossible to see it all in a single visit but here we describe some of its many delights:

Pharonic Cairo:

The Great Pyramids & Sphinx of Giza: Even if you are not interested in ancient history it is impossible to get tired of the Pyramids. Rising from the desert the three Pyramids erected by King Cheops and guarded by the mysterious Sphinx are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the the most important tourist sites in Egypt.
Saqqara: The most preserved ancient burial-ground in Egypt. It is also the site of The Step Pyramid, the first proper pyramid built for King Zoser in the 27th-century BC by the architect Imhotep
Memphis: One of the oldest cities on earth, it is believed that legendary Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt throughout the Old Kingdom.
The Egyptian Museum: Located in the heart of Cairo is one of the world's most famous museums. It houses a magnificent collection of antiques including mummies and the fabulous treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb.

Coptic Cairo:

The Hanging Church (al-Mu'allaqua): Originating in the 4th century, the hanging Church was built over the southern gate of the fortress of Babylon. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, its treasures include a 14th-century wall-painting of the Nativity.
Church of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus: A 5th-century basilica, built over a crypt where the Holy family are believed to have stayed during their flight into Egypt.
Church of St.Mercurius (Ahi, Sefein): A unique collection of Coptic art including 175 icons representing scenes from the Old and New Testaments wall paintings, etchings and stained glass.

Islamic Cairo:

The Citadel of Salah Al-Din: Built between 1176 and 1182 AD, the Citadel fortress provides a panoramic view of Cairo from the Moqattam Hills.
Al-Azhar mosque: The first Fatimid mosque arid the oldest Islamic University in the world, founded in 970 AD.
The Blue Mosque (Mosque of Aqsunqur): Famous for the indigo and turquoise tiles that decorate the interior.
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun: Built between 876 and 879 AD in the classical courtyard style this is Cairo's oldest, intact mosque, still in use today.
The Islamic Museum: Includes works of art from all over the Islamic world, ranging from large architectural pieces rescued from mosques to ceramics, manuscripts and tapestries.

Shopping and entertainment

Cairo offers an amazing selection of shopping, leisure, culture and nightlife. Shopping ranges from the famous Khan el-Khalili bazaar, to modern air-conditioned shopping centres.

You are sure to find almost anything and of particular note are spices, perfumes, gold and silver, carpets, brass and copperware, leatherwork, glass, ceramics and Egyptian cotton. When you need a break from city life, try a round of golf on the famous Mena House course overlooking the Pyramids or visit the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. You can take a trip on the Nile in a felucca or to really get away from it all you can go to the top of the 187 metre high Cairo Tower which has with views of the city from all sides and a revolving restaurant.

Cairo comes alive at night, the best time to shop, eat delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, or simply watch the world go by from a pavement cafe. You can dine in a floating restaurant on the Nile, sample a shisha at a coffee-shop or see oriental dancers and shows at a luxury hotel. The splendid Opera House complex houses several galleries (including the Museum of Modern Art), restaurants and concert halls and don't forget the most essential after-dark experience, the Sound and Light show at the Pyramids, a unique combination of light and music recounting the story of antiquity.

Excursions

Here are some of the things to see & do whilst staying in this exciting city

Half day Pyramids and Sphinx

See the great Pyramids of Giza – Cheops(Khufu), Chephren and Mykerinos. Enter inside one of the Pyramids (subject to opening and extra cost approx. LE 300) Then visit the Valley Temple - the place where the priests mummified the dead body of King Chephren, owner of the second pyramid at Giza Plateau. Take a close look at the Sphinx - the legendary guardian that stands by the huge funeral complex with its lion body and the head of King Chephren. It may be possible to take a short camel on the plateau (pay locally).

Price per person:                                                               £43 

Full Day Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis & Sakkara – includes lunch 

See the great Pyramids of Giza – Cheops(Khufu), Chephren and Mykerinos. Enter inside one of the Pyramids (subject to opening and extra cost approx. LE 300) Then visit the Valley Temple - the place where the priests mummified the dead body of King Chephren, owner of the second pyramid at Giza Plateau. Take a close look at the Sphinx - the legendary guardian that stands by the huge funeral complex with its lion body and the head of King Chephren. It may be possible to take a short camel on the plateau (pay locally). After lunch continue to Sakkara, home to Zhoser’s step pyramid. The step pyramid was constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, and was the template for all future pyramid construction, including the Great Pyramids of Giza. Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister's tomb, a queen's pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty founding king. Learn about the unusual layout of the pyramid of Userkaf, enter inside the pyramid of Teti and afterwards visit the small Imhotep Museum and see the site’s artefacts.

Cost per person £68
Private Tour      £78

 

Full Day Egyptian Museum and Citadel – includes lunch 

The museum displays a rare collection of 5000 years of art which is considered the largest most precious collection of Egyptian art in the world. Over 250,000 overwhelming artefacts are presented, including an exhibit dedicated to Tutankhamen collection of treasure, gold and jewellery which was enclosed in his tomb for over 3,500 years before it was discovered in the 1920s when his tomb was excavated. Also, you can opt to visit the Royal Mummy Room, where 9 royal mummies from the New Kingdom is displayed (extra cost approx. LE150). After lunch, continue to the Citadel of Saladin (12th century) first where you will visit the famous alabaster mosque of Mohamed Aly Pasha (19th century) representing the Ottoman style of architecture. Afterwards, spend a short time wandering the bustling streets of Khan Al Khalili market.

Price per person:                                                                 £68

 

Full day Coptic and Islamic Cairo includes lunch 

Visit Old Cairo, known as Christian Coptic Cairo which is among the most important locations visited by the Holy Family, and where the then Governor of Fustat, enraged by the breaking of idols at Jesus’ approach sought to kill the Child. The family took shelter in a cave above where, in later years, the Church of Abu Serga (St Sergious) was built. Also visit the Church of Abu-Sergah and St. Barbara, the hanging church, and the old Jewish Ben Ezra Synagogue.

After lunch in a local restaurant, continue to Islamic Cairo that was founded in 641 A.D by the First Muslim leader Amr ibn Elas and visit the Mosques of `Masjid` (Amr Ibn Elas Mosque) that was built in 642 A.D by the Muslim leader Amr ibn Elas.

Afterwards visit the El Sultan Hassan Mosque that also known as `Madrasa El Sultan Hassan` that was founded by Sultan Hassan in 1356 A.D

Continue to the Al-Rifa’i Mosque, opposite the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which dates from around 1361 and that has the mausoleum of the last Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. Then visit The Citadel of Cairo where you can visit the most famous mosque in Cairo which is Mohamed Ali`s mosque that known as the Alabaster Mosque

Price per person:                                                               £68

 

Full day Islamic Cairo and Gayer Anderson Museum– includes lunch 

Visit the Citadel of Saladin (12th century) first where you will visit the famous alabaster mosque of Mohamed Aly Pasha (19th century) representing the Ottoman style of architecture. Continue to the mosque of Sultan Hassan (14th century) representing the Mameluk style of architecture and the mosque of Rifaei (19th century) that has the mausoleum of the last kings of Egypt as well as the last Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi. After that see the 9th century mosque of Ibn Tulun which is considered the oldest mosque intact in Egypt, it is unique with its minaret that has external stairs. Next door to the Mosque is the Gayer-Anderson Museum - founded in 1937 in two ancient residences, the Beit el-Kiridiliya from 1632 and the Beit Amna Bent Salim from 1540. In the museum, you will see the private collection of Major Gayer-Anderson along with furniture, glassware, crystal, carpets, silks and embroidered Arab costumes

After lunch in a typical Egyptian restaurant, go to the Gate of Conquests (Bab el Fetouh), one of the original gates of Cairo and the nearby Gate of Victory (Bab el Nasser) and walk to the third remaining gate, Gate of Zweila (Bab Zweila), where you will climb to the top and see a panoramic view of Islamic Cairo.

Price per person:                                                               £68

Sound & Light Show at Pyramids

Watch as the Great Sphinx — the massive statue of a mythical human-headed lion, in front of the pyramids, is suddenly illuminated. The Sphinx acts as the 'storyteller', narrating a history of Egypt and the pharaohs who built the pyramids. In parallel, admire the laser lights and rainbow-coloured projections that light up the pyramids, Mummification Temple and Sphinx in a multitude of hues, symbols and hieroglyphs. Hear how and why the pyramids were constructed as the narrated soundtrack builds into a drama finishing with rousing music.Return transport included from your hotel

Price per person:                                                                 £28

Tour Group at Sakkara

 

painting