Egypt and Jordan Discovery (April 2020)

A$7,597
POSTPONED
A$7,597
POSTPONED

From the Valley of the Kings to the awe-inspiring ruins of Petra, this adventure through Egypt and Jordan reveals so much more than the sphinxes and tombs of your childhood dreams. You’ll sail down the ancient Nile and fall under its spell, visit traditional village communities, dig for obscure treasure in ancient marketplaces and dip your feet into the crisp salt waters of the Dead Sea. Travel to Egypt and experience the history and culture on a tour that explores Cairo, cruises along the Nile and visits Luxor, Asawan and the famous Abu Simbel temples. Then continue on to Jordan, with the sweeping desert and echoing formations of Wadi Rum, the hidden and hand-hewn facades of Petra and the ancient Roman ruins at Jerash all make Jordan a true adventurer’s paradise.

  • Tour Highlights
  • Visit Egypt’s classic icons – the Sphinx and King Tut’s tomb. Discover the fascinating story behind the Valley of the Kings and its unusual burial tradition.
  • Spend 3 nights cruising down the Nile River, encounter Nubian communities enroute and relax on the sun deck of our riverboat.
  • Discover Wadi Rum, a geologically intriguing town built into a vast boulder.
  • Experience the turquoise haven and healing powers of the one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – the Dead Sea.
  • Journey through the desert to a luxury camp. Get to know your friendly Bedouin hosts before spending a night under a staggeringly beautiful starry sky in our Jordan desert camp.
  • Enjoy a home cooked meal with a local Egyptian family.
  • Travel to Abu Simbel’s monumental temples by plane and marvel at the sheer scale of these stunning structures.

Will you join us?

 

Fancy some extra time in Egypt or Jordan?

The Two’s a Crowd booking team can organise pre-tour accommodation in Cairo or post-tour accommodation in Amman, so that you can explore further at leisure.Alternately, why not join Two’s a Crowd on the following solos tour to Morocco. Starts in Casablanca in the evening of 16th April, 2020.

Day 1 – Wednesday 1st April 2020 CAIRO (D)

Welcome to Cairo! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Today is simply an arrival day, so you can arrive in Cairo at any time, although you will need to be in the hotel foyer to meet your fellow travellers, local tour guide and the Two’s a Crowd Host at 6pm this evening. We will have tour briefing and enjoy our first meal together as a group.

Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can perhaps be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. If you arrive early, perhaps go out and explore the busy streets of this city of contrasts- where you can see donkey carts and expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls.

Please note: the Novotel is a ‘dry’ (no alcohol) hotel. However there are a number of great options to have a drink and a meal in the surrounding Zamalek area.

Included Activities

  • Arrival transfer

Accommodation: your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 2 – Thursday 2nd April 2020 ASWAN (B,D)

After breakfast we will transfer to Cairo airport and travel to Aswan. Welcome to Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost city. Its easy-going charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. The city is Egypt’s southern gateway to Africa and an important market town, so take time here to check out one of the country’s best bazaars. When you arrive, you’ll explore the beautiful Temple of Isis (the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom), which was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island. It’s a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt’s finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. In any free time, you might choose to visit the excellent Nubian Museum, which showcases the history, art and culture of the Nubians. This evening you’ll experience modern Nubian culture first-hand with a visit to a nearby village. You’ll join a local Nubian family for dinner and get an unforgettable insight into the daily life of the local people. This is a rare and memorable experience, giving you the chance to become fully immersed in the local culture.

Included Activities

  • Aswan – Nubian Village Visit and Dinner
  • Aswan – Philae Temple

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Basma Aswan Hotel’ in Aswan (4 star)


Day 3 – Friday 3rd April 2020NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

This morning we take a short flight (approx. 45 minutes) from Aswan to Abu Simbel, where we will explore some magnificent temples. Built by Ramses II, it was the gateway to Egypt for Southern Africans and its imposing facade clearly delineated the line between what was the Pharaoh’s land and what was not. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, carved directly out of the mountain on the west bank of the Nile, this is one of Egypt’s most memorable sights. Return from Abu Simbel and transfer to meet your Nile cruise boat. Enjoy a fantastic mix of total relaxation and organized sightseeing on an iconic Nile River cruise to Luxor. Note: Nile cruise boats are typically very large with a passenger capacity of around 150. All cabins have private facilities and the boat is fully air-conditioned. Evenings will be spent on the boat, so make full use of the boat’s facilities where you can relax on the top deck by the pool and watch the stunning Nile scenery pass by. All meals are included on board. Although we use the best possible five-star rated cruise boats available, please note that the local equivalent of five stars isn’t to the same standard that we might expect at home. They are very comfortable and a great way to experience the Nile (due to varying schedules we aren’t able to provide advance notice of which exact boat we’ll be sailing on).

Included Activities

  • Abu Simbel – Abu Simbel temples
  • Aswan – Felucca trip

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 4 – Saturday 4th April 2020NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

Continue your leisurely cruise down the Nile, with today’s stop Kom Ombo Temple, north of Aswan.

Built on a high dune overlooking the Nile, the complex sits picturesquely ruined on the river’s edge and dates back to the early 2nd century BC.

The complex is unique because it has a mirror-image design, divided down the middle, with either side dedicated to a different set of Gods.

One half is known as the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god of fertility), and it includes details on the Ancient Egyptian’s relationship with crocodiles, whom they revered and feared in equal measure.

The other half is dedicated to Haroeris (also known as Horus the falcon god), and the whole temple is full of fascinating reliefs.

Return to the cruise boat where you’ll continue travelling upriver, with free time relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land.

Included Activities

  • Kom Ombo – Kom Ombo Temple

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 5 – Sunday 5th April 2020 NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

Today finds you moored near Edfu, a beautifully preserved temple also dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. You will disembark and discover the lively streets of Edfu town – get acquainted the bustling town centre and the bazaar. There is the chance to visit the Temple of Edfu*.

Back on board continue towards Luxor passing through the Esna Locks. It is not uncommon to have to queue to proceed through the locks, a great opportunity to check out the process from up on deck with a cool drink in hand, and listen to the shouts of the many captains as they navigate their way through the various small boats of merchants selling their wares to a captive audience – life on the Nile! Arrive Luxor around 3pm. You will visit the Luxor temple.

*Special Information

The only mode of transport available to visit the Edfu temple is by local horse/carriages. As a responsible travel focused business, animal welfare is extremely important to us and we want to ensure that we are not promoting any activities where the working animals are not properly cared for. Unfortunately, some operators of the horse/carriages have been found to be in breach of our animal welfare guidelines and it is, for this reason, we will no longer include the visit to Edfu Temple. In addition to the animal welfare concerns, there has also been a substantial amount of feedback suggesting that the experience itself is quite uncomfortable due to the pushy nature of the vendors and local suppliers outside the site. While we recommend that you do not use the horse/carriage to visit the Temple, the decision is ultimately up to you. Edfu is an included port stop on the Nile River cruise schedule.

Included Activities

  • Luxor – Luxor Temple

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 6 – Monday 6th April 2020 LUXOR – TRAIN TO CAIRO (B,D)

Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Explore this sprawling and spectacular place where discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun’s final resting place is also located here, and you’ll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Visit the valley of the queens. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade Crossing to the East Bank of the Nile. Travel to Karnak, one of the world’s most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years, and some of it dating back to 2,055 BC. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. Afterwards you will transfer to the hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up before you are transferred to the railway station for the overnight sleeper train to Cairo.

Accommodation aboard the overnight train is in your own cabin, although there are 2 beds which convert to bunk beds. All bedding is provided on board and western-style toilets are located in each carriage. Your bags will be stored in your cabin, where airline-style dinner and breakfast will be served. However, it may be worth bringing some additional snacks, especially if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements. Your tour leader can help you to arrange this. Despite being a tourist class train, facilities are basic. Please also keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to.

Included Activities

  • Luxor – Hatshepsut Temple
  • Luxor – Luxor Temple
  • Luxor – Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
  • Luxor – Valley of the Queens
  • Luxor – Tut Ank Amon Tomb entrance
  • Luxor Hotel Day Use – 5 people per room, just to freshen up before the train journey

Accommodation: Your own cabin onboard the Luxor to Cairo Sleeper Train


Day 7 – Tuesday 7th April 2020 CAIRO (B,D)

After breakfast on board, we will arrive in to Giza Station. Today you will dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. Head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo’s oldest mosque and the Gayer- Anderson Museum. The ‘Khan’, sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. It retains a distinctly medieval feel. You will explore the gold market, ‘perfume street’ and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market). The gorgeous 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest in Egypt, possibly its most beautiful too. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas and vaunting a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. Also don’t miss the chance to drink Arabic coffee or mint tea from Cairo’s oldest cafe, it has a long history and fantastic atmosphere. This evening you will get to share an authentic Egyptian meal with a local family. Visit a family home, chat with the local family members about life in the Middle East, and learn some of your favourite traditional Egyptian dishes while enjoying a delicious dinner.

Included Activities

  • Cairo – Gayer Anderson
  • Cairo – Khan al-Khalili Bazaar
  • Cairo – Home Cooked Meal
  • Cairo – Ibn Tulun Mosque

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 8 – Wednesday 8th April 2020 CAIRO (B)

This morning after breakfast drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man – the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. For an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops).

The Egyptian Museum is simply one of the world’s great museums, home to a stupendous collection of antiques and treasures from the region. We will head here after lunch and your expert guide will take you through Egypt’s rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (included). Afterwards you will return to your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure.

Included Activities

  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum Mummy Room
  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum headset
  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum
  • Cairo – Pyramids and Sphinx

Accommodation: your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 9 – Thursday 9th April 2020 AMMAN (B)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan. On arrival we will be met at the airport by our new Country leader and guide, and taken to our central hotel. Cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history, Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. A 1994 excavation uncovered homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age (circa 7000 BC). Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, find fine culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, look down on the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or begin your Jordan experience with a relax in a Turkish bath house. Soak up the atmosphere as you sip mint tea in a cafe.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel’, in Amman (4 star)


Day 10 – Friday 10th April 2020 AMMAN – AQABA (B)

After breakfast today we will journey down the Desert Highway, with the beach resort of Aqaba as your destination (approximately 4 hours). The small Ottoman Mamluk Fort, dating from the 14th century and from where Lawrence of Arabia rode to Cairo, is worth a look. Otherwise most of the fun is to be found in the water. Acquaint yourself with the hotel’s pool, or head to the beach – some of the best snorkelling in the world can be found around the untouched coral reefs just south of the town.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘City Tower Hotel’, in Aqaba (4 star)


Day 11 – Saturday 11th April 2020AQABA – WADI RUM (B,D)

This morning you will see the contrast between the sparkling waters of the Red Sea and an ochre sea of desert on the way to spell-binding Wadi Rum. Drive approximately 1 hour into this desolate yet achingly romantic landscape the way the locals do – in rather old, rickety (but reliable) jeeps operated by the local Bedouin Community. After lunch (not included) in the small village of Rum and a browse around the city centre, you will visit some of the most stunning desert scenery you’ll ever witness. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, where great gouts of rock on a carpet of bright red sand have been eroded into fantastical gnarled shapes. Visit several of the distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence of this lunar-like landscape.

Today you will also meet your new Bedouin Friends, the backbone of Jordan. Journey through the sweeping swathes of desert, wondering how this place could be liveable until you soon get your answer – a group of dark tents low-pitched to the ground: a Bedouin camp. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people considered by many to be the predecessors of the settled Arabs, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is believed to possess Bedouin ancestry. This might explain the legendary hospitality of the Jordanians – in traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so a very warm welcome is assured on your arrival. This evening enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin Hosts. Zarb (otherwise known as Bedouin barbeque) has been prepared for centuries by Bedouins in the Arabian Peninsula, who cooked their food underground in their earth ovens. This way of cooking does not require much equipment, which was important as Bedouins roamed the desert in search of water and pastures for their cattle. The chicken, lamb and vegetables are placed on the bbq racks, this is then placed into the large fire pit and covered with a lid. This then covered with sand and blankets to keep the heat inside. Cooking time can take 2.5 – 3 hours. Once the food is ready the sand and blankets are removed to reveal the delicious slow cooked smoky meat and perfectly cooked vegetables. Spend the night in this incredible location, deep in Wadi Rum and under a huge expanse of stars.

Special Information: Here we stay in permanent Bedouin style tents with shared bathroom facilities. Tents are luxuriously furnished complete with comfortable king-size or twin beds, Bedouin sofa, mirrors, lamps, and the finest bed linens. All the furniture is hand-made. There is cosy relaxation area outside the tent to watch the stars at night. Electricity is provided in the guest tents in the evenings via solar power. Each tent has a private terrace with a fantastic view over the Wadi Rum Mountains.

Included Activities

  • Wadi Rum – Desert Jeep tour
  • Wadi Rum – Camel ride (30 min.)

Accommodation: Your own luxury desert tent within the Camp (Feature Stay)


Day 12 – Sunday 12th April 2020 WADI RUM – PETRA (B,D)

After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a walk around the area (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted. You will then take 4WDs from your camp back to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor’s centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women’s co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site, and to just relax… ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.

Included Activities

  • 4WD in Wadi Rum

Accommodation: your own room at ‘P.Quattro Hotel,’ in Petra (3.5 star)


Day 13 – Monday 13th April 2020 PETRA (B,D)

Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate façades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer. The iconic Petra view is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The first taste of this exquisite craftsmanship among such stark scenery is a moment that manages to be both eagerly anticipated and also an almost surreal surprise. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side, and it is impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. Petra’s greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the second beautiful façade of the Monastery, from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site. This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination- a highlight of your trip. Later in the afternoon we return to our hotel where it won’t take much convincing to try a soothing traditional Turkish bath. The rest of the day will be at your leisure – perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night- seeing it lit up by flickering candle light while Bedouin music plays is a magical experience.

Included Activities

  • Petra – Petra visit
  • Petra by night

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘P.Quattro Hotel,’ in Petra (3.5 star)


Day 14 – Tuesday 14th April 2020 PETRA – AMMAN (B)

Petra is an incredible site and almost demands more than one visit. If you want to see more, then get up early to soak in the dramatic setting, walk to extra sites like the High Place of Sacrifice, and just try to comprehend the history and life of a city that was once able to challenge the might of Rome. Later, the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak makes as imposing sight as you make the short drive up to it. It was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Stroll the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Continue half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where local artisans sell attractive silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to a number of fine Byzantine mosaics. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and see an impressive mosaic map of the Holy Land that clearly depicts Palestine and Lower Egypt around 550 AD. We will arrive in to Amman in the late afternoon, where you can spend the evening in one of its several fine restaurants.

Notes: Please be aware that Kerak Castle is not included in your tour, as it is often very congested and busy. However, if there is sufficient interest among members of the group, your leader can also arrange an optional visit to Kerak Castle. Many travellers however prefer to spend extra time in Amman.

Included Activities

  • Shobak – Shobak Castle
  • Dana – Ancient Village Visit
  • Madaba – St Georges Church

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel,’ in Amman (4 star)


Day 15 – Wednesday 15th April 2020 AMMAN (B,L,D)

Today you will leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best Greco-Roman ruins around. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Grand ionic columns encircle the city’s centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash’s riches. You better have packed your swim gear, because in the afternoon you can wash off the dust from exploring ruins with a dip like no other. Drive approximately 1.5 hours to spend the afternoon on the shores of the Dead Sea. Named for the scarcity of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult. Floating on the surface without any sort of lilo makes for a unique pleasure though. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slick it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling luxurious. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hr journey). Tonight the group will spend their farewell night together at one of the many restaurants and bars in West Amman, or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.

Included Activities

  • Dead Sea – Visit including lunch
  • Jerash – Roman ruins

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel,’ in Amman (4 star)


Day 16 – Thursday 16th April 2020 AMMAN/ DEPARTURE DAY (B)

After breakfast our tour ends as we transfer to the airport for our flight home, or onwards for further adventures travelling to Morocco with Two’s a Crowd. Alternately we can organise for you to stay for a night or 2 longer in Amman if you wish.

TOUR PRICING: A$7,597 PER PERSON, PLUS AIRFARES

TOUR DATES: 1ST – 16TH APRIL 2020

Novotel El Borg:

Within easy reach are Palace of Arts, Formal Gardens, Museum of Modern Egyptian Art. At Novotel Cairo El Borg Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. Rooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, air conditioning, wake-up service. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including hot tub, fitness center, outdoor pool and massages.

Hotel Basma:

A 9-minute walk from the banks of the Nile, this high-end hotel is 2 km from both Elephantine island and the ancient Unfinished Obelisk. Modern, upscale rooms with air-conditioning and tile floors feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars and balconies; upgraded rooms and suites add sitting areas and desks. A refined restaurant serves complimentary breakfast, and there’s an outdoor terrace with panoramic Nile views. A Berber-style tent offers regional fare, plus traditional entertainment and hookah. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a business center and meeting facilities.

Grand Palace Hotel:

Situated in Amman City Center, guests of the hotel can enjoy free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas. Rooms feature television LCD/plasma screen and air conditioning. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including fitness center, indoor pool, spa and massage.

City Tower Hotel:

Set in Aqaba, a 13-minute walk from Royal Yacht Club, City Tower Hotel offers a shared lounge, and sauna. Each room comes with a wardrobe, private bathroom with a shower, free WiFi, and some with sea views. The units come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A continental or buffet breakfast is available every morning at the property. The accommodation offers 4-star accommodation with an indoor pool.

P.Quattro Hotel:

Off the King’s Highway in the city center, this modern hotel is 7 km from the Royal Tombs and 11 km from the Little Petra archaeological site. The sleek, sophisticated rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minibars. Upgraded rooms add sitting areas. Room service is available 24/7. A child age 11 or under stays at no extra charge in an existing bed. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Amenities include an international restaurant and a cafe. There’s also a seasonal outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace.

Grand Palace Hotel:

Straightforward rooms in an upscale hotel featuring a spa, an indoor heated pool & 2 restaurants.

Weather

Egypt has a hot, dry desert climate. February to April and October to November are the best times to visit for warm sun and blue skies. But watch out for sandstorms caused by the khamsin winds which sometimes hit between March and June. Summer days can get hot at 40°C and above. Winters are mild with cool nights, some clouds and the occasional rain shower.

Currency

The currency of Egypt is also called the pound! But it’s not the British pound, it’s the Egyptian Pound. While our currencies have similar names, there are many Egyptian Pounds to our pound (depending on the exchange rate of course).

The currency in Egypt is fairly straightforward. One Egyptian Pound is made up of 100 Piastres or 1000 millimes. However, because only 25 or 50 piastre notes and coins are available, you don’t need to worry about lots of complicated tiny coins. Egypt also has more notes than coins, which are amazing to look at as the notes are filled with images of Ancient Egypt.

The Egyptian pound is usually abbreviated to LE or L.E. This is actually thanks to Egypt’s historical use of French in education many years ago and stands for Livre Égyptienne. The Piastre, a smaller denomination of the pound, is shortened to pt.

Egypt’s notes come in the following denominations: 25pt, 50pt, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £200

It’s useful to have a range of notes when on holiday, especially in the smaller amounts. Many street vendors and smaller shops might struggle to change larger notes. After all, you wouldn’t take a £50 note into a newsagents back home!

Egypt only has three coins, which makes life quite easy for the first-time tourist to the country. Egyptian money in coin form comes in, 25pt, 50pt, £1. The £1 looks a lot like the British one pound but on the back you’ll probably spot a pharaoh!

Although Egypt’s official language is Arabic, both coins and bank notes are bilingual and have the value written in Arabic and English. This means that you don’t need to worry about not knowing which note or coin is which, you can simply read it or look at the number.

Egypt has plenty of ATMs in resort towns and cities. There are also currency exchanges in large towns and even big hotels. In larger tourist areas you may well be able to pay in Euros, British Pounds or US Dollars but you’ll almost certainly pay a little more than you would in the local currency.

It’s really easy to order your Egyptian pounds from Thomas Cook stores or on our website and having the local currency upon arrival in Egypt can save you a lot of time. Why spend precious holiday time looking for an ATM when you could be hitting the beach?

Electricity

In Egypt the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Visas

Australian passport holders require a visa to enter Egypt, there are three types of visas: Tourist visa is usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia
  • English speaking local leader in Egypt and another for Jordan
  • Accommodation as per itinerary (11 nights at hotels- in your own room, 3 nights on board the MS Nile Dolphin – in your own cabin, 1 night in the desert-in your own Bedouin tent & 1 night in your own cabin onboard the sleeper train)
  • All meals included as per itinerary (B= breakfast, L=lunch, D= dinner)
  • Transport as per itinerary (camel, 4WD jeep, private aircon bus, riverboat, sleeper train)
  • All included activities as per daily itinerary
  • All entrance/admission fees as per itinerary
  • Group arrival and departure transfers
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance provided by CHI Travel Insurance (Underwritten by Allianz). Standard Policy. Additional premiums may apply if you’re over 70 years, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, or if you wish to extend your travel dates longer than the proposed tour

Tour Exclusions:

  • International airfares/ taxes
  • Any visas required
  • Meals and drinks not included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (such as souvenirs, laundry, phone calls, etc)
  • Optional activities not included in the itinerary
  • Any services not mentioned in the itinerary

From the Valley of the Kings to the awe-inspiring ruins of Petra, this adventure through Egypt and Jordan reveals so much more than the sphinxes and tombs of your childhood dreams. You’ll sail down the ancient Nile and fall under its spell, visit traditional village communities, dig for obscure treasure in ancient marketplaces and dip your feet into the crisp salt waters of the Dead Sea. Travel to Egypt and experience the history and culture on a tour that explores Cairo, cruises along the Nile and visits Luxor, Asawan and the famous Abu Simbel temples. Then continue on to Jordan, with the sweeping desert and echoing formations of Wadi Rum, the hidden and hand-hewn facades of Petra and the ancient Roman ruins at Jerash all make Jordan a true adventurer’s paradise.

  • Tour Highlights
  • Visit Egypt’s classic icons – the Sphinx and King Tut’s tomb. Discover the fascinating story behind the Valley of the Kings and its unusual burial tradition.
  • Spend 3 nights cruising down the Nile River, encounter Nubian communities enroute and relax on the sun deck of our riverboat.
  • Discover Wadi Rum, a geologically intriguing town built into a vast boulder.
  • Experience the turquoise haven and healing powers of the one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – the Dead Sea.
  • Journey through the desert to a luxury camp. Get to know your friendly Bedouin hosts before spending a night under a staggeringly beautiful starry sky in our Jordan desert camp.
  • Enjoy a home cooked meal with a local Egyptian family.
  • Travel to Abu Simbel’s monumental temples by plane and marvel at the sheer scale of these stunning structures.

Will you join us?

 

Fancy some extra time in Egypt or Jordan?

The Two’s a Crowd booking team can organise pre-tour accommodation in Cairo or post-tour accommodation in Amman, so that you can explore further at leisure.Alternately, why not join Two’s a Crowd on the following solos tour to Morocco. Starts in Casablanca in the evening of 16th April, 2020.

Day 1 – Wednesday 1st April 2020 CAIRO (D)

Welcome to Cairo! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Today is simply an arrival day, so you can arrive in Cairo at any time, although you will need to be in the hotel foyer to meet your fellow travellers, local tour guide and the Two’s a Crowd Host at 6pm this evening. We will have tour briefing and enjoy our first meal together as a group.

Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can perhaps be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. If you arrive early, perhaps go out and explore the busy streets of this city of contrasts- where you can see donkey carts and expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls.

Please note: the Novotel is a ‘dry’ (no alcohol) hotel. However there are a number of great options to have a drink and a meal in the surrounding Zamalek area.

Included Activities

  • Arrival transfer

Accommodation: your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 2 – Thursday 2nd April 2020 ASWAN (B,D)

After breakfast we will transfer to Cairo airport and travel to Aswan. Welcome to Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost city. Its easy-going charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. The city is Egypt’s southern gateway to Africa and an important market town, so take time here to check out one of the country’s best bazaars. When you arrive, you’ll explore the beautiful Temple of Isis (the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom), which was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island. It’s a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt’s finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. In any free time, you might choose to visit the excellent Nubian Museum, which showcases the history, art and culture of the Nubians. This evening you’ll experience modern Nubian culture first-hand with a visit to a nearby village. You’ll join a local Nubian family for dinner and get an unforgettable insight into the daily life of the local people. This is a rare and memorable experience, giving you the chance to become fully immersed in the local culture.

Included Activities

  • Aswan – Nubian Village Visit and Dinner
  • Aswan – Philae Temple

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Basma Aswan Hotel’ in Aswan (4 star)


Day 3 – Friday 3rd April 2020NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

This morning we take a short flight (approx. 45 minutes) from Aswan to Abu Simbel, where we will explore some magnificent temples. Built by Ramses II, it was the gateway to Egypt for Southern Africans and its imposing facade clearly delineated the line between what was the Pharaoh’s land and what was not. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, carved directly out of the mountain on the west bank of the Nile, this is one of Egypt’s most memorable sights. Return from Abu Simbel and transfer to meet your Nile cruise boat. Enjoy a fantastic mix of total relaxation and organized sightseeing on an iconic Nile River cruise to Luxor. Note: Nile cruise boats are typically very large with a passenger capacity of around 150. All cabins have private facilities and the boat is fully air-conditioned. Evenings will be spent on the boat, so make full use of the boat’s facilities where you can relax on the top deck by the pool and watch the stunning Nile scenery pass by. All meals are included on board. Although we use the best possible five-star rated cruise boats available, please note that the local equivalent of five stars isn’t to the same standard that we might expect at home. They are very comfortable and a great way to experience the Nile (due to varying schedules we aren’t able to provide advance notice of which exact boat we’ll be sailing on).

Included Activities

  • Abu Simbel – Abu Simbel temples
  • Aswan – Felucca trip

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 4 – Saturday 4th April 2020NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

Continue your leisurely cruise down the Nile, with today’s stop Kom Ombo Temple, north of Aswan.

Built on a high dune overlooking the Nile, the complex sits picturesquely ruined on the river’s edge and dates back to the early 2nd century BC.

The complex is unique because it has a mirror-image design, divided down the middle, with either side dedicated to a different set of Gods.

One half is known as the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god of fertility), and it includes details on the Ancient Egyptian’s relationship with crocodiles, whom they revered and feared in equal measure.

The other half is dedicated to Haroeris (also known as Horus the falcon god), and the whole temple is full of fascinating reliefs.

Return to the cruise boat where you’ll continue travelling upriver, with free time relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights – desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land.

Included Activities

  • Kom Ombo – Kom Ombo Temple

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 5 – Sunday 5th April 2020 NILE CRUISE (B,L,D)

Today finds you moored near Edfu, a beautifully preserved temple also dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. You will disembark and discover the lively streets of Edfu town – get acquainted the bustling town centre and the bazaar. There is the chance to visit the Temple of Edfu*.

Back on board continue towards Luxor passing through the Esna Locks. It is not uncommon to have to queue to proceed through the locks, a great opportunity to check out the process from up on deck with a cool drink in hand, and listen to the shouts of the many captains as they navigate their way through the various small boats of merchants selling their wares to a captive audience – life on the Nile! Arrive Luxor around 3pm. You will visit the Luxor temple.

*Special Information

The only mode of transport available to visit the Edfu temple is by local horse/carriages. As a responsible travel focused business, animal welfare is extremely important to us and we want to ensure that we are not promoting any activities where the working animals are not properly cared for. Unfortunately, some operators of the horse/carriages have been found to be in breach of our animal welfare guidelines and it is, for this reason, we will no longer include the visit to Edfu Temple. In addition to the animal welfare concerns, there has also been a substantial amount of feedback suggesting that the experience itself is quite uncomfortable due to the pushy nature of the vendors and local suppliers outside the site. While we recommend that you do not use the horse/carriage to visit the Temple, the decision is ultimately up to you. Edfu is an included port stop on the Nile River cruise schedule.

Included Activities

  • Luxor – Luxor Temple

Accommodation: Your own room onboard ‘Dolphin Nile cruise’ or similar


Day 6 – Monday 6th April 2020 LUXOR – TRAIN TO CAIRO (B,D)

Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Explore this sprawling and spectacular place where discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun’s final resting place is also located here, and you’ll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Visit the valley of the queens. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade Crossing to the East Bank of the Nile. Travel to Karnak, one of the world’s most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years, and some of it dating back to 2,055 BC. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. Afterwards you will transfer to the hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up before you are transferred to the railway station for the overnight sleeper train to Cairo.

Accommodation aboard the overnight train is in your own cabin, although there are 2 beds which convert to bunk beds. All bedding is provided on board and western-style toilets are located in each carriage. Your bags will be stored in your cabin, where airline-style dinner and breakfast will be served. However, it may be worth bringing some additional snacks, especially if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements. Your tour leader can help you to arrange this. Despite being a tourist class train, facilities are basic. Please also keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to.

Included Activities

  • Luxor – Hatshepsut Temple
  • Luxor – Luxor Temple
  • Luxor – Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
  • Luxor – Valley of the Queens
  • Luxor – Tut Ank Amon Tomb entrance
  • Luxor Hotel Day Use – 5 people per room, just to freshen up before the train journey

Accommodation: Your own cabin onboard the Luxor to Cairo Sleeper Train


Day 7 – Tuesday 7th April 2020 CAIRO (B,D)

After breakfast on board, we will arrive in to Giza Station. Today you will dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. Head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo’s oldest mosque and the Gayer- Anderson Museum. The ‘Khan’, sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. It retains a distinctly medieval feel. You will explore the gold market, ‘perfume street’ and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market). The gorgeous 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and largest in Egypt, possibly its most beautiful too. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas and vaunting a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. Also don’t miss the chance to drink Arabic coffee or mint tea from Cairo’s oldest cafe, it has a long history and fantastic atmosphere. This evening you will get to share an authentic Egyptian meal with a local family. Visit a family home, chat with the local family members about life in the Middle East, and learn some of your favourite traditional Egyptian dishes while enjoying a delicious dinner.

Included Activities

  • Cairo – Gayer Anderson
  • Cairo – Khan al-Khalili Bazaar
  • Cairo – Home Cooked Meal
  • Cairo – Ibn Tulun Mosque

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 8 – Wednesday 8th April 2020 CAIRO (B)

This morning after breakfast drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man – the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. For an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops).

The Egyptian Museum is simply one of the world’s great museums, home to a stupendous collection of antiques and treasures from the region. We will head here after lunch and your expert guide will take you through Egypt’s rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (included). Afterwards you will return to your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure.

Included Activities

  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum Mummy Room
  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum headset
  • Cairo – The Egyptian Museum
  • Cairo – Pyramids and Sphinx

Accommodation: your own room at ‘Novotel El Borg’ in Cairo (4 star)


Day 9 – Thursday 9th April 2020 AMMAN (B)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan. On arrival we will be met at the airport by our new Country leader and guide, and taken to our central hotel. Cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history, Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. A 1994 excavation uncovered homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age (circa 7000 BC). Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, find fine culture at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, look down on the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or begin your Jordan experience with a relax in a Turkish bath house. Soak up the atmosphere as you sip mint tea in a cafe.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel’, in Amman (4 star)


Day 10 – Friday 10th April 2020 AMMAN – AQABA (B)

After breakfast today we will journey down the Desert Highway, with the beach resort of Aqaba as your destination (approximately 4 hours). The small Ottoman Mamluk Fort, dating from the 14th century and from where Lawrence of Arabia rode to Cairo, is worth a look. Otherwise most of the fun is to be found in the water. Acquaint yourself with the hotel’s pool, or head to the beach – some of the best snorkelling in the world can be found around the untouched coral reefs just south of the town.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘City Tower Hotel’, in Aqaba (4 star)


Day 11 – Saturday 11th April 2020AQABA – WADI RUM (B,D)

This morning you will see the contrast between the sparkling waters of the Red Sea and an ochre sea of desert on the way to spell-binding Wadi Rum. Drive approximately 1 hour into this desolate yet achingly romantic landscape the way the locals do – in rather old, rickety (but reliable) jeeps operated by the local Bedouin Community. After lunch (not included) in the small village of Rum and a browse around the city centre, you will visit some of the most stunning desert scenery you’ll ever witness. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, where great gouts of rock on a carpet of bright red sand have been eroded into fantastical gnarled shapes. Visit several of the distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence of this lunar-like landscape.

Today you will also meet your new Bedouin Friends, the backbone of Jordan. Journey through the sweeping swathes of desert, wondering how this place could be liveable until you soon get your answer – a group of dark tents low-pitched to the ground: a Bedouin camp. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people considered by many to be the predecessors of the settled Arabs, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is believed to possess Bedouin ancestry. This might explain the legendary hospitality of the Jordanians – in traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so a very warm welcome is assured on your arrival. This evening enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin Hosts. Zarb (otherwise known as Bedouin barbeque) has been prepared for centuries by Bedouins in the Arabian Peninsula, who cooked their food underground in their earth ovens. This way of cooking does not require much equipment, which was important as Bedouins roamed the desert in search of water and pastures for their cattle. The chicken, lamb and vegetables are placed on the bbq racks, this is then placed into the large fire pit and covered with a lid. This then covered with sand and blankets to keep the heat inside. Cooking time can take 2.5 – 3 hours. Once the food is ready the sand and blankets are removed to reveal the delicious slow cooked smoky meat and perfectly cooked vegetables. Spend the night in this incredible location, deep in Wadi Rum and under a huge expanse of stars.

Special Information: Here we stay in permanent Bedouin style tents with shared bathroom facilities. Tents are luxuriously furnished complete with comfortable king-size or twin beds, Bedouin sofa, mirrors, lamps, and the finest bed linens. All the furniture is hand-made. There is cosy relaxation area outside the tent to watch the stars at night. Electricity is provided in the guest tents in the evenings via solar power. Each tent has a private terrace with a fantastic view over the Wadi Rum Mountains.

Included Activities

  • Wadi Rum – Desert Jeep tour
  • Wadi Rum – Camel ride (30 min.)

Accommodation: Your own luxury desert tent within the Camp (Feature Stay)


Day 12 – Sunday 12th April 2020 WADI RUM – PETRA (B,D)

After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a walk around the area (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted. You will then take 4WDs from your camp back to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor’s centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women’s co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town that has grown up around the site, and to just relax… ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.

Included Activities

  • 4WD in Wadi Rum

Accommodation: your own room at ‘P.Quattro Hotel,’ in Petra (3.5 star)


Day 13 – Monday 13th April 2020 PETRA (B,D)

Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It is the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate façades carved directly into the rock. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer. The iconic Petra view is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The first taste of this exquisite craftsmanship among such stark scenery is a moment that manages to be both eagerly anticipated and also an almost surreal surprise. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side, and it is impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. Petra’s greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the second beautiful façade of the Monastery, from where you will have a magnificent view of the entire site. This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination- a highlight of your trip. Later in the afternoon we return to our hotel where it won’t take much convincing to try a soothing traditional Turkish bath. The rest of the day will be at your leisure – perhaps take the chance to witness Petra by night- seeing it lit up by flickering candle light while Bedouin music plays is a magical experience.

Included Activities

  • Petra – Petra visit
  • Petra by night

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘P.Quattro Hotel,’ in Petra (3.5 star)


Day 14 – Tuesday 14th April 2020 PETRA – AMMAN (B)

Petra is an incredible site and almost demands more than one visit. If you want to see more, then get up early to soak in the dramatic setting, walk to extra sites like the High Place of Sacrifice, and just try to comprehend the history and life of a city that was once able to challenge the might of Rome. Later, the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak makes as imposing sight as you make the short drive up to it. It was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Stroll the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Continue half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, on the edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where local artisans sell attractive silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to a number of fine Byzantine mosaics. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and see an impressive mosaic map of the Holy Land that clearly depicts Palestine and Lower Egypt around 550 AD. We will arrive in to Amman in the late afternoon, where you can spend the evening in one of its several fine restaurants.

Notes: Please be aware that Kerak Castle is not included in your tour, as it is often very congested and busy. However, if there is sufficient interest among members of the group, your leader can also arrange an optional visit to Kerak Castle. Many travellers however prefer to spend extra time in Amman.

Included Activities

  • Shobak – Shobak Castle
  • Dana – Ancient Village Visit
  • Madaba – St Georges Church

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel,’ in Amman (4 star)


Day 15 – Wednesday 15th April 2020 AMMAN (B,L,D)

Today you will leave Amman for a short drive north (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best Greco-Roman ruins around. Reaching its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, it has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Grand ionic columns encircle the city’s centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash’s riches. You better have packed your swim gear, because in the afternoon you can wash off the dust from exploring ruins with a dip like no other. Drive approximately 1.5 hours to spend the afternoon on the shores of the Dead Sea. Named for the scarcity of life in its waters, this lake is so intensely salty that the density of the water makes swimming and getting underneath the surface very difficult. Floating on the surface without any sort of lilo makes for a unique pleasure though. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slick it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling luxurious. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hr journey). Tonight the group will spend their farewell night together at one of the many restaurants and bars in West Amman, or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.

Included Activities

  • Dead Sea – Visit including lunch
  • Jerash – Roman ruins

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Grand Palace Hotel,’ in Amman (4 star)


Day 16 – Thursday 16th April 2020 AMMAN/ DEPARTURE DAY (B)

After breakfast our tour ends as we transfer to the airport for our flight home, or onwards for further adventures travelling to Morocco with Two’s a Crowd. Alternately we can organise for you to stay for a night or 2 longer in Amman if you wish.

TOUR PRICING: A$7,597 PER PERSON, PLUS AIRFARES

TOUR DATES: 1ST – 16TH APRIL 2020

Novotel El Borg:

Within easy reach are Palace of Arts, Formal Gardens, Museum of Modern Egyptian Art. At Novotel Cairo El Borg Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. Rooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, air conditioning, wake-up service. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including hot tub, fitness center, outdoor pool and massages.

Hotel Basma:

A 9-minute walk from the banks of the Nile, this high-end hotel is 2 km from both Elephantine island and the ancient Unfinished Obelisk. Modern, upscale rooms with air-conditioning and tile floors feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars and balconies; upgraded rooms and suites add sitting areas and desks. A refined restaurant serves complimentary breakfast, and there’s an outdoor terrace with panoramic Nile views. A Berber-style tent offers regional fare, plus traditional entertainment and hookah. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a business center and meeting facilities.

Grand Palace Hotel:

Situated in Amman City Center, guests of the hotel can enjoy free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas. Rooms feature television LCD/plasma screen and air conditioning. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including fitness center, indoor pool, spa and massage.

City Tower Hotel:

Set in Aqaba, a 13-minute walk from Royal Yacht Club, City Tower Hotel offers a shared lounge, and sauna. Each room comes with a wardrobe, private bathroom with a shower, free WiFi, and some with sea views. The units come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A continental or buffet breakfast is available every morning at the property. The accommodation offers 4-star accommodation with an indoor pool.

P.Quattro Hotel:

Off the King’s Highway in the city center, this modern hotel is 7 km from the Royal Tombs and 11 km from the Little Petra archaeological site. The sleek, sophisticated rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minibars. Upgraded rooms add sitting areas. Room service is available 24/7. A child age 11 or under stays at no extra charge in an existing bed. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Amenities include an international restaurant and a cafe. There’s also a seasonal outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace.

Grand Palace Hotel:

Straightforward rooms in an upscale hotel featuring a spa, an indoor heated pool & 2 restaurants.

Weather

Egypt has a hot, dry desert climate. February to April and October to November are the best times to visit for warm sun and blue skies. But watch out for sandstorms caused by the khamsin winds which sometimes hit between March and June. Summer days can get hot at 40°C and above. Winters are mild with cool nights, some clouds and the occasional rain shower.

Currency

The currency of Egypt is also called the pound! But it’s not the British pound, it’s the Egyptian Pound. While our currencies have similar names, there are many Egyptian Pounds to our pound (depending on the exchange rate of course).

The currency in Egypt is fairly straightforward. One Egyptian Pound is made up of 100 Piastres or 1000 millimes. However, because only 25 or 50 piastre notes and coins are available, you don’t need to worry about lots of complicated tiny coins. Egypt also has more notes than coins, which are amazing to look at as the notes are filled with images of Ancient Egypt.

The Egyptian pound is usually abbreviated to LE or L.E. This is actually thanks to Egypt’s historical use of French in education many years ago and stands for Livre Égyptienne. The Piastre, a smaller denomination of the pound, is shortened to pt.

Egypt’s notes come in the following denominations: 25pt, 50pt, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100, £200

It’s useful to have a range of notes when on holiday, especially in the smaller amounts. Many street vendors and smaller shops might struggle to change larger notes. After all, you wouldn’t take a £50 note into a newsagents back home!

Egypt only has three coins, which makes life quite easy for the first-time tourist to the country. Egyptian money in coin form comes in, 25pt, 50pt, £1. The £1 looks a lot like the British one pound but on the back you’ll probably spot a pharaoh!

Although Egypt’s official language is Arabic, both coins and bank notes are bilingual and have the value written in Arabic and English. This means that you don’t need to worry about not knowing which note or coin is which, you can simply read it or look at the number.

Egypt has plenty of ATMs in resort towns and cities. There are also currency exchanges in large towns and even big hotels. In larger tourist areas you may well be able to pay in Euros, British Pounds or US Dollars but you’ll almost certainly pay a little more than you would in the local currency.

It’s really easy to order your Egyptian pounds from Thomas Cook stores or on our website and having the local currency upon arrival in Egypt can save you a lot of time. Why spend precious holiday time looking for an ATM when you could be hitting the beach?

Electricity

In Egypt the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Visas

Australian passport holders require a visa to enter Egypt, there are three types of visas: Tourist visa is usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia
  • English speaking local leader in Egypt and another for Jordan
  • Accommodation as per itinerary (11 nights at hotels- in your own room, 3 nights on board the MS Nile Dolphin – in your own cabin, 1 night in the desert-in your own Bedouin tent & 1 night in your own cabin onboard the sleeper train)
  • All meals included as per itinerary (B= breakfast, L=lunch, D= dinner)
  • Transport as per itinerary (camel, 4WD jeep, private aircon bus, riverboat, sleeper train)
  • All included activities as per daily itinerary
  • All entrance/admission fees as per itinerary
  • Group arrival and departure transfers
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance provided by CHI Travel Insurance (Underwritten by Allianz). Standard Policy. Additional premiums may apply if you’re over 70 years, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, or if you wish to extend your travel dates longer than the proposed tour

Tour Exclusions:

  • International airfares/ taxes
  • Any visas required
  • Meals and drinks not included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (such as souvenirs, laundry, phone calls, etc)
  • Optional activities not included in the itinerary
  • Any services not mentioned in the itinerary
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