Egypt – Land of Gods

“Egypt – Land of Gods” features a unique journey into this fascinating and touching religious heritage and invites you to discover the Old Egyptian’s ideas of the afterlife, to walk in the very places Moses guided the Israelites, and to experience the living traditions of the Coptic Church and contemporary Islam.

Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to the Land of Gods!

Upon arrival at Luxor International Airport, our representative will meet and assist you with passport control, customs formalities and handling your luggage. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel.

Day 2:

The Egyptian Religion – Karnak and Luxor Temple & the Mummification Museum: Start your day with an exhaustive walking tour through one of the biggest worshipping sites ever built: The Temples of Karnak and Luxor. After lunch, visit the Mummification Museum and learn about the Old Egyptian’s idea of the afterlife and its unrivaled importance for the Egyptian religion.

Day 3:
The Egyptian Religion – Memnon Colossi, Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple: In the early morning, cross the river and head to the Valley of the Kings. On your way, make a photo-stop in front of the giant Colossi of Memnon and hear their story. Inside the Valley of the Kings, follow your guide on a fascinating tour to the afterlife through the miraculous tombs of the kings. Take your time inside the tombs and find your space for your discoveries and meditations.

Afterwards, visit the “Splendor of Splendors”, the temple of queen Hatshepsut. After lunch, fly to Cairo.

Day 4:
The Egyptian Religion – Necropolis of Saqqara, Pyramidal Texts and Pyramids of Giza: In the morning, head south and visit the oldest cemetery in Egypt in Saqqara. Learn more about the origins of the theology of the afterlife in Ancient Egypt and explore how it was deeply rooted in the daily life of every Egyptian, no matter if he was a king or a poor farmer. Among other things, enter the Pyramid of Teti and see one of the first versions of the so-called “Pyramidal Texts” which antedate the “Book of the Dead”. Furthermore, pay a visit to the very richly decorated tomb of Mereruka and learn about ancient burial customs.

After lunch, visit the great Pyramids of Giza and the giant Sphinx. Also, visit the Solar Boat Museum and sail with the divine king through the darkness of the afterlife to the shores of the sun.

Day 5:
The Egyptian Religion – Egyptian Museum, Royal Mummy Room & a Felucca Ride: In the morning, visit the Egyptian Museum. Admire its treasures from Ancient Egypt and once more realize the greatness of this civilization. Also, meet the divine kings face to face in the Royal Mummy Room and hear from Akhenaten and the establishment of first monotheistic religion in the world. After Lunch, enjoy a feluca ride on the Nile and feel carried by one of the forces that was always either worshiped or dearly appreciated by the Egyptians throughout history.

Day 6:
The Old Testament – Exodus: In the early morning, drive north to the land of Goshen and recall the biblical account which tell us that the reigning pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom gave this land to Jacob, who in turn blessed the pharaoh for his generosity. (Genesis 47,5-7)

Day 7:
The Old Testament – Exodus: In the morning, drive to Succoth, where the Israelites gathered the day after the Exodus and recall the biblical account. (Exodus 12,37.41). By the evening, arrive with the people of the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai and enjoy dinner and rest in the guesthouse of St. Catherine Monastery.

Day 8:
The Old Testament – Mt. Sinai: In the very first hours of the day, climb Mt. Sinai and recall the biblical account about the Israelites receiving the Ten Commandments and making a covenant with the Lord. (Exodus 24,12) Once upon the summit, have time to rest and imagine Moses spending 40 days and nights in this very place (Exodus 24,18). Eventually, leave the summit and climb down with the rising sun following you. Enjoy breakfast at the guesthouse and then visit the monastery of St. Catherine with the beautiful basilica of the transfiguration, the descendant of the Burning Bush (Exodus 3,1-5) and the well of Moses (Exodus 2,17).

Then, gather on the opposite site of Mt. Catherine for a panoramic view of the monastery. Afterwards, return to Cairo.

Day 9:
Christianity in Egypt: St. Mark & the Foundation of the Coptic Church

After spending two days with the people of the children of Israel in the desert, move on to a completely different world – the world of one of the most celebrated cities in Antiquity: Alexandria. It was here that the ancient Egyptian religion married Greek mythology into a unique mixture and it happened also in Alexandria that St. Mark the Evangelist founded the Coptic Church.

Start your day with the Catacombs of Kom El Shokafa and learn about the way Greek mythology reshaped the ancient Egyptian religion. Afterwards, visit Pompey’s Pillar and the ruins of the Serapium.

After lunch, visit the church of St. Mark the Evangelist which is believed to be built in the same place the house of this first Christian in Egypt once stood. Walk through the church and let your guide outline the early history of Christianity in Egypt.

Later on, visit the new Bibliotheca of Alexandria, a modern temple for science in modern Alexandria and spend some time by the beautiful Mediterranean shore. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 10: Christianity in Egypt
History and Tradition of the Coptic Church

Immerse yourself in the touching traditions of the Coptic Church and hear its interesting story. Start your day with a visit to Abu Serga Church, one of the oldest churches in Egypt. Your guide will tell you as well about the rich Coptic traditions of theHoly Family taking refuge in Egypt and showing you the crypt which is believed to be the place where the holy family found shelter during their stay in Cairo. (Matthew, 2,13-15)

Afterwards, visit the Hanging Church and get introduced to the faith and the rich rituals of the Coptic Church. Meet its saints and learn about the tradition of iconography. After this, wander through the Coptic Museum and get in touch with the rich cultural, artistic and spiritual heritage of the oldest church in the world.

Follow this with a visit to Ben Ezra Synagogue and learn about the Jewish community in Egypt.

After lunch, visit the church of St. Mary in Zeitoun, the church that witnessed the appearance of the Virgin St. Mary on top of its dome for months and months every night. Now a place of pilgrimage and a well known destination for Egyptian Christians for blessing its soaked with spirituality and the memories of those who experienced the presence of the Spirit

Day 11: Christianity in Egypt
The Dawn of Monasticism

Egypt was not only a cradle for the Christian church, but also the birthplace of Christian monasticism. Driven by multiple reasons, but most of all the Lord’s saying that “if you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19,21) many faithful Christians left their former lives behind and set forth to the vast emptiness of the Egyptian deserts where they eventually found spiritual fulfillment.

In the morning, drive to the small village of “Maimoun” in Beni Suef where Antony was born around 251. Then, visit the church named after him and enjoy lunch by the river at the isolated “Bayad Retretment Center”.

In the afternoon, visit some of the church’s social projects in Beni Suef, such like the School for Mentally Handicapped Children, the Orphanage or the Health Education Service and get a chance to meet and interact with believers from the local congregations.

Day 12: Christianity in Egypt
The Rise of Monasticism

If you like, wake up early for some early meditation while watching the sunrise of the river. After breakfast, head to the Monastery of St. Antony in the Red Sea Hills and drive through the very way, Antony most probably walked to his cell.

Inside the monastery, a monk will be your guide and provide you with first hand information about monastic life and Antony’s impressive story.

Then take a hike up to Anthony’s cave, which can be reached by some 1200 steps – but imagine him descending and ascending without this comfort!

After a light lunch, drive back to Cairo and arrive in the early evening.

Day 13: Islam in Egypt
Advent and History of Islam in Egypt

In 639 CE Amro Ibn el-Aas, a contemporary of the prophet Muhammad and an Arab military commander, started to conquer Egypt but not until 642 he was successful. Since then Egypt is a country heavily shaped by Christianity and Islam alike.

Start your day with a visit to Amro Ibn el-Aas Mosque built on the site of the first mosque ever built in Cairo and hear the story of Islam in Egypt. Afterwards, proceed to the Citadel of Salah el-Din, which until the 19th century was the heart of Egyptian government. From the edge of the Citadel’s plateau you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of Cairo, the Nile and – if weather permits – the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Then, still within the enclose walls of the Citadel, proceed to the monumental Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pascha, also known as the “Alabaster Mosque”.

Follow this with a visit to the gigantic Sultan Hassan Mosque where you might get a chance to listen to some Holy Quran being enchanted in heavenly tunes and proceed to Ibn Toloun Mosque, one of the oldest and the biggest in the city with it memorable spiral minaret.

After lunch, drive through the city of the dead, where people of today are building their houses, schools and clinics among the graves and visit proceed the stunning mosque of Quaitbay.

Day 14: Islam in Egypt
A Unique Walking Tour through Islamic Cairo

Start your day with a visit of al-Azhar Mosque and enjoy the tranquility and magic of the space. Then walk through Gamalyia Street and stop at Wikalet al-Bazara, a 400 years old ware house and the Khnaquah and Mausoleum of Sultan Beybars, a 700 years old sufi monastery and burial chamber of the mamluk king.

Then cross Bab Al-Nasir the “door of victory” of Cairo and walk along the 11th century wall to explore the magnificent military architecture. Enter the old city again through Bab el-Fotouh, the “door of conquests” and visit the Mosque of al-Hakim who is considered both, mad and a saint!

Afterwards, walk through the street with brief stops at the onion & garlic market, the coppersmiths market and the Mosque of Soliman Sylihdar. After a tea stop at the 200 years old Fishaway Coffee House, walk further south and get into the famous alley Zuqaq el-Midaq the title of one of Naguib Mahfouz best known Novels. Then to proceed to al-Azhar Park for late lunch.

In the early evening have a short walk through the Egyptian market for cloths with brief stops at the Sabil of Mohammed Ali and the Mosque of Moaeed (“Red Mosque”). Then through the old gates of Cairo “Bab Zewila” to the “Tent Makers street”. Finally get back again to “Wikalaet el-Ghory” the 500 years old shopping mall which is used now a stage for “Sufi Dancing – Folkloric Music and Dancing Show” and treat your ears and eyes with the colorful music of Egypt.

Day 15
Departure

It’s been a long way from the temples of Ancient Egypt and the flight of the Israelites to Mt. Sinai through the dawn of Christianity and monasticism in Egypt to the Islamic Era. We truly hope that you enjoyed this panoramic journey through the Land of Gods and hope to see you again soon!

According to your flight time, be transferred to Cairo International Airport for final departure.

Tour Details
Including

All our tours are private tours including private transportation and private guiding.

Entrance Visa to Egypt (app. 12 €).

2 nights stay in Luxor,  9 nights stay in Cairo,  1 night stay in Ismailia,  1 night stay in St. Catherine,  1 night stay in Beni Suef,

Domestic flight from Luxor to Cairo, Economy.

Felucca ride in Cairo.

All mentioned sightseeing tours, including transportation by private modern & tourism-licensed a/c vehicles.

Professional guiding by a qualified & tourism-licensed Coptic, Muslim, and Egypotologist guide for the Christian, Islamic, Pharaonic part.

ITERU’s special travel services for church groups and travelers interested in religion and faith (including scripture studies and additional lectures summarizing the visits and experiences), extra time for prayer and meditation or group activities, chances to attend a Coptic service.

Guiding by a local monk inside St. Anthony Monastery (according to availability), guiding by a local guide on Mt. Sinai.

Chances to meet local Coptic congregations in Beni Suef.

ITERU blankets on Mt. Sinai.

Unique walking tour through Islamic Cairo.

Admission fees to all mentioned places (app. 130 €).

Full board during the whole tour.

Recommended gratuities (app. 75 €).

Prices

All prices are inclusive of all mentioned services and valid throughout the year except major holidays during the high season. Please inquire for details.

  • Private tour, 1 to 2 people: Please inquire for individual pricing.
  • Private tour, 3 to 9 people: 1985 €
  • Private tour, 10 to 15 people: 1695 €
  • Private tour, 16 to 25 people: 1575 €
  • Private tour, 26 and more: Please inquire for individual pricing.

Customize Your Tour

Please feel free to provide us with your own ideas and preferences about your tour. Our travel professionals will be happy to tailor your personalized tour excatly as you want it to be!

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