You may be surprised to learn that now is a great time to visit Egypt. Since President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was elected four years ago, the political situation has stabilized, but tourism has been slower to rebound. This means that crowds are smaller and you’ll get more value for your money—which is good news for armchair archaeologists.
And there’s no better way to visit the country than with Dr. Zahi Hawass, whose Royal Tour to Egypt with Archaeological Paths offers a unique way to experience the country’s ancient monuments. Dr. Hawass long served as Egypt’s Minister of State for Antiquities and has directed excavations at several important sites, including Giza, Saqqara, the Bahariya Oasis, and the Valley of the Kings.
For nearly 3,000 years, Egypt was the most advanced civilization of the ancient world. Archaeologists are still uncovering this rich history today. Recent discoveries, such as the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza, have revealed details about the construction of these wonders of the world, as well as the everyday lives of Egyptian workers. The search continues for important historical sites such as the grave of Queen Nefertiti and the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. “No one can really expect it,” Dr. Hawass says of the possibility of future finds. “You never know what secrets the sands of Egypt might hide.”
The Best Way to See Egypt
Dr. Hawass is not only one of the world’s leading archaeologists, but he brings a dynamic personality and engaging style to the Royal Tour. He has appeared on Good Morning America and The Today Show and has shared his passion for archaeology in documentaries by the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, History Channel, and PBS.
Throughout the journey, Dr. Hawass brings history to life with multimedia presentations and Q&A sessions. This tour offers special access to sites that are normally closed to the public, including unique experiences at the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Luxor Temple at night. “The most exciting moment for many of our guests,” Dr. Hawass says, “is to stand between the two paws of the Sphinx (at 7 a.m.), when there are no other tourists but only our group.”
On the tour of the Giza plateau, Dr. Hawass discusses these historic monuments and describes how he and his team use modern technology to make new discoveries. The tour also includes the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders, one of the most important discoveries of Dr. Hawass’s career. This site is normally closed to the public because it’s an active excavation site, with new finds surfacing even today.
“It was my dream to discover the tombs of the workmen who built the pyramids at Giza,” says Dr. Hawass. “I always say that this discovery is even more important than the tomb of King Tutankhamun, because the tombs of the Pyramid Builders reconstructed our history.”
An All-Encompassing Tour
The trip to Giza is just one of many highlights of The Royal Tour of Egypt. The tour also visits Saqqara, home of the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, which Dr. Hawass calls “the birthplace of architecture.” Travelers will also cruise down the Nile, the river that shaped the course of Egyptian history, stopping at key sites like Edfu and the Kom Ombo temples, Aswan, and the temple of Philae. At the Karnak temple, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Egypt’s current Head of Antiquities, will meet the group and reveal his team’s most recent discoveries. A visit to the Valley of the Kings, which is the royal cemetery for 62 pharaohs, includes a tour of King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
And if there’s a temple or tomb you are interested in that isn’t listed above, you can still see it. “The most important thing is that if anyone wants to visit a specific site,” Hawass says. “Archaeological Paths can make it happen.”