Premium Middle East In Depth

Trip Code: XEPMC

Why we love it

Discover the Pyramids of Giza, Valley of the Kings, the ancient city of Alexandria, battle site of El Alamein, the majesty of Petra, and embark on a 4WD drive adventure through wind-swept rock formations of Wadi Rum., Enjoy unforgettable Exclusive Experiences, including dinner in a family’s home in Cairo, a visit to the city’s oldest coffeeshop, sunset drinks on board a traditional felucca and a zarb dinner with your Bedouin hosts in Wadi Rum., Take your time exploring Abu Simbel with an overnight stay, discovering this magnificent monument carved out of the mountainside with less crowds, followed by a Premium Exclusive Experience; an incredible sound and light show., Relax with four nights on a premium Nile riverboat, experience isolated elegance during your stay at a luxury camp in Wadi Rum, and stay in Palestine’s first heritage hotel in Bethlehem, your Feature Stays for this adventure., Taste the best of Middle Eastern cuisine during high tea at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, traditional meals in family homes, a family-run cooking class in Amman and exclusive hummus tasting in Tel Aviv., Experience for yourself some of the world’s most renowned religious sites – the Church of the Annunciation, the Church of the Nativity, Via Dolorosa, Qumran and the Western Wall. Discuss history with a geopolitical expert (Exclusive Experience), meet a local Rabbi and have dinner with a Christian family.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip takes in many religious sites, so it’s best to come prepared. You will need to bring clothes that cover arms and legs – a light scarf is a good idea for hot days.

Important information

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
3. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 23kg for check in luggage and 8kg for carry on.
You can store excess luggage at the start point hotel.
4. Departures between January and August 2022 will visit the exterior of Fort Qaitbey rather than Al Montazah Palace & Gardens on Day 4, due to renovations.
5. Israel currently requires a PCR test upon arrival, with a quarantine until test results are received (24 hours or less). Please see ETI for more details.
6. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations.

A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel, Alexandria Road, Pyramids Giza, Cairo, EGYPT, Phone: +202 33772555

Located just a short a step away from the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel offers world famous Egyptian hospitality in an unsurpassed location. The hotel features elegantly appointed rooms and suites, two swimming pools and a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from, all surrounded by lush gardens.
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Joining instructions

"An airport arrival transfer is included in your tour from Cairo International Airport. The airport is approximately a 45 minute drive from the city center. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre trip accommodation booked through Intrepid.

If you have advised your flight arrival details, an airport representative will be waiting before the immigration desks, holding a board with the Intrepid logo. If you are unable to find your driver or need to advise of a flight delay, please call (+20) 12 2100 5565.

If you are making your own way to the starting point hotel, taxis are available for approximately 300 LE. "

Finishing your trip

Melody Hotel, 220, HaYarkon Street, Tel Aviv, 6340516, ISRAEL, Phone: +972 35425555

The Melody Hotel is ideally located just a few steps from Tel Aviv's beach shore, and the bustle of Ben Yehuda and Hayarkon streets. The hotel offers comfortable and modern rooms with an inviting lobby lounge, a delicious buffet breakfast and happy hour bites. The 8th-floor rooftop provides a breathtaking ocean view. The reception is 24 hours and there are laundry facilities available to hotel guests and free wi-fi. Take advantage of the free bike hire to explore Tel Aviv in your free time.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 25

Lunches included: 6

Dinners included: 16

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Your group leader or representative will endeavor to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible. Please note that Gluten Intolerances and Vegan can be more challenging in some parts of the Middle East, you may wish to speak to your trip leader at the group meeting to alert them of this so they can help you throughout the trip in planning suitable meals.

Your group leader or representative will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER IN EGYPT
As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar, particularly in Upper Egypt (Luxor and Aswan). From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (for example - 5am). Please be prepared for this - our schedules are designed to make touring as comfortable for you as possible.

WEATHER
In summer temperatures are usually between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius. Tel Aviv and Tiberias tend to be hot and humid. Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, particularly at night. Masada & Eilat are extremely hot, often above 40 degrees Celsius.

The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. There’s often heavy rain and snowfall around these areas. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months. Temperatures generally range between 10 and15 degrees Celsius during the day.

The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country.

Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures.

Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals and carrying your sleeping bag if travelling in the winter months.

SHABBAT
Beginning at sunset on Friday and ending at sunset on Saturday, Shabbat signifies the Jewish day of rest. In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, religious Jews do not work during Shabbat and many refrain from using electronics, driving, cooking and using the telephone in order to “keep Shabbat”.  Public transportation does not operate on Shabbat meaning there are no public buses or trains operating from sundown on Friday. Some train services will not resume until Sunday, others may start Saturday evening. Please consider this when planning your arrival and departure from Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Yom Kippur, means Day of Atonement and it is considered by Jews to be the holiest day of the year, 16th September 2021.  What happens: This is one of Israel’s most special days. The whole country shuts down. No planes land, no shops are open, no public transportation runs, no cars are driven, no TV is broadcast, no food is served in hotels. 

If travelling at this time, there may be slight itinerary changes, activities will not be missed just the order changed.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +201096811067

Intrepid's Local Operator: +972(0)58690 6428

Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation

SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING
Occasionally you may experience a Tourist Police Escort in your vehicle and whilst not common convoys between select towns or regions are possible. This practice has been implemented by local authorities to monitor the safety and security of visitors to Egypt.

NILE RIVERBOAT
You will be staying on a riverboat for the Nile River section of this itinerary. The company we work with has a large fleet of boats and the actual boat can’t be confirmed until 30 days before departure. However you can expect the following facilities; restaurant, bar & sundeck. Most boats will also have a small swimming pool and in that instance, swimming towels will be available for use.

All cabins have ensuites, air conditioning, and windows to enjoy the views of the Nile. Accommodation during the cruise is on a full board basis, often in the form of a buffet. Drinks can be purchased from the bar or restaurant. Bottled drinking water and tea and coffee are available but are not included so please ensure you check prices on board.

Internet is mostly charged at an additional fee. We recommend purchasing a local sim card for your data requirements, please refer to the Communications section of this Essential Trip Information document.

You will have the opportunity to disembark the boat each day as we explore some of the ancient sites included on the itinerary. The boat will also be anchored at port each evening. Only on the odd occasion would it sail at night depending on the water traffic at Esna Lock.

Most often when in port there can be many boats and you may be berthed side by side with another ship. Riverboats have anywhere from 50-70 cabins and you will be sharing the facilities with other travellers not on your tour.


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