Egypt & Hellenism (Cairo – New Archaeological Museum – Alexandria – Sinai) for the feast of the Holy Spirit!

Egypt & Hellenism (Cairo – New Archaeological Museum – Alexandria – Sinai) for the feast of the Holy Spirit!

7 days, 4 – 10 July, from 845 €/person + taxes.

We travel to Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the heart of the Arab world… the city of the Pyramids and the thousand minarets! We continue with the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine of Mount Sinai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered the oldest Christian monastery in the world (the earliest evidence of monastic life is from 381-384 AD). According to tradition, Mount Sinai is described as God-blessed, since there, according to the Bible, God appeared to Moses through a burning bush (Exodus 3,1; 19,1; 20,1) and after the Exodus Moses received the Ten Commandments from God (Exodus ch. 19). We conclude our journey with the famous Alexandria, home of Kavafis and seat of the Orthodox Patriarchate, which will remind us of the moments of the heyday of Egyptian Hellenism.

Schedule:

Day 1: (Thessalonik)/Athens – Cairo
Departure from Thessaloniki is only possible by prior arrangement. Departure from Athens. Meeting with the tour leader/guide at the Aegean counter. Baggage delivery, passport and hand luggage check. Flight to Cairo International Airport at 17.25, arriving at 18.20 (local time). Meeting with our representatives in Cairo, who will take care of the formalities. Board the bus and depart for the hotel. Check-in, free time and overnight stay. Evening optional cruise on the Nile (21.00-23.00) with transfer, buffet dinner, entertainment with music & traditional dances and sailing on the Nile.

Day 2: Cairo – Pyramids – Sphinx – New Archaeological Museum of Cairo 
Breakfast and transfer to the Giza region, on the west bank of the Nile. Here we will visit and be guided by our Greek-speaking experienced guide to the archaeological site, within which are the imposing pyramids of Cheops, Hefrinus and Mycerinus. We will have time at our disposal to walk around quite a bit and take pictures at the archaeological site of the pyramids, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We continue on to the silent Sphinx representing Pharaoh Khafre in the body of a lion, guardian of the necropolis of Giza. Visit to the New Archaeological Museum in Cairo (GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM of CAIRO) in Giza which has unofficially opened some parts. When completed, the Grand Egyptian Museum just outside of Cairo on the Giza Plateau (and next to the Pyramids) will not only be the new jewel in Egypt’s crown, but will also be one of the largest, most modern and best known museums in the entire world. Lunch and continue with a visit to an adjacent Egyptian scroll making workshop, where during the demonstration we will learn how they have been made since ancient times. Anyone who wishes, can buy from these items. Transfer to our hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Cairo – Faran Oasis (Holy Monastery of Prophet Moses) – Sinai (Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine)
Breakfast and departure for Mount Sinai. On our way we will cross the uniquely beautiful colored desert of Sinai, with its picturesque Bedouins. Stop at the Holy Monastery of Prophet Moses at the Oasis of Faran. It was from the 4th century the largest Christian center in the Sinai Peninsula. The Women’s Monastery – Retreat is located in a prosperous garden, where the Temple of the Prophet Moses, with built-in architectural elements from the ancient basilica, and a small dispensary for the Bedouins of the region. Arrival at the historic Monastery of St. Catherine which is built (at an altitude of 1,570 meters) at the foot of the Theobaptist Mount Sinai. Settle in the guesthouses of the Monastery, Attend Vespers, Dinner and Overnight. Optional ascent to the Holy Peak (2,280m), where Moses received the commandments and from where the sunrise over the desert and wild mountains offers a unique sight (after 12.00 midnight).

Day 4: Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine (Divine Liturgy)
In this centre of Hellenism and Orthodoxy, attending the solemn Divine Liturgy will be an unforgettable experience, in the Catholicos of the Monastery of St. Catherine. Breakfast will be followed by a guided tour by the Sinaitic Fathers of the Monastery and a pilgrimage to the relic of St. Catherine, where it is customary to give pilgrims a ring as a blessing. We continue with a guided tour of the area of the “burning and unburning bush”, the well of Iothor and the museum, where priceless treasures are kept, such as the oldest surviving icons (some with a burnt style), ancient books, vestments, utensils, etc. Optional transfer, to the Mount of the Holy Science, where the Saints Galaktion and Science practiced respectively in the male and female Skete of the Mount, during the Third Century, when they were martyred during the persecution of Decius (250-252 AD). In this Cave, St. Paisios the Hagiorite lived a period of his life. Participation in Vespers in the Monastery, meeting with the Sinaitic Fathers, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5: Sinai (Saint Catherine Monastery) – Cairo – Khan El Khalili 
Participation in the morning Divine Liturgy (breakfast included) and departure for Cairo at 08.00. Arrival in Cairo at about 16.00-17.00 and transfer to the famous market of Khan El Khalili where we will have free time for coffee, shopping etc. Transfer to our hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Alexandria
Early departure, after our breakfast. Crossing Lower Egypt, skirting the fertile Nile Delta, we reach Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast. We get acquainted with the city founded by Alexander the Great, based on Homeric narratives and was the spiritual center of Hellenism during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, but also the seat of the second of the five Presbyterian Patriarchates from the Byzantine period to the present day. Visit to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, where we will see the Holy Church of the Annunciation and the gardens of the Patriarchate. Transfer to the Old Patriarchate and the historic Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified, where the column on which, according to tradition, St. Catherine was martyred is located. We will then visit the renovated neighbouring house of the world-famous Alexandrian poet Konstantinos Kavafis, where his personal belongings are preserved. No amount of words we can write about him will suffice. Born a cosmopolitan, he lived in Alexandria, England, Constantinople and Athens and finally returned to his birthplace, Egypt. Moving on to the modern New Library of Alexandria, which was built to commemorate the Hellenistic Museum, which included the largest library in the ancient world, as well as laboratories, zoological and botanical gardens, guest houses and an observatory. We will combine our break with the provided lunch. We continue with a panoramic tour of the waterfront with its imposing public buildings and hotels, on the Mediterranean coast, where we will also see the castle of Kayit Bay, built from the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria that once stood in the same place. A visit to the Greek cemeteries, where among them is the tomb of Konstantinos Kavafis, many prominent Greeks and great benefactors, such as Georgios Averoff and others. Departure for Cairo in the afternoon, arrival at our hotel, rest and overnight stay.

Day 7: Cairo – Saint George – Cairo Archaeological Museum – Return flight
Breakfast and transfer to Old Cairo, on the east bank of the Nile and the area of ancient Memphis, where one of the most densely populated suburbs of Cairo is located, with monasteries, temples and cemeteries. We start from the Roman Fortress of Babylon, which is located near where the so-called Pharaonic Canal, which connected the Nile to the Red Sea, begins. On the fourth floor of the fortress is the church of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, dedicated to the memory of Saint George the Trophy Bearer. We will visit the Church and the catacombs, which are an impressive ecclesiastical museum, where among other things we will see the Nilometer, which measures the level of the river to this day. We continue with the Greek cemetery and the chapel where, according to tradition, the Virgin Mary fled with Joseph and the Divine Infant to escape the wrath of Herod. A visit to an adjacent laboratory for the preparation of Egyptian oils and perfumes will follow, where we will learn how they are prepared and how they are used. Anyone who wishes, can buy from these items. Transfer to the great Archaeological Museum of Cairo, where we will admire various treasures of Pharaonic Egypt, such as statues, stelae, jewelry, mummies, sarcophagi, as well as the masterpiece of this museum, the famous funerary mask of Tutankhamun, which contains more than 10 kg of gold and precious stones! Departure for Cairo International Airport at 16.00. Baggage drop-off, passport control and airport procedures. Return flight to Athens with Aegean Airlines at 20.15, arriving in Athens at 22.25.

What is included:

  • Airline tickets with Aegean for the flights Athens – Cairo – Athens.
  • One suitcase up to 23 kg and one hand luggage up to 8 kg per person.
  • Airport and Suez taxes.
  • Transfers as indicated in the programme by air-conditioned coach.
  • Four (4) nights in Cairo in a 5* hotel (Grand Nile Towers 5* or Tolip El Galaa 5*), Two (2) nights in IM Sinai.
  • Half board where indicated.
  • Entrance tickets to Museums and Archaeological Sites as listed in the programme.
  • Greek-speaking official guide in Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Guided tours – tours as mentioned in the programme.
  • Experienced leader – escort throughout the tour.
  • Civil Liability Insurance.
  • Mondial Insurance travel insurance for accidents and acute incidents, including Covid-19. For ages over 70 years, the insurance is valid for accidents only.

Not included:

  • Egyptian visa €30.
  • Tips €25.
  • Optional cruise on the Nile with transportation, food and entertainment, (approximately 2 hours duration).
  • Drinks / Phone calls and everything mentioned in the program as optional.

Available Dates:

Departure 4 July 2024 – Return 10 July 2024

Final price with taxes per person: € 845, Single + € 290
Reservations with a deposit of €300 per person.

Notes:

  • THE PASSPORT MUST EXPIRE 6 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF ENTRY IN EGYPT, OTHERWISE A NEW ONE MUST BE ISSUED.
  • A photocopy of the passport must be submitted to our office.
  • The order of the programme can be changed, without skipping anything.
  • One week before departure, final detailed instructions will be given for the journey of the pilgrimage.
  • The trip has morning departures for successful completion.
  • Each traveler must bring two (2) photocopies of their passport for the stay in Sinai.
  • At the Hotel/ Hostels of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, confirmation of single rooms is not possible.

 

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