Aid to the Church in Need Pilgrimage to Egypt 2019
Cairo – Aswan – Philae – Kom Ombo – Edfu – Luxor – Thebes
We hope you will join on on this wonderful opportunity to walk in prayer and pilgrimage. The trip will include visits to ACN project partners, as well as places of historic importance.
Day One – Monday 4th November
London – Cairo
Check in for our 7:30pm departure BA flight at London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 to Cairo Airport with your ACN representatives. On arrival at Cairo Airport, once you have collected your luggage, wait in the luggage reclaim area with the Aid to the Church in Need Representatives.
Transfer to our accommodation in Cairo for dinner and a two-night stay.
Day Two– Tuesday 5th November
Today we hope to meet with His Beatitude Sidrak Ibrahim Isaac and his Assistant Father Yoseef Moharebs, at the Catholic Coptic Patriarchate in Cairo. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Catholic Coptic Patriarchate. Lunch will be available at a local restaurant, and after lunch we go on to visit the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church and the Holy Family Coptic Catholic Church in Zaytoun, returning to our hotel afterwards for dinner.
Day Three – Wednesday 6th November
Cairo – Aswan – Philae
This morning we catch an early flight from Cairo to Aswan, the southernmost city in Egypt, and here we see the world famous, ‘High Dam’ created near Lake Nesser, the world’s largest reservoir. We will visit the 7th century ruins of the Monastery of Saint Simeon, and then travel to an island on the lake where we visit the Philae Temple which proclaims the glory of the goddess Isis.
In Aswan we embark on our boat where we will spend the next three nights. After lunch on our boat, we will re-join our coach and travel to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, where we will meet Abba Hedra, Bishop of Aswan. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Catholic Church of Aswan (The Immaculate Virgin Mary) where we will meet the Comboni Missionary Brothers. We return to our boat for dinner.
Day Four – Thursday 7th November
Aswan – KomOmbo – Edfu
In the early morning, our boat will sail from Aswan to KomOmbo. Due to varied water levels of the Nile over the temple at KomOmbo it was almost fully submerged in silt for a number of years during the decline of the Roman Empire. The temple is unique because it is dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Horus and therefore has been designed to be completely symmetrical. Holy Mass will be celebrated at a local parish.
We then sail to Edfu, a tiny town with a large well-preserved temple. We have time to explore the dark chambers and see the towering columns of the temple of Horus. We return to our boat for dinner and overnight.
Day Five – Friday 8th November
This morning will be at leisure on our boat. Holy Mass will be celebrated in the morning. In the afternoon, we leave our boat and visit Luxor, the ancient capital of Upper and Lower Egypt, situated in the Nile Valley. Luxor is scattered with ancient tombs and sandstone buildings and columns. It has two big temples, Luxor Temple which stands in the heart of the city adjacent to the Nile, and the Karnak Temple which covers over five acres of land. This evening we will enjoy the Light & Sound Show at the Karnak Temple, returning to our boat for dinner and overnight.
Day Six – Saturday 9th November
Luxor – Thebes
After checking out of our boat, this morning we visit ancient Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. The ancient rulers of Thebes, when not building empires, were preparing for eternity and they believed that the west bank was where the sun set and afterlife commenced. A lot of ancient rulers are buried on the west bank with their treasures. Over the years these treasures have been stolen; a group of labourers was set up by the rulers to secretly bury them, we visit the Necropolis of Thebes where these men worked and lived.
We walk from here down the ‘Valley of the Kings’, the burial place of the New Kingdom pharaohs, a winding valley, which is walled by jagged limestone cliffs. We continue to the ‘Valley of the Queens’, where we can see the tombs of the nobles, valley of the Artisans and the impressive and imposing Temple of Hatshepsut. Near the Temple of Hatshepsut we see the Colossi of Memnon, a pair of towering statues of Amenhotep.
Lunch will be available at our hotel or at a local restaurant. This afternoon we will have a short tour on the River Nile to visit a Nubian village. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Franciscan Church in Luxor. In the evening, we meet our coach at the Hotel and transfer to the station where we will have dinner and board our Watania overnight sleeper train to Cairo.
Day Seven – Sunday 10th November
After breakfast on the train, this morning we visit one of the seven wonders of the old world, the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the other smaller pyramids. We then go down to see the symbol of wisdom and power, the Sphinx, who guarded the royal tombs thousands of years ago.
Holy Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace with Fr Hani Bakhoum, Secretary to the Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt.
We re-join our coach and return to our Hotel to refresh and change for the afternoon meetings. We then drive to meet His Holiness Pope Tawadros at the Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul.
In the evening, we hope to meet with His Excellency Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador in Egypt, before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day Eight – Monday 11th November
After breakfast at our hotel, we meet in the hotel lobby and join our coach to visit the El Mu’allaqu Church, this 3rd century church is also known as the ‘Hanging Church’, so called because it was originally suspended 13 metres above the ground. We then visit the Church of Abu Serga (St Sergius), a 10th century church which throughout the years has sunk 7 feet below street level. It is believed that the Holy Family rested here in the crypt. We visit the Coptic Orthodox Convent of St George. If we have time, we will make our way to Ben-Ezra synagogue, which was built in Roman times as a Christian temple, now it is a synagogue for Cairo’s resident Jews.
We re-join our coach and visit Fr Hany Bakhoum the official representative of the Catholic Church in Egypt at his residence. Holy Mass will be celebrated here at Our Lady of Grace, parish.
Day Nine – Tuesday 12th November
Cairo – London
We transfer by coach to Cairo Airport where we check in for our early morning return flight to London.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change without prior notification.
Travel and accommodation
The Price will be £1,668 and will include:
- Scheduled flight with British Airways: Heathrow – Cairo – Heathrow.
- Internal flight with Egyptair: Cairo – Aswan – Cairo.
- Daily Holy Mass at different churches and sites in Egypt.
- 1 piece of checked in luggage up to 23 kg.
- Current (as of April 2019) UK and Egypt airport departure taxes.
- Transfers and touring by air-conditioned private coach in Egypt.
- Accommodation based on sharing a twin-bedded room* and berth*: Hotel Cairo Steigenberger El Tahrir (down town), 1 early morning arrival and 3 nights, half board. Nile cruise Radamis, Aswan to Luxor, 3 nights, full board.
- Overnight Watania train service, Luxor to Cairo, half board.
- Entrance and guide fees appropriate to the itinerary.
- Local English-speaking tour manager/guide while in Egypt.
- Gratuities to driver, Nile cruise staff and accommodation staff.
- £10 donation to ACN.
- ATOL and ABTA financial protection
* If you select to share a twin room/berth when booking but have no one to share with, we will try to pair you up with someone of the same gender in the group. However, if there is no one available to pair you up with, we will charge a supplement of £90 as you would have single occupancy of the rooms.
Basic Price does not include:
- Travel insurance.
- Single room supplement of £176 for the 7 nights.
- US$25 Egyptian visa fee, payable at Cairo airport.
- Gratuity to the guide/tour manager.
- Drinks. Lunches when not on the Nile cruise.
- Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airlines.
- Transport within the U.K.
Booking your place on the ACN Pilgrimage to Egypt
Pax Travel will be taking all bookings on behalf of Aid to the Church in Need. Please contact them on 020 7485 3003 or by emailing [email protected] for more information and to book your place.
Please note your Passport must have at least six months validity remaining from the dare of re-entry into the UK.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which may be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.