Visit ancient Egypt's most celebrated site, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Giza Pyramids, then step back into the world of Cairo's medieval Mamluk sutans on this private day tour led by Egyptologist guide. Marvel at the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, and the queens, witness the imperious Sphinx, and explore the little-known Amir Taz Palace, a splendid piece of medieval Islamic architecture. Tour includes lunch and entrance fees.
As this is a private tour, choose your own departure time: between 9am and 10am is recommended. Your Egyptologist guide will collect you from your hotel in Giza or downtown Cairo (surcharge applies for Heliopolis hotels) for the short drive to the Giza Pyramids in air-conditioned comfort.
The three pyramids, erected by Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, and guarded by the mysterious Sphinx, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and undoubtedly Egypt's most celebrated attraction. Your guide will explain how they were built as tombs for ancient Egypt's great kings, to preserve the pharaohs' bodies until their resurrection.
The Great Pyramid, built by King Khufu, the second pharaoh of ancient Egypt's fourth dynasty, towers an impressive 449 feet (137 meters) above the Giza Plateau: when it was constructed, it was 479 feet (146 meters) tall but the summit has eroded over the last 4,500 years. Near its eastern flank are three pyramids, most likely dedicated to his wives. It was Khufu's son, Khafre, who built the next pyramid you'll see – at 446 feet (136 meters), it's almost as impressive as his father's. The third of the great pyramids was built by Menkaure, Khafre's son, and stands 203 feet (62 meters) tall.
Once you've admired the enigmatic Sphinx and captured shots, hop back into the car to visit a small bazaar where you can enjoy a traditional (non-alcoholic!) Egyptian drink, and perhaps haggle for some souvenirs. Then relax over an included lunch at a first-class local restaurant.
After lunch, you'll visit the Amir Taz Palace, one of the grandest homes to survive from medieval Cairo. It was originally built in 1352 for an adviser to the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad who would, in time, control the throne through Sultan Hassan. The palace has been remodeled several times, most notably in the seventeenth century, and has served as a girls' school and a storage depot. Recently restored and renovated, it includes an exhibit about the palace's treasures, as well as well-preserved medieval Islamic architecture.
Once you've finished here, your driver will transport you back to your hotel where your guide will bid you farewell. As this is a private tour, the duration is up to you: most guests finish their tour between 3 and 4pm.