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Explore the Silk Road - Istanbul - Cairo Overland
Retrace the paths of ancient Silk Road caravans. There are 4 distinct trips which be combined to form trips of from 1 to 5 weeks. (There is some overlap.) You may sign up for any combination of segments. We'll work with you to customize your joining and leaving the group. Guaranteed departure with 5 clients per segment. We'll explore the remains of Egyptian, Nabatean, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader and Ottoman cultures - pyramids, lost cities, desert and mountain fortresses, and modern ancient cities that have survived it all with bustling markets and sites sacred to many religions. We'll visit fascinating museums displaying wonders from 5,000 years. A sense of adventure is required - many of these areas are not visited very often, and we may adjust the itinerary due to local conditions, weather or other opportunities. We stay at 3 and 4 star hotels, and all meals are included.
In Turkey and Jordan we'll be trekking - making daily hikes to a tented camp, carrying light day packs. Most of the gear will be carried by porters or mules, and all of the cooking will be done for us, leaving more time for exploration than you would have on a regular backpack trip. The Aladaglar area of Turkey is the highest in the Toros mountain range, with beautiful valleys and narrow gorges among Karst limestone hills rising to over 10,000' (3700 m). Our trek in Jordan will be in the desert near the lost city of Petra, again with spectacular scenery. In Syria, we'll do day hikes amid Crusader castles and in the ruins of ancient Palmyra, once ruled by Queen Zenobia. We cross from Jordan to Egypt via the Sinai desert, stopping to climb Mt. Sinai and visit the isolated St. Catherine Monastery dating back to Byzantine times. Then we take a ferry and travel overland to Luxor. Boarding our cruise ship, we visit the temples and tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, ending with the amazing tomb of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, saved from flooding by a massive effort almost 50 years ago. A flight to Cairo brings us to the end of our trip along the fertile crescent, with Cairo, fascinating for both ancient pyramids of Giza and the vibrant bazaars and souks of Islamic Cairo.
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