Here at Literary Tours in Egypt, we are always creating new experiences. We don’t stop reading and re-reading our favourite novels, and so many of these great stories are set in Egypt. There’s something so unique and grand about this ancient country that has inspired writers for well over a century, and it’s these iconic pieces of literature that have compelled us to design our range of Egypt tours. We have created Egypt tours based on work by Agatha Christie, Noel Barber, and Rosie Thomas, with more literature-inspired tours on the horizon. Below, you can browse the library of Egypt experiences you can look forward to in the future. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about these tours or if you’d like to build your perfect literature-inspired Egypt tour.
The remarkable tale of two sisters who were instrumental in cracking the notorious Enigma code of World War II. At the age of only 18, Jean was posted to Egypt in 1939 as a member of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). Working mainly with the underground resistance in mainland Greece, in the Baltic States and in Crete, she also relayed mainline traffic regarding Egypt to London and to other offices in North Africa. Follow in Jean’s footsteps as she experiences Cairo during WWII.
Wilbur Smith’s incredible first Egyptian novel takes place in Ancient Egypt. The Valley of the Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of its lifeblood as weak men inherit the cherished crown. In the city of Thebes (modern Luxor) at the Festival of Osiris, loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather to pay homage to their leader. But Taita – a wise and formidably gifted eunuch slave – sees him only as a symbol of a kingdom’s fading glory. Beside Taita stand his protégés: Lostris, daughter of Lord Intef, beautiful beyond her fourteen years; and Tanus, proud young army officer, who has vowed to avenge the death – at Intef’s hand – of his father, and seize Lostris as his prize. Together they share a dream – to restore the majesty of the Pharaoh of Pharaohs on the glittering banks of the Nile.
The settings in this sweeping novel still exist, thousands of years later. Join us on this comprehensive tour of the places where Taita, Lostris and Tanus live out their lives in this ancient land.
Adhaf Soueif is an award-winning Egyptian author based in Cairo. Her wonderful novel, The Map of Love, was nominated for the booker prize and has been translated into 21 languages. In 1900 Lady Anna Winterbourne travels to Egypt where she falls in love with Sharif, and Egyptian Nationalist utterly committed to his country’s cause. A hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, an American divorcee and a descendant of Anna and Sharif, goes to Egypt, taking with her an old family trunk, inside which are found notebooks and journals which reveal Anna and Sharif’s secret.
You can travel with Lady Winterbourne as she meets and falls in love with Sherif, and see modern Egypt with Isabel as she follows in their footsteps 100 years later.
In the spring of 1941, a young English couple, Guy and Harriet Pringle, arrive in Egypt as Rommel’s forces slowly but surely approach Cairo across the Sahara from the west. Will the city fall? In the streets the people contemplate welcoming a new set of occupiers, while European refugees and well-heeled Anglo-Egyptians prepare to pack their bags. And at night, everyone who is anyone flocks to the city’s famed hotels and seedy cabarets, seeking one last dance before the tanks roll in.
Another epic story set in WWII Cairo, join Guy and Harriet as they experience the highs and lows of a city on the brink of war.
Award-winning journalist and writer Wendy Wallace spins a tale of three women caught between propriety and love on a journey of cultural awakening through an exquisitely drawn Egypt.
Harriet Heron’s life is almost over before it has even begun. At just twenty-three years of age, she is an invalid, over-protected and reclusive. Before it is too late, she must escape the fog of Victorian London for a place where she can breathe.
Together with her devoted mother, Louisa, her god-fearing aunt, Yael, and a book of her own spells inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Harriet travels to a land where the air is tinged with rose and gold and for the first time begins to experience what it is to live. But a chance meeting on the voyage to Alexandria results in a dangerous friendship as Louisa’s long-buried past returns, in the form of someone determined to destroy her by preying upon her daughter.
As Harriet journeys towards a destiny no one could have foreseen, her aunt Yael is caught up in an Egypt on the brink of revolt and her mother must confront the spectres of her own youth.
Set in Alexandria and Luxor, this tour will join these three women in a country on the brink of revolt, where Harriet finds a place she can breathe, and secrets that have been hidden for decades are revealed.
Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature to explore themes of existentialism. He published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, hundreds of op-ed columns for Egyptian newspapers, and five plays over a 70-year career.
The titles of the three novels in the trilogy are taken from the names of actual streets in Cairo, the city of Mahfouz’s childhood and youth.
The trilogy follows the life of the Cairene patriarch Al-Sayyid Ahmad ‘Abd al-Jawad and his family across three generations, from 1919 – the year of Egyptian Revolution against the British colonizers ruling Egypt – to almost the end of the Second World War in 1944. The three novels represent three eras of Cairene socio-political life, a microcosm of early 20th century Egypt, through the life of one well-off Cairo merchant, his children and his grandchildren.
Many of the places mentioned still exist can be visited by his many fans, including Fishawy Café in Khan al Khalili where Mahfouz himself drank coffee and talked with his friends.
This is our first tour focusing on a book for our visitors who are older children. One of Robin Stevens’ A Most Unladylike Mystery series, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, where they are taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two; what they get, instead, is murder. Also travelling on the SS Hatshepsut is a mysterious society called the Breath of Life: a group of genteel English ladies and gentlemen, who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the ancient pharaohs. Three days into the cruise their leader, Theodora Miller, is found dead in her cabin, stabbed during the night. It soon becomes clear to Daisy and Hazel that Theodora’s timid daughter Hephzibah, who is prone to sleepwalking, is being framed. And within the society, everyone has a reason to want Theodora dead…
Daisy and Hazel leap into action and begin to investigate their most difficult case yet. But there is danger all around, and only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive…
Join Daisy and Hazel as they solve the mystery at the heart of the novel.
Don’t see your favourite book set in Egypt? We can design an Egypt tour just for you, following in the footsteps of your favourite author or fictional character. Simply tell us which book or author to base the tour on and we’ll do the rest.