Queens and Goddesses
of Ancient Egypt

Tour for Women

Explore Egypt through the lives of its extraordinary queens and goddesses.

  • 14 Days
  • 25 January - 8 February 2025
  • Pickup from Cairo Int'l Airport
  • Max Group Size: 12
  • Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan,
    Abu Simbel, and Luxor
  • $7,500Price is based on single occupancy

Get ready for a transformative journey through the pages of history with our exclusive tour, ‘Queens and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt’.

This 14-day adventure is meticulously crafted for solo female travellers offering a one-of-a-kind experience where you’ll delve deep into how female power shaped ancient Egypt.

Travel in the footsteps of intrepid women travellers like Amelia Edwards and immerse yourself in the tales of legendary figures such as Cleopatra VII, Isis, Hathor, and Sekhmet. Explore awe-inspiring temples and intricately adorned tombs, deciphering the stories etched in ancient hieroglyphs.

Joining you on this extraordinary journey is Dr. Edward Scrivens, a renowned Egyptologist, from The Egyptian Exploration Society, specializing in female power in Ancient Egypt.

Imagine walking the bustling city of Alexandria and taking in the serene landscapes of Aswan and of course the Great Pyramids of Giza, and onto Luxor, and Alexandria.

Your constant companions are the influential female figures who shaped the course of ancient Egyptian civilization.

If you’re looking for a tour, beyond the cookie-cutter guidebook experience, this is for you. We’ve tailored it specifically for women looking for the opportunity to meet like-minded travel companions, and who love adventure but also want to feel safe.

With carefully selected accommodations, expert female guides, and activities focused on empowerment and cultural immersion, our tour provides a safe and supportive environment.

The tour is paced to give you space to relax, sample delicious Egyptian food, and time to forge new friendships.

Don’t miss the chance to be part of this exclusive tour. Join us on ‘Queens and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt’ and let the magic of literature and history unfold before your eyes.

Secure your place – BOOK NOW

In the words of Susan Sontag, "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"

    Meet Dr Edward Scrivens

    Dr Edward Scrivens, from the Egypt Exploration Society, is our resident expert. Edward is a renowned expert on feminine power in Ancient Egypt and loves to share his knowledge. He’s also engaging and funny.

    He has a PhD from The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, where he held the Barns Studentship in Egyptology. His research explored the gendered representation of goddesses in tombs and temples of the late New Kingdom, and his ongoing projects continue to explore aspects of gender and religion in ancient Egypt. He lectured as Tutor in Egyptology at Swansea University and taught a course for the EES’s online programme (‘Queens, Pharaohs, Goddesses: Feminine Power in Ancient Egypt’).

    Alongside his research and teaching experience, Edward has an active record of outreach work (from museum talks to producing online materials), believing that engagement with Egyptian cultural heritage should be accessible and appealing to a diversity of audiences. Outside of Egyptology, Ed has performed as a comedian across the UK and internationally.

    The Egyptian Exploration Society

    In 1873 Victorian novelist and travel writer Amelia B Edwards made a journey that would change the world of Egyptology forever. In 1882 on her return to the UK, Amelia founded the Egypt Exploration Society. Today, the EES continues to support and promote Egyptian cultural heritage, by focusing on innovative projects that put people at the centre of heritage and education. 

    The EES relies almost entirely on donations from members and the wider public to fund their work. We are very appreciative in their support of this tour and Literary Tours in Egypt is making a donation to the EES for each booking on this tour

    Looking for more information? Schedule a call:



    Don’t worry, it’s our top priority. We’ve an organised itinerary, including reliable transport and accommodations. Our experienced staff take care of you from the moment you land.

    CALL US we’re very happy to answer your questions.

    The Queens

    The tour will introduce you to many stories of influential queens who shaped Egypt’s ancient land. From Hatshepsut, the 18th dynasty pharaoh who defied societal norms, to Cleopatra VII, the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, each queen’s narrative unfolds against the backdrop of temples, tombs, and historical landmarks. Explore Tawosret’s brief yet impactful reign as one of the few female pharaohs and delve into Nefertari’s celebrated role as the principal wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Witness the strategic alliances orchestrated by queens like Tiye, whose marriage strengthened Egypt’s diplomatic relations.

    The Goddesses

    Ancient Egyptian mythology is rich with goddesses, you’ll get to meet many of them on this tour. Isis, the goddess of motherhood and magic, unfolds her tale alongside Hathor, the embodiment of joy and love depicted with cow ears or as a cow. Encounter Sekhmet, the lioness-headed deity associated with war and healing, and Nephthys, the guardian of the dead and sister to Isis and Osiris. Delve into the cosmic realms with Nut, the goddess of the sky adorned with stars, and witness the protective nature of Mut, the mother goddess associated with fertility. Amunet, linked with hidden creation forces, and Taweret, the protective goddess of childbirth, add layers to this divine odyssey.

    Maybe you’ll recognise yourself in one of them!

    The Books

    The beating heart of Literary Tours is books. We are so grateful to the wonderful writers whose books gave us this inspiration for this tour.

    • A Thousand Miles Up The Nile - Amelia B. Edwards (2022)
    • When Women Ruled The World - Kara Cooney (2018)
    • The Complete Queens of Egypt - Joyce Tyldesley (2006)
    • The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt - Richard H. Wilkinson (2003)
    • Egyptian Mythology, A Traveller's Guide from Aswan to Alexandria - Garry J. Shaw (2021)
    • Women Travelers On The Nile - Edited by Deborah Manley (2016)

    Empower your journey, embrace the solo adventure!

    Spots are extremely limited, so don't delay! Book your adventure for $7,500 per person.

    What meals are included?

    We want to ensure you have nothing to worry about, so breakfast, lunch and dinner are included most days. There are some days when lunch and/or dinner are not included, to give you the chance to explore your own options. These are noted in the itinerary. We are always happy to provide recommendations!

    What’s Included

    • Meet and assist We’ll meet you at Cairo airport, and guide you through the hussle and bussle, including getting your visa if needed.
    • TransportAll land transport (including to and from airports) in air conditioned vehicles
    • HotelsSingle ensuite room in 4-star hotels including breakfast
    • All internal flightsAll internal flights
    • MealsMeals as noted in the itinerary
    • Orientation meetingWe’ll provide a welcome dinner with plenty of opportunities to get to know your travel companions and tour guides. Including Carol El Hawary Founder and creator of this tour.
    • ToursAll tours as detailed in the itinerary, including qualified and registered female guides
    • Nile cruise3 nights on a 5-star cruise on full board basis
    • EgyptologistDr Edward Scrivens of the Egypt Exploration Society who is an expert on the queens and goddesses of ancient Egypt. He’ll be with us for tour and on hand to answer your questions.
    • Evening activitiesEvening activities throughout the cruise
    • HostLiterary Tours in Egypt Host with you during the tour
    • Donation All tours booked include a donation to the Egypt Exploration Society
    • GiftWe love to welcome female travellers to Egypt, each guest will be given a hand-picked gift.

    What’s Excluded

    • International flights
    • Travel insurance
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Camera tickets for sitesSmart phones can be used for free
    • Additional entry fees
    • Entry fees to go inside the Great Pyramid
    • Gratuities

    Reserve your place on our
    Queens & Goddesses Adventure

    Don't delay! Book your trip now for $7,500 per person.

    Queens & Goddesses Itinerary

    Day 1:Arrive in Cairo

    ‘In one place on our planet thousands of years ago, against all the odds of the male-dominated system in which they lived, women ruled repeatedly with formal, unadulterated power.’

    From When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney (2018, p.10)


    From all over the world we will gather in Egypt, this one place that was the home of our incredible Ancient Egyptian queens and goddesses.

    Our greeter will meet you from your flight and support you through passport control, baggage and customs (including pre-purchase of your visa if you are from an eligible country). You will then be taken to your hotel where you can chill out until the welcome session.

    In the evening there will be an orientation session where you will hear all the details of the tour, and we will get to know each other. This will be followed by a welcome dinner.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Cairo.

    Day 2:Visit the Pyramids & Sphinx and National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation

    “I felt as if I had never before looked upon anything so new as those clear and vivid masses, with their sharp blue shadows, standing firm and alone on their expanse of sand.”

    Harriet Martineau in 1846, from Women Travelers on the Nile, edited by Deborah Manley (2016, p. 20)


    No tour to Egypt is complete without a visit to the Pyramids and Sphinx, the last remaining Ancient Wonder of the World. You’ve seen them many times before in magazines and on television, but nothing compares to seeing them in real life. The majesty and awe they inspire is unique.

    The northernmost and oldest pyramid of the group was built for King Khufu in the 26th century BC. Called the Great Pyramid, it is the largest of the three and is truly an astonishing work of engineering. Built over a twenty-year period, the sides are oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass.

    You’ll also see the Great Sphinx, part of Khafre’s pyramid complex. It represents Ra-Harakhte, the sun god, as he rises in the east at dawn, but the face of the Sphinx is a portrait of Khafre himself.

    After our visit to the Pyramids we’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon we’ll visit the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation to see the mummy of our female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut. You will also see the mummies of Queen Tiye and Ahmose Nefertari.

    You will have plenty of time to explore the rest of the museum which spans Egyptian history from Ancient Egypt right through to the present day. It contains many beautiful artefacts, including jewellery worn by pharaohs. And did you know that Egyptians invented make-up? This museum has some incredible artefacts showing how it was used. There is also a textiles museum showing the production and dyeing of clothes in Ancient and Islamic Egypt.

    Lunch and dinner included.

    Overnight in Cairo.

    Day 3:Grand Egyptian Museum

    “In 1925 a team lead by the American archaeologist George Reisner found an incredible cache of grave goods belonging to Queen Hetepheres”.

    From The Complete Queens of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley (2006, p. 44).


    The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is near the Giza Plateau, adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. It is one of the largest archaeological museums in the world and is dedicated to ancient Egyptian history and culture.

    You’ll see the funerary artefacts of Queen Hetepheres, whose tomb you saw at the Pyramids. These artefacts reflected the wealth and status of the royal family during that era. The discovery helped historians to understand the role and importance of queens in ancient Egyptian society.

    There is so much to see here, and as it’s recently re-opened new exhibitions are being added.

    Lunch and dinner included.

    Overnight in Cairo.

    Day 4:Alexandria

    “It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like and instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another…”

    Plutarch, quoted in The Complete Queens of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley (2006, p. 203)


    Welcome to Alexandria, where history and legend intertwine to create a vibrant cloth of myths and mysteries. At the heart of this tapestry lies one of the most fascinating figures in all of human history – Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt. This was her city!

    Alexandria is Egypt’s second city, the largest on the Mediterranean coast, and was founded by Alexander the Great around 331 BC. He had a vision to create a Hellenic civilisation of learning and culture; the city grew rapidly and eventually took over Memphis as the capital of Egypt.

    Today we’ll visit:

    The Graeco-Roman Museum

    This fascinating museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing artifacts from the Greco-Roman (Ptolemaic) era. Recently reopened, it houses many pieces dating back to the 3rd century BC, including a black granite sculpture of Apis, the sacred bull of the Egyptians, Mummies and sarcophagi, Tapestries and other objects reflecting the Greco-Roman period’s cultural exchange with ancient Egypt.

    Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria Library)

    Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a major library and cultural centre and is a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria, once one of the largest libraries worldwide, which was lost in antiquity. An architectural marvel, the new library has shelf space for eight million books, and also houses, amongst other things, a planetarium and four museums.

    The Citadel of Qaitbay

    The Citadel is situated on the eastern side of the northern tip of Pharos Island at the mouth of the Eastern Harbour, notable for our tour as the site of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. According to legend, Cleopatra watched Julius Caesar conquer Alexandria from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse.

    The Catacombs

    Also known as Kom el-Shoqafa, meaning “Mound of Shards”, the Catacombs were built in the 2nd century AD and served as a burial place for members of the Roman-era society. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, the necropolis consists of a series of tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funerary cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences.

    Includes lunch and dinner.

    Overnight in 4-star hotel in Alexandria

    Day 5:Taposiris Magna, Cairo

    ‘Cleopatra’s…accomplishments are many. She seized Egypt on the cusp of its absorption into the Roman Empire, and she manipulated statesmen of that empire to fight off Roman domination. She used all her wiles and diplomatic skills to keep Egypt whole and unoccupied for two decades.’

    From When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney (2018, p. 253)


    This morning we set off to visit Taposiris Magna.

    An ancient city that was once a bustling hub of commerce, religion, and politics. For those of us in search of the real Cleopatra, the most intriguing aspect of Taposiris Magna is the legend that she and Mark Antony were once buried here, and their tombs have yet to be discovered. Maybe you’ll uncover the mystery!

    The centrepiece of Taposiris Magna, the Temple of Osiris, is one of the best-preserved temples in all of Egypt and is dedicated to Osiris, the god of the afterlife – husband of the goddess Isis.

    We’ll then head to Cairo where you have free time for the rest of the day. You can hang out with your newfound friends, spend time alone or we can arrange other tours for you. You have the freedom to choose.

    Lunch and dinner are not included, we’re happy to make recommendations.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Cairo.

    Day 6:Free time in Cairo, fly to Aswan

    “The River Nile gently splashes against the boulders clinging to its banks and islands.”

    From Egyptian Mythology – A Traveller’s Guide from Aswan to Alexandria by Garry J. Shaw (2021, p. 15)


    This morning you have free time in Cairo. Why not take one of our optional tours and see a bit more of this extraordinary city? Or do some shopping in Cairo’s 900-year-old Souq, Khan Al Khalili?

    In the afternoon we will travel from our hotel to the airport to catch our flight to the very south of Egypt, the city of Aswan.

    Lunch is not included.

    Dinner included.

    Overnight in 4-star hotel in Aswan

    Day 7:Abu Simbel full day tour

    “Ramses II has made a temple, excavated in the mountain, of eternal workmanship…for the Chief Queen Nefertari Beloved of Mut…Nefertari for whom the sun shines.”

    Temple façade quote at Abu Simbel, quoted in The Complete Queens of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley (2006, p. 150)


    Standing proudly on the banks of Lake Nasser. These temples were carved into the mountainside during the reign of Ramesses II to commemorate his victories and glorify the gods.

    Many people believe that it is the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to Queen Nefertari, that steals the spotlight. But who was Queen Nefertari? As the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II, one of Egypt’s most renowned pharaohs. As the queen consort, she held a position of great influence and prestige within the royal court, but more than that, she is widely believed to have been Ramesses II’s favourite wife. He had multiple wives and concubines, as was customary for Egyptian pharaohs, but Queen Nefertari held a special place in his affections.

    Ramesses II expressed his deep love and admiration for Queen Nefertari through various inscriptions and artworks. He referred to her as his beloved, his one true wife, and the mistress of his heart. The Temple of Hathor is a testament to the pharaoh’s devotion to her. She played a crucial role in religious rituals and ceremonies. She was deeply devoted to the goddess Hathor and was considered a manifestation of the goddess on Earth.

    The façade of the temple features colossal statues of Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari, depicting them in a divine embrace. The intricate reliefs on the walls narrate the royal couple’s love story and their shared devotion to the goddess Hathor.

    Inside the temple, the celestial ceiling is adorned with stars, a testament to the ancient Egyptians’ astronomical knowledge. Your guide will unravel the symbolism behind the intricate artwork, allowing you to gain deeper insights into the life and legacy of Queen Nefertari.

    After exploring the Temple of Hathor, we will have time to visit the nearby Temple of Ramesses II.

    After Abu Simbel, we’ll head back to Aswan. We’ll meet Queen Nefertari again in Luxor.

    Includes lunch and dinner.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Aswan.

    Day 8:Tour of Philae, Kalabsha and the Unfinished Obelisk, and we board our cruise

    “Mighty one, foremost of the goddesses
    Ruler in heaven, Queen on Earth…
    All the gods are under her command”

    From an inscription at Philae, quoted in The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson (2003, p. 146)


    Today we’ll visit Philae Island, Kalabsha and the Unfinished Obelisk, then board our cruise.
    We’ll take a short boat trip to Philae, the sacred island of the goddess Isis, located in the Nile River.

    The Temple of Isis was constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis, who was a prominent deity in the ancient Egyptian pantheon and was associated with motherhood, fertility, magic, and protection.

    Isis was also revered as the divine mother and protector of the pharaohs. She was believed to have played a crucial role in the resurrection of her husband Osiris and the conception of their son Horus, who later became the legitimate heir to the throne. As such, the temple on Philae Island held immense religious and political importance.

    Cleopatra worshipped the goddess Isis and was closely associated with the island of Philae. She sought to strengthen her claim to the throne by aligning herself with Egyptian traditions and deities, particularly Isis.

    Queen Nefertari, who we first met yesterday at Abu Simbel, was also connected to the Temple of Isis and played a significant role in promoting the worship of various deities, including Isis.

    The goddess Hathor, often depicted as a cow or a woman with cow horns, was closely associated with Philae Island. She was worshipped as the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Hathor was considered the mother of Horus and was sometimes identified with Isis. The temple complex on Philae Island served as a place of pilgrimage and worship for devotees of Isis from various parts of the ancient world.

    The island of Philae and its Temple of Isis were at risk of being submerged due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. To preserve this important cultural and historical site, an international rescue operation was undertaken. The temple complex was dismantled and relocated to nearby Agilkia Island.

    After lunch, we travel to Kalabsha Temple, a rarely visited beautiful well-preserved monument. It is the largest free-standing temple in Lower Nubia and was built during the reign of Augustus (30 BC–14 AD), the first Roman emperor. Primarily dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, the gods Isis and her husband Osiris were worshipped here too. It is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis and has representations of the seven Hathors.

    Our last visit today is the Unfinished Obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries in Aswan. It is an enormous obelisk that was left unfinished during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, who was keen on building projects, as we’ll find out later in the tour. It was intended to be one of the largest obelisks ever erected, reaching a height of around 42 meters (approximately 137 feet) and weighing an estimated 1,200 tons. However, during its construction, a flaw was discovered in the stone, resulting in the obelisk being abandoned in its unfinished state. The flaw, a large crack that appeared in the granite, rendered the obelisk unusable for its intended purpose.

    Once we have finished marvelling at Ancient Egyptian obelisk building techniques, we’ll head to the quayside and board our cruise.

    Included lunch and dinner.

    Overnight on a 5-star cruise.

    Day 9:Nile cruise

    “Only conceive! The ante-hall alone stands upright, and in such a way that pillars are buried in the sand to the half of their height.”

    Countess Hahn Hahn visiting Kom Ombo in 1844, from Women Travelers on the Nile edited by Deborah Manley (2016, p. 102)


    During the cruise, we will be visiting Kom Ombo and Edfu temples, where we’ll meet some gods as well as goddesses.

    The Temple of Kom Ombo is a unique double temple dedicated to two deities: Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus, the falcon-headed god. One side of the temple is dedicated to Sobek, while the other is dedicated to Horus.

    Sobek was the primary deity worshipped at the Temple of Kom Ombo. He was a powerful and revered god associated with fertility, protection, and the Nile River. The temple served as a centre of worship for Sobek, attracting pilgrims and devotees who sought his blessings.

    Although not the primary deity of the temple, Hathor, the goddess of love, beauty, and joy, also had a presence at Kom Ombo.. Her influence can be seen in the carvings and depictions within the temple complex.

    The Temple of Edfu, also known as the Temple of Horus, is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt and holds great significance in terms of its connections to the goddess Hathor. It is dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, one of the most important deities in ancient Egyptian mythology. Horus was associated with kingship, protection, and the sky. The Temple of Edfu holds special associations with the goddess Hathor, who is often portrayed in the temple reliefs as the consort of Horus, emphasizing her significance as a divine queen and mother figure.

    Full board on the cruise.

    Overnight on the cruise.

    Day 10:Continue our Nile cruise

    “You are my country, Desdemona. … My Egypt. My hot, harrowing desert and my cool, verdant Nile, infinitely lovely and unfathomable and sustaining.”

    From “As You Desire: A Loveswept Classic Romance”, from Loveswept by Connie Brockway (p.117)


    Today we continue our cruise to Luxor. If you’re all templed out, today is the day to kick back and relax, and hang out with your new friends.

    Full board on the cruise.

    Overnight on the cruise.

    Day 11:Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Temple of Hatshepsut

    ‘It’s almost as if Tawosret were standing on the shoulders of a sisterhood, having learned from each of the female leaders who had come before her.’

    From When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney (2018, p. 100)


    We have two queens – Hatshepsut and Tawosret – and lots of goddesses to focus on today.

    Our first stop is to the famous Valley of the Kings. Unfortunately, the tomb of Hatshepsut is not open to the public, however, we can visit the tomb of Tawosret, a significant figure in ancient Egyptian history. She was the last known ruler of the 19th Dynasty and the second documented female pharaoh in Egypt’s long history.

    Her rise to power was closely tied to her association with the ruling family. She initially served as the principal wife of Seti II, the fifth pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty. When Seti II died, Tawosret assumed the role of regent for her stepson, the young pharaoh Siptah. However, after Siptah’s death, Tawosret took on the full kingship herself.

    There are many other fascinating tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and you are free to visit some of those. Please note not all tombs are open. Additional charge for the tombs of Ramses IV and V, Seti I and Tutankhamun.

    Deir el-Bahari temple is considered to be a masterpiece of ancient architecture.

    Construction of the temple began around the 15th year of Hatshepsut’s reign and continued for several years. It was strategically built into the cliffs of the Deir el-Bahari complex, creating a stunning backdrop against the rugged landscape.

    One of the most striking features of the temple is the collonaded structure known as the Hathor Chapel, situated on the second level, dedicated to the goddess Hathor. The walls of the chapel are adorned with detailed reliefs depicting Hatshepsut’s divine birth, her divine mandate to rule, and her divine journey to the afterlife.

    Our final stop for today is the Valley of the Queens to visit the tomb of Queen Nefertari, first seen by us at Abu Simbel. Queen Nefertari’s tomb is considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved temples in both the Valley of the Kings and Queens, built for her by her adoring husband, Pharaoh Ramses II. The temple is adorned with vibrant and intricate wall paintings that depict scenes from Queen Nefertari’s life, religious rituals, and her journey to the afterlife.

    There are many other tombs in the Valley of the Queens, and you’ll have the freedom to visit some of them.

    Includes lunch and dinner.

    Overnight in 4-star hotel in Luxor

    Day 12:Abydos and Dendera

    “I look up in amazement. The temple’s ceiling could have been painted yesterday – yet it is 2000 years old.”

    From Egyptian Mythology – A Traveller’s Guide from Aswan to Alexandria by Garry J. Shaw (2021, p. 93)


    An exciting day ahead as we travel from Luxor to Abydos and Dendera.

    In Abydos, there is evidence of Merneith, the earliest of the female pharaohs on our tour. Much evidence has been found in Abydos considering she ruled almost 5000 years ago. We will be visiting her tomb at Umm el-Qa’ab as well as the Merneith Enclosure, a group of tombs from the cemetery at Shunet el-Zebib.

    We will also see Nephthys who was the sister of Isis and the other prominent goddess associated with Abydos. She was often depicted alongside her sister, and together they represented the duality of life and death.

    There is evidence of other significant queens in Abydos. Ahmose-Nefertari was a powerful queen during the New Kingdom period of ancient Egypt and was the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Ahmose I, who was instrumental in driving out the Hyksos and reunifying Egypt. Ahmose-Nefertari was revered as a powerful queen and a significant figure in Abydos, where she was venerated as a goddess after her death.

    Tetisheri was a queen and the mother of Pharaoh Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th Dynasty and the New Kingdom of Egypt. She was the wife of Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao and the grandmother of Ahmose-Nefertari. Tetisheri is considered a significant figure in the history of Abydos, and her tomb was discovered there in 2010.

    Our next stop is Dendera, one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt which features several notable goddesses and reliefs depicting female deities.

    The main temple at Dendera is dedicated to Hathor. The temple showcases numerous depictions of Hathor.

    Adjacent to the main temple, there is the Birth House (Mammisi), which is dedicated to the divine birth of the child god Horus. The reliefs and carvings within the Birth House depict the story of the divine birth of Horus, with Hathor playing a central role as a protective and nurturing deity.

    Within the Dendera complex, there is a smaller Temple of Isis. This temple was added during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods and features reliefs and inscriptions dedicated to Isis. The cult of Isis was widely popular in the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

    The ceiling of the main Hypostyle Hall in the Dendera Temple Complex is adorned with a remarkable astronomical and cosmological depiction known as the Dendera Zodiac. It features the goddess Nut, a celestial deity who arched over the sky and encompassed the stars and constellations.

    One of the most intriguing features at Dendera is the only authenticated carved relief of Cleopatra on a temple wall. Her son and heir, Julius Caesarion, is shown with her.

    Includes lunch and dinner.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Luxor.

    Day 13:Luxor and Karnak Temples, Avenue of the Sphinxes, and Deir El Shelwit

    “Because Sekhmet was said to breath fire against her enemies she was adopted by many Egyptian kings as a military patroness and symbol of their power in battle.”

    From The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H Wilkinson (2003, p. 181)


    Today we will explore Karnak and Luxor Temples, Avenue of the Sphinxes and Deir El Shelwit.

    Despite Hatshepsut’s nephew trying to destroy all traces of her, luckily for us there is still plenty to see. We’ll start in Karnak Temple and then walk along the newly opened Avenue of the Sphinxes, the first phases of which were started during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. This will take us to Luxor Temple.

    Numerous goddesses are prominently represented in Karnak’s structures and reliefs, including:

    • Mut – a significant goddess associated with Karnak Temple. She was the wife of Amun and the mother of Khonsu, the moon god. Mut was revered as a motherly and protective deity, often depicted as a vulture or as a woman wearing the double crown of Egypt. The Temple of Mut, located within the Karnak Complex, was dedicated to her worship.
    • Sekhmet – the lioness-headed goddess, had a strong presence at Karnak Temple. She was a fierce and powerful deity associated with war, healing, and protection. Sekhmet’s main temple, the Precinct of Mut, is within the Karnak Complex. Her statues and reliefs in the temple portray her in a menacing and authoritative manner.
    • Hathor – often depicted as a cow or a woman with cow horns and a solar disk on her head, is also venerated at Karnak. The Festival Hall of Thutmose III within the Karnak Complex is dedicated to the worship of Hathor and features numerous reliefs depicting her joyful presence and music.
    • Amunet – a primordial goddess in Egyptian mythology and one of the female counterparts of Amun, the chief god of Karnak Temple. Amunet represented the hidden and mysterious aspects of creation. Although not extensively depicted at Karnak, she is occasionally seen alongside Amun, highlighting their divine union.

    Once we’ve found all our goddesses in Karnak, we’ll walk the 3km along the Avenue of the Sphinxes, the first phases of which were started during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. This brings us to Luxor Temple, another significant ancient Egyptian temple complex. Various goddesses played important roles in its religious significance. Hathor was venerated in Luxor Temple.

    Sekhmet also had a presence in Luxor Temple. Her statues and reliefs can be found in different parts of the temple complex, showcasing her powerful and authoritative image.

    Taweret was also worshipped at Luxor Temple. She was depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus standing upright with the limbs of a lion and the tail of a crocodile. Taweret was believed to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth.

    Exploring the temple complex provides a deeper understanding of the divine feminine and the roles these influential goddesses played in ancient Egyptian culture.

    It seems appropriate that our very last visit is to Deir El Shelwit, a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis who has been worshipped for thousands of years and is still revered to this day. This rarely visited temple is from the Greco-Roman period and has a central chamber or ‘naos’ which is decorated with intricate paintings and inscriptions depicting Roman emperors making offerings to Egyptian gods.

    Lunch and dinner included.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Luxor with end-of-tour dinner.

    Day 14:Departure

    “Egypt is full of dreams, mysteries, memories.”

    Janet Erskine Stuart


    Sadly, we have to say our goodbyes and depart from Luxor. Your onward journey within Egypt is included. If you are leaving Egypt immediately, we will book you a return flight to Cairo. Alternatively, we can transport you by road to Hurghada or Marsa Alam if you’d like some relaxation time at the beach, or by air to Sharm El Sheikh. All these, and other options, will be discussed with you after booking.

    Lunch and dinner are not included.

    Join us for a unique experience!