Explore Sakkara, is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis and the home of Egypt’s oldest pyramid that was constructed in around 2,650 BC, and is recorded as the oldest major stone structure in Egypt. Admire this incredible, stepped structure as you learn how it was built by the architect Imhotep for the Pharaoh Djoser, and enjoy time to explore at leisure. Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister’s tomb, a queen’s pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty founding king.
Then, continue to Memphis, Egypt’s ancient capital and administrative center during the Old Kingdom until around 2,200 BC, and is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Early on, Memphis was more like a fortress from which Menes controlled the land and water routes between Upper Egypt and the Delta. Having probably originated in Upper Egypt, from Memphis he could control the conquered people of Lower Egypt. View the UNESCO-listed sculptures and ruins in its outdoor museum, and behold the star turn: a spectacularly large, fallen statue of Ramses II.
Next, visit the Bent Pyramid, which towers 340 feet (104 meters) above the surrounding sand. This is the perfect place to imagine the pyramids as they once stood, as the Bent Pyramid is the only pyramid in Egypt that retains much of its polished, limestone cladding.
Continue to the Red Pyramid, whose original white limestone has worn away to reveal stones that glow red in the desert sunlight. Adventurous visitors can channel early archeologists and descend into Sneferu’s burial chamber: a narrow, 4-foot (1.2-meter) tall tunnel leads to the vaulted room (not suitable for those with asthma or claustrophobia).
Make the final stop of the day at Dahshur’s mortuary temple to find out how bodies were prepared for mummification, then see the pyramidions, decorative caps thought to have topped the pyramids when they were first constructed.
Lastly, your guide will transfer you back to your hotel.