EGYPT & TURKEY – tour to the roots of agriculture
General information and introduction
Egypt has 7000 years of unique historical farming as well as very interesting present day’s developments. But although Egypt was the famous granary of historic times, the actual total fertile land of today’s Egypt is only 3 % (of 1 Million km2), the rest being under arid and hyper arid climatic conditions. 85 % of the population lives in the Nile river valley and in the delta. The Nile River flows along the narrow green banks in the south into the wide delta in the north. North of Cairo, there are today 3 branches of the Nile making its way towards the Mediterranean and between them is the Nile Delta, up to 240 km wide.
The fertile Nile Valley and its agriculture was the main cause for the fantastic Pharaonic Kingdom that lasted for more than 3000 years – come to Egypt to learn more! ☺
Although it was well known, that the agricultural revolution had taken place in the fertile crescent in Mesopotamia, located in the southeast of Turkey, the spectacular discovery of the 12.000 year old temple of Göbeklitepe turned our understanding of history upside down. Agriculture has traditionally played the most important role of all civilizations in Anatolia (today’s Turkey) ever since. Many crops (such as wheat) and fruits (apples, cherries, pomegranates) originate from this soil. The first domestication of animals took place here. Today, Turkey is the 7th largest agricultural producer worldwide. Let us take you to Central Anatolia, a unique geography hosting some of the earliest civilizations in history.
Please note that the following prices do not include:
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Tipping of guides and drivers (we recommend 4-5 USD per person and day)
Anything not mentioned in the program
We reserve the right to increase the price in case of changes in taxes, entrance fees, domestic flights etc that we cannot control. The program may be altered but all sights will be covered. The farms will be reconfirmed a couple of weeks before arrival and might be changed against similar farms.
Egyptian part (12.03.-20.03. & 09.04.-17.04.2018)EGYPT & TURKEY – tour to the roots of agriculture
Day 1 : Arrival in Cairo (D)
Meet & greet and individual transfer to the hotel in the pyramids area. For those who arrive early during the day optional excursions can be arranged (as well as extra hotel nights etc) . Welcome dinner with your guide
Day 2: Oldest PYRAMIDS, farm visit (B,L)
Visit to the oldest pyramids in Egypt in Sakkara to get a feeling of the original fertile land of Egypt and to see the farming inscriptions on the walls of the tombs more than 4000 years old. Lunch during the day. Afternoon visit to Makar Farms. The farm has been in the family since the 1880s and since the 1970s it has been famous for its experimental crops. Their idea was to invert the seasons of crops grown in Europe. What is produced in summer can be available in Egypt during the winter season. Among the spectacular successes was for instance the introduction of Endive, a crop that normally only grows in the northern part of Europe at very low temperatures!
Day 3: farm visit & CAIRO (B,L, evening snack)
After breakfast we travel northwards on the desert road and we will spend the morning visiting one of the large scale farms growing vegetables and potatoes as well as having a dairy production. Our visit might be to either part of the farm. This is integrated desert agriculture. With over 42 Center pivots and more than 1000 acres under drip irrigation systems, main crops grown are fruit trees, vegetables, potatoes and fodders. Lunch during the day. In the afternoon we make a visit to downtown Cairo to see the treasures of Tutankhamen in the Egyptian Museum and the big bazaar Khan el Khalili where we will try some typical Egyptian pancakes.
Day 4: Biodynamic farm , flight to ASWAN (B, L,D)
We check out early in the morning and go to spend the day with the people of SEKEM. We see their main farm and learn about their philosophy, we visit the craft workshops and the school. SEKEM has cultivated its own Biodynamic farms and with the establishment of the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) helped over 700 farmers in Egypt to shift from conventional to Organic agriculture. Various companies have been established in the field of agriculture and cattle management, phyto pharmaceuticals, Organic textiles and clothes and Organic food and beverages (market leader in Egypt). Furthermore, SEKEM established the independent SEKEM Development Foundation (SDF), which is running various schools, a kindergarten, a vocational training center, a medical center and a lot of projects. Lunch in the farm. In the evening we fly south to Aswan. Transfer to the hotel in Aswan 4*. Dinner in Cairo or in Aswan.
Day 5: ASWAN (B,L, D)
After breakfast we go out for a combined smaller motorboat and felucca (the classical Nile sailing boat) tour in the beautiful archipelago of Aswan together with our Nubian hosts that will introduce us to the traditional life of the Nubians in their own house in the middle of the fields. Around lunch time we check in our cruise ship MS Amarco (www.optimacruises.com) and have lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Philae temple as well as the unfinished obelisk in the granite quarry where one cannot help but to be fascinated by the enormity of projects done during a time when no real tools existed.
Day 6: CRUISING on the NILE (B,L, afternoon tea, D)
Today we will relax on the sundeck of the cruise ship and enjoy the panoramic view. Not much has changed in the Nile River valley since the time of the pharaohs and the farmers and all their families are working hard on the fields. The intensive green color stands in sharp contrast to the dry surrounding brown desert. Early morning we stop at the Kom Ombo temple situated right beside the Nile. Our cruise continues until after lunch when we make a stop at the almost intact temple in Edfu. After the visit the ship cruises the final stretch northwards through the Esna dam and a lock until Luxor where we arrive late in the evening.
Day 7: LUXOR (B,L,D)
We start our morning with a visit to the Valley of Kings as well as the tomb of the workers and nobles, where we will see fantastic examples of farming and gardening depicted from the New Kingdom 1500-1000 b C. Before returning to the ship we will go to one of the small farms outside Luxor and learn about sugar cane and molasses production.
Day 8: LUXOR (B,D)
We finish our pharaonic adventure with a visit the famous Karnak temple, the “Vatican” of the Pharaonic Era. The monumental gates, enormous halls with pillars, all in incredible dimensions are as impressive as the beautiful wall carvings. Flight to Cairo in the afternoon. Evening farewell dinner overlooking the Nile.
Day 9: departure from Cairo (B)
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport in accordance with your departure flight / connection flight to Turkey. We recommend : Turkish Airlines departing to Istanbul at 08:45 am or Egypt Air departing to Istanbul at 09:45 am Possibilities to add nights and / or excursions.
Per person in Double or Twin room USD 1.355,–
Single room USD 1.705,–
3 overnights in the Pyramids area Mövenpick or Le Meridien Hotel
1 night in Aswan Hotel Helnanor Mövenpick
3 nights on board 5* cruiser MS Amarco or similar
1 night in Cairo downtown 5* Hotel Conrad, Fairmont, Marriott or similar
Meals as mentioned
All excursions above including entrance fees, guiding, transportation
English speaking representatives and guide during all archaeological/
EGYPT & TURKEY – tour to the roots of agriculture Turkish part
(20.03.-24.03. & 17.04.-21.04.2018)
Day 1 : Arrival from Cairo in Kayseri (biblical Caesarea) – Cappadocia (D)
An English speaking assistant will meet you at Istanbul airport international arrivals and take you to the domestic terminal. Flight to Kayseri, where your local guide will be welcoming you. We will visit a large livestock farm on our way with your fellow travellers before reaching the unique area of Cappadocia, one of its kind in all the world. Volcanoes, wind and water have formed a fascinating landscape, that was further developed by men throughout history. Housings, rock churches, even large underground cities have been dug into the rock. Time to rest at the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 2: UNESCO world heritage GÖREME VALLEY (B,D)
We will see some of the unique landmarks of Cappadocia such as the “3 Graces”, the Camel and visit Göreme, where you can see some of the most beautiful churches and monasteries of early Christians, beautifully decorated with frescoes. Enjoy the breathtaking view from Uçhisar, one of the most beautiful villages in the area. Because of it’s dry climate, Cappadocia is well known for the production of dried fruits, vegetables and nuts as you will see while we stroll through Ürgüp. Wine has been produced in Cappadocia throughout history mainly with local, very tasty grapes. We will have an exclusive tasting at a beautiful location. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 3: UNDERGROUND STORAGE, POTTERY and more of CAPPADOCIA (B,D)
Underground facilities have not only offered shelter to people in times of war and attacks, caves are still being used for food storage. The climate is so ideal, that nothing other than ventilation is needed. Therefore, enormous amounts of food (such as potatoes in winter, citrus and other fruits in summer) are stored after harvest. They arrive from all parts of Anatolia and are forwarded to wholesalemarkets from here throughout the year. Pottery is another famous product of Cappadocia since the era of the Hittites – we will visit the most famous pottery workshop, where you can give yourself a try as well. Many local dishes are cooked in clay dishes. In the afternoon, we will explore Sinassos, a formar Greek village.
Day 4: THE HAGIA SOPHIA AND THE BOSPHORUS (B)
Transfer to Kayseri airport for our domestic flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival we will drive to the historical city center, once the midpoint of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. We will visit the magnificent St. Sophia, a masterpiece of architecture built in the 6th century and also see the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque (depending on the time schedule maybe only from outside) before enjoying the colors and scents of the Egyptian Bazaar, which is the largest spice market to this day. Thereafter, we’ll enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus to see the palaces, bridges and fortresses, as well as the modern skyline of the city. Evening for leisure, overnight in Istanbul
Day 5: DEPARTURE (B)
Unfortunately, our tour has come to its end. Transfer to Atatürk airport after breakfast.
Per person in Double or Twin room USD 518,–
Single room USD 588,–
4 overnights in 4-5* hotels
Meals as mentioned
All transfers (group transfers, for private transfer surcharge may apply)
Airfare Istanbul-Kayseri(day1) and return day 4 (current at USD 90; 15 kg
Free luggage, non-refundable fare)
All sightseeing, entrance fees according to the itinerary
English speaking, licenced guide
Transport by A/C car, minivan or bus (depending on the group size)
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