Archaeological Paths offers access-all-areas tours of Egypt and beyond, with scholarly insight from renowned experts
Around the world, the tales of ancient Egypt still inspire and intrigue people. Many of us dream of cruising down the Nile, visiting the ancient tombs of the pharaohs, exploring the pyramids of Giza and marvelling at the Great Sphinx. But the problem
with realising a much-longed-for dream is that the experience must match – even exceed – expectations.
That’s no mean feat. It goes beyond providing a five-star tourism experience. For Adriana Samluk, Quality Assurance Manager at the exclusive tour operator Archaeological Paths, it’s about embracing a sense of magic – and adding an extra sprinkle of pixie dust. “We do that by giving our tour guests access to places that are not otherwise open to the public,” she says. “We give them experiences others can only dream about.”
For example, people traveling to Egypt with Archaeological Paths don’t simply visit globally renowned destinations and world heritage sites – they get up, close and personal. “Our guests can stand between the paws of the Great Sphinx, which is usually off-limits,” says Adriana. “They can stare up at its smile, or enter the Khufu’s Pyramid when there are no other tourists present. Imagine the Luxor Temple or the entire Giza plateau being opened just for you! Or visiting an active archaeological site of tombs of pyramid builders with the explorer that uncovered it, hearing first-hand about the significance of their discoveries. We deliver these experiences with the world’s best guides and guests.”
One such guest is Dr Zahi Hawass, one of the world’s most famous archaeologists. The top Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities echoes Adriana’s promise. “I will bring you the magic of ancient Egypt,” he says. Dr Hawass’s deputy field archaeologist, Dr Tarek El-Awady, describes Archaeological Paths’ experiences as “unique”. “Many people visit the ancient pyramids and leave with lots of unanswered questions,” says Dr El-Awady. “But, on an Archaeological Paths tour, you will get the answers to your questions about Egypt.”
Adriana agrees. “For us, it’s about providing that deeper insight,” she says. “Our guests don’t just have VIP access, they are treated like VIPs from start to finish.” Indeed, former Private Tour guests include Hollywood actors and a former President of Poland. “I have travelled the world but never have my travels been so exciting and comfortable as this one,” says Lech Walesa.
Focusing on cultural heritage as well as history and archaeology, the company also nurtures relationships with significant national figures – including the former First Lady of Egypt, Jehan Sadat. “I would love to invite you to a Royal Tour with Archaelogical Paths,” she says. “They really are the best people with whom to visit my country.” As part of the Royal Tour, Sadat welcomes guests into the home she shared with the late President Anwar Sadat to tell stories of their life together.
“Such opportunities make our itineraries the most privileged and luxurious you can find,” says Adriana. “We invite our guests to meet people who shape history. It’s not just about heritage and knowledge, it’s a way of thinking. This is not a tour, it’s an experience.”
Archaeological Paths is the only travel company to promote its tours on one of America’s biggest billboards – in Times Square, New York (pictured, opposite). It also runs luxury tours in India, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. “Our approach is very different,” says Adriana. “We create and influence. We are leaders.” Further, Adriana believes that Archaeological Paths has shifted the dial on cultural tourism. “We have changed the way the travel industry functions by providing unforgettable, unparalleled, unique experiences,” she notes. Tourism is no longer about simply seeing and doing. It’s about embracing a spirit of magic and wonder.