Egypt and the Nile River with Nigel McGilchrist

For all of recorded time, the mighty waters of Egypt’s Nile River and the sporadic oases
that dot her vast desert have been the source of life-giving sustenance, cultural riches,
and mythic power. These waters still wield remarkable power in contemporary life. This
customized itinerary delves deeply into the life stories of the societies that thrived beside
these water sources, as told by the incredible relics, art, and architecture they left behind.

Along with favorite SBMA study leader Nigel McGilchrist and an expert Egyptologist,
begin in Cairo with the story of Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt. Nigel helped
create this specially customized itinerary that allows access to sites not typically visited via
the Nile: the remarkable temple of Abydos and the wonderfully preserved Red and White
Monasteries, still held sacred by Coptic Christians today. Continue to tombs preserved at the
Valley of the Kings and the iconic temples of Luxor, Kom Ombo, and Karnak, which played a
pivotal role in ancient religious life.

You may also opt to lengthen your stay to experience the unforgettable Siwa oasis, which
is unique in the world for its beauty, remoteness, and historical significance. Alexander the
Great went there to consult the famous Oracle at Siwa, and whatever it was that the Oracle
told him changed him, his life, and ultimately the course of Western History. The extension is
based for three nights at the Adrère Amellal, a luxurious eco-resort with no electricity.

With top-notch Egyptologist guides, lectures by popular art historian Nigel McGilchrist, private access, and special experiences, this is a trip befitting such a bucket list destination. 



Tour Guide

Nigel McGilchrist

Nigel McGilchrist is SBMA travelers’ favorite study leader. His ability to interpret and disseminate information spellbinds and fascinates his fans.

Nigel McGilchrist was born in Scotland, educated in England, and for the past thirty years has lived and worked in Italy, Greece and Turkey.  He studied first at Winchester College in England, and then at Oxford University where he took First Class Honors and three University prizes and medals in English and in Art History. He lectures widely on art and archaeology at museums and institutions in Europe and the U.S. 

Nigel was introduced to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art by his friend Pico Iyer, with whom he studied at Oxford. Pico carries a deep respect for his former classmate, stating, “In our class at Oxford, Nigel was by far the most brilliant of them all.” Nigel has since led several very popular trips for the Museum and has become a treasured friend to the Museum and its Members.

Share this
Santa Barbara Art Museum

Museum Hours

Tues - Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Thurs 11 am - 8 pm
Closed Mondays and holidays
» see complete schedule

Visit Us

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
» view map


Find SBMA on