- Tour the famous pyramids and Sphinx in Giza
- Enjoy a multi-day cruise along the Nile River
- Visit the legendary Valley of the Kings in Luxor
- Browse Cairo's historic Khan el-Khalili Market
|Day 1||Arrive in Cairo, Optional Activities||Cairo|
|Day 2||Day Trip to the Pyramids of Giza||Cairo|
|Day 3||Fly to Luxor & Sightseeing||Luxor|
|Day 4||Tour the West Bank, Board Nile River Cruise||Luxor|
|Day 5||Cruise to the Temple of Edfu||Edfu|
|Day 6||Tour Kom Ombo, Cruise to Aswan||Aswan|
|Day 7||Day Trip to Abu Simbel Temples||Aswan|
|Day 8||Fly to Cairo, Optional Activities||Cairo|
|Day 9||Full-Day Tour of Cairo||Cairo|
|Day 10||Depart Cairo|
Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Optional Activities
Welcome to Egypt! Few countries have captured the world's imagination like this North African nation bordering the Middle East. Part of that is due to Egypt's rich and colorful history, which dates back thousands of years to Biblical times and the dynasties long before it. Even better, Egypt has preserved much of its ancient history in the form of landmarks, archaeological sites, and antiquities, which are available for everyone to see. That's exactly what you'll do on this 10-day Egyptian sojourn.
You'll arrive in Cairo, Egypt's capital and the largest city in the country. At the airport, a driver will pick you up at the terminal and take you to your hotel in the city. After checking in, you can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and unwinding. If it's early enough, head over to Cairo Tower, which at 613 feet (187 m), is one of the tallest buildings in the city. The revolving restaurant at the top is one of the best sunset views in Cairo.
Day 2: Day Trip to the Pyramids of Giza
In the morning, your driver will pick you up for the short ride from Cairo to the famous Giza Pyramids complex, a necropolis for ancient pharaohs. There are three main pyramids here—Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure—and you'll visit all of them on this full-day tour. Though all three pyramids are awe-inspiring monuments, the Great Pyramid of Khufu stands out. It is one of the ancient wonders of the world and even today remains the largest pyramid in Egypt.
But the pyramids aren't the only ancient landmarks you'll witness. There's also the Great Sphinx. Located near the pyramids, this monumental statue stands 66 feet (20 m) and is 240 feet (73 m) long. Even more impressive is that it was carved from a single limestone block. Both the pyramid complex and the Sphinx were constructed between 2580 and 2500 BCE. After a morning touring the pyramid complex, you'll have lunch at a local restaurant.
Later, if there's time, you can take an optional trip to Saqqara, another ancient archaeological site south of Cairo. During its heyday between the 27th-22nd centuries BCE, it served as a burial ground for the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. The star landmark here is the Pyramid of Djoser, which is considered the earliest large-scale stone construction of its time. At the end of the afternoon, you'll return to Cairo.
Day 3: Fly to Luxor & Sightseeing
After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport in Cairo and take a one-hour flight south to Luxor. This small city in the Nile Valley was once the capital of ancient Thebes and is considered an open-air museum due to its many well-preserved landmarks. Upon arrival, another driver will meet you for the transfer to your hotel.
Once you've checked in, you'll meet a guide and experience some of Luxor's famous antiquities. One highlight is a visit to Karnak Temple, one of Egypt’s largest surviving temples. Founded in the Middle Kingdom period (2055 BCE to 1650 BCE), it was once a key religious center.
You'll also tour the famous Luxor Temple, which dates to 1400 BCE and was dedicated to a triad of Egyptian gods. A visit here is a humbling experience, as the entrance to the temple, known as the Avenue of the Sphinxes, is lined with impressive statues. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.
Day 4: Tour the West Bank, Board Nile River Cruise
Begin the day with a scenic tour of Luxor's famed West Bank region, which is a treasure trove of historic landmarks. First, you'll visit the Valley of the Kings, a necropolis for pharaohs (including Tutankhamun) used from the 16th-11th century BCE.
Next, you'll see two of Luxor's most iconic landmarks: the Colossi of Memnon. These imposing statues guard the entrance of the ancient funerary temple of Amenhotep III. The tour concludes at Hatshepsut Temple, a magnificent mortuary temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, one of the few female pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Afterward, you'll board a boat on the Nile, where you'll overnight.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Cruise to the Temple of Edfu
After an overnight ride south down the Nile, you'll arrive at the city of Edfu. Here, you'll meet a guide for a tour. First, you'll visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu, one of the best-preserved temples in the country. It was constructed between 237 BCE and 57 BCE and is dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus. After the tour, you'll return to the boat in time for dinner and to enjoy sunset views over the Nile.
Day 6: Tour Kom Ombo, Cruise to Aswan
The cruise continues down the river to Kom Ombo. In this town, you'll get to tour its eponymous temple, which dates to the second century BCE. This unique double temple was dedicated to two deities: the crocodile god (Sobek) and the falcon god (Haroeris). Many of the walls of its courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms are still intact, as are wall carvings and statues.
After the temple, you'll return to the boat and continue down the river to the city of Aswan. There will be time left to visit one of the highlight landmarks: Aswan High Dam. This modern engineering marvel, completed in 1970, spans the Nile River and created Lake Nasser. Besides offering insight into Egypt's contemporary infrastructure, the damn also features panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Day 7: Day Trip to Abu Simbel Temples
Wake up early and leave Aswan on a 3.5-hour drive to another of Egypt's awe-inspiring historical marvels. This time, you'll visit the magnificent Abu Simbel Temples, a pair of massive rock-cut temples built by the Egyptian king Ramses II around 1264 BCE. Despite their relatively remote location in the deserts near the border with Sudan, they are one of the most popular sites in the country and a testament to the grandeur of ancient Egyptian architecture.
After the tour, you'll return to Aswan, where you can enjoy another activity, like visiting the famous Botanical Garden at Kitchener's Island, in the middle of the Nile River.
Day 8: Fly to Cairo, Optional Activities
In the morning, you'll transfer to the airport in Aswan and catch a 1.5-hour flight back to Cairo. After transferring to your hotel from the airport, you'll head over to the Egyptian Museum, the country's most impressive repository of ancient antiquities. Among many highlights you'll see is the tomb of King Tut. The museum also features a collection of well-preserved royal mummies, including those of famous pharaohs such as Ramses II and Hatshepsut. Later, you can enjoy other activities, like shopping in historic districts or watching the sunset from the banks of the Nile.
Day 9: Full-Day Tour of Cairo
After breakfast, you'll meet a local guide who will lead you on a day tour of Egypt's heritage. First up is the Citadel of Saladin. This impressive landmark was commissioned in the 12th century by Salah ad-Din (Saladin), the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, and served as a military stronghold and royal residence. The incredible panoramic views of Cairo from the citadel aren't merely scenic—the fortress was strategically positioned to defend the city from potential invasions.
Next, visit the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which dates to the 14th century and is regarded as the finest piece of early Mamluk architecture in Cairo. Finally, hunt for treasures in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, a souk in the historic center of Islamic Cairo, where you can shop for lamps, rugs, jewelry, and more.
Day 10: Depart Cairo
Your grand tour of Egypt has reached its conclusion. Savor one last Egyptian breakfast before transferring to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Ma'a salama!