Enjoy Egypt's top attractions by land and sea on this lively 10-day tour. Start in Cairo and visit the pyramids of Giza, then fly to Luxor and board a boat for a cruise down the Nile River, stopping to tour temples and ancient sites along the way. Several days later, you'll circle back to the capital city to spend more time learning about Cairo's Islamic heritage, exploring mosques and museums, and shopping for souvenirs in the old market of Khan El Khalili.

Highlights

  • Tour the famous pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza
  • Enjoy a multi-day cruise along the Nile River
  • Visit the legendary Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut
  • Hunt for treasures in Cairo's historic Khan El Khalili Market

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Day-trip to the Pyramids & Sphinx Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Luxor & Sightsee Luxor
Day 4 Explore the West Bank Tour & Board Cruise Luxor
Day 5 Cruise to the Temple of Edfu  Edfu
Day 6 Continue on the Water to Kom Ombo & Aswan Aswan
Day 7 Travel to the Remarkable Abu Simbel Temples Aswan
Day 8 Fly Back to Cairo & Relax Cairo
Day 9 Go on a Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of Cairo Cairo
Day 10 Departure From Cairo - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo

Cairo
A sweeping view of Cairo

Welcome to Egypt! After arriving in Cairo — one of the largest cities in Africa and in the Middle East — you'll head to your hotel. You'll be free to relax and rest in time before the tour begins. You could also start exploring the city, venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of many excellent restaurants.

Day 2: Day-trip to the Pyramids & Sphinx

Giza Pyramids
The awe-inspiring pyramids of Giza

Today you'll travel to Giza, located outside of Cairo, where you will see the three major pyramids at its necropolis complex. Your guide will explain the history of the construction of the Pyramids of Giza: the Great Pyramid of Giza, Cheops, and the smaller Chephren and Mykerinos. You'll also visit the Sphinx, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then head to the nearby necropolis of Saqqara to visit the Pyramid of Teti.

Day 3: Fly to Luxor & Sightsee

Luxor
A traditional boat on the Nile near Luxor

After breakfast, you'll take a short flight to Luxor. This small city in the Nile Valley is located 420 miles (676 km) south of Cairo. Today's activities include visits to the Karnak Temple, one of Egypt’s largest surviving temples. Founded in the Middle Kingdom, it was once a key religious center. You'll also go to Luxor Temple, a massive temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile. It was founded during the New Kingdom around 1400 BCE.

Day 4: Explore the West Bank Tour & Board Cruise

The incredible Colossi of Memnon

Board a boat today to start the journey down the Nile. You'll visit the Valley of the Kings to see rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) for nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BCE. Stop at the Colossi of Memnon to see the ruins of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. What remains are two imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that were erected to guard the temple's entrance. Then head to Hatshepsut Temple. The memorial of Queen Hatshepsut is the focal point of Deir el-Bahri, a complex of mortuary temples and tombs.

Plan your trip to Egypt
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Cruise to the Temple of Edfu 

Edfu
The towering columns of the temple at Edfu

After breakfast, you'll pass Esna Lock on your way to the next destination: the temples at Edfu. Your guide will explain the significance of these temples in further detail. The Temple of Horus at Edfu was constructed between 237 BCE and 57 BCE. It is one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt, and inside you can still make out many of its inscriptions. Later, you'll have dinner and relax on the boat, enjoying sunset views over the Nile.

Day 6: Continue on the Water to Kom Ombo & Aswan

Nile Cruise
Water views during a cruise along the Nile

Today, the cruise continues down the river to Kom Ombo. The Temple of Sobek and Haroeris at Kom Ombo was dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). Many of the walls of its courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms are still intact, along with wall carvings and statues. In the afternoon, the cruise continues to Aswan, where you'll spend the night.

There will be time to visit the Aswan High Dam, built in the 1960s and completed in 1970. It was an engineering marvel at the time, as it increased Egypt's cultivable land by 30 percent and doubled its electricity supply. Alternatively, visit Philae Temple, where construction began in 690 BCE. Dine on the boat and get some rest before tomorrow's trip to one of Egypt's most famous ancient sites.

Day 7: Travel to the Remarkable Abu Simbel Temples

AbuSimble Temple
The entrance to Abu Simbel

On day seven, visit the magnificent site of the Abu Simbel Temples, a pair of temples built by the Egyptian king Ramses II, who reigned 1279–1213 BCE. These massive rock-cut temples are truly incredible to see in person: despite their relatively remote location, they're one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

Later, return to Aswan and check into a hotel. If you have enough energy for another activity, consider Finally, a trip to the Botanical Garden on Kitchener’s Island. Located on an island in the Aswan archipelago, it's a picturesque place to finish the day's itinerary.

Day 8: Fly Back to Cairo & Relax

Egyptian Museum
Ancient wonders inside the Egyptian Museum

After breakfast, you'll catch a flight back to Cairo. After arrival, you'll head to the Egyptian Museum, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures, including the tomb of King Tut. After check-in at your hotel in the capital, you can explore the city once more, taking time to visit museums, go shopping, sample Egyptian cuisine, or simply enjoy sunset views over the Nile River.

Day 9: Go on a Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of Cairo

Views from Salah Al Deen Citadel
Islamic architecture in Cairo

It's your last full day in Egypt. Learn about Islamic Cairo today at the Citadel of Saladin See, an important example of military architecture from the Middle Ages, and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, a monumental mosque that was built during the Mamluk period of the 1300s. 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. Enjoy one last night out on the town before the trip comes to a close.

Day 10: Depart from Cairo - End of Trip

Farewell, Egypt!
The sun rises behind the Sphinx

Today the adventure ends. Head to Cairo's airport to catch your flight out. Safe travels!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other 10-day Egypt itineraries, with Nile River cruises, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.

Map

Map of Nile River Cruise & Cairo Cultural Tour - 10 Days
Map of Nile River Cruise & Cairo Cultural Tour - 10 Days