- Explore the three great pyramids of Giza
- Marvel at Egyptian treasures like King Tut's tomb
- Visit the gems of Alexandrina, like the library and citadel
- Discover the great oasis of Siwa on a safari tour
- Enjoy a traditional Bedouin dinner in the desert
|Arrive in Cairo, Optional Activities
|Visit the Egyptian Museum & Islamic Cairo
|Day Trip to Pyramids & Sakkara
|Transfer to Alexandria, City History Tour
|Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel & Gardens
|Transfer to Siwa Oasis, Stop at El Alamein
|Visit the Mountain of the Dead & More
|Morning Safari & Bedouin Dinner
|Transfer to Cairo, Dinner in the City
Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Optional Activities
Welcome to Egypt! This renowned country in northern Africa has a rich history and cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. You'll arrive in the capital of Cairo, a city on the Nile River that's the political and economic heart of the country. There's no shortage of culture and adventure here, as seen in Cairo's many museums, historic mosques, and ancient souks (marketplaces). Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up at the terminal and transfer you to your hotel in the city. After checking in, you can head out and explore.
One great activity is to stroll down Al-Muizz Street. One of the most historic streets in Cairo, it was once the main thoroughfare during the Fatimid Caliphate (dynasty) of the 10th-12th centuries. Many historic landmarks remain, such as the Al Aqmar Mosque, which dates to the 10th century and is one of the oldest mosques in Cairo. Beyond Al Aqmar, you'll pass other mosques, madrasas (Islamic schools), mausoleums, and historic houses, which reflect different periods in Egyptian history.
Day 2: Visit the Egyptian Museum & Islamic Cairo
In the morning, you'll meet a local guide who will lead you on a discovery tour of Egypt's heritage and antiquities. First, you'll visit the Egyptian Museum, which is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts. 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.
After the museum, the history tour continues with a visit to 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, you'll 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 3: Day Trip to Pyramids & Sakkara
After breakfast, 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.
Later, you'll drive to Saqqara, another ancient archaeological site and necropolis 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. Interestingly, Saqqara remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for over 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times. At the end of the afternoon, you'll return to Cairo.
Day 4: Transfer to Alexandria, City History Tour
Meet your driver this morning and embark on the 3.5-hour drive from Cairo to Alexandria. Sitting on the Mediterranean coast, this ancient city is just as famous for its historical landmarks as it is for its beautiful beaches, resorts, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. When you arrive, you'll check into your hotel.
A little while later, you'll meet a local Egyptologist who will lead you to some of Alexandria's major historical sites. First, tour the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, one of the largest Roman burial sites in Egypt. Continuing the theme with a visit to the Amphitheater. Dating to the second century and with a capacity for 800 people, it's the only Roman amphitheater in Egypt. End the day at the Alexandria National Museum, which displays more than 1,800 artifacts from Egypt's history in the former palace of businessman Asaad Bassili.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel & Gardens
Start this morning with a visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), a scholarly institution and major hub for researchers and scholars worldwide. It's a tribute to the Library of Alexandria, which was built in the third century BCE and was one of the ancient world's premier centers of knowledge and learning. Today's library houses well over one million books, manuscripts, and digital resources.
After the library, you'll visit another of Alexandria's most prominent landmarks: the defensive fortress known as the Citadel of Qaitbay, which dates to the 15th century and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. When finished, you'll have lunch at a local restaurant.
Finally, you'll visit Montazah Palace, another coastal gem. Dating to the 19th century, it became the summer residence for the Egyptian royal family and features an ornate design mixing Ottoman, Moorish, and Florentine styles. The palace isn't open to the public, but you'll get to take a stroll around the expansive gardens, which span a whopping 150 acres (60 ha)
Day 6: Transfer to Siwa Oasis, Stop at El Alamein
Wake up early and hit the road for a full-day transfer west across Egypt to the vast Sahara Desert and the legendary Siwa Oasis. Located near the border with Libya, Siwa is renowned for its otherworldly landscapes, including vast sand dunes, salt lakes, and natural springs.
The drive there takes around eight hours, but you'll take a break on the way at El Alamein. Located on the Mediterranean coast a couple of hours from Alexandria, it's historically significant as the site of two major World War II battles. While here, you'll visit a war museum and cemetery dedicated to these battles. Upon arrival in Siwa, you'll check into your accommodation and have the evening free to relax.
Day 7: Visit the Mountain of the Dead & More
After an early breakfast, you'll hop in a vehicle and explore more of the Siwa Oasis and its Berber (Indigenous North African) settlements. Your guide will lead you to some of the area's major sites and landmarks, including the Mountain of the Dead (Gebel al-Mawta). This archaeological site is known for its ancient tombs that date back to Egypt's 26th Dynasty, which flourished from 664 BCE to 525 BCE.
You'll also stop at the famous Cleopatra Bath. This natural spring is believed to have been a regular bathing site of Cleopatra herself. Next, visit the impressive Oracle Temple, an ancient religious sanctuary dedicated to the Egyptian god Amun that dates to the sixth century BCE. To learn more about the rich history and culture of the region, you'll stop at Siwan House, a museum set in a historic house. There's also the option to visit Fatnas, a palm-covered island on Lake Siwa, to watch the sunset. Afterward, you'll return to your accommodation in Siwa.
Day 8: Morning Safari & Bedouin Dinner
Your grand Siwa adventure continues this morning with a visit to the Shali Fortress. Also known as the Shali Citadel, the ruins of this mud-brick fortress date to the 13th century. Back then, Shali was a major settlement and the heart of the Siwa community, home to hundreds of people. The site offers glorious desert views.
After the fortress visit, you'll embark on a safari adventure. Zipping through the desert in a 4WD vehicle, you'll pass petrified forests, see fossilized seashells, explore sand dunes, and stop to swim in lakes and natural springs. End the day with a traditional Bedouin dinner.
Day 9: Transfer to Cairo, Dinner in the City
In the morning, you'll meet your driver and embark on the full-day ride back to Cairo, stopping at a few scenic locales for snacks and to snap photos. Upon arrival in Cairo, you'll check into your hotel. If there's time left in the day, feel free to head to the markets for some shopping and to pick up some souvenirs. In the evening, head out for a dinner of traditional Egyptian cuisine, or book a sunset cruise on the Nile.
Day 10: Depart Egypt
Wake up early and savor one last breakfast in Egypt. If your schedule allows it, visit a few more of Cairo's famous landmarks, like Bayt Al Suhaymi, a traditional Islamic mansion dating to the 17th century. There's also the 13th-century Sultan Al Mansur Qalawun Mosque, an architectural masterpiece. Later, at the appropriate time, you'll transfer to the airport in Cairo and catch your flight home. Safe travels!