Explore Egypt by water and by land on this action-packed two-week tour of the country. After getting oriented in Cairo, you'll cruise along the Nile on a boat, stopping to visit the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor Temple, and the Valley of the Kings along the journey. Then you'll continue the trip overland, exploring antiquities in Alexandria before retreating to the Siwa Oasis, home to the fascinating Berber settlements of the Egyptian desert. 

Highlights

  • Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Marvel at treasures like King Tut's tomb and mask
  • Tour the world-famous Valley of the Kings
  • Visit the ancient gardens and citadels of Alexandria
  • Learn about Berber culture in the Egyptian desert

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 See the Great Pyramids Of Giza Cairo
Day 3 Cruise to Luxor Temple Luxor
Day 4 Continue Along the Nile to the Valley of the Kings Esna
Day 5 Visit Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples Kom Ombo
Day 6 Travel to Aswan & See Philae Temple Aswan
Day 7 Return to Cairo Before Transfer to Alexandria Cairo
Day 8 Tour the Catacombs, Roman Amphitheater & National Museum of Alexandria Alexandria
Day 9 Visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel of Qaitbay, and Montazah Palace Gardens Alexandria
Day 10 Travel Overland to Siwa Oasis Siwa
Day 11 Explore Siwan House, Oracle Temple, Cleopatra Bath & Fatnas Island Siwa
Day 12 Go On a Safari Tour & Enjoy a Bedouin Dinner Siwa
Day 13 Drive to Cairo  Cairo
Day 14 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo

A view of Cairo's city and the Nile River
A view of Cairo's city and the Nile River

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: See the Great Pyramids Of Giza

The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

This morning, you will meet your guide to accompany you on your day exploring the city and its sites. Today's activities include the Egyptian Museum, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures, including the tomb of King Tut. You'll also 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

Day 3: Cruise to Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple from the Nile
Luxor Temple from the Nile 

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. Once you arrive in Luxor, you will board your cruise ship and start the journey down the Nile.

Today's stops include 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 visit 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: Continue Along the Nile to the Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings in Egypt
The Valley of the Kings in Egypt

Today, you'll continue your Nile cruise, which includes sightseeing on the river's west bank. You'll visit the Valley of the Kings to see rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) dating 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.

After your tour, you will make your way back to your cruise ship, where you can relax onboard as you sail to Esna.

Day 5: Visit Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples

Egyptian heiroglyphics on columns of the Temple of Horus at Edfu
Egyptian hieroglyphics on columns of the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The next stop on your Nile cruise will be to see the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo. 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. 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. 

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Day 6: Travel to Aswan & See Philae Temple

A sailboat on the Nile River at Aswan
A sailboat on the Nile River at Aswan

Your adventure continues as you set sail for Aswan. There, you will have a chance to get off the ship and explore more sights, one of which is 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. 

Next, visit Philae Temple. There were once temples at Philae — construction began in 690 BCE — dedicated to the goddess Isis. The complex was moved from its original location on Philae Island to Agilkia Island due to the construction of Aswan High Dam. You'll board a small boat to learn more about the temple here. Finally, tour the Botanical Garden. Located on Kitchener's Island in the Aswan archipelago, it's a picturesque place to finish the day's itinerary.

Day 7: Return to Cairo Before Transfer to Alexandria

The Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo
Shopping for souvenirs in Cairo

It's time to say farewell to the boat. Today you'll take a connecting flight to Cairo. The afternoon is free to explore or relax: sit in an outdoor café, try some Egyptian cuisine, go shopping for souvenirs, or do any sightseeing you didn't have time for earlier in the trip. You'll spend the night in Cairo before continuing on to Alexandria the next day, where the adventure continues. 

Day 8: Tour the Catacombs, Roman Amphitheater & National Museum of Alexandria

Alexandria, Egypt
The Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria

After breakfast, you'll travel to Alexandria, where a local Egyptologist will guide you through the city's history and major sites. Tour the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, one of the largest Roman burial sites in Egypt, and the Roman Amphitheater. In the 1960s, this place was discovered by accident. The only Roman amphitheater in Egypt, it consists of a lower-level stage surrounded by thirteen marble seats with room for up to 800 people. Finish up at the Alexandria National Museum, displaying more than 1,800 artifacts from Egypt's history in the former palace of businessman Asaad Bassili. 

Day 9: Visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel of Qaitbay, and Montazah Palace Gardens

Montazah Palace, Egypt
Ornate architecture at the Montazah Palace Gardens

Continue your tour of Alexandria at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where you'll learn about one of the most significant intellectual centers of the ancient world. Then move onto the 15th-century defensive fortress known as the Citadel of Qaitbay, commissioned by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa'it Bay on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy lunch at an Egyptian restaurant, then explore the grounds of the summer palace for Khedive Abbas Hilmy — the last Ottoman viceroy of Egypt and Sudan —at the Montazah Palace Gardens

Day 10: Travel Overland to Siwa Oasis

El Alamein Military Base, Egypt
El Alamein Military Base, Egypt

Travel from Alexandria through the western desert of Egypt to reach Siwa. You'll be on the road for many hours today, so there's not a lot on the schedule. But one highlight is at El Alamein, where you'll visit a war museum and cemetery dedicated to the battles of El Alamein (1942) and the Second World War. Relax in Siwa, where you'll have dinner and spend the night.

Day 11: Explore the Siwan House, Oracle Temple, Cleopatra Bath & Fatnas Island

Siwa Oasis, Egypt
The majestic Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Explore Siwa Oasis and its Berber settlements as you journey further into the Egyptian desert. Your guide will lead you through some of the area's major sites, including Mountain of the Dead (Gebel al-Mawta), with tombs that date from the 26th dynasty, Ptolemaic, and Roman periods. At the Cleopatra Bath, you can take a dip in one of the area's oasis springs. Visit a 26th-dynasty temple, Oracle Temple, built in the 6th century BCE, and the Siwan House, a museum set in a historic house, to learn more about regional traditions and culture. Side-trip to Fatnas Island to watch the sunset before returning to Siwa for the night.

Day 12: Go On a Safari Tour & Enjoy a Bedouin Dinner

4x4 Desert Safari, Egypt
A lively desert safari adventure in Egypt

Continue your exploration of the Siwa Oasis area. You'll see the Shali Fortress, exploring the ruins of a 13th-century mud-brick fortress. Once home to hundreds of people, it offers glorious oasis views. Then embark on a safari adventure, traveling through the desert in a 4x4 vehicle. Venture into petrified forests, see fossilized seashells, explore sand dunes, and swim in lakes and springs. You'll end the day with a traditional Bedouin dinner and sleep in Siwa.

Day 13: Drive to Cairo 

Cairo, Egypt
The  Nile River cutting through Cairo, Egypt

Today you'll make your way back to Cairo from Siwa, with a few stops along the way, depending on your interests. After check-in at your hotel in the capital city, 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 on your last night in the country. 

Day 14: Depart 

A bird's-eye view of Cairo

After breakfast, you'll make your way to Cairo International Airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other 14-day Egypt itineraries, with Nile River cruises, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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