Combining cultural highlights with stunning beaches and deserts, this 9-day Egyptian itinerary offers a perfect blend of ancient history and outdoor adventure. Visit the Great Pyramids and discover the many flavors of Cairo on a gastronomic tour, then set out into the breathtaking White Desert for a Bedouin camping experience. After a day spent exploring the temples and tombs of Luxor, you'll head for the beach and end your journey in the Red Sea diving hotspot of Hurghada.

Highlights

  • Ride a camel past the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Take a gastronomic tour through Old Cairo
  • Camp under the stars in the White Desert
  • Immerse yourself in ancient history at the Valley of the Kings
  • Relax on the white beaches of the Red Sea resort of Hurghada

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Welcome to Cairo - Tour the Pyramids & Salah El-din Citadel
Day 2 Cairo Food & Walking Tour
Day 3 Transfer to Bahariya, White Desert Camping Excursion
Day 4 Explore the Black Desert, Return to Cairo & Fly to Luxor
Day 5 Discover the Valley of the Kings
Day 6 Transfer to Hurghada & the Red Sea
Day 7 Explore Hurghada & Desert Excursion
Day 8 Hurghada Beach Day
Day 9 Depart Egypt

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Cairo - Tour the Pyramids & Salah El-din Citadel

Ride camels in the shadow of the Great Pyramids

Welcome to Egypt! Upon arrival at the airport in Cairo, you'll be welcomed by your guide and hit the ground running with a tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Start by visiting the pyramid of Cheops, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built as a tomb, its shape was intended to help the spirit of the dead pharaoh rise to heaven. Continue to Chephren to see the best-preserved of the main Giza pyramids, and on to Mykerinos, the smallest of the three.

No day at the pyramids would be complete without a camel ride, so you'll have the chance to mount a "ship of the desert" and go for a ride across the desert sands. After seeing the magnificent Sphinx up close, it's time to head back to the city to marvel at the massive medieval Salah El-din Citadel and Mohamed Ali Alabaster Mosque, once an important stronghold against the Crusaders. Explore this ancient fortress and marvel at its brilliant domed ceilings, suspended lights, and commanding views of Cairo. After a whirlwind day of sightseeing, you'll be transferred to your hotel where you can get settled in and relax for the evening.

Day 2: Cairo Food & Walking Tour

Explore the streets of Old Cairo on a food tour

Today you'll explore more of Cairo on a gastronomic walking tour. As rich in history and culture as it is in calories, this experience takes you on a stroll through the city's most characterful streets, stopping at four different locations for a sampling of food, drinks, and sweets. Eat like a local as you learn about the recipes and ingredients of Cairo's traditional dishes.

Day 3: Transfer to Bahariya, White Desert Camping Excursion

Set off from the oasis of Bahariya to explore the White Desert

Today you'll embark on a breathtaking excursion into the White Desert, as your driver takes you on a 226 mile (365 km) journey to the lush desert oasis of Bahariya. From here you'll spend the day exploring more desert landscapes, discovering the area's dramatic mushroom-shaped monoliths and formations. 

As the sun sets in spectacular fashion over the sands, your guide will set up camp, preparing your tents and starting a fire to grill dinner. Under the clear desert sky, you can stargaze as you enjoy a delicious Bedouin-style dinner and tea. 

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Day 4: Explore the Black Desert, Return to Cairo & Fly to Luxor

Sunrise over the White Desert

Awaken to the silence of the desert this morning, as you enjoy a light breakfast after sunrise. Then it's back into the Jeep to cross the sand dunes of the Black Desert to reach El Zogag Mountain and enjoy the sweeping views from its summit. After a visit to the sparkling quartz of Crystal Mountain, it's time to return to Cairo, where you'll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight south to Luxor

Day 5: Discover the Valley of the Kings

Hot Air Balloon over the temples in Luxor
Hot air balloons over the temples of Luxor

Early risers can begin today with an optional sunrise hot air balloon excursion over the Valley of the Kings to see the breathtaking ancient site from above.

After breakfast, you'll transfer to the west bank of Luxor to tour the famed Valley of the Kings on foot. Discover the exteriors of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the beautiful Temple of Der el Bahari (dedicated to the funerary cult of Queen Hatshepsut), and the Statues of Memnon

Cross to the east bank to explore the famed Luxor Temple Complex, built during the New Kingdom around 1400 BCE, and continue to the Karnak Temple, once a key religious center and one of Egypt's largest surviving temples. 

After an unforgettable day of sightseeing, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Luxor for the evening. 

Day 6: Transfer to Hurghada & the Red Sea

Diving with dolphins near Hurghada

Today you'll switch gears from ancient Egyptian history to the great outdoors, transferring to Hurghada by car. This resort town on the coast of the Red Sea is known for its long sandy beach and an old town, El Dahar, where you can dine on traditional Egyptian cuisine and shop in colorful souks. The region is also a hot spot for scuba diving and snorkeling. One popular place for diving is the SS Thistlegorm Wreck, a famous shipwreck dive site with lionfish, stonefish, and sea turtles swimming alongside the ruins of the sea vessel. The afternoon is free for exploring and relaxing by the sea.

Day 7: Explore Hurghada & Desert Excursion

Camels await their passengers in the desert near Hurghada

After a leisurely breakfast, you're free to choose from a range of activities. If you want to see more of the desert, opt for a safari adventure in the afternoon, choosing between a 4x4 vehicle, ATV, or camel. Whichever option you choose, you'll enjoy getting a lift as you explore Bedouin villages and enjoy sweeping mountain and desert views. For a more laidback pace, join a scenic boat tour or visit the nearby Hurghada Aquarium.

Day 8: Hurghada Beach Day

Relax on the Red Sea beaches of Hurghada

Today is yours to spend completely at your leisure. Relax on Hurghada's white-sand beaches, swim in the warm waters of the Red Sea, or join a snorkeling or boating excursion nearby.

Day 9: Depart Egypt

Enjoy a final morning on the Red Sea before your departure

After a free morning in Hurghada, you'll bid Egypt farewell as a transfer takes you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other Egypt itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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