This exciting itinerary takes you to the top highlights of Egypt and Jordan. You'll start your trip in Cairo and visit the Pyramids of Giza before departing for a three-day cruise along the Nile River with stops at many of Egypt's most famous temples. Then you'll cross the border to Amman, Jordan. After one day in the city, travel to the ancient city of Petra and enjoy a desert safari tour through Wadi Rum.

Highlights

  • Discover the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Visit one of Egypt's largest surviving temples during a Nile River cruise
  • Wander through the red-colored streets of Petra's Roman area
  • Drive through the Wadi Rum Desert in a Jeep

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Visit the Egyptian Museum & Great Pyramids Of Giza Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Aswan & See the Aswan High Dam  Aswan
Day 4 Cruise to Kom Ombo, Edu & Luxor  Luxor
Day 5 Marvel at Temples on the Banks of the Nile Luxor
Day 6 Return to Cairo & Dine in the City Cairo
Day 7 Cross the Border to Jordan & Explore Amman Amman
Day 8 Explore the Ancient City of Petra Petra
Day 9 Wadi Rum Desert Tour  Amman
Day 10 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, or you could start exploring the city by venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of many excellent restaurants.

Day 2: Visit the Egyptian Museum & Great Pyramids Of Giza

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

After breakfast, you will meet your guide and visit the Egyptian Museum, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures, including the tomb of King Tut. Later, 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. Next, you'll head to Memphis, an ancient Egyptian capital, to see the Pyramid of Saqqara and the Pyramid of Djoser.

Day 3: Fly to Aswan & See the Aswan High Dam 

Philae Temple
The beautiful Temple of Philae

Your adventure continues as you travel to Aswan by plane. Here, you'll visit the beautiful Temple of Philae, dedicated to the worship of Isis, the Goddess of Love. You'll also see 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. 

Then it's time to board your boat for a cruise down the Nile River. You'll relax on the boat as the journey begins, enjoying the sunset over the water and a view of the Botanical Garden. Located on Kitchener's Island in the Aswan archipelago, it's a picturesque place to finish the day's itinerary.

Day 4: Cruise to Kom Ombo, Edu & Luxor 

Horus Temple in Edfu
Relief sculptures at Horus Temple in 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 5: Marvel at Temples on the Banks of the Nile

Luxor
A hot air balloon over Luxor

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

Day 6: Return to Cairo & Dine in the City

A street scene in Cairo

It's time to say farewell to the boat. Today you'll take a connecting flight to Cairo, where you'll spend the night before continuing on to Jordan the next day, where the adventure continues. 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.

Day 7: Cross the Border to Jordan & Get to Know Amman

A view of Amman's city lights at dusk
A view of Amman's city lights at dusk

After breakfast, you'll catch a flight to Amman. Welcome to Jordan! You'll have some time this afternoon to explore this bustling capital city. Walk around in Jabal Weibdeh, the oldest neighborhood in Amman. There are lots of small side streets, shops offering local goods and produce to be explored, as well as many cafés and restaurants. Stop into the King Abdullah II Mosque and explore the Citadel with the Temple of Hercules, which offers a 360-degree view over Amman. It's best to be there during prayer time, as you'll hear the calls to prayers from the various mosques, creating a surreal echo. 

Continue to the Roman Theater, and then browse through the downtown souks. Head to Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, filled with shops, restaurants, and shisha cafés. Finally, visit the Jordan Museum, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.

Day 8: Explore the Ancient City of Petra

A viewpoint from a rock in Petra
A viewpoint from a rock in Petra

Today's the day you'll get the chance to experience the wonder of Petra, a historic city and archeological site famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. A nickname for Petra is "Rose City," due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. Known as the capital city of the Nabateans, it's an iconic symbol of Jordan. UNESCO described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." 

You'll walk through the mystic Siq ("the shaft"), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. Then you'll reach the famous Treasury (also known as Al-Khazneh). There is also a viewpoint opposite it which you can climb up for a view from above. Then, you can visit the Street of Facades and walk through the Roman area, where you can climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice and follow the path to the Garden Temple Complex. If you have the energy, climb the 800 steps up to the Monastery, Petra’s largest temple. The view from the top is worth it!

Day 9: Go on a Wadi Rum Desert Tour 

Camels and vehicles in Wadi Rum desert
Camels and 4x4 vehicles in the Wadi Rum desert

On the last full day of the trip, you'll continue to Wadi Rum, also known as "The Valley of the Moon" due to its sandstone and granite rock surfaces. Inhabited by human cultures since prehistoric times, it's full of ancient rock paintings and majestic temples. You'll explore the area on a safari in a 4x4 vehicle driven by a local guide. Starting from Rum Village, you'll visit the best places of the Wadi Rum Protected Area, including red sand dunes, canyons, Nabatean inscriptions, bizarre rock formations, and huge rock bridges. Then you'll head back to Amman to enjoy one last night in Jordan before the trip ends. 

Day 10: Depart 

Morning in Amman, Jordan

Depending on the time of your flight, you might squeeze in some last-minute sightseeing in Amman. Then transfer to the airport in Amman in time for your international flight. 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. 

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