This cultural tour will start in Cairo, where you'll explore the bustling city and visit the Pyramids of Giza, before embarking on a three-day cruise on the Nile River during which you'll visit Egypt's most famous temples including Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, Horus Temple, and others. You'll then set sail on the Nile River to Aswan before returning to Cairo in time for your flight to Amman in Jordan. In Amman, you'll do a tour of this historic city and visit the Jerash Ruins, and then travel to the ancient city Petra for one night before enjoying a desert drive through Wadi Rum and spending your final night at the Dead Sea.

Highlights

  • Discover the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Visit one of Egypt's largest surviving temples during a Nile River cruise
  • Sail along the Nile River to Aswan and Philae Temple
  • Wander along rose-colored architecture in the ancient city Petra
  • Float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 The Egyptian Museum - Great Pyramids Of Giza Cairo
Day 3 Cruise in Luxor Luxor
Day 4 Nile Cruise - Valley of the Kings Esna
Day 5 Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples Kom Ombo
Day 6 Sail to Aswan - Philae Temple Aswan
Day 7 Return to Cairo Cairo
Day 8 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 9 Amman City Tour - Jerash Umm Qais
Day 10 Transfer to Petra Petra
Day 11 Wadi Rum – Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 12 Depart Amman  

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

After arriving in Cairo—one of the largest cities in Africa and in the Middle East—your tour coordinator will transfer you to your hotel.

After check-in, you will be free to relax and catch up with rest in time for a busy day of exploring tomorrow. If you feel well-rested, you may get an early start to exploring the city and venture out to try some authentic Egyptian local cuisine.

Day 2: 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 Egyptologist who will accompany you on your day exploring the city and its sites.

Today's activities include:

  • The Egyptian Museum: You will visit the Museum of Antiquities, commonly known as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures such as the tomb of King Tut and his funerary mask.
  • The Pyramids of Giza: First you'll travel to Giza outside of Cairo where you will see the three major pyramids at its necropolis complex. Your Egyptologist will explain the history of their construction, which spanned nearly three generations starting from the Great Pyramid of Giza, Cheops, followed by the smaller Chepren, and Mykerinos. 

Day 3: Cruise in Luxor

A cruise ship on The Nile near Luxor
A cruise ship on The Nile near Luxor

After breakfast, your tour coordinator help transfer you in time for your 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 make your way to your cruise ship. This unforgettable cruise includes visiting many of the major sights in Luxor.

Today's sightseeing includes: 

  • Karnak Temple:  One of Egypt’s largest surviving temples which was founded in the Middle Kingdom, and was once a key religious center. 
  • Luxor Temple: A large temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River. It was founded during the New Kingdom around 1400 BC.

Day 4: Nile Cruise - 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. Your guide will lead you through this tour.

Activities might include visiting: 

  • Valley of the Kings: The location of rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) for nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BCE.
  •  Colossi of Memnon: Visit the ruins of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. What remains are two imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, which were erected to guard the temple's entrance.
  • Hatshepsut Temple: The Mortuary Temple 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 on board as you sail to Esna.

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Day 5: Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples

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:

  • Temple of Horus at Edfu: The Ptolemaic Temple of Horus was constructed between 57 BCE and 237 BCE. It is one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt and inside you can still make out many of its inscriptions. 
  • Temple of Sobek and Haroeris at Kom Ombo: This temple is dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). It was built during the Ptolemaic era. Many of the walls of its courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms are still intact along with wall carvings and some statues. 

Day 6: Sail to Aswan - 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. In Aswan, you will have a chance to get off the ship and explore more sights along with your guide.

Today's sightseeing includes:

  • Aswan High Dam: Built in the 1960s and completed in 1970. Aswan Dam was formally inaugurated in 1971 and was an engineering marvel at the time due to it changing the landscape of Egypt by increasing cultivable land by 30 percent and doubling its electricity supply. 
  • Philae Temple: There were once temples at Philae (construction began in 690 BC) 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.
  • The Botanical Garden: You'll have time to explore the grounds of Kitchener’s Island—also known as the Botanical Garden—a 16-acre island in the Aswan archipelago located between Elephantine Island and The Nile's west bank.  

Day 7: Return to Cairo

The Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo
The Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo

From Aswan, your tour coordinator will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight back to Cairo.

After checking into your hotel, you can spend the rest of the afternoon or evening exploring Cairo, indulging in local cuisine or taking in some last-minute sightseeing—before departing for Jordan tomorrow.

Day 8: Arrive in Amman

The Roman Theater in Amman
The Roman Theater in Amman

After breakfast, your tour coordinator will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight to Amman. A driver will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Amman.

Depending on your time of arrival, you may have some time to explore this bustling capital city.

Suggested activities include:

  • Walk around in Jabal Weibdeh, which is 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.
  • Close to Jabal Weibdeh is also the King Abdullah II Mosque which welcomes visitors. 
  • 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 head through the bustling downtown souks.
  • Head to Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and shisha cafés. You can explore the side roads, and you'll have great views over the surrounding "white hills".
  • Visit the Jordan Museum, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.

Day 9: Amman City Tour - Jerash

The view from Amman Citadel
The view from Amman Citadel

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up for your city tour of Amman. The capital city was called Rabbath Ammon or Rabat Amon by the Ammonites. It was later conquered by the Assyrians, followed by the Persians, and then the Greek Macedonians. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, renamed it Philadelphia.

The city tour includes visiting:

  • The Citadel and its Archeological Museum. 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.
  • Visit the Roman Theater, which is located in downtown Amman. As you walk up the stairs, you'll notice that it is much steeper than it looks from afar.
  • You will then continue to downtown Amman, to stroll through the bustling markets. Here, everything from fruits and vegetables, to clothing and animals, are offered.
  • A panoramic tour of the modern parts of Amman.

After your city tour of Amman, you will set off my car to Jerash. Here, you'll discover the marvel of the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also known as "Antioch on the Golden River". Sites you'll visit in Jerash include The Corinthian Column, Hadrian's Arch, The Circus-Hippodrome, The Two Large Temples (dedicated to Zeus and Artemis), the nearly unique oval forum that's surrounded by a fine colonnade, the long colonnaded street or cardo, the South Theater and the North Theater, two baths as well as a scattering of smaller temples.
You'll return to your hotel in Amman in time for dinner.

Day 10: Transfer to Petra

A view from a rock in Petra
A view from a rock in Petra

After breakfast, you'll depart Amman for a three and a half-hour drive to Petra.

Petra is a historical and archaeological city famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Petra, which is also known as the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved, is the capital city of the Nabateans and seen as a famous symbol of Jordan. UNESCO has described it as one of the most precious cultural properties of man's heritage. 

You can 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. After walking through Siq, you should 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 then climb the 800 steps up to the Monastery, Petra’s largest Temple.

Day 11: Wadi Rum – Dead Sea

A Jeep driving through Wadi Rum desert
A Jeep driving through Wadi Rum desert

After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel and transfer to Wadi Rum.

You'll travel for two hours in a Jeep through the magnificent desert of Wadi Rum which is also known as "the Valley of the Moon". This valley has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times with a significant cultural history including the Nabateans who have left their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples. 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.

In the afternoon, you'll head the lowest point on earth: the Dead Sea. Here, you have a free afternoon to float in the salty waters, go for a full-body mud treatment or relax in the sun. In the evening, you can enjoy the sun going down over the mountains on the other side.

You'll spend the night at a hotel at the Dead Sea.

Day 12: Depart Amman

Airplane departing
Airplane departing

Depending on the time of your flight, you may be able to spend the morning swimming in the Dead Sea or exploring this picturesque area.

Your driver will then transfer you to the airport in Amman in time for your international flight. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Egypt & Jordan Cultural Tour: Cairo, Nile River Cruise, Amman, Petra, The Dead Sea, & more - 12 Days
Map of Egypt & Jordan Cultural Tour: Cairo, Nile River Cruise, Amman, Petra, The Dead Sea, & more - 12 Days