You will arrive in Cairo, where you'll explore the pyramids and Egyptian Museum, before enjoying a three-day cruise along the Nile River with stops at various temples and tombs including the Valley of Kings, Karnak Temple, and more. You'll also sail along the Nile to Aswan and then return to Cairo for your transfer to Casablanca and then Fes, where you'll have two days to discover the bustling medina and picturesque architecture in Fes. After spending one night at Agafay Desert Camp, you'll travel to the red city, Marrakech, where you'll have a few days to visit the city's medina, enjoy a hot air balloon, visit the famous Majorelle Gardens, and much more.

Highlights

  • Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo
  • Discover the rock-cut tombs at the Valley of Kings
  • Sail along the Nile to the ancient Philae Temple
  • Enjoy Moroccan street food at a souk in Fes
  • Float into the sky in a hot air balloon near Marrakech

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 Casablanca - Transfer to Fes Fes
Day 9 Fes Walking Tour Fes
Day 10 Tour of Fes Architecture Fes
Day 11 Meknes - Agafay Desert Camp Agafay
Day 12 Transfer to Marrakech Marrakech
Day 13 Explore Marrakech City Marrakech
Day 14 Marrakech Hot Air Balloon - Majorelle Garden Marrakech
Day 15 Departure  

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.

Day 5: Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples

Egyptian heiroglyphics on columns of the Temple of Horus at Edfu
Egyptian heiroglyphics 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 tomorrow.

Day 8: Casablanca - Transfer to Fes

Hassan II Mosque at sunset
Hassan II Mosque at sunset

After arriving at the airport in Casablanca, a driver will be awaiting your arrival.

You'll have a little time to explore Casablanca and we recommend visiting Hassan II Mosque which is located in a picturesque spot on the sea. While the exterior and surrounding areas of this Mosque are impressive, the lavish interior is designed using wood, marble, carved stone, and gilded ceilings. This Mosque is also one of the few in Morocco that's open to non-Muslim visitors.

After a little exploration time in Casablanca, you'll start your journey to the imperial city Fes.

Fes is known for having one of the world's largest urban car-free zones. While walking through Fes el-Bali, you are literally walking through 1,300 years of Moroccan heritage that has only recently been touched by the advent of globalization and the recent influx of tourists. Even with this uptick in tourism, you'll still be enchanted by the magic of Fes and everything it's endured throughout history. Ancients mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) are dotted through this exquisite city.

Day 9: Fes Walking Tour

In the medina of Fes
In the medina of Fes

After breakfast, you'll meet your local guide for a walking tour and culinary experience through Fes.

This city, which has thousands of alleys and a labyrinth network of short narrow streets accessible only by mules or by foot, Fes is made for discovery. The ancient Medina will fascinate you with its amazing history and local activity. You can participate in the Moroccan Orange Blossom Water “Lma Zhar” demonstration and go deep into the heart of the Fes medina to discover local delicacies of the Fassis people.

Visit three different food souks that all offer the opportunity to try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, spicy sardines, spicy potato cakes, soups, olives, and more. At the honey souk you will be able to taste an array of delicious wild honey, discuss their flavors and health-giving properties and find out why honey is so important in Moroccan cooking and Islamic culture.

Day 10: Tour of Fes Architecture

The University and Mosque of Karaouine
The University and Mosque of Karaouine

After breakfast, you'll meet your local guide and start your journey to Bab Boujloud, one of the ornate gates which welcome travelers into the Medina.

You'll visit ancient buildings such as Meders of Bou Inania, El Attarine (two prominent Qur'an schools), and the University and Mosque of Karaouine. While exploring these buildings, you will notice the harmonious geometrical details that adorn them.

You'll also learn about traditional artisan work at the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts and find out where artisans employ techniques passed down from generation to generation in order to make tools, carpets, furniture, and musical instruments. You can then visit the Jewish quarter. Afterward, venture outside the Medina where the Royal Palace lies, and walk through its large plaza lined with palm trees.

You can end your tour with a trip to the Bab Fettouh cemetery, where you will enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the hills, and the expansive sky.

Day 11: Meknes - Agafay Desert Camp

The Volubilis near Meknes
The Volubilis near Meknes

After breakfast, you'll depart for Agafay Desert Camp with a stop at the imperial city, Meknes, where you can discover this UNESCO listed medina.

The two main points of interest are the Ville Impériale (Imperial City) and the medina. In Ville Impériale, you can visit the Bab al-Mansour gate, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Royal Stables. Meanwhile, just outside of the imperial city, you may want to explore the medina (the Old Town) which is smaller and easier to navigate than the medina in Fes and Marrakech. Other than the scattered souks, you may like to visit the 14th-century Bou Inania Madrasa and the Dar Jamaï Museum, a beautiful 19th-century palace-turned-museum.

You'll then continue the journey to Agafay Desert Camp, and you'll arrive with some time to refresh and enjoy the spectacular sunset.

Day 12: Transfer to Marrakech

Marrakech Market Place
Marrakech Market Place

After breakfast, you will depart to Marrakech. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this city at your leisure.

The bustling city of Marrakech, Morocco's second-largest city, will undoubtedly shock your senses with its vibrant sights, sounds, and smells. “The Red City” is known or its stunning natural red ochre pigment in the walls. Consider using an expert guide for a half-day tour of the history and culture, as well as the medina's hidden gems. 

Suggested activities include:

  • Spend some time in Jemaa el Fna Square, which begins to fill in the late afternoon with musicians, storytellers, acrobats, dancers, henna artists, and snake charmers. As it gets dark, many rows of food stalls will begin to appear, serving anything from full meals to fruit drinks, dried dates, and small snacks.
  • Wander around the souks, alleys, and markets in the medina. Many areas are covered, which can be a nice respite from the heat. A few souks you may want to explore: Souk el Attarin (spices), Souk Haddadine (blacksmiths), and Souk Smata (slippers). 
  • If you're looking to escape the crowd, check out the beautifully renovated 16th-century Medersa Ben Youssef (Koranic school), which once housed students of the nearby mosque of Ben Youssef.
  • If you're up for a 30-minute walk or a quick taxi ride, consider visiting the Majorelle Gardens. These lush, expansive gardens are filled with sub-tropical plants, bamboo, lilies, and palms. It’s the perfect place to escape the afternoon heat and noise for a more relaxing experience.

Day 13: Explore Marrakech City

The old medina in Marrakech
The old medina in Marrakech

You will start off your day of exploring Marrakech from the Old Medina: a key political, economic and cultural center since its founding in 1070. There are several impressive monuments that date from this period, including the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque. Attached to the mosque, the Koutoubia Minaret is just 250 feet tall but towers over the Medina thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids new construction from rising above it.

You'll then visit Dar EL Bacha Palace which is considered a highlight of Moroccan architecture in Marrakech. If the calligrapher is there, you may be able to see an artist at work, creating intricate Arab calligraphy. You'll also visit the archeological masterpiece, the Almoravid Dynasty Dome, which is the oldest monument in the city, dating back to the early 12th century. And you can discover the hidden quarters and the historic caravanserai called Fondouks. These were once used as hotels for the caravan traders and they are still in use today by Marrakech artisans who have set their workshops in many of them. Wander through the stalls and enjoy the local crafts where you can buy a souvenir or two. 

Day 14: Marrakech Hot Air Balloon - Majorelle Garden

Hot air balloons near Marrakech
Hot air balloons near Marrakech

Early in the morning, you'll be picked up for a 40-minute drive out of the city for your hot air balloon ride. You'll be welcomed with coffee, tea, and a big fire as the hot air balloon is prepared. You'll then depart for a one hour ride with unforgettable views over the countryside and Marrakech. Depending on your preference, you can arrange to travel with other people on the hot air balloon or you can book a private tour.

After the hot air balloon ride, there will be a wonderful breakfast waiting for you before you're transferred back to Marrakech by either 10 am or 10:30 am.

You'll have some time to relax or enjoy your own activities over lunch. At 3 pm, your driver will pick you up in time to explore the tropical Jardin Majorelle (Majorelle Garden). The twentieth-century French painter, Jacques Majorelle, spent four decades creating this enchanting oasis within the city. The garden was also lovingly restored under the patronage of the late fashion designer, Yves Saint-Laurent, after he purchased the garden in 1980 with his partner Pierre Bergé. 

Day 15: Departure

An aerial view of Casablanca from the plane
An aerial view of Casablanca from the plane

Your driver will pick you up to transfer you to the airport in time for your international flight.

Map

Map of Egypt & Morocco Highlights: Cairo, Nile River, Fes, Marrakech, & More - 15 Days
Map of Egypt & Morocco Highlights: Cairo, Nile River, Fes, Marrakech, & More - 15 Days