This far-reaching 15-day tour combines Egypt's iconic landmarks with off-the-beaten-path treasures. Visit the Pyramids of Giza, explore Alexandria's historic center, and join a food and walking tour of Cairo. Then, unwind in the remote Siwa Oasis before boarding a three-day cruise down the Nile, stopping at ancient temples. Finally, dive into adventure in Hurghada with snorkeling in the Red Sea and desert quad biking to a Bedouin village before returning to Cairo for a dinner cruise.


  • Dip your toes in the Cleopatra Spring in the Siwa Oasis of the Western Desert
  • Stop at the Temple of Edfu and Philae Temple on your Nile cruise
  • Swim with dolphins in the waters of the Red Sea around the Giftun Islands 
  • Ride a Bedouin camel to see the sunset over the desert in Hurghada
  • Witness the colorful spinning tanoura dancers of Cairo

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, Watch the Sunset from Cairo Tower Cairo
Day 2 Explore the Giza Pyramid Complex, Egyptian Museum & Old Cairo Cairo
Day 3 Day Trip to Alexandria, Guided Tour of the Ancient City Cairo
Day 4 Full-Day Tour of the NMEC, Cairo Citadel & Al-Muizz Street  Cairo
Day 5 Transfer to the Siwa Oasis via El-Alamein & Marsa Matrouh Siwa
Day 6 Full-Day Tour of the Siwa Oasis Siwa
Day 7 Transfer to Cairo, Food & Walking Tour Cairo
Day 8 Fly to Aswan, Explore the City's Landmarks, Board a Nile Cruise Aswan
Day 9 Cruise to Edfu via the Temple of Kom Ombo Edfu
Day 10 Cruise to Luxor, Visit the East Bank of Luxor Temples Luxor
Day 11 Discover the Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada Hurghada
Day 12 Snorkel Tour to the Giftun Islands Hurghada
Day 13 Sunset Desert Safari Trip by Quad Bike Hurghada
Day 14 Fly to Cairo, Dinner on the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant Cairo
Day 15 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Watch the Sunset from Cairo Tower

Head to the top of Cairo Tower to watch the sunset over the capital city

Welcome to the bustling capital of Egypt, Cairo! Meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel. After refreshing, venture out with your tour driver to Gezira Island in the Nile River to watch the sunset from Cairo Tower—the city's highest point at 614 feet (187 m). Take an elevator to the observation deck and enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape and winding river below. Head down a few floors and choose from the stationary or revolving restaurants for dinner while you watch the sun slowly set, casting a golden glow over the towering minarets, ancient monuments, and bustling streets.

Day 2: Explore the Giza Pyramid Complex, Egyptian Museum & Old Cairo

Wander across the Giza Plateau to see the three main pyramids and the Great Sphinx 

Begin your full-day guided tour around the Giza Plateau (home to three of Egypt's most iconic pyramids) by starting at the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to the Pyramid of Khafre, the best preserved of the three pyramids, as the original stone still sits at the tip, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three. After admiring the exterior of each pyramid and exploring the inside where possible, head to the Great Sphinx, a colossal statue depicting a lion's body with a pharaoh's head. 

After lunch, return to the city to visit the Egyptian Museum, which houses over 120,000 genuine artifacts spanning over 5,000 years. Admire the vast collection of manuscripts, jewelry, statues, and more before heading to Old Cairo, where you can visit Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, better known as the "Hanging Church," as its nave is suspended above a Roman fortress gatehouse, giving it the illusion of hanging over the street below. End the tour at the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, believed to be the site where the Holy Family sought refuge during their flight into Egypt.

Day 3: Day Trip to Alexandria, Guided Tour of the Ancient City

Admire the 15th-century Citadel of Qaitbay overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Leave the city behind for the day as you set off on a 2.5-hour transfer to Alexandria, one of the oldest cities in the world. When you arrive, head to Pompey's Pillar, built to honor the victory of Emperor Diocletian over an Alexandrian rebellion at the end of the fourth century. After admiring the colossal 82-foot (25 m) structure, continue to the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa, a burial site for Egyptian, Greek, and Roman residents for centuries. Explore the underground chambers and the labyrinthine network of tunnels adorned with intricate carvings, statues, and frescoes.

Sit down for lunch at a local restaurant, then head to the Citadel of Qaitbay, which was built on the site of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Step through the sturdy walls and discover the courtyards and chambers adorned with Islamic architecture and intricate carvings. End the tour at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the largest library in the Middle East, built to pay homage to the legendary Library of Alexandria. Enter to see the expansive halls lined with books, manuscripts, and multimedia resources before transferring back to your hotel in Cairo. 

Day 4: Full-Day Tour of the NMEC, Cairo Citadel & Al-Muizz Street 

Wander through the vast Cairo Citadel perched atop the Muqattam Hills

Enjoy another day of sightseeing in Cairo, starting at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) to learn more about the country's diverse history, spanning over 4,000 years. Step inside the grand halls and browse the museum's wealth of artifacts, from ancient relics and monumental statues to intricately decorated tombs and glittering jewelry. Continue to the Cairo Citadel, a stronghold built atop the Muqattam Hills to protect the city from Crusader attacks. 

View the ancient ramparts, towering bastions, and delicate carvings adorning the walls until you reach the Mohamed Ali Mosque, also known as the "Alabaster Mosque." Renowned for its elegant domes, towering minarets, and pristine marble facade, the mosque offers a respite from the bustling streets below. Your next stop is Old Cairo for a stroll down the pedestrian-only Al-Muizz li-Din Allah al-Fatimi Street. Pass historic mosques, mausoleums, and palaces to arrive at Khan el-Khalili, a bustling 14th-century bazaar where you'll find an abundance of handmade goods and local delights.

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Day 5: Transfer to the Siwa Oasis via El-Alamein & Marsa Matrouh

Stop for lunch in the coastal town of Marsa Matrouh

Trade the capital city for the desert this morning as you set off on an eight-hour transfer to the Siwa Oasis, an urban oasis nestled in the Western Desert near the border with Libya. Try to snag a window seat to watch the passing arid plains, rolling dunes, and intermittent oases dotting the landscape. Break up the drive with a stop at the El-Alamein Military Museum to learn about the soldiers from various nations who fought in the North African campaign during World War II. Step inside and browse the comprehensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits.

Back in the car, continue to the coastal town of Marsa Matrouh for lunch at a local restaurant. When you're done eating, stretch your legs with a walk along the beachfront promenade before completing the journey to the oasis. When you arrive in the late afternoon, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Stay in to enjoy the hotel's amenities or make your way to the town center, lined with traditional Berber architecture, to find somewhere for dinner. Try a Siwan tajine casserole, made with tender meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices, to end the night. 

Day 6: Full-Day Tour of the Siwa Oasis

Cool off at Cleopatra Spring before lunch

Get ready for a full-day tour of the Siwa Oasis, starting in Shali Old Town, a mostly abandoned ancient Berber settlement. Wander along the labyrinthine streets to see the centuries-old honey-colored buildings, the most notable being the Shali Fortress, perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the oasis. Continue to the Siwa House Museum to learn more about the traditions, lifestyle, and customs of the Berber people. Admire the traditional handicrafts, clothing, tools, and jewelry before heading to Amon Temple, where you'll be greeted by towering columns and intricate carvings.

Wander through the sacred halls and sanctuaries, all dedicated to the god of wind, Amun. Then, move on to dip your toes in Cleopatra Spring, a freshwater spring believed to have been frequented by Queen Cleopatra. After lunch, overlooking the turquoise waters, head to the Bir Wahed, a hot spring surrounded by towering dunes. Climb to the top of one of the dunes to watch the sun dip below the horizon. When darkness starts to fall, transfer to a Bedouin camp for dinner under the stars, then return to the hotel to rest after an action-packed day.

Day 7: Transfer to Cairo, Food & Walking Tour

Sample authentic Egyptian food, like the national dish, koshary

Hit the road again and transfer eight hours back to Cairo, making regular stops to stretch your legs and grab something to eat. When you arrive in the capital, check into your hotel and refresh before venturing on a food and walking tour. Spend four hours eating and drinking like a local, sampling delicious dishes such as falafel, kebab, or koshary—Egypt's national dish of rice, macaroni, lentils, and chickpeas topped with tomato sauce and crispy fried onions.

Wash everything down with popular drinks like hibiscus tea, sugar cane juice, or tamarind juice. While you eat and drink, learn about the regional history and ingredients of each dish, as well as the history, traditions, and culture of the locals. End the tour with a local dessert, such as konafa, shredded phyllo dough layered with butter and nuts drenched in a sweet syrup, or basbousa, a semolina cake soaked in a sweet syrup. 

Day 8: Fly to Aswan, Explore the City's Landmarks, Board a Nile Cruise

Take a boat to Philae Temple, dedicated to the Egyptian goddess of love, healing, fertility, and magic

Say goodbye to Cairo again this morning as you head to the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Aswan, your starting point for a three-night cruise down the Nile. Before you board, visit some of the city's main highlights, starting at the Aswan High Dam, an engineering marvel built in 1960 to protect Egypt from floods, increase cultivable land, and double the country's electricity supply. Visit the Unfinished Obelisk next, a colossal 137-foot (42 m) long structure that still resides in the stone quarry where it was being carved.

Following your walk around the largest known ancient obelisk, jump on a boat and cruise to Philae Temple on Agilkia Island. As you approach the temple dedicated to Isis, the goddess of love, healing, fertility, magic, and the moon, admire the grand colonnaded courtyard. Then, step inside the inner sanctuary and sacred precincts to learn more about Isis and her importance in ancient Egyptians' religious beliefs. In the evening, transfer to the cruise ship and check in, then enjoy dinner overlooking the river while the sun sets. 

Day 9: Cruise to Edfu via the Temple of Kom Ombo

Admire the Temple of Edfu's colossal facade before stepping inside to explore

Enjoy breakfast on the ship as you cruise north to the Temple of Kom Ombo, a double temple dedicated to Horus and the god of the Nile, fertility, and crocodiles, Sobek. Explore the twin sanctuaries, courtyards, and halls in both temples, visiting the Hypostyle Hall to see the rows of columns adorned with intricate carvings and colorful paintings. After exploring the temple, return to the ship for a relaxed lunch while you cruise.

In the afternoon, you'll reach Edfu, where you'll disembark again to explore the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god of kingship, healing, protection, the sun, and the sky. Admire the massive facade of one of the largest temples in the country, then step inside to see the towering columns engraved with scenes depicting the triumph of good over evil in the eternal battle between Horus and his nemesis, Seth. Then, once you're back on board, enjoy a delicious dinner and spend your evening at leisure.

Day 10: Cruise to Luxor, Visit East Bank of Luxor Temples

Wander around Karnak and admire the towering columns adorned with intricate hieroglyphs

Savor breakfast and lunch on board as you make your way up the river to Luxor, where an Egyptologist guide will be waiting to take you to Karnak, the second-largest temple complex in the world after Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Walk down the Avenue of Sphinxes, lined with well-preserved sphinx statues, and enter the sprawling 250-acre (100 ha) complex. Wander through the Great Court, where colossal statues of pharaohs and gods stand, then continue deeper to the Hypostyle Hall to see the towering columns adorned with elaborate hieroglyphs.

Once outside, follow what's left of the Avenue of Sphinxes to the entrance of Luxor Temple, which served as a focal point for religious worship and celebration during the New Kingdom period. Look at the towering pillars adorned with engravings depicting scenes from Egyptian mythology and history, then step through the monumental gateway. Admire the chapels and shrines dedicated to different deities, stopping at the inner sanctuary, where the statue of the god of the air, the sun, and creation, Amun-Ra, was once housed before returning to the ship for the evening.

Day 11: Discover the Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada

Explore the Valley of the Kings and the adjacent complex of mortuary temples, Deir el-Bahari

After one last breakfast on board, trade the cruise ship for a tour of the Valley of the Kings, just 30 minutes outside Luxor. This UNESCO-listed necropolis was the burial site for many famous noblemen and pharaohs, including Tutankhamun. Stop at three tombs to witness their elaborate resting places and learn more about ancient Egypt's afterlife beliefs and royal rituals. Admire the hieroglyphs adorning each tomb, depicting the occupant's journey to the afterlife and their encounters with gods and goddesses. 

Head up to the adjacent Deir el-Bahari, a complex of mortuary temples dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut set against the towering cliffs. Admire the expansive terraces, colonnaded halls, and intricately carved reliefs celebrating the queen's divine right to rule. Then, take in the sweeping views of the surrounding landscape from the grand terrace. After exploring the temples and tombs, begin the four-hour transfer to your hotel in Hurghada, a coastal city on the Red Sea.

Day 12: Snorkel Tour to the Giftun Islands

Snorkel around the pristine Giftun Islands to look for tropical fish, sea turtles, and dolphins

Put your bathing suit on and get ready for a full day on the water as you hop on a boat to the Giftun Islands, two islands in the Red Sea. Renowned for their vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, the islands' crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling. When you arrive, don your gear and jump into the warm turquoise waters to look for schools of tropical fish, including butterflyfish, clownfish, and parrotfish. You may also spot moray eels and sea turtles if you're lucky. 

Spend the day exploring multiple snorkeling sites around the islands and swimming with the resident dolphins where possible. When you've worked up an appetite, return to the boat to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch on board overlooking the tranquil sea. Then, take a break from snorkeling to partake in watersports, such as parasailing, jet skiing, and kayaking, before cruising back to the jetty and transferring to your hotel to dry off and rest.

Day 13: Sunset Desert Safari Trip by Quad Bike

Explore the desert around Hurghada on a quad bike

Enjoy a relaxing morning on one of Hurghada's many beaches, such as Old Vic Beach near the city center. Lie on the golden sands, swim in the calm waters, or stroll along the shoreline of the Red Sea. For lunch, head to Sheraton Road to browse the array of restaurants and cafés offering Egyptian and international fare. When it's time, return to the hotel to change and meet your driver for a transfer to the surrounding desert for a quad bike tour across the sandy terrain. Complete a safety briefing, then jump on the quad bike to navigate the dunes, winding trails, and expansive desert for 40 minutes. 

Switch to a spider buggy for 15 minutes, then hop in a Jeep and head to a nearby Bedouin village, where you'll learn about the locals' life, traditions, and culture. Switch to your final mode of transport, a camel, and ride off to watch the sunset over the desert. When darkness starts to fall, return to the village for a barbecue dinner and folkloric performance put on by your hosts. Enjoy traditional music, dance, and storytelling under the stars before transferring back to your hotel.

Day 14: Fly to Cairo, Dinner on the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant

Nile Pharaoh Dinner Cruise Cairo
Board the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant to enjoy dinner on the river

Bid farewell to Hurghada this morning as you head to the airport to catch a one-hour flight back to Cairo. When you arrive, meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel, where you can relax until this evening's dinner cruise. When it's time, meet your guide in the lobby and head to the dock to board the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant—a luxurious vessel that resembles a Pharaonic barge. Enjoy panoramic views of Cairo's skyline from the top deck while the sun slowly sets over the city and the winding Nile River.

Peruse the extensive buffet featuring an array of tempting Egyptian and international dishes and desserts. While dining, enjoy live music with traditional belly dancing and Cairo tanoura dancing. Be mesmerized as the tanoura dancers (or whirling dervishes) spin faster and faster for up to 30 minutes at a time, their colorful multilayered circular skirts blurring like spinning tops. After the dinner and show, head up on deck to enjoy the breeze and the city's glittering landmarks before returning to the dock, after two hours on the water, and transferring back to your hotel. 

Day 15: Depart Cairo

Revisit Khan el-Khalili bazaar to look for last-minute souvenirs

After spending 15 days exploring Egypt's natural landscapes, iconic landmarks, and rich culture, your journey comes to a close today. If you have some time before your flight, you could explore more of the city on your own or revisit landmarks like Khan el-Khalili to shop for last-minute mementos. When it's time, return to the hotel to grab your bags and meet your driver, then transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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