This whirlwind eight-day itinerary checks off some of Egypt's most iconic cultural highlights and then heads to the beach for some well-earned relaxation. Take a food tour of Cairo, stand in the shadow of the Great Pyramids, and see Aswan's sights from a traditional felucca sailboat. After touring the magnificent temples and complexes of Luxor, transfer to the Red Sea to soak up some sun on the white sand beaches of Hurghada.


  • Sample Cairo's culinary delights on an afternoon food tour
  • Walk in the footsteps of history at the Great Pyramids of Giza 
  • See the sights of Aswan from a traditional felucca sailboat
  • Watch the sunset over the Temple of Luxor
  • Relax on the Red Sea beaches of Hurghada

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Cairo! Cairo
Day 2 Discover the Great Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum Cairo
Day 3 Transfer to Aswan, Tour the Temple of Philae & Aswan Dam Aswan
Day 4 Transfer to Luxor, Temples of Kom Ombo & Edfu En Route Luxor
Day 5 Valley of the Kings Excursion, Transfer to Hurghada & the Red Sea Hurghada
Day 6 Hurghada Beach Day Hurghada
Day 7 Explore Hurghada & Desert Safari Hurghada
Day 8 Depart Egypt  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Cairo!

Ancient meets modern in Cairo
Ancient meets modern in Cairo

Welcome to Egypt! Upon your arrival at Cairo's airport, you'll be met by your guide who will assist you through customs and arrange a transfer to your hotel. Get settled in, then head out for a gastronomic tour of Cairo. As rich in history and culture as it is in calories, this experience takes you on a walk 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 2: Discover the Great Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum

See the iconic Sphinx on today's tour of Giza

After breakfast, embark on a memorable excursion to Egypt's most iconic wonders. Start at the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Mykerinus, before continuing to the oldest known monumental sculpture and largest monolith statue in the world—the towering Sphinx. You'll also discover the Valley Temple, attributed to the 26th-century BCE King Chefren and used for part of the mummification process. Finally, you'll pay a visit to the Egyptian Museum where you can see the collection of Tutankhamen among other splendid pharaonic artifacts. 

Day 3: Transfer to Aswan, Tour the Temple of Philae & Aswan Dam

Tour the beautiful Temple of Philae in Aswan
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This morning you will catch a quick flight south to Aswan, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile. Here you'll meet your guide and embark on a tour of the beautiful Temple of Philae, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis. Afterward, visit Egypt's remarkable engineering achievement of the modern era, the Aswan High Dam.

Get settled into your hotel, then head to the river to take a ride on a felucca (a traditional river sailboat) for panoramic views of the Botanical Gardens, Elephantine Island, and Agha Khan Mausoleum

In the evening, you'll have free time to browse the Aswan Old Market for souvenirs before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 4: Transfer to Luxor, Visit Temples of Kom Ombo & Edfu En Route

Visit the Luxor Temple at sunset

Today you'll set out for Luxor with a three-hour transfer, stopping along the way to visit two magnificent ancient tombs. The first, Kom Ombo, was built during the Ptolemaic era and dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). You can admire its many intact courts and halls, along with wall carvings and statues. Continue towards Luxor to stop again at Edfu, home to the Temple of Horus and considered one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt.

Upon arrival in Luxor, you can get settled into your hotel, then enjoy a spectacular desert sunset over the famous Luxor Temple.

Day 5: Valley of the Kings Excursion, Transfer to Hurghada & the Red Sea

Hot Air Balloon over the temples in Luxor
Diving in the Red Sea near Hurghada

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 by car to discover the 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.

Then 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 6: Hurghada Beach Day

Relax on Hurghada's stunning Red Sea beaches

Today is yours to spend completely at your leisure, relaxing on Hurghada's white-sand beaches and swimming in the warm waters of the Red Sea.

Day 7: Explore Hurghada & Desert Safari

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: Depart Egypt

Enjoy one last morning on the Red Sea before heading to the airport

After breakfast, you'll bid Egypt farewell and transfer to the Hurghada Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Egypt Itineraries

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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Map of Essential Egypt: Cairo, Aswan, Luxor & Hurghada - 8 Days
Map of Essential Egypt: Cairo, Aswan, Luxor & Hurghada - 8 Days