This diverse itinerary showcases Egypt's highlights across land, river, and sea in just 11 days. Start by touring the iconic sites of Giza and venturing deep into Cairo's historic neighborhoods and world-class museums. Then, fly to Aswan and board a cruise to spend three nights journeying up the Nile River. After immersing yourself in the ancient world at Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, transfer to the Red Sea for snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the sun on the beaches of Hurghada.


  • Watch a dazzling light show over the iconic pyramids of Giza
  • Explore the historic gems of Islamic and Coptic Cairo 
  • Cruise from temple to temple as your journey up the Nile
  • Soar above ancient temples on a hot-air balloon ride over Luxor
  • Go snorkeling among vibrant Red Sea corals in Hurghada

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, Great Pyramids Light Show Cairo
Day 2 See the Great Pyramids with a Local Guide Cairo
Day 3 Tour the Egyptian National Museum & Islamic Cairo Cairo
Day 4 Visit the Grand Egyptian Museum, Guided Tour of Coptic Cairo Cairo
Day 5 Fly to Aswan, Tour Aswan's Highlights, Board Nile Cruise Aswan
Day 6 Nile Cruise to Kom Ombo & Edfu Edfu
Day 7 Nile Cruise to Luxor, Explore Luxor's East Bank Luxor
Day 8 Hot-Air Balloon Ride in Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada Hurghada
Day 9 Snorkeling & Submarine Adventures, Dinner at a Bedouin Camp Hurghada
Day 10 Fly to Cairo, Walking Tour of Old Cairo & Khan el-Khalili Cairo
Day 11 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Great Pyramids Light Show

You'll get your first glimpse of the Giza pyramids tonight with a dazzling light show

Welcome to Egypt! You'll spend the next eleven days exploring this desert country from top to bottom, but first—your driver is waiting for you at the airport in an air-conditioned vehicle. Watch as the bustling city center of Cairo unfolds from the comfort of your luxury ride. Once you arrive at your accommodation, take a breather and drop off your bags. 

Tonight, you'll see the pyramids of Giza for the very first time—although maybe not how you expected. Learn about the history of these ancient wonders during the spectacular Great Pyramids Sound and Light Show. You'll meet famous figures who were important not only in Egyptian history but also in the life cycle of the iconic pyramids, along with visuals of how these landmarks were created thousands of years ago. Rest up this later evening back at your hotel, as tomorrow you'll be returning to see this wonder by day.

Day 2: See the Great Pyramids with a Local Guide

Stand in the shadow of the pyramids of Giza

You might have caught your first glimpse of the pyramids last night, but today, you'll get up close and personal with these stone megaliths. Your local guide will lead you around the iconic three pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, helping to unravel their complicated history. The iconic Great Sphinx, watching over the pyramids, is also on the docket, along with a quick detour to Saqqara, an ancient Egyptian necropolis and home to one of the world's oldest major stone structures, the stepped Pyramid of Djoser

Fuel up with lunch at a local restaurant, where you might find favorites like koshary (a mix of pasta, lentils, and veggies), ful medammas (fava bean stew), and molokhia (jute stew). Afterward, head to Memphis, Egypt's ancient capital. Two of the most famous sites that you'll get the pleasure of exploring are the colossal statue of Ramesses II and the Sphinx of Memphis, carved from alabaster and meant to resemble Ramesses the Great.

Day 3: Tour the Egyptian National Museum & Islamic Cairo

Go on a walking tour of Islamic Cairo, including the Alabaster Mosque, with your local guide

Start day three with a visit to the Egyptian National Museum. Located in Old Cairo, this is the largest collection of Pharaonic artifacts in the entire world and the oldest museum in the Middle East. Incredible antiquities like the Narmer Palette, which helped to unite Lower and Upper Egypt, dozens of statues, and findings from several pharaoh's tombs are just a few of the exhibits you can look forward to seeing. You'll also make a pit stop at the Muhammed Ali Mosque, also known as the Alabaster Mosque, to admire its striking facade. 

Your tour continues in the afternoon to one of Cairo's most famous streets—El-Moez. Formally known as El Moez Le Din Allah, El-Moez Street is a concentrated collection of medieval Islamic architecture with monuments like the Bab el-Fetouh and Bab el-Nasr, two ancient gates to the city. Afterward, you'll continue unraveling Cairo's past with your guide, heading north to El-Darb el-Asfar, the ancient Islamic Quarter.

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Day 4: Visit the Grand Egyptian Museum, Guided Tour of Coptic Cairo

Coptic Cairo is home to many sacred Christian sites, like the Hanging Church

Put everything you've seen so far in an even greater context this morning at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). Over 5,000 years of art and relics are housed here. Your guide will help to decipher Egypt's intricate history piece by piece and you'll witness incredible sights like the mummy of King Tut and his spectacular treasure, buried with him over 3,000 years ago. See the impressive Hanging Obelisk alongside over 100,000 other artifacts, like the imposing statue of King Ramesses II, so large that they built the museum's glass atrium around it.

Kick off the rest of the afternoon by diving deeper into Cairo's history in a beautiful and ancient part of the city, Coptic Cairo. This neighborhood was a stronghold of early Christianity, and many of its monuments are pilgrimage sites. The Hanging Church built atop a Roman fortress, and the Church of Abu-Serga, where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were said to have taken refuge, are the highlights of this excursion. 

Day 5: Fly to Aswan, Tour Aswan's Highlights, Board Nile Cruise

You'll set off on a cruise up the Nile this evening, headed toward Luxor

Today you'll get a change of scenery with a quick flight to Aswan from Cairo. Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting at the airport to whisk you off to the banks of the Nile River, where you'll board a cruise ship and check into your cabin. Drop your bags off, then set out with a local guide to get better acquainted with Aswan and its impressive temples before you cast off.

Nicknamed the "Land of Gold," Aswan was once Egypt's Pharaonic seat of power and home to the Nubian kings. The first stop on your tour is a modern marvel and engineering masterpiece, the Aswan High Dam. Constructed in 1960, this dam was built to help control the Nile's yearly floods. You'll then step back in time, paying a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk, which shows how obelisks were cut from the quarries and carved, and the Philae Temple. Nestled on an island in the Nile, this temple was one of the last strongholds of the Egyptian religion. Return to the ship in time for dinner, then set off up the river. 

Day 6: Nile Cruise to Kom Ombo & Edfu

Explore the remarkable Edfu Temple and its elaborate reliefs

Enjoy a decadent breakfast aboard your ship this morning, cruising past beautiful views of palm trees and the idyllic countryside. Your first stop is at the Temple of Kom Ombo, where you'll disembark to explore. Looking out over the river from its hilltop precipice, this Ptolemaic temple is rather unusual for Egypt in that it honors two gods and has separate entrances depending on which god Egyptians were there to worship. Dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek, as well as Horus the Elder, the temple's stone pillars are impressive and decorated with their own set of impressive reliefs. 

Reboard in time for lunch on deck as you continue cruising north to your next stop at Edfu. Home to immaculately preserved temples, you'll step ashore with your guide to tour the Temple of Horus, also known as the Temple of Edfu. This site is one of the best preserved Ptolemaic temples in Egypt and you'll get to stroll through its stone courts and sanctuaries, admiring its intricate carvings. Head back to the ship in time for dinner and another peaceful night on the river.

Day 7: Nile Cruise to Luxor, Explore Luxor's East Bank

Wander through the Luxor Temple with your expert guide

Next stop, Luxor! You'll spend the morning cruising north, watching as pastoral landscapes and scenes of traditional Nile life slide past you. Egyptians once traveled the Nile by traditional felucca, and you'll still spot many of these wooden sailboats traversing the river today. As you pull into Luxor, grab a bite to eat for lunch before heading out with your very own private Egyptologist guide, who will help unravel thousands of years of history in this important ancient city, littered with fascinating temples and often referred to as the "world's largest open-air museum."

Your first stop this afternoon is the impressive Karnak Temple. This is one of, if not the, most important religious building in ancient Egypt. It's thought that the universe was created here and was dedicated to the god Amon, nicknamed the "King of the Gods." Stroll between its jaw-dropping pillars, carved with religious reliefs and hieroglyphs, before moving on to another remarkable site, the Luxor Temple and its towering obelisk. Head back to the ship later on, where you'll spend a final evening moored on the river. 

Day 8: Hot-Air Balloon Ride in Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada

Float over the Valley of the Temples in a hot-air balloon

It's an early start this morning—but the wake-up call will be worth it when you're floating high above the desert in a hot-air balloon. You'll soar over Luxor's West Bank and its many monuments as your guide points out landmarks below. Back on solid ground, your explorations continue as you venture into one of Luxor's (and Egypt's) most important sites, the Valley of the Kings. Remember King Tut's magnificent treasure you witnessed at the Grand Egyptian Museum? You'll get to see the site of his tomb today, as well as that of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's only female pharaoh. 

Before long, it will be time to say goodbye to Luxor and your Nile River cruise. You'll leave the pharaohs behind this afternoon, exchanging the desert for the Red Sea. You can spend the four-hour drive reflecting on your incredible morning, soaring above Luxor, or catch some sleep after your early morning. When you arrive, you'll see why the trek to Hurghada is worth the journey as you settle into your seaside hotel and head to the beach in time for the sunset.

Day 9: Snorkeling & Submarine Adventures, Dinner at a Bedouin Camp

Snorkel over colorful reefs at Giftun Island National Park

Today is free for you to explore Hurghada however you like. You can choose to simply relax seaside in one of the resort lounge chairs or go on an adventure. One highlight is a snorkeling excursion around nearby Giftun Island, where you'll have the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, see vibrant coral reefs that are teeming with marine life, and enjoy both breakfast and a delicious lunch buffet onboard the boat. Or, if a day of swimming isn't quite your speed, stay dry as you dive beneath the Red Sea's surface on a submarine ride. 

Tonight, you'll have the opportunity to end the day in a once-in-a-lifetime way as you set off by dune buggy to a Bedouin camp in the middle of the desert. Here, you'll learn about the Bedouin's nomadic way of life, have the opportunity to ride a camel, watch a traditional performance, and enjoy a barbecue dinner while the sun dips below the sand.

Day 10: Fly to Cairo, Walking Tour of Old Cairo & Khan el-Khalili

Hunt for souvenirs at the Khan el-Khalili bazaar

This morning, you'll fly back to the capital for one last hurrah before it's time to head home. Before you know it, you'll be right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, and you'll set off right away on one last Egyptian adventure—sifting through the Khan el-Khalili bazaar.

This chaotic part of the city might seem intimidating, but you'll follow in the footsteps of your trusty guide, who knows the best places to grab those last-minute souvenirs. Wind between stacks of rugs and towers of spices, and try your hand at bargaining with the help of your guide. Later, you'll have the evening free to enjoy a final celebratory dinner in Cairo.

Day 11: Depart Cairo

Wave goodbye to Cairo from your plane window

It's time to say your goodbyes to Egypt and its ancient wonders today. Your private driver will be waiting outside your accommodation to take you straight to the airport. Safe travels!

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