This two-week journey features an appealing mix of culture, history, and outdoor adventure. The itinerary starts in Egypt, where you'll sightsee in Cairo, visit the Pyramids of Giza, cruise down the Nile River on a boat, and tour the ancient temples at Luxor. Then you'll cross the border to Jordan, where the second part of the trip begins. You'll see the jaw-dropping "Rose City" of Petra, go on a safari around Wadi Rum, and take it easy by the Dead Sea.

Highlights

  • Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Cruise along the Nile to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings
  • Learn about Cairo's Islamic history on a dedicated tour
  • Experience the magic of the ancient city of Petra 
  • Go on a safari around Wadi Rum and relax by the Dead Sea

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Visit the Pyramids of Giza & See Memphis Cairo
Day 3 Tour the Egyptian Museum & Learn about Islamic Cairo Cairo
Day 4 Cruise Down the Nile to Luxor Luxor
Day 5 Continue Nile Cruise to the Valley of the Kings Esna
Day 6 Discover Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples Kom Ombo
Day 7 Travel to Aswan & Philae Temple by Boat Aswan
Day 8 Back to Cairo Cairo
Day 9 Cross the Border to Jordan Amman
Day 10 City Tour of Amman Umm Qais
Day 11 Visit Madaba & Mount Nebo Petra
Day 12 Experience the Majesty of Petra & Camp in Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 13 Relax by the Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 14 Depart  

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

Welcome to Egypt! After arriving in Cairo — one of the largest cities in Africa and in the Middle East — you'll head to your hotel. You'll be free to relax and rest in time before the tour begins. You could also start exploring the city, venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of many excellent restaurants.

Day 2: Visit the Pyramids of Giza & See Memphis

Giza Pyramids
The great Giza Pyramids

After breakfast, you will meet your guide and travel to Giza, located outside of Cairo, where you will see the three major pyramids at its necropolis complex. Your guide will explain the history of the construction of the Pyramids of Giza: the Great Pyramid of Giza, Cheops, and the smaller Chephren and Mykerinos. Next, you'll head to Memphis, an ancient Egyptian capital, to see the Pyramid of Saqqara and the Pyramid of Djoser.

Day 3: Tour the Egyptian Museum & Learn About Islamic Cairo

Shopping in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

Meet your guide, who will accompany you on your day exploring the city and its sites. Today's activities include the Egyptian Museum, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures, including the tomb of King Tut. Then learn about Islamic Cairo at the Citadel of Saladin See, an important example of military architecture from the Middle Ages, and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, a monumental mosque that was built during the Mamluk period of the 1300s. Finally, hunt for treasures in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, a souk in the historical center of Islamic Cairo, where you can shop for lamps, rugs, jewelry, and more.

Day 4: Cruise Down the Nile to Luxor

A cruise ship on The Nile near Luxor
Luxor Temple from the Nile

After breakfast, you'll take a 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 board your cruise ship and start the journey down the Nile.

Today's stops include the Karnak Temple, one of Egypt’s largest surviving temples. Founded in the Middle Kingdom, it was once a key religious center. You'll also visit Luxor Temple, a massive temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile. It was founded during the New Kingdom around 1400 BCE.

Day 5: Continue Nile Cruise to the 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. You'll visit the Valley of the Kings to see rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) dating from the 16th to 11th century BCE. Stop at the Colossi of Memnon to see the ruins of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. What remains are two imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that were erected to guard the temple's entrance. Then head to Hatshepsut Temple. The memorial 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 onboard as you sail to Esna.

Day 6: Discover Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples

Egyptian heiroglyphics on columns of the Temple of Horus at Edfu
Egyptian hieroglyphics at the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The next stop on your Nile cruise will be to see the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo with a guide who will explain the significance of these temples in further detail. The Temple of Horus at Edfu was constructed between 237 BCE and 57 BCE. It is one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt, and inside you can still make out many of its inscriptions. The Temple of Sobek and Haroeris at Kom Ombo was dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). Many of the walls of its courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms are still intact, along with wall carvings and statues. 

Day 7: Travel to Aswan & Philae Temple by Boat

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. There, you will have a chance to get off the ship and explore more sights, one of which is the Aswan High Dam, built in the 1960s and completed in 1970. It was an engineering marvel at the time, as it increased Egypt's cultivable land by 30 percent and doubled its electricity supply. 

Next, visit Philae Temple. There were once temples at Philae — construction began in 690 BCE — 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. Finally, tour the Botanical Garden. Located on Kitchener's Island in the Aswan archipelago, it's a picturesque place to finish the day's itinerary.

Day 8: Circle Back to Cairo for a Night

The Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo
Shopping for lamps in Cairo

It's time to say farewell to the boat and take a connecting flight to Cairo. The afternoon is free to explore or relax: sit in an outdoor café, try some Egyptian cuisine, go shopping for souvenirs, or do any sightseeing you didn't have time for earlier in the trip. You'll spend the night in Cairo before continuing on to Jordan the next day, where the adventure continues. 

Day 9: Cross the Border to Amman

The Roman Theater in Amman
The Roman Theater in Amman

After breakfast, you'll catch a flight to Amman. Welcome to Jordan! You'll have some time this afternoon to explore this bustling capital city. Walk around in Jabal Weibdeh, 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. Stop into the King Abdullah II Mosque and 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 browse through the downtown souks. Head to Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, filled with shops, restaurants, and shisha cafés. Finally, visit the Jordan Museum, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.

Day 10: City Tour of Amman 

The view from Amman Citadel
The view from Amman Citadel

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up for a guided city tour of Amman. The capital city was called Rabbath Ammon or Rabat Amon by the Ammonites. It was later conquered by the Assyrians, then the Persians, and then the Greek Macedonians. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, renamed it Philadelphia. You'll cover some of the sights listed on the previous day's itinerary, if you haven't visited them already, and walk around downtown Amman's colorful marketplaces.

Later, travel by car to Jerash to discover the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also known as "Antioch on the Golden River." Highlights here include the Corinthian Column, Hadrian's Arch, the Circus-Hippodrome, and two large temples dedicated to Zeus and Artemis. You'll return to your hotel in Amman in time for dinner.

Day 11: Visit Madaba & Mount Nebo

Madaba
Spires and domes in Madaba

Transfer to Madaba today, known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. Visit Saint George Church, famous for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Then visit Mount Nebo, the mountaintop memorial of Moses with captivating views of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, and the River Jordan. It's mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land that he would never enter. Continue on to Petra, where you'll spend the night.

Day 12: Experience the Majesty of Petra & Camp in Wadi Rum

Wady Rum
Otherworldly landscapes at Wadi Rum

Today you'll experience the wonder of Petra, a historic city and archeological site famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. A nickname for Petra is "Rose City," due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. Known as the capital city of the Nabateans, it's an iconic symbol of Jordan. UNESCO described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." 

Later in the day, you'll continue to Wadi Rum, also known as "The Valley of the Moon" due to its sandstone and granite rock surfaces. Inhabited by human cultures since prehistoric times, it's full of ancient rock paintings and majestic temples. You'll explore the area on a safari in a 4x4 vehicle driven by a local guide before sleeping at a traditional camp. 

Day 13: Relax by the Dead Sea

A beach on the Dead Sea

Have breakfast at the camp in Wadi Rum before continuing on to the Dead Sea. At 1,401 feet (427 meters) below sea level, it's the lowest point on the planet. The body of water is roughly 1,000 feet (306 meters) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was also one of the world's first health resorts, and it has been a long-time supplier of a wide variety of health and beauty products, not to mention balms for Egyptian mummification. Take some time to relax and enjoy the incredible scenery before the trip ends.

Day 14: Depart

Amman, Jordan

Go for a morning swim in the Dead Sea before packing your bags. You'll transfer to the airport in Amman in time for your international flight. Safe travels!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other 14-day Egypt itineraries, with Nile River cruises, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.