Discover Egypt and Jordan's iconic highlights on this 15-day tour, beginning in historic Cairo's museums and streets. You'll spend three days temple-hopping down the Nile, snorkel around the Giftun Islands off Hurghada, and ride a camel or quad bike in a Bedouin desert village. Then, trade one desert for another as you camp in Wadi Rum and discover the "Rose City" of Petra at your own pace before taking a road trip down the King's Highway to explore ancient ruins in Amman and float in the Dead Sea.


  • Watch a traditional Egyptian folk performance in a 16th-century Cairo caravanserai
  • Sail to Aswan's landmarks aboard a felucca, a traditional wooden sailboat
  • Ride a horse-drawn carriage through the bustling streets of Edfu 
  • Cruise down the Nile to explore the Valley of the Kings
  • Tour Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo to learn about the city's religious history

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo (Egypt), Cultural Performance at Wekalet El Ghoury Cairo
Day 2 Visit the Egyptian Museum, Guided Tour of Old Cairo Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Aswan, Board Nile Cruise, Explore Aswan's Landmarks Aswan
Day 4 Visit Abu Simbel & the Temple of Kom Ombo  Kom Ombo
Day 5 Visit Edfu Temple, Cruise to Luxor, Explore the East Bank Luxor
Day 6 Explore the Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada Hurghada
Day 7 Boat Trip to the Giftun Islands Hurghada
Day 8 Jeep Tour Through the Desert, Visit a Bedouin Village Hurghada
Day 9 Enjoy a Free Day in Hurghada Hurghada
Day 10 Fly to Cairo, Guided Tour of Islamic Cairo's Landmarks Cairo
Day 11 Fly to Amman (Jordan), Transfer to Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 12 Transfer to Petra, Explore the Archaeological Site at Your Own Pace Petra
Day 13 Transfer to Amman via the King's Highway Amman
Day 14 Guided City Tour, Transfer to the Dead Sea, Afternoon at Leisure The Dead Sea
Day 15 Relaxed Morning in the Dead Sea, Transfer to Amman, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo (Egypt), Cultural Performance at Wekalet El Ghoury

Watch the talented dancers twirl gracefully as they perform tanoura

Welcome to the bustling capital of Egypt, Cairo! Meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel in the city, where you can relax until this evening's dinner and cultural performance. When it's time, head to Wekalet El Ghoury, a 16th-century caravanserai (roadside inn along major trade routes) that serves as the backdrop for traditional Egyptian music and dance performances. Step inside the vast courtyard, where you'll immediately be surrounded by the sound of live music played on traditional folk instruments.

Sit down for an authentic Egyptian dinner while you watch a troupe of skilled dancers perform tanoura, a folk dance characterized by its swirling skirts and hypnotic movements. Watch the dancers twirl gracefully on stage as their colorful skirts billow and swirl around them, accompanied by mesmerizing music and chanting. Each dance conveys spiritual and philosophical concepts through the enchanting dance moves, so pay close attention. After the performances, return to the hotel to rest. 

Day 2: Visit the Egyptian Museum, Guided Tour of Old Cairo

Admire the facade of the 14th-century Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan

Join your guide for a full-day tour of the capital, starting at the Egyptian Museum, home to a collection of over 120,000 artifacts spanning more than 5,000 years. Wander through the vast halls housing statues, jewelry, mummies, and the mask of the renowned pharaoh, Tutankhamun. After spending two hours in the museum, continue to Coptic Cairo, a small district within Old Cairo that's home to some of the country's oldest churches and religious sites. Pass landmarks like Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, the Fortress of Babylon, the Coptic Museum, and St. George's Church. 

Stop at the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, believed to have provided refuge to the Holy Family during their flight into Egypt. End the tour at the Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan, built in the 14th century during the Mamluk era. All visitors are welcome to admire the towering minarets and intricate stone carvings outside before entering to discover the vast courtyard, towering prayer hall, and adjoining madrasa (Islamic school). After exploring the mosque, wander the historic district's streets to sample street food or sit down for an authentic Egyptian dinner.

Day 3: Fly to Aswan, Board Nile Cruise, Explore Aswan's Landmarks

Cruise to Agilkia Island to explore Philae Temple

Say goodbye to Cairo this morning as you head to the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Aswan, your gateway to the Nile River. When you land, meet your driver at the airport and head to the pier to board a small boat to Agilkia Island, where Philae Temple awaits your discovery. Disembark and explore the temple complex dedicated to the goddess Isis, who embodies love, magic, and motherhood in Egyptian mythology. Admire the well-preserved colonnades, intricately carved reliefs, and hieroglyphics adorning the walls before continuing to the cruise ship for lunch and check-in.

In the afternoon, trade the cruise ship for a felucca, a traditional wooden sailboat, for a spin around the city's riverside landmarks, such as the Aga Khan Mausoleum, framed against the backdrop of the Sahara Desert. Stop at Elephantine Island, where you can stroll through the ruins of ancient temples, including the Temple of Khnum, dedicated to the island's namesake deity—the elephant god Khnum. End the tour at Aswan Botanical Gardens to see the variety of exotic plants, trees, and flowers before returning to the cruise ship for dinner as you cast off on your three-night cruise down the Nile.

Day 4: Visit Abu Simbel & the Temple of Kom Ombo 

Admire the smaller of the two Abu Simbel temples, dedicated to Queen Nefertari

Wake to the gentle sounds of the Nile as you prepare for a 3.5-hour transfer inland to the historic site of Abu Simbel, home to two temples commissioned by Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE. Pass the colossal statues of Ramesses II and his beloved wife Nefertari to enter the temple's main hypostyle hall, where more statues of the pharaoh and walls adorned with hieroglyphs greet you. Explore the inner chambers dedicated to different deities and admire the seamless integration of art, architecture, and religious symbolism.

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After exploring the twin temples, return to your ship for a cruise to the Temple of Kom Ombo, enjoying a nourishing lunch on board. Dedicated to both Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, and Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky, the complex features duplicated halls, courtyards, and sanctuaries. Explore both temples, adorned with hieroglyphs that provide insight into the rituals and ceremonies that once unfolded within this sacred space. In the evening, return to the cruise ship to relax.

Day 5: Visit Edfu Temple, Cruise to Luxor, Explore the East Bank

Transfer to the Temple of Edfu in a horse-drawn carriage

Disembark at Edfu this morning, where you'll explore the city in a horse-drawn carriage. Watch the lively markets and local life unfolding along the route as you pass traditional Egyptian architecture and listen to the rhythmic sounds of the horse's hooves until you reach the Temple of Edfu. Like the Temple of Kom Ombo, it's dedicated to the falcon-headed god, Horus. Approach the temple's entrance, flanked by colossal statues of the deity, and step inside the vast courtyard adorned with towering columns and intricate hieroglyphs.

Discover the inner chambers and sanctuaries, housing shrines and statues of Horus, then trace the footsteps of ancient pilgrims along the sacred processional route. After exploring the temple, return to the ship to enjoy lunch while cruising to Luxor. Disembark again to discover the East Bank, starting at Karnak, the second-largest temple complex in the world. Walk down the Avenue of Sphinxes, lined with well-preserved sphinx statues, to enter the temple and discover towering obelisks adorned with hieroglyphs.

Navigate through the different precincts dedicated to Amon-Re, Mut, and Montu to witness the evolution of the complex over centuries before following what's left of the Avenue of Sphinxes to the nearby Luxor Temple, home to graceful colonnades and a colossal statue of Ramesses II. End the tour at the Luxor Museum to browse the vast collection of artifacts that offer insight into the grandeur of Egypt's Pharaonic past, including intricately carved reliefs, awe-inspiring statues, and decorated sarcophagi. Return to the ship to spend your final evening on board, docked in Luxor.

Day 6: Explore the Valley of the Kings, Transfer to Hurghada

Spend your last few hours in Luxor visiting the UNESCO-listed Valley of the Kings

Sit down for one last breakfast on the ship, then disembark and join your guide for a tour of the Valley of the Kings, a UNESCO-listed necropolis just 30 minutes outside Luxor. Descend to the meticulously carved tombs and listen as your guide highlights the noblemen and pharaohs, like Tutankhamun, buried here during the New Kingdom period. Look closely at the vivid murals and intricate hieroglyphs depicting each person's journey to the afterlife in the tombs you enter.

Then, continue to Deir el-Bahari, a complex of mortuary temples adjacent to the tombs dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut. Ascend the three terraces and explore the highly decorated corridors, grand halls, and tranquil chapels. From the top terrace, enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley, with rugged cliffs and the Nile River in the distance. Following a day of discovering tombs and temples, it's time to transfer four hours to your hotel in Hurghada, a coastal city on the Red Sea. 

Day 7: Boat Trip to the Giftun Islands

Boat trip & snorkeling/ Diving at Giftun Island
Look out for tropical fish and colorful coral in the waters around the Giftun Islands

Trade the land for the sea this morning as you head to the marina to board a six-hour boat cruise to the nearby Giftun Islands, a set of two islands in the Red Sea known for their diverse marine life, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. When you arrive, don your snorkeling or diving gear and jump into the warm water to look for marine life below the surface.

Keep an eye out for tropical fish, like butterflyfish, angelfish, and clownfish, among the reefs. If you're lucky, you may spot larger marine creatures, such as reef sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. Spend the day cruising from site to site to snorkel or dive around the islands. When you're done exploring the underwater world, relax on the beach on one of the two islands before returning to shore to dry off at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

Day 8: Jeep Tour Through the Desert, Visit a Bedouin Village

Ride across the desert surrounding Hurghada on a Bedouin camel

Spend the day in the desert as you jump in a Jeep and set off for a Bedouin village to learn about their traditional way of life and how they harness the desert's bounty for sustenance and survival. Then, trade the Jeep for a camel or a quad bike to explore the area in style. Navigate the sandy dunes and rocky trails to take in sweeping views of the vast desert and its ever-shifting sands. After your adventurous ride, sit down to watch the sunset while enjoying a barbecue dinner. When darkness falls, marvel at the star-filled sky uninterrupted by city lights, then return to your hotel in the city for the night.

Day 9: Enjoy a Free Day in Hurghada

Relax on the golden sands of Hurghada's many beaches

Enjoy a free day in Hurghada to explore the coastal city on your own or stay in and enjoy the hotel's amenities, like its pool or on-site bar. If you'd like a relaxing day away from the hotel, head to one of the many beaches, like Sahl Hasheesh Beach, an upscale beach lined with resorts and palm-fringed promenades. Relax on the golden sands, go for a dip in the azure water, and soak up the sun.

Those who want a little adventure can try watersports like windsurfing, parasailing, or jet skiing. When hungry, head to one of the restaurants on the promenade or return to the city to visit the historic district of Dahar. Here, you'll find plenty of authentic Egyptian restaurants serving local specialties made with fresh seafood straight from the sea. 

Day 10: Fly to Cairo, Guided Tour of Islamic Cairo's Landmarks

Admire the 12th-century Cairo Citadel and the Mohamed Ali Mosque within

Bid farewell to the coast as you head to the airport for a one-hour flight back to Cairo. Meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel, where you can refresh before venturing out on a tour of Islamic Cairo. Start at the Cairo Citadel, a 12th-century fortress built to protect against Crusader invasions. Step through the formidable gates and admire the towering bastions, intricate carvings adorning the walls, and age-old ramparts. Head to the Mohamed Ali Mosque within, also known as the "Alabaster Mosque," because of the pristine marble paneling lining the interior and exterior walls.

Enter the serene space to see the ornate domes, elaborate chandeliers, and stained-glass windows. Visit the Prince Mohamed Ali Palace next, a 19th-century structure used as a summer residence by the prince and his family. Wander through the extensive complex housing several buildings, gardens, a museum, and a mosque. End the tour at Khan el-Khalili, a bustling 14th-century bazaar, where you'll find a treasure trove of items for sale, from handmade carpets to delicate jewelry and Egyptian street food. Grab a bite to eat, then return to the hotel for the night.

Day 11: Fly to Amman (Jordan), Transfer to Wadi Rum

Visit Wadi Rum's dunes, rock formations, canyons, and springs on a two-hour Jeep tour

Trade Egypt's capital city for Jordan's as you head to the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Amman. Meet your driver and transfer 3.5 hours to the Wadi Rum Protected Area, a Martian-like landscape of vast desert expanses, towering sandstone mountains, and surreal red dunes. When you arrive, jump in a Jeep for a two-hour tour across the desert. Start at the Al Ramal Red Sand Dune, where you can climb to the summit for panoramic views of the landscape. Then, continue to Raqabat al-Wadak, better known as the "Little Bridge," a sandstone arch that spans a narrow chasm.

Although you can't walk across the bridge, you can clamber up the rock for another perspective of the surrounding landscape. Back in the Jeep, venture into Khazali Canyon, a narrow gorge renowned for its ancient rock carvings. Look at the inscriptions and petroglyphs adorning the rocks that tell tales of the Nabataean and Bedouin cultures that once thrived in the region. End the tour at Lawrence's Spring, a natural oasis in the middle of the arid desert. Dip your toes in the crystal-clear water while you take in the surrounding mountains before heading to your campsite for dinner.

Day 12: Transfer to Petra, Explore the Archaeological Site at Your Own Pace

Spend the day discovering the ancient city of Petra, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site

Enjoy breakfast at the desert camp, then set off on a 1.5-hour transfer to Petra, often called the "Rose City," as ancient Nabataeans carved their structures directly into rose-red cliffs. Explore the UNESCO-listed archaeological site on your own, starting with a walk through the narrow Siq, a natural rock gorge. At the end, you'll get your first look at the Treasury, a towering mausoleum with an elaborately carved entrance. Beyond the Treasury, the site opens to a vast expanse of monuments, temples, and dwellings.

Walk along the Street of Facades, showcasing impressive Nabataean tombs, until you reach the Theater, where you can imagine the echoes of ancient performances. Deeper into the archaeological site, you'll find the Royal Tombs, a testament to the city's regal history. End your self-guided tour in the Monastery and climb to the top, which takes 45 minutes to an hour, to enjoy wide-ranging views of the ancient city's monuments and surrounding mountains. In the evening, transfer to your nearby hotel to rest your feet after your self-guided tour.

Day 13: Transfer to Amman via the King's Highway

Explore the 12th-century Kerak Castle on your way to Amman

After a restful night in Petra, set off on a three-hour transfer back to Amman. Make multiple stops as you traverse the ancient King's Highway, starting at Shobak Castle, a military fortress built by the Crusaders in the 12th century. Explore the ancient halls and ramparts, then enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding desert plains. Back in the car, continue to the Ottoman village of Dana in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Follow the narrow streets lined with stone houses and look out at the Great Rift Valley before heading to al-Karak, where one of the largest Crusader castles in the Middle East awaits.

Explore the maze-like corridors, vaulted halls, and chambers inside Kerak Castle, built in the 12th century, before making your way to Madaba, known as the "City of Mosaics." Head to St George's Greek Orthodox Church, home of the famous Madaba Map, an ancient detailed mosaic depicting Jerusalem during the Byzantine period. Admire more mosaics adorning the floors and walls while you're here. Then, continue to the Madaba Archaeological Park to see the remnants of grand structures from the Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, and Crusader periods.

Wander through ancient chapels, houses, halls, and arches, looking for mosaics depicting mythological scenes. Your final stop is Mount Nebo, believed to be where Moses died, overlooking the Holy Land. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the Dead Sea and the vast Jordan Valley. On a clear day, you can even catch glimpses of Jerusalem in the distance. Complete the drive to your hotel in Amman, where you can relax after your action-packed road trip.

Day 14: Guided City Tour, Transfer to the Dead Sea, Afternoon at Leisure

Roam the ruins of ancient temples, palaces, and homes at the Amman Citadel

Your penultimate day in Jordan begins with a two-hour exploration of the historically rich capital, starting at the Amman Citadel, perched on the city's highest hill, Jebel Al Qala'a. Roam the ruins of palaces, temples, and homes dating back to the Bronze Age. After exploring the archaeological site, head down to the traditional markets in the city's heart. Browse the stalls of handmade goods, aromatic spices, fresh produce, and local delicacies before ending the city tour at the Roman Theater of Amman, built in the second century CE to honor Emperor Hadrian.

Stand in the well-preserved theater and imagine the grand performances, such as plays and concerts, that once took place here. This afternoon, you'll transfer one hour to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. When you arrive, check into your hotel, change into your bathing suit, and enjoy a relaxed afternoon in the salty waters, treating yourself to a mud mask. Since the water has such a high salt concentration, you'll easily float on the surface. In the evening, watch as the sun slowly sets over the surrounding mountains before heading to your hotel nearby.

Day 15: Relaxed Morning in the Dead Sea, Transfer to Amman, Depart

Float in the Dead Sea one last time before your flight home

Enjoy a relaxed morning with a leisurely breakfast, then make your way down to the shore of the Dead Sea for one last swim. It's particularly peaceful in the early morning as you float in the salty water and apply another mud mask to purify your pores before your flight. Then, when it's time, transfer one hour to the airport in Amman for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great 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. 


Map of Highlights of Egypt & Jordan: Cairo, Nile Cruise, Hurghada, Wadi Rum, Petra, Amman & the Dead Sea - 15 Days
Map of Highlights of Egypt & Jordan: Cairo, Nile Cruise, Hurghada, Wadi Rum, Petra, Amman & the Dead Sea - 15 Days