Combining cultural landmarks and natural wonders, this 11-day itinerary introduces you to the highlights of Jordan and Egypt. Discover the archaeological hotspots of Amman and Jerash, relax on the shores of the Dead Sea, wander through the ancient city of Petra, and camp under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert. Once in Egypt, check the great pyramids off your bucket list before boarding a scenic river cruise up the Nile River to Luxor—stopping to explore ancient temples along the way.


  • Visit popular landmarks in Amman, like the Roman Theater
  • Admire ancient mosaics in Madaba on your way to Petra 
  • Explore Philae Temple before boarding your Nile cruise
  • Float above Luxor and the Valley of the Kings in a hot-air balloon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman (Jordan), Explore at Leisure Amman
Day 2 Full-Day Tour of Jerash, Ajloun & Amman Amman
Day 3 Transfer to Petra via the Dead Sea, Madaba & Mount Nebo Petra
Day 4  Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum Desert Wadi Rum
Day 5 Transfer to Amman, Fly to Cairo (Egypt), Half-Day City Tour Cairo
Day 6 Visit the Giza Pyramid Complex, Saqqara Necropolis & Memphis Cairo
Day 7 Fly to Aswan, Visit the High Dam & Philae Temple, Board Nile Cruise Aswan
Day 8 Nile Cruise to Luxor via Temples of Kom Ombo & Edfu Luxor
Day 9 Luxor Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Optional), Visit the Valley of the Kings Luxor
Day 10 Disembark Nile Cruise, Visit Karnak & Luxor Temple, Fly to Cairo Cairo
Day 11 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman (Jordan), Explore at Leisure

Welcome to Amman! Spend a few hours exploring the capital at your own pace

Welcome to the vibrant capital of Jordan, Amman! Meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel in the city, where you can stay in to relax and fight off jet lag or venture out to explore the area on your own. If you want to shop, wander to Rainbow Street, a charming cobblestone lane lined with colorful storefronts, art galleries, and cozy cafés. Admire the striking murals and graffiti adorning the walls, showcasing the city's dynamic street art scene as you pop in and out of the shops.

Those who want to dive into the country's history and culture can visit the Jordan Museum instead, home to a vast collection of artifacts from prehistoric to ancient civilizations, such as the Nabataeans and Romans. Browse the engaging exhibits, showcasing items like intricately carved sarcophagi, detailed mosaics, and the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. In the evening, head to Abdoun, a bustling district known for its vibrant nightlife and upscale dining scene. Choose from a variety of local, international, and fusion restaurants for dinner, then grab a cocktail to end the night.

Day 2: Full-Day Tour of Jerash, Ajloun & Amman

Wander through the 12th-century Aljoun Castle

Start today's tour with a 45-minute transfer north to the Archaeological Site of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Wander the extensive site, and be sure to check out the well-preserved remains of two amphitheaters, the north-south Colonnaded Street and the Hippodrome (the site of ancient chariot races). Continue to Ajloun, 30 minutes away in the highlands, where you can visit the 12th-century Ajloun Castle, a fortress built to ward off the Crusader armies at the vital trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, and Mecca.

Roam the ramparts and enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding valleys and olive groves before returning to Amman to tour the magnificent Amman Citadel and the second-century Roman Theater, two of the most famous archaeological sites in the capital. After learning more about the area's rich history and architectural prowess, enjoy a free afternoon strolling amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in Amman's old souks (markets). If you get hungry, try street food delights like falafel or shawarma, then return to your hotel to rest. 

Day 3: Transfer to Petra via the Dead Sea, Madaba & Mount Nebo

Float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea on your way to Petra

Bid farewell to the capital this morning as you set off on a three-hour transfer south to Petra, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site. On the way, stop at the Dead Sea, one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world. It's the lowest body of water on Earth, the lowest point on Earth, and the world's richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated over thousands of years. Upon arrival, spend the morning at your leisure—floating in the salty waters, enjoying a full-body mud treatment, or relaxing in the sun.

After lunch, get back on the road for more sightseeing. Head to the town of Madaba to check out its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the spectacular Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land, in St. George's Greek Orthodox Church. Nearby, the Madaba Archaeological Park preserves the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary and artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

Continue your journey south to Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge of the Abarim range said to be where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land. Follow in his footsteps and look out over the Dead Sea and beyond before making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region. As the sun sets, complete the journey to Petra, where you can settle into your hotel for the night.

Day 4: Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum Desert

Admire Petra's towering treasury as you tour the archaeological site

Explore Jordan's beloved archaeological treasure this morning, the lost city of Petra. Known as the "Rose City" for the area's distinctive red sandstone, it's easy to see why Petra was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its intricate architectural design is hundreds of years old and remarkably well-maintained. Meet a local guide for a two-hour tour of the site, then spend the rest of your visit exploring at your own pace. Enter through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs that leads to Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets.

Admire the treasury's intricate facade, then navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabataean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple once the population's primary place of worship. After getting your fill of Petra, transfer south to the wilderness of Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Lawrence of Arabia. Along the two-hour drive, pass through red valleys, rock canyons, and dunes to reach a Bedouin-style camp, where you'll spend the night sleeping under the stars.

Day 5: Transfer to Amman, Fly to Cairo (Egypt), Half-Day City Tour

Wander through the 12th-century Cairo Citadel

After just one night in the desert, transfer four hours north back to Amman this morning, where you'll bid farewell to Jordan and catch a 1.5-hour flight to the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Upon arrival, meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel, where you can refresh before setting off on a four-hour tour of the city. Start at the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's largest collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Admire the array of art, intricate jewelry, mummies, and Tutankhamun's famous golden death mask. 

Continue to the Cairo Citadel, built atop the Muqattam Hills in the 12th century to fortify the city against Crusader invasions. Your next stop is Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, better known as the Hanging Church, as it was built on the ruins of a Roman fortress, giving it the illusion of hanging above the street level below. End the tour at Khan el-Khalili, a bustling bazaar district full of intricate handicrafts, tantalizing spices, and Egyptian street food. Try koshary, the national dish of rice, lentils, and macaroni topped with crispy fried onions and tomato sauce, before returning to the hotel.

Plan your trip to Egypt
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Visit the Giza Pyramid Complex, Saqqara Necropolis & Memphis

Enjoy a tour of the Giza Plateau, where you can see the iconic pyramids and the Great Sphinx

Hit the ground running this morning as you meet your guide and set off on a tour of some of Egypt's most iconic sites. Transfer 30 minutes to the Giza Plateau, where the pyramids await your visit, starting with the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built as a tomb, its shape was intended to help the spirit of the dead pharaoh rise to heaven. Continue to the Pyramid of Khafre to see the best preserved of the three main pyramids, then head to the smallest one, the Pyramid of Menkaure.

After seeing the Great Sphinx, a colossal statue depicting a lion's body with a pharaoh's head, transfer one hour to the UNESCO-listed Saqqara Necropolis to discover its 4,600-year-old tombs, temples, and pyramids. End the tour in Memphis, the first unified capital of the ancient world, now an open-air museum just outside the capital. Wander through the ruins of this historic city to see the remnants of statues, temples, and royal tombs. Don't miss the colossal statue of Ramesses II, one of the largest remaining statues from ancient Egypt, before returning to your hotel in the city.

Day 7: Fly to Aswan, Visit the High Dam & Philae Temple, Board Nile Cruise

Explore the 690 BCE Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis

Catch a 1.5-hour flight south to Aswan this morning, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile River. Upon arrival, meet your guide and embark on a tour of the beautiful Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess of healing and magic, Isis. Continue to the Aswan High Dam, one of Egypt's most remarkable engineering achievements of the modern era. Look down at the monumental structure, sitting between Lake Nasser and the Nile, to provide flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation for the whole country. 

After exploring Aswan's landmarks, transfer to the shores of the Nile to check into your scenic river cruise ship, which will serve as your accommodation for the next four nights. Enjoy lunch on board, then trade the cruise ship for a felucca—a traditional wooden sailboat—to sail down the river. Pass some of the surrounding islands, like Elephantine Island, named after the elephant god Khnum, and El-Nabatat, home of the Aswan Botanical Garden, before returning to the cruise ship for dinner and a show. 

Day 8: Nile Cruise to Luxor via Temples of Kom Ombo & Edfu

Hop in a horse-drawn carriage to get to the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the falcon god Horus

Enjoy a delicious breakfast on board as you cruise to the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, and Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky. Wander through the twin halls, courtyards, and sanctuaries of the double temple built between 180 and 47 BCE until you reach the crocodile museum, where mummified crocodiles are displayed, to learn more about Sobek's followers. Return to the cruise ship to sit down for lunch and make your way to the city of Edfu, where a horse-drawn carriage awaits your arrival. 

Ride through the historic center, past colorful houses, bustling souks, and ancient temples until you reach the Temple of Edfu, one of the best-preserved temples in the country, also dedicated to the falcon god. Disembark and admire the imposing facade, towering columns, and intricately carved reliefs depicting ancient myths and rituals. After exploring the temple, take the carriage back to the ship, where you can enjoy dinner as you cruise toward the city of Luxor on the east bank of the Nile.

Day 9: Luxor Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Optional), Visit the Valley of the Kings

Wake up before dawn if you want to go on a hot-air balloon ride over Luxor at sunrise

This morning, you have the option to go on a hot-air balloon ride over Luxor at sunrise for a bird's-eye view of the city. If you choose to do so, wake up before dawn and transfer to the launch site for a safety briefing. When the balloons are inflated, jump into the basket and rise above the city and winding Nile River. Watch as the sun bathes the ancient ruins below in golden light as it slowly rises. Once you touch down, continue the adventure at the Valley of the Kings, a UNESCO-listed necropolis where pharaohs, like Tutankhamun, and powerful nobles were laid to rest.

Descend to the meticulously carved tombs and look out at the vibrant murals depicting each resident's journey to the afterlife. Head up to Deir el-Bahari, a complex of mortuary temples above the tombs dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut. Then, end the tour at the Colossi of Memnon, twin statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. In the afternoon, return to the ship to eat lunch and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. You could take advantage of the ship's amenities by relaxing by the pool or having a drink at the bar, but if you want to get off the water, book a transfer into Luxor to explore more of the city on foot. 

Day 10: Disembark Nile Cruise, Visit Karnak & Luxor Temple, Fly to Cairo

Walk down the Avenue of Sphinxes to get to Karnak and Luxor Temple

It's time to say goodbye to the cruise ship this morning as you check out and head to Karnak, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Stroll down the Avenue of Sphinxes to get to the temple's entrance, where you'll be greeted by towering columns, intricately carved reliefs, and majestic statues. Step inside the Great Hypostyle Hall, a monumental structure adorned with 134 massive columns, each decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions and images. Wander down the labyrinthine corridors and through the lush courtyards, marveling at the architectural achievements of ancient Egyptians.

Return to the Avenue of Sphinxes and follow it to Luxor Temple, which was a center for religious worship and royal ceremonies during the New Kingdom period. Stand outside and admire the imposing facade adorned with statues, obelisks, and reliefs before entering the main hall. Discover the sanctuaries, chapels, and shrines within, dedicated to gods like Amun-Ra, Mut, and Khonsu. After exploring two of Luxor's famous religious sites, transfer to the airport for a one-hour flight back to Cairo. Meet your driver outside and transfer to your hotel in the city to rest for the night.

Day 11: Depart Cairo

Take an elevator to the top of Cairo Tower for panoramic views of the city

Spend your last few hours in Cairo visiting some of the landmarks you may have missed, like Cairo Tower on Gezira Island. Take the high-speed elevator to the observation deck, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the mazelike streets, historic landmarks, and modern skyscrapers below. If you want to pick up some last-minute souvenirs, return to Khan el-Khalili to look for handmade goods that remind you of your time here. Just keep an eye on the clock so you can make your way back to the hotel and meet your driver for a transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other Egypt itineraries, explore different ways to spend 11 days in Egypt, or discover the best time to visit Egypt.


Map of Highlights of Jordan & Egypt: Amman to Cairo - 11 Days
Map of Highlights of Jordan & Egypt: Amman to Cairo - 11 Days