Combining cultural landmarks and natural wonders, this whirlwind 11-day itinerary introduces you to the unmissable 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, you'll check the Great Pyramids off your bucket list before boarding a scenic river cruise up the Nile River to Luxor—stopping to explore the secrets of Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings along the way.

Highlights

  • Discover the archaeological sites of Jerash, Aljoun & Amman
  • Relax in the healing waters of the Dead Sea
  • Sleep beneath the stars in the Wadi Rum Desert
  • Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza & Memphis
  • Cruise up the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor
  • Explore the ancient temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu & Abu Simbel

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Tour the Ancient Sites of Jerash, Ajloun & Amman  Amman
Day 3 Visit the Dead Sea, Tour Madaba & Mount Nebo, Continue to Petra Petra
Day 4  Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum Desert Wadi Rum
Day 5 Return to Amman, Fly to Cairo Cairo
Day 6 Great Pyramid Tour: Memphis & Giza Cairo
Day 7 Fly to Aswan, Board Nile River Cruise Aswan
Day 8 Tour Abu Simbel, Cruise to Edfu Edfu
Day 9 Tour the Temple of Horus, Cruise to Luxor Luxor
Day 10 Visit the Valley of the Kings, Fly to Cairo Cairo
Day 11 Cairo Half-Day Tour & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Downtown Amman's cityscape
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the capital of Amman. The nation's largest city, Amman has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and is full of cultural and historic highlights. 

Day 2: Tour the Ancient Sites of Jerash, Ajloun & Amman 

Roman ruins in Jerash
Start today's tour with a transfer north to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Spend time wandering 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, in the highlands, where you can explore 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 over the Levant.
 
Returning to Amman, you'll tour the magnificent Amman Citadel (Jabal al Qal'a) and the 2nd-century Roman Theater, two of the most famous archaeological sites in the capital. You'll have free time in the afternoon to stroll amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in Amman's old souks (markets), before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Day 3: Visit the Dead Sea, Tour Madaba & Mount Nebo, Continue to Petra

Salt along the shores of the Dead Sea

Deep in the Jordan Valley and 34 miles (55 km) southeast of Amman, lies the Dead Sea, one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world. It is 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 throughout thousands of years. 

To reach this remarkable spot, you'll enjoy a short 30-minute drive from Amman, through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills. Upon arrival, you can spend the morning at your leisure—floating in the salty waters, enjoying a full-body mud treatment, or relaxing in the sun

After lunch, it's time to 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. 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 eventually making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.
 
As the sun sets, continue south to Petra, where you'll get settled into your hotel for the night.

Day 4: Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum Desert

Petra Basic Visit
The magnificent stonework of Petra

Today you'll explore Jordan's beloved archeological treasure: 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. You can 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. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabatean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship.

After getting your fill of Petra, continue 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, you'll 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: Return to Amman, Fly to Cairo

Ancient meets modern in Egypt's capital

A transfer takes you back to Amman this morning, where you'll bid Jordan farewell and catch a flight to the Egyptian capital. 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 and rest up for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Day 6: Great Pyramid Tour: Memphis & Giza

Stand in the shadow of the Great Pyramids

This morning you'll hit the ground running, meeting your Egyptologist guide and setting off for a tour of some of Egypt's most iconic sites. Start in Memphis, the first unified capital of the ancient world. Here you can visit the stepped pyramid of Saqqara, explore its 4,350-year-old tombs, and see the ancient hieroglyphics engraved on its walls.

Next, it's on to the Great Pyramids of Giza, starting with the pyramid of Cheops, 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 Chephren to see the best preserved of the main Giza pyramids, and to Mykerinos, the smallest of the three. After seeing the magnificent Sphinx up close, it's time to head back to the city, where you can enjoy the rest of the evening in Cairo at your leisure.

Day 7: Fly to Aswan, Board Nile River Cruise

The beautiful Temple of Philae in Aswan

Today you will catch a quick flight south to Aswan, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile River. 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.

Afterward, you'll transfer to the shores of the Nile to set sail on your scenic river cruise, which will serve as your accommodation for the next three nights. 

Day 8: Tour Abu Simbel, Cruise to Edfu

The carved facade of Abu Simbel

This morning you'll disembark and transfer to the magnificent Abu Simbel Temples. Built by the Egyptian king Ramses II who reigned 1279–1213 BCE, the massive rock-cut facades are truly incredible to see in person: despite their relatively remote location, they're one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

After returning to Aswan, you'll re-board the cruise and continue your journey upriver to the temple of Kom Ombo. Built during the Ptolemaic era, Kom Ombo was dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). Admire its many intact courts and halls, along with wall carvings and statues. 

Back on board the boat, you'll enjoy dinner as you cruise towards Edfu.

Day 9: Tour the Temple of Horus, Cruise to Luxor

Towering columns in the Temple of Horus

This morning you'll take a horse-drawn carriage tour through Edfu to reach the Temple of Horus, considered one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt. 

Afterward, you'll continue cruising your way north, enjoying a leisurely lunch on board as you cross the famed Esna Lock and cruise towards tonight's destination of Luxor.

Day 10: Visit the Valley of the Kings, Fly to Cairo

See incredible hieroglyphs and carvings in the Valley of the Kings

This morning you'll say your goodbyes to the Nile as you disembark from the cruise and transfer to the west bank of Luxor for a tour of the Valley of the Kings. 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.

After lunch, you'll be transferred to the Luxor airport to catch a flight back to Cairo.

Day 11: Cairo Half-Day Tour & Departure

The minarets and domes of Cairo's Citadel of Salah el-Din
Celebrate your last morning in Cairo with a trip to the Egyptian Museum. The finest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world, it contains pharaohs' treasures dating back more than 5,000 years. The building is rectangular with a large rotunda on the ground floor containing massive exhibits, including colossal statues of Ramses II — get the best views by looking down from the upper galleries. The gold and alabaster trappings from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Tut) always draw crowds, too. 
 
Continue to another city landmark, the magnificent Mohamed Ali Mosque. Built between 1830 and 1848 by the architect Yousef Bushnak, the mosque's towering dome and minarets crown the Citadel of Salah el-Din. Wander the peaceful interiors and marvel at the creamy sheen of alabaster that coats its floors and walls.
 
In the afternoon it's time to bid Egypt farewell as you transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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