In just a week, this action-packed itinerary takes you to Egypt's top historic and cultural attractions. You'll see the Great Pyramid of Giza, ancient temples at Karnak and Luxor, and fascinating antiquities at Cairo's Egyptian Museum. One particular highlight of the trip is a journey to the iconic temples at Abu Simbel, an ancient site that was dismantled and rebuilt on higher ground in the 1960s to make room for the Aswan High Dam.

Highlights

  • Gaze up in wonder at Giza's pyramids
  • View priceless artifacts on display at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
  • Behold the massive Abu Simbel Temples
  • Wander through the Valley of the Kings
  • Tour Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Tour the Egyptian Museum & See the Great Pyramids Of Giza Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Luxor and Visit Karnak Temple & Luxor Temple Luxor
Day 4 Visit the West Bank in Luxor  Luxor
Day 5 See Aswan & the Temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo  Aswan
Day 6 Excursion to Abu Simbel  Aswan
Day 7 Fly to Cairo & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo

A view of Cairo's city and the Nile River
A view of Cairo 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, or you could also start exploring the city by venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of Cairo's excellent restaurants.

Day 2: Tour the Egyptian Museum & See the Great Pyramids Of Giza

Pyramids of Giza
Great Pyramids of Giza

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 you'll 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.

Day 3: Fly to Luxor and Visit Karnak Temple & Luxor Temple

Karnak Temple
Towering columns at Karnak Temple

After breakfast, you'll catch a short flight from Cairo to Luxor, a small city in the Nile Valley located 420 miles (676 km) south of the capital city. You'll tour 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 4: Visit the West Bank in Luxor 

Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor

The adventure continues as you visit the Valley of the Kings to see rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) for nearly 500 years 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.

Day 5: See Aswan & the Temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo 

Edfu Temple
Relief sculptures at Edfu Temple

The next stop on your trip will be to see the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo. 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. Continue on to Aswan, where you'll spend the night.

Day 6: Excursion to Abu Simbel 

Gargantuan statues at Abu Simbel

Today's itinerary starts with a domestic flight, this time transferring you to Abu Simbel. You'll visit the magnificent site of the Abu Simbel Temples, a pair of temples built by the Egyptian king Ramses II, who reigned 1279–1213 BCE. These massive rock-cut temples are truly incredible to see in person: despite their relatively remote location, they're one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

Then head back to Aswan and spend the day sightseeing there. Stops include 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. 

Day 7: Fly to Cairo from Aswan & Depart 

A street scene in Cairo

Make your way to Cairo International Airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other 7-day Egypt itineraries, with Nile River cruises, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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