The treasures of Egypt extend far beyond the Giza pyramids, which you'll quickly discover on this luxury two-week adventure. It begins in Cairo, where you'll ease into the dynamic capital's rich history and culture on visits to its best museums and dining in its finest restaurants. After touring those famous pyramids, travel south to Luxor, a hotbed of ancient dynastic history, then head to coastal Alexandria before venturing off the beaten path to experience the mystical desert oasis at Siwa.


  • Tour Egypt's most famous landmarks, from the Giza Plateau to the Temple of Luxor
  • Discover Egyptian cuisine through fine dining and Bedouin meals in the desert
  • Visit the highlights of Mediterranean Alexandria, like its world-class ancient library
  • Spend days relaxing and exploring the otherworldly desert landscapes at Siwa

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, Dinner at Abou El Sid Restaurant Cairo
Day 2 Visit the Egyptian Museum & Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, Nile Dinner Cruise Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Luxor, East Bank Highlights Tour Luxor
Day 4 Luxor West Bank Highlights & Valley of the Kings Tour Luxor
Day 5 Fly to Cairo, Sunset & Dinner at Cairo Tower Cairo
Day 6 Visit the Grand Egyptian Museum, Dinner at Felfela Restaurant Cairo
Day 7 Giza Pyramids & Insider's Sphinx Tour Cairo
Day 8 Transfer to Alexandria, Tour the Amphitheatre, Catacombs & Museum Alexandria
Day 9 Visit the Library of Alexandria, Citadel of Qaitbay & Montaza Gardens Alexandria
Day 10 Transfer to Siwa via El-Alamein, Lunch in Marsa Matruh Siwa
Day 11 Siwa Grand Tour: Tombs, Springs, Temples, Museums & Islands Siwa
Day 12 Siwa Oasis & Old Shali Tour, Desert Safari & Bedouin Dinner Under the Stars Siwa
Day 13 Scenic Transfer to Cairo via the Western Desert Cairo
Day 14 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Dinner at Abou El Sid Restaurant

The views of Cairo from your hotel rooftop are unparalleled (photo courtesy of Kempinski Nile)

Welcome to Egypt! The land of pharaohs and the Nile River has a settled history dating back thousands of years to around 3000 BCE. You can still see remnants of this ancient history today, not only at the famous Giza pyramids but also at the many museums, temples, mosques, citadels, and other treasures throughout the country. This itinerary covers the best of the best, starting with your arrival in the capital of Cairo. Located on the banks of the Nile River and home to plenty of historic landmarks in its own right, this is the best place to kick off any Egypt adventure.

At the airport terminal, you'll meet your driver for the ride downtown to your luxury accommodation, the Kempinski Nile. This 5-star hotel features downright imperial rooms with plush king-sized beds and elegant furnishings, plus a spa where you can enjoy relaxing sessions in private treatment rooms. After settling in, feel free to head up to the rooftop pool and snag a seat in a lounger. Here, you'll enjoy some of the finest Nile views in the city (especially at sunset).

In the evening, get a taste of Egypt's renowned hospitality with dinner at Abou El Sid Restaurant. Entering the dining room is like stepping back in time into an elegant Cairo home in the 1930s. The menu complements the decor, as you'll enjoy a traditional mezze (selection of hot and cold appetizers) followed by comforting classics like moussaka, okra and veal tajin, and muammar (savory rice with cream).

Day 2: Visit the Egyptian Museum & Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, Nile Dinner Cruise

Browse for souvenirs and learn the art of haggling at Khan el-Khalili 

Your first full day in Egypt involves a private tour of Cairo's historic sites. Your first stop is the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Old Cairo, which showcases 50,000 artifacts that tell the story of Egyptian heritage and culture. Next, learn about Islamic Cairo at the Citadel of Saladin, a shining example of military architecture from the Middle Ages, and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which dates to the 1300s. Continue to the impressive Mosque of Mohamed Ali, known as the Alabaster Mosque. The city views from this former stronghold against the Crusaders are unparalleled.

Finally, follow your guide through the teeming streets of Khan el-Khalili. Cairo's oldest bazaar dates to the 14th century and is packed with legendary shops that sell everything from fine brassware to perfumes to antiques. Hunt for treasures at this historic souk (market), where you'll find lamps, rugs, jewelry, and more, and learn the art of bargaining as you pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

In the evening, you'll transfer to the Nile River and hop aboard a traditional riverboat (designed to look like a pharaonic barge) for a dinner cruise. Admire the panoramic views of the Cairo skyline from the deck, then head to the dining room for a buffet dinner with a mix of local and international dishes and desserts. Complementing the meal will be performances of Egyptian music, belly dancing, or whirling dervish shows. After dinner, return to the deck, enjoy the cool breeze, and take in the glittering sights of the Cairo skyline as you cruise back to the harbor.

Day 3: Fly to Luxor, East Bank Highlights Tour

 Step into the colonial charm of your luxury hotel (photo courtesy of Sofitel Winter Palace)

Return to the airport this morning for the one-hour flight to Luxor. This small city in the Nile Valley was once the capital of ancient Thebes and is a veritable open-air museum due to its many historical landmarks. Upon arrival, your driver will transfer you to your hotel, the Sofitel Winter Palace.

This 5-star colonial-style hotel was built in the 19th century and features a grand facade and well-manicured gardens overlooking the Nile and the Theban Necropolis. Its beautifully appointed rooms feature parquet floors with luxurious furnishings, crystal chandeliers, and terraces overlooking the river. If you like, take a dip in the Olympic-style pool, followed by a treatment at the on-site spa. You can also grab a bite in the signature restaurant or enjoy your meal in the garden amid Nile views.

Later, meet your private guide for a highlights tour of the city's East Bank area. Start at the Karnak Temple complex, the second-largest ancient religious site in the world and once the most significant religious complex in ancient Egypt. Founded in the Middle Kingdom, it took almost 2,000 years to finish. From there, continue to the famed Luxor Temple, built during the New Kingdom around 1400 BCE and dedicated to Amun Ra. Walk down the Avenue of the Sphinxes, which once connected Luxor with Karnak, guarded by the giant statues of Ramesses II. Afterward, return to your hotel.

Day 4: Luxor West Bank Highlights & Valley of the Kings Tour

Visit rock-cut temples in Luxor's legendary Valley of the Kings

Today, you'll see the highlights of Luxor on the other side of the Nile as you visit the West Bank and the famed Valley of the Kings. The rock-cut tombs here were built for kings and pharaohs, buried between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE. Visit the Tomb of Tutankhamun and the beautiful Temple of Deir el-Bahari, a complex of mortuary temples and tombs, including the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. You'll also stop at the Colossi of Memnon to see the imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that guard the entrance of his memorial temple.

After a full day of exploring, your guide will drop you back at your hotel. Cool off with a dip in the pool, or settle in with a cocktail and a good book at the poolside bar with views of the lush gardens. 

Day 5: Fly to Cairo, Sunset & Dinner at Cairo Tower

Incredible sunset views await at Cairo Tower

After your brief sojourn to Luxor, it's time to head back to Cairo—where the famous pyramids await! A driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at First Residence. Located in the Giza district, this 5-star hotel sits on the Nile next to major attractions, like the prestigious First Mall complex. The well-appointed rooms and suites offer views looking out to the pyramids, and amenities include a pool, spa, and several high-end restaurants. Upon arrival, you can relax and indulge in an aromatic massage once reserved for Egyptian royalty.

Later in the day, you'll have the option to visit Cairo Tower, the highest point in the city. Located on the banks of the Nile, the building stands 613 feet (187 m) tall, and from its observation tower and revolving restaurant, you'll be treated to grand panoramic views all the way out to the pyramids of Giza. You'll arrive just in time to catch the sunset gilding Cairo's minarets and the river below, and after snapping plenty of photos, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 6: Visit the Grand Egyptian Museum, Dinner at Felfela Restaurant

Enjoy traditional Egyptian dishes such as koshary at tonight's restaurant 

No trip to Cairo is complete without visiting more of its world-class museums. This morning, you'll be treated to a grand overview of this country's rich history on a tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). One of the largest museums in the world, this ambitious project was completed in 2021 and stands as a showpiece for one of the most ancient civilizations on the planet. Displayed over its millions of square feet of floor space are over 100,000 artifacts. Highlights include treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, including his iconic golden mask and funerary objects.

After the museum, return to the hotel and take the rest of the day free. In the evening, you'll sit down for dinner at Felfela. Opened in 1959 as a modest food cart, it has evolved over the years into a renowned restaurant with dazzling decor featuring colorful murals, mosaic tiles, and ornate lanterns adorning the walls. The menu features a wide variety of Egyptian specialties, including classic dishes such as koshary (a mix of rice, lentils, pasta, and chickpeas topped with tomato sauce), taameya (Egyptian-style falafel made with fava beans), and grilled meats served with fragrant rice and savory sauces.

Day 7: Giza Pyramids & Insider's Sphinx Tour

See areas of the pyramids and the Great Sphinx that are inaccessible to most tourists

Rise and shine! This morning, you'll meet your private guide and set off to visit some of Egypt's most iconic sites, starting with the ancient pyramids of Dahshour, constructed during Egypt's fourth dynasty around 4,600 years ago. Then, continue to the famed Giza Plateau. First up is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the oldest of the three pyramids and the only one to remain largely intact. Built as a tomb in 2600 BCE, its shape was intended to help the dead pharaoh's spirit rise to heaven.

Nearby, you'll find Khafre, the best-preserved of the main pyramids, and Menkaure, the smallest of the three. Of course, with millions of tourists visiting the pyramids each year, the site can sometimes feel crowded. Lucky for you, the next activity involves special insider access to the Great Sphinx, the iconic limestone statue depicting a creature with a man's head and a lion's body. This exclusive tour will take you right up to the statue's paws, between which is an epigraphic stele commissioned by the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose IV in the 14th century BCE.

Finally, you'll head to the ancient ruins of Memphis, the first unified capital of the ancient world. Here, you'll visit the necropolis of Saqqara, an ancient burial ground, to explore the pyramid of Djoser and 4,350-year-old tombs with ancient hieroglyphics engraved on the walls.

Day 8: Transfer to Alexandria, Tour the Amphitheatre, Catacombs & Museum

Relax in total comfort and luxury in Alexandria (photo courtesy of Steigenberger Cecil)
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Wake up early and meet your driver for the 3.5-hour ride north to the coast and Alexandria. Sitting on the Mediterranean coast, this ancient city is just as famous for its historical landmarks as its beautiful beaches, resorts, and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Your driver will drop you off at the Steigenberger Cecil Alexandria. This 4-star hotel sits on the waterfront in the center of the city, next to the expansive Saad Zaghloul Square. With a rich history and elegant charm, it offers convenient access to many of the city's cultural and historical attractions, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the National Museum. The hotel itself features a rooftop pool, spa, and deluxe rooms with luxurious furnishings and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. There are also multiple eateries and bars, from quaint cafés to opulent fine-dining restaurants.

After you settle into your hotel, meet a local Egyptologist who will lead you on a private tour to experience the iconic history of this ancient city. First, tour the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa, one of Egypt's largest Roman burial sites. Continue the theme with a visit to the second-century Roman Amphitheater, the only one of its kind in Egypt. End the day at the Alexandria National Museum, which displays more than 1,800 artifacts from Egypt's history in the former palace of businessman Asaad Bassili. 

Day 9: Visit the Library of Alexandria, Citadel of Qaitbay & Montaza Gardens

Continue touring the most impressive sites of Alexandria, such as the Citadel of Qaitbay

Join your private guide this morning and kick things off with a visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), a major hub for scholars worldwide. This modern structure is a tribute to the original library and Wonder of the Ancient World, which was built in the third century BCE and served as one of the ancient world's premier centers of knowledge. Today's library houses over one million books, manuscripts, and digital resources.

After the library, you'll visit another of Alexandria's most prominent landmarks, the Citadel of Qaitbay, a defensive fortress from the 15th century that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Stop along the way for a traditional Egyptian lunch to sample local specialties like stuffed grape leaves. Finally, you'll visit Montaza Palace, another coastal gem. Dating to the 19th century, it became the summer residence for the Egyptian royal family and features an ornate design mixing Ottoman, Moorish, and Florentine styles. The palace isn't open to the public, but visitors are welcome in the expansive 150-acre (60 ha) gardens.

Day 10: Transfer to Siwa via El-Alamein, Lunch in Marsa Matruh

 Stop for a perfectly cooked seafood lunch in the port town of Marsa Matruh

It's another early start as you hit the road for a full-day, eight-hour private transfer west across Egypt to the vast Sahara Desert and the legendary Siwa Oasis. Located near the border with Libya, Siwa is renowned for its otherworldly landscapes, including vast dunes, salt lakes, and natural springs.

Crossing the desert, you'll stop in El-Alamein, located on the Mediterranean coast a couple of hours from Alexandria and the site of two major World War II battles. While here, you'll visit a war museum and cemetery dedicated to these battles. Continue to the resort town of Marsa Matruh for a lunch break in one of the local restaurants.

After eating, continue the rest of the way to Siwa and check into Ghaliet. This charming ecolodge and spa is an oasis in its own right, dotted with palm trees, it blends seamlessly into the surrounding desert. It's an intimate hotel (just 12 rooms) offering a welcome blend of eco-friendly accommodations and luxurious amenities. One of Ghaliet's many highlights is its commitment to sustainability. The lodge utilizes renewable energy sources, water-saving techniques, and locally sourced materials to minimize its ecological footprint. That means you can enjoy the inviting outdoor pool guilt-free!

Day 11: Siwa Grand Tour: Tombs, Springs, Temples, Museums & Islands

Immerse yourself in the rejuvenating waters where Cleopatra herself once bathed

After an early breakfast, meet your driver and explore the Siwa Oasis. Your private guide will lead you to some of the area's major sites and landmarks, including Gebel el-Mawta (the Mountain of the Dead), which houses tombs dating back to the Saite Dynasty (664 BCE to 525 BCE). Venture through the winding passages of the mountain as your guide regales you with stories of the pharaohs who once rested here.

Your next stop is the famous Cleopatra Bath, an oasis spring acclaimed for its rejuvenating properties. Swim in the naturally warm water, just as Cleopatra is reputed to have done. Continue to the impressive Oracle Temple, an ancient religious sanctuary from the sixth century BCE. It's said that Alexander the Great visited this temple seeking affirmation during his quest to conquer Egypt.

Next, you'll learn more about the rich history and culture of the region at Siwan House, a museum set in a historic house with exhibits on the local inhabitants' traditional crafts, costumes, and daily routines. At sunset, visit Fatnas Island (also known as Fantasy Island), a palm-covered islet on Lake Siwa famous for its sunsets and picturesque views of the salt lakes. Afterward, you'll return to your ecolodge in time to enjoy a spa treatment or yoga session.

Day 12: Siwa Oasis & Old Shali Tour, Desert Safari & Bedouin Dinner Under the Stars

Forget Egypt—Old Shali is one of the most fascinating ancient sites anywhere in the world

Your grand oasis adventure continues this morning with a privately guided visit to the Shali Fortress. Also known as the Shali Citadel, the ruins of this mud-brick fortress date to the 13th century. This ancient stronghold once housed hundreds of people and offers awe-inspiring views of the oasis and surrounding desert. After exploring the fortress, it's time to refuel with a hearty lunch at a local Siwa lodge. Enjoy the flavors of traditional cuisine, such as reearin (Siwan lentil dip), and authentic Siwan hospitality while resting up for the afternoon's safari adventure.

After lunch, you'll zip through the desert in a 4WD vehicle as you navigate the sandy dunes, occasionally stopping to marvel at the sight of petrified forests and fossilized seashells. Stop to take a refreshing dip in one of the pristine lakes or natural springs, then end the day with a classic Bedouin dinner under the starlit desert sky. 

Day 13: Scenic Transfer to Cairo via the Western Desert

Snag a pool lounger and kick back in Cairo (photo courtesy of Le Méridien Cairo Airport)
Your penultimate day in Egypt involves a full-day drive east back to Cairo. It's a long trip but a scenic one as you pass incredible desert scenery. Rather than arriving in the city proper, your driver will take you to Le Méridien, a 5-star hotel conveniently located near the Cairo Airport. After checking in, you can relax by the vast pool and then enjoy a dinner of Egyptian or Shanghai cuisine at one of the hotel restaurants before retiring to your deluxe room or suite.

Day 14: Depart Cairo

Savor one last coffee in Cairo before heading home 
Enjoy one more decadent breakfast at the hotel to cap your time in Egypt. Later, at the appropriate time, you'll transfer to the airport and catch your flight home—or onward to the next adventure. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Cultural Tour of Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria & Siwa - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Cultural Tour of Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria & Siwa - 14 Days