If you love boats and beaches, this 10-day adventure around Egypt is tailormade for you! Featuring a multi-day cruise down the Nile River with the chance to tour ancient temples along the way, plus several days in the idyllic coastal resort of Sharm El Sheikh, this itinerary offers a great mix of outdoor activities and cultural sightseeing. Relax by the Red Sea, enjoy sunset views on the Nile, and tour the best museums of Cairo: this well-rounded trip has it all.

Highlights

  • See the great pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx up close
  • Go on a cruise down the Nile River 
  • Explore the ancient temples of Luxor and Edfu
  • Relax by the Red Sea at the beach resort of Sharm El Sheikh

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Day Trip to the Pyramids of Giza Cairo
Day 3 Visit the Egyptian Museum & Islamic Cairo Cairo
Day 4 Transfer to Aswan & Sightsee Aswan
Day 5 See the Temples of Edfu & Luxor Aswan
Day 6 Explore West & East Bank of Luxor Cairo
Day 7 Travel to Sharm El Sheikh Sharm El Sheikh
Day 8 Relax & Enjoy Boating and Beaches in Sharm El Sheikh Sharm El Sheikh
Day 9 Visit St. Catherine's Monastery Sharm El Sheikh
Day 10 Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo

Cairo
A sweeping view of Cairo

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 start exploring the city by venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of many excellent restaurants.

Day 2: Day Trip to the Pyramids of Giza

Giza Pyramids
The awe-inspiring pyramids of Giza

Today 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. You'll also visit the Sphinx, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then head to the nearby necropolis of Saqqara to visit the Pyramid of Teti.

Day 3: Visit the Egyptian Museum & Islamic Cairo

Shopping in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

Start exploring ancient Egyptian history in Cairo today. After breakfast, head to the Egyptian Museum, which has a substantial collection of ancient treasures, including the tomb of King Tut. Then learn about Islamic Cairo at the Citadel of Saladin See, an important example of military architecture from the Middle Ages, and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, a monumental mosque that was built during the Mamluk period of the 1300s. Finally, hunt for treasures in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, a souk in the historic center of Islamic Cairo, where you can shop for lamps, rugs, jewelry, and more. 

Day 4: Transfer to Aswan & Sightsee

ASWAN
Sailboats on the Nile River near Aswan

Your adventure continues as you travel to Aswan by plane. Here, you'll visit the beautiful Temple of Philae, dedicated to the worship of Isis, the Goddess of Love. You'll also see 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. 

Then it's time to board your boat for a cruise down the Nile River. You'll relax on the boat as the journey begins, enjoying the sunset over the water and a view of the Botanical Garden on Kitchener’s Island. Located on an island in the Aswan archipelago, it's a picturesque place to finish the day's itinerary.

Day 5: See the Temples of Edfu & Luxor

Nile Cruise
A scenic view on a Nile River cruise

The next stop on your Nile cruise will be to see the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo. Your guide will explain the significance of these temples in further detail. 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. 

Day 6: Explore West & East Bank of Luxor

Collossi of Memnon
The massive Colossi of Memnon

Today, you'll continue your Nile cruise, which includes sightseeing on the river's west bank. You'll see Luxor Temple and 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.

Days 7-8: Relax & Enjoy Boating and Beaches in Sharm El Sheikh

The idyllic coastline of Sharm El Sheikh

Disembark from your river cruise to fly to the resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, where you'll spend a few days relaxing. Located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea, the area is known for its beautiful beaches and offshore coral reefs surrounded by clear water. Walk on the beach, go swimming in the ocean, or check out Ras Muhammad National Park, a diving destination that's rich with marine life. In the evening, beachfront restaurants and bars are great places to try fresh seafood, prepared Egyptian-style, and surround yourself with a local crowd.

Take it easy the following day with a free beach day by the Red Sea. Walk along the pedestrian promenade in laid-back Naama Bay, book a snorkeling trip to Yolanda Reef, or just have lunch in a beachfront café and relax by the water. 

Day 9: Visit St. Catherine's Monastery

St. Catherine's Monastery near Sharm El Sheikh

On the last full day of the trip, make the pilgrimage to St. Catherine's Monastery. Located at the foot of Mt. Sinai, it's the place where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Then you'll visit Dahab, a former Bedouin fishing spot that's now one of Egypt's top spots for diving. It's located on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Depending on the time frame, you may stop at Abu Galum, a protected zone in the mountains with excellent birdwatching, or even go snorkeling in Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole that's popular with divers.

Day 10: Depart

Palm trees in the breeze at Sharm El Sheikh

Make your way to Sharm El Sheikh Airport to catch a flight back to Cairo or back home. Safe travels!

More Great Egypt Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Egypt? Check out these other 10-day Egypt itineraries, with Nile River cruises, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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