- 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
|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 1: Arrive in 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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