Even with just a week in Egypt, you can see plenty more than the pyramids, as evidenced by this luxury adventure that includes some lesser-visited treasures. Your first day in Cairo is one for the books as you set off on an insider's tour of the Giza Plateau. Then, travel north to the coast and Alexandria to explore its ancient amphitheater, catacombs, and library before winding up at a tranquil eco-retreat in Siwa, a remote desert oasis where Cleopatra herself once bathed.


  • Explore the Giza pyramids in Cairo and uncover the secrets of the Sphinx
  • Hit the highlights of Alexandria, from the ancient library to its Roman Amphitheater
  • Explore the hot springs, temples, and ancient citadels of the Siwa Oasis

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, Giza Insider's Tour, Dinner at Felfela Cairo
Day 2 Transfer to Alexandria, Guided History Tour With an Egyptologist Alexandria
Day 3 Transfer to Siwa via El-Alamein, Lunch in Marsa Matruh Siwa
Day 4 Siwa Grand Tour: Tombs, Springs, Temples, Museums & Islands Siwa
Day 5 Siwa Oasis: Old Shali, Safari Tour & Bedouin Dinner Under the Stars Siwa
Day 6 Scenic Transfer to Cairo via the Western Desert Cairo
Day 7 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Giza Insider's Tour, Dinner at Felfela

The Great Sphinx is an iconic limestone statue depicting a creature with a man's head and a lion's body.

Welcome to Egypt! There's no time to waste, as you've got just a week to hit the highlights of a country whose innumerable ancient sites are some of the most famous in the world. You'll arrive in the capital of Cairo, and a driver will be waiting at the terminal to transfer you to the Kempinski Nile. This 5-star hotel features downright imperial rooms with plush king-size beds, elegant furnishings, and a spa where you can enjoy relaxing sessions in private treatment rooms.

After checking in, you'll meet a local guide and travel to the famed Giza Plateau. First up on this private tour is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built as a tomb in 2600 BCE, it's the oldest of the three pyramids. Nearby are Khafre and Menkaure. Then, head to the ancient ruins of Memphis, the necropolis of Saqqara, and the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Lastly, you'll be granted insider access to the Great Sphinx. This exclusive tour will take you up to the statue's paws, between which is an epigraphic stele dating to the 14th century BCE.

Dinner tonight caps the perfect day, as you have a reservation at Felfela. Opened in 1959 as a modest food cart, it has evolved 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 2: Transfer to Alexandria, Guided History Tour With an Egyptologist

 Step into the colonial charm of your luxury hotel (photo courtesy of the Steigenberger Cecil Alexandria)

After a brief but eventful day in Cairo, you'll say goodbye to the capital as your private driver whisks you off to Egypt's northern coast and Alexandria. Sitting on the Mediterranean, 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 city's center, 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 National Museum. The hotel 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. Next up is the second-century Roman Amphitheater, followed by a visit to the Alexandria National Museum, which displays more than 1,800 artifacts from Egypt's history. The theme continues with a private visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria). Dating to the third century BCE, today, the museum houses over one million books and manuscripts.

Day 3: 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 4: Siwa Grand Tour: Tombs, Springs, Temples, Museums & Islands

Immerse yourself in the rejuvenating waters where Cleopatra herself once bathed
Plan your trip to Egypt
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

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 mountain's winding passages 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 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 5: Siwa Oasis: Old Shali, Safari Tour & Bedouin Dinner Under the Stars

Follow your private guide through the labyrinthine Shali Fortress 

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 cuisines, 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 6: 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'll 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 7: Depart Cairo

Make time for one final mint tea before heading home 
You've hit more than a few bucket-list destinations in Egypt and managed to do it in just a week. Celebrate with a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport in Cairo, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury in Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria & Siwa - 7 Days
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury in Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria & Siwa - 7 Days