- See pharaohs' treasures at the Egyptian Museum
- Visit Cheops Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- Take a cruise down the Nile River
- Walk the shop-filled Rainbow Street in Jordan
- Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra
|Arrive in Cairo
|Visit the Egyptian Museum and Pyramids Of Giza
|Cairo to Aswan
|Discover Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples
|Edfu to Luxor
|Visit the West Bank of Luxor
|Arrive in Jordan for a Full Day of Sightseeing
|Tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra
|See Jerash and the Dead Sea
|The Dead Sea
|Depart from Amman
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 in time before the tour begins. You could also start exploring the city, venturing out to try some local cuisine in one of many excellent restaurants.
Day 2: Visit the Egyptian Museum and Pyramids Of Giza
After breakfast, you will meet your Egyptologist who will accompany you on your day exploring the city and its sites. Begin the day touring the Egyptian Museum. The finest museum of Egyptian antiques in the world, it contains pharaohs' treasures dating back more than 5,000 years. The building is rectangular with a large rotunda on the ground floor containing massive exhibits, including colossal statues of Ramses II — get the best views by looking down from the upper galleries. The gold and alabaster trappings from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Tut) always draw crowds, too. Many of the Tutankhamun tomb treasures have been on display in museums around the world — including the golden mask — yet this one exhibit has always remained in Cairo.
Next, make your way to the famous pyramids in Giza. Start by visiting the pyramid of Cheops, which is the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built as a tomb, with the shape intended to help the spirit of the dead pharaoh rise to heaven. Next, visit the pyramid of Chephren. The best preserved of the three main Giza pyramids, the top portion still retains the original face of smoothly finished stone, offering an idea of how the pyramids would originally have appeared. Beside Chephren is the great Sphinx, which is carved out of natural rock. Then stop by Mykerinos, the smallest of the three pyramids. Following the tour in Giza, enjoy a meal at a local Egyptian restaurant nearby. Then head back to the city to enjoy the evening in Cairo at your leisure.
Day 3: Cairo to Aswan
After breakfast and checking out at your hotel in Cairo, meet your tour coordinator who will help you transfer to Cairo Domestic Airport for your flight to Aswan.
Upon arrival, you'll board a Nile cruise that will take you to your hotel for check-in. After settling in, you'll head out for a day of sightseeing around Aswan. 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 the Unfinished Obelisk. It was built to be placed in Karnak Temple in Luxor and to complement the Lateran Obelisk. However, in 1458 BCE, it was abandoned due to cracks that appeared in the granite. Then, head to 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. You'll board a small boat to learn more about the temple here.
Day 4: Discover Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples
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 on a horse drawn carriage tour. 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.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Edfu to Luxor
After breakfast, arrive in Luxor and transfer to the Nile's east bank to visit the amazing Karnak and Luxor temples. Start at the famed Luxor temple complex, built during the New Kingdom around 1400 BCE. In the afternoon, you'll tour Karnak Temple, once a key religious center and one of Egypt's largest surviving temples.
Day 6: Visit the West Bank of Luxor
Today, you'll continue your Nile cruise, which includes sightseeing on the river's west bank. You'll 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 7: Arrive in Jordan for a Full Day of Sightseeing
After breakfast, you'll catch a flight to Amman. Welcome to Jordan! You'll have some time this afternoon to explore this bustling capital city. Walk around in Jabal Weibdeh, the oldest neighborhood in Amman. There are lots of small side streets, shops offering local goods and produce to be explored, as well as many cafés and restaurants. Stop into the King Abdullah II Mosque and explore the Citadel with the Temple of Hercules, which offers a 360-degree view over Amman. It's best to be there during prayer time, as you'll hear the calls to prayers from the various mosques, creating a surreal echo.
Continue to the Roman Theater, and then browse through the downtown souks. Head to Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, filled with shops, restaurants, and shisha cafés. Finally, visit the Jordan Museum, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.
Day 8: Tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra
The day is yours to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra. You have the choice between a guided or self-guided tour. Visit the Royal Tombs and make the climb to the viewpoint to look down onto the Treasury as the morning sun hits. Or, climb up the mountain opposite to the High Place of Sacrifice and take the trail down to the Garden Temple Complex. If you have enough energy left, opt to climb up to the largest of Petra’s monuments—the Monastery.
Following the exploration, there are several options to fill out the evening. Join the Petra By Night tour, a unique way to see the rock city by candlelight, have dinner with a local family, or attend a cooking workshop at Petra Kitchen.
Day 9: See Jerash and the Dead Sea
After you enjoy a traditional Jordanian breakfast, you'll meet your driver and head to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Wander along the Colonnaded Street, climb up the steps of the Temple of Artemis or listen to the traditional bagpipers in the Theatre. You can also choose to explore the site with the help of an expert guide. And if you're feeling peckish, you can enjoy a delicious lunch at the restaurant on the grounds.
In the afternoon, you'll travel to the lowest point on Earth: the Dead Sea. Head for the mineral-rich waters for an afternoon float as the sun lowers over the sky and take in the sights from the shore after you apply some of the sea's mud for a soothing face mask. Then enjoy dinner by the sea and fall asleep, utterly relaxed and replenished.
Day 10: Depart from Amman
On your last morning in Jordan, enjoy breakfast at the hotel and pack up for your journey home. Depending on your departure time, you may be able to squeeze in some exploration and last-minute souvenir shopping before heading to QAIA, where you'll catch your return flight.
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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