Immerse yourself in Egypt's ancient history and natural beauty on this comprehensive 15-day itinerary. See the Great Pyramids, stroll the markets and mosques of Old Cairo, set sail on an unforgettable river cruise up the Nile, and tour the temples of Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo, and Luxor. After day trips to Alexandria and Wadi Natrun, you'll venture into the sand dunes and oases of the White Desert to camp under the stars.

Highlights

  • Tour the treasures & antiquities of the Egyptian Museum
  • Embark on a scenic cruise up the Nile, stopping at temples & ancient sites
  • See the towering Colossus of Memnon in the Valley of the Kings
  • Explore the underground catacombs of Alexandria
  • Camp under the stars in the White Desert & discover the desert oasis of Bahariya

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Aswan, Board Nile River Cruise Aswan
Day 4 Day Trip to Abu Simbel, Sunset Felucca Ride Aswan
Day 5 Cruise to Kom Ombo & Edfu Edfu
Day 6 Tour the Temples of Horus, Cruise to Luxor  Luxor
Day 7 Discover the Valley of the Kings Luxor
Day 8 Fly to Cairo, Food & Walking Tour Cairo
Day 9 Day Trip to Alexandria: Catacombs & Citadel Cairo
Day 10 Day Trip to Wadi El Natrun & Coptic Monasteries Cairo
Day 11 Explore Old Cairo & Salah El-din Citadel  Cairo
Day 12 Transfer to Bahariya, White Desert Camping Excursion Bahariya
Day 13 Explore Bahariya  Bahariya
Day 14 Return to Cairo Cairo
Day 15 Depart Cairo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Cairo!

Cairo
Ancient meets modern in Cairo

Welcome to Egypt! Upon your arrival at Cairo's airport, you'll be met by your guide who will assist you through airport customs and arrange a transfer to your hotel. Get settled in and rest up for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Day 2: Pyramids, Sphinx & the Egyptian Museum

PYRAMIDS & SPHINX
Stand in the shadow of the Great Pyramids

After breakfast, embark on a memorable excursion to Egypt's most iconic wonders. Start at the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Mykerinus, before continuing to the oldest known monumental sculpture and largest monolith statue in the world—the towering Sphinx. You'll also discover the Valley Temple, attributed to the 26th-century BCE King Chefren and used for part of the mummification process. Finally, you'll pay a visit to the Egyptian Museum where you can see the collection of Tutankhamen among other splendid pharaonic artifacts. In the afternoon, you'll return to Tahrir Square in Cairo. 

Day 3: Fly to Aswan, Board Nile River Cruise

Aswan's beautiful Temple of Philae

Today you will catch a quick flight and journey south to Aswan, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile. Here you'll meet your guide and start exploring the area, visiting the Aswan High Dam and marveling at the Unfinished Obelisk, still located in the ancient stone quarry where it was carved. After a tour of the beautiful Temple of Philae, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis, it's time to transfer to the shores of the Nile to board your river cruise, which will serve as your accommodation for the next four nights.

Day 4: Day Trip to Abu Simbel, Sunset Felucca Ride

The spectacular carved facade of Abu Simbel

This morning you'll disembark and transfer across the Nubian Desert to reach the magnificent Abu Simbel Temples. Built by the Egyptian king Ramses II who reigned 1279–1213 BCE, the massive rock-cut facades are truly incredible to see in person: despite their relatively remote location, they're one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

After returning to Aswan and re-boarding the cruise, you'll take a ride on a felucca (a traditional river sailboat) for panoramic views of the Botanical Gardens, Elephantine Island, and Agha Khan Mausoleum at sunset.

Day 5: Cruise to Kom Ombo & Edfu

Enjoy scenic Nile views as you cruise towards Kom Ombo

Cruise upriver today to reach the temple of Kom Ombo. Built during the Ptolemaic era, Kom Ombo was dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). Admire its many intact courts and halls, along with wall carvings and statues. 

Back onboard the boat, you'll enjoy dinner as you cruise towards Edfu.

Day 6: Tour the Temples of Horus, Cruise to Luxor 

Admire the incredible carved hieroglyphs in the Temple of Horus

Start today with a horse-drawn carriage ride through Edfu to reach the Temple of Horus, considered one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt. After reboarding the cruise, you'll set sail for Luxor. Here you'll cross 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. Return to the cruise to enjoy a celebratory dinner and belly-dancing show against a spectacular Nile sunset. 

Day 7: Discover the Valley of the Kings

Hot Air Balloon in Luxor
Hot air balloons over the Valley of the Kings in Luxor

After breakfast, your river cruise comes to an end as you disembark from the boat and say your farewells to the Nile. Then it's on to the west bank of Luxor to tour the famed Valley of the Kings. Discover the exteriors of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the beautiful Temple of Der el Bahari (dedicated to the funerary cult of Queen Hatshepsut), and the Statues of Memnon

In the afternoon, you'll transfer to your hotel to check in and relax.

Day 8: Fly to Cairo, Food & Walking Tour

Browse the bustling  Khan el Khalili Market

After breakfast in Luxor, you'll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight back to Cairo. After getting settled in at your hotel, it's time to head back out and work up an appetite as you explore the city on foot with a memorable gastronomic tour. As rich in history and culture as it is in calories, this experience takes you on a walk through the city's most characterful streets, stopping at four different locations for a sampling of food, drinks, and sweets. Eat like a local as you learn about the recipes and ingredients of Cairo's traditional dishes.

In the afternoon, browse the bustling stalls of the historic Khan El Khalili Market to shop for souvenirs.

Day 9: Day Trip to Alexandria: Catacombs & Citadel

Alexandria's imposing Citadel of Qaitbey

Today you'll meet your knowledgeable Egyptologist guide and drive three hours to the Mediterranean port of Alexandria

Embark on a whirlwind tour of Alexandria's highlights, starting with the Catacombs of Kom El Shoukafa. Descend underground to discover a world of ornate carvings and paintings and a mixture of Roman and Egyptian designs. Dating from the second century CE, it is the largest Roman funerary complex in Egypt and includes a warren of tombs on three levels.

Continue to the harbor to see the Citadel of Qaitbey, a defensive fort that stands on the original site of the Pharos, Alexandria’s ancient lighthouse. Built in 279 CE, the legendary wonder of the ancient world stood guard over the harbor of Alexandria for over 1600 years and was topped with a towering statue of Poseidon. Although Pharos was restored at various times, it had finally crumbled by the time the original fort was built here in the 15th century CE. 

After lunch, there's time for more sightseeing before returning to Cairo in the afternoon.

Day 10: Day Trip to Wadi Natrun & Coptic Monasteries

Blue-cheeked bee-eaters are among the many species found in Wadi Natrun

After breakfast, you'll join your guide and head to the Wadi Natrun, a valley located along the desert road between Cairo and Alexandria. Surrounded by lakes and marshes, the area is home to a remarkable variety of rare and native birdlife, including sand plovers, rufous bushchats, and blue-cheeked bee-eaters. 

Visit the ancient Coptic monasteries of Paromeos (also called Baramous) and Saint Bishoy, then continue to the biggest natural wonder of the valley—Ain el-Hamra. Meaning “the red source,” this freshwater spring pours directly into a saltwater lagoon. 

Transfer back to Cairo in the afternoon, where you'll have the rest of the evening free.

Day 11: Explore Old Cairo & Salah El-din Citadel 

Al Moaz Street
Cairo's atmospheric Al Moaz Street

Today you'll embark on a tour of Cairo's historic city streets, starting at the massive medieval Salah El-din Citadel and its enclosed Mohamed Ali alabaster mosque, once a stronghold against the Crusaders. The brilliant domed ceilings, suspended lights, and views of the city from this ancient fortress are sure to captivate. Keep going to the churches of Old Cairo and the Khan El Khalili old market to browse before you retire for the night.

Day 12: Transfer to Bahariya, White Desert Camping Excursion

Journey into the desert for an unforgettable camping excursion

Today you'll embark on a breathtaking excursion into the desert, as your driver takes you on a 4.5-hour journey to the lush desert oasis of Bahariya. After a picnic lunch next to a small spring, you'll continue through more rugged desert landscapes, visiting the Black Desert and the sparkling quartz of Crystal Mountain, and on to the otherworldly rock formations in the Valley of Agabat.

As the sun sets in spectacular fashion over the White Desert, your guide will set up camp, preparing your tents and starting a fire to grill dinner. Under the clear desert sky, you can stargaze as you enjoy a delicious Bedouin-style dinner and tea.

Day 13: Explore Bahariya 

Watch the sunrise over the White Desert

Awaken to the silence of the desert this morning, as you enjoy a light breakfast after sunrise. Then it's back into the Jeep for a return journey back to Bahariya. On the way, you'll pass natural hot springs where you can stop for a soak in the healing mineral waters. Upon arrival in the desert oasis of Bahariya, you'll check-in to your hotel, then meet your driver to visit the nearby Museum of Golden Mummies, Tombs of the Nobles, Alexander Temple, and Temple of Meffetla.

In the evening, enjoy a trip to the English House, the evocative ruins of a WWII stronghold that offer breathtaking sunset views across Bahariya and the surrounding desert.                    

Day 14: Return to Cairo

Natural springs in the desert oasis of Bahariya

After a final morning in Bahariya, you'll be transferred back to Cairo where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 15: Depart Cairo

Transfer to the Cairo Aiport to catch your departing flight. 

After breakfast, it's time to bid Egypt farewell as you transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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