Adventure along the Nile through Egypt's fascinating history and culture

Travel to Egypt and follow the path of the River Nile as you revel in a taste of Egypt's history, beauty and colour on this short but action-packed trip along the longest river in the world. Cruise the Nile on a felucca, discover the largest and most impressive pharaonic temples, chat and dine with interesting locals and live it up in this country of deserts, bazaars, monuments and good old-fashioned adventures.
Before booking on this trip we recommend that you read the ‘Safety’ section in the trip notes regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.

Start
Cairo, Egypt
Finish
Cairo, Egypt
Countries
Egypt
Themes
Explorer
Code
XESB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
154kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Be amazed by the Temples of Karnak
  • Explore Luxor's Valley of the Kings
  • Go bargain hunting in Cairo's souqs
  • Travel by camel to visit the Sphinx and Pyramids
  • Dine with Nubian locals in a traditional village
  • Cruise the Nile on a felucca
  • Home cooked meal with a local Family in Luxor

Itinerary

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early in Cairo, perhaps travel along the river by felucca or head out to explore the markets. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, a visit to the beautiful old Christian Coptic sector is well worth your time.
This morning, travel by private van Giza, the location of the Pyramids and the Sphinx. You final approach to the Pyramids will be by camel – take in panoramic views as you move across the dunes. Explore the Pyramids up close: the Pyramid of Khufu (the Great Pyramid of Cheops), the Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren) and the Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus). There is time for an optional entrance inside a pyramid; ask your group leader to assist with this. The inside thoroughfares of the Pyramids are very small and very warm, so this is not recommended for those prone to claustrophobia. It can get very hot here, so be prepared for a fair amount of hot and sweaty walking. Transfer back to central Cairo and visit the Egyptian Museum. With thousands of exhibits, it's easy to lose yourself in the its many corridors, but don't miss the Tutankhamun rooms where the famous golden death mask of King Tut and his gilded sarcophagi are displayed. Your leader will set a meeting time at the Cairo hotel to travel together to Giza station. Travel to Aswan aboard a sleeper train with fold-out beds (approximately 13 hours).

Notes: The two-berth cabins on the train are comfortable and air-conditioned. All bedding is provided on board by the porter. Western-style toilets are located in each carriage, but as toilet paper isn't always available it's best to carry your own supply. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you're a vegetarian (only a single type of meal is served for dinner, which always includes meat). In rare circumstances you may be paired in your cabin with a group member of the opposite sex, depending on the group configuration. On other occasions you might have the opportunity to share with another traveller of the same sex who may not be part of the group – again determined by the group configuration.
The Nile, Elephantine Island and white-sailed feluccas: welcome to Aswan. This Nubian city is Egypt's southern gateway to Africa and an important market town – take time here to check out one of the country's best bazaars.
Today you will visit a nearby village to join a local family for dinner. This is a great insight into the life and culture of the local people.
Early this morning there’s an option to travel to the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel. Those not opting to visit Abu Simbel can always visit the impressive Philae Temple nearby. Dedicated to the goddess Isis, the temple was painstakingly removed and reassembled after the construction of the Aswan High Dam flooded its original island location.

Notes: There are two ways travel to the temples of Abu Simbel: flying or driving. Driving is the cheapest way – you can hire a minivan with other group members who are also interested. Prices can fluctuate depending on the number of passengers travelling. This can be organised from Aswan. The ride is 3 hours each way, and departure is at around 4 am to join a group of buses in a security convoy to and from the temple.

Flights can be booked online through EgyptAir (http://www.egyptair.com/English). Return flights vary throughout the season, depending on the day of the week you fly and how far in advance you book, but expect to pay US$250–300. Due to the southerly location, we recommend booking an early flight and visit Abu Simbel at sunrise to avoid the heat. These flights, however, do not operate every day. On days without flights operating, land travel will be the only option. Note that your group leader won't be travelling with you if you fly (only for the land option). The entrance fee is paid on arrival, and there's the option of hiring a guide when you're there.
Board a felucca (a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails) and spend a day out on the river and a night under the stars. Your Nubian sailing crew provides all the meals, which are hearty and delicious. The boat has a canopy that offers shade and protection from the elements; however, there is no cabin or enclosed section. Note that conditions are basic during the felucca trip, but if you are prepared to rough it a bit you are sure to have a great time. You'll sleep outside on the deck of the felucca on a mattress. Blankets are provided, but a sleeping sheet is recommended. During the colder months (October to March) it can get very cold at night (as low as 5°C) so a sleeping bag is highly recommended for this period. There are no toilets on board, but there will be toilet stops with nature on the riverbank (at passengers' request). At the completion of the day's sailing we'll assemble a western-style toilet and tent close by on the riverbank. Any assistance from the group in building the toilet tent is always much appreciated.

Notes: we may need to make slight alterations to our Nile itinerary throughout the year, depending on winds and currents. As the felucca is a sailing craft without any outboard engine, if there's no wind we won't travel very far. Nonetheless, watching the sun setting across the Nile in the evening is a sight you'll remember. This is the absolute highlight of the trip for many of our travellers.
After farewelling your felucca crew, take a private van to Luxor (approximately 3.5 hours). There's the option to visit either the Temple of Kom Ombo or the Temple of Edfu on the way. Luxor is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs, such as the spectacular temple complex of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. Today you'll head out to visit an Intrepid Foundation Project, Animal Care in Egypt, to check out the great work they're doing here for local animals. Also explore the magnificent Karnak Temple, which is perhaps the most impressive of all the ancient Pharoahs' monumental works.
Take a private van to the west side of the Nile. Visit the Colossi of Memnon – two extraordinary 17-metre statues on Luxor's west bank. Carved from granite blocks, they represent the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Hop onto donkeys (in the winter months of October–May only) for a ride of a different kind through the local villages and fields of sugar cane (approximately 30 minutes). Continue to the spectacular royal burial site of the Valley of the Kings to visit three of the most interesting tombs. Here your group leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people. Note that a visit to King Tutankhamen's tomb is not included, but can be arranged as an option with advance notice. Ask your leader for details if you're interested. Join a local family for lunch to try some tasty traditional home cooking. The rest of your afternoon is free to explore. The Luxor Museum is a great place to visit in your free time. Alternatively, hire a bicycle and venture into the countryside. For a more upscale experience, check out the Winter Palace, a lovely five-star historical building with wonderful views over the Nile – a great place for a refreshing cocktail. Catch an overnight sleeper train from Luxor to Cairo (approximately 10 hours).
Return to Cairo in time for a farewell breakfast. Your adventure comes to an end after this, and you can check out anytime before noon.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport
Camel, Felucca, Overnight sleeper train, Van
Accommodation
Felucca (1 night), Hotel (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Camel ride at the Pyramids
  • Colossi of Memnon
  • Donkey ride (seasonal - not in summer)
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Felucca sailing trip
  • Intrepid Foundation Project visit - ACE (Animal Care in Egypt)
  • Karnak Temple
  • Khan al-Khalili bazaar visit
  • Pyramids and Sphinx
  • Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)

Dates

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Important notes

1. This trip starts on Day 1 in Cairo at 4pm.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.
3. Please arrange for departing flights after 3pm on day 8

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Egypt Adventure trips score an average of 4.77 out of 5 based on 43 reviews in the last year.

Egypt Adventure , January 2016

Egypt Adventure , January 2016