Cairo to Istanbul Overview

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Explore the Middle East from Cairo to Istanbul.

Take a Middle East trip from Cairo to Istanbul, travelling through Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. From the 'Land of the Pharaohs' to modern-day Istanbul, via Jordan and Syria, travel through countries that bare the legacies of Islamic, Christian, Persian and Roman civilisations. Discover deserts and mountains, camp under the stars, float in the Dead Sea, marvel at Petra and wander among the bizarre fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Experience it all on this Middle East Adventure.

  • Climb to the summit of Mt Sinai
  • Experience the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia
  • Explore the lost city of Petra
  • Float effortlessly in the Dead Sea
  • See stunning ancient ruins on Mt Nemrut
  • Set out on a desert safari
  • Snorkel or dive in the Red Sea
  • Uncover hidden gems in the backstreets of Istanbul

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Cairo, Egypt
  • Finish:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Group size:

    Min 1 , Max 12
  • Ages:

    Min 12
  • Meals:

    13 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation:

    Beach hut (1 nt), Desert camp (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (14 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Pension (2 nts)
  • Transport:

    Bus, Ferry, Jeep, Taxi
  • Included activities:

    4WD jeep safari and desert camp, Dead Sea, Goreme - Underground city, Guided tour of Petra, Krak des Chevaliers, Krak des Chevaliers local guide, Mt Nebo, Mt Nemrut, Mt Sinai climb with local guide, Palmyra local guide, Palmyra tour, Umayyad Mosque

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    683kg pp per trip
  • Notes:

    1. Please note there may be a revised itinerary in the winter months (approx. October - March), when it is often not possible to travel to Mt Nemrut due to snow blocking the mountainous roads. On these occasions we will spend 3nts in Goreme 2. To see the Pyramids we recommend you arrange extra pre-trip accommodation so you have time to visit the site. It is not included on this itinerary. 3. A single supplement is available on this trip. See important notes for single supplement exception nights UNREST IN SYRIA: This itinerary is currently not operating due to the devastating unrest in Syria. Until the situation improves there are other Middle East departures that you could consider such as the: Jordan & Egypt Express (EERJ), Pyramids to Petra (XESW) + Turkey Discovery (ERSW) trips

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About Egypt , Jordan , Syria , Turkey

Cairo to Istanbul Summary

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Day 1 Cairo

Welcome to Egypt. Why not arrive early to discover the ancient wonders of Cairo? The Egyptian Museum holds a glittering array of treasures and the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza inspire wonder and awe.

Day 2 Mt Sinai

Climb Mt Sinai for panoramic desert views. Visit the monastery of St Katherine, built at the site of the burning bush.

Day 3 Red Sea Beach Camp

Stay in beach huts and use free time to laze on the beach, snorkel the Red Sea's underwater world and tuck into tasty seafood. With warm sunsets, spectacular reefs and golden sand, this area of immense natural beauty is the perfect spot to sit back and relax.

Day 4 Aqaba

Step on to a ferry and cross into Jordan to spend the night in Aqaba, Jordan's only seaport.

Day 5 Wadi Rum

Bunker down in a desert camp in Wadi Rum with Bedouin tribespeople. A safari reveals the sublime beauty of the desert; sand dunes are interrupted by lunar-like rocky peaks, some of which bear carved inscriptions from ancient civilisations.

Days 6-7 Petra

Explore the long-lost city of Petra, carved out of a cliff face. A local guide helps to reveal the history of this ancient wonder.

Days 8-9 Madaba

Head to the coast for a soak in the Dead Sea. The salinity of the Dead Sea makes for effortless floating and the mud is known for its healing properties. Make a stop at Mt Nebo before reaching Madaba.

Days 10-11 Damascus

Cross the border into Syria and roam the alleyways of the ancient city of Damascus.

Day 12 Palmyra

Explore the ruins of Palmyra, the former Silk Road city that rises hauntingly from the desert.

Day 13 Krak des Chevaliers

Visit this imposing fortress which remains one of the world's most impressive castles.

Days 14-15 Aleppo

Revel in the excitement of the souq and perhaps enjoy a rejuvenating scrub in a Syrian hamam.

Day 16 Sanliurfa / Homestay

Cross the border into Turkey and revel in the exotic charms of this pilgrimage town. Enjoy warm hospitality and a spicy homemade meal while staying with a friendly local family.

Day 17 Mt Nemrut

Be entranced by the colossal stone heads of Mt Nemrut.

Days 18-20 Goreme

Be spellbound by the Cappadocia region, famous for its underground cities, whimsical fairy chimneys and stone churches.

Day 21 Istanbul

A fascinating fusion of East and West, Istanbul begs to be explored.
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