Enjoy a Middle East adventure through Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

Holidays in the Middle East are eye-opening adventures into another world. From Cairo to Istanbul, travel through lands bearing legacies of Egyptian, Islamic, Christian, Persian and Roman civilisations. Visiting Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey, you can cruise the Nile on a felucca, discover impressive temples, delve into underground cities, snorkel incredible underwater worlds and be humbled by the locals' generous hospitality. Discover it all on this epic adventure through the intriguing Middle East.

Start
Cairo, Egypt
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Countries
Egypt,
Jordan,
Turkey
Themes
Explorer
Code
XESXC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
911kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Experience the ancient city of Damascus
  • Marvel at the lost city of Petra
  • Uncover hidden gems in the backstreets of Istanbul
  • Discover Cappadocia's surreal landscapes
  • Snorkel or dive in the Red Sea
  • Cruise the Nile on a felucca
  • Visit Cairo and see the Pyramids of Giza
  • Climb Mt Sinai
  • Explore Luxor's Valley of the Kings

Itinerary

Welcome to a city like no other. Be immersed in Cairo's chaos, colour and culture with a trip to Khan al-Khalili, Egypt's most famous bazaar. For a change of pace, climb aboard a camel and visit the impressive Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza for those iconic vistas. Take time to visit the fascinating Egyptian Museum, home to more than 120,000 antiquities and relics including the famous burial treasures recovered from King Tutankhamun's tomb. In the evening, take an overnight sleeper train bound south.
Join a local Nubian family for dinner to experience a slice of Nile culture firsthand. There is also time for an optional day trip to the fascinating temples of Abu Simbel. Later, set sail down the Nile on a magical overnight felucca journey, sleeping on deck under the starry sky.
Known as Thebes to the ancient Egyptians, Luxor conceals amazing treasures. Pay a visit to an Intrepid-supported animal care project and wander the amazing Temples of Karnak. Enjoy a donkey ride before heading to the Valley of the Kings to visit three of the best-preserved pharaonic tombs. Afterwards, join a local family for a traditional home-cooked lunch and enjoy free time before boarding an overnight sleeper train back to Cairo.
Explore Cairo in your own time and catch up on all the sights you may have missed earlier.
Climb Mt Sinai for panoramic desert views. Visit the monastery of St Katherine, built at the site of the burning bush.
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.
Step on to a ferry and cross into Jordan to spend the night in Aqaba, Jordan's only seaport.
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.
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.
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.
Cross the border into Syria and roam the alleyways of the ancient city of Damascus.
Explore the ruins of Palmyra, the former Silk Road city that rises hauntingly from the desert.
Visit this imposing fortress which remains one of the world's most impressive castles.
Revel in the excitement of the souq and perhaps enjoy a rejuvenating scrub in a Syrian hamam.
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.
Be entranced by the colossal stone heads of Mt Nemrut.
Be spellbound by the Cappadocia region, famous for its underground cities, whimsical fairy chimneys and stone churches.
A fascinating fusion of East and West, Istanbul begs to be explored.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
17 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport
Bus, Camel, Felucca, Ferry, Jeep, Overnight sleeper train, Taxi, Train, Van
Accommodation
Beach hut (1 night), Desert camp (1 night), Felucca (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (18 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights), Pension (2 nights)
Included activites
  • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Camel ride at the Pyramids
  • Colossi of Memnon
  • Dead Sea
  • Donkey ride (seasonal - not in summer)
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Goreme - Underground city
  • Guided tour of Petra
  • Home-cooked traditional meal with local family
  • Intrepid Foundation Project visit - ACE (Animal Care in Egypt)
  • Karnak Temple
  • Khan al-Khalili bazaar visit
  • Krak des Chevaliers
  • Krak des Chevaliers local guide
  • Mt Nebo
  • Mt Nemrut
  • Mt Sinai climb with local guide
  • Nubian village visit and meal
  • Overnight felucca sailing trip
  • Palmyra local guide
  • Palmyra tour
  • Pyramids and Sphinx
  • Umayyad Mosque
  • Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)

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Notes

1. The welcome meeting for this trip is at 4PM on day 1
2. 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
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

Important 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