Well, I’m off to Egypt in about two weeks, and just now am I getting to the planning stage for the trip.
My friend Aaron and I booked an Etihad mistake fare late last year for only $330 round trip. Granted, flying through Abu Dhabi is not the most convenient, but for that price we didn’t care.
At this point, we have a pretty good idea of what’s on the agenda for the time we are there.
Here’s the plan:
We land in Cairo in the early morning, and we are going to take the day train to Luxor. This will allow us to take in the magnificent Nile at a quicker and less expensive pace than taking a Nile cruise. We’re a bit undecided about what we are going to do for the two full days we have in Luxor because it just seems like there is so much! Any recommendations?
We have a flight booked on Egypt Air from Luxor to Sharm el-Sheikh. The plan is to take a taxi up to Dahab where we will either climb Mt. Sinai, scuba dive, or ideally both over the following couple days. What we end up doing is mainly dependent on timing of climbs/dives/flights and whether or not we can get enough time in between to be able to dive safely.
Following our stay in Dahab, we will overnight in Sharm el-Sheikh before our early flight back to Cairo. We have nearly three full days to spend in and around Cairo. We definitely intend to see the Pyramids of Giza, and I hope to make it to the City of the Dead as well. We’re still debating whether or not it would be worth it to make a quick trip to Alexandria at some point as well.
So much to see, so little time! If you’re been to Egypt before, do you have any recommendations? Things not to miss, things worth skipping? If you haven’t been, feel free to comment with anything specific you’d like to see me cover about the trip on the blog!
At the temples and most sites definitely find a guide because the history is so rich, you dont want to guide yourselves at the sites. The pyramids though are pretty self explanatory.
That’s a great tip! Thanks Songer. That’s something that I might not have even thought about ahead of time.
I would not miss the scuba diving out of Sharm El Sheikh. We’ve dived all over the world, and that still remains the best diving we’ve ever done. If you love diving, this is not the place to miss. We did only a single day in Cairo, taking in the Pyramids, Sphinx, and Cairo Museum, but you can stretch that to 2 full days if you need. We did 1 full day in Luxor. If you can get to Abu Simbel (a VERY early morning flight from Cairo), it was actually the most impressive ancient site we saw in all of Egypt, even though Luxory/Karnak gets the bigger press (and is impressive in its own right). Either way, enjoy–and remember that you can always go back!
Good to know about the scuba diving! I’ll look into whether it will be possible to make it to Abu Simbel — the pictures are pretty impressive!
I went to Cairo with 2 days notice in November. I used Egypt Last Minute Tours based solely on their trip advisor rating. My guide was great and the driver they provided guided us expertly through the crazy Cairo traffic. I had just 1 full day to sight see and I was glad I used them. I went to Giza, the Egyptian museum and the main Souk We enjoyed Giza and the museum more than the Souk. The guide happily modified how long and what we saw at the museum to accommodate our particular interests. He knew his history and made the day very enjoyable.
The city was pretty empty and my friends who traveled there before me all commented on how few people were in my pictures at the temples. We were the only obvious non-local tourists at Giza.
I have nothing to do with this company but they treated us very well and they are desperate for tourism to return to previous levels. Lucky, from OMAT used them as well on his trip. All of there guides get exceptional reviews on TA.
Like Lucky, we also felt very safe while there.
Have a great trip.
We have Giza and the Egyptian Museum on our to-do list in Cairo as well. It’s great to hear that your guide was so accommodating! I will definitely look into that tour company. Thanks!
How did you get a 330$ ticket! thats amazing, I want to do the same , any advice?
It was a mistake fare on Etihad from Oct ish of 2014. Keep and eye on theflightdeal.com and faredealalert.com and be prepared to book the mistake fare as soon as you see it!
Some thoughts from my recent trip since I have been slow to blog.
Outside Cairo I liked the pyramids at Dahshur best, Saqqarah is on the same road and of merit for the Step Pyramid however the worst caretaker hassle I experienced.
Alexandria is massive, the library is great and corniche is good. I preferred the WWII sites at El Alamein, which realistically you need a car and is 4 hours from Cairo. Going via Alexandria adds a lot of time.
Luxor I loved. As irresistible as they seen, the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens are the ones in hindsight that I would drop first, the tombs are just not as exciting as the smaller Tombs of the Nobles and quiet sites like Ramessuem that the tour buses of Russian from the coastal resorts skip. Karnak at dawn and Luxor Temple at night are great.
Thanks for the great tips! I love reading your posts on more off-the-beaten-path places, so we will definitely take these sites into consideration.The WWII sites hadn’t even crossed my mind as something to try to make it to, but maybe we’ll do that instead of Alexandria. Looking forward to comparing notes the next time our paths cross!
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The Egyptian Museum of Antiquity is a must. It’s unbelievable. Pay the extra to see the mummies