Essential Egypt


Departure dates

From 13/12/2023 to 08/01/2026

What's included

Witness some epic sights in Cairo, like the mysterious Sphinx and one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Maybe even learn how to spell your name in hieroglyphics!.
Take a memorable kayak along the Nile with a unique active experience, paddling through ancient landscapes.
Spend a night cruising the Nile in a traditional felucca boat (a bit like a floating living room) stopping at colourful villages and temples by day and stargazing by night.
Discover the Valley of the Kings with a tour through three burial sites of ancient Pharaohs and the option to check out the fascinating lost tomb of Tutankhamun.
Squeeze between stalls at an Aswan bazaar and discover the open-air museum of Luxor with loads of free time to see the sights at your own pace and a local leader with all the hot tips.
By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Animal Care in Egypt.
Donations help them care for sick or injured working animals, like horses and donkeys, and help empower local communities with the knowledge and training to better care for their animals.
Breakfasts Included: 8.
Lunches Included: 1.
Dinners Included: 4.
Hotel (5 nights),Overnight train (2 nights),Felucca (1 night).
Private vehicle,Felucca,Overnight sleeper train.
Age: min 18, max 29.
Group Size: 1 - 16.
Cairo - Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
Aswan - Kayaking.
Aswan - Orientation walk & bazaar visit.
Nile - Felucca overnight sailing trip.
Nile - Dinner and Music Felucca.
Luxor - Valley of the Kings (entrance to 3 tombs).
Cairo - Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar.

Itinerary / more information

  • 1 - Cairo Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome to Egypt. If you arrive in Cairo with time to spare, maybe immerse yourself in the madness of the bazaars, embrace the kitsch world of Dr Ragab's Pharaonic Village or wash down the dust with a sahlab (sweet, hot custard drink with nuts). Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. After, put your tastebuds into overdrive as you head out with your new travel buddies for some koshari (vegetarian Egyptian chilli often with fresh lemon juice). Later tonight, maybe explore Cairo's nightlife - your trip leader will know all the best spots!
  • 2 - Cairo After breakfast this morning, it's time to tick something huge off your bucket list. Drive out to the edge of the desert and explore the Great Pyramids of Giza - one of the famed ancient Wonders of the World - and the nearby Sphinx (nobody's quite sure how it lost its nose). A guy called Khufu was responsible for building the Great Pyramid - it's 4500 years old, 146 m tall, and made from 2.3 million blocks weighing around 2.5 tonnes each. He even got a 9 cm statue to commemorate him - lucky him! You can marvel at their size up close or take an epic Instagram from a distance, with Cairo in the background. Later, you'll have free time to continue exploring how you'd like - maybe visit the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's greatest collections of ancient artefacts, or head to the Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren). In the evening, it's time for your sleeper train to Aswan where you'll spend the night.
  • 3 - Aswan Hit the bazaar this morning on a tour with your leader. Among the friendly shouts of 'welcome' and 'where are you from' coming from the vendors, you'll visit an oil and perfume merchant to learn how aromatic botanicals have been used in Egypt throughout the ages. Later, choose whether to join an optional tour to the Philae Temple Complex, where you can see the Temple of Isis (the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom) that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated in the 1960s. In the afternoon, grab a paddle for the kayaking adventure of a lifetime as you navigate the Nile. Float along the historic waters as you see the sights from a new perspective. For dinner, you can head to a Nubian village and enjoy an optional dinner with a local family.
  • 4 - Aswan This morning is yours to spend as you please in Aswan. If you can manage a (very) early start, the optional drive to the epic Abu Simbel is well worth the sleepy eyes - cut out of a solid rock cliff, this temple is a historic site built as a place of worship to Pharaoh Ramses II after his death. Renting a minivan with your fellow travellers is the cheapest option and it takes about 3 hours to drive there. You'll want at least 2 hours to explore, before heading back to Aswan for a free evening to hit the best dinner and drink spots. Maybe try some ful wa ta'ameya (Egyptian falafel) with a warm pita and salad, followed by another cup of mint tea.
  • 5 - Nile Felucca This morning is yours to relax and recharge. Then you'll board an overnight felucca - a bit like a floating tent, this traditional Egyptian vessel is the perfect way to explore the Nile. Spend the late afternoon amid tranquil scenery, either tucking into a good book or playing cards with your group. Stop at a colourful Nubian village nearby for a stroll and discover what life is like for people living along the Nile. Depending on your group's vibe tonight, you might like to have a little beach party under the starry night sky. Tonight, fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the boat, the warm breeze on your cheeks and the blanket of constellations above (there are no walls on a felucca, so your view will be totally undisturbed!).
  • 6 - Luxor Disembark your felucca this morning and head for the sweet release of a hotel shower. If you like, you can check out the Temple of Edfu along the way, where inscriptions give insight into life during the Hellenistic period when the temple was built. Continue to Luxor, where you're free to explore this open-air museum at your own pace. Karnak Temple is a good first stop - wandering through this ancient village is a cool way to get a sense of what life was like here more than 3000 years ago. Legend has it that if you walk around the granite scarab west of the Sacred Lake seven times, you'll meet your soulmate. Tonight, maybe kick back with some fiteer baladi (Egyptian pizza) or shawarma.
  • 7 - Luxor This morning, travel the short distance to the West Bank. Check out three burial tombs in the Valley of the Kings, with the option to explore the formerly lost tomb of Tutankhamun. Continue to the Colossi of Memnon, where two huge statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III will have you pondering whether posting selfies to Instagram twice a day is really the height of narcissism. If your fellow travellers are up for it, you can choose to finish your West Bank adventure with an optional visit to the tomb of Hatshepsut - she became pharaoh when she married her half-brother (not all that uncommon at the time). If you've got any energy left, there will also be time to squeeze in a visit to Luxor Temple before your overnight train to Cairo.
  • 8 - Cairo When you arrive in Cairo, this morning you'll head to your hotel to freshen up and drop your bags. Then, jump on the Metro with your leader to Bab al-Futuh - one of three remaining gates from the Old City. Walking past the old Islamic monuments that stand watch over the bazaars, you can join in on some good-natured haggling at the Kahan-el Khalili bazaar, then head to El Fishawy. This ramshackle 240-year-old cafe is perfect for a cup of tea or a glass of cold water with lemon and mint. Tonight, you're free to find the perfect spot for a farewell dinner with your group or to hit the nightlife and celebrate a trip well-travelled.
  • 9 - Cairo After breakfast this morning, your trip comes to an end. If you'd like to explore Egypt further, just speak to your booking agent.
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