If you are looking for an alternative way to discover the country you should consider a cruise along the Nile. Most Nile cruises start in Luxor and visit the popular sites of Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo before disembarking in Aswan (then take flight to visit Abu Simbel and concluding in Al Cairo). There are many different options, from traditional paddle steamers to luxurious modern cruise ships (even all cruises tend to operate on a similar schedule), so you can choose what is more suitable for you.

DAY 1 – LUXOR

We arrive in the late evening, landing in the small Luxor airport surrounded by the desert and once collected our backpack, we head to the harbour by taxi to reach our boat: ready to sail along one of the largest rivers in the world, in a country full rich of history and spectacular monuments.

DAY 2 – LUXOR

After waking up early in the morning, we head to the Temple of Karnak, a large complex dedicated to the God Amun with a series of temples, statues, halls and walls decorated in an amazing way. The morning is gone and it is very hot; we take shelter in the shade where we have lunch, before keep going with our trip which includes a visit to the Temple of Luxor, dedicated by Amenhotep III to the Sun god Amun-Ra, to his wife Mut and his son Khonsu: this architectural masterpiece was adorned with obelisks and later one of them was given to Louis Philippe of France and you can still admire it in the “Place de la Concorde” in Paris. Towards evening, after enjoying the Luxor Museum and the sunset on the Nile and had dinner on the boat, we decide to walk around the streets of the city totally deserted and with no attractions but with an incredible charm.

Entrance fees and info

  • Karnak Temple: 150 EGP;
  • Karnak Museum: 80 EGP;
  • Luxor Temple: 140 EGP;
Karnak temple, Egypt
Karnak temple, Egypt

DAY 3 – LUXOR / ESNA

Starting at dawn, our visit includes a must see: the Necropolis of Ancient Thebes. This incredible UNESCO heritage site, located between Luxor and Karnak, is very huge and we can admire the famous temples dedicated to Hatshepsut, Mentuhotep II and Tuthmosis II, Merneptah, Ramses IV, Tuthmosis III, Tuthmosis IV, Tworset, Nebwenenef, Amenhotep II and Seti I. In addition, the Necropolis has two of the most famous places in the country, very picturesque and surrounded by mystery, where we can see can the famous tomb of Tutankhamon: the Valley of the Kings and the Queens. After this really interesting day, we go back to theboat, ready to sail to Esna enjoying the Nile.

Entrance fees and info

  • Habu Temple: 60 EGP;
  • Ramesseum Temple: 60 EGP;
  • Seti I Temple: 60 EGP;
  • Sety I Tomb (no photos): 1000 EGP;
  • Howard Carter’s House and the Replica of King Tut’s Tomb: 50EGP;
  • Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple (known as Temple of Hatshepsut): 80 EGP;
  • The Valley of hte Kings (3 tombs): 160 EGP (Photo Pass (3 tombs): 300 EGP);
  • The Valley of the Queens (3 tombs): 80 EGP (Photo Pass (3 tombs): 300 EGP);
  • Ramses V – Vl (extra ticket): 80 EGP;
  • Tomb of King Tut Ankh Amun (no photos): 200 EGP;
  • Nefertari Tomb for a 10-minute visit (3,000 EGP Photo Pass from Cairo): 1000 EGP.
View of Kings' valley, Egypt
View of Kings’ valley, Egypt

DAY 4 – ESNA / EDFU / KOM OMBO

After sailing  during the night, we arrive in Esna and we go straight to visit the temple dedicated to Khnum, the God with head of Ram, then we back on the boat and continue the itinerary to Edfu located not far from Esna. In the afternoon, after docking, we visit the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus, the God with the falcon head, whose statue dominates the courtyard. It’s really suggestive, we can breathe the history and charm of this incredible ancient civilization. But the day is not over yet: we start again with our boat to reach approximately 65 km away, the beautiful city of Kom Ombo, where in the evening we visit the Ptolemaic-Roman Temple, dedicated to the crocodile God Sobek and Haroeris, one of solar manifestations of Horus. The charm of the night embraces this temple illuminated inside with an embalmed Nile crocodile and characterized by a particular architectural style as each element is represented twice.

Entrances fees and info

  • Khnum temple: 30 EGP;
  • Edfu temple: 100 EGP;
  • Kom Ombo temple and Museum: 80 EGP.
  • Feluca ride: 80 EGP (Just bargain your price!).
Sailing on the Nile river, Egypt
Sailing on the Nile river, Egypt

DAY 5 – KOM OMBO / ASWAN

We wake up with an amazing sunrise after sailing all night long and now we are in Aswan, once an important commercial – military center and today also a tourists spot: here we can visit the Aswan High Dam which extends itself for 500 km along the Nile River and covers an area of 6,000 km2, of which northern two-thirds, known as Lake Nasser, is in Egypt and one-third, called Lake Nubia, in Sudan. We continue by visiting the Unfinished Obelisk and then the Temple of Philae dedicated to god Isis: the beauty of this temple was saved from the waters of the lake through an ingenious work and it was moved from the previous position about 500 meters away and 30 higher.

Entrance fees and info

  • Philae Temple: 100 EGP;
  • High Dam: 30 EGP;
  • Unfinished Obelisk: 60 EGP;
  • Nubia Museum: 100 EGP (Nubia Museum Photo Pass: 50 EGP).
Road to Aswan, Egypt
Road to Aswan, Egypt

DAY 6 – ASWAN / ABU SIMBEL / ASWAN / AL CAIRO

Wake up early in the morning when it’s still dark and we are preparing to leave the boat to head with a minibus to Aswan airport and take flight to Abu Simbel: a must see spot in Egypt. The temples of Ramses II and his favorite wife Nefertari are among the largest architectural complexes of the Nile Valley. Also in this case, they made a salvage operation and the temples are higher compared to their initial place, in order to not be submerged by the Nasser Lake. We also visit the Nubian Museum, where important evidence of the Lower Nubia, can be observed (nowadays is submerged by the lake). After the visit finishes, we head to the airport, in order to take two flights which will take us to the Capital: Al Cairo. Once arrived there, we head to the most known area of the city where we grab something to eat and have a walk: the popular Khan el-Khalili Souk.

Entrance fees and info

  • Abu Simbel temples: 160 EGP.
  • Non-commercial Photography / Videography inside Abu Simble Temples: 300 EGP.

N.B. Guards check your ticket several times and delete your photos if you don’t have the right ticket.

Abu Simbel temple, Egypt
Abu Simbel temple, Egypt

DAY 7 – AL CAIRO

Wake up in the capital, with the sun not raised yet, we are ready to go to discover the secrets of this fascinating city full of monuments and attractions. We start with the visit of one of the Wonders of the World, a place full of history and mystery: Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Solar Boat! After the visit in this spectacular area, we continue to Memphis and then to the Necropolis of Sakkara with the museum of Imhotep and the first pyramid ever built in the country, the Mastaba. Back to the center of the city, we dedicate the rest of the evening to dine in a typical Egyptian restaurant, before enjoying a delicious karkadé on the road, while watching the folklore of the city, which, even in the night, is always full of life.

Entrance fees and info

  • Giza Pyramids: 120 EGP;
  • The Great Pyramid: 300 EGP;
  • The 2nd or 3rd Pyramid: 60 EGP;
  • Giza Solar Boat Museum: 80 EGP (Photo Pass: 50 EGP);
  • Memphis: 60 EGP;
  • Imhotep & Saqqara (The Step Pyramid): 120 EGP;
  • Dashur (The Bent Pyramid): 60 EGP.
  • Camel ride in Giza: 100 EGP (30 minutes).
Pyramid and Sphinx view in Al Cairo, Egypt
Pyramid and Sphinx view in Al Cairo, Egypt

DAY 8 – AL CAIRO

Today we dedicate the entire morning to the beautiful and immense Egyptian Museum, full of precious artifacts including the incredible Hall of Mummies, where you can admire some ancient Egyptian pharaohs. After the visit we continue to explore the capital by visiting the major sites of the city such as the Citadel, the Mosque of Mohamed Ali and Ibn el Qalawn, a factory which produces the papyrus, then we go to Khan el-Khalili Souk, where we eat and enjoy the evening!

Entrance fees and info

  • Egyptian Museum: 120 EGP;
  • The Royal Mummies Hall: 150 EGP;
  • Egyptian Museum Photo Pass: 50 EGP;
  • Citadel of Saladin: 100 EGP (Old Cairo).
Mohammad Ali Mosque in Al Cairo, Egypt
Mohammad Ali Mosque in Al Cairo, Egypt

Day 9 – AL CAIRO

It is the last day and we decide to walk around the crowded streets of the city center, taking a few pics and to buy the last gifts, before heading to the airport: we had great time and intense days discovering an amazing country rich of history and beautiful places!

Al Cairo view, Egypt
Al Cairo view, Egypt

 

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