Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring tour

Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring tour

Tour Experience

Budget adventure tour of Jordan and Egypt

Available

All year round

Location

Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan

This great tour is jam packed with all the main sights in Jordan and Egypt. Petra, The Dead Sea, The Pyramids and more, and all for an amazingly low price.

Starting in Amman, Jordan, we tour the city centre before taking a tour out to the well preserved Roman remains at Jerash. Heading south we then follow the scenic Kings Highway stopping at Madaba, Mount Nebo, and the crumbling remains the crusader castle at Kerak, before arriving at Jordan's most popular attraction, the hidden city of Petra. We set aside a full day to explore the sprawling "Rose Red City" of Petra. Enter through the Siq and gaze upon the rock hewn Treasury built more than 2,000 years ago. Next we head into the desert at Wadi Rum, famous for its links with Lawrence of Arabia. We spend a night in a Bedouin camp here and take a 4x4 jeep ride through the stunning desert scenery before returning via a swim in the Dead Sea to Amman for our flight to Cairo (not included - you can book this as part of your main international flight ticket or we can book the flight for you separately).

Arriving into Cairo we start with a visit to the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx before travelling down to Aswan, with an optional extra early morning tour to the impressive temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Back in Aswan we hop on board our traditional Nile felucca sailboat and wend our way down the River Nile, with support en-route from our facilities boat with on board toilet, showers and massage deck. Arriving into Luxor we take time to visit some of the many temples in this amazing open air museum, and of course we take time to explore the tombs of the Valley of the Kings. We finally head back to Cairo where the tour ends. If you'd like to add some time by the Red Sea to this trip, it's easy to add on a few extra days at the beach resort of Hurghada.

VIEW THE PHOTOS

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • 1 night in comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
  • 1 night in a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan (2020 only)
  • Overnight felucca sailboat cruise with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower (2019 2 nights, 2020 1 night)
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles (plus Bedouin jeeps in Wadi Rum)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • 4x4 jeep safari in Wadi Rum
  • Services of a specialist tour guides for sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

EXCLUDED

  • International flights (available on request)
  • Amman-Cairo flight (available on request or bookable with your international flight ticket)
  • Visa fees (Free Jordan visa included in the Jordan Pass; Egypt US$25)
  • Entrance fees in Jordan (included in the Jordan Pass, to be purchased in advance, JD70)
  • Entrance fees in Egypt (allow approx. US$50)
  • Tipping kitty in Egypt (allow US$45)
  • Guide Tips in Jordan and Egypt
  • Tips in Jordan
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Hotel gala dinners (see Tour notes)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

PACKAGE DETAILS

Itinerary

DAY 1, 2019 – Welcome to Amman. Airport to hotel transfers included

Once you arrive at the airport, one of our staff members will be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you’re free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| EXTRAS:
Extra day in Amman – pre-tour, Single room supplement (JOSHJE), As-Salt and Bethany tour

DAY 2, 2019 – Exploring Amman and Jerash

We start the day by heading north out of Amman to nearby Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Fondly referred to as the ‘Jewel of the North’, Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Jerash was hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations and restorations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.
After returning from Jerash we spend the afternoon exploring Amman, commonly known as the ‘white city’ due to its sheer number of white limestone buildings. Amman’s rich history dates back many millennia, with numerous excavations and renovations uncovering remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.
Our tour will include the Citadel – the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. We’ll also visit the 6000-seat Roman Theatre – which dates to the Roman period, when the city was known as Philadelphia.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Amman evening food tasting tour

DAY 3, 2019 – Mosaics, Castles & Wadis en-route to Petra

We say goodbye to Amman today as we drive to Petra via the King’s Highway. The drive to Petra is a scenic one, as we cross deep Wadis, pass through olive groves and remote rural villages.
Before we reach Petra, we’ll stop at Madaba, where we’ll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George – famous for its 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. We’ll also make our way up Mt Nebo, which provides spectacular views of the Holy Land, which is known as the burial place of the prophet Moses.
After exploring Madaba, we’ll once again cross a few deep Wadis, including the impressive Wadi al-Mujib, where the road winds through olive groves before rising up the side of a spectacular 1-kilometre deep canyon.
We’ll also stop at Kerak Castle, which is one in a chain of Crusader fortresses built across Jordan in the 12th Century on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan route. Built in 1132AD by the Crusader King, Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem, the castle fell to Saladin in 1188AD. It is still a hugely impressive building with commanding views over the surrounding hills & plains.
Once we arrive in Petra, we’ll help you check into your hotel and the evening is free for you to relax and explore. An option is available to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.
| OVERNIGHT:
Petra hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Petra by night

DAY 4, 2019 – Exploring Petra, camping in Wadi Rum

We enjoy a full day today inside the world famous Nabatean site of Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabatean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD, Petra was largely forgotten, except by the local Bedouins, until it was ‘discovered’ in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
Petra is situated on the edge of Wadi Aruba, whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossible to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. The city itself has very few free-standing buildings, as the Nabateans chose to carve their homes, buildings and tombs into the multi-coloured sandstone cliffs.
Nowadays, the Jordanian government and local people are aware of Petra’s interest to tourists, and the tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, and all the building feels miles away.
We have a whole day today to tour this fascinating city (2-3 hour guided tour, then free time to explore yourselves). We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us, and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain places. The ancient Nabatean water channel can still be seen on one wall, as well as some remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city. Suddenly, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra’s most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down and discuss the spiritual significance of the building style.
From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We’ll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and during your free time you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing ‘Monastery’. The biggest of Petra’s carved monuments at 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan Valley. Another climb can take you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain.
Late in the afternoon, we leave Petra and drive into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum, where friendly Bedouin hosts are ready to greet us at a comfortable camp beneath the towering rocks and cliffs. We spend the evening and night relaxing at the camp, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.
| OVERNIGHT:
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, 2019 – A Jeep safari in Wadi Rum & a swim in the Dead Sea

After breakfast, we explore the spectacular desert and mountains of Wadi Rum via a Jeep safari. The desert here, with its towering rust coloured rocky ‘jebels’ awed TE Lawrence during his visits during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18 and was later made famous in the film Lawrence of Arabia.
We’ll leave Wadi Rum and drive north up the banks of the Dead Sea, one of the world’s most amazing places. As well as being the lowest point on earth at over 400 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea region is one of the most spiritual landscapes in the world as well as being full of dramatic natural beauty.
The Dead Sea itself receives several incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.
The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela). We stop along the way to enjoy a ‘swim’, though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting – you’ll also discover various tiny cuts you never thought you had!
We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Amman evening food tasting tour, As-Salt and Bethany tour

DAY 6, 2019 – Amman to Cairo. Hotel transfer included

We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Cairo. Once you arrive, we’ll meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip. We’ll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Cairo independently.
Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day – all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Amman to Cairo flight

DAY 7, 2019 – Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum tour

Our tour of Egypt begins with a trip to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo. Home to the fantastic Tutankhamun exhibit, the museum hosts a huge number of other ancient Egyptian artefacts. One of our local Egyptologist guides will be accompanying you on this and all of your other sightseeing tours, and you’ll find them a wealth of knowledge and full of enthusiasm about Egyptian history, and their country in general. Following on from the museum we then head to Giza on the outskirts of Cairo to visit the Sphinx and the three great pyramids of Egypt. At 500 feet high and 750 feet wide at its base the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is an awesome man-made structure constructed of giant stone blocks with a hard limestone casing. The casing has, over the years, been stripped away to leave exposed the inner block structure. Together with the smaller pyramids of Khafre (Chephern) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), the majestic sight of these enormous structures rising out of the desert is a breathtaking spectacle. You will have the opportunity to climb down right inside the pyramids if you wish, though your guide cannot accompany you (a limited number of tickets are available for the Great Pyramid).
In the evening we leave Cairo by coach and head south through the Nile Valley to Aswan.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board coach
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
One way sleeper train upgrade

DAY 8, 2019 – Arrive in Aswan, Nubian Village & Philae Temple

This morning we arrive in Aswan and transfer to our hotel overlooking the Nile which is at its most picturesque here, with cascading rapids, lush green islands, and feluccas sailing to and fro. Aswan itself is a melting pot of African and Middle Eastern cultures, most easily experienced by wandering through the busy markets. It’s also part of the ancient region of Nubia, which comprised parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan around the Nile rivers. Many descendants of the Nubian people still live here and we’ll visit a local Nubian village to see their colourful houses, simple way of life and to enjoy a traditional lunch.
We continue our tour this afternoon with a visit the Temple of Philae, a beautiful island complex dedicated to Isis and reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, which we reach by a scenic boat ride. The evening is then free to look around Aswan’s spice and general markets, and to walk up and down the popular Corniche, on the banks of the Nile. An option is also available to take a camel ride through the sands on the far bank of the Nile to St. Simeon’s monastery. If you’ve chosen the Abu Simbel option then head to bed early this evening to be ready for a very early start tomorrow morning.
| OVERNIGHT:
Aswan hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, 2019 – Aswan, Abu Simbel option & felucca cruise

This morning we have the option of taking an early start for the drive to the UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel. These amazing temples built by Ramses II are one of Egypt’s main highlights and attractions. Those not visiting Abu Simbel can explore Aswan’s markets this morning, walk up and down the Corniche on the banks of the river or visit the Nubian Museum which has a fascinating collection covering the development of the Nubian people in the region.
We board our traditional Nile felucca at lunchtime to enjoy an afternoon sailing down the Nile. Floating down the Nile on a felucca is one of Egypt’s most enjoyable activities and you’ll be able to watch local rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river as you drift past. Our Nubian crew will sail the boat and entertain you on the way, as well as preparing meals for you. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat has a welcome toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen where the crew will prepare a delicious evening meal. You sleep on the deck of the boat tonight (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided). You can upgrade your upcoming felucca sailboat trip to an additional two nights in hotels, and in this case you’ll spend tonight in Aswan and then drive to Luxor, rejoining the group when they arrive after the felucca cruise. All other touring remains the same.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner
| EXTRAS:
Abu Simbel overland, Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

DAY 10, 2019 – Felucca sailing

You have the whole day today to relax and watch the world go by from the deck of the felucca. We’ll stop at several islands and on the banks of the river for breaks and to walk to local villages. Meals are prepared by our Nubian crew and drinks are available on board.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, 2019 – Luxor & Karnak temple, and evening city walk

After breakfast on-board we bid farewell to our felucca crew and drive north to Luxor. The town of Luxor is built on and around the ancient site of Thebes, and boasts the largest concentration of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. To the west of the Nile lies the City of the Dead, with its mortuary temples and rock-hewn tombs, whilst to the east lie the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. Our tour this afternoon is to the huge Karnak complex with our Egyptologist guide. Later this evening he’ll talk you on a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You’ll also stop at some of Luxor’s popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals.
| OVERNIGHT:
Luxor hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Nile cruise upgrade

DAY 12, 2019 – Luxor, free time, tour & balloon flight options

Your morning is free today and you can enjoy a welcome lie in after several early starts. Alternatively, a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).
Several optional tours are available today, including one to explore Luxor’s West Bank. Home to the Valley of the Kings, the dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and so it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Our tour includes several of these Pharaonic tombs, as well as the temples of Queen Hatchepsut, the huge Colossi of Memnon, and the Worker’s Village.
In the evening we board the coach again for the journey back north to Cairo.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board coach
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Extra West Bank tour in Luxor

DAY 13, 2019 – Cairo, Free time. Old Cairo and the Khan-el-Khalili bazzar

We arrive back into Cairo early this morning and transfer to our hotel. Most of the day is then free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Other full day options further afield include a visit to the colonnial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean, or a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.
In the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We’ll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We’ll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt’s unofficial national dish, Kushari.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Cairo city tour, Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
2019 Day 14 : Cairo, departure transfer to the airport
Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)
2020 ITINERARY

DAY 14, 2020 – Welcome to Amman. Airport to hotel transfers included

Once you arrive at the airport, one of our staff members will be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you’re free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| EXTRAS:
Bethany & Ajloun Castle, Extra day in Amman – pre-tour, Single room supplement (JOSHJE)

DAY 15, 2020 – Exploring Amman and Jerash

We start the day by heading north out of Amman to nearby Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Fondly referred to as the ‘Jewel of the North’, Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
Jerash was hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations and restorations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.
After returning from Jerash we spend the afternoon exploring Amman, commonly known as the ‘white city’ due to its sheer number of white limestone buildings. Amman’s rich history dates back many millennia, with numerous excavations and renovations uncovering remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.
Our tour will include the Citadel – the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. We’ll also visit the 6000-seat Roman Theatre – which dates to the Roman period, when the city was known as Philadelphia.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Amman evening food tasting tour

DAY 16, 2020 – Mosaics, Castles & Wadis en-route to Petra

We say goodbye to Amman today as we drive to Petra via the King’s Highway. The drive to Petra is a scenic one, as we cross deep Wadis, pass through olive groves and remote rural villages.
Before we reach Petra, we’ll stop at Madaba, where we’ll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George – famous for its 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. We’ll also make our way up Mt Nebo, which provides spectacular views of the Holy Land, which is known as the burial place of the prophet Moses.
After exploring Madaba, we’ll once again cross a few deep Wadis, including the impressive Wadi al-Mujib, where the road winds through olive groves before rising up the side of a spectacular 1-kilometre deep canyon.
We’ll also stop at Kerak Castle, which is one in a chain of Crusader fortresses built across Jordan in the 12th Century on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan route. Built in 1132AD by the Crusader King, Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem, the castle fell to Saladin in 1188AD. It is still a hugely impressive building with commanding views over the surrounding hills & plains.
Once we arrive in Petra, we’ll help you check into your hotel and the evening is free for you to relax and explore. An option is available to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.
| OVERNIGHT:
Petra hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Petra by night

DAY 17, 2020 – Exploring Petra, camping in Wadi Rum

We enjoy a full day today inside the world famous Nabatean site of Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabatean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD, Petra was largely forgotten, except by the local Bedouins, until it was ‘discovered’ in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
Petra is situated on the edge of Wadi Aruba, whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossible to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. The city itself has very few free-standing buildings, as the Nabateans chose to carve their homes, buildings and tombs into the multi-coloured sandstone cliffs.
Nowadays, the Jordanian government and local people are aware of Petra’s interest to tourists, and the tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, and all the building feels miles away.
We have a whole day today to tour this fascinating city (2-3 hour guided tour, then free time to explore yourselves). We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us, and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain places. The ancient Nabatean water channel can still be seen on one wall, as well as some remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city. Suddenly, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra’s most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down and discuss the spiritual significance of the building style.
From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We’ll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and during your free time you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing ‘Monastery’. The biggest of Petra’s carved monuments at 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan Valley. Another climb can take you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain.
Late in the afternoon, we leave Petra and drive into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum, where friendly Bedouin hosts are ready to greet us at a comfortable camp beneath the towering rocks and cliffs. We spend the evening and night relaxing at the camp, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.
| OVERNIGHT:
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18, 2020 – A Jeep safari in Wadi Rum & a swim in the Dead Sea

After breakfast, we explore the spectacular desert and mountains of Wadi Rum via a Jeep safari. The desert here, with its towering rust coloured rocky ‘jebels’ awed TE Lawrence during his visits during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18 and was later made famous in the film Lawrence of Arabia.
We’ll leave Wadi Rum and drive north up the banks of the Dead Sea, one of the world’s most amazing places. As well as being the lowest point on earth at over 400 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea region is one of the most spiritual landscapes in the world as well as being full of dramatic natural beauty.
The Dead Sea itself receives several incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.
The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela). We stop along the way to enjoy a ‘swim’, though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting – you’ll also discover various tiny cuts you never thought you had!
We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Amman evening food tasting tour, As-Salt and Bethany tour

DAY 19, 2020 – Amman to Cairo. Hotel transfer included

We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Cairo. Once you arrive, we’ll meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip. We’ll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Cairo independently. An optional dinner cruise on the Nile is also available tonight.
Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day – all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo 3-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Amman to Cairo flight

DAY 20, 2020 – Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx at Giza. To Luxor

We start our exploration of Egypt with the iconic three great pyramids at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Probably the most recognizable ancient buildings in the world, these three pyramids were built pyramids were built by the Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure around 2500 years BC. Our Egyptologist guide will start your introduction into Egyptian history here with information on how and why pyramids were built and how they fit into the whole ancient Pharaonic story. You’ll have the chance to climb down inside one of these pyramids if you wish (and if you’re not claustrophobic!).
Our next visit is the majestic Sphinx, which nestles nearby, and was uncovered completely only in the 1920s.
In the afternoon we then drive south through towns and villages along the banks of the River Nile to Luxor where we check into our hotel.
| OVERNIGHT:
Luxor 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
One way sleeper train upgrade

DAY 21, 2020 – Luxor to Aswan. Overnight in Nubian village

This is free to relax in your hotel, or perhaps take an optional tour to Luxor Museum, which has a beautifully displayed collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts and includes some very important and impressive specimens. There are also some items from the period after the end of Pharaonic times in Egypt. We then continue our drive south following the Nile to Aswan where we spend the night in a Nubian village staying in a local guesthouse. The ancient region of Nubia comprised an area around the Nile in parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan.
Many descendants of the Nubian people still live around Aswan and during our stay we’ll see their colourful houses and enjoying a typical meal this evening.
| OVERNIGHT:
Aswan – Nubian guesthouse
| MEALS:
Breakfast

DAY 22, 2020 – Aswan, Abu Simbel option, Philae Temple & felucca cruise

There is an optional tour early this morning to drive to the amazing UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel which sits on the banks of Lake Nasser about 3 hours away from Aswan. The temples here were built by Ramses II and are one of Egypt’s most impressive and fascinating sites, especially because they are carved into the hillside rather than built independently, and were completely dismantled and moved to their present location when Lake Nasser was flooded. If you don’t visit Abu Simbel you can explore Aswan’s markets and Corniche this morning or visit the Nubian Museum which has an excellent collection covering the history of the Nubian people in the region.
This afternoon we’ll take a boat trip to visit one of Egypt’s most beautifully situated temples which was also reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. This is the Temple of Philae, which was dedicated to Isis.
Later we board a traditional Nile felucca and sail a little way out of Aswan before mooring up for the night. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat helps us protect the environment of the banks of the Nile, having a proper toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen. You sleep on the deck of the boat, with mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided. This is a fun but basic experience, and you can upgrade the two nights sleeping on the felucca to an additional two nights in hotels in Aswan if you prefer. In this case you will s case you’ll spend two nights in Aswan and then drive to Luxor, rejoining the group when they arrive after the felucca cruise. All other touring remains the same.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner
| EXTRAS:
Abu Simbel overland, Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

DAY 23, 2020 – Felucca sailing, to Luxor. Optional Luxor temple at night

We spend some more time sailing on the Nile this morning, and after lunch with the felucca crew, we bid them a reluctant goodbye and drive north to Luxor. Luxor is the jewel in Egypt’s crown with the largest concentrations of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. These are split across both banks of the Nile, with the City of the Dead on the West Bank with many mortuary temples and tombs cut into the rocky mountains, and with the Temples of Luxor and Karnak and their connecting Avenue of Sphinxes the highlights on the East Bank. Later this evening there is an optional tour available to Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You’ll can also head into town to explore some of Luxor’s popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals. We spend the night at a comfortable 4-star hotel with a pool on the banks of the Nile.
| OVERNIGHT:
Luxor 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Nile cruise upgrade

DAY 24, 2020 – Luxor, West Bank tour. Optional Karnak temple tour

This morning we take a tour to the West Bank of the Nile, where we’ll visit the Temple of Queen Hatchepsut, explore several tombs in the Valley of the Kings, learn about the workers who made all this happen in Deir El-Medina (the Valley of the Artisans) and stop to see the huge Colossi of Memnon. Your afternoon is then free to relax in the hotel, or take an optional tour to explore the huge temple complex at Karnak. A spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is also available today (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).
| OVERNIGHT:
Luxor 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Karnak Temple tour

DAY 25, 2020 – Dendara and Abydos, to Cairo

We leave Luxor this morning and drive back to Cairo, stopping at the temples of Dendara and Abydos along the way. These temples are much less visited by tourists than the sites in Luxor, but are hugely impressive. Dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, Dendara in particular becomes many people’s favourite site, and is incredibly well preserved. Nearby Abydos is another fascinating site, and was the cult center of the god of the dead, Osiris.
The necropolis here was a pilgrimage and burial site and at least ten temples were originally built here. We arrive back into Cairo this evening and check into our hotel in the centre of the city for a final evening together.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo 3-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

DAY 26, 2020 – Cairo, Optional City & Museum tour. Departure airport transfer

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. We recommend an afternoon or evening flight so that you can take a tour to visit the incredible Egyptian Museum this morning. Extra nights in Cairo are also available if you would like to extend your stay.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Cairo city tour, Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis, Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)

DURATION

13 or 14 days

Price

A$2154

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