Sail the Nile, see the Sphinx and be awed by Petra
Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones, Tutankhamen. This trip attracts the big names, and deservedly so. Cruise the Nile, haggle the Nubian bazaar, see the Valley of the Kings, get lost in Petra and eat your weight in tabbouleh.
In 2015 this trip was known as 'Nile Air Jordan'.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
In 2017 this trip will now depart on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. We have also upgraded the felucca on Day 5 to also have bathroom facilities on board, previously the felucca would make nature stops along the way during the cruise. We believe this upgrade will add an extra level of comfort of our passengers.
This trip will also no longer stay in Aqaba on Day 11, instead will stay and camp in Wadi Rum.
These changes come as a result of traveller feedback that Aqaba was not a highlight for many passengers. We believe that the inclusion of camping in Wadi Rum will add value to the trip as its is a highlight on many of our other trips. The stay in Wadi Rum is at a traditional Bedouin desert camp with local hosts. A guided desert safari is also included the following day (Day 12).
The trip will also be 15 days rather than 16 as we have taken out the free day in Amman between the Egypt trip finishing and the Jordan trip starting. This was due to past passenger feedback that indicated that they did not find that having the extra free day is required.
The trip code has also changed from GEAJ to GEAJC so this can be quickly identified as a combination trip
The new itinerary is outlined below:
Day 1 Cairo
Day 2 Cairo
Day 3 Aswan
Day 4 Aswan
Day 5 Felucca
Day 6 Luxor
Day 7 Luxor
Day 8 Cairo
Day 9 Amman
Day 10 Wadi Rum
Day 11 Petra
Day 12 Petra
Day 13 Amman
Day 14 Amman
Day 15 Amman (departure day)
2017 departures are NOT guaranteed for this reason as yet
- Egypt, Jordan
- Physical rating
- Traveller’s rating
18 , Max
- Group size
Why we love this trip
The Pyramids might be hyped, but when you see them you’ll soon be saying oh mummy, I see the point (sorry)
Masks don’t come much more famous than King Tut’s golden headpiece – check it out at the incredible Egyptian Museum
Jumping on a camel to ride through the desert and visit three tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Can you get any more Egyptian?
Our guides are local and know all the best secret and hidden places to check out after a day of sightseeing
Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder
Is this trip right for you?
Just one of the great things about this trip is that it gives you the power. There’s free time to do whatever you want, or optional tours to show you the way. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities that aren’t included.
Egypt can get hot in the summer months of July and August. The good news is it's mostly dry heat, and easier to handle than humidity. Wherever possible, you'll be seeing the sights in the morning before it gets too intense.
Travelling on a felucca is awesome, but it's not for everyone. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility on board
The thing about ancient ruins and other super old sites in the Middle East is that they usually involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides. But if you don’t feel up for it on a hot day then you can just sit it out, or wander along at your own pace.
Egypt nights can get chillier than you think, particularly from December to February. Remember to pack at least some warm clothes.
Welcome to Cairo. You will meet with your trip leader and the rest of your group at 6 pm this evening. Check for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception for the location. If you're going to be late, just let the hotel know. If you arrive early enough go immerse yourself in the madness: grab a pair of authentic Roy Bands sunnies from the bazaar, embrace the kitsch world of Dr Ragab's Pharaonic Village, then share a sahlab (sweet, hot custard drink with nuts) and p'raps a sheesha pipe with your new travel buddies.
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you'll take a trip to the Egyptian Museum to see the golden mask of none other than King Tutankhamun. To get there, you'll drive out to the edge of the desert. Explore the pyramids and the nearby Sphinx (nobody's quite sure how it lost its nose). Later, with free time, there are plenty of further options, like visiting the Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren). In the evening, it's time for your sleeper train to Aswan (Sleeper Train to Aswan sounds a bit like the title of an adventure novel, doesn't it? Just you wait).
Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
- Cairo - The Egyptian Museum
- Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx
- Cairo - Camel ride at the Pyramids - EGP25
- Cairo - The Mummy Room - EGP100
- Cairo - Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids - EGP100
- Cairo - The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP40
- Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP200
Enjoy some breakfast, then shake out your train legs and put on your haggling hat (or just a regular hat, we don't mind) with a trip to the Nubian bazaar. Grab useful stuff like books, cotton tops and sunhats for your upcoming Nile cruise. Splurge on fun stuff like perfume oil, leather bags and jewellery just for the heck of it. Later on, maybe visit the stunning Temple of Isis at Philae Island (she’s the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom, in case ya didn’t know), or get some more camel-ride action with a trip out towards the Monastery of St. Simeon.
- Camel Ride. - EGP90
- Felucca Sail Aswan - EGP30
- Aswan - Nubian Museum - EGP60
- Aswan - Philae Temple - EGP60
- Philae Temple Sound & Light - EGP90
- Aswan - Unfinished Obelisk - EGP40
Today is yours to spend as you please in Aswan. The optional drive to Abu Simbel is well worth it, because this is one of the coolest temples on earth, cut out of a solid rock cliff. A real winner, as far as sightseeing in Egypt goes (and that is obviously saying a lot). Renting a minivan with your fellow travellers is the way to go. It'll be an early start (around 4 am), and it takes about three hours to get there, and another three to get back. If you'd rather save time and fly there, that's possible too.
Notes: Flights don't go to Abu Simbel every day, and they'll usually set you back US $250-300. It's best to fly in the morning, so you can beat the heat (it's down south). Your trip leader won't accompany you on a flight – only the land travel option. Local guides can be hired on arrival.
You're on a boat! A felucca to be exact. It's time to sail on the Nile on a traditional wooden sailing boat. This pretty awesome ship will be your home tonight, and all three meals are included today. You'll visit the Temple of Sobek, a classic, ruined (you might even say classically ruined) Greco-Roman temple. Continue sailing towards Edfu and take in some timeless scenes of life on the Nile. Your Instagram account should be going off like a frog in a sandstorm by now. Stop in at Edfu to explore the awesomely preserved Temple of Horus (Horus being the falcon-headed God). Did someone say boat-based impromptu fancy-dress party?
Please note our Felucca does have a shared bathroom facility on board
Overnight Felucca (1 night)
The world is your oyster today. And Luxor is one beautiful and interesting world to be in. Enjoy free time – you might want to take a horse-drawn carriage to the massive religious site dedicated to the Theban Triad at Karnak (one of the most impressive temple complexes in the world, for sure). Some of it dates as far back as 2,055 BC, if that gives you some idea of what you're dealing with. There's also the Luxor Museum, where you can see mummies and – yes – a statue of Sobek, the crocodile god. He’s got the body of a man, the head of a crocodile and is the god of the army, fertility and, surprisingly, crocodiles. He’s definitely one god you don’t wanna get on the wrong side of.
- Luxor - Karnak Temple - EGP80
- Luxor - Sound and Light Show at Karnak - EGP100
- Luxor - Luxor Museum - EGP100
- Luxor - Luxor Temple - EGP60
Today you'll ride a donkey. But you won't just ride it anywhere. You and your new furry friend will venture to the legendary Valley of the Kings, a burial hotspot for Egyptian royalty. All the big name pharaohs are here, including King Tut and Ramses IV. You will visit three tombs with your burro. Speak soothing words to your donkey for a nice, peaceful sunrise stroll past fields of alfalfa. Upset him and you might be sore for days. In the afternoon you'll return to the east bank and have a few hours to explore the bazaar. This evening, get back on track with an overnight train to Cairo.
Audits were carried out on balloon operators within Egypt to confirm the safety of their operations, unfortunately we were not able to ascertain the safety standards of these balloon operators- therefore, we are not able to recommend or assist in the booking of any balloon excursions.
Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
- Luxor- Donkey ride
- Luxor - Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
- Hatshepsut Temple - EGP52
- Tomb of Tutankhamun - EGP100
Time for one last walk around Cairo. Head south from Bab al-Futuh (one of the medieval north gates), past the old Islamic monuments that stand watch over the bazaars. Wipe the dust from your brow and say goodbye to this frenetic place. This time maybe hit up the Khan el-Khalili bazaar for some awfully cheap trinkets for the gang back home. Candleholder, water pipe, cartouche or wool carpet anyone?
Farewell Pharoes with a flight from Egypt to Jordan. Touch down in main town - Amman. When you get here you'll meet your brand new leader. You've got some time to wander around - you don’t know the meaning of ‘bustling labyrinth’ until you walk around the Jordanian capital. If it all gets too cray, duck into a cafe for a sweet mint tea.
You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6pm Welcome Meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Make a beeline for Rainbow Street for a falafel and a sheesha. It's what the locals would want. Something more substantial? Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, have a cultured afternoon at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, snap some pics of the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or sweat it out in a Turkish bath house. Afterwards, rendezvous with your new Geckos crew for a team catch-up. It may or may not be at the local pub.
This morning you’ll jump on a JETT bus for the four-hour journey down the Desert Highway to Aqaba. Keep your eyes peeled for camels at around the 230km mark. Out to the left. No, the other left. Anway, Aqaba is landlocked Jordan’s only town on the sea, which they got through some tense negotiations with their neighbours. Now this beach resort on the Red Sea is yours to explore for the rest of the day. If you want to get historical then there’s the 14th century Ottoman Fort to check out. This is where the T.E Lawrence (of ‘of Arabia’ fame) rode to Cairo with big news about a revolt. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurant's to help you enjoy the local cuisine. Otherwise, most of the fun is to be found in the water – just south of town there are stunning untouched coral reefs, which make for some of the best snorkelling you can find. This morning maybe grab a mask and some flippers and do your best mermaid impression. How many of the 100 species of fish can you spot?
Drive for about an hour to a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains in the desert around Wadi Rum. Lawrence of Arabia spent a fair chunk of time here. Follow his lead and don a headdress and robe for this next bit. Go on, we dare you. You’ll bounce around this stunning, remote scenery with the crazy young local Bedouin (just remember to buckle up in the rickety, but reliable, jeeps). Keep an eye out for the Wadi Rum Desert Patrol in their spiffing khaki and red uniforms. The Bedouin, meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, are super friendly and will show you around this awesome desert landscape of dunes and rocky outcrops formed by wind and ancient water, where you can pretend like your on the surface of Mars. Hit the road again (approximately 2.5 hours) and snuggle up in Petra overnight. You’re gonna need your sleep as there are some serious sites to see tomorrow.
Who doesn't like a dramatic entrance. Make your way through a narrow gorge, past tombs and rock formations to get your first glimpse of the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury. You might recognise it from Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade). Pick your jaw up off the ground, because there are flies everywhere. This is the entrance to a city carved into the rock, the ancient capital of the Nabatean people way back in 600BC. Nobody in the West knew about it until 1812, when a Swiss guy dressed up like a local to sneak in and then blab the secret to everyone. Thankfully he did though because this isn’t something you’d want to miss out on. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. If you’ve got it in your legs there’s also the option to walk up to the Monastery and up the cliff top path overlooking the Treasury. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cafe run by Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the Kiwi woman who has been living in Petra with a local Bedouin for 30 years or so. After a long day’s exploring, there’s not many who would turn down the option to soothe their body with a chillax in a Turkish bath. Happy days.
Notes: One day's entrance fee to Petra is included. Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Geckos doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
- Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
We were talking about Crusades and Crusaders earlier right? Well they built Shobak Castle atop a grassy knoll and thought it would last forever, but Saladin's Arab army knocked it over after an 18-month siege. You’ll drive a short way from Petra to get here, and the castle makes an impressive sight as you approach. Poke around the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Kick on half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, where at the craft centre you can (you guessed it) pick up some crafts, like silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to Byzantine mosaics way better than anything you ever made in art class. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and check out a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Then it’s on to Amman and time to enjoy a felafel tonight.
Drive back in time (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once a thriving ancient Roman city, and now some of the best-preserved ruins this side of Italy. Do your best Biggus Dickus impersonation (Monty Python, anyone?) in Jerash's main street, check out the columns of the Oval Plaza and the tiered seating of the South Theatre, and imagine the chariot race from Gladiator in the hippodrome. In the afternoon you can choose to wash off the dust from exploring ruins with an (attempted) swim, so you’d better have packed your swim gear. Drive around 1.5 hours to the shores of the Dead Sea. This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Here you can get that photo of you reading a paper while floating in the water – just like the ten billion visitors before you. It’s worth it though, classic shot. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slop it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling awesome. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe spend your final night at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman, or ask your leader where locals spend their evenings.
- Dead Sea (lunch & transfer / min 3 people) - JOD40
The tour ends in Amman after breakfast. You can (and probably should) kick around in Amman for longer if you want. There's heaps more to do, just ask your tour leader for pointers.
Overnight train (2 nights),
Hotel (12 nights),
Felucca (1 night)
Cairo - The Egyptian Museum
Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx
Luxor- Donkey ride
Luxor - Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
Our Egypt & Jordan Highlights trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5
based on 8 reviews in the last year.
It was a awsome trip with a great guide and i get to learn many cool people from all over the world. You will see the Arab World with complite new ayes.
Review submitted 20 Oct 2016
Geckos are great. Helpful at all times, give all the right information and their trips are great, from the little to the big. Would recommend to anyone wanting to travel anywhere Geckos do.
Review submitted 28 Apr 2016
Dates & availability
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With the exception of a one day pass to Petra (included), entrance fees are not included. You pay these as you go along.
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Please note, on the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
- Day 5: Felucca
2017 ITINERARY AND DEPARTURES:
The code for this trip will change to GEAJC in 2017. Please use this code when searching for the new itinerary, dates and prices.
Essential Trip Information
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