A Billion Shades of Sand
Start your adventure in legendary Cairo. Next, you’re off to Aswan for a Nile River Cruise finishing in Luxor (Valley of the Kings), head back to Cairo and on to Dahab for some Red Sea action. Then Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra (for desert play and ancient stuff). Finish up in Jerash.
Over 60 pharaohs' tombs were found in the Valley of the Kings. Loads of exciting treasures were found buried with them, like King Tut's golden mask. But there was also other stuff like spare undies, wine and pet baboons - essentials for any stint in the afterlife.
** All departures will be running on the below alternative itinerary until 31 December 2014. Please see trip notes for further details ***
** Please note that this trip has been discontinued for 2015. We will replace this trip with the GEAJ - Nile Air Jordan **
Day 1-2 - Cairo
There’s more to Cairo than the pyramids. For example, there’s the 4000-year old boat which was buried in its entirety so the pharaoh could have something to cruise around on in the next life.
- Arrive in Cairo and get to know this incredible city
Breakfast | Dinner
- Pay a visit to the Egyptian Museum and learn the history and mysteries of Ancient Egypt
- See the golden mask of King Tutankhamun and numerous other treasures
- Drive out to the edge of the desert to explore the pyramids and the nearby Sphinx
- Stop by the Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren)
- Board an overnight sleeper train bound for Aswan
Day 3-6 - Aswan - Nile Cruise
You have our permission to laugh at other groups on their tiny boats. Because you've got pimped out cabins with air-con and ensuites, a restaurant, a sundeck, a rooftop lounge and fully stocked bar. You're practically Jay Z.
- Head out to explore the Nubian bazaar
- Perhaps visit the stunning Temple of Isis at Philae Island
- In the afternoon, why not take a cruise on a felucca sailboat, then take a camel ride towards the Monastery of St. Simeon
- Spend free time relaxing on the sundeck
- Optional trip to Abu Simbel - a highlights of any visit to Egypt
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Watching Egyptian life float by whilst cruising the Nile
- Stop at Kom Ombo and visit the Temple of Sobek
- Visit the Temple of Horus in Edfu
- Strut your stuff at a fancy-dress party
- Arrive in Luxor and take horse-drawn carriages to the massive complex at Karnak
Day 7 - Luxor - Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings was somewhat of a burial hotspot. All the big name pharaohs are here, including King Tut and Ramses IV.
Breakfast | Dinner
- Rise early and cross the Nile
- Set off on donkeys into the Valley of the Kings, just as the sun begins to rise
- Return to the east bank where the afternoon is free to explore the bazaar
- Board an overnight sleeper train back to Cairo
Day 8 - Cairo
Back in Cairo, the Khan el-Khalili bazaar is mad but it's the perfect place to buy some awfully cheap trinkets for the gang back home.Breakfast
Day 9-12 - Cairo - Amman - Aqaba
Day 9: Cairo
Free Day in Cairo.
Speak to your trip leader to organise some awesome optional activities.
Day 10: Cairo – Amman
Fly to Amman today
Day 11: Amman
Make a beeline for Rainbow Street for a falafel and a sheesha. It's what the locals would want.
Arrive in Amman and check in to your hotel. There is usually a meeting at the hotel at 6pm, where you'll meet your tour leader and group
Day 12: Amman - Aqaba
Hop on a JETT bus for a 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. Free time in Aqaba to check out the town's history, like the Ottoman fort near the beach. Otherwise, there are plenty of cafes and restaurant's to help you enjoy the local cuisine.Breakfast
Day 13-14 - Aqaba - Wadi Rum - Petra
Lawrence of Arabia spent a fair chunk of time in Wadi Rum. Follow his lead and don a headdress and robe for this next bit. Go on, we dare you.
- Take a jeep tour into the incredible Wadi Rum desert
- Press on towards Petra
- Spend plenty of time exploring the many wonders of the ancient city of Petra
- Stroll through the narrow ‘siq’ and visit the numerous tombs, temples and public buildings - as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre
- Perhaps unwind with an optional Turkish Bath at the hotel
Day 15 - Petra - Amman
Tick off magnificent Petra, then in Amman head to Reem for a shawarma fix. It's on 2nd Circle, just up the street from your hotel. What's a shawarma, you ask? It's a Turkish version of a souvlaki/kebab/universal hangover cure.
- Follow the ancient Kings Highway, a road that dates back to the Old Testament
- Arrive in the city of Amman and head out on the town
Day 16-17 - Jerash
It feels a bit weird at first, but once you've got the hang of floating in the Dead Sea you'll never want to leave. Make sure you coat yourself in mineral-rich mud; it's meant to give you a natural high so saying goodbye won't be so sad.
- Enjoy a morning tour of the grand ancient Roman city of Jerash
- Take an optional trip to the Dead Sea or explore Amman further
- The trip ends today after breakfast, but there's a lot more on offer for those that wish to stick around
What to Know
An experienced English-speaking local tour guide (leader/guide in Jordan), local site guides at some Egyptian sites, all transportation, Nile cruise boat, accommodation and meals as indicated.
- International flights, arrival & departure transfers, entrance fees, visas, airport taxes, additional meals, drinks, optional sightseeing tours, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
A Billion Shades of Sand
Miranda - Australia, 5 Mar, 2013
Overall, I was incredibly impressed with the level of knowledge of the tour guides in both countries, however the Egypt leg of my trip was a clear stand out & I would not hesitate to recommend friends and family utilise the same tour guide for any of their upcoming adventures.
A Billion Shades of Sand
LILY - Australia, 5 Mar, 2013
I'VE TRAVELLED TO OVER 25 COUNTIES & THIS TOUR OF EGYPT HAS BEEN MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE .OF COURSE HAVING AN EGYPTOLOGIST AS A GUIDE WAS SUCH AN ADDED BONUS, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT IS SO PASSIONATE & ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT HIS COUNTRY. IT WAS INFECTIOUS, I LEARNT SO MUCH, NOT ONLY ABOUT THE COUNTRY BUT ITS PEOPLE & THEIR STRUGGLES. I FELT THE TRIP WAS VERY WELL ORGANISED & I FELT SAFE & SECURE AT ALL TIMES WHICH WAS MY PRIMARY CONCERN. AHMED BENT OVER BACKWARDS TO AID & ASSIST US AT ALL TIMES NIGHT & DAY WHICH WE APPRECIATED. WE EVEN LEARNT SOME ARABIC SO IT WAS FANTASTIC TO GO OUT & TALK TO THE LOCALS. I FELT THAT I SAW THE REAL EGYPT & INTERACTED WITH THE REAL PEOPLE, IT WAS FANTASTIC.I HAVE ALREADY STARTED TELLING PEOPLE THAT EGYPT IA A CHEAP, SAFE, BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY THAT CAN BE TRAVELLED SAFELY WITH GECKOS.
What to know
Entrance fees are not included, you pay these as you go along.