The Nile & Alexandria
This trip provides the perfect mix of adventure, exploration and relaxation.
For the first week or so we enjoy the many highlights of the Nile Valley. We begin in Cairo, where we explore the pyramids and Sphinx, and then head south to Luxor where we ride donkeys into the fabled Valley of the Kings and have time to check out the many other sights.
In Luxor we board our Nile riverboat, and as we cruise south to Aswan we watch timeless scenes along the banks of the Nile, as farmers go about their daily business, tending their crops. We visit the riverside temples at Edfu and Komombo, and once in Aswan we have time to explore this laid-back southern city which has long been a favourite with travellers.
Back in Cairo we have a full day to explore the older parts of the city and the next day we head to Alexandria, a laid-back coastal city, where we visit the new Alexandria Museum and the Roman Catacombs. A free day allows time for a side-trip to see the WWII battlefields at El Alamein – or we can check out some of the famous coffee shops that have been around since the 1920’s. Our trip ends in Cairo.
Day 1 - CairoYour trip starts today in Cairo. No activities are planned so you may arrive at any time. Rooms are generally available after 1.00 pm. If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer you will find taxis available on arrival at Cairo Airport. Make sure you agree the price before you set off into town! Your tour guide may make contact tonight, otherwise you will see him tomorrow morning at the tour briefing, which usually takes place after breakfast.
Day 2 - Cairo-LuxorWith a population of around 16 million people, Cairo is one of the world’s biggest cities, and there’s a lot to see and do. With our guide we visit the pyramids and the Sphinx, and we also see the wonderful Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren). The afternoon is free to explore further and many will want to check out the Egyptian Museum (just a short taxi ride away on the other side of the river… depending on Cairo traffic!). In the evening we head to the train station for the overnight train to Luxor – always a fun experience. Our air-conditioned carriage has large, comfortable seats (similar to business class seats on a plane) that recline back at about 45 degrees and a simple dinner and breakfast are served on board. There is a toilet located at the end of the carriage.Breakfast | Dinner
Day 3 - LuxorLuxor boasts the greatest quantity of ancient sites anywhere in the world, and there’s heaps to see and do while here. After checking our gear in to the hotel, just near the bazaar, we have time to explore our surroundings – or perhaps enjoy a swim in the rooftop pool. The bazaar is pretty big and will keep shopaholics busy for hours. Alternatively you can visit the excellent little Luxor Museum – or take a stroll around Luxor Temple, dominating the centre of town. Entrance fees for these two options are listed below. Another popular activity is to take a horse-carriage ride to Karnak Temple, dedicated to the great God Amon, and considered one of the greatest of Ancient Egyptian monuments. Your tour guide can help organise the carriages. Don’t miss the sunset tonight over the West Bank!Breakfast
Day 4-6 - Luxor, Nile CruiseWe wake early and cross the Nile where our donkeys are waiting to take us into the Valley of the Kings. After matching up the donkeys to our riders we head off, just as the sun begins to rise in the eastern skies. It’s great fun and one of the highlights of our visit to Egypt. Around midday we return to the east bank where we board our Nile riverboat and set sail towards Aswan. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax on the sundeck. During the next two days we sail upstream, watching the dark waters of the Nile glide past. We stop at Edfu, to explore the well-preserved Temple of Horus, considered one of the finest examples of temple building, and at Komombo we visit the Temple of Sobek, a Greco-Roman temple that overlooks the river. All meals are served in the comfortable dining room, and on one evening we enjoy an impromptu fancy-dress party, which is always fun.Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 7 - AswanThere’s heaps of things to do in and around Aswan. It’s one of our favourite places and very popular with travellers. It has an easy-going charm and the locals are very friendly. We can visit the beautiful Temple of Isis at Philae, saved from the rising waters of the Nile, or just hang around in town, exploring the vibrant Nubian bazaar and checking out the excellent Nubian Museum.Breakfast
Day 8 - Aswan-CairoThose who have booked the optional excursion to Abu Simbel will rise early and travel by road along the shores of Lake Nasser to the great Temple of Ramses II, one of the most impressive ever built. For the rest of us, it's another lazy day in Aswan, checking out the shops and watching the locals. After a break for lunch we might head out on a felucca sailboat and then take a camel ride towards the Monastery of St. Simeon - a great way to spend the afternoon! In the late afternoon we are transferred to the station where we board the sleeper train, offering private, twin berth cabins for the trip back to Cairo.Breakfast | Dinner
Day 9 - CairoArriving back in Cairo we are transferred to our hotel and the rest of the day is free to explore. In the older part of the city there is a lot to see, including some beautiful old mosques and, of course, the fantastic Khan al-Khalili bazaar – an amazing mix of shops and stalls that have traded goods and gossip since the Middle Ages. There’s time for everything and our tour guide can help organise taxis: but be prepared to bargain!Breakfast
Day 10 - Cairo-AlexandriaToday we travel to Alexandria, arriving around midday. After checking in to the hotel we make an afternoon visit to the new Alexandria Museum, which has a marvellous collection of artefacts dating back to around 350BC-100AD. We also visit the Roman Catacombs. The rest of the day is then free to explore this waterfront city, which stretches for some 17 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast.Breakfast
Day 11 - AlexandriaWe have the best part of two free days to check out Alexandria. Among the various things worth doing are: -Visit Qaitbey Fortress, now a naval museum, where you can see what remains of the famous Pharos (lighthouse) once considered one of the seven wonders of the world. -Have a drink in the classic Cecil Hotel, built in 1930 and now one of the city’s great institutions. -Explore the bazaar on Nokrashi Street. -Stroll along the lengthy corniche and watch locals having fun on the extensive beachfront. -Visit one of Alexandria’s famous cafes, such as ‘Pastroudi’s’ or ‘Trianon’. -Splash out on a seafood dinner at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants. We also have the chance to make an optional full day excursion to the battlefields at El Alamein. The cost of this varies, depending on how many decide to go. A rough indication of price is given below.Breakfast
Day 12 - Alexandria-CairoThe morning is free for further exploration and around midday we head back to Cairo, arriving in the late afternoon. This evening we can enjoy a final night out together.Breakfast
Day 13 - CairoYour trip ends today, after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12.00 noon and you are free to leave at any time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Cairo.Breakfast
What to Know
An experienced English-speaking local tour guide, all transportation, Nile cruise boat, accommodation, meals and sightseeing as indicated.
- International flights, arrival & departure transfers, visas, airport taxes, additional meals, drinks, optional sightseeing tours, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
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