Sheesha & Shakshuka
Hang in Cairo before leaving solid land for a Nile Cruise. Spend some time in Luxor (donkey riding in the Valley of the Kings) and Dahab (swimming in Red Sea) before crossing the border to Jordan. Check out Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra, Dana, Amman, Jerash, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Nazareth (all awesome). PHEW. Killed it.
How to haggle like a pro in Cairo’s Khan al-Khalili bazaar:
· Act completely disinterested in the thing you really want.
· Walk away. Slowly. Chances are they’ll come running.
· Tell him you can ‘get it back there for half that price’. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition.
** Please note this trip is operating on an alternative itinerary until 30 September 2014. Please see trip notes for further details ***
Day 1-2 - Cairo
There are about 20 million people in Cairo. And chances are they'll all be driving on the road you need to cross. The trick is to make eye contact, walk slowly into traffic and don’t stop once you’ve started.
- Get acquainted with Cairo, a city that has to be seen to be believed
Breakfast | Dinner
- Enjoy a guided visit to the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza
- Seize the opportunity to climb inside the Great Pyramid and see the burial chamber
- Optional visit to the Egyptian Museum with an Egyptologist
- See the golden mask of Tutankhamun and a large number of mummies
- Catch an overnight sleeper train and travel south to Aswan
Day 3-6 - Aswan - Nile cruise
It's hard to feel humble when your riverboat dwarfs all those other little boats out there. Because we've got pimped out cabins with air-con and ensuites; an entire restaurant; a sundeck; a rooftop lounge and a fully stocked bar.
- 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?
- Travel to Abu Simbel - one of the highlights of our visit to Egypt
- Arrive at the the Abu Simbel temples around sunrise and take a tour
- Return to Aswan and board the Nile Cruise boat
- Spend free time relaxing on the sundeck
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
- Enjoy an impromptu fancy-dress party
- Arrive in Luxor and take horse-drawn carriages to the massive complex at Karnak
Day 7-8 - Luxor
Set your alarm clock for sparrow’s fart and climb aboard your trusty donkey to watch sunrise over the Valley of the Kings. Back in Cairo, go nuts in Khan el-Khalili bazaar where you can haggle 'til you drop for that perfect cartouche necklace you've always wanted.
- Sunrise donkey ride into the Valley of the Kings
- Return to the east bank and spend a free afternoon exploring the town further
- Take the overnight sleeper train back to Cairo
Breakfast | Dinner
- Spend free time exploring Cairo
- Perhaps visit some beautiful old mosques and the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
Day 9-11 - Cairo - Dahab
Drive to Dahab for the next three nights, with an option to climb Mount Sinai on the third day. Dahab is a bit like a Bedouin version of Koh Samui with awesome coral reefs thrown in for good measure. It's like Finding Nemo live on stage.
- Drive east from Cairo to Dahab (it's a 9-hour trip - bring a travel pillow), the coolest town on the Red Sea coast, where the gently lapping waters will lull you to sleep.
- There's plenty of free time to swim or snorkel; the coral reefs and tropical fish off the beach at Dahab are stunning. On Day 11 there's an optional excursion to visit St Katherine's Monastery and climb Mount Sinai for sunset.
Day 12 - Dahab - Aqaba
Say farewell to Dahab and Egypt, hello to Aqaba and Jordan. Moses may have parted the Red Sea to cross it but we've chosen the traditional way - by ferry.
Drive from Dahab to the ferry terminal at Nuweiba.
Wait in the ferry terminal for the ferry to arrive from Aqaba. Sorry, the ferries don't follow a regular timetable so we can't predict when they will turn up. The tour leader is unable to go beyond the Customs & Immigration point so the group will wait in the ferry terminal on their own. Facilities there are basic, but there is a canteen with basic foodstuffs and drinks. Onboard the ferry, the officials will ask for your passports, which you will receive on arrival in Aqaba with your Jordanian visas stamped in them for free. Your Jordanian tour leader will be waiting for the group on disembarking the ferry in Aqaba.
Free time in the evening to explore the cafes of Aqaba to try out the local cuisineBreakfast
Day 13-14 - Wadi Rum - Petra
Ride jeeps around Wadi Rum. Beware, you’ll be tipping red sand out of your shoes for weeks. Spend a whole day gobsmacked by Petra.
Explore Wadi Rum in a rickety jeep driven by a local Bedouin en route to Petra
Breakfast | Lunch
- Spend the day exploring the many wonders of the ancient city of Petra
- Wander 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 15-16 - Dana - Amman - Jerash
Time for a bit of trivia: did you know that bagpipes were invented in the Middle East? They quickly realised the error of their ways and banished all trace of them. Scotland is yet to catch on.
Drive up the ancient King's Highway to the remote ruins of the Crusader-era Shobak Castle
Reach Dana and enjoy a stroll though the ancient village
Stop in Madaba to view the 6th century floor mosaic depicting Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.
- Arrive in the lively city of Amman and get prepped to head out 'on the town' - head for nearby Rainbow Street for a sheesha cafe and felafel.
- Enjoy a morning tour of Jerash - a grand, ancient Roman city in a fine state of preservation
- Take an optional excursion to the Dead Sea, or explore Amman further
Day 17-18 - Amman - Jerusalem
Welcome to Israel, AKA the Holy Land. This place is crammed with historical sites. The Mount of Olives is a great place for people watching with views onto the Dome of the Rock and the Old City of Jerusalem. Sadly, no olives.
Goodbye Jordan, shalom Israel!
Cross the border at the Sheikh Hussein/General Allenby Bridge crossing - patience is required, this takes hours.
Meet your Israeli tour leader on the other side, visit Masada, Qumran and Jericho en route to Jerusalem.
- Begin a tour of Jerusalem with a panoramic view of the city
- Drive via the Garden of Gethsemane and enter the Old City
- Walk to the 'Cardo' in the recently restored Jewish Quarter and visit the Western (Wailing) Wall, Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- Continue the tour to Yad Vashem (Israel's memorial to the Holocaust)
- Carry on to Bethlehem where we visit Manger Square and Church of the Nativity - the birthplace of Jesus Christ
Day 19-21 - Nazareth - Dead Sea - Jerusalem
Best bits for your last couple of days: the biblical sites of Jericho and Bethlehem, the fortress at Masada and floating in the Dead Sea (handy if you drop your sunglasses).
- Drive to Nazareth for a visit to the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph
- Continue to the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a lake!) via the ruins at Capernaum, Tabgha and the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes
- Reach the baptismal site on the Jordan River before returning to Jerusalem
- Enjoy a free day to further explore the amazing city of Jerusalem
- Perhaps head out on an optional visit to Tel Aviv, or walk the ramparts of the old city, or hits the shops and chill out in the cafes of the old city.
- The trip ends today after breakfast, but there is plenty more to see for those who wish to stay on
What to Know
An experienced English-speaking local tour guide (leader/guide in Jordan and Israel), local site guides at some Egyptian sites, all transportation, 2 nights felucca sail with amenities boat, accommodation and meals as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, entrance fees, 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 30 Sep 2014 - 20 Oct 2014 Fully Booked US $2,365 Contact us 14 Oct 2014 - 03 Nov 2014 3 places left US $2,115 Book Now 11 Nov 2014 - 01 Dec 2014 Available US $2,095 Book Now 23 Dec 2014 - 12 Jan 2015 Available US $2,120 Book Now 30 Dec 2014 - 19 Jan 2015 Available US $2,120 Book Now 17 Mar 2015 - 06 Apr 2015 Available US $2,275 Book Now
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.
Sheesha & Shakshuka
Sherridan - Australia, 24 Dec, 2012
Very good, nice hotels, great tour guide in egypt and a wide variety of experiences!
Sheesha & Shakshuka
Michael - Australia, 3 Sep, 2012
Overall the trip was excellent
What to know
Entrance fees are not included, you pay these as you go along.