This journey through Egypt packs in the best of culture and adventure in 10 energetic days. Explore ancient sites along the Nile, including the most famous of them all, the Great Pyramids of Giza. Embrace the culture and meet remarkable people as you sample some traditional fare with a Nubian family in a local village. Feel the buzz of vibrant bazaars in Aswan and Luxor, but still manage to relax and watch life unfold as you sail the Nile in a traditional felucca.
Please note: We are offering two departures for Egypt over winter break. Please check out our Egypt Upgraded trip if you want a more comfortable tour with different dates.
Arrive in Cairo at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city.
Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, typically 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. After the meeting, you might consider heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions. Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
We begin the day with one of the real highlights of any visit to Egypt, a visit to the three pyramids of Giza. While once located in remote desert, they now touch the suburbs of modern Cairo. No matter how many photos or documentaries you have seen, your first glimpse of these marvels of the ancient world will take your breath away. As a qualified Egyptologist, your tour leader is able to expertly explain the facts and myths behind these three mammoth works of art. You will get to enter the first Pyramid as part of the tour. You will also visit the mysterious Sphinx with its lion’s body and man’s face.
You will have the option of visiting to the Solar Boat Museum (which costs 100 EGP). It displays one of the pharaoh’s funerary barges – it may just be the oldest boat in existence!
There will be time to grab a quick lunch before our afternoon visit to the Egyptian Museum. With over 10,000 pieces from every period of Egyptian history, including the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun, the display can be a bit daunting. Your tour leader will direct you to the most important and magnificent items. There is also plenty of free time for you to explore on your own, including a chance to visit the famed Mummy Room where you can view the ancient remains of some of Egypt’s most important rulers. (There is an extra 180 EGP entrance charge for the Mummy room.)
Today, you have a full free day to explore Cairo on your own or with others from the group.
One option would be to take a day trip to Alexandria. Another option is going on a full-day guided tour to Memphis and Saqqara and Dahsure (the bent and red pyramids). Either of these day tours should cost under $100.
Today, we have a full-day tour of some of Cairo’s most interesting sites.
We start with a visit to the Citadel. Started by Saladin in 1176 as a fortification against the Crusaders, it was home to Egypt’s rulers for 700 years. Their legacy is a collection of three very different mosques, several palaces, and a couple of terraces with superb Cairo views.
We then visit Coptic Cairo. Coptic Cairo is the area of Old Cairo that encompasses the Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George, and many other Coptic churches and historical sites. Coptic Cairo was a stronghold for Christianity in Egypt until the Islamic era.
We then visit the Khan Khalili Bazaar. Its skinny lanes are basically a medieval-style mall. This agglomeration of shops – many arranged around small courtyards – stock everything from soap powder to semiprecious stones, not to mention tacky toy camels and alabaster pyramids.
In the evening, we transfer to the railway station to board our overnight train to Aswān. Accommodation on the sleeper train is in comfortable twin-share bunk-bed compartments with lockable doors. The beds convert into seats when not in use, and luggage is stored under the bottom bunk. Bedding is provided, and there is a small wash basin with soap and a towel provided. Shared toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage. A simple “airline style” dinner is provided, but most guests prefer to eat before boarding the train. Non-alcoholic drinks are available to purchase, and there is a bar car for socializing. In the morning, you will be brought a simple continental style breakfast around 2 hours before arrival.
Approximate travel time: 12 hrs by sleeper train
We arrive in Aswān in the morning. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. You will have some free time in the morning to browse the souk, walk along the Nile, and/or visit the Philae Temple or the High Aswān Dam.
Later, we board a local boat, known as a felucca, to take a trip along the magnificent Nile, with views of the Aga Khan Mausoleum and Kitchener Island. Stop on the largest of the Nile islands in this area, Elephantine Island. Walk through the village and fields and learn more about the life of the Nubian people before enjoying a delicious traditional dinner at a local home.
Early in the morning, we take a private bus to the famed temples of Abu Simbel for a guided tour. The visit allows around 2 hrs at the site to wander through the different temples and learn more about the construction, history, and relocation of these magnificently preserved structures. The temples, built by Ramses II between 1274-1244 BC, would now be under Lake Nasser, if not for the wonders of modern engineering.
Approximate travel time: 6.5 hours by bus
Today, we embark on a relaxing ride on a felucca (traditional sailboat) and travel down the Nile River, watching the scenery glide by. At night, we sleep on the deck under the stars (mattresses and blankets are provided). We’ll enjoy delicious meals on board. The felucca itself does not have toilets or showers, but a private support boat traveling in close proximity has both. Please bring a towel.
This morning, we visit to the Kom Ombo Temple located in a scenic spot, right on the banks of the Nile. It was dedicated to the crocodile god, and you can still see the remains of an ancient mummified crocodile that was worshiped here thousands of years ago.
Next, we drive to the Karnak Temple, which was once the center of all religious life in ancient Egypt. Built and extended by successive generations of rulers, admire the amazing architecture, massive columns, and painted hieroglyphs. Round-trip transfer included.
Finally, we arrive in Luxor in the late afternoon. You may have time for an optional visit to Luxor Temple (140 EGP), an architectural splendor located near the Nile and right in the center of downtown Luxor. It’s spectacularly lit in the evenings and well worth a visit. We also recommend visiting Luxor’s Bazaar.
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle
We enjoy a full-day guided excursion to the famous Valley of the Kings. We will rise early to catch the sunrise from the motorboat that will take you across the Nile to the West Bank. From here, ride through farmer’s fields to reach the Valley of the Kings.
Descend the narrow, rock-hewn corridors and take in the magnificent decoration and designs of the tombs of the pharaohs at the Valley of the Kings. While the treasure is now all gone, the tombs contain the most incredible paintings of the life of their occupant and stories from the Book of the Dead. We will visit three tombs in total and may opt to visit the famous tomb of King (“Tut”) Tutankhamun (for an extra 250 EGP each). We then visit to the impressive Funerary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which seems to rise out of the surrounding limestone outcrops – it’s a reminder of the power women held in the Ancient Kingdom.
Our last stop today is the two mammoth statues of Amenophis II at the Colossi of Memnon, which used to stand at the front of a temple that no longer exists. Check out the ancient graffiti discussing the statues.
We also enjoy lunch with a local family on the West Bank of the Nile. With what remains of the afternoon, you can explore Luxor at your own pace.
This morning, we fly back to Cairo where the tour will conclude upon arrival.
Please be aware that flight delays quite often occur, so please do not book any onward flights before 2:00 p.m. today.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Approximate travel time: 1 hr by plane
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to email@example.com. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Please note: If you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Day 4 (overnight train), Day 7 (felucca stay).
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
You will receive an arrival transfer included as part of your program fee. A G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you with your name on a sign. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi. Unfortunately, there have been cases of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives. Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel to which you are going. If in doubt, ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer, but we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area, please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Cairo, Egypt)
During office hours (Sun-Thu, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. local time): +20 233 77 88 30 or +20 233 77 88 31
After hours Emergency number: +20 122 221 16 99 (Mohammed)
G Adventures Middle East Manager
Emergency number: : +20 122 221 16 99 -Mohammed (Cairo, Egypt)
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures’ local office they have a toll-free line within North America which will connect you directly with their Toronto office: 1 888 800 4100. Outside of North America, call: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Please make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for the entry and exit stamp.
If you want to avoid waiting in line at the airport upon arrival, apply for your visa online here: https://www.visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/. Make sure you wait until at least 60 days before departure to apply for your visa otherwise it might expire while you are still traveling.
Many nationalities, including all Western European and Arab countries, USA, Australia, and New Zealand, are able to obtain a 1-month single entry visa on arrival at Cairo International airport or at the Egyptian land border. On arrival, if you plan to purchase an entry visa, you must pay in cash. You will have the option of paying in U.S. Dollars (USD), British Pounds (GBP), or Euros (EUR). The visa fee is $25 USD or the equivalent in your currency. Egyptian Pounds and credit cards are not accepted as payment methods when obtaining your Egyptian entry visa. Look for windows (marked “banks”) selling these visas in the area where you line up to have your passport stamped. You need to get the visa before entering the passport line. The visa is a sticker that you need to stick into your passport before handing it to the authorities for stamping.
The currency used in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).
ATMs are found within main cities in Egypt and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as, while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note: Your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals.
Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds, and U.S. Dollars are all easy to exchange to the local currency. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations, but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM cards and some cash is the ideal mix.
If you are bringing U.S. Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 1996 or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Tipping (also widely referred to by its Arabic term as “baksheesh”) is a way of life in the Middle East. Locals themselves will usually tip anyone who provides them with services. In many cases, people depend on the tips they receive to supplement the low salary and wages of the Middle East region.
While on tour in the Middle East, it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, and taxi and van drivers. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry.
To make things as easy as possible and avoid embarrassing situations, G Adventures has developed a tipping kitty system where your tour leader will collect a contribution from everybody at the start of your tour and use this kitty to tip anybody who has provided services to the group as a whole. A guideline for tipping is about $5-$10 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service, but this does not include your G Adventures tour leader. On Day 1 of your tour, your tour leader will be able to advise on the amount required from everybody to form the tipping kitty for your trip. You can pay in USD or the equivalent local currency, preferably the latter. The tour leader will be able to advise you on the exchange rate and the total required in either currency.
If at any time you feel that any service provider failed in maintaining or delivering good service, please bring it immediately to the attention of your tour leader so a deduction of tips can take place.
Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, $45-$55 per person per week can be used. Please budget a similar, but slightly smaller tip for your driver as well.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins and ends in Cairo. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Cairo. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but we strongly urge you to arrive to the hotel by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for our group meeting. You can depart from Cairo any time after 2:00 p.m. on the final day of the trip.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Egypt uses a Type C- European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
The weather was much colder than expected, so travelers should know to bring warmer clothing and prepare for windy days.
It is a mostly cash society. Almost no location would take a credit card.
The WiFi can be slow.
Bathrooms almost always have attendants that demand a pound before or after you use it. Bathrooms are very dirty and often don’t have toilet paper. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Hotels don’t dependably have supplies, so you need to bring your own shampoo.
You can expect to get harassed by hawkers at every single site stop and any time you decide to walk along the street. Do not interact with these people.
December is a great time to visit Egypt. Mostly sunshine with very little rain with temperatures typically in the 50s and 60’s. However, our winter Egypt groups have told us it was a lot colder than expected. Please make sure you have warm clothes too, including a winter coat, hat and gloves.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Breakfasts and a few dinners are included in this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat out according to your own resources. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See price in top right corner
Roughly $1,000-$1,500 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $45-$55 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $40-$80 USD for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Variable. Please consult your doctor.
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip. The prices below are in Egyptian Pounds (EGP).
Solar Boat Museum: 80 EGP per person
Enjoy a visit to the Solar Boat Museum. It displays one of the pharaoh’s funerary barges, which may just be the oldest boat in existence!
Egyptian Museum Mummy Room: 180 EGP per person; 30 mins-1 hr
Visit the famed Mummy Room and view the ancient remains of some of Egypt’s most important rulers.
Day trip to Alexandria: $90 USD per person; full day
This may be a good option: https://www.viator.com/tours/Cairo/Day-Trip-to-Alexandria-from-Cairo-by-Car-including-Lunch/d782-10726P14.
Full-day guided tour to Memphis and Saqqara and Dahsure: $60 USD per person
This may be a good option: https://www.viator.com/tours/Cairo/Full-day-tour-to-Memphis-and-Saqqara-and-Dahshure/d782-11168P14.
Tour of Aswan: 1,300 EGP per person; 4-5 hrs
Enjoy a guided tour of this wonderful city that was the source of marble for many of ancient Egypt’s grand buildings. Close to town, in one of these ancient quarries, lies a gigantic unfinished obelisk cut out of local stone. Also visit the High Dam and the Philae Temple. Round-trip transfer included.
Nubian Museum: 80 EGP per person; 1-3 hrs
Visit the modern Nubian Museum to learn more about the culture and customs of Aswān’s people.
Philae Temple: 1,000 EGP per person
The word “philae” means “the end,” in reference to this island’s placement on what was once the southernmost border of Egypt. Sail across the Nile to the beautiful island and step into Greco Roman history. See the Temple of Philae. Round-trip transfer included.
Camel Ride at the West Bank: 300 EGP per person
Cross to the West Bank by motorboat and enjoy a camel ride in the sand dunes of Aswāns.
Horse and Carriage Ride: 50-150 EGP per person; 30 mins-2 hrs
Enjoy a horse and carriage (calèche) ride and get oriented in the city.
Bazaar visit: Free; 1-2 hrs
Wander through the bustling local bazaar and check out the wares for sale. Pick up a few if you like!
Luxor Temple: 60EGP per person; 1-3 hrs
Take in the beauty of the Luxor Temple, an architectural splendor located near the Nile and right in the center of downtown Luxor. It’s spectacularly lit in the evenings and well worth a visit.
Mummification Museum: 80 EGP per person; 1-3 hrs
Learn all there is to know about the ancient art of embalming by exploring the world’s only Mummification Museum.
Tomb of Tutankhamun: 250 EGP per person
Opt to descend down into the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the Valley of the Kings’ most famous pharaoh. While the treasure has been moved to the Cairo Museum, it is fascinating to enter the tomb that held one of the most intact collection of treasures found in all of Egypt.