8 Amazing Days and 7 Unforgettable Egyptian Nights! From flying into Cairo, cruising down the River Nile, and seeing one of the world’s greatest wonders, Egypt is easily one of the most amazing places to visit!
If you’re thinking of heading to North Africa this year or planning for the next, then take this time to thoroughly prepare. I spent 8 days in Egypt starting the journey in the capital city of Cairo, and then sailing my way to Luxor; I spent some time wandering through various towns along the River Nile and then ended up in Aswan.
This itinerary will not only prepare you for an amazing trip but also give you a solid idea of how action-packed your Egyptian vacation can be. If you’re still creating that travel bucket list, then Egypt must be at the top!
My Trip to Egypt
I traveled to Egypt in March of 2017 with a group of friends. Our trip to Egypt was planned about 8 months in advance of departing.
We enlisted the help of a tour company that provided a private tour guided itinerary. By utilizing the tour company, it did allow for less stress and a step-by-step guide to the best way to see the history of the country. Even though the tour was outlined and given to us by our tour company, we did have the freedom to customize or add specialized excursions to this.
I’d also like to add that the organizing and planning of this group trip would not have been possible without the input and hard work of Alex of ybpegypt.com. She made every effort to ensure we had a memorable trip!
The Best Itinerary for Group or Solo Travelers Traveling to Egypt
Whether you’re planning to use a tour company or just interested in knowing how to plan your own adventure, below you will find the itinerary that I embarked on as well as the resources to book your own!
I recommend this itinerary for those that are looking to learn about ancient Egyptian history and culture. If you are looking for nightlife option, although there are many in the city, I do not have that included in this list! However, there is plenty of room to add and tweak to your liking!
Find hotel accommodation recommendations, flights, cruise options, excursions, and more! I have left off most of the time intervals for each day as this should be a flexible schedule. If you choose to utilize a tour company, then the times in which you start your day are pre-set. If you are doing this on your own, then as long as you have planned ahead, everything is still doable in a day’s time!
Day 1: Arriving in the Capital City, Cairo
After an overnight flight departing your home, you’ll arrive in Cairo, Egypt. Depending on where you are coming from and if you are using a tour company, the tour manager can meet you at the Cairo International Airport.
You will need a visa upon entry into the country. If you use a tour company, they will arrange for your visa and will have it once you arrive. If you are traveling alone and do not know what visa requirements you must follow, then check HERE for the most current rules.
Again, depending upon your arrival time, you will head straight to your hotel. I arrived around 9PM local time and the tour manager escorted my group to the hotel.
Egypt does have Uber and Lyft if you would prefer to select the rideshare options. After long travel, take this time to relax at your hotel room and prepare for your action packed week long adventure!
Hotel Recommendation: Cairo Pyramids Hotel
– This is a 4 star hotel
– Views of the Pyramids from hotel balcony
– You can read the reviews on Trip Advisor HERE
– I personally stayed at this location. The hotel morning breakfast buffet and dinner is delicious and has many options for both meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans.
Welcome to Cairo, Egypt!
Day 2: Tour the Great Pyramids!
There’s no time for sleeping in with this itinerary. Start your day at about 7AM local time, and make your way to the Giza Plateau. I recommend getting a personal guide to accompany you or your group. Visit one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chefren and Mykerinus, famous Sphinx and Valley temple facing the great statue.
Depending on the time of year, the wait to get into the pyramids can be quite long. The earlier the better and less crowded.
Excursions at the Pyramids:
- Camel ride through the pyramids (Duration 15 minutes) – $15
- Go inside the Great Pyramid – $25
- Inside Khafre’s Pyramid – $7
You can eat anywhere! Depending on how adventurous you are, or unadventurous, there are many familiar options for those that want the comforts of home (KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s) or have lunch at a local restaurant.
This restaurant, Restaurant Al Khan, is a pretty popular place that many tourist frequent. The food was tasty and it is one of the “approved” restaurants for Western tourists.
SEE ALSO: Foods to Try While in Egypt
There’s time to go to the Key of Life Papyrus Shop as well. Learn how to make Papyrus paper and buy some papyrus art if you so choose!
There’s still more you can do! Go to the Egyptian Museum, which hosts the treasure room of the boy king Tutankhamun and the Mummification room.
In the evening, if you are still looking for more to do, there’s a Sound and Light Show at the Giza Pyramids which starts around 7PM. This is usually about $50 USD. Head back to the pyramids to see them lit up at night. If you decide to go, you should plan for this earlier in the day as it may fill up with other guests.
Day 3: Fly to Luxor and Check in to a Cruise
Check out from your hotel in the morning then transfer to Cairo Airport for a flight to Luxor. It’s only a 1-hour flight from Cairo to Luxor and you can take Nile Air.
When you arrive in Luxor, it is best to make arrangements ahead of time as the airport is very small. As of 2020, Uber and Lyft do not operate in Luxor, so this is not an option. Grab a cab or arrange ahead of time with your lodging accommodations.
The best and most efficient way to see Egypt is to take a cruise on the River Nile! Find the best cruise option for your stay HERE!
Check in to your cruise and then before the ship sails, have a guide take you to the Karnak Temple Complex and the Luxor Temple.
The rest of your meals and resting options will be included on board the Nile Cruise.
Day 4: Enjoy a Day of Excursions in Luxor While Onboard the Nile Cruise
Awake from overnight on your cruise and take an Excursion to The Royal Cemetery for 62 Pharaohs, Valley of the Kings, then to Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
You will board the ship again and have lunch. Dinner and overnight onboard the Nile Cruise.
Day 5: Spend Some Time at the Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples
Wake up early to enjoy breakfast onboard. Always make sure to check the cruise itinerary as everyone on the ship will be doing the same activities for the day. Plus, you find out the events for the evening onboard!
Visit the well-preserved Ptolemaic Temple dedicated to Horus at Edfu.
Sail to Kom Ombo to see the unique Temple of Sobek, dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, and Horus the falcon-headed god. Kom Ombo means “The Hill of Gold”.
All meals are served on board the cruise.
Day 6: Sailing to Aswan for a Day of Sightseeing!
Your itinerary in Aswan is packed yet there is time for extra excursions as well!
Start with the Aswan High Dam and the largest known ancient obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt. This is known as the Unfinished Obelisk.
Then on to the beautiful Temple of Philae, which is devoted to the two goddesses Isis and Hathor.
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If you have time and love perfumes and natural oils, stop by Thutmoses Perfume Palace!
At an additional cost of about $40 USD, take a sail to the Nubian Village in Aswan. Mingle with the locals and learn about the Nubian people and their culture!
Day 7: Flying Back to Cairo from Aswan
Disembark from your Nile Cruise after breakfast and then you will now head to the Aswan Airport for your return to Cairo. The return flight is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Head back to the hotel in Cairo that you originally stayed at as it will be easiest to check back in. Keep in mind, the traffic in Cairo is crazy! From Cairo Airport to the hotels at Pyramids area, it is about a 50 minute drive.
Depending on the time of day you return, there should still be enough time to explore Cairo further. Use this time to buy souvenirs, take a city tour, or do an excursion!
For $60 USD, our group opted to do ATV rides around the Great Pyramids!
Day 8: Final Departure
It is time to say goodbye. Depending on your scheduled flight time, then you will head back to the Cairo International Airport to go home or your next destination!
If you are interested in the itinerary described above or want to get an idea of the cost, them check out Memphis Tours! This is a company I used with my travel group and our trip was not only flawless, but unforgettable!
Theres so much one can do in Egypt, but in 8 days, you can truly see a lot! Just remember to enjoy the moment!
Tour Package: The Best of Cairo and Nile Cruise HERE
DISCLAIMER: I am not an affiliate of Memphis Tours and I do not receive any compensation if you book with the company.