ITINERARY FOR EGYPT
Egypt, a country connecting Africa to the Middle East, a country with thousands years of history, the land of pyramids. However, you want to call it, it is a country that offers much more than a week in one of the all-inclusive hotels.
3 weeks might sound a lot but there is a lot to see, some distance to travel and everything is happening on Egyptian time. This Egypt itinerary will help you make the best out of your time exploring Egypt.
WHEN TO VISIT EGYPT
Best time to visit Egypt would be either in the fall (late September, October) and early spring (March, April, start of May). Egypt in the summer months is simply too hot to enjoy what it has to offer. Even lying down on the beach, you will be looking for a little bit of shade quite fast.
Tourism in Egypt is fast growing so even if you go there in the winter months, everything touristy will still be opened. The weather though is on the colder side (for Egypt) and there is a high possibility for wind. If you are not into wind or kite surfing, you probably will not enjoy it.
Spring and fall months are the optimal time to visit Egypt. Tourist have not completely occupied it yet, weather is warm enough to walk around and explore, nights are cool enough to sleep. And most important you can easily go for a dip in the sea.
TRANSPORT IN EGYPT
Most people who travel to Egypt stay in one place for the whole week, so transport around Egypt can get quite complicated, especially for tourists. There are a few car rental companies in bigger touristic places, since driving in Egypt can be quite an adrenaline adventure I would recommend choosing public transport. It might not be the most organized system but it will get you from point A to point B. The railway system is not developed throughout the whole country, but where it is, it’s a very comfortable way of getting around. As a tourist you have to travel in first class. Most popular option of getting around is the bus. Both options are fairly cheap, even for longer trips.
One of our favorite companies was GoBus: cheap, if you are ready to pay a few pounds more you can even book a sit on an ”elite” bus which makes the trip even more comfortable.
Short travels are best made with taxi. If you are in Cairo, take a chance with Uber. You know what’s the price going to be, cars are very nice and clean and you can pay with cash at the end of your trip. If you want a more local approach try one of the many taxi drivers, just make sure you set a price before you sit in the car.
BUDGET FOR EGYPT
As you probably heard or read many times, Egypt is considered one of the cheaper countries. And most times it really is. Private room shared between two people, use of public transport, eating local food as much possible will not heavily affect your wallet.
The only thing on the expensive side, compared to other prices, are entrance fees and some of the tours. But since you travel to see and experience new things, that is not one of the things you should try to save money on. Though, if you want to stay on a budget, there will always be one or two things that will stand out for you and that you will really want to do or see, first go with your gut and then see how are you doing money wise.
Private room: 10€-14€
Food & drinks: 2€-6€ (per day)
Public transport: 8€-12€ (longer journeys)
Taxi: 0,50€/km, depends on your bargaining skills
ITINERARY FOR EGYPT (3 WEEKS)
Time recommended: 2-3 days
The capital of Egypt is the easiest place to start your trip around Egypt. It can be a little bit overwhelming with so many people and cars on the streets, but once you get used to it you will see it has a lot to offer. It is different than other parts of Egypt, mainly because of its size but it’s a must see since it’s the city with the pyramids. And you really don’t want to miss that. There is also plenty of museums, little local shops so just walking around is an experience by itself. If you run of the things to do Alexandria is also an option for a day or even 2-day trip from Cairo. It takes 2 hours to get a train there, it only cost a few pounds and it offers so much.
Where to stay: Dahab hostel Cairo
Time recommended: 3 days
A few hours drive outside of Cairo you can find White and Black desert natural park. It is one of the places where booking a tours is highly recommended. They take care of the transfer from Cairo to the desert, all the meals, sleeping bags and of course the driver who knows the area inside and out. It is a once in a life time view, you don’t want to miss. Sleeping in a 5 million star hotel? Who wouldn’t want that. They offer a one or two night tours. The following one is more relaxed and not rushed at all, you also get another night of silence which is very nice, if you spent a few days in Cairo before that.
It is one of the tours on the more expensive side, but worth every cent. We booked it in Dahab hostel in Cairo, which was one of the cheapest options we found (1 night-75$, 2 nights-95$, everything is included, except drinks)
Where to Book: Dahab hostel Cairo (other tours available)
Want to know more: White Desert in Egypt
Time recommended: 1-2 days
Easiest way to get to Aswan is with a train from Cairo, that takes around 12 hours. It is an overnight train but it has wide sits so you can easily get some sleep and be ready to start exploring once you get there. It is also the best starting point if you want to do any kind of cruise on the Nile, since the boats mostly go from Aswan to Luxor.
The town itself is very nice, cleaner and calmer compared to Cairo so a perfect place to catch a breath for a little bit. There is not a lot to do here, but just walking around, next to the Nile, seeing local markets can be nice. If you are planning on seeing the Abu Simbel temples, easiest way is to book a one day tour from Aswan. It does take up your whole day, so it is one of the things you should really think about if it’s worth the drive or not.
Where to stay: Shater Nubian House
Time recommended: 2-3 days
There is plenty of boats going to Luxor every day, you just have to find the right one for the right price. Easiest way is to do your booking online or at one of the agencies. Cheaper way is going from boat to boat and asking if they have anything availabe and for what price. Once you do that you are ready for couple of days of ultimate relaxation and enjoyment. Most of the cruise ships have all-inclusive meals so you don’t have to worry about anything. They also have an option of doing some sightseeing when the boat stops, that one you do have to pay extra for. Even though your wallet will be a little bit lighter after booking cruise, it’s once in a life time opportunity and there is a certain magic to cruising on the Nile that you don’t want to miss.
How much to pay: 35$-40$ per person per night
Read more about how to get the best deal on your cruise HERE.
Time recommended: 2-3 days
The city with all the temples. If you are interested in history and can’t wait to see some historic sites, this is the place you should spend most of your time. From one of the most famous Karnak temple to Luxor temple on the East bank. To Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Temple of Hatshepsut on the West Bank. Event though all the sites are amazing just to see, if you want to learn new things you either have to read up on them before hand or hire a guide. Unfortunatelly there is not a lot of information at the actual sites. Every site charges entrance fee so if you are on a budget, pick a few that you really want to see. Whichever you will pick I can promise you, you will not be disappointed.
Easiest way to get around Luxor is with a taxi, since some of the places are quite far apart. Spend your energy on sight seeing not walking for miles just to get from one place to another.
Where to Stay: Grand hotel
Time recommended: 1-2 days
The only reason we went to Hurghada is because we hoped we could grab a ferry from there to Sharm El-Sheikh, unfortunately it is not a thing anymore.
This place is pretty much one huge hotel resort, so if you want to rest in a nice hotel, shop in some stores with all the international brands, it is definitely the place. There is not much to do when it comes to sightseeing, except boat trips to the nearby coral reefs for snorkelling. One thing that we noticed is, if you are not staying in one of the hotels on the beach, you can say goodbye to it. Most beaches are privatized and fenced so it is really hard to get to. For the same reason we decided to skip Sharm el Sheikh.
If Hurghada doesn’t sound something you want to do, I would recommend taking a train straight from Luxor back to Cairo.
Where to stay: any of the accomodations marked with beach property
Time recommended: 4-6 days
”Easiest” way to get to Dahab is a bus. Unfortunately, the only option is to take a bus from Cairo, since Dahab is on Sinai Peninsula and connections from other places are pretty much non-existent.
Personally Dahab was the highlight of the Egypt trip. It is a bit more touristic but that also means it is much cleaner and quieter than other parts of Egypt. Main road is closed for traffic so it is nice to walk around, next to the sea and look at many stores along the way.
If Luxor is the place for history, this is the place of countless possibilities for all kinds of activities and tours. From snorkelling and diving in different spots to quad biking. There is a great variety of one day or multiple day trips as well. One of the most popular would be to some of the many canyons in the area. Mount Sinai with Catherine’s monastery is a perfect sunrise tour for the early risers. Be ready to spend a little bit more money than other places but for the things you get to see, definitely worth it.
This is a perfect place to finish your way around Egypt. Well rested, with great memories, even greater pictures and at least a bit more tanned you will be ready to go back to reality and finish exploring Egypt on a high note.
Where to stay: Monica Hotel