Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > 11 day-ish Egypt itinerary--need comments and suggestions!

11 day-ish Egypt itinerary--need comments and suggestions!

Reply

Sep 1st, 2012, 01:32 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 95
11 day-ish Egypt itinerary--need comments and suggestions!

Hello,

I'm fiddling with the idea of visiting Egypt next summer with a side trip to Petra, Jordan. I have only about 10-12 days, so am trying to decide what might be the best way to see the best of Egypt without overdoing it.

I will most likely be flying in from Nice to Cairo, and assuming that takes half a day, below is my proposed itinerary (at least in terms of the places I would like to visit--I'm not sure about intercity transport yet!):

Day 1 (Travel day): Arrive in Cairo. Take train to Alexandria, sleep in Alexandria.
Day 2 (Alexandria): Alexandria day.
Day 3 (Cairo): Early train to Cairo. Explore city/museum.
Day 4 (Cairo): Giza Pyramids, Sphinx.
Day 5 (Cairo): Other Cairo? At night, take Sleeper Train from Giza to Luxor.
Day 6 (Luxor): Valley of Kings, other monuments.
Day 7 (Luxor): Valley of Kings, other monuments.
Day 8 (Aswan): Train to Aswan.
*Day 9 (Aswan): Day trip to Abu Simbel.
*Day 10 (Aswan): Day trip to Kom Ombo.
Day 11 (Amman): Fly into Amman. Leave for Petra, sleep in the Park--price?!
Day 12 (Petra): Explore etc. Leave for Amman by noon, explore the rest of Amman.
Day 13 (Amman): Fly back home!

a) Main question is if people think this is a manageable itinerary? I would be happier if this was an 11-day itinerary, so any suggestions as to which days I can cut out would be appreciated. Should I do one day less in Cairo? Or cut out Alexandria?

b) If I arrive in Cairo at 1am, would it be safe/easy to head to my accommodation in the city late at night?

c) Aside from Petra, is there any other feature in my itinerary that's going to be particularly costly? I'll be traveling on a backpacker's budget! I've considered the sleeper train costs, but think it'll be worth forking out the extra for a first-class private cabin, seeing as I'll be using the overnight train a lot and will need all the energy when I wake up, so that's fine.

d) Between Aswan and Dahab--what's the best mode of transport? My initial plan was to leave for Dahab from Aswan, but I'm not sure if that's entirely practical. Any suggestions?

e) A "1-day" overnight pass to Petra (the one costing 50JD)--what does that mean, exactly? Do I have 24 hours in the park, or do I have to arrive at night on Day 1 to be able to spend the next day in the Park, or...?

Thanks!
oliveroliver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:01 AM
  #2
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
E) overnight Petra pass is cheaper than day pass (90JD?) the distinction is you entered Jordan yesterday or earlier, vs. the tourist who drove into Jordan from Israel via Palestine very early that morning. It's an excuse to soak air-conditioned coach tourists who likely will spend only the day in the country and go nowhere else. You still only get to enter at about 8AM and leave by sundown.

You stay in a place in town, Wadi Musa, and enter /leave via the Siq, the famous narrow canyon about a mile walk.
MD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:08 AM
  #3
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
Also, if yo arrive early enough, there's "Petra by Night" about 8pm every other night or so. The Siq is lit with candles in paper bags all the way to the Treasury where there is a performance by local musicians. Cheesy but a different experience for 12JD and you are there anyway.
MD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:26 AM
  #4
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
You're spending a whole day Luxor to Aswan and then backtracking. I don't know if there's a bus excursion that goes that way with stops at Edfu and Kom Ombo. We hired private transport, but there may be busses?

When we were there in April 2012, trains were frequently delayed, due to problems and demonstrations. Blocking the tracks is a quick way to get the authorities to pay attention to your grievances. Our guide mentioned waiting 6 extra hours from Cairo to Aswan, and when he was done in Luxor, the night train to Aswan was cancelled that night...

Valley of the kings, tombs of the nobles... When we were there the "grapevine tomb" was open. Sadly, we were about the only people there. Even in VoK we were occasionally all alone in the tombs, whereas befor the revolution they had barriers for crowd control. Ramssesseum and Ramses Temple on west bank.

Caution - the book says the Luxor Museum was open to 9PM but in April the staff had decided to close at 2PM due to low volume. This was a major surprise even to our guide.

At Abu Simbel our guide bypassed the multimedia presentation and we had the Temples practically to ourselves for about 15 minutes before the main tour group arrived.

At Caioro Museum we went up the west side and direct to the back and the Tut room. We were the only ones with the gold mask room for 5 minutes... See bloggage.me
MD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:32 AM
  #5
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
VoK does not allow cameras in at all. Not sure if you can check them, we left ours in our van with the driver.
MD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:52 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 396
I think it would be wise for you to contact a local travel agent such as Lady Egypt.
They can recommend an itinerary that will maximize your time, make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free and probably cost less in the long run.
JerryS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 06:57 AM
  #7
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
If you have chance, go see Step Pyramid at Sakkara, probably the number 3 sight atwater Giza and the Tut treasures. Not sure what the transport options are. If you can carry on to Darshur, see the Red Pyramid-climb inside. See the Bent Pyramid.
MD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 11:02 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Omit Alexandra and put those days elsewhere, trip won't be so rushed. Extra days can be in Cairo, or another day in Jordan. Or just omit Alexandra, keep itinteray as is and you have 11/days. Can't comment though on transport between some areas in Egypt.

As you indicate travel durimg the summer months between May thru Sept it will be very very very hot both countries, which alone slows down the traveler.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 01:41 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 95
Thanks for all the responses!

MD, other than what you've mentioned, I wonder how things generally were for tourists in Egypt back in April? Was the situation more subdued, and at any point did you have to worry about safety? I would've imagined that things would have settled down by now leading up to/after the elections but I guess not! Great blog too. by the way. Helpful in deciding where to go--how did you manage to get around transport-wise, or did he help with travel all the time? That's probably my main problem, transport, as it seems that from Aswan, trips to Kom Ombo/Edfu (I'm actually keen on the latter now) are done with group tours, or by taxi... not sure how economical taking a cab would be! There's the felucca option, but that's a 3 day trip from Aswan, which seems such a waste for such a short distance.

JD, I'm less keen on hiring one if I can help it, as I'm afraid the costs might shoot through the roof...

Sandi, I was thinking of that as well. I guess I can toss a coin when I'm in Cairo whether to visit Alexandria for a day if I've saturated myself with Cairo.

Cost-wise, I've figured that it might actually be cheaper for me to take the Sleeper Train from Aswan back to Cairo on my last night, and fly to Amman on that day.

Any more feedback would we welcomed!
oliveroliver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 10:54 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,601
I recommend visiting Alexandria. You do NOT need to make it a 2 day affair. You can see the best of Alex in one day, up on the train, back on the train and leave your luggage in Cairo and don't waste time checking into and out of hotels in Alex. No need for that.
If you are interested in Roman history, Alex is worth a look-see. The Catacombs in Alex are completely different than the catacombs in Rome, so don't tell me you saw them in Rome and you know what a catacomb looks like . Also, Alexandria will be the cooler of all the cities in Egypt in the summer. If Cairo is 90 degrees, Luxor is 100 degrees, Alex will probably be 80 degrees... and pretty nice right on the water.

I have not read completely every response so I appologize if I'm repeating something someone already said -
Instead of taking the Sleeping Train to Luxor - take it to Aswan (same price and you get to Aswan in mid morning rather than at the crack of dawn) You can see Aswan that day. Overnight in Aswan, road trip to Abu Simbal the next day and visit any think you missed in Aswan after that. The next day take a road trip to Komombo-Edfu-Esna (and whatever) and end up in Luxor. The next two days or 1.5 days in Luxor. It takes up the same 5 days you had planned, but uses your time better.

Just my 2 cents.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 20th, 2013, 10:18 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
I think one day for Alex is enough for Aswan and Luxor why you didn't think about the cruise option and you can fly from Luxor to sharm then car to nuweiba then a ferry to Jordan I think this way will safe for you some money and from Aqaba you can drive to Petra after you finish Petra you can drive to Amman then fly home from Amman hope you enjoy your trip
Vacationstogotravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 21st, 2013, 01:54 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,601
Again, Vacationstogotravel - Is Egypt Air flying daily between Luxor and Sharm now? Before it required nearly all day to make that trip as you flew to Cairo then had to sit around at the airport until your flight to Sharm left. Better IMHO to separate these trips completely and make use of each day if you can....unless direct flights are available now.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2013, 02:22 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 10
If you can afford it, I'd take a flight from Giza to Luxor rather than the sleeper.
marwamorgan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2013, 05:01 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,601
Just to clarify, all flights out of the Cairo area would be from Cairo, not Giza. No airport on that side yet.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:27 AM.