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9 Days 8 Nights Egypt Itinerary - Advice Appreciated!

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Sep 18th, 2012, 07:30 PM
  #1
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9 Days 8 Nights Egypt Itinerary - Advice Appreciated!

Greetings! We are a family of parents and 3 adult daughters who are truly excited about our trip to Egypt in February. We would like to make the best of our 9 days, hence was wondering if the itinerary below is OK?

Day 1: Arrival Cairo 4 a.m. – Pyramid Giza

Day 2: Islamic Cairo & Coptic Cairo – Last flight out to Luxor

Day 3: Luxor : Temple of Karnak, Temple of Medinat Habu, Luxor Temple - Stroll along the souq/bazaars

Day 4: Luxor : Valley of the Artisans, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Ramses - Night train to Aswan

Day 5: Aswan: Temple of Philae - Felucca ride to Elephantine OR Kitchner's Island – Stroll along the souq/bazaars

Day 6: Abu Simbel at 4am – Back to Aswan – Last flight out to Cairo

Day 7: White Desert

Day 8: White Desert - Cairo

Day 9 Cairo: Zamalek sightseeing/relaxing – Departure at 5 p.m.

Might seem a little rush we know, but we really do not wish to miss the highlights of Egypt... Though, do you reckon the itinerary is feasible? Would it be too much, or just fine? Any helpful suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated Thank you very much in advance and good day!
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Sep 19th, 2012, 12:07 AM
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My comments follow within your planned schedule below -


Day 1: Arrival Cairo 4 a.m. – Pyramid Giza

Depending on what day of the week this is,and what hotel you are in, you shouldn't need more than about 4-5 hours for Giza alone, so you aren't using your time to the fullest this day. I would suggest you add Sakkara to the list that day or maybe the Cairo Museum and use your whole day. Sure you may be tired, but you will also be excited to be here and hopefully will be able to do more than just Giza.


Day 2: Islamic Cairo & Coptic Cairo – Last flight out to Luxor

This is OK and a full day of siteseeing. And good to go to the Khan el Khalili before going to Luxor so you can see what souvenirs are available at what cost so you don't py 3 times as much in Luxor unknowingly.

Day 3: Luxor : Temple of Karnak, Temple of Medinat Habu, Luxor Temple - Stroll along the souq/bazaars

Save Medinat Habu for the other day. Do the west bank one day and the east bank the other day. Don't go all the way to the west bank for one site.


Day 4: Luxor : Valley of the Artisans, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Ramses - Night train to Aswan

OK

Day 5: Aswan: Temple of Philae - Felucca ride to Elephantine OR Kitchner's Island – Stroll along the souq/bazaars

There is more to see in Aswan, but you can fit in what you want to see when you are there.

Day 6: Abu Simbel at 4am – Back to Aswan – Last flight out to Cairo

Why take the "last flight" out to Cairo? If you flew to Abu Simbal at 4 am. you were awake at 2 a.m. to be at the airport by 3 a.m. You will be exhausted and want to get to your
Cairo hotel to go to bed I think.


Day 7: White Desert

Day 8: White Desert - Cairo

Do you REALLY want to see the White Desert? If so, then this is minimal to see it, but you will see a bit of it. I personally think you need one more day, but I guess you can do it this way. Consider instead going for a day to Wadi el Hitan (The Valley of the Whales). Google it if you don't know what it is. It can be done in a long day trip and is another part of the world/desert few see.

Day 9 Cairo: Zamalek sightseeing/relaxing – Departure at 5 p.m.

If you have an International flight out at 5 p.m. you must be at the airport by 3 p.m., and again depending what day of the week this is, it may mean leaving your hotel by 1 p.m. to get there. That leaves you next to no time to do anything much that day. Relax and pack.
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Sep 19th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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No further comments than Debbie who knows better than I for sure, but do ask 'from where are you traveling?'

Even if arriving at 4am, and planning some sightseeing straight-on, if not from Europe, do consider some downtime in case someone has jet lag. After that 1st day it will be 'go-go-go'
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Sep 19th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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I also think you should plan on doing very little that first day. When we arrived in Cairo about 10 p.m. (from the West Coast of the US) after 24+ hours of traveling, we slept pretty much the entire next day (fortunately, we had built that into our schedule).
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Sep 19th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Dear all, thank you very much for taking the time offering such helpful advice and recommendations. You guys are the best!

Casual_cairo:
Day 1: Arrival Cairo 4 a.m. – Pyramid Giza

Depending on what day of the week this is,and what hotel you are in, you shouldn't need more than about 4-5 hours for Giza alone, so you aren't using your time to the fullest this day. I would suggest you add Sakkara to the list that day or maybe the Cairo Museum and use your whole day. Sure you may be tired, but you will also be excited to be here and hopefully will be able to do more than just Giza.
aravalli: if we have time to spare, we might hop over to Khan Al-Khalili bazaars during evening/after dinner.


Day 2: Islamic Cairo & Coptic Cairo – Last flight out to Luxor

This is OK and a full day of siteseeing. And good to go to the Khan el Khalili before going to Luxor so you can see what souvenirs are available at what cost so you don't py 3 times as much in Luxor unknowingly.
aravalli: thanks so much for the heads-up!

Day 3: Luxor : Temple of Karnak, Temple of Medinat Habu, Luxor Temple - Stroll along the souq/bazaars

Save Medinat Habu for the other day. Do the west bank one day and the east bank the other day. Don't go all the way to the west bank for one site.
aravalli: well-noted!


Day 4: Luxor : Valley of the Artisans, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Ramses - Night train to Aswan

OK

Day 5: Aswan: Temple of Philae - Felucca ride to Elephantine OR Kitchner's Island – Stroll along the souq/bazaars

There is more to see in Aswan, but you can fit in what you want to see when you are there.
aravalli: we were wondering if the above would be too hectic so we were hesitant to include a few more. would you recommend it's worth including a visit to Nubian village?

Day 6: Abu Simbel at 4am – Back to Aswan – Last flight out to Cairo

Why take the "last flight" out to Cairo? If you flew to Abu Simbal at 4 am. you were awake at 2 a.m. to be at the airport by 3 a.m. You will be exhausted and want to get to your
Cairo hotel to go to bed I think.
aravalli: reason for the "last flight" to Cairo being we thought of maximising the remaining of the day at Aswan. For Abu Simbel, I checked the fares on Egypt Air, was rather pricey I thought, going at about EGP 2000++, even when "Egypt" was selected as home country. Prolly a convoy at 4am to A.S. would be cheaper? Not too sure yet on how to go about arranging that, but I think our hotel might be able to help?


Day 7: White Desert

Day 8: White Desert - Cairo

Do you REALLY want to see the White Desert? If so, then this is minimal to see it, but you will see a bit of it. I personally think you need one more day, but I guess you can do it this way. Consider instead going for a day to Wadi el Hitan (The Valley of the Whales). Google it if you don't know what it is. It can be done in a long day trip and is another part of the world/desert few see.
aravalli: By White Desert, I did mean the white desert, bahariya oasis, black desert and the likes, which seems to be very popular on the internet and where I got the inspiration from. Also, rather surprised to know 2 days is rather insufficient as most tours on the net do offer such tours, so I thought 2 days was fine. Will check out Wadi El Hitan too! Thanks

Day 9 Cairo: Zamalek sightseeing/relaxing – Departure at 5 p.m.

If you have an International flight out at 5 p.m. you must be at the airport by 3 p.m., and again depending what day of the week this is, it may mean leaving your hotel by 1 p.m. to get there. That leaves you next to no time to do anything much that day. Relax and pack.
aravalli: Oh yes.. strange I did not consider the Cairo traffic earlier on. Thanks so much Casual_cairo

sandi & sf7307:
aravalli: Will be traveling from Asia. And yes, some down-time would be good to recuperate, right before the race haha

again, thank you very much all for your kind insights. i really do appreciate it!
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Sep 19th, 2012, 11:10 PM
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1 -- Note that the Khan does not really stay open much after 7 p.m. these days since the Revolution. I hope that will change soon, but for now, I wouldn't plan a shopping trip to last after 7. Yes, to those that don't know the market well, after 7 it may still appear to be open (sort of) but the best shops with made in Egypt goods rather than the made in China goods will be pretty much closing up for the night earlier than they used to.

2 -- Don't come to Egypt without a good guidebook in hand (Fodors book is good) so when you are in Aswan you have a reference for what sites are available and can read a little about it to see if you want to visit. You can do things there on the fly if you like. I do recommend the Nubian Museum in Aswan. It's one of Egypt's better museums.

3 -- A Nubian Village? Not so much. Pretty hookey phanokey, and a great place to be taken advantage of for souvenirs, but hey, they are some people's favorite thing, so if you think you'd enjoy it, go for it. I think of the Masai Mara village I visited in Kenya when I think of Nubian Villages - they are there for the tourists, not because they actually exist for the Nubians. They are money makers and if you go in knowing that is their purpose and you're ok with that, cool.

4 -- It will be dead easy to organize land transport to AS when you are in Aswan. Anyone you talk to on the street could organize it for you, so absolutely 100% your hotel will be able to organize it. Don't necessarily look for the cheapest price though as some of the vans they might use could be pretty awful - as in NO AC, lousy driver, smelly guides....anything. Using your hotel might be the best choice to be pretty sure you'll get good service.

5 -- Yes, I'm still saying only 2 days to get to, stay over in, and come back from the White Dessert is much too little. Once you are there you may be very sorry to leave and have seen so little of it. It's a LONG LONG drive from Cairo out into the dessert where you camp. That is why most tours I know of take you from Cairo to Baharayia for the first night then head out to the dessert the next day and then you sleep out in the dessert one or two nights and then come back to Cairo. You can do it faster, but, for me, I would rather do something else...like Wadi Hitan...it's a Unesco site and totally amazing. 28 million year old whale bones out there. They make the pyramids look new.

Hope a bit of this helped more.
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Sep 20th, 2012, 01:43 AM
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Dear Casual_Cairo, thank you VERY VERY much for the lovely advices and suggestions. I would certainly keep all these valuable information at the top of my head

Thanks for the heads up on Wadi Hitan, will try to research more so I could compare and contrast. Shame we only had the best of 9 days.. oh well!

I was just thinking though, as I go through the must-sees of Luxor on this travel site, if we should skip Islamic Cairo & Khan Bazaar and Coptic Cairo altogether on Day 2, instead take an early morning flight to Luxor, effectively adding an additional day in Luxor, so that it would not be so hectic in Luxor (there's just so much to see there!). Or do you think the current itinerary is fine? I'd hate to miss out the Cairo city tour but if doing so would provide a better pace at Luxor..... I wonder if we should do so.

Any thoughts?

Again thanks for the wonderful efforts, wishing you a beautiful day!
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Sep 20th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Here is my idea about travel to Egypt for 9 days
Day 01: Cairo arrival – Giza Sights Memphis, Sakkara and Pyramids area
Day02: Cairo Sights Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo and Khan El Khalili bazaar
Day03: Flight to Abu Simbel, visit the temple then back to Aswan to Nile Cruise then Felucca to visit the island
Day04: visit High dam and Philae temple then Kom Ombo temple (Cruise route)
Day05: Visit Edfu temple and sail to Luxor
Day06: Visit Valley of kings, Hatshepsut, Hapu and Luxor temple and have tour inside markets then last flight to cairo
Day07: visit Desert
Day08: Desert then back to Cairo
Day09: departure
In my opinion in above itinerary you will cover all most famous sights in Egypt and lees rush specially at Nile Cruise little transportations and you can enjoy with sail on the Nile
Hope that will help you
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Sep 20th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Excellent trip Travelline and Casual Cairo
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Sep 20th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Travelline, your trip looks good, but how far the desert from Cairo?
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Sep 20th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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Dear Travelline, many thanks for taking the time to advise and share a potential itinerary for my trip to Egypt.

I have seen a few tour companies offering such highlights of Cruise, I thought this itinerary seemed great but here are a few of my concerns on the cruise:
1) is the cruise taken with felucca or dabbahiya?
2) would the cruise comes up to much more expensive compared to the combination of air+train (as per original itinerary)?
3) as the nature of the cruise, wouldn't we have little time to explore on our own? as it would sort of be like a group tour where after one sight another. We would like to visit some local souqs, too (if time permitting) so I wonder if the cruise itinerary would not make this possible.
4) Concerned that taking a cruise would also mean we would not be able to sample the local eateries in Luxor or Aswan.

again, your advice or recommendation is well appreciated. Thank you for your time Travelline!
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Sep 21st, 2012, 10:57 AM
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In case Travelline does not come back soon, here are what I think the answers are -

(at least my opinion for the answers )

1 - I think they are talking about a normal Nile Cruise on one of the big boats that carry about 150 passengers if they full up.
Fellucas and Dahabayias are MUCH smaller. Fellucas require you to really rough it (poop and pee in the bush, and eat food that will probably be a bit repetitive, but maybe delicious. Dahabayias are fabulous and can be very private, but they are pretty expensive.

2 - Since cruises are full board, the cost may not seem too terrible. Get a variety of prices from different companies.

3 - you would have less time to explore on your own unless you want to just take off and explore and skip the tours. You are finding that there are so many sites in Luxor to see. You probably won't have time to visit many of the ones that are not on the group itinerary.

4 - You can always leave the cruise and eat anywhere you want, but you will have paid to eat on the boat so it will be up to you. Hard to go pay for something different when the food on the boat is already paid for sometimes.
FYI - for what it is worth, Luxor (for certain) and Aswan are not exactly known for their food. Go there for the sites, not the cuisine. Cairo has much better food....in my opinion.
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Sep 21st, 2012, 07:51 PM
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CC, what IS a dahabayia?
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Sep 23rd, 2012, 12:13 AM
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sf7307 - imagine a double masted felluca. Bigger. Grander. 4+ staterooms. Imagine how Agatha Christie sailed the Nile. If you are still having trouble seeing it in your mind, Google Images of Dahabayias (yep - that works - I just did it)
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Sep 26th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Hi Avarali, Sorry for late answer.
- Nile Cruise will be good and more cheaper than Dahabbiya and that felucca I took was a normal one not for accommodation for tour for 2 hours on the Nile around islands. this was offer my the company included in my program
- Train or by flight it will not effect in your program, this your decision, But as I heard from my friends visited Egypt before one month ago they said domestic flight in Egypt its very expensive specially to Abu Simbel
- Sure you have time to check the markets by yourself, and you can ask your guide for this.
- No you can check any restaurants as you like, BUT I didn't recommend to eat at anywhere food was not good there, just check first from you tour guide there
I know 2 excellent companies in Egypt
Le Caire Travel www.lecairetravel.com
Travco travel www.travco.com
Good Luck
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Sep 26th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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CC, I googled at your suggestion - now THAT would be the way to sail the Nile!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Travelline - Funny you are posting for Travco and LeCaire as there is a company here in Egypt called TravelLine. I thought that was you. LOL The owners used to work at Eastmar I guess.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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I have no information about that company travelLine but I'll check and I'm here not to support any company, just I give my past experience about Egypt, in my first trip in Egypt, I had many problems with my company and lost alot of money, I left Egypt before 3 days from departure. The worst. but after 3 years from That trip. I found good and honest people at those companies
So, I'm here only to give help- Thanks
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Sep 28th, 2012, 08:49 PM
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How great is t that you came back. Unfortunately too many people have similar experiences with bad companies on their first trip and they blame the whole country for those problems and never return. I'm so glad you came back and found out it wasn't Egypt's fault (completely)
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Sep 29th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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Thank you Casual_Cairo
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