Egypt- 7 day Itinerary Check

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Jul 12th, 2018, 12:51 PM
  #1
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Egypt- 7 day Itinerary Check

I'm planning a week long trip to Egypt (from the US) in mid-October and I'm hoping to get some input on the itinerary below. I will be traveling with my mother and this is her gift to me for an upcoming "big" birthday (one ending in a zero).

We've booked our flights to/from Cairo and within Egypt ourselves as well as the hotels, using both miles/points and paying for some. We're usually very independent travelers but for this trip we decided that we wanted some hand-holding, mostly to discourage bothersome would-be guides and touts so we're working with a local Egyptian company for transfers and private day tours.

This is what we have so far:
Sunday: arrive 11PM to Cairo, transfer to Giza hotel (Marriott Mena House).

Monday: Cairo: Tour pyramids, Solar Boat Museum (optional, for an additional cost), Sakkara and Memphis. (Marriott Mena House).

Tuesday: Morning Coptic Cairo Tour Hanging Church, Monastery and Church of Saint George, Abu Serga, Ben Ezra Synagogue. Afternoon flight to Luxor (Winter Palace Hotel)

Wednesday: Luxor: Karnak and Luxor Temples (Winter Palace Hotel) Is this a full day or half day. Other things to see in Luxor? Markets?

Thursday: Luxor: Valley of the Kings, Colossi of Memnon, Temple of Hatshepsut. Here we've requested to see the Howard Carter house in lieu of an "alabaster workshop". (Winter Palace Hotel)

Friday: Morning flight back to Cairo. Tour Egyptian Museum and the Mosque and Madrassa of Sultan Hassan as well as the Alabaster Mosque at the Citadel of Salah el-Din. (Ritz Carlton Nile Hotel)

Saturday: Morning tour of Islamic Cairo & Khan El Khalili Bazaar- includes ramparts, mosques, and Beit as-Suhaymi (traditional family mansion) and the Khan el Khalili bazaar . In the afternoon we have a separate Food Walking tour I've found which covers from 4-8pm and includes tastings.(Ritz Carlton Nile Hotel)

Sunday: This day is still open. Thoughts? In the evening we will transfer to the Le Meridian Hotel at the airport.

Monday: 8am flight back to US.

So, thoughts? Anything which should be changed or moved around? Any restaurant recommendations near our hotels?
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Jul 16th, 2018, 11:11 AM
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I really surprised that not one person has replied. I guess travel to Egypt is not too popular on Fodor's. The Trip Advisor forums are much more active. If anyone is looking for info similar to mine, here's my post with several helpful responses on TA: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...ary-Egypt.html
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Jul 17th, 2018, 02:04 AM
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We are going to Egypt for the first time in August. Spent a lot of time looking for info on best way to see the sights, we are going to most of what is on your itinerary. I was advised against Mena House as it is full of wedding parties and service is poor, same with the Ritz and I checked Trip Advisor as well if that helps. My main problem now is in which order to see everything in the Cairo section, some say start in Sakkara with the first pyramids and leaving the Museum until last is good as you then understand what you are seeing!

Restaurant recommendations in any of the locations are difficult to find.....Fashet Sumuva came up a number of times but will be interesting trying to find it!

Will update when we return!
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Jul 17th, 2018, 08:31 AM
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Cyansiam-Where will you be staying instead? I did read through a lot of the reviews on TA, and just did so again. Yes, they are mixed but not overwhelmingly bad. I'm not too concerned about wedding parties on a Monday night at Mena House (though maybe Monday weddings are popular there?). These hotels work for us also because we were able to use points to pay for the rooms and we like the locations.
When you say you were "advised against" was this by a travel agent or by people you know who have personally stayed there?
As for which order to see things, yes, that is always a good thing to consider. Our itinerary is based somewhat on our schedule but it is also flexible.
I would love to hear about any restaurants you find that you enjoy.
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Jul 18th, 2018, 10:25 PM
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I was reading on another travel forum to stay away from Mena House as it is shabby and full of wedding parties and I then checked the TA reviews, always the poor ones first and how many reviews they have given. For The Ritz, the same forum had the comment 'Do not stay at the RC. The hotel lobby is full of local men loitering and smoking. The photos online look nice, but all of the common areas are still the Nile Hilton. It is definitely not worth the price', that was in April this year.

I ended up booking the FS First Residence with garden/pyramid view (although a very distance view) for the first stay and then FS Nile Plaza (nile view) for the last two nights, have also booked the Winter Palace in Luxor but a Classic Nile View Room which I am now wondering if it the best option!

I have now just read another trip report stating best to see The Museum first.... I give up!
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Nov 12th, 2018, 09:02 AM
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Quick follow up, post-trip.

We had a really good time and pretty much followed the itinerary as laid out above.

On the first day, we went to Saqqara, Dashur and Memphis only. Seeing the newly opened Tomb of Mehu in Saqqara was a highlight. We moved the Giza pyramids to day 2 along with Coptic Cairo and this was a good choice.

Luxor- loved the temples in town, loved Queen Hatshepsut's temple. Valley of the kings was interesting, but after a while, the tombs felt repetitive. Still, worth the trip.

The Food Tour by Bellies en Route was excellent and I highly recommend it.

Your Egypt Tours was the company we used for all transfers and tours and they did a great job with everything. Our guides were friendly and knowledgeable. We had the same guide and driver for all our time in Cairo which was (at the beginning and end of the trip) and it was nice to have that consistency. They were very flexible and allowed us to make decisions and changes on the fly based on how we felt and our schedule. They made sure we got places before all the big tour groups did. Highly recommended.

Hotels:

Marriott Mena House, Giza- the pyramid view rooms are worth it. Ask for one closer to the restaurant as it looks like these have a better view.

Winter Palace, Luxor- lovely historic hotel. Rooms were a little small, but still very nice with very high ceilings. Excellent breakfast.

Ritz Carlton Cairo- Nice room (city view overlooking the museum). Service in the hotel does not live up to the brand. Food in the restaurants was hit and miss.

Le Meridien Cairo Airport- very convenient for an early morning departure. Restaurants not great.

Any questions, feel free to ask.
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Nov 13th, 2018, 02:51 AM
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Glad you enjoyed your trip.

We had a great time as well, wished we had added more time for Luxor, the Western Desert and to cruise on Lake Nasser.

Saqqara, Dashur, Nefertari and Seti's tombs, Deir el Medina, Luxor Museum, Karnak Temple, the Aboudi Bookshop and quad biking at the back of the Pyramids are the favourites.

Both Four Seasons were excellent and we did not have to venture out for meals. Disappointed with the Winter Palace, both of the rooms we were given were dreadful and although the Old Cataract has been beautifully refurbished the service was poor.

Highlight was the Nile cruise helped by the fact that we had the Oberoi Philae to ourselves for 4 nights, I could live on that boat!
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Nov 24th, 2018, 07:27 PM
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Guys. Thank you so much for sharing your trip infos.

I am looking into a family trip to Egypt Feb 2019 with wife and 11 yr-old daughter, who is very into Egyptian mythologies so it would be a huge deal to visit. We've travel quite a bit in Asia and in Europe but never in Africa. As I'm beginning my research, I have 3 main questions and would love to hear your opinions.

1) First question is safety. I know this maybe a silly question coz in today's crazy world anything could happen anywhere. But still, since we're traveling with our child I want to be extra conservative. Since you have been there recently, what is your first person experience? Also though we are mix-race family (I am asian and wife caucasian), we're probably pegged as American from a mile away. Is that a concern at all?

2) Any recommendation for Tour Operators? I see @Kristina recommended Your Egypt Tour. Did you do a package or pick a la cart on different excursions?

3) If we only have 1 week, should we just stick with Cairo and Luxor? How many days each?

Bonus Question: now that you've done the trip, anything you would have done differently?

Thanks in advance.
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Nov 24th, 2018, 08:33 PM
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Linus_nj: Welcome to Fodors. You are asking questions for your own trip -- so it would be better to start a new thread of your own
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Nov 24th, 2018, 08:57 PM
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Linus- agreed, you probably want to start your own thread. That said, to answer your questions, we felt safe there, but were very happy to have the tour guides with us most of the time. For the tour, they made recommendations then we altered it to be what we wanted based on our own research. We only had a week and Cairo & Luxor were all we could comfortably fit in. There are package tours which do both plus a Nile cruise, but we could not make that fit with our arrival and departure dates and we didn't want to be locked into 4 days on a cruise. We probably could have done with one fewer day in Cairo, but I don't know how we would have changed it otherwise. With one more day in Luxor we could have done some sights that were farther day trips from there.
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Nov 26th, 2018, 08:03 PM
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Thanks so much for the info.

Yes I will start a new thread.
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