Egypt: luxor to cairo - really need help here!

Sep 29th, 2006, 05:07 AM
  #1  
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Egypt: luxor to cairo - really need help here!

Hi,

I am trying to book my x-mas holidays in Egypt but I'm having a really hard time to find a "package" that suits me (and when I find them, they are above my budget...). My initial plan was to cruise the nile and then spend 2 days in Cairo, but it was too expensive. So I decided to base myself in Luxor (I understand that a lot of the interesting sites are near the area) and try to do a day trip to Cairo and then to Abu Simel. Can someone please tell me if this is possible at all? Maybe a round trip by plane (eg. leave early to Cairo and return on a late flight)? What about Abu Simel, is it possible to visit on a day trip as well??
I would REALLY welcome any insights you can give me on this matter, as I really don't know what to do!!!

Kind regards....Juliana
Jufrpereira is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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A day trip from Luxor to Cairo would be ridiculous (there is just too much to see in and around Cairo).

Why don't you spend a few days in Cairo, then take train to Luxor and spend a few days there?

I have visited Egypt several times, never with a "package" and always independently -- tourists have been visiting for thousands of years and there is an excellent tourist infrastructure.

I haven't been to Abu Simbel -- as great as it looks and as miraculous as the UNESCO rescue was, it seems to far to justify the travel time. I'm saving it for when I can overland from Sudan. But, I think you can visit Abu Simbel on a one-day trip from Luxor.
thit_cho is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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Thit_cho , thank you so much for your reply! I always travel independently as well, but I am going on Christmas time, so the prices (if you try to book on yr own) are ridiculously higher than those from "pre-paid" packages... that's why I had to choose between staying in Luxor or Cairo... I can imagine that there are loads to see in Cairo, but if I only manage to visit for a day, do you have any idea on how far is it by train??? Again, thank you so much!!!! Juliana.
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Sep 29th, 2006, 05:39 AM
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Abu Simbel - most people do it as a day trip from Aswan, but I'm sure you can do it from Luxor, too. But I don't think there is a direct flight - I think it will stop in Aswan then continue to Abu Simbel. Note - it might be a LONG day.

Cairo - I think the train between Luxor and Cairo is usually an overnight thing - or at the least, it's a good several hour journey. If you are really trying to limit Cairo to a day-trip, then you need to fly. There is SOO much to see, but at the minimum you need to hit the pyramids/Sphynx and probably the museum. THe bazaar is lots of fun, but you can see/buy most of the same stuff in Luxor. Again, this is going to be a LONG day!

Have a great trip!
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Sep 29th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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As between the two, and if I had to base myself in either Cairo OR Luxor, I would select Cairo, and visit Luxor by plane. My first trip to Egypt was a business trip to Cairo, but I wanted to visit Luxor, and I took the earliest flight to Luxor and the last flight from Luxor (I had more than 12 hours in Luxor, and with a private taxi, I visited three tombs in each of the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, Hatshepsut's temple, Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple (including the light show just before leaving for the airport for my return flight)). But it was very rushed.

Michael
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Dear Michael and Grcxx3 - thank you very much for your help. I've been looking at day trips to Cairo and they are not that expensive (going by plane) and I can really spend a full day there and get back to Luxor at the end of the day. But now you got me confuse and I'm thinking if I should do the other way around and stay in Cairo instead!!! The reason why I chose Luxor, was because, simply by looking at the map and nile cruise routes, I verified that being in Luxor would allow me to visit most places, even though if I had to "squeeze" Cairo in one day only... But I guess I'll extend my research a bit now and consider staying in Cairo instead.... once again, tks a million for your help. Juliana.
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:38 AM
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If you based yourself in Cairo, I'm sure you could visit Luxor and find an inexpensive hotel in Luxor so that you'd be able to spend two days in Luxor. The fancy, Western hotels may be booked and expensive, but if you look at the Lonely Planet, there are many less expensive hotels that would be acceptable for one night.
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:08 AM
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I was browsing through those already Michael,thanks for the tip... Since I have yr attention , can I ask a question ? Regarding exchanging money, are there enough ATM machines around Luxor/Cairo or should I bring enough actual money w/ me for the whole trip and change it at airport, hotels, etc...?
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:14 AM
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All the banks in Cairo and Luxor should have them & the five star hotels, too. Don't bring all your cash.
sunshine007 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Thank you , Sunshine! Can I ask something else (I know, I keep throwing different questions all the time, but they keep coming to my mind...). If I base myself in Luxor, is it possible to go to the Red Sea for Scuba diving for a day and then going back to Luxor at the end of the day?? Which would be the easiest way to get there? Tks again for everyone who's been helping me so far....
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:04 PM
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going to Red Sea for a day is only possible if you fly. Not sure how much it would cost, but why not stay in a hotel there. Hurghada will be easiest, but if you will fly there, then you can also fly to Sharm El Sheik, which is better. Hotels should cost about the same, maybe a little more. From there, you can go back directly to Cairo either by bus or plane. Bus from Sharm is 6 hours and cost $10 or $20 (dont' remember, but wasn't much). I think it will be more expensive for you to fly roundtrip to Luxor + return from Luxor to Cairo. We hired a car to drive us from Luxor to Hurghada, spent a night there and then took a ferry to Sharm. Car was $60, arranged through hotel. I'm sure you can find cheaper if you hunt around. Another thing you have to factor is if you dive, you can't fly for 12-24 hours afterwards(officially 24, but many consider 12 hours ok if you haven't been doing any extremely deep diving). something to consider
lerasp is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Lerasp, thanks for the hints. I guess it's to much hassle for a day trip... any other ideas of day trips from Luxor that you could do by bus/train???
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:04 PM
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My head was spinning trying to put all these helpful things together. Where are you flying from? How many days to you want to be there. How much do you have to spend? Last year (not at Chritmas) Misr Travel Agency offered a RT NY - Cairo, 9 day trip for under $1000 US including air fare. It took you to Cairo & down the Nile & Abu Simbel was extra. Misr is the official Egyptian state travel agency.

If I were doing this, I would base myself in Cairo, then fly to Abu Simbel, and fly or train back to Aswan and cruise from Aswan to Luxor, then fly or train back to Cairo.

OR

base myself in Cairo, fly or train to Luxor, cruise to Aswan, fly to Abu Simbel then fly to Cairo or fly to Aswan or Luxor from Abu Simnbel & train to Cairo from there.

Why? You can do everything that Luxor offers in one long and busy day. Cairo really needs more time. And Egypt is more than the Pharonic ruins. The Moslem culture thrives in Cairo and you need to see some of those Mosques. I came here for the Pyramids, but it was the Moslem culture that made me move here.

Re: Abu Simbel: I flew from Aswan to Abu Simbel, the flight didn't take very long -- an hour,maybe? There's an amazingly early flight to Abu Simbel, then you stay for an hour or an hour and a half at the site of the Temple, I think. And then fly out. There's really only two things to see, neither of which take very long.

You should be able to fool around & find something that fits your budget & & your time.

sunshine007 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I'm not sure if you are grasping what we have all been trying to tell you, but Egypt is a large country, and Luxor is not the base from which to visit the entire country on daytrips, especially by bus or train.

I'm still unsure why you cannot move and stay in hotels.

To be clear, you CANNOT view the entire country on a daytrip basis from Luxor if relying on buses or trains, and likely not even if flying.

I would recommend a few days in Cairo, then Luxor and then the Red Sea. My guess is you have found a very, very cheap charter junket to Luxor -- if that's the case, stay in Luxor. If you want to see the country, then move around the country. Your questions are getting very silly.

I don't mean to be rude, but you keep asking similar questions, and you could have answered all of these by looking at the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, and you would have found that the answer is "no" to all your questions.
thit_cho is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 02:57 AM
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That was quite rude actually. And last time I checked , no one forces you to answer on this forum, so if the questions seem silly to you, then just don't answer them.
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Oct 3rd, 2006, 02:58 AM
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Sunshine: tks for your inputs, I guess I'll review my itenerary based on yr comments.
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Oct 3rd, 2006, 03:06 AM
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Julaina,

I forgot to put diving in there. You'll have to rely upon the advice of others since I don't dive.

I would think, though, that you'll want to put it after the Cruise & the Abu Simbel portion. Remember the problem with diving when you decide about trains vs. planes.

Good luck!
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Oct 3rd, 2006, 04:23 AM
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Again, thanks Sunshine I have so many options to look into but I'm not gonna lie : I love this trip planning thing ! Cheers....J.
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Oct 3rd, 2006, 05:12 AM
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Juliana...we are spending 3 days in Hurghada on our trip...if it helps it takes about 6 hours to reach Hurghada by car from Luxor.
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Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Yes, it does help! I guess the best is try to spend the night there, then...tks
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