Planning Egypt iternary!!

Mar 3rd, 2009, 05:10 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Planning Egypt iternary!!

We are a couple travelling to Egypt for the first time from 24th March-1st April.

We arrive in Cairo on 24th evening.
25th March- One day trip to Alexandria and back to Cairo.
26th -27th March Cairo Sightseeing.
28th -29th March Desert Safari (2 days one night from Cairo to Bahariya Oasis)
30th -31st March Luxor sightseeing.
1st April-Back to Cairo(board flight in afternoon)

1)What do you think about the iternary?Is the order ok or shd we do reverse?Pls suggest.....

2)Do we need guide/tour in Egypt?We have travelled all over Europe independently without any tour/guide.

3)Do we have to book trains in advance for Alexandria ?is it only 2-3 hrs away?

4)Visiting Giza pyramids on Fridays morning is less crowded?

5)Weekend for Desert safari?can we do it on our own,transfer to bahariya,sightseeing and hotel bookings?If not please suggest good guides.

6)Can we go further to luxor directly from bariya oasis?how long, transport?

7)Overnight train cairo to luxor or flight?Book in advance trains?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
hamgirl is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 04:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
hamgirl - topping this to get some attention from the pros on the board.

Just my thoughts...
1)I think the order is okay, but it does seem very rushed. Where are you flying from? Will you have a major jetlag issue?

2)Egypt is do-able without a guide, but I do think it would be easier and you would get more out of the experience with a guide. I highly recommend Debbie of Casual Cairo Tours. She posts on here as Casual_Cairo. Just having a guide to handle the logistics (transportation, ticket purchases, shoo-ing away the vendors, etc) would be a big plus - not to mention the additional information/insight you would get.

3)Never did the train....can't help here.

4)I think I've been to Giza on almost every day of the week. From my experience, there wasn't a difference, but someone may know otherwise.

5)If you want to do this - I HIGHLY recommend getting someone (maybe Debbie) to help you with the logistics. In spite of planning 3 different trips...this is one play I never got to. Big regret.

6)Not to my knowledge. I believe you will have to head back to Cairo.

7)I recommend flying for many reasons (I just never wanted to do and Egyptian train) but especially given your short time period. If you search on this board for something like "Egypt + trains" you will get several threads that discuss the pros/cons.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 11:48 AM
  #3  
 
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I have a couple of thoughts, having been in Egypt last August:

1. We arrived on a Saturday night and pretty much slept all day Sunday. Even if I had wanted to get up, I would NOT have wanted to be sightseeing or doing further traveling.

2. We did take the night train to Aswan, because one, we love trains, and two, we didn't want to get up so early (VERY early) to fly. It's a short flight, though, so if you can go at a reasonable time of day, I'd probably fly.
sf7307 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 04:11 PM
  #4  
 
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I agree that Egypt is "doable" without a guide, but I think it would be much harder than Europe. I've traveled extensively, and independently, in Europe, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, and Peru (with occasional day guides). We did Egypt with Debbie for a couple of days and a Gap tour for the rest of the time. I thought Egypt was "tougher" than anywhere else I've been. Having a man along would help, but Egypt is kind of intense. Still, if you're adventuresome, yes, it's doable.
althom1122 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #5  
 
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Another thought, I think you're rushing a bit. I'd consider dropping Alexandria to give yourself more time elsewhere.
We liked Aswan (and especially Abu Simbel) more than Alexandria.
Regarding the night train, ours broke down in the middle of the night and delayed us by FIVE HOURS, so it was 3 in the afternoon by the time we arrived (in Aswan). We lost a good part of the day. Don't know how likely it would be that you might have a similar experience, but I thought I'd mention it. (That said, our domestic flights were also delayed.)
althom1122 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 05:37 PM
  #6  
 
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Good point about the possible delays with both trains and planes. As a note, I think the longest delay we EVER had with a flight (over the course of 4 years) was about 3 hours. Still faster than the train.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #7  
 
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Gee ,since you are only going for a week, I would try to do Aswan and Abu Simble rather than Alexandria...
not
that Alexandria is not nice ,but you are pressed for time.

I would not take the train to Luxor...fly if you can.

Finally,get a hold of Debbie:

here is her e-mail address.

[email protected]

She will have some good ideas for you.

Good Luck
Percy is online now  
Mar 4th, 2009, 07:26 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Oh, I meant to put in my two cents regarding the guide. It's just not easy to do it on your own. The pyramids of Giza are really in "suburban" Cairo -- getting there on your own would be difficult, but not impossible. Sakkhara is much farther. In Luxor, to go from Valley of the Kings to Valley of the Queens requires a car I think. I guess you could hire a cab, but it would so much easier to just arrange guides and drivers in advance.
sf7307 is offline  
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