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Review my Egypt (4 wks.)/Jordan (1 wk.) Plan?

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Jun 24th, 2010, 05:05 PM
  #1
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Review my Egypt (4 wks.)/Jordan (1 wk.) Plan?

My husband and I will be traveling to Egypt and Jordan in mid-March of next year. We are late 50's early 60's, well-traveled but this will be our first trip to the Middle East. We are independent travelers (although I plan to use Lady Egypt or someone similar for this trip).

I will greatly appreciate any suggestions you have for me. We are retired so our travel mode is slow and our budget is moderate (more time than money LOL). Would love any suggestions for lodging under $100/night.

This is what I have come up with:

Cairo (4 nights):
Stay at Longchamps if possible
Day 1 -- recover from flight, get bearings
Day 2 -- Saqqara (Step Pyramid and enter Teti Pyramid), Dahshur
Day 3 -- Giza (Khufu, Solar Boat, and Sphinx), Sound and Light show
Day 4 -- Egyptian Musuem, Sufi Whirling Dervish

Overnight train to Aswan

Lake Nasser Cruise (4 nights) -- Aswan to Abu Simbel, includes visit to Abu Simbel and Sound and Light show, maybe this is crazy but the it looks amazing and different from the usual Nile cruise

Bus to Aswan

Aswan (4 nights) -- Philae Temple, high Dam, Unfinished Obelisk, felucca ride, Elephantine Island, camel ride to Nubian village, Nubia museum

Driver from Aswan to Luxor with stops at Kom Ombo and Edfu

Luxor (7 nights):
Stay on West Bank -- maybe Al-Fayrouz
East Bank sights - Karnak, Luxor Temple, Luxor Museum, Mummification Museum
West Bank sights: Valley of the Kings, Deir al-Bahri, Ramesseum, Deir el-Medina, Medinet Habu, sunset camel ride
Day trip to Abydos and Dendara

Desert Safari (4 nights):
From Luxor to Kharga Oasis - Dakhla Oasis - White Desert (camping) - Bahariya Oasis - End in Cairo

Bus or Train to Alexandria

Alexandria (3 nights):
New Library, Jewlery museum, WWII museum
Day trip to El Alamein

Train to Cairo

Cairo (3 nights):
Coptic Churches, Citadel, Mosques, Khan el-Khalili market, Nile dinner cruise

Fly to Amman

Amman (3 nights):
Stay at Ibis Amman
City tour, National Archaeological Museum, Day trips to Jerash and Dead Sea

Driver to Petra (2 nights):
Stay at Valley of the Stars or Cleopatra Hotel?

Wadi Rum (1 night in desert camp) -- or unnecessary since we are camping in White Desert?

Amman (1 night)

Fly home

Thanks for your help!!
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Jun 24th, 2010, 05:39 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Sounds like a fabulous trip. You have a lot to do, spread over LOTS of time, so take advantage of it. Relax, chill out, and enjoy the experience.

A couple of comments -
- The Lake Nasser cruise was okay, but wasn't my favorite. However, the chance to see the temples with no one else around was great.

- I prefer the cruise between Luxor and Aswan, mainly because the "sights" along the river are so interesting (ladies doing laundry, kids playing along the river band, etc). It's like going back in time a couple of thousand years.

- Is there some reason you're skipping the Sinai and the Red Sea area (like Sharm)? You've certainly got the time to add it. While you'll see the Mediterranean coast going to El Alamein, your missing one of the big "draws" of Egypt. Even if you're not into diving (I'm not either), it is a lovely, relaxing area. Plus, you could do a day trip to St Catherine's/Mt. Sinai.
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Jun 24th, 2010, 10:23 PM
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I agree with Gcrxx3 in that you should see the Red Sea. It's fabulous. As long as you have this much time to give to Egypt, and you are seeing almost everything else, I can't imagine missing the best sea and beaches we have.
I would make a couple of changes as follows

First stop in Cairo - I would do all 3 pyramid areas in one day. If one of them intrigues you enough to return and do it in more depth, OK, go back, but they are just far enough out of town that doing them all in one day will keep you from having to make that drive twice. The Sound and Light Show should be done a different day than the tour of Giza anyway, as there are several hours to kill between Giza closing and the S&L show starting, and not that much to do out there...unless you want to do a 1-2 hour horse or camel ride to kill time.

4 nights in Aswan is much too much. 2 nights/3 days will be enough to see everything.

7 nights in Luxor is a bit much too. I would cut that down by two nights. 5 nights will be PLENTY. The site seeing you've suggested you will do there will only take 2-1/2 days.

If you like camping and the idea of the desert safari, I would probably add more time here. You have a great deal of desert and Oasis to cover and I think if planned out well, you can stay at some hotels here and there at the Oasis's so you don't have to camp out the whole time, and spend more time seeing the desert with 3 or 4 nights spent camping interspersed with showers and real beds here and there.

Those are my random thoughts on how to improve it, but it sounds great. I love that you are giving Egypt so much time! It is well worth it.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 01:49 AM
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Sounds like a fabulous trip... I am envious!
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Jun 25th, 2010, 06:44 AM
  #5
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Thanks so much for the great suggestions! I'll be pulling out my guidebooks to take another look at the Red Sea. I had ruled it out because we don't dive and because of concerns about terrorism in the Sinai.
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Jun 25th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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I would drop one night from Amman and add it to Petra. There's not a lot to do in Amman, which is mostly new construction and very spread out. Petra, on the other hand, can easily occupy you for two full days, provided you are up for a little light hiking. There is much more there than the Treasury that you see in all the photos. For my photos see http://tinyurl.com/2ddm2uq and for my TR see http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...iddle-east.cfm
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Jun 25th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Re Jordan - given the time you have I would add a few more nights as it is such a spectacular destination - perhaps stay on the Dead Sea for a few days and do day trip from there? Link to our blog here

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l..._adv/d_jordan/
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Jun 25th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Allow two nights in Petra-one the day before you spend the entire day there and the night of.
I also agree with Elizabeth that the Dead Sea is a wonderful place to regroup and relax for a day or so.
Be sure to reserve Hotel Longchamps as soon as you get your trip firmed up as it is soooo popular!
Go with what Casual Cairo recommends as she is spot on with recommendations,etc.IE-too long in Luxor and Aswan,etc.
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Jun 27th, 2010, 06:52 PM
  #9
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Thursdaysd & Elizabeth_S -- thanks so much for the links to your pictures and blog. My husband and I were just looking at the pictures of Petra and they are breathtaking! And Jerash looks amazing too.

I also like the idea of spending a few days on the Dead Sea at the end of the trip. I will be making some changes to our plans to make sure we take full advantage of everything Jordan has to offer. And also rearranging our Egypt schedule.

Thank you all for the great feedback!
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Jun 28th, 2010, 07:52 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 47
Hi--We will be doing a 3 week private tour starting on 4/30/10 with Right-travel.

One suggestion. We just booked our own air----

JFK-CAI (4/30) CAI-AMM (5/17) AMM-JFK (5/21)for less than tour co. price. All N/S Delta on Vayama web site. Total cost $1008. No need for their air, CAI-AMM (one way) and no need to return to CAI.

If worthwhile, you might want to check price for your dates.
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Jul 16th, 2010, 06:51 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Hi Magster
We too are planning a trip to Egypt - a bit slower and more "independent" than a tour group as well. I am very interested to hear what you finally come up with. Please share your changes - you are a little ahead of us in planning, so your research has been very useful.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:33 AM
  #12
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artmarth -- thanks for the Vayama tip; will book our own air

PRLCH -- hope this update is helpful for you

Here is an update on the progress I have made so far. One big change: we decided to save Jordan for another trip. Sigh. Hate to do that, but we will definitely make a separate trip there another year.

I have been working with Amanda Whitcome at Lady Egypt (who has been very helpful and responsive) to finalize this (almost) one month trip:

Cairo (4 nights):
Got a reservation at Hotel Longchamps (yes!)
Day 1 -- recover from flight, get bearings
Day 2 -- Saqqara (Step Pyramid and enter Teti Pyramid), Open Air Musuem at Memphis, Dahshur
Day 3 -- Giza (Khufu, Solar Boat, and Sphinx)
Day 4 -- Egyptian Musuem, Sufi Whirling Dervish
Day 5 -- Tours of Islamic and Coptic Cairo

Overnight train to Aswan

Lake Nasser Cruise (3 nights):
Days 6 - 8 -- cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel on M.S. Eugenie

Aswan (4 nights):
Days 9 - 12 -- Aswan (4 nights) -- Philae Temple, high Dam, Unfinished Obelisk, felucca ride, Elephantine Island, camel ride to St. Simeon Monastery, Nubia museum, Camel Market in Darrow

Private driver from Aswan to Luxor with stops at Kom Ombo and Edfu

Luxor (7 nights):
Days 13 - 19 -- Stay on West Bank at Al-Fayrouz
East Bank sights - Karnak, Luxor Temple, Luxor Museum, Mummification Museum
West Bank sights -- Valley of the Kings, Deir al-Bahri, Ramesseum, Deir el-Medina, Medinet Habu, sunset camel ride
Day trip to Abydos and Dendara

Desert Safari (3 nights):
Days 20 - 22 -- From Luxor to Dakhla Oasis - White Desert (camping) - Bahariya Oasis - End in Cairo

Day 23 -- night in Cario

Driver from Cairo to El Alamein (and Alexandria)

Alexandria (3 nights):
Days 24 - 26 -- New Library, Jewelry museum

Train to Cairo

Day 27 - Last night in Cario, Khan el-Khalili market

Day 28 -- fly home (will actually spend one night near Heathrow because of an overnight layover)
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Jul 19th, 2010, 02:57 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thank you so much for sharing! Hope it is a fantastic trip and look forward to reading your trip report when you get back. We are planning to go Dec 2011/Jan 2012, so have plenty more time to read trip reports, guide books etc. As we have been advised to book our international airfares early 2011 for the best deals, we have been at the "feasibilty" stage of planning. Our choices were between South America or Egypt / Jordan. Lots of enthusiasm for Egypt / Jordan from all in the family, so now down to more reading. Thanks once again!
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