7 Days in Egypt

Old Jan 9, 19, 11:28 pm
  #1  
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7 Days in Egypt

I have the international flights booked to/from Egypt in February. We are scheduled to arrive in the night at CAI on Turkish Airlines on a Friday. As I research, I always get tempted to pack more in. In this case, it's Aswan, a Nile cruise btwn Luxor and Aswan, and Abu Simbel. I don't think it will be practical to add all of those things, but I think I have too much slack in the schedule right now. Also, I'm traveling with my wife and 2 kids (ages 11 and 8). Here is the itinerary I have sketched out so far

Day 1: Arrive CAI in the night at 8:30pm; (probably 50% chance we miss the tight 1hr connection in IST and take the next connection arriving in CAI at 2:30am)
Day 2: Egyptian Museum, Old City, Coptic Cairo
Day 3: Giza
Day 4: Saqqara; fly CAI-LXR in the afternoon/evening
Day 5: Karnak, Luxor Museum, Luxor Temple
Day 6: Valley of Kings, Howard Carter's House, Temple of Hatshepsut, Tombs of the Nobles, Medinat Habu
Day 7: ?
Day 8: ? in the morning; return flight home leaves CAI at 9:25pm

I'm somewhat of a cheapskate (I prefer thinking of myself as "value oriented"), so I'm planning on booking the hotels and internal flights myself rather than turn this over to a tour operator, but it seems best to have guides at least for the sightseeing. Of course, if a tour operator can give me a better deal I'd go with the tour company.

I welcome suggestions on itinerary changes, tour companies as well as any other advice.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 12:01 am
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Giza won't take the whole day, though with two kids, having an afternoon off might be a good idea.

Bear in mind that it can take a couple of hours to get to the airport, so depending on your flight, Saqqara before your flight may be rushed. Traffic is terrible in Cairo.

Khan al khalili might be interesting for shopping, if you're interested in that. The Saladin Citadel of Cairo is worth a stop.

Guides are definitely worthwhile - if for no other reason than the logistics of getting you from place to place with a dedicated driver and watching out for people trying to sell you stuff or scam you.

I used Conde Nast's iconic itineraries to help inspire my trip:

https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2...luxor-and-more
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
.... I think I have too much slack in the schedule right now. Also, I'm traveling with my wife and 2 kids (ages 11 and 8). Here is the itinerary I have sketched out so far

Day 1: Arrive CAI in the night at 8:30pm; (probably 50% chance we miss the tight 1hr connection in IST and take the next connection arriving in CAI at 2:30am)
Day 2: Egyptian Museum, Old City, Coptic Cairo
Day 3: Giza
Day 4: Saqqara; fly CAI-LXR in the afternoon/evening
Day 5: Karnak, Luxor Museum, Luxor Temple
Day 6: Valley of Kings, Howard Carter's House, Temple of Hatshepsut, Tombs of the Nobles, Medinat Habu
Day 7: ?
Day 8: ? in the morning; return flight home leaves CAI at 9:25pm
too much slack in the schedule? I'd say you deserve the activity-free day 7

I hope you have a relaxed attitude to schedules, particular ones involving potential perturbations from kids and from Egypt.

Have you considered flying to Aswan rather than Luxor and taking a three night ASW LXR cruise? These normally include a significant amount of guided touring Kom Ombo/Edfu and Luxor West Bank.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 5:51 am
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What cruise are you taking? .
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Old Jan 20, 19, 8:53 pm
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We are not planning on taking a cruise. It would have made it tough to visit Abu Simbel and the cruise seems too constraining. I’m not 100% confident in this decision. As much as I look forward to seeing sites I’ve wanted to see for decades, I know it’s going to have its share of hassles and annoyances.

We’ve changed our itinerary and it now looks like this. Plan is to hire guides as day trips, rather than have one company do the whole thing.

Day 1: Arrive CAI in the night at 8:30pm; (probably 50% chance we miss the tight 1hr connection in IST and take the next connection arriving in CAI at 2:30am). Sleep in Conrad Cairo
Day 2: Giza. Sleep in Conrad Cairo.
Day 3: Saqqara; fly CAI-ASW In the evening. Sleep In Mövenpick Aswan
Day 4: Daytrip to Abu Simbel by private car leaving Aswan at 7am (don’t want to do a 4am departure after a night flight); see Philae Temple on way back. Sleep in Mövenpick Aswan
Day 5: Private car to Luxor with stops at Kom Ombu and Edfu. Sleep in Hilton Luxor
Day 6: Valley of Kings, Howard Carter's House, Temple of Hatshepsut, Tombs of the Nobles. Sleep in Hilton Luxor
Day 7: Karnak, Luxor Museum, Luxor Temple. Evening flight to CAI. Stay at Heliopolis Towers
Day 8: Egyptian Museum in the morning; return flight home leaves CAI at 9:25pm.

Not sure the Cairo hotels are ideally located for our itinerary; I picked Hiltons because I’m diamond and for their child policy.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
We are not planning on taking a cruise. It would have made it tough to visit Abu Simbel and the cruise seems too constraining. I’m not 100% confident in this decision. As much as I look forward to seeing sites I’ve wanted to see for decades, I know it’s going to have its share of hassles and annoyances.

We’ve changed our itinerary and it now looks like this. Plan is to hire guides as day trips, rather than have one company do the whole thing.

Day 1: Arrive CAI in the night at 8:30pm; (probably 50% chance we miss the tight 1hr connection in IST and take the next connection arriving in CAI at 2:30am). Sleep in Conrad Cairo
Day 2: Giza. Sleep in Conrad Cairo.
Day 3: Saqqara; fly CAI-ASW In the evening. Sleep In Mövenpick Aswan
Day 4: Daytrip to Abu Simbel by private car leaving Aswan at 7am (don’t want to do a 4am departure after a night flight); see Philae Temple on way back. Sleep in Mövenpick Aswan
Day 5: Private car to Luxor with stops at Kom Ombu and Edfu. Sleep in Hilton Luxor
Day 6: Valley of Kings, Howard Carter's House, Temple of Hatshepsut, Tombs of the Nobles. Sleep in Hilton Luxor
Day 7: Karnak, Luxor Museum, Luxor Temple. Evening flight to CAI. Stay at Heliopolis Towers
Day 8: Egyptian Museum in the morning; return flight home leaves CAI at 9:25pm.

Not sure the Cairo hotels are ideally located for our itinerary; I picked Hiltons because I’m diamond and for their child policy.
Where did you find your guides and did you like them?
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Old Mar 27, 19, 2:26 am
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DELETED: Tired, didn't realize this is an old post.

Last edited by LeapingFrogs; Mar 27, 19 at 2:35 am
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Old Mar 29, 19, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by tobikosan View Post
Where did you find your guides and did you like them?
We only hired guides for two places -- Abu Simbel and Philae Temple. Both were arranged through an agency named Aswan Individual. The guide for Philae Temple (Mohammed) was excellent.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
We only hired guides for two places -- Abu Simbel and Philae Temple. Both were arranged through an agency named Aswan Individual. The guide for Philae Temple (Mohammed) was excellent.
Did you think Abu Simbel was worth the long drive? We took that as an optional excursion on our October tour/trip. It feels like it takes forever to get there, you walk around for an hour, then start the grueling drive back.

Also - did all the tombs start to look alike after awhile?
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Old Aug 29, 19, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
Did you think Abu Simbel was worth the long drive? We took that as an optional excursion on our October tour/trip. It feels like it takes forever to get there, you walk around for an hour, then start the grueling drive back.

Also - did all the tombs start to look alike after awhile?
Why not fly?
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Old Aug 30, 19, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
Why not fly?
It's not an option with our tour company/package. I asked it we could pay extra to fly but was told it was not an option. I know you *can* fly and they have an airport but it seems that our tour company does not provide that service.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
It's not an option with our tour company/package. I asked it we could pay extra to fly but was told it was not an option. I know you *can* fly and they have an airport but it seems that our tour company does not provide that service.
Gotcha. It wasn't clear if you knew flying was an option. Just brainstorming, but if the long drive is an optional add-on you'd be paying extra for anyway, can you just ditch the tour company that day and fly down yourself on your own dime? It's really easy / convenient to fly back and forth as a day trip. I did think Abu Simbel really cool to see in person and was worth it.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 7:59 am
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Thanks for sharing this. I think Egypt could be one of my visit list in next few years.
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