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Egypt 8 day Itenerary

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Miami, FL
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Egypt 8 day Itenerary

I am planning a trip for my mom, dad, wife, and I to head to Egypt in April. It will be the first trip for all of us and we want to see the highlights, while also getting a good lay of the land.

We only have 8 days to travel due to jobs, but really want to see all that we can.Here is what I had in mind for the itinerary:

Date Destination Transporation Day Trips

13-Apr to Luxor EgyptAir West Bank w/light show

14-Apr Luxor East Bank

15-Apr to Aswan Minibus Edfu / Kon Ombo / Silsila

16-Apr Aswan Felucca Sightseeing day

17-Apr to Abu Sim Egyptair

18-Apr to Cairo EgyptAir Museum / Khan el Khalili

19-Apr Cairo Giza / Pyramids / Sphinx

20-Apr Cairo Memphis / Sakarra / Dashur

21-Apr to JFK EgyptAir

Questions:

1 - We wouldn't get to Luxor until 1pm so probably won't have checked into our hotel until 2pm. Would we be able to see Karnak & Luxor Temple by the end of the day? Would we be better off trying to hit East & West on the following day?

2 - I am figuring we will have some time on our east bank day. Would this be a good place for a camel ride or hot air balloon ride or would you recommend a better area?

3 - I would be interested in taking a Minibus back and forth to Abu Simbel, but don't want to have to worry about convoys & security. Will this be an issue if we decide to go this route. (it would definitely be cheaper from what I have seen)

4 - I would really like to visit the Valley of the Whales. Is there an opportunity to make up time here that I am missing?

5 - Also, I am not really a tour person, but since I will be with my parents this go around and we will be in Egypt, do you see us needing a guide throughout our trip?

Thanks for any feedback!

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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1. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

For a start, you can forget about visiting the Valley of the Whales - it is way out in the Western desert and accessible only by 4WD, not a simple day trip from Cairo or from Luxor.

Your first day seems excessively rushed - it would make more sense to stay on the East Bank and see what you can fit into the remainder of the afternoon and evening then head to the West Bank on your second day.

It is very much a matter of taste but, personally, I would not devote a whole day - the 16th - to felucca sightseeing at Aswan.

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2. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

Firstly, I think you may have your East and West Banks mixed up ! Luxor town is on the East Bank, as are Karnak and Luxor temples. The West Bank has the majority of the ancient sites (Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut's temple, etc).

Secondly, you may get more responses by posting this message on the Nile River Valley forum.

(1) Do you want to see Karnak temple during daylight or would you be happy just to do the Sound and Light show ? If the latter, you could check into your hotel at 2pm, freshen up, then head to Luxor temple (which is open until late evening). You would then have time for a bite to eat before heading to Karnak temple for the evening Sound and Light show.

(2) Assuming you mean "West Bank day", if you want to do a balloon trip it's an early start - you'll be picked up from your hotel around 4.45a.m. Following the balloon trip (which is on the West Bank) you can hire a taxi to take you around the sites. It depends how much you want to do (there's enough there to keep you busy for several days) but a standard day tour would include the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut's temple, the Colossi of Memnon, the Ramesseum and possibly Medinet Habu. This would take you up to lunchtime/early afternoon and I guess you could fit a camel ride into this schedule.

(3) The daily Abu Simbel convoy leaves Aswan at 4am. There used to be a second convoy leaving at 11am but with the downturn in tourist numbers you can't be certain that it will operate. I'm not sure what "issues" you're worried about, it's perfectly safe. If you decide to go by minibus, you need to book it at least 24 hours in advance and supply your passport details, which are handed to the tourist police.

(4) The Valley of the Whales can be done in a day trip from Cairo. If you're really keen to visit, I'd suggest dropping your 16 April sightseeing day in Aswan. You could conceivably visit Philae temple and have a brief felucca ride on your return from Abu Simbel instead.

(5) I'm not really a tour person either and have never found the need for a guide in Egypt. Get yourself a couple of decent guide books and do some reading up before you go.

Lake Mary, Florida
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3. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

We went to Egypt for a similar amount of time. Here are my thoughts:

I would go with a company that offers private tours. Ours was just us, the tour guide and the driver, and it was really nice. The tour guide really knew his stuff and could show us around the temples, which was nice, especially with limited time, it is easy to get lost or not find everything you want to see.

With the short time you have, it might make sense to pay the extra to fly to Abu Simbel, we did and were able to fit Abu Simbel and Aswan into one day (starting from Cairo).

london
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4. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

Luxor Temple is open, floodlit and very atmospheric in the evenings. You just buy a ticket at the gate.

Karnak takes anything from two hours to a whole day and is very tiring. Don't miss the open air museum.

There are some excellent things to see in and around Aswan. Philae, Kalabsha, Tombs of the Nobles, Nubian Museum, Elephantine, the monastery...that's before you even start on the standard one day tourist trail which includes the unfinished obelisk, the dam and the botanical gardens, and IMO is quite dull.

You can ride camels on the West Bank in Aswn. See the website of Aswan Individual.

Miami, FL
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5. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

Thank you all for your feedback. I do think I am going to condense my Aswan/Abu SImbel into one day and not spend a full day in Abu Simbel, but rather the 8-9 hour drive+tour

That said, I am torn on whether to take another day in Luxor or Cairo. I really want to make certain that I see all that Luxor has to offer and do not know if one full day will cover it. I also don't think the valley of the whales will be in our itinerary for this trip.

My last questions is we are flying into Cairo from the US and arriving at 11:05am. Would we be able to make a flight leaving for Luxor at 12:40pm or would this be too close?

Thank you again for all of your insight.

UK
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6. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

Seeing *all* that Luxor has to offer could take several weeks ! So I'd definitely spend your extra day in Luxor rather than Cairo.

London, United...
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7. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

It would take the OP quite a while to see all that Cairo has to offer as well.

UK
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8. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

@BBeckett: Absolutely, but the OP is already planning to spend three days of an eight-day itinerary in Cairo.

U.K.
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9. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

The camel ride could be done at Giza - but read about the experiences of other posters (type "Camel ride" into the search box near the top of this forum page) first to learn what to expect.

London, United...
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10. Re: Egypt 8 day Itenerary

FarleyFlavors

On reflection, the OP’s Luxor schedule does look unduly tight (if not too rushed) and could indeed benefit from an extra day. I also see that a whole day (19 April) has been allotted to “Giza/pyramids/Sphinx” when they are all in the same place and a morning or afternoon is probably enough—leaving a bit more time for more of what Cairo does have to offer.