Egypt: Alexandria to Aswan

13 days
from
$3,049 USD
incl. taxes
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Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AED
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–20
Ages:
16+

Travel the length of Egypt and explore its history, food and landscapes.

Few countries can rival Egypt’s wealth of magnificent archaeological sites, with the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza ranking as two of the most recognisable in the world. It is a place like no other and on this two-week itinerary we explore its treasures across the length of the country. In the north there is the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and El Alamein, the site of the famous Second World War battle. Cairo’s attractions are world famous but on this itinerary we also experience the bazaars and culinary delights on a food tour. Journeying south by sleeper train we reach the Nubian city of Aswan where we board our Nile cruise boat and discover the monuments and temples all the way to Luxor.

Highlights

Visit tombs in the Valley of the Kings

The Mediterranean port city of Alexandria

Sightseeing on a Nile River cruise

Guided food tour in Cairo

Key information

  • 8 nights in 4 star hotels (local grading), 3 nights on a cruise boat and 1 night sleeper train
  • Travel by private minibus, cruise boat and sleeper train
  • Extend your trip with some days by the Red Sea
  • Countries visited: Egypt

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches,  6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

 Nubian Village

When the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s the rise in water and the creation of Lake Nasser resulted in the displacement of some 120,000 Nubian people. Today they live in towns and villages along the Nile, below the dam. Nubian culture is different to that of many Egyptians and, due to the relatively small number of Nubians (across southern Egypt and northern Sudan) it is at risk of disappearing.

Visits to Nubian Villages near Aswan have become quite commercialised and can encourage the practise of keeping crocodiles as pets in small pits or cages, something which Exodus Travels does not support. We visit Animalia Nubian House which is a small Nubian run museum that explains Nubian culture, gives a less commercial experience than a village tour and does not keep live crocodiles.

A.C.E (Animal Care in Egypt)
A.C.E. is a charity dedicated to stopping the suffering of animals in the most deprived communities in Luxor by providing free veterinary care and education. There is now a walk-in clinic, a hospital for crucial surgery and 25 stables which allow animals to recover from injury and pressure of working life. This is not just an amazing cause for the animals, but by teaching over 150 children a week, plus owners and veterinary students, communities gain a lot of valuable training. There should be an opportunity to visit the facility on Day 12.

Itinerary

Cairo
to
Luxor
  • Day 1

    Start Cairo.

    The group flight usually arrives in Cairo this evening. The welcome briefing will either take place this evening or tomorrow morning.

    Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Cairo tour

    After breakfast we enjoy a full day tour of Cairo. We begin with a visit to the Egyptian Museum – home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts including the incredible golden riches of Tutankhamun’s tomb. We also explore Al Azhar mosque which dates back to AD970 and is Cairo’s oldest. The mosque is still frequently visited by locals to this day and we will need to cover up (long sleeves and trousers) to enter - as when entering all mosques. Women will also need to cover their hair with a scarf.

    Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza

    Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza.

    We begin our day with a visit to the Pyramids at Giza. Home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus and the enduring and mysterious Great Sphinx, these great monuments to the afterlife defy the imagination. Only the throng of sightseers, Egyptian and foreign, milling around their huge foundations, keep the viewer in the 21st century. The afternoon is free to relax at our hotel, explore Cairo or join an optional excursion to Saqqara, Memphis, and Dahshur.

    Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Food tour of Cairo

    Today we embark on a tour of Cairo’s best food spots and discover some of the fantastic local cuisine available across the city – highlights are Mulukhiyah (soup), Ful Medames (beans) and Kushari (rice and macaroni). The tour also includes the bazaars of Khan el-Khalili located in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo. We’ll experience modern Cairo with a visit to Al Azhar park and a walk along the bustling El Moaz Street. We also aim to make a visit to the House of Arts and Culture - a music school (while we aim to visit, opening hours are quite limited). Donations of musical instruments such as violins, saxophones, drums or spare parts such as violin bows are welcomed.

    Cairo Pyramids Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Visit El Anba Bishoy Monastery and El Alamein; continue to Alexandria

    Today we start by driving to Wadi El Natrun, an hour and a half away. The wadi is a depression that lies below sea level. Salts were extracted here by the ancient Egyptians to use for mummification. The area was important for early Christians, and we will visit Ek Anba Bishoy Monastery. We continue to El Alamein (a two hour drive away), the site of the famed allied victory during World War Two, where we will visit the War Cemetery and Military Museum. More than 80,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in the two battles. It was a decisive win for the Allies with Winston Churchill saying, "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat". After visting El Alamein, we’ll continue to Alexandria, another two hour drive away.

    Metropole Paradise Inn or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Alexandria tour; transfer to sleeper train.

    Today we have a tour of Alexandria. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331BC, the city was home to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and it’s Great Library was the largest of its time. Unfortunately, these parts of Egypt’s glorious history did not survive up to modern times but there is still much to see in this Mediterranean port city. Our tour begins with a visit of the city’s catacombs followed by the impressive Qaitbay Fortress and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Alexandria’s revival of the Great Library. In the afternoon, we return to Cairo (3-4 hours) to board our sleeper train to Aswan (which takes approximately 12 hours).

    Sleeper train

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Arrive Aswan; Nubian tour and Felucca ride.

    Arriving in Aswan during the morning, we spend the rest of the day exploring the Nubian way of life. We begin with a visit to the Nubian Museum, which chronologically charts the history and culture of the people, before enjoying Nubian lunch onboard a felucca while we explore the Nile. In the afternoon we have a tour of the Monastery of St. Simeon by camel and Animalia Nubian House (please see Responsible Travel section). We finish our day with a barbeque on the shores of an island in the Nile.

    Basma Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Optional visit to Abu Simbel; board cruise boat.

    This morning we transfer to our cruise boat and have some time to relax before enjoying lunch on board. For the rest of the day there is the option to explore the Aswan market or attend the Sound and Light Show at Philae Temple.

    For those who want to do the optional visit to Abu Simbel, the tour starts at approximately 3.30am when we get picked up from the hotel. A breakfast box is provided. Around 8am we will arrive at the destination, where we are given around three hours to visit the temples. Built by Ramses II, the temples of Abu Simbel rank amongst the most impressive in the country and well worth the journey south across the Nubian Desert. We will be back in Aswan around 3pm.

    For our Sun Festival departures, the visit to Abu Simbel is included. The festival is a bi-annual event that has been taking place for over 3200 years. During the celebrations the sun perfectly aligns with the usually dark interior and lights up the seated statues of Ramses II, the sun god, Ra and the king of the gods, Amun. Only the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, remains in the shadows. There are traditional Nubian dances being performed, street food everywhere (save stomach space for some fresh koshari) and live music outside the temple.

    M/S Esmeralda or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Visit Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam; sail to Edfu.

    We begin today with a visit to the Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam. In the 1970s the temple was relocated by UNESCO to Aglika Island after it became evident that the original site of Philae would submerge on completion of the dam. This morning represents a magnificent and enduring testament to both ancient and modern engineering. After lunch we sail to Kom Ombo and visit the temple there before continuing our journey to Edfu which is where we will spend the night.

    M/S Esmeralda or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Tour Edfu; sail to Luxor.

    Waking in Edfu, we start our day exploring the city and its temples before sailing further north along the Nile. After crossing the Esna lock we reach our destination, Luxor, where we will have our final dinner on board and hopefully witness a stunning sunset over the river.

    M/S Esmeralda or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Disembark in Luxor; explore the Valley of the Kings.

    After breakfast on board we disembark in Luxor and explore the Valley of the Kings. For nearly 500 years this was the site of royal burials and it contains the tombs of over 62 pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Seti I, Ramses III and IV. One ticket allows us to see three tombs. The ticket usually allows entry into what are regarded as the most impressive tombs, but if you have time a visit to the tomb of Ramses VI is also highly recommended. Visits to tombs are now strictly controlled to halt further deterioration of wall paintings - each tomb is periodically closed for a number of weeks. Afterwards we visit the massive stone statues of the Colossi of Memnon before transferring to our hotel.  The rest of the day is free to relax or wander around the streets of Luxor.

    Iberotel Luxor or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Luxor tour including Karnak and Luxor temples.

    For our penultimate day we have a half day tour of Luxor’s east bank. Luxor is commonly called the world's greatest open-air museum and this morning we visit the extraordinary Karnak and Luxor temples which both stand within the modern city. There should also be an opportunity to visit the A.C.E animal hospital to learn about the efforts taken to improve animal welfare in Egypt. After a leisurely afternoon we enjoy our final dinner together at one of this historic city’s restaurants.

    Iberotel Luxor or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Luxor.

    Our trip ends today. Those on the group flights will be taken to airport for the flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Activity level:
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Ages: 16+
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Post-trip Extensions

Red Sea Extension

Code: AED

If you are keen to end your holiday on a relaxed note then you can extend your stay in Egypt with some time at the Red Sea.

Extension Day 1 – Transfer to Hurghada.
This morning we leave behind the green Nile valley and drive through the barren Eastern Desert to the Red Sea (approx. 4 hours). Our destination is Hurghada, a vibrant beach resort ideally located for activities out at sea and in the nearby desert.
Hurghada Marriott Beach Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

Extension Day 2-3 – Free days at the Red Sea.
These days are free to relax or enjoy the many optional activities in the area.
Hurghada Marriott Beach Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

Extension Day 4 – End Hurghada
Our time at the Red Sea ends today. You will be taken to the airport for your flight home.

Optional Excursions - Prices are subject to change.
Grand safari (desert tour/multi-activity) $55
Family safari (desert tour/multi-activity) $35
Quad biking $45
Hurghada Grand Aquarium $30
Hurghada tour $25
Banana boat $13
Sofa boat $13
Water skiing $30

 

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

Egypt

Visas are required by all non-Arab nationalities and currently cost approximately GBP20. It is recommended that you obtain your visa before you travel (although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival). You can get a visa online at Visa2Egypt or alternatively, the address of the Egyptian Embassy in London is 2 Lowndes Street, SW1. Tel: 020 7235 9777. Visas are now generally available for same day collection, although this should NOT be relied upon. Opening hours are 09.30 to 12.30 for applications, 14.15 to 16.00 for collection of passports after the visa has been issued. Postal applications direct to the embassy for visas are not recommended as the service takes 15 to 20 days.

If you are obtaining your visa online then please ensure you have a scan of your passport ready. The file size should be small and ideally saved as a JPEG or PDF otherwise you might not be able to load it on the visa application.

You will need to provide your host’s information on the application – please use the following details:

South Sinai Travel
79 Merghany Street
Cairo
Egypt
Tel: +20 22418 7310
www.southsinai.com

[email protected]

Please note that recently Egyptian officials have requested tourists carry a copy of their passport with them whilst in the country.

Vaccinations

Egypt

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Although not usually advised, other vaccinations to consider include rabies and Hepatitis B.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners included.

In the itinerary, we state which meals are included on which day. For meals not included, we suggest you allow approximately GBP 7-9 (USD 10-12) for lunch and GBP 11-13 (USD 15-18) for dinner. Food in Egypt involves such things as kebabs, chicken, stews, pitta-bread, felafel, beans, aubergine and other vegetables, pickles, salads. Dishes tend to be simple and wholesome and vegetarians can be catered for if they accept that the options may be somewhat limited.

Meals on the cruise are open buffets that include Western and Egyptian dishes.

The Cairo food tour gives us the chance to try a number of Egyptian dishes such Ful Medames (which is a mixture of beans and tehini) and Kushari (a dish made of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed with garlic, tomato, chickpeas and crispy fried onions).

Weather

Rain is very rare in all parts of Egypt and most days are sunny and clear. Summer temperatures often reach the upper 30's but this is particularly true for the period between June and September. The winter months can be surprisingly cold, especially on the Nile or at night. The average daytime maximum in Cairo in January is 20ºC, night time minimum is 8ºC. In the summer these temperatures are 35ºC and 22ºC respectively. Daytime temperatures are on average 3 or 4 degrees higher in Aswan.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded as grade 2 (leisurely-moderate) This trip is suitable for all clients with average health and fitness. No experience of any activity involved is necessary. However, please note:

  • Some days involve early starts but this allows us to get the most from our time in Egypt and avoid the worst of the heat.
  • Egypt can be hot, especially during the summer, which can cause discomfort whilst travelling. Care should be taken to keep hydrated. The hottest months tend to be June to September when temperatures can reach as high as 38 to 40ºC in the south of the country.

The hotels and cruise boat that we use on this trip are of a mid-level standard, providing good comfort. The night on the sleeper train is in first-class cabins with shared bathroom facilities. The train is a great way to travel in Egypt, but delays are not uncommon.

Please note that the new Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open in October 2021 but that this is subject to change. We will change to the new museum when it is open.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Cruise Boat, Sleeper Train & Hotels

We use comfortable hotels on a twin-share basis.
The Basma Hotel in Aswan is located on the East Bank on Aswan's highest hill, directly opposite the famous Nubian museum. All the rooms have balconies with views of the Nile or the surrounding desert. The facilities in the rooms and in the hotel itself are excellent, including a choice of bars and restaurants, a huge swimming pool and all set amid well-maintained gardens.
In Cairo, we typically use the Cairo Pyramids Hotel which is located between central Cairo and the Great Pyramids at Giza. The hotel has a pool, choice of dining options and a fitness area.
Cruise boat
We sail the Nile on the M/S Esmeralda or on a similar cruise boat. It offers impressive service and great facilities including a swimming pool, sun deck, gift shop, restaurant and bar. It stretches 72m in length and 12.6m in width, each of the 60 en suite cabins is fully air-conditioned and has a TV and mini bar. Wi-Fi is also available.
Sleeper Train
We use first-class cabins with shared bathroom facilities.


Single rooms are available on request.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2022

    Magical and busy

    The trip was varied, and stimulated all the senses. It introduced us to many sides of Egyptian life, modern and ancient. The variety of transport allowed us to experience a variety of views from the bustling markets in the side streets and traffic jams of cities, to the beautiful coastal front of Alexandria and its nearby crystal blue sea, the green farmland near the Nile, the epic pyramids and temples, whether it be by bumpy ride on a camel, a rickety ride on the overnight train or a slowly-bobbing felucca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Luxor, watching about 20 hot air balloons rise slowly at down from our cabin on the Nile cruise. Driving through the curving sandy landscape towards the Valley of the Kings. Waking up on an overnight train from Cairo to gaze at palm trees, having left the urban bustle behind. Arriving after 4 hours of sunrise driving, at the epic Abu Simbel. Finally, the atmospheric Metropole hotel in Alexandria with breakfast pastries and omelettes that were immaculately presented, delicious and homemade.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tifa, was very knowledgable, kind and protective. He managed our expectations before we arrived at each site and had good tips as to which highlights were worth paying extra to see. He made sure the group moved as one but allowed us time for photographs and free time in the markets. It was reassuring having an Egyptian guide who knew the customs and language. On occasion, we wanted more time in a location but the schedule was very busy. He was always available and discreet if someone had lost something or felt unwell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early morning starts, but not on all days. Bring tipping money in Egyptian pounds - ATMs are easily found everywhere. Get used to tipping, as it is expected, even for loo visits! Be aware of paying for extra excursions, pyramid entrance fees or tomb visits - these have been mentioned in a general way in the paperwork before the trip. They are well worth doing, though! For the overnight train trip, wrap up warm as it gets chilly in the night, and perhaps bring a silk sleeping bag liner. Alexandria and Cairo were colder than expected in our mid-March trip. Bring jumpers, socks and perhaps a light jacket. It was much warmer in the southern locations of Luxor and Aswan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hats, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes were key. Pack lightly as suitcases are constantly being unpacked and packed. If you are taking a large camera, small fees to enter a site or museum are often expected but it is worth it for good photos. Earplugs might help if you find car hooting and train wheel motion sounds a bit distracting at night! Though, for a light sleeper, I mainly nodded off fine. The last hotel in Luxor (Iberotel) had noisy rooms street-side - so do request that this hotel is changed. It had a beautiful swimming pool on the Nile, though. The first hotel in Cairo, has changed from the Pyramid Park Hotel to the Sonesta and this was very comfortable and welcoming, as were all other hotels on the trip, bar the Iberotel!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Magical and busy

    The trip was varied, and stimulated all the senses. It introduced us to many sides of Egyptian life, modern and ancient. The variety of transport allowed us to experience a variety of views from the bustling markets in the side streets and traffic jams of cities, to the beautiful costal front of Alexandria and its nearby crystal blue sea, the green farmland near the Nile, the epic pyramids and temples, whether it be by bumpy ride on a camel, a rickety ride on the overnight train or a slowly-bobbing felucca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Luxor, watching about 20 hot air balloons rise slowly at down from our cabin on the Nile cruise. Driving through the curving sandy landscape towards the Valley of the Kings. Waking up on an overnight train from Cairo to gaze at palm trees, having left the urban bustle behind. Arriving after 4 hours of sunrise driving, at the epic Abu Simbel. Finally, the atmospheric hotel in Metropole with breakfast pastries and omelettes that were immaculately presented, delicious and homemade.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tifa, was very knowledgable, kind and protective. He managed our expectations before we arrived at each site and had good tips as to which highlights were worth paying extra to see. He made sure the group moved as one but allowed us time for photographs and free time in the markets. It was reassuring having an Egyptian guide who knew the customs and language. On occasion, we wanted more time in a location but the schedule was very busy. He was always available and discreet if someone had lost something or felt unwell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early morning starts, but not on all days. Bring tipping money in Egyptian pounds - ATMs are easily found everywhere. Get used to tipping, as it is expected, even for loo visits! Be aware of paying for extra excursions, pyramid entrance fees or tomb visits - these have been mentioned in a general way in the paperwork before the trip. They are well worth doing, though! For the overnight train trip, wrap up warm as it gets chilly in the night, and perhaps bring a silk sleeping bag liner. Alexandria and Cairo were colder than expected in our mid-March trip. Bring jumpers, socks and perhaps a light jacket. It was much warmer in the southern locations of Luxor and Aswan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hats, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes were key. Pack lightly as suitcases are constantly being unpacked and packed. If you are taking a large camera, small fees to enter a site or museum are often expected but it is worth it for good photos. Earplugs might help if you find car hooting and train wheel motion sounds a bit distracting at night! Though, for a light sleeper, I mainly nodded off fine. The last hotel in Luxor (Iberotel) had noisy rooms street-side - so do request that this hotel is changed. It had a beautiful swimming pool on the Nile, though. The first hotel in Cairo, has changed from the Pyramid Park Hotel to the Sonesta and this was very comfortable and welcoming, as were all other hotels on the trip, bar the Iberotel!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Good fun and a bit tiring

    Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. We had a great variety from ancient Egypt to modern (such as the library at Alexandria). Our guide was terrific, always attentive and prepared. The Nile cruise was a highlight. There were more early starts than I might have liked, but that was dictated by distances we needed to cover. The hotels were rather bland (except for the wonderful one in Alexandria), but no doubt chosen for their cleanliness and safety. The overnight train was a real adventure, although most of our group found it hard to get any sleep. We had an armed guard with us for most of the trip, which was both reassuring and a bit alarming!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going down into King Tut's tomb. What fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Cared deeply about the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the many early starts.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Didn’t want the trip to end!

    This is our 11th trip with Exodus and this is the first time there were no significant criticism. We felt all fellow travellers gel very well as a group with lots of laughs. We made new friends which is always a bonus. The itinerary is jammed packed with a few early starts but we went with the flow. Perhaps an extra day would help. We saw lots, exceeding our expectations. From the ancient pyramids, temples, monasteries, Nubian culture & hospitality, bazaars, crazy Cairo traffic, visit to war cemetery, sailing on the Nile, hint of a glamorous era in Alexandria, funeral treasures in the Cairo museum, lunch on a felucca experience, camel rides to Egyptian cuisine - we enjoyed it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On day 11 after the Valley of the kings, Tefa recommended we stop at Masaman restaurant for lunch and this place is wonderful. It allowed us to have a glimpse of rural Egyptian life. There were farm animals, horses to look at. The restaurant also operates as a hotel. It has basic but charming Egyptian decor. Would love spend a night there. We also enjoyed the typical Egyptian lunch. There was also a shop there which sold Egyptian cotton scarves, wraps and ornaments of good quality at a reasonable price. The awesomeness of the temples & tombs were also an inspirational highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed aka Tefa looked after us really well and always mindful of the group’s needs. He was knowledgeable on Egyptian ancient and not so ancient history. He was impartial and unbiased in tackling any political issues.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts. Go with an open mind. We went in March so the weather especially in Cairo can be chilly. The overnight sleeper train was quite cold, so just be prepared to have a few layers on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Iberotel in Luxor was not good. We had to change our rooms twice. The first room the air conditioner was too warm, there was only 1 set of towels, the shower was erratic in temperature and water pressure was weak. They showed us a downgraded(smaller) room but this room was worse with the taps loose and toilet seat hanging off the hinges and hair dryer missing. Eventually another room was found (upgraded- same grade as first room). Generally the rooms were very tired . Our room faced the street and it was noisy. Ear plugs helped though. On the plus side, the pool was great, breakfast was good and there was a nice garden.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Ancient Egypt is great......modern Egypt is broken......

    We wanted to see the wonders of Egypt and got them mostly, although expect to pay extra to see them. I would say that having 8+ optional trips that you have to pay lots extra for means the basic trip is not as good as you think. For instance you WILL NOT see the Sphinx (and other pyramids) as part of the trip despite being in Cairo 4 days unless you EACH pay an extra £50. So do not fall for the false advertising pictures of the Sphinx as part of the trip. As for the modern Egypt, Greta Thunberg should start there. Rubbish everywhere, literally everywhere and you can watch them add to it as you travel. Cairo traffic is horrendous and the pollution dreadful, expect to be in a coach though this cannot be avoided to see the sites or get to hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karnak, Sphinx, Abu Simbel and Pyramids. Awesome. Inspiring and as they rightly are, a Wonder of the World. Almost too much to comprehend with the sheer amount of temples and tombs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tefa was good, though Exodus need to allow the guides more flexibility to change things. For instance a late flight and getting to bed at nearly 01:00 and getting up the next day at 06:30 is not great when the very next day you get a late start at 09:00, why not swap them? Or have the tour designer change it properly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When approached every 5 seconds as you approach the sites through carefully crafted 'run the gauntlet souvenir alleys' say 'No, Thank You' as they are generally polite and usually then stop, if they hassle you further then reduce to 'No' but still politely. This is NOT a relaxing trip, I run marathons and found it exhausting, apart from two of the days. Early starts are required to get around some of the sites, but all operators are doing the same so don't expect it to be to avoid crowds.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect to pay tips everywhere, have the individual £65 of group tips not explained and pay TOURIST prices at 10x local prices for everything. This trip is expensive, and hard to justify when to locals it is a lot cheaper. Exodus will claim this is to be a responsible tour operator but then take you to the below. Exodus need to get this responsibility back and actually do it properly rather than lip service, I have been on 9/10 trips with them and they are getting worse with each one. There is a trip to a supposed Nubian village/house, this is poor and in my view utterly unacceptable as we were told to drink and meet at a place keeping Alligators in tiny cages. UNACCEPTABLE. The Nubian village is just another souvenir selling trip other than that.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Christopher for his review, although we regret that he was disappointed with aspects of the trip. Our local team have assured us that the Sphinx is visible for all groups as they travel around the Giza complex without further payment, we’re working with our local team to ensure this is clearly explained to future groups. We have  amended the activity level for this trip based on feedback from Christopher and others, and hope that this will ensure clients on future departures are prepared for the busy itinerary, which includes so many of Egypt’s highlights. Many of the key attractions close relatively early in the day which does mean some early starts cannot be avoided, that said, we are looking into adjustments to the order of activities to potentially allow a slightly later start on Day 2. Our tour leaders keep records of all tipping kittys, should our customers ever wish to see them, although we are sorry that Christopher did not feel that this was transparent.

     

    Exodus is aware of the unfortunate practice regarding animal welfare in some parts of Egypt, and we endeavour to make it clear in the trip notes for this tour that it is something we do not support on any level, while stressing with our local guides that all group members should be briefed to avoid encouraging this. The Nubian village visit is currently being reviewed, as we wish to maintain ways of supporting their traditional culture, which is at risk of disappearing, while also ensuring that our responsible travel ethos is not compromised.

     

    We are sorry that Christopher’s experience was not as positive as we would have hoped, but we feel it is worth mentioning that we generally receive very positive feedback from customers who join this tour, as shown by the large number of five-star reviews submitted by other clients. I am, nonetheless, grateful to Christopher for taking the time to share his comments with us, and we are taking actions on a number of them.

     

    Thomas Manchester – Product Manager

  • Reviewed January 2022

    one of the best tour I had so far

    I and my wife visited Egypt in this tour with Exodus during Christmas holiday 2021. We have been travelling quite a lot with Exodus and other tour companies. All I have to say, Egypt: Alexandria to Aswan is one of the best tour we had so far. Egypt is a fascinating country which you have to see and to learn. The tour we had worth every penny we paid for. Our guide, Andrew was absolutely helpful and knowledgeable. Very effective and efficient. I have learned a lot from him about ancient Egyptian culture. He opened my eye. Thanks Andrew. The only thing not satisfactory may be the overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan. Our cabin was so cold and the heater was not working. They, the train staff certainly can do it better but they seems just don't care. Overall the tour is good and again very knowledgeable for everyone who has a passion to learn. If you travel in winter and use the overnight train, my advice is to take some warm covering with you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Valley of the Kings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I have said above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As I said above.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope Exodus will let the overnight train staff know their service need to be improved.
  • Reviewed December 2021

    Don't expect a lie in!

    This trip has lots of early starts, in fact most days and long days on the road. Reasonable quality hotels are used throughout, excluding the overnight train which was basic first class. It was disappointing that the best hotels had the shortest stays. Trip content was good but often intense, sometimes it felt like too much was being crammed in, but I would argue that the time devoted to the Cairo food tour was excessive, in fact I used it to get a better look at Misra St. Maybe there is room for some rescheduling here, particularly given that the day leads up to the overnight train journey. After the train journey, although the long days continued the intensity relaxed a bit enabling the highlights of the Valley of the Kings and Abu Simbel to be enjoyed. Although the Nile cruise was relaxing, I was not prepared for the convoy of cruise boats, although I understand that this is to enable better security for this stretch of the Nile, it does detract from 'cruise' element.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the temples that had been moved from the area to be flooded and appreciating the work that went into the deconstruction and the ensuing reconstructing on a site that looked as though it was the original setting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The local tour leader was efficient and considering this was the first departure for this company (Exodus) for a long time, did an admirable job. My only criticism would centre on a curious dialect in pronunciation, eg 'city tour' = Seti Tomb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long hot dusty days often sat in traffic jams, also be prepared to roll with the flow, do not expect good timekeepng or explanations as to why something is late or not happens at all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is scope to look at the scheduling on some of the days in control of the company, eg days 2-4. Also not sure if the current content for the Nubian day could be tweaked to help the flow of the day.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Bryan Mason

    Fabulous sights from the Ancient World and a chance to glimpse modern Egypt

    Brilliant glimpses into the ancient world with access to many fantastic sights. As with most Exodus trips it is often full on with some early starts, but these do pay dividends. The tour party, at 20. was probably too big as you travel as fast as the slowest person on the trip. Accommodation was mostly good with a couple of more modest places, but locations were always excellent. I personally could have done without the trip to Alexandria which didn't compare to having had more time in the amazing Cairo museum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Ancient world with amazing sights and fantastic art from a former civilisation. The wonder grew with each sight, culminating in Luxor with the Valley of the Kings and then the jaw dropping Karnak Temple. However, the food walk tour through modern Cairo was exciting and allowed us to see real life in this incredibly huge and vibrant city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew was excellent and maintained a high level of excitement and provided expert knowledge on the world of Ancient Egypt as well as more modern developments. He was fun and always available. We felt safe and supported throughout the whole trip, whether that was around provision of water and hygenic food to how to behave in public.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Forget any fears about safety and embrace the culture of modern Egypt . You will be rewarded with sights that are out of this world, ranging from the Pyriamids at Giza to the Rameses temple at Abu Simbel to the magnificence of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The leisurely ride around the Nile by felucca on arrival at Aswan was magical, and enhanced by fabulous food. The cruise up the Nile was extremely comfortable and allowed us all to really relax while watching the world go by and waiting for the next ancient site to appear.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    David Gregson

    Wonders of Egypt

    This trip offered a wide variety of experiences along the length of the River Nile.The trip was very well organised and Andrew our guide was extremely knowledgable and helpful. The trip was full on with many early morning starts. Take extra money for the add on activities as without them the holiday would not have been so exiting.Be aware of extra charges at some of the sites such as a camera tax. In my opinion the group size was too large and made it difficult to hear the guide at some sites that were always crowded.However the chemistry of the group was excellent and I very much enjoyed everyones company. Accommodation throughout the trip was satisfactory to excellent.The Nile cruise experience was something I’ll never forget, but the highlights of the trip were the astounding places we visited.My favourite was the Valley of the Kings that simply ‘blew my mind away’. I left this holiday with a feel good factor and my only regret is that we didn’t have more free time especially in the Cairo Museum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many inspirational moments. The Nile Cruise was wonderful as were the visits to the World Heritage sites.I was however most inspired by the visit to the Valley of the Kings.Must return again one day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew was a very well organised and knowledgeable leader. He had good people skills and handled a large group well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t bother unpacking your suitcase. Bring lots of extra cash. Bring insect repellant other wise you will be bitten. Read up on Egyptian history before you go. Don’t buy anything in the government shops as they are a rip off.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a wonderful trip that would be better in a slightly smaller group.There is Avery large variety of activities ...something for everyone!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Stephen Williams

    Fantastic Trip

    I was blown away by the history of Egypt and how ancient the civilisation is. This trip gives an excellent overview from the first pyramids to the time of Cleopatra with a bit of 20th century thrown in. The biggest surprise for me was the Egyptians who I found to be very friendly (but excellent salesmen). Our guide was superb and I felt very safe throughout the trip. Choose your time carefully because of the heat but I strongly recommend Egypt. It is one of the few trips I was not ready to come home from.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every time you see a new wonder.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do all the optional extras.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lots of the Egyptians asked us to go home and tell people how safe Egypt is. I always felt very safe and would go back tomorrow if there weren't other places to see.

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