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EgyptEgypt

Sidewalk meets the sand in Egypt. Vibrant, energetic Cairo contrasts starkly with the timelessness of pyramids and the silence of the desert. Marvel at the Pharaoh's treasures, then haggle for your own at a rowdy open air bazaar. Sail the Nile by luxury cruise ship or felucca, a small Egyptian sailboat.

Highlights

  1. Cairo

    Cairo cityscapeSet on the Nile River and surrounded by lush vegetation and towering skyscrapers, Egypt's sprawling capital is where East and West come together in a glorious mix of old and new. Cairo, the largest city west of China, is home to the ancient Pyramids of Giza as well as high-rise hotels and modern apartment buildings. With a combination of ancient and modern, the city will allow you to take a step back in time as you explore the 130,000 treasures of the Egyptian Museum (including the tomb of Tutankhamen) as well as enjoy the bustling energy of bazaars, cinemas, department stores and more!

  2. The Pyramids of Giza

    Pyramids of GizaConstructed thousands of years ago, the Pyramids of Giza are ancient relics of Egypt's Old Kingdom era. These ginormous pyramid temples were built for pharaohs that were expected to become gods in the afterlife. Of the three massive structures, the Great Pyramid is the largest, built for Pharaoh Khufu. Towering over the desert at around 480 feet, it's estimated that this tomb was created using 2.3 million stone blocks each weighing about 2.5 to 15 tons! The construction of these Egyptian pyramids remains a mystery to this day.

  3. The Great Sphinx

    The Great SphinxSitting just south of the Great Pyramid, the Great Sphinx is a 240 foot long, 66 foot high limestone statue that stands as one the world's largest monuments. With the face of a man and the body of a lion, it is believed in ancient Egypt that the creature of the sphinx represents a spiritual guardian, in this case the Great Sphinx is guarding the pharaoh's entire tomb complex. Although the enormous statue settles on top of the desert sands, there was once a time when the Sphinx was buried up to its shoulders! The removal of sand began in the early 1800s, and the magnificent monument was finally freed in the late 1930s.

  4. The Nile River

    Kom Ombo on the Nile RiverFlowing through northeastern Africa and connecting to the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile River is the world's longest river, stretching over 4,000 miles. The river flows through and borders 10 other countries: Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Thousands of years ago, the Nile River was a source of irrigation for the surrounding dry area, transforming the desert land into lush greenery. Although the Nile still serves as a source of irrigation today, it is also a means of transportation for trade.

  5. The Aswan Dam

    Aswan DamComposed of stone and clay and standing at 364 feet, the Aswan Dam provides many benefits for Egypt. The main reason for creating this dam was to control the Nile River. The Aswan Dam marks the success of the first time the Egyptians could control the annual flooding of the Nile. Before, flooding would ruin surrounding areas and crops, but now with the water controlled, the dam has benefited the area's agricultural industries tremendously. In addition to taming the river, the dam produces electricity, providing many small villages the luxury of having electricity for the first time. The water collected from the Aswan Dam forms Lake Nasser, which is a major water source for the surrounding area.

  6. Felucca

    Feluccas on the Nile River, AswanFeluccas are traditional wooden sail boats invented by the Egyptians, and you are bound to see them passing along on the Nile River. In ancient times, feluccas were primarily used for transportation, and today they are still used for transportation as well as providing relaxing rides and sightseeing for tourists. At the time, these sail boats were the most advanced piece of engineering, mainly relying on the breeze and the flowing current of the Nile River to maneuver through the water. Although few feluccas are now made entirely out of wood, the general layout remains very similar to ancient times.

  7. Valley of the Kings

    Mortuary Temple of HatshepsutLying on the west bank of the Nile River near Luxor, The Valley of the Kings is the most famed collection of exquisite tombs dedicated to the pharaohs of the New Kingdom. Also known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, this valley was once a royal burial ground for well-known pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II. In 1979, the famous valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and to this day the meticulously painted tombs of past pharaohs continues to attract foreign and local tourists and travelers.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Egypt? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Cairo
Population:  95.69 million
Currency: Egyption pound (LE)
Languages: Egyptian Arabic
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: EET (UTC +2)

Entry requirements

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. In addition, your passport must have at least 2 blank visa pages. A visa is required to enter Egypt. Visas for U.S. citizens have been pre-arranged. Our representative will meet you at the passport control area to assist and have your pre-approved visa available.

We will pre-arrange your travel visa, which will be stamped upon arrival.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for determining all entry requirements and obtaining any necessary visas. Consider using an expedited visa service.

More information about passport, visa & entry requirements.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

According to the Center for Disease Control, “A limited risk of malaria exists in parts of Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended as the risk for travelers is considered to be extremely low. However, travelers should use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.”

Do not swim in fresh water or ocean water, as parasites are prevalent. Skin infections are common; even the smallest wound should be disinfected and covered with a bandage.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Egypt generally has a warm and hot weather with cooler nights. There are 2 seasons in Egypt, winter which is from November to April and summer from May to October. Average temperature during winter ranges from 60’s to 80’s while in summer, average temperature will be from 80’s to 90’s. During the months of March & April, there will be periods of sand storms blowing in different places due to the Khamsin.

What to wear

Since Egypt is primarily a Muslim country, customs will be different from what you are accustomed to in the USA. When visiting mosques and for touring, you should plan to dress modestly. Despite the heat, it is still preferred that women do not wear shorts or halter-style tops. Slacks or skirts are recommended. T-shirts are also considered appropriate.

Note: If visiting mosques and other sacred sites, kindly ensure to dress appropriately – long sleeves, long, loose fitting, ankle length trousers or skirts for women and men. No light colored and transparent or see through clothing for women.

We recommend that you bring along hat, sunscreen and a light sweater as the day and nighttime temperatures vary dramatically. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Tipping

A small gratuity to your guides and drivers will be greatly appreciated by them. For Cairo, the recommended amount is $5 per person per day for the local guide; $3 per person per day for the drivers and $2 per person per day for the tour manager in Cairo.

For the cruise portion, we recommend a total tip of $15 per person per day allocated to the following: $7 per person per day for the cruise ship staff; $4 per person per day for the guide, $2 per person per day for the driver and $2 for the tour manager in Luxor and Aswan.

Please Note: It is customary for the Cairo guide or Tour Manager to collect on arrival the minimal amount as mentioned above for tips to be distributed on your behalf amongst all service personnel who will assist the group in different aspects of the tour.

It is also customary to tip the hotel staff. Our recommended amount is $1 per person per day for housekeeping. The same amount is recommended for restaurant staff. Tips to porters and luggage handlers is included in the package. However, a modest tip of an extra US$1-2 per luggage to the hotel porters who bring your luggage to the room is recommended. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided. It is also customary to tip the hotel staff. Our recommended amount is $1 per person per day for housekeeping. The same amount is recommended for restaurant staff. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided.

Money & Credit Cards

The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. Hotels and some stores accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard only). However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Hotels, banks and foreign exchange bureaus will be able to exchange cash to local currency. We highly recommend that you bring along crisp, new bills. Old, torn, crumpled bills may not be accepted. Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection. For small purchases, we recommend that you use the ATM machines to get cash in local currency so that you can avoid using your credit card in unknown shops where there is a higher risk of having your credit card numbers “borrowed” for unauthorized purchases. Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted. If you intend to use traveler’s checks, please be sure to verify that they are still accepted in the places visited on this tour.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

You will have ample opportunity during your visit to Egypt to shop for souvenirs, including artwork, handicrafts and even jewelry. If you purchase such items, do so with the understanding that these items may not have the same high value you were led to believe. A good rule of thumb when shopping abroad is to choose items that you love and that will remind you of the destination. If you want to shop for high value items, better do so from a trusted merchant at home unless the pleasure of the happy memory of your trip will keep you from regretting your purchase.

While we take great care in arranging the components of your tour, we have no relationship with the shopping venues you’ll encounter, and we cannot be liable for any purchases you make. Your guides will no doubt have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you, as this is how business is done throughout the Middle East and other regions around the world. Please keep in mind that many, if not most stores outside the U.S., will not allow exchanges or refunds for your purchased items.

Tips for Bargaining: Bargaining is a way of life in the Middle East. If you want to purchase something, whether in a shop or a souk (or bazaar) and you think the price you’ve been quoted is too high, thank the vendor and walk away. Generally, he/she will come after you with a lower price. It is usually considered good bargaining policy to offer half the asking price, and negotiate from there. Negotiations should be done in a respectful way.

Electricity & Power Adapters

220 volts. Plug C. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.

Did you know?
  • The ancient Egyptians invented the 365-days a year calendar in order to predict the yearly floodings of the Nile river.
  • Egyptians used hieroglyphs containing over 700 symbols (with no vowels!) to write and communicate, making it one of the earliest languages to be used. 
  • Calling all fashionistas! Aged over 5000 years, the oldest dress in the world is found in Egypt.
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza still has unexplored passageways, making it the only remaining ancient wonder of the world.
  • Although Egypt is known for its pyramids, the country has neither the tallest pyramid in the world nor the most pyramids in the world: Mexico is home to the tallest pyramid, and Sudan hosts the most pyramids.

Tours & Packages

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3 matching packages
Independent Package Athens & 7 Day Three Continents Cruise
Athens, then voyage to 3 continents: Asia, Europe & Africa. Visit Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes & Turkey; independent travel with flights & hotel
from $2899 w/ Flights from $2499 Tour Only 12 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise
Timeless Cairo & the Pyramids, plus a Nile cruise through the temples & history of Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo & Aswan; optional extension to Petra
from $2899 w/ Flights 11 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Dazzling Dubai & Cairo
The glittering playground of Dubai; plus buzzing Cairo, the Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza; plus optional Nile Cruise extension
from $2599 w/ Flights 9 days
per person, double occupancy*

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* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, hotels, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, hotels, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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