RTW Trip Last Day in Egypt Day 61: Suggested 2 Week Itinerary for Egypt

Our final day was a sad one. We had our final big breakfast, chatted and said good-bye to the friendly staff at Boomerang Hotel, and grabbed a taxi to Luxor Airport. We guiltily spent our final Egyptian pounds on Burger King at the airport, and hopped on our plan to head to Jordan.

Egypt is a safe country for tourists, and gave us a very rewarding experience during our couple weeks in the country. In general, people were extremely kind, and the stares were gentle and curious. I am surprised people don’t talk about how cheap Egypt is, and I found it to be on par with South East Asia. Egypt can definitely be done on a backpacker’s budget, and there is plenty to see in a few weeks.

Notable things about Egypt:

-Locals were extremely friendly, kind, and welcoming. One of the most welcoming countries I have been to.
-Traffic in Cairo makes the traffic in Delhi look like nothing.
-CLEARLY, we ate A LOT of kushari. It is filling, crazy cheap, and generally tasty. It is available everywhere and was very safe to eat!
-Egypt is not just about the Pyramids, as there is the glorious crystal clear blue water!
-Traveling Egypt is very cheap!

A Suggested 2 week Itinerary for Egypt

Egypt map

Cairo for 2-3 days: Visit the Pyramids in Giza, see the mummies and King Tut’s famous mask at the Egyptian Museum, and shop in the old Islamic Bazaar for an old world feel. Don’t forget to go to a Sufi Tanoura Dance in the evening. Not to be missed! Watch out when crossing the streets! Detailed blog entries for Cairo are here, here, and here.

The Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza

Hurghada for 2-3 days: If you love picture perfect beaches, head to this city for a bit of relaxation. Definitely stay at Marriott’s rental apartments for access to their pool, gym, yoga classes, and private beach. The Red Sea is absolutely gorgeous and not to be missed! If you are a diver, you may want to think of heading to Sharm El Sheikh instead.  Read how to indulge in luxury with a backpacker’s budget here.

Hurghada on a backpacker's budget

Hurghada on a backpacker’s budget

Aswan for 4-5 days: Check out Aswan’s Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple, High Dam, have lunch at Ad-Dukka Restaurant, and visit Elephantine Island on3 or two days. The highlight of your trip will be the motorless sailboat felucca ride up the Nile River. Do one night or two. We only did one, but I totally regret not doing two nights! Go here to read about my experience on the boat and find the best guides for your overnight trip!

The best overnight boat trip you will ever take.

The best overnight boat trip you will ever take.

Luxor for 3 days: Visit Karnak, Qurna Village, Hatshepsut Temple, the Valley of the Kings, and the Temple of Medinat Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III for your cultural fix. Read about the highlights here.

The colors of Qurna Village

The colors of Qurna Village

I was worried about traveling to Egypt and am so glad I ignored my hesitations. Egypt is cheap and safe, and the Pyramids are basically there just for you. Locals are more than welcoming. Egypt tourism is very low at the moment, but it may not last. Go before the crowds are back!

Costs:
Breakfast 20 LE
Taxi 45 LE
Burger King 107 LE
—-
Same day but in Jordan
Visa for Jordan 80 Jordanian Dinar (JD)
Airport bus 6.5JD
Taxi to Cliff Hotel 4JD
Cliff Hotel 14JD
Water 0.5 JD

Total cost: 172 LE + 105 JD = $170.86 / 2 = $85.43 per person

What I learned: If you are worried about going to a new country, do not read too many news articles about the location. I read so many articles about the safety of Egypt, and sort of freaked myself out. Articles can be overly cautious, and are often writing about the worst case scenarios. Head to travel forums like Lonely Planet’s Thorntree and Trip Advisor for first hand accounts of other tourists visiting your preferred locations before making a final decision.

Actual date of travel: Nov. 3, 2014

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