Egypt is one of the most magical vacation spots. The pyramids are amazing, but there is so much more to Egypt that it is hard to cram into just a week’s vacation.
I suggest traveling to Egypt with at least 10 to 12 days available.
If you are limited on time, you can still travel to Cairo and see the pyramids of Giza and make a day trip to Alexandria. You can check out my 5-Day Egypt Itinerary to see how I crammed in all the amazing things to do in Cairo and many of the stunning pyramids of Egypt.
This best Egypt itinerary will take you to Cairo and many other Egyptian towns. You can read up on a lot of these towns in 10 Places to Visit in Egypt that aren’t Cairo. Before leaving on your Egypt trip, read my Egypt travel guide.
Here’s my 10-day Egypt itinerary!
Day 1: Arrive in Cairo
Use the first day in Cairo, Egypt to relax and get used to the time difference. After settling into your accommodations, you can head out and grab something to eat.
Day 2: Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara
At the start of your second day, head to Saqqara to visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which is the oldest pyramid in Egypt!
The trip from Cairo to Giza is a quick 20-minute drive, but traffic can be insane, so plan accordingly. My advice? Get over to Giza early in the day, as close to the time it opens, to avoid the crows.
After, proceed to the Giza Plateau to visit the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Mykerinus. This area is about an hour’s drive from the Pyramid of Djoser and The Giza complex closes at 2:00 pm, so make sure that you get there with plenty of time to get pictures and see everything.
If you are all about getting the perfect shot of the pyramids, be sure to read my guide How to Get Amazing Photos at the Pyramids of Giza.
Enjoy a scenic lunch in the same area and then finish sightseeing at the Sphinx and the Valley Temple that faces the great Sphinx statue.
After sightseeing the pyramids, you can either head back to your accommodations in Cairo and enjoy the city or you can stay in Giza a bit longer and enjoy a camel ride at sunset!
End the night at your accommodations in Cairo.
MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES
Day 3: Cairo and Ancient Egyptian History
Start the day by either visiting the Grand Egyptian Museum or the Egyptian Museum. The Grand Egyptian Museum is slated to open in November of 2022 and will replace the smaller Egyptian Museum.
This museum houses many Egyptian antiques and treasures, including those from King Tutankhamun.
As of right now, all the mummies that used to be at the Egyptian Museum have moved to The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and will eventually move to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
If you are arriving before November 2022, you can easily visit both the Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in one day.
After a visit to the museum, enjoy lunch in Al Hazar Park before going to the Citadel of Salah El-Din. Al Hazar Park is one of the best spots in the city for a panoramic view of Cairo. If you have time one night, try to get back to this area for an amazing sunset.
While visiting the Citadel of Salah El-Din, be sure to check out the Mosque of Muhammad Ali which is inside the Citadel complex.
Enjoy the rest of the day exploring Cairo before heading back to your Cairo accommodations.
Day 4: Abu Simbel and Aswan
Check out of your Cairo hotel very early in the morning and catch a flight to Aswan. Make sure to book a flight for this day well in advance.
As an optional add-on, you can visit Abu Simbel, one of the most picturesque complexes in all of Egypt. Visitors can tour the magnificent complex and learn about how the temple was moved to higher ground.
Abu Simbel is about two-and-half hours to three hours away from Aswan so plan accordingly.
Once you get back to Aswan, I recommend staying at the Old Cataract Sofitel hotel. This hotel is historic, very beautiful, and has amazing views of Aswan!
Enjoy the beautiful views of feluccas sailing the Nile.
Day 5: Board a Nile Cruise
Before you board your Nile cruise, go on a felucca ride. Feluccas are ancient Egyptian boats that are normally made from wood and have a canvas sail. You can hire these in Aswan before your cruise. These boats provide visitors with a relaxing ride while also seeing tourist spots.
There are a lot of Nile Cruises, so explore what works for your budget and the number of nights you want to take. I will discuss a typical itinerary for 3-nights and 4-days.
(If your budget and time allow, they also have four-night cruises and 7-night cruises.
Typically, the first activity on a 3-night Nile Cruise is to visit Phile Temple and the Unfinished Obelisk.
Visitors will take a short motorboat ride to visit the romantic and majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. This complex was created for the goddess Isis and includes Egyptian, Greek, and Roman aspects.
After, you will visit the Granite Quarries, which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples and still hold a huge unfinished obelisk.
End the day on board your Nile Cruise.
Day 6: Visit Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple
On the second day of the Nile Cruise, you will disembark and explore the Kom Ombo temple, which was dedicated to the gods Sobek, the crocodile god, and Haroeris, the sun god.
This unique historical site features a crocodile museum where crocodiles were mummified!
After Kom Ombo, aboard the cruise to head the two hours to Edfu. Once there, visitors can explore the Temple of Edfu. End the evening back on the Nile Cruise for dinner.
Karnak Temple, Luxor
Day 7: Luxor’s East and West Bank
Arrive in Luxor and visit the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.
There are a number of tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and there are a few tombs you can pay extra to see like King Tut’s tomb.
In the Valley of the Queens, you definitely will want to visit the Tomb of Queen Hatshepsut.
There is also an additional tomb, the Queen of Nefertari. It’s about $100 to go in, but I’ve heard it’s the most epic of all the tombs. If this is something that excites you, you will definitely want to budget and plan time for this in your itinerary.
Visit the Colossi of Memnon, which is known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn.
In the afternoon visit Temple of Karnak, the largest temple complex in Egypt.
Visit Luxor Temple after the sun goes down, it’s a unique experience to see it after dark and all lit up.
Day 8: Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Luxor
Rise early and start your morning with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Luxor. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one I highly recommend. Make sure that you book this well in advance.
Head back to the Nile Cruise to check out.
At this point, you can either return to Cairo for your last day or you can drive to Al Douna for a seaside escape to the Red Sea for snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you’re opting for the latter, drive to El Gouna by bus to your Red Sea resort. From Luxor to El Gouna is about a 3.5-hour drive.
Day 9: Snorkeling and Diving in Gouna
With some of the best underwater sites in the world, snorkel or scuba dive in the Red Sea! Head to the beach to hang out, snorkel, or scuba dive as you explore the beauty of the Red Sea and its wonderful marine life.
Spend the rest of the day exploring El Gouna by foot (and Tuk Tuk)!
Day 10: El Gouna to Cairo
Check out early to depart for your flight back to Cairo.
Spend your last day in Cairo wandering around the captivating Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, which is said to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East.
Then fly home!
Optional Add-On Trips:
Siwa Oasis is an Egyptian oasis in the Western Desert. It is known for its crystal clear salt lakes and olive trees. It’s a pretty massive journey to get there.
You can either drive the full length from Cairo to Siwa, which is about a 9-hour drive each way, or you can fly, but it’s still another 3-4 hours from the closest airport.
If you do this, you’d need to add at least 3 days to the end of your trip in order to visit and make it worth it.
I highly recommend having a guide while in Egypt and having someone help with the logistics of the itinerary. It’s a lot of moving parts with planning transportation and sightseeing.
Reach out to my team if you’re interested in us planning an Egypt trip for you or check out TBA Escapes!