How to Plan a Trip to Egypt 2024/2025 & Itinerary Ideas

By Rita | Updated Nov. 4, 2021

Egypt is home to vast pyramids, huge temple complexes, and also the incredible Nile River. It offers easy access to the Red Sea for scuba diving and snorkeling.

But planning an Egypt trip could be overwhelming, such as selecting a Nile cruise from abundant choices. Dealing with travel permits adds further uncertainty.

In this article, we provide not only tips on cruise options and information about the areas that require travel permits, but also handpicked itineraries, costs, the best times to travel, and more.

A) Where to Go in Egypt

If you are a first-timer to Egypt, then Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan are highly recommended. To travel between Luxor and Aswan, a Nile cruise is the most classic and relaxing option.

For a leisurely beach getaway near the Red Sea, Hurghada is one of the most popular choices. If you have limited time, Alexandria also offers the coastal charm of the Mediterranean.

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride in LuxorEnjoy a hot air balloon ride in Luxor

If you seek somewhere off the beaten path, you can consider a desert safari in the White Desert or trek up the holy Mount Sinai.

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1. Cairo: Uncover the Hidden Gems of the Pyramids

Cairo is the epitome of Egypt, boasting the great wonders that are the pyramids. For the most celebrated Giza complex, we suggest that you visit it in the early morning to avoid the big groups.

To create impressive moments, we'll arrange a rooftop sunset coffee/drink to benefit from an appealing view of the pyramids. You could also enjoy a great panoramic view of Cairo from the Cairo Citadel.

If you're traveling with your teens, don't miss the Egyptian Museum, where you can see the mummies and the iconic golden mask of Tutankhamun. Hunting for local dishes in the hidden alleys also keeps them interested. Get more ideas about planning a family trip in Egypt>>>

2. A Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan

Nile CruiseNile Cruise

To escape from the chaotic cities, a 4/5-day Nile cruise offers a laid-back way to see the splendid landmarks alongside the amazing Nile River. For milestone celebrations, don't miss a sunrise balloon ride over Luxor and a sunset felucca trip in Aswan.

Unlike crowded group tours from cruise companies, we offer private guides for shore trips. If you value privacy, a dahabiya, with only 5–6 cabins, offers a boutique-like experience on the water. Learn more about the Nile cruise.

Struggling to pick the perfect cruise from the abundant options? Travel with us and we'll expertly match you with the ideal cruise at the best price.

3. Hurghada: Immerse Yourself in the Snorkeling Paradise and Beach Fun

Have fun in the Red SeaHave fun in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is filled with stunning beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. For a hassle-free choice, Hurghada is a top pick due to its convenience and popularity.

Underwater enthusiasts will find a paradise here — snorkeling and diving in the Red Sea is a treat. Adventure seekers can spice things up with a desert safari and a jaunt to a nearby Bedouin village.

4. Alexandria: Have a Glimpse of the Mediterranean

AlexandriaAlexandria

Alexandria seamlessly blends coastal charm with its captivating historical allure in the Mediterranean. You're recommended to take a day trip or two from Cairo.

When visiting it, don't miss the chance to delve into its multicultural catacombs at Kom El Shoqafa, a true historical gem. You can also soak up the mesmerizing sea view from the iconic Lighthouse of Alexandria.

5. Mount Sinai: Follow in the Footsteps of Moses

A trip to Mount Sinai promises a blend of history, spirituality, adventure, and natural beauty. You can trek up to the summit and wander around the historical marvel — Saint Catherine's Monastery.

Instead of hiking with huge crowds at midnight, we suggest a more peaceful afternoon so that you can have the mountain to yourself. Besides, travel permits and security checkpoints are required. A private tour would help to create a worry-free journey.

6. The White Desert: Embrace the Surreal Landscape with a Camping Adventure

If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, venture into the Black and White deserts.

Shutterbugs would love the unique landscapes and crystal-clear stargazing opportunities. Camping under the stars would add a once-in-a-lifetime experience to your romantic celebration or family vacation.

Like Mount Sinai, a private tour is highly recommended due to the hassles of navigation and getting documents from the government.

B) How Many Days to Spend in Egypt

Typically, you can explore the diverse facets of Egypt comfortably within 10–14 days. For your first Egypt trip, you're advised to allocate 7–8 days to explore the Golden Triangle route (Cairo–Luxor–Aswan). If you have limited time, you could focus on this route.

For the rest of the time, you can enhance your journey with a 3 or 4-day Red Sea beach retreat, a 3-day White Desert safari, a 1-day Mount Sinai pilgrimage, or a brief 1- or 2-day Alexandria excursion.

If you have more than 2 weeks available, you could delve deeper into Egypt and visit all of the destinations mentioned above. Alternatively, you're recommended to combine Egypt with neighboring Jordan and Israel for a richer Middle East adventure (like the 18-Day Egypt Jordan and Israel's Treasures Discovery Tour). For a deeper North African immersion, adding Morocco to your journey is a fantastic option. You can see the customizable 15-Day Morocco and Egypt Highlights Tour.

you can find more guidance on How Long to Spend in Egypt. As experts in tailoring private tours, we're here to create the perfect itinerary to match your ideal trip length.

C) The Top 3 Handpicked Itineraries for a Trip to Egypt

You can check out the following time-smart 1-week itinerary, the classic 10-day itinerary, and the popular 2-week one below.

1) A Popular 14-Day Egypt Itinerary for Couples

This 2-week itinerary is specially designed for couples seeking a well-rounded trip to Egypt. You'll discover the iconic landmarks comfortably, such as the pyramids, the Nile, and the Red Sea.

You could get inspiration from the following itinerary, which forms the basis of many of our clients' Egypt trips.

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (the Giza pyramid complex with a camel ride, the Great Sphinx, the Cairo Citadel, the Egyptian Museum, food tours, the Khan el-Khalili market, Saqqara, and the El Tannoura Dance Show)
  • Days 4–5 in Alexandria (the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Library of Alexandria)
  • Day 6: Aswan (Abu Simbel)
  • Day 7: a Nile cruise from Aswan (cruise boarding, the Aswan High Dam, the Philae temple complex, and the Unfinished Obelisk)
  • Day 8: a Nile cruise (the Edfu Temple and the Kom Ombo Temple)
  • Days 9–10 in Luxor (the Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak temple complex, and a sunrise hot-air balloon ride and/or a night city tour by horse-drawn carriage)
  • Days 11–14 in Sharm el Sheikh (relax by the Red Sea)
Map of Egypt journey

To add an exclusive touch, we've included tailor-made activities for you. Get ready for foodie tours in Cairo, a picture-perfect sunrise balloon ride in Luxor, and a serene sunset felucca trip in Aswan.

For a winding-down tour pace, a beach vacation is great to top off your Egypt trip. While Sharm el Sheikh is a popular choice, the untouched allure of El Quseir is a fantastic alternative. Unwinding in your beachfront hotel is a great option as well. We've selected a range of hotels for you from tranquil resorts to adult-only boutique hotels.

If you're looking for more adventurous experiences, we can customize your itinerary with the Black and White deserts and Mount Sinai.

More itinerary options are suggested in Top 4 Egypt Itineraries for 2 Weeks>>>

2) A 10-Day Classic Egypt Itinerary for Families with Teenagers

If you are travelling with active teenagers, look no further than this itinerary. It strikes a perfect balance between educational cultural immersion and thrilling adventures.

You can get some inspiration from the following brief itinerary: Cairo – Aswan – Luxor – Hurghada.

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (exploring multi-generational pyramids by camel riding, the Egyptian Museum, Cairo Citadel, food tours, the Khan el-Khalili market)
  • Day 4 in Aswan (the High Dam, the Temple of Philae, and  sunset felucca ride)
  • Days 5–6 in Luxor (unveiling the Pharaohs' tombs, sunrise balloon ride and/or a nighttime city tour by horse and carriage)
  • Days 7–10 in Hurghada (beach activities like snorkeling and diving, a desert safari day trip to a Bedouin village)
Map of Egypt family tour

In this itinerary, your school-aged children would love to see the multi-generational pyramids by camel riding, which are frequently seen in their textbooks. Exploring the tombs of the pharaohs in Luxor offers a truly unique and extraordinary experience.

Hunting local food, from the hidden alleys to celebrated restaurants, also creates lasting memories together.   

For an iconic Nile experience, we highly recommend the 1-hour scenic felucca ride in Aswan for energetic kids. You can enjoy the authentic and peaceful Nile view while saving more time for adventures compared to the slow-paced 4-day cruise.

In Hurghada, your children could fully unleash their natural instincts in this snorkeling paradise and its all-in-one family beachfront resorts.

3) A Time-Smart 7-Day Egypt Itinerary with a Nile Cruise

This 1-week itinerary showcases the best of Egypt for first-timers: the pyramids in Cairo, the Nile scenery, and the majestic temples in Luxor and Aswan.

As the cherry on top, the Nile cruise means that you won't have to constantly pack and unpack, plus the backdrop is forever changing.

You could get inspiration from the following itinerary, which forms the Egypt part of many Middle East trips for our clients.

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (the Giza pyramid complex, the Great Sphinx, the Cairo Citadel, food tours, the Khan el-Khalili market, and the Egyptian Museum)
  • Day 4: a Nile cruise from Aswan (cruise boarding, the Aswan High Dam, the Philae temple complex, and the Unfinished Obelisk)
  • Day 5: a Nile cruise (the Edfu Temple and the Kom Ombo Temple)
  • Days 6–7: a Nile cruise to Luxor (the Valley of the Kings, the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Colossi of Memnon, the Luxor Temple, and the Karnak temple complex)

Want more options? You can check our handpicked itineraries and the costs for various durations: 5 days, 7 days, 8 days, 10 days, 12 days, and 21 days...

D) How Much Does a Trip to Egypt Cost?

A private Egypt tour of 1–2 weeks falls in the price range of US$150–250 per day per person. Children under 10 can receive discounts of between 30% and 50%.

You could get more details about the prices when you look at the following handcrafted private tour. The price is based on a group of 2+ people.

Travel with us and you'll experience our special activities, such as a highly-rated personalized service, an immersive cultural show, interesting foodie tours, and sunrise balloon rides in Luxor.

To save some costs, you could get early-bird discounts by booking 1 year in advance with us. Here's an even better one: the more friends or family you bring along, the lower the costs for everyone. If you are celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Egypt, departing before December 20th is also beneficial for obtaining cheaper international flight tickets.

For a better understanding of the cost of an Egypt tour, read How Much Does a Trip to Egypt Cost?

E) Best Times to Visit Egypt

Visit the Great Pyramids of GizaVisit the Great Pyramids of Giza

Owing to the desert climate, your Egypt trip is rarely affected by rainfall. But the temperature does affect your trip. For comfortable weather, the best time to visit Egypt is from October to April when the temperature goes below 30°C (86°F). With the best weather comes high prices and large crowds. Early-bird booking at least 6 months in advance is better to secure the best availability and deals in this high season.

When temperatures soar over 30°C (86°F) between May and September, you can expect the lowest crowds and great deals with discounts offered of 30–40% on hotels and flights. During these periods, early May and late September are the best times, offering cooler temperatures as well as lower prices.

If you're planning a summer trip, you're advised to visit the cooler northern cities, such as Cairo, Alexandria, and Hurghada. With our flexible schedules, you can make the most of the cool hours to enjoy outdoor activities, such as in the early mornings and late afternoons.

Check out the monthly weather in Best and Worst Times to Visit Egypt.

F) Getting To and Around Egypt

Cairo, the capital of Egypt, serves as the only entrance for international flights. If you're traveling from Europe or America, there are direct flight options available. For Americans, you can find more budget-friendly options with layovers in London, Frankfurt, or Istanbul. If you depart from Australia and New Zealand, Doha or Dubai are better stopovers due to there being no direct flights.

After landing in Cairo, flights are the fastest and most convenient option for long journeys, such as from Cairo to Aswan. But all flights depart from/to Cairo only.

When flights are not available, private transfers are the least stressful and most hassle-free choice in Egypt, such as from Luxor to Hurghada. For once-in-a-lifetime experiences, you could also consider taking a relaxing Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan.

G) Is Egypt Safe for Traveling?

As a traveler, yes, with the right behavior, Egypt is safe to travel around in most tourist cities, such as Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada. For some remote areas, a private tour is helpful to ensure your safety.

Book with us to create a trouble-free Egypt tour, which is tailor-made to reduce risk and suit your needs. You will be escorted by careful and wise local guides with private transport. Your travel expert will always be on call for 24/7 live support.

H) Do I Need a Visa to Go to Egypt?

When traveling to Egypt, most visitors have to apply for a visa. An e-visa is available if you're from the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Contact us for more information.

Booking Your Egypt Trips With Us

You are warmly welcomed to have us customize your own trip based on your group size, interests, and other needs. Sit back and use our Create My Trip service.

For inspiration, you could also see the following popular Egypt tours:

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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

9-Day Essential Egypt Tour with Nile Cruise 10-Day Private Egypt Active Family Expedition Tour 15-Day Egypt and Kenya Highlights Tour 12-Day Egypt Luxury Tour with Abu Simbel

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

Top 4 Egypt Itineraries for 12-Day Trips (2023/2024) How to Plan a 7-Day Egypt Itinerary 2024/2025: Top 6 Options How Long to Spend in Egypt: Itineraries for First-Timers How to Plan a 10-Day Egypt Itinerary (Best 4 in 2024/2025)
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