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.
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.
Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.
Mi esposo y yo, tuvimos la oportunidad de visitar la hermosa ciudad de Xian, la muralla de la ciudad, los guerreros de terracota, el barrio musulmán, todo esto con la mejor guia del mundo mundial!!! Susana, quien aparte de ser super simpática, tiene un gran conocimiento de la ciudad, la historia de los lugares y monumentos y aparte está siempre al pendiente de cualquier cosa que necesites y va más allá par hacerte tener una experiencia excelente, nos quedamos con ganas de regresar. Gracias x todo!!More
Betty A, Feb 2024
Shanghai is an amazing mix of modern and historical China. Our guide Kris was great and very flexible when it came to completing the itinerary which was helpful considering the poor weather + visibility on the first day when we were supposed to visit Shanghai tower. Walking along the river front (bund) area was a big highlight for us.More
Explore49612084715, Feb 2024
We traveled to Shanghai in Jan/Feb 2024 with China Highlights. Shanghai is an amazing mix of modern and historical China. Our guide Kris was great and very flexible when it came to completing the itinerary which was helpful considering the poor weather + visibility on the first day when we were supposed to visit Shanghai tower. Walking along the river front (bund) area was a big highlight for us.More
Lydia, Feb 2024
Shanghai trip for Mihail
Me and my wife had a trip to China and part of it we spent in Shanghai. Our private tour guide was Kris Lee and I have to say he was very much up for the task. His knowledge of China's history was quite comprehensive and more than I could have expected. If only I could have that kind of memory. His level of English exceeded my expectations and that of course served us very well not only in understanding the Chinese culture, traditions, way of life, etc, but also allowed us to order meals, drinks, make purchases, ask whatever questions coming to mind, making us comfortable to experience the place without the inherent language issues we could have had otherwise. All in all Kris Lee is certainly an asset for any travel agency from ChinaMore
Mihail D, Feb 2024
Mi esposo y yo, tuvimos la oportunidad de visitar la hermosa ciudad de Xian, la muralla de la ciudad, los guerreros de terracota, el barrio musulmán, todo esto con la mejor guia del mundo mundial!!! Susana, quien aparte de ser super simpática, tiene un gran conocimiento de la ciudad, la historia de los lugares y monumentos y aparte está siempre al pendiente de cualquier cosa que necesites y va más allá par hacerte tener una experiencia excelente, nos quedamos con ganas de regresar. Gracias x todo!!
Daisy was our guide for 3 days in Dali. She was the best guide we have had in China. She was very warm. Just like a close friend. She was extremely knowledgeable about the culture and history of the area. She took many pictures of us even without our asking her to.Her English was excellent!More
David, Feb 2024
Daisy was an amazing guide
Daisy was an amazing guide. She took us to the old town, on a boat ride, and to Sha xi. She was very warm. She explained everything in detail and answered all of our questions. She made us feel very welcome.More
文 文, Feb 2024
1 Day in Beijing
Nice views, Not too much people, Jessi (guide ) so friendly and she have a great service & she knows the answer of all your questionsMore
Fernando J, Feb 2024
Zhangjiajie/ Spectacular scenery and great taste of local culture.
Zhangjiajie immediately went to the top of our list of natural attractions in the world. The landscapes are fascinating and unique. We really valued the guidance by China Highlights. Roger was good accommodating to our needs during the planning phase. In the actual trip Linda provided us with knowledgeable and passionate guidance. She was very personable and respectful at the same time. Her advice was critical to be able to see so much - as in every park or area there are multiple buses to move around. She showed us the best spots at the best time.Local restaurant selection was good. One piece of advice- make sure to specify how much spice you enjoy in your food. Local food can be quite spicy.More
Raul C Mexico city, Jan 2024
Private trip in Beijing and Luoyang
We spent 3 days in Beijing with Helen as our guide. We went to TianAnMen, Forbidden City and MuTianYu Great Wall to name a few. Helen took great care of us and is very attentive as I travel with my 60+ years old parents, from asking whether we need restroom breaks to making sure that our lunch were all according to our dietary needsMore
Iriana Iriana, Jan 2024
An excellent day with Linda
Linda (Ling ling)is a great tour guide,provide a lot of knowledge and history of the great wall,and took us to taste very delicious food too,we had a very good time with her!highly recommend her!More
Angeline Lim, Jan 2024
Great time in Beijing with Bruce
We stayed in Beijing for three days altogether. We went to the summer palace. the Tian'an'men square, the Forbidden City,the Temple of heaven and the Great Wall. Our tour guide Bruce is very friendly and speaks English fluently. He explained every scenic spot to us patiently and humorously. my family are very satisfied with his service.More
Mayra C, Jan 2024
Profesional and detail oriented
My last stop was Shanghai. I was greeted by Martin. It is pretty much a 1 day itinerary there. Martin took me to all the stops and introduced me to a cool tea house not on the agenda. With the extra time we had we also stopped Starbuck’s Reserve which is the largest in the world. Martin also helped me make reservations at the Old Jazz Club at the Fairmont Hotel.More
Megan Sandbothe, Jan 2024
We recently spent 4 days with Alvin hosting us throughout Huangshan, Tunxi and Hongcun. The scenery was spectacular, hotels quirky, food excellent and knowledge and passion from Alvin was so invaluable and also fun! Would highly recommend.More
Joanne, Jan 2024
Great couple days in Shanghai. Thanks to my guide Martin for showing me best of Shanghai. Great work by China team - trip very well organised.More
Steve P, Jan 2024
Amazing experience !!!
Great tour! Very flexible and our tour guide Chris was so amazing that he adjusted to our last time request there! I totally recommend this tour !!More
Victor A, Jan 2024
Private trip in Beijing and Luoyang
We spent 3 days in Beijing with Helen as our guide. We went to TianAnMen, Forbidden City and MuTianYu Great Wall to name a few. Helen took great care of us and is very attentive as I travel with my 60+ years old parents, from asking whether we need restroom breaks to making sure that our lunch were all according to our dietary needs. We had great 3 days in Beijing.We also visited Luoyang. Our travel advisor arranged a Business class seat for our high speed train to Luoyang. We were picked up at the station by our guide in Luoyang, Lisa. We then visited Dengfeng to see Songyang academy, shaolin temple, Luoyang grottoes. She also took care of us very well and very knowledgeable about the history.More
, Jan 2024
2 days in the mountains
Alvin was attentive and good company. He went to the extra effort to show us things we were interested in viewing and provided detailed information.More
Robert Fleming, Jan 2024
Amazing trip in China
Guides were Mark in Beijing, Jenny in Xi’an, Frank in Guilin/Yangshuo and Kris and Peter in Shanghai. I can’t say enough how wonderful each of them were to us. They worked very hard to give us a five star tour. The drivers were five star as well. Our hotels were very clean and wonderful with a great breakfast buffet each morning. Our guides would take us to a great locals place for lunch each day and then dinner we were on our own, but each guide would give us fantastic places to go. I know without a doubt our trip was exceptional due to booking with Liberman at China Highlights Tour Company.More
Mary Ann Brady, Jan 2024
China Highlights is Excellent
Jenny was the tour guide in Xian, showed us the terracota warriors found in 1974 by a farmer behind a mountain masoleum, with projected ongoing excavations for next 100 years. Made clay model terracota warriors.Jenny is very enthusiastic and bubbly, helped us all the way, from picking up us from train station to dropping us off at the airport.More
Brahma P, Jan 2024
Datong, China's best kept secret!
I've had multiple guides for different locations with China highlights but Joy was exceptional. She was easy to talk to, super knowledgeable and also amazingly organised. When visiting the Yungang grottoes not only did I get wonderful explanations of the symbolism of the cave carvings and history of the art styles but Joy even prepared a notepad for the commemorative stamps available there so that I had a souvenir to tax home with me.More
Kris, Jan 2024
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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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.
- 16-Day Grand Egypt Tour with White Desert from US$4,362 p/p
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
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:
Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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- How to Plan a Trip to Egypt 2024/2025 & Itinerary Ideas
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- Weather in Egypt in January 2024: Travel Tips for First-Timers
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