How Long to Spend in Egypt: Itineraries for First-Timers

By Rita | Updated Jul. 31, 2023

Egypt is the top travel destination in the Middle East and best Arab country for a holiday, boasting pyramids, the Nile, and the Red Sea.

But, when planning your trip to Egypt, how many days are enough? How do we create an itinerary that makes the most of your vacation?

Here, we offer general ideas about trip durations and list four handpicked itineraries from 5 days to 3 weeks, for your inspiration.

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How Many Days Do You Need in Egypt?

When traveling to Egypt, there are two popular choices: visiting Egypt as part of a Middle East tour or focusing on Egypt.

If you're looking to see the multiple facets of the Middle East during your first visit, you could spend 5–7 days exploring Egypt's iconic destinations, before moving on to the next Middle Eastern country. For a quick trip in a week, you're recommended to visit Cairo for 3 days and then Luxor and Aswan for 2 days each.

If you would prefer to fully embrace the wonders of Egypt, many couples and families spend 10–14 days there for a more-relaxed pace and more diverse experiences. Beyond the "Golden Triangle route" (Cairo–Luxor–Aswan), you could also immerse yourself in an amazing Nile cruise (4–5 days) or unwind on the incredible beaches by the Red Sea.

To delve more deeply, you could extend your Egypt trip for over 2 weeks to go off the beaten path, such as to Mount Sinai (1day) and White Desert (3 days), unveil more hidden gems in the popular cities, or have a longer beach vacation at the Red Sea.

Both highly-rated and experienced at customizing private tours, we're experts at personalizing your itinerary to suit your preferred trip duration.

the Sphinx in CairoThe Sphinx in Cairo

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Egypt Itinerary for a Time-Smart Choice: 5–7 Days

For first-timers, 5–7 days offer a compact window of time to discover the most popular destinations at a comfortable pace: Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.

  • Cairo is a must for the celebrated pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Grand Egyptian Museum.
  • Luxor is not to be missed owing to the incredible tombs and temples, particularly the Valley of the Kings.
  • Aswan offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the serene Nile and visit the island temples of Philae. Additionally, Aswan provides easy access to the impressive Abu Simbel site.

You can see the following time-smart itinerary for a week's trip to Egypt. For a shorter 5-day tour, you could visit two of the three cities in one trip.

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (the Giza pyramid complex, the Cairo Citadel, and the Khan el–Khalili market)
  • Days 4–5 in Luxor (the Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, and the Karnak temple complex)
  • Days 6–7 in Aswan (the Philae temple complex, the Aswan High Dam, and a sunset felucca trip along the Nile)

You could also get more itinerary ideas about how to combine Egypt in multi-country Middle East trips or the top itineraries for 5 days in Egypt.

Egypt Itinerary for Families: 10 Days

Taking a camel ride to appreciate the pyramidsTaking a camel ride to appreciate the pyramids

If you're planning a family trip to Egypt, this itinerary is specially crafted for you. You and your kids could indulge in great cultural highlights and bask on sunny beaches.

You could see more family-friendly activities in the following outlined itinerary. Or tell us your interests and we'd love to help to create your ideal family vacation.

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (exploring multi-generational pyramids by camel riding, Cairo Citadel, food tours, the Khan el-Khalili market)
  • Day 4 inAswan (the High Dam, the Temple of Philae, and sunset felucca ride)
  • Days 5–6 in Luxor (unveilingthe 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, an Aqua Park at the Titanic Palace, and a desert safari day trip to a Bedouin village)

To add more fun to your family trip, we have specifically customized activities for you. You'll have the opportunity to marvel at the pyramids when riding on a camel or horse, sample the unique flavors of Egypt through our foodie tours in Cairo, take a night trip to Luxor by horse-drawn carriage, and experience a jeep desert safari near Hurghada.

We also have more Middle East family vacation alternatives ready to tailor to your needs, such as a 2-week Egypt and Jordan trip and a 15-day Israel, Jordan, and Egypt tour.

You could get more itinerary ideas in Egypt Itineraries for 10 Days>>>

Egypt Itinerary for Couples: 14 Days

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

This 2-week itinerary is specially designed for couples seeking a memorable trip. Compared with 10 days, you could have a more relaxing tour pace and have a fuller view of Egypt.

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

  • Days 1–3 in Cairo (the Giza pyramid complex with a camel ride, the Cairo Citadel, the Khan el-Khalili market, Saqqara, and the El Tannoura Dance Show)
  • Day 4 in Aswan (Abu Simbel)
  • Days 5–8 on a Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor (visit the Temple of Horus on a horse-drawn carriage, the Kom Ombo Temple, rustic scenery along the Nile, the Aswan High Dam, and the Philae temple complex)
  • Days 9–10 in Luxor (the Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak temple complex, and a sunrise hot-air balloon ride)
  • Days 11–14 in El Quseir (relax by the Red Sea and visit Quseir Castle)

You'll experience the magic of Egypt's rich history together through our immersive cultural experiences. Besides the popular pyramid tours in Giza, we have specially arranged a day trip to Saqqara, which boasts a less-crowded experience of the pyramids. Watching the fabulous El Tannoura Dance Show together creates the perfect ending to your romantic evening in Cairo.

For a milestone celebration, what could be more romantic than embarking on a thrilling sunrise balloon ride over Luxor? Hold your beloved and capture memorable pictures with photogenic views.

To enhance the intimacy of your romantic getaway, indulge in a leisurely Nile River cruise between Luxor and Aswan. For even more privacy, we highly recommend sailing along the Nile in a dahabiya. Just for 10–12 people, it offers more luxury and exclusive experiences for you both!

For your beach time, you're recommended to visit El Quseir for its tranquility and untouched charm. Besides the stunning beach scenery and fantastic water activities, you could also uncover the hidden gems of Quseir Castle.

An Egypt Itinerary for an In-Depth Exploration: 3 Weeks

Beyond the 2-week itinerary sights, with 3 weeks you could discover cultural attractions like Abu Simbel more fully, have more free time for a beach vacation, experience local life, or go for some adventures, such as a hike to Mount Sinai and venturing to a desert oasis — the Siwa Oasis.

But more often, you're recommended to combine Egypt with other countries, such as Jordan and Israel, for your 3-week vacation. You could spend 1 week in Egypt, 1 week in Israel, and 1 week in Jordan.

Map of Egypt Jordan and Egypt tour

For further ideas, feel free to contact us and we will create your ideal itinerary based on your preferences, group size, and other needs. You could also check out our 18-Day Egypt, Israel, and Jordan Tour for further inspiration or more itinerary options on 3-Week Itineraries to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel for First-Timers>>>

Booking Your Egypt Trips With Us

Want more itinerary options? You can check our handpicked itineraries for various durations: 5 days, 7 days, 10 days, 12 days, 14 days, and 3 weeks...

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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