Classic Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories

Trip Code: XEKNC

Why we love it

Explore an ancient wonder of the world - the Pyramids of Giza, along with the famed Sphinx, Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings, as you learn mythological history from an expert guide., You'll never forget your first glimpse of The Treasury in Petra. Spend a day taking in the majesty and mystery of this unforgettable place on a guided tour then enjoy free time to explore., Explore the Ramon Crater in the Negev Desert in a 4WD, spotting constellations unimpeded by light pollution on a tour with an expert local guide., Join Bedouin women for special lunch at Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving, an initiative that empowers women to apply their traditional weaving skills to the manufacture and sale of their products, and earn an income., Experience the unique sensation of floating in the super-salty waters of the Dead Sea, then cover yourself in the mineral-rich mud for a spa treatment like no other.

Is this trip right for me?

Cairo is notorious for road congestion and air pollution. Be prepared for one of the busiest cities in North Africa.

The walkways around ruins can be uneven, dusty and rocky, so be sure to bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. At major sites such as the Pyramids, you can expect to be exposed to the elements at length, so be prepared with a hat, sunscreen and plenty of fluids.

Temperatures can vary across this region and throughout the year. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, we start some days very early e.g. 6am. Be sure to review the ‘Climate and seasonal information’ section of the Essential Trip Information and consider the weather at the time of year you wish to travel.

Accommodation aboard the overnight train is in two-berth cabins, which are comfortable and air-conditioned. All bedding is provided, and western-style toilets are located in each carriage. General train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you have any dietary requirements.

The Nile Cruise includes four nights’ accommodation and full board (drinks are not included). Your ship will be docked each night in Aswan, Edfu or Luxor – please see the Itinerary for more details. When docked, Nile cruise ships are moored lengthways alongside each other, and your ship will most likely have a ship on either side. You walk through the other ships to reach the port.

In Wadi Rum we stay in a permanent tented camp with shared bathroom facilities. While the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cold at night and warm clothes are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.

Ramadan is an annual month-long festival, during which travel can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the day, such as restaurants or cafes, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider this when selecting your travel dates. You'll find dates and further information in the 'Climate and seasonal information' section of the Essential Trip Information.

Major sites can become congested during peak travel periods with buses of large pilgrim groups. While we do our best to plan our visits around these times, it’s not always possible. There may be delays, queues and private services that prevent us from entering some sites. Your leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

During your trip you will visit numerous religious sites. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and legs. Your leader will advise when such clothing is necessary.

Israel and the Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination, so it’s important to budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best local deals.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer to have your own room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included, valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. This trip includes domestic and international flights as indicated on the trip map. The luggage allowance is 23kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.
4. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for transport and entrance tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
5. Petra By Night is offered as an optional activity. This activity is currently scheduled to operate on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please check your departure date if you would like to do this activity as it is not available on all departures.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., DRONES
Drones are generally not permitted to enter or be used in Egypt, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use. If you are considering taking a drone with you, please check local laws and with your airline.

BINCOULARS
We do not recommend bringing binoculars into Egypt. Having binoculars often results in extended searches by airport security, which can result in multi-hour delays, and confiscation.

Physical rating

 
2

A basic level of fitness is required to be able to enjoy this trip to the fullest.

Joining your group

Barceló Cairo Pyramids Hotel, 229 Al Ahram Street, Gizah - El Cairo, Cairo, EGYPT, Phone: 002 0235823300, Fax: 002 0235823700

Just off Sharia Al Haram avenue, this upscale hotel offers elegant rooms that feature satellite TV and safes. Room service is available. Hotel facilities include three modern restaurants; one serves Italian fare and another has a terrace with panoramic views. Other amenities include a 24-hour bar, as well as a shisha bar next to the heated outdoor pool. There's also a gym, along with a sauna and a spa where massages are available.

Wifi is available in the Hotel Lobby and does incur a fee, please check with reception.

The Barcelo Cairo Pyramids is located 30kms from Cairo International Airport - around a 45 minute traffic permitting. It is a short 15 minute drive to the Giza Plateau.

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met before you reach immigration by a representative holding an Intrepid sign. This representative will assist you in obtaining a visa on arrival if required, before guiding you through immigration, luggage collection and to a waiting vehicle. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at any point, or if you are not able to find the representative, please contact the transfer operator directly: +20 12 2100 5565. You can also reach our local operations team on +201096811067 for further assistance.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The journey will take approximately 45mins, depending on the traffic, and cost approximately EGP300.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Azzahra, 13 Azzahra Street, 91190, Jerusalem, ISRAEL, Phone: +972 26282447, Fax: +972 26283960

Alternate Finish Point


Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 21

Lunches included: 7

Dinners included: 10

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER IN EGYPT
As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar, particularly in Upper Egypt (Luxor and Aswan). From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (for example - 5am). Please be prepared for this - our schedules are designed to make touring as comfortable for you as possible.

The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country.

Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures.

Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals or additional layers.

WEATHER
In summer temperatures are usually between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius. Tel Aviv and Tiberias tend to be hot and humid. Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, particularly at night. Masada & Eilat are extremely hot, often above 40 degrees Celsius.

The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. There’s often heavy rain and snowfall around these areas. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months. Temperatures generally range between 10 and15 degrees Celsius during the day.

SHABBAT
Beginning at sunset on Friday and ending at sunset on Saturday, Shabbat signifies the Jewish day of rest. In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, religious Jews do not work during Shabbat and many refrain from using electronics, driving, cooking and using the telephone in order to “keep Shabbat”.  Public transportation does not operate on Shabbat meaning there are no public buses or trains operating from sundown on Friday. Some train services will not resume until Sunday, others may start Saturday evening. Please consider this when planning your arrival and departure from Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement and it is considered by Jews to be the holiest day of the year. What happens: This is one of Israel’s most special days. The whole country shuts down. No planes land, no shops are open, no public transportation runs, no cars are driven, no TV is broadcast, no food is served in hotels. If travelling at this time, there will be itinerary changes.

Here are the dates of Yom Kippur for the next few years:
2023: September 24-25
2024: October 11-12
2025: October 1-2

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 10 March to 08 April 2024 and 1 March to 30 March 2025 and  and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 7 9700 4051

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +20 109 6811 067

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +972-(0)-58-690-6428 OR +972-(0)-54-721-4546

Intrepid's Local Operator: +201096811067

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

ACCOMMODATION STYLE
Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, three and four-star accommodation in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel)  is often not equal to same-star facilities in some western destinations. Rooms are clean and comfortable, however, you may note some small maintenance issues that have been overlooked, please assist us by bringing these to the attention of your group leader or local representative so that we can follow up with our hosts. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. Breakfast is included in 95% or our hotels, pleaser refer to our daily itinerary for meal inclusions.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi-share basis. 

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip, we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.  Standard check-in time is 1400 hours.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

SHOWERS
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times, you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING
As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses/hotels don't supply heating. In many cases, this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning.

ROOM ISSUES
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your group leader or local representative right away so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Transportation

SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING
Occasionally you may experience a Tourist Police Escort in your vehicle and whilst not common convoys between select towns or regions are possible. This practice has been implemented by local authorities to monitor the safety and security of visitors to Egypt.

OVERNIGHT TRAIN
On this itinerary, you will be travelling by overnight sleeper train. The sleeper cabins are about 2x1.5 meters and are 2 berths. There are 2 beds on top of each other. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There is also a compartment next to the upper bed for luggage storage and a small sink. Toilets are located at the end of the carriage. Each carriage has 10 cabins which are all lockable from the inside. If you have booked a single supplement you will be assigned to your own berth.

During your journey dinner and breakfast are provided however the meals are very basic and you may wish to bring along your own fresh fruit, snacks and water to supplement these.

NILE RIVERBOAT
You will be staying on a riverboat for the Nile River section of this itinerary. The company we work with has a large fleet of boats and the actual boat can’t be confirmed until 30 days before departure. However you can expect the following facilities; restaurant, bar & sundeck. Most boats will also have a small swimming pool and in that instance, swimming towels will be available for use.

All cabins have ensuites, air conditioning, and windows to enjoy the views of the Nile. Accommodation during the cruise is on a full board basis, often in the form of a buffet. Drinks can be purchased from the bar or restaurant. Bottled drinking water and tea and coffee are available but are not included so please ensure you check prices on board.

Internet is mostly charged at an additional fee. We recommend purchasing a local sim card for your data requirements, please refer to the Communications section of this Essential Trip Information document.

You will have the opportunity to disembark the boat each day as we explore some of the ancient sites included on the itinerary. The boat will also be anchored at port each evening. Only on the odd occasion would it sail at night depending on the water traffic at Esna Lock.

Most often when in port there can be many boats and you may be berthed side by side with another ship. Riverboats have anywhere from 50-70 cabins and you will be sharing the facilities with other travellers not on your tour.