Classic Egypt & Jordan


If you’ve been dreaming of exploring the ancient cities of Cairo, Luxor, Petra and Amman – this Egypt and Jordan discovery trip is just the one. Witness the immensity of the great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, followed by a cruise down the Nile and a tour through the Valley of the Kings. Learn Egypt’s mythological history with a local leader as you traverse Karnak Temple and watch the sun go down from a traditional felucca boat. Head to Jordan – where you’ll see your second wonder of the world at The Treasury in Petra. Explore at your own pace with lots of free time, enjoy comfortable accommodation perfect for a recharge and then head to a local family’s house for a traditional dinner over some storytelling. Float in the Dead Sea as you reflect on this lifechanging trip and give your heart over to the Middle East – as many have before you.

15 days, from

$4,968

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: XEKBC
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  Egypt Jordan
Accommodation: Hotel (8 nights), Cruise boat (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Desert camp (1 night)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Plane , Cruise boat , Felucca , Overnight sleeper train , 4x4 Jeep
Included Meals:

  • 14 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 9 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • 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.

  • Be welcomed into the home of families in Cairo and Petra, where you’ll chat with friendly family hosts over traditional meals and learn what life is like in these diverse locations.

  • Set sail down the Nile on a four-night riverboat cruise and watch day turn to dusk from the sundeck. Then, experience the world’s most iconic river from a traditional felucca boat.

  • 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.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Cairo

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt. You'll be met on arrival at Cairo International Airport and transferred to your hotel, before your Egyptian adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm this evening. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. If you have some time spare, perhaps get out and explore the busy city streets or visit the Cairo Citadel which dates back to 1176 and is home to multiple museums and mosques.

Day 2: Cairo - Overnight Train

This morning after breakfast you’ll see two of the world’s most iconic sights – the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Explore structures that have stood for over 4500 years and learn the history from a true local. For an additional charge, you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (although occasionally it’s closed to visitors). The Pyramids complex can be very hot in the summer months and has little shade to protect you from the sun so prepare accordingly. Your adventure continues to the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's greatest collections of ancient artefacts. Recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun, the gleaming jewellery, golden death mask and gilded sarcophagi are an impressive site to say the least. It’s clear this pharaoh was prepared for a lavish afterlife! Take some time to freshen up back at the hotel before you board an overnight sleeper train to Luxor.

Day 3: Nile River Cruise

It's an early start this morning as you'll pull into Luxor around 6am. Take advantage of the early morning peace by visiting Karnak Temple – a spectacular collection of temples, chapels and pylons that are perhaps the most impressive of all the Pharaoh’s monumental works. Learn the secrets of an ancient Egyptian sanctuary, which developed over 1000 years and was, at its peak, the most important religious complex in Egypt. Your leader will take you through some of the most incredible highlights, such as the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Great Temple of Amun. After exploring Karnak, board your Nile cruise boat and settle into your cabin. This afternoon you'll have the option of heading off on a walking tour of Luxor and its bazaar with your leader. 

Day 4: Nile River Cruise

Today you’ll hop in a private minivan and discover ancient Thebes. Your first stop is the Colossi of Memnon – two 17-metre-high statues on Luxor's west bank. Continue on to the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills are over 60 pharaoh tombs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. With your leader, explore the place where the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (16th to 11th century BC) were secretly interred for all eternity, and where discoveries are still being made. Your group leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people, and the significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics, still well preserved in the deepest tombs. Visit three of the royal tombs, including Tutankhamun’s tomb where he is buried, then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut – a columned building set against high cliffs that create a spectacular natural amphitheatre. The afternoon is yours to explore. Maybe you'd like to shop in the market or visit the world's first Mummification Museum, where you can discover the secrets of pharaonic preservation. This evening, set sail to Edfu.  

Day 5: Nile River Cruise

This morning, enjoy breakfast before setting off towards Kom Ombo. The temple of Kom Ombo, in the town of the same name, is an unusual double temple right on the bank of the Nile. This second century BC complex is unique because it has a mirror-image design, with either side dedicated to a different set of gods. One half is known as the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god of fertility), and the other half is dedicated to Haroeris (also known as Horus the falcon god). The whole temple is full of fascinating reliefs. You’ll explore Kom Ombo with your leader and absorb the history of the place, before having lunch aboard the ship. Sail onwards to Aswan, the home of beautiful Nile Valley scenery and significant archaeological sites.  

Day 6: Nile River Cruise

You have time this morning to explore or relax as you choose. Your leader can recommend one of the many optional activities that are available to you in this incredible location. Explore the picturesque city centre and its bazaar, opt to visit the High Dam and Unfinished Obelisk or feed your history needs with the Nubian Museum. Maybe you’d like to visit the breathtaking Abu Simbel – built by Ramses II, it was the gateway to Egypt for Southern Africans and its imposing facade clearly delineated the line between what was the Pharaoh's land and what was not. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, carved directly out of the mountain on the west bank of the Nile, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. Late in the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely sailing trip on a traditional felucca before dinner on the ship.

Day 7: Cairo

After breakfast today, say goodbye to your nights spent on the Nile. Visit Philae Temple this morning, an island-based temple complex built during the reign of Ptolemy II (around 280 BC). These picturesque walls show hieroglyphic scenes from Egyptian mythology – when Isis brought Osiris back to life, gave birth to Horus and was mummified after death. Catch a short flight back to Cairo. On your return to the capital, visit the Islamic parts of the city and the frenetic backstreets of the bazaar with your leader. A labyrinth of narrow streets and passageways, Khan is one of the biggest and oldest markets in the world. The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience – a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes. To celebrate your time in Egypt, join a local Cairo family for a delicious home-cooked dinner. The food and conversation will surely make for an evening to remember!

Day 8: Amman

This morning take a short flight from Cairo to Amman. You will be unescorted on this flight. On arrival at Queen Alia International Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel, ready for your adventure to begin at 6 pm with a welcome meeting for the next stage of your trip. If you arrive early, feel free to head out and explore – highlights include the citadel with its amazing sweeping views of Amman, the Jordan Museum, which is home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Roman Theatre, right in the middle of downtown Amman. After the meeting, you may like to get to know your group over an optional dinner, or explore on your own and pick up a coffee from one of the cafes, partnering it with an ara’yes – a toasted sandwich filled with spicy mincemeat.

Day 9: Wadi Rum

After breakfast today, journey down the Desert Highway to the spellbinding Wadi Rum, a landscape of rugged sandstone mountains standing tall among an ochre desert floor. Meet your Bedouin hosts on arrival followed by free time for lunch, before heading into this desolate, romantic area. Transport into the Rum is by way of jeeps operated by the local Bedouin community, part of an initiative by the Jordanian Government to bring much-needed income into this region. Visit several of Wadi Rum's distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence and spectacular desert landscapes. The Bedouins live in scattered camps throughout the area and you'll enjoy an evening under the stars at one of these sites.

Day 10: Aqaba

Enjoy a spectacular sunrise at your desert camp, perhaps checking out a few more of the local Wadi Rum sites or taking a scenic walk before you leave. Depart Wadi Rum mid-morning for the city of Aqaba on the Red Sea. Check into your hotel on arrival and head out for a brief orientation of the town with your leader – the small Ottoman Mamluk Fort, dating from the 14th century and from where Lawrence of Arabia rode to Cairo, is worth a look – otherwise, most of the fun is to be found in the water. With great visibility and abundant marine life, this is an incredible spot for snorkelling, and the warm waters play host to clownfish, angelfish, sea turtles and coral formations. Speak to your leader if you’d like to arrange snorkelling, or you may prefer to acquaint yourself with the hotel's pool or head to the beach.

Day 11: Petra

This morning, enjoy some relaxation time in Aqaba before travelling to the fabled city of Petra. Dating back to the sixth century BC, Petra is considered the crown jewel of Jordan, featuring an impressive series of tombs and dwellings carved directly into the rock. The site remained unknown to the wider world until 1812 when it was visited by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. In 1985, Petra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, and simply put, is one of the world’s most incredible ancient sites. On arrival, settle into your hotel and check out the village before enjoying an included dinner at your hotel.

Day 12: Petra

Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. The iconic Petra view – the Treasury's glorious facade, glimpsed from the narrow cleft known as the Siq – is arguably the single most striking sight of the entire region. The Siq leads through the rock and is sometimes only a few metres wide, with walls soaring up to 180 metres on either side. Join your guide and explore the old Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs, before enjoying free time to experience Petra at your own pace. Maybe climb up to the Monastery, carved from a mountain summit, where you’ll find magnificent views of the entire site. To cap off a truly memorable day, be welcomed into a local home for dinner. On the menu will often be maqluba – a casserole with rice, vegetables and chicken which is cooked, flipped, then served with either yoghurt or an Arab salad with tahina sauce. Chat to your friendly family hosts about the delicious meal and what life is like in such a popular spot.

Day 13: Amman

After breakfast, drive to the ancient Crusader castle at Shobak, where your leader will show you the grounds, a small chapel and the original gatehouse. This ancient castle was originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Depart the castle and stop off at the viewpoint overlooking the Dana Nature Reserve before arriving in Madaba where you’ll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and see an impressive ancient mosaic map of the Holy Land. Arrive in Amman in the late afternoon, where your leader will recommend some great restaurants to sample the best of the city’s food scene.

Day 14: Amman

Take a short drive north to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world and now home to some of the best Greco-Roman ruins around. Jerash has a striking collection of archways, theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a morning exploring. Then, drive to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This isn’t actually a sea, but rather a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. The mud here is supposed to have healing properties, so why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Spend some time relaxing here before returning to Amman for the evening. Maybe spend tonight at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman or ask your leader about the traditional cafes dotted around the city where locals spend their evenings.

Day 15: Amman

Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around noon and you are free to leave at any time.

15 days, from $4,968

to book call 1-844-205-6226