Egypt and the Nile: A recommended Itinerary
Fly into Cairo - you probably will arrive at night. If so, get to a bus and head for Sharm-El-Sheik (Ras Mohammed). It is a nine-hour drive, very comfortable and you will be able to snooze, then arrive in early A.M. for check into hotel (two nights).
Day 1 & 2 - Sharm-El-Sheikh: Dive, snorkel, relax and enjoy a couple of days on the Red Sea. Take a boat to the islands.
Day 3 - Take the hydroplane to Hurgada (2 hrs), and the bus to Luxor (3 hrs).
Luxor: Check in to a hotel (Winter Palace is right on the Nile) for two nights. Get up at 4:00 am and go to Valley of the Kings, best seen at sunrise. Back to Luxor for Temple Tour (use a tour guide to explain stuff). Do some shopping at the market. Go for a feluka ride (25 LE/hr) in the Nile. Go back to the temples at sunset when the colors will be most spectacular. Sound and light at Karnak is very well done.
Day 5 - Get up early in the a.m. again for sunrise colors. Do the bus to Aswan, to include stops at Edfu and Kom Ombu. Check into Cataract Hotel in Aswan. Feluka around the elephantine islands. Go to the botanical garden on Kitchener’s island. Visit the Pillae temple, and book early departure for Abu Simbel. Enjoy a walk through the Aswan souq in the evening.
Day 6 - To Abu Simbel. You will leave the hotel at 4:00 am. Return for lunch and depart Aswan for Cairo.
Day 7 - Check into hotel in Cairo, and do sunset visit and camel trek around the Giza pyramids and Sphinx (the Mina hotel is a historic place to stay, but the Nile Hilten is adjacent to the Egyptian museum, best seen as soon as it opens in the morning (Don’t rush it!). The sound and light show at Giza, where the Sphinx has been greatly restored…
You can depart Cairo this afternoon, or stay another day if desired. Cost of the trip depends on how big you like to tip, what accommodations you select (Royal Suite at Winter Palace is only $550/night), and whether or not you fly first class. Do you prefer caviar and champagne? They do have a McDonald’s in Cairo, and the local food is hard to beat for price. Stay away from water out of the tap, drink plenty of Stella, and don’t use ice in your drinks. Select your salads carefully, and do bring along lomotil or immodium just in case. Don’t forget your camera, and a handbook of maps and sites. It wouldn’t hurt to read up on Egyptology before you start your vacation. Have a great time. Don’t step in the feluka on the way to aSwan :--)
Compliments of GD Swan - 30 March, 1996
Alternatives for Consideration:
1. Take a feluka cruise from Luxor to Aswan. Just plan a couple of extra days in case there is no wind.
2. Avoid Hurgada, take the hydrofoil to Sharm-El-Sheik
3. Visit Alexandria, the Mediterranean resort city and Graeco-Roman museum.
4. While in Cairo, visit the Pharaonic Village, with the actors, etc.
5. Climb Mr. Sinai and visit the Chapel of the Burning Bush (could be enroute to Sharm El Sheikh).