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We’ve been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance…

We’ve been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New 12 months interval arose we knew we wanted to go there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour via Egypt taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.

Expat Explore Group Photo

The rationale we selected Expat Discover was that they had been the most cost effective in value with all the identical sights and in the long run we had been proud of our selection.

Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the non-compulsory excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we might funds correctly. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions relating to flights, insurance coverage and uhealth and security recommendation.

From the beginning they had been very skilled. Touchdown in Cairo we had been personally greeted the day earlier than our tour and transported to our Metropolis centre lodge. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane modifications, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and autos all over the place.

El Tonsy Resort is your base on your arrival and final evening. Fortunately we didn’t anticipate a lot as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms had been freezing chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t assume you would want warmth in Egypt however it was the center of winter and it was chilly at evening. No complaints with the placement although as we might see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely secure by the way in which). Plus they’ve a little bit bar/restaurant with low cost meals and free Wi-Fi. Simply purchase your snacks and water from the grocery store throughout the street and you’re going to get on wonderful.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s fairly exhausting to interrupt down a complete journey into one publish however right here goes:

Day One

Your tour begins with the perfect for my part by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. Today was positively the spotlight.

That evening is spent aboard the practice for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper practice for an additional £50 per particular person. Others that caught the usual practice froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Sadly Expat Discover by no means instructed us in regards to the supplied meals so we ate earlier than we received on-board however what we might slot in was scrumptious.

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Day Two

The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship whereas the others spend time in resorts and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper possibility aboard the Felucca so the subsequent few days are from that perspective.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Resort on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the gorgeous rays of the solar and managed to show our pasty white our bodies a extra becoming barely white shade. The Resort was nice till the bathroom next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room ground (throw your bathroom paper within the bin not the toilet)! Fortunately we woke in time to rescue our baggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover and we didn’t blame the Resort both as shit occurs.

Day Three

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (pretty boring) and a drive previous the Unfinished Obelisk. Whereas the spotlight is certainly the Philae Temple. When the sunsets throughout the Nile reflecting off the stonework it actually is kind of magical.

Philae Temple Sunset

The night ended with an non-compulsory dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher deliver your singing and dancing footwear.

Day 4

The next day and evening is spent enjoyable aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than 8 individuals you may be comfortable in the event you deliver your individual sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew had been jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night nevertheless blankets had been supplied.

With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be disillusioned with the meals both.

The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the loopy enjoyable Nubian crews. This was positively one of many highlights of the complete journey for us.

Journey Tip: Don’t be delay by doing all your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and keep in mind to deliver your individual bathroom paper (which you want all over the place in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

By all accounts, from the opposite tour members, the River Cruise is simply as nice with 3 nights on-board in snug lodging, a pool and  buffets morning, midday and evening.

Day 5

Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent solution to begin a brand new day. Sadly there’s little time for leisure earlier than you’re off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I need to say, all the transportation was greater than ample with bogs on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you do spend the vast majority of the time being pushed round.

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The Lotus Resort in Luxor was in all probability the decide of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and attractive buffet breakfast.

Day Six

Another day, another busy schedule. Dashing to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings it’s one other 8am begin. You’re solely allowed to go to three tombs and we suggest the guides picks which had been Ramses II, IV and IX.

Journey Tip: You’re NOT allowed to take your digital camera with you off the bus. Please don’t spoil it for everybody by taking images as you may be charged by safety when caught.

We additionally squeezed within the crowded rock carved Hatshepsut Temple however solely drove previous Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as you must drive 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that evening.

Day Seven and Eight

The following two days on the Crimson Sea are yours to do no matter you want so use them properly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the employees had been nice however the entire day appeared a little bit rushed which was a disgrace. Maintain a watch out for our publish on our diving expertise in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So good with the ability to loosen up on a seaside and browse a guide after such a busy schedule. It’s exhausting to depart and the 6 – 8 hour bus experience again to Cairo is hard.

Journey Tip: In case you plan to do the tour over New Years Eve then you’ll have to depart Hurghada half a day early which sucked because it meant celebrating the New 12 months on the Resort in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!

Day 9

Your ultimate day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favorite a part of the day was positively the Cairo Museum with a wonderful tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having discovered about it during the last 8 days.

By the point we hit the previous space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we had been spent on historical past however our information made an excellent effort at holding us entertained.

The final group exercise is free time for an hour or so on the Khan El Khalili souk markets the place the touts attempt to prise your money from you for the final time from each nook and cranny.

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Day Ten

With the tour over it’s time to go house. Our flight was late the next evening so we walked across the metropolis and Souks on our personal for the day. Expat Discover offers transport again to the airport which was nice.

The Negatives

The journey was superior however we expect it’s vital to notice the little issues that would make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:

  • It felt like we had been at all times hungry. Possibly it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis however it significantly felt like we had been continuously ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It may be the Egyptian solution to eat at these occasions however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a lot of snacks for the street that are very low cost at supermarkets.
  • There was typically a scarcity of course in what appeared to be occurring. All the things is finished on Egyptian time so be affected person.
  • We had been usually delayed or not on time with little to no steerage as to how lengthy it might take to get from place to position. Somewhat information goes a protracted was as then we are able to plan forward.
  • Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself moderately than have our palms held all over the place.

The Positives:

As we stated above, the journey was wonderful and the little constructive issues far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable journey.

  • Pre-departure info and care was extraordinarily good.
  • The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most cost effective tour we might discover despite the fact that we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
  • The guides had been extraordinarily educated and by no means did not reply any questions we had. The insights into the each day lives of the individuals round us was a pleasant break from all of the historical past. Additionally they ensured you by no means felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • The Felucca journey was higher than anticipated and total so was the lodging and transport choices.

All in all we extremely suggest you guide with Expat Discover if you’re contemplating a visit via Egypt.

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Disclaimer: Expat Discover supplied us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nevertheless as at all times our ideas are at all times our personal.