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We’ve got wished to go to Egypt for some time now, so when the chance…

We’ve got wished 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 move 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

We selected Expat Discover as a result of they have been the most cost effective with all the identical sights and ultimately, we have been pleased with our alternative.

Pre-departure, they emailed us our itinerary with the optionally available excursions and extra prices for entry charges, together with budgeting appropriately. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions relating to flights, insurance coverage, and well being and security recommendation.

From the beginning, they have been very skilled. Touchdown in Cairo, we have been personally greeted the day earlier than our tour and transported to our Metropolis middle resort. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, and flashing lights with animals, folks, and autos in every single 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 have been chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t assume you would wish warmth in Egypt, nevertheless it was the center of winter, chilly at evening. No complaints with the placement, although, as we may see the Pyramids within the distance and have been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely protected, by the best way). Plus, they’ve slightly 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’ll get on effective.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s fairly arduous to interrupt down a complete journey into one put up however right here goes:

Day One

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

Pyramids of Giza

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

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Day Two in Egypt

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 choice aboard the Felucca, so the following few days are from that perspective.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Resort on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the attractive 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 subsequent door erupted, sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room ground (throw your rest room paper within the bin, not the john)! Fortunately we woke in time to rescue our luggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover, and we didn’t blame the Resort both, as shit occurs.

Day Three on the Nile River

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (moderately boring) and driving previous the Unfinished Obelisk. On the similar time, the spotlight is the Philae Temple. It’s fairly magical when the sunsets throughout the Nile replicate off the stonework.

Philae Temple Sunset

The night ended with an optionally available dinner in a conventional Nubian household’s home. The meals was scrumptious, and also you higher convey your singing and dancing footwear.

Day 4 on the Felucca

The next day and evening are spent stress-free aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than eight folks, you’ll be comfortable if you happen to convey your sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew was jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night. Nevertheless, blankets have 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 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 bear in mind to convey your rest room paper (which you want in every single place in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

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

Day 5 Temple Exploring

Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent option to begin a brand new day. Sadly, there may be little time for rest earlier than you might be off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. The transportation was greater than enough, with bathrooms on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you spend more often than not being pushed round.

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

Day Six on the tombs

Yet another day, yet one more busy schedule. Speeding to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings, it’s one other 8 am begin. You might be solely allowed to go to three tombs, and we advocate the information picks: Ramses II, IV, and IX.

Journey Tip: You might be NOT allowed to take your digital camera with you off the bus. Please don’t break it for everybody by taking images, as you’ll 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 go 6 hours to succeed in Hurghada that evening.

Day Seven and Eight on the Crimson Sea

The next 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 snorkeling and diving. The dive and the employees have been nice, however the entire day appeared slightly rushed, which was a disgrace. Hold a watch out for our put up on our diving expertise in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So good with the ability to calm down on a seaside and browse a guide after such a busy schedule. It’s arduous to go away, and the 6 – 8 hour bus journey again to Cairo is difficult.

Journey Tip: In case you plan to do the tour over New 12 months’s Eve, 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 letdown, however when hasn’t New 12 months’s Eve been!

Day 9 in Cairo

Your closing day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favourite a part of the day was the Cairo Museum with a wonderful tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after studying about it during the last eight days.

By the point we hit the outdated space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church, we have been spent on historical past, however our information made an inexpensive effort at conserving 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 is the tip

With the tour over, it’s time to move 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 of Egypt Journey

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

  • It felt like we have been at all times hungry. Possibly it’s simply Kiwis and Aussies that eat on a regular basis, nevertheless it significantly felt like we have been always ravenous, with lunches being served normally after 4 pm and dinner at 9 pm onwards. It may be the Egyptian option to eat at these occasions, however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a number of snacks for the street that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
  • There was generally an absence of path in what appeared to be occurring. Every thing is completed in Egyptian time, so be affected person.
  • We have been typically delayed or delayed with little to no steering on how lengthy it could take to get from place to put. Slightly data goes a good distance as then we are able to plan.
  • Extra free time could be nice to discover locations independently moderately than have our arms held in every single place.

The Positives of touring in Egypt:

As we mentioned 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 have been wonderful.
  • The tour was distinctive worth for cash, and it was the most cost effective tour we may discover despite the fact that we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
  • The guides have been extremely educated and by no means did not reply any questions we had. The perception into the day by day lives of the folks 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 have been the lodging and transport choices.

We extremely advocate you guide with Expat Discover in case you are contemplating a visit via Egypt.

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Disclaimer: Expat Discover supplied us with a reduction for our ten-day tour of Egypt; nonetheless, our ideas are at all times our personal.