We’ve got been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New Yr interval arose we knew we wanted to go there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour by way of Egypt taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.
The rationale we selected Expat Discover was that they have been the most affordable in worth with all the identical sights and in the long run we have been proud of our selection.
Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the non-obligatory excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we might price range correctly. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions concerning flights, insurance coverage and uhealth 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 centre resort. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane modifications, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, folks and automobiles in every single place.
El Tonsy Resort is your base to your arrival and final night time. Fortunately we didn’t anticipate a lot as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms have been freezing chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t suppose you would want warmth in Egypt however it was the center of winter and it was chilly at night time. No complaints with the situation although as we might 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 way in which). 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 highway and you’re going to get on wonderful.
It’s fairly exhausting to interrupt down an entire journey into one put up however right here goes:
Your tour begins with the very best 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. This present day was undoubtedly the spotlight.
That night time is spent aboard the prepare for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely advocate the Sleeper prepare for an additional £50 per individual. Others that caught the usual prepare froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Sadly Expat Discover by no means informed us in regards to the offered meals so we ate earlier than we bought on-board however what we might slot in was scrumptious.
The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship whereas the others spend time in accommodations and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper choice aboard the Felucca so the subsequent few days are from that viewpoint.
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 rest room paper within the bin not the toilet)! 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.
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 sort of magical.
The night ended with an non-obligatory dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher carry your singing and dancing sneakers.
The next day and night time is spent stress-free aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than 8 folks you may be cosy in case you carry your personal sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew have been jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night nonetheless blankets have been offered.
With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be upset 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 undoubtedly one of many highlights of the whole journey for us.
Journey Tip: Don’t be postpone by doing all your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and bear in mind to carry your personal rest room paper (which you want in every single place in Egypt anyway).
By all accounts, from the opposite tour members, the River Cruise is simply as nice with 3 nights on-board in comfy lodging, a pool and buffets morning, midday and night time.
Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent strategy to begin a brand new day. Sadly there’s little time for leisure earlier than you might be off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I need to say, all the transportation was greater than satisfactory with bogs on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you do spend nearly all of the time being pushed round.
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 engaging buffet breakfast.
Yet another day, yet one more busy schedule. Dashing to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings it’s one other 8am begin. You might be solely allowed to go to three tombs and we advocate the guides picks which have been Ramses II, IV and IX.
Journey Tip: You might be NOT allowed to take your digicam with you off the bus. Please don’t smash it for everybody by taking photographs 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 it’s essential drive 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that night time.
Day Seven and Eight
The subsequent two days on the Crimson Sea are yours to do no matter you want so use them correctly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the employees have been nice however the entire day appeared slightly rushed which was a disgrace. Preserve a watch out for our put up on our diving expertise in Hurghada.
So good having the ability to calm down on a seashore and browse a e book after such a busy schedule. It’s exhausting to go away and the 6 – 8 hour bus trip again to Cairo is hard.
Journey Tip: If you happen to 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 Yr on the Resort in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!
Your last day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favorite a part of the day was undoubtedly 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 realized about it during the last 8 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 a superb effort at protecting 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.
With the tour over it’s time to go dwelling. Our flight was late the next night time 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 journey was superior however we predict it’s essential to notice the little issues that might make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:
- It felt like we have been at all times hungry. Possibly it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis however it critically felt like we have been continuously ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It could be the Egyptian strategy to eat at these instances however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase numerous snacks for the highway that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
- There was generally a scarcity of route in what gave the impression to be occurring. Every thing is completed on Egyptian time so be affected person.
- We have been typically delayed or delayed with little to no steering as to how lengthy it might take to get from place to position. A bit information goes an extended was as then we will plan forward.
- Extra free time could be nice to discover locations by yourself slightly than have our fingers held in every single place.
As we stated above, the journey was wonderful and the little optimistic issues far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable journey.
- Pre-departure data and care was extraordinarily good.
- The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most affordable tour we might discover although we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
- The guides have been extraordinarily educated and by no means didn’t reply any questions we had. The insights into the every 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 was the lodging and transport choices.
All in all we extremely advocate you e book with Expat Discover in case you are contemplating a visit by way of Egypt.
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Disclaimer: Expat Discover offered us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nonetheless as at all times our ideas are at all times our personal.