We now have needed 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 by Egypt, taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, and Hurghada.
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 proud of our selection.
Pre-departure, they emailed us our itinerary with the non-obligatory 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 modifications, honking, swerving, and flashing lights with animals, folks, and autos in every single place.
El Tonsy Resort is your base in your arrival and final night time. Fortunately we didn’t count on 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 suppose you would want warmth in Egypt, however it was the center of winter, chilly at night time. No complaints with the situation, 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 secure, by the best way). Plus, they’ve somewhat 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 high quality.
It’s fairly onerous to interrupt down a complete journey into one put up however right here goes:
Your tour begins with one of the best in my view by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, the mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza, and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. Today was the spotlight.
That night time is spent aboard the prepare for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper prepare for an additional £50 per individual. Others who caught the usual prepare froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with dinner and breakfast. Sadly, Expat Discover by no means informed us in regards to the offered meals, so we ate earlier than we acquired on board however what we may slot in was scrumptious.
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 accommodations 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 flooring (throw your bathroom paper within the bin, not the john)! 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 on the Nile River
Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (fairly boring) and driving previous the Unfinished Obelisk. On the identical time, the spotlight is the Philae Temple. It’s fairly magical when the sunsets throughout the Nile replicate off the stonework.
The night ended with an non-obligatory dinner in a conventional Nubian household’s home. The meals was scrumptious, and also you higher deliver your singing and dancing sneakers.
Day 4 on the Felucca
The next day and night time 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 can be cosy if you happen to deliver your sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew was 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 dissatisfied 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 whole 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 deliver your bathroom 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 three nights onboard in comfy lodging, a pool, and buffets morning, midday, and night time.
Day 5 Temple Exploring
Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent solution to begin a brand new day. Sadly, there’s 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 sufficient, with bathrooms on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you spend more often than not being pushed round.
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 another 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 suggest 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 destroy it for everybody by taking pictures, as you can 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 might want to go 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that night time.
Day Seven and Eight on the Purple Sea
The next two days on the Purple Sea are yours to do no matter you want, so use them correctly. 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 somewhat 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 chill out on a seashore and skim a guide after such a busy schedule. It’s onerous to go away, and the 6 – 8 hour bus journey again to Cairo is difficult.
Journey Tip: In the event 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 ultimate day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favourite a part of the day was the Cairo Museum with a superb tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after studying about it over the past eight days.
By the point we hit the previous space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church, we have been spent on historical past, however our information made an affordable 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.
Day Ten is the tip
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 gives transport again to the airport, which was nice.
The Negatives of Egypt Journey
The journey was improbable, 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 have been all the time hungry. Perhaps it’s simply Kiwis and Aussies that eat on a regular basis, however it critically felt like we have been continuously ravenous, with lunches being served normally after 4 pm and dinner at 9 pm onwards. It could be the Egyptian solution to eat at these instances, however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a lot of snacks for the highway that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
- There was generally an absence of course in what gave the impression to be taking place. All the things is finished in Egyptian time, so be affected person.
- We have been usually delayed or delayed with little to no steering on how lengthy it could take to get from place to position. Slightly data goes a good distance as then we will plan.
- Extra free time can be nice to discover locations independently reasonably than have our fingers 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 data and care have been wonderful.
- The tour was distinctive worth for cash, and it was the most cost effective tour we may discover although we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
- The guides have been extremely educated and by no means didn’t 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 general, so have been the lodging and transport choices.
We extremely suggest you guide with Expat Discover in case you are contemplating a visit by Egypt.
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Disclaimer: Expat Discover offered us with a reduction for our ten-day tour of Egypt; nevertheless, our ideas are all the time our personal.