We’ve 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 would have liked 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 explanation we selected Expat Discover was that they had been the most affordable in worth with all the identical sights and in the long run we had been pleased with 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 may finances 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 adjustments, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and automobiles all over the 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 had been freezing 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 and it was chilly at night time. No complaints with the placement although as we may 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 best way). Plus they’ve a 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’ll get on fantastic.
It’s fairly laborious to interrupt down an entire journey into one publish 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, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. This present day was positively 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 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 advised us in regards to the supplied meals so we ate earlier than we received on-board however what we may 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 lodges and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper choice 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 rest room 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.
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 conventional Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher convey 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 individuals you can be cosy when you convey your individual sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew had been jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night nonetheless 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 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 convey your individual rest room paper (which you want all over the 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 a wonderful method to begin a brand new day. Sadly there may be little time for rest 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 sufficient 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.
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, another busy schedule. Speeding 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 digicam with you off the bus. Please don’t wreck it for everybody by taking images 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 have to drive 6 hours to succeed in Hurghada that night time.
Day Seven and Eight
The subsequent two days on the Pink 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 bit rushed which was a disgrace. Hold an eye fixed out for our publish on our diving expertise in Hurghada.
So good with the ability to chill out on a seaside and browse a e book after such a busy schedule. It’s laborious to go away and the 6 – 8 hour bus experience 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 closing 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 realized about it during the last 8 days.
By the point we hit the outdated space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we had been spent on historical past however our information made a very good effort at preserving 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 house. Our flight was late the next night time so we walked across the metropolis and Souks on our personal for the day. Expat Discover supplies transport again to the airport which was nice.
The journey was superior however we predict it’s essential 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 nevertheless it severely felt like we had been continuously ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It is likely to be the Egyptian method to eat at these occasions however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase plenty of snacks for the street that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
- There was generally a scarcity of route in what appeared to be taking place. Every thing is finished on Egyptian time so be affected person.
- We had been typically delayed or not on time with little to no steering as to how lengthy it will take to get from place to put. Just a little information goes an extended was as then we will plan forward.
- Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself moderately than have our palms held all over the place.
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 was extraordinarily good.
- The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most affordable tour we may discover although 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 every 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 general so was the lodging and transport choices.
All in all we extremely suggest you e book with Expat Discover in case you are contemplating a visit by way of Egypt.
Be sure you subscribe now and are available again quickly so you’ll be able to get pleasure from studying our new posts which can cowl every part else in additional element.
Disclaimer: Expat Discover supplied us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nonetheless as at all times our ideas are at all times our personal.