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 would have liked to move 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.
The explanation we selected Expat Discover was that they have been the most affordable in value with all the identical sights and in the long run we have been proud of our alternative.
Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the elective excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we may funds 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 lodge. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and automobiles in every single place.
El Tonsy Resort is your base on 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 assume you would wish warmth in Egypt but it surely was the center of winter and it was 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 protected 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 high quality.
It’s fairly exhausting to interrupt down an entire journey into one publish however right here goes:
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. This present day was positively 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 advised us in regards to the supplied meals so we ate earlier than we obtained 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 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 next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room flooring (throw your rest room 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.
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 unquestionably the Philae Temple. When the sunsets throughout the Nile reflecting off the stonework it actually is kind of magical.
The night ended with an elective dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher convey your singing and dancing footwear.
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’ll be comfortable when you convey 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 supplied.
With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be disenchanted 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 your entire 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 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 a wonderful technique 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, the entire transportation was greater than enough 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 choose of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and attractive buffet breakfast.
Yet one more day, yet 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 advocate the guides picks which have been Ramses II, IV and IX.
Journey Tip: You’re NOT allowed to take your digicam with you off the bus. Please don’t smash it for everybody by taking photographs 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 it is advisable to drive 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that night time.
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 have been nice however the entire day appeared a little bit rushed which was a disgrace. Preserve an eye fixed out for our publish on our diving expertise in Hurghada.
So good having the ability to loosen up on a seaside and browse a guide 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: When 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 Yr on the Resort in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!
Your remaining 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 matches completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having discovered about it over the past 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 great 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 move 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 would make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:
- It felt like we have been all the time hungry. Possibly it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis but it surely severely felt like we have been continuously ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It could be the Egyptian technique 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 route in what appeared to be taking place. The whole lot is completed on Egyptian time so be affected person.
- We have been typically delayed or not on time with little to no steering as to how lengthy it might take to get from place to put. A little bit data goes an extended was as then we will plan forward.
- Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself somewhat than have our fingers held in every single place.
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 data and care was extraordinarily good.
- The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most affordable tour we may discover though we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
- The guides have 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 advocate you guide with Expat Discover if you’re contemplating a visit by Egypt.
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Disclaimer: Expat Discover supplied us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nonetheless as all the time our ideas are all the time our personal.