Pdxtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3615 times:
I'm going on a birthright trip to Israel in May, and I'd love to spend a week or so exploring Egypt afterwards. I've done a little bit of research online about tour options and Nile Cruise options, but I really have no idea what to expect. Has anyone done a tour in Egypt or on the Nile? I'll hopefully be with a few other college friends, so it doesn't need to be luxurious. I don't want the tour or boat to be a dump either. What price am I looking at? Any other suggestions would be great. Also, it'd be great to know of any other week long trips near Israel that we should consider (I'd love to see Petra). I'll have a year of college arabic under my belt, so I'd like the chance to speak a bit even though I won't know the dialect.
RwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3221 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3606 times:
I'm doing a tour with Contiki tours this coming May. I've heard good reviews, and the 9-day price is $1065. Includes a few days in Cairo, and a cruise along the Nile. If you check out the forums on their website, there are some good trip reports.
There's another travel group called FriendlyPlanet, which includes an optional side trip to Jordan... but it's quite a bit more expensive.
Jafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3583 times:
I have been to Egypt twice, there is so much to see that the accomodation hardly matters, you'll be so tired after all the trips that sleep will come with the second beer (Egypt... a Muslim country, makes some really excellent beers..WTF??? but don't let that bother you )
The boat trips have the advantage of a relaxing pace and not too far to travel each day to see the sights. The Nile is a wonderful place to be and it beats the hell out of driving to places everyday.
The people are great but can seem a little in yer face when trying to sell you stuff but its all part of the deal and it doesn't get aggressive or unsafe.
Here is the tip for buying stuff.
NEVER show the slightest interest in anything you actually want to buy, turn your nose up and walk away, as they follow you just keep saying "I don't want it...not for any price" and look at something else, the price will just keep tumbling down and down and down, we bought stuff at less than 5% of the original offer....the guy still made his mark-up no doubt
Also....ball-point pens can be used to barter in some of the more remote sites (The Collossii of Memnon for one).
Expect a dusty, hot and noisy time but more culture than you can shake a stick at......everybody should go to Egypt!!
RwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3221 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3561 times:
Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 3): I have been to Egypt twice, there is so much to see that the accomodation hardly matters, you'll be so tired after all the trips that sleep will come with the second beer (Egypt... a Muslim country, makes some really excellent beers..WTF??? but don't let that bother you )
I look forward to trying a Stella .
I have a question for you: my tour includes 2 days in Cairo and I have one on my own afterwards to recouperate. Do you think thats enough, or does Cairo warrant another day. I'm think I'll want to visit the pyramids, egyptian museum, and khan el-khalili more than once, but I have time to do that anyways. I'm thinking the extra day would be nice to relax a bit and see some more of the monuments - but I've also heard that a little bit of Cairo can go a long way, and I've never been anywhere like Cairo before.
TUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1847 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3553 times:
Go out on your own and you'll have a much better time and no set schedule. The people are very welcoming and friendly, don't be shy. I've been twice and it's an amazing place to say the very very least, but Egypt is not a place one can describe appropriately with words. It's best to just go and take it all in and let it envelope, excite, and change you. You won't leave the same person.
If you want to message me I can send you a reply with the e-mail address of an American tour guide who lives in Cairo (she relocated there some years ago). Top notch and will take you ANYWHERE, and tons of places tourists never really get to check out.
Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 11238 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3532 times:
I was over there as a woman alone on a 3 weeks trek all over Egypt on every transport you can imagine: ramshackle busses, trains, beat up old EgyptAir planes and old Peugeots across the desert...
Nobody ever bothered me. I thought Egyptians were rather friendly. I liked the Nubians. I had some of the best fish in my life especially in the towns by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Cairo has some great food.
This is how I did it many years back: I always went to the monuments very early in the morning, even before sunrise. By doing this you will "wake up" to some amazing scenes. You will seem to have the whole place to yourself and it's the best time for pictures. Tour groups come about 9.00 in the morning. It can get crowded quite quickly.
Luxor and Aswan are amazing. Try avoiding tour groups as much as you can.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
CupraIbiza From Australia, joined Feb 2007, 858 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3524 times:
I did exactly this earlier in the year. Totally mind blowing and brilliant.
Tour was organised with Imaginative Traveller. Medium UK tour company who really know their stuff
Stick to a small boat if you can. there are some 300+ boats cruising the Nile Some are really big and I would imagine impersonal.
Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 3): (Egypt... a Muslim country, makes some really excellent beers..WTF??? but don't let that bother you )
make sure you order Stella and not Luxor. Unfortunately if you take the night train from Cairo to Luxor thats all they serve. Oh and if you take this train and decide to go into the bar car bring a gas mask. Smoking permitted and not one bit of ventilation
Quoting RwSEA (Reply 4): and I've never been anywhere like Cairo before.
wow get ready! I was duly warned, but still nothing prepared me. Nicest people, craziest drivers. I am talking 3 lane highway from Alexandria to Cairo turns into 6 lanes of traffic. When this isnt moving fast enough "those white minivans" climb the medium strip and drive on the wrong side of the road
Here is the tour I did. Cant recommend it highly enough. You have a tour leader with you the whole time but also local tour guides. The guy we had in Jordan was brilliant.
After a full day walking around Petra (7am to 5pm) in near freezing conditions, I enjoyed(endured) a hammam (aka Turkish bath) - these people know how to live!
Also make sure you float in the Dead Sea before it evaporates. A truly weird experience.
Here was our itinery. Cost hmm about AUD1300 (from memory)
Day 1, CAIRO: Arrival day. No meals.
Day 2, CAIRO: See the treasures in the Egyptian Museum and visit the great Pyramids & Sphinx at Giza. Overnight sleeper train to Luxor. (BD)
Day 3, LUXOR: Arrive in Luxor and transfer to our Nile cruise boat, M/S Melodie. There are a few hours free to explore the town before an afternoon ride to Karnak Temple by horse-drawn carriage for a guided tour. Overnight in Luxor. (BLD)
Day 4, NILE CRUISE: Rising early we cross the Nile to ride donkeys to the Valley of the Kings. After lunch we set off on our Nile cruise to Esna. (BLD)
Day 5, ESNA - EDFU - KOM OMBO: Sail south to Edfu where we visit the Temple of Horus before continuing our cruise to Kom Ombo, where we visit the beautiful riverside temple. Overnight Kom Ombo. (BLD)
Day 6, KOM OMBO - ASWAN: Continue to Aswan and on arrival the day is free to explore. (BLD)
Day 7, ASWAN: This morning there is the opportunity to visit the famed temples of Abu Simbel. This afternoon we board the first class sleeper train for our return journey to Cairo. (BD)
Day 8, CAIRO: Transfer to the hotel. Free day. (B)
Day 9, CAIRO: A full free day to further explore Cairo. (B)
Day 10, MT SINAI: Cross the Suez Canal and travel to the village of St Catherine, near the foot of Mt Sinai. (BD)
Day 11, MT SINAI - ST CATHERINE - AQABA: Climb Mt Sinai in time for sunrise. There should be time for a short tour of St Catherine's Monastery before we drive to Nuweiba and cross by hydrofoil to Aqaba. (BD)
Day 12, WADI RUM - PETRA: This morning there is the chance to go snorkelling in the Red Sea. In the afternoon we visit the deserts of Wadi Rum and enjoy a jeep safari through some of the most spectacular areas. Afterwards we continue to the hidden city of Petra. (BD)
Day 13, PETRA: A full day to explore this magnificent site. (BD)
Day 14, KERAK - MADABA - MT NEBO - DEAD SEA- AMMAN: Crusader castles, ancient mosaics, panoramic views and a visit to the famous Dead Sea. A busy day ends in Amman. (BD)
Day 15, JERASH - AMMAN: Visit the well preserved Roman site of Jerash. (B)
COrocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3517 times:
I actually leave 1 month from today for an Egypt trip. We are flying to Cairo for a few days, then flying to Aswan to catch a nile cruiser (M/S Mojito) for a 4 day cruise to Luxor. We then fly to Sharm el Sheikh for a few days of diving and a Sinai tour. The Sinai tour we are taking is overnight - spend the night in the desert with the local people, go to the monestary, ride camels, catch sunset at the top of Mt. Sinai ,etc. We are using a company called DesertEco Tours. I think they are based in Isreal. Seems very organized, but kind of expensive.
I will post a trip report when I get back, and may have more suggestions.