Egypt’s best tours: Pyramids, Red Sea diving and a luxury cruise down the Nile

Steeped in history and blessed with epic landscapes, Egypt has been a hit with travellers since Roman times. We reveal the best tours currently taking you through Cairo, Alexandria and beyond...

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1. All the best of Egypt

Camels looking towards the Pyramids of Giza (Shutterstock)

Camels looking towards the Pyramids of Giza (Shutterstock)

Experience everything Egypt has to offer, from the Pyramids of Giza to a felucca cruise down the Nile, on this 9-day adventure with Intrepid.

After exploring the narrow alleyways of medieval Cairo and visiting the pyramids and Sphinx, you’ll catch an overnight train to Aswan for temples, bazaars and a camel ride. You’ll sail down the Nile in a traditional felucca, getting a taste of Nubian hospitality, before alighting at Luxor to visit the extraordinary Valley of the Kings.

You know that trip to Egypt you dreamed of? This is it.

Trip: Essential Egypt

Who: Intrepid

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Nine days

How much: From £500 (exc. flights)

2. Explore Lake Nasser

Feluccas on the Nile in Aswan (Shutterstock)

Feluccas on the Nile in Aswan (Shutterstock)

Venture beyond the great cataracts of Upper Egypt and discover the deserts landscapes of ancient Nubia on this extraordinary tour to Lake Nasser with Wild Frontiers.

Lake Nasser is Egypt’s best-kept secret, refreshingly devoid of tourists, with a coastline covering more than 7,800 kilometres. Its deserts and shoreline are home to Nile crocodiles, ancient temples and over 100 species of birds. Travelling aboard a small private safari boat, you’ll discover ancient pharaonic temples and prehistoric graffiti, trek across golden dunes and swim in clear waters that are filled with Nile perch and tiger fish.

After visiting the World Heritage site of Abu Simbel, saved when the lake was created, your journey ends beside the Nile in Aswan, an ideal end to this incredible journey.

Trip: Lake Nasser Escape

Who: Wild Frontiers

When: Departures May & September

How long: Nine days

How much: From £1,595 (exc. flights)

3. Cruise the Nile on a luxury dahabiya

The view of the Nile from your dahabiya (Shutterstock)

The view of the Nile from your dahabiya (Shutterstock)

Immerse yourself in the glamour of 1920s exploration on this seven-day River Nile cruise aboard beautifully restored dahabiya, with Peregrine.

Dahabiyas were once the preserve of wealthy, leisured travellers – more elegant and better appointed than feluccas, more intimate and personal than the steam cruisers – and provide a unique perspective on the Nile and its treasures.

You’ll visit colourful Nubian villages still alive with ancient cultures, explore must-see ancient sites such as the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Karnak and return each night to your luxurious accommodation.

Your journey ends as it starts, with a stay in Luxor’s opulent Winter Place, built in 1886 by British explorers to host royal families from Europe and the East, and still one of the best hotels in the country.

Trip: Egypt Dahabiya Nile River Cruise - Limited Edition

Who: Peregrine

When: Departures September and November

How long: Seven days

How much: From £1,430 (exc. flights)

4. Chill in Alexandria

Qaitbay citadel (Shutterstock)

Qaitbay citadel (Shutterstock)

This mini break with Peregrine is the perfect way to soak up the seaside ambience and ancient heritage of Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city. 

Travelling via Cairo, you’ll have the chance to see some of the Egypt’s most compelling sights, from the Italianate architecture and Greco-Roman statues of the Alexandria National Museum to the 15th-century Qaitbay Fort by the harbour.

You’ll also visit the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Alexandria lighthouse, and learn more about an important WWII battle at one of Egypt's best museums, the El Alamein War Museum.

Trip: Alexandria Experience

Who: Peregrine

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Three days

How much: From £390 (exc. flights)

5. From Cairo to the Red Sea

A resort on the Red Sea (Shutterstock)

A resort on the Red Sea (Shutterstock)

Enjoy the best of both worlds, in ancient Cairo and the beguiling Red Sea, on this Egyptian city and beach break with Audley.

Staring in Cairo, you’ll shop in its bustling medieval souks, gaze upon Tutankhamun’s golden mask in the city’s museum and visit the famous pyramids in Giza.

Next stop, the Red Sea resort of El Quseir, a world class diving and snorkelling destination, with excellent spa facilities should you want to just wind down and relax.

Enjoy colourful coral gardens, just off shore. Trips into the desert can also be arranged, an intriguing introduction to the nomadic desert culture here.

Trip: Cairo & Beach

Who: Audley

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 11 days

How much: From £1,995 (inc. flights)

6. Lose yourself in Luxor

Guard at Karnak Temple (Shutterstock)

Guard at Karnak Temple (Shutterstock)

Journey into the very heart of ancient Egypt on an adventure from Luxor to Aswan with Peregrine, lasting five days.

Travelling independently, with the help of local guides, you’ll begin in Luxor and make your way through some of Egypt’s most renowned sights, such as Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. A highlight is a visit to the Temple of Edfu, one of the best-kept temples of Egypt, uncovering the story of the falcon god Horus.

Your journey ends in Aswan, a charming town beside the Nile, with a laidback character, much like the local Nubians.

Trip: Luxor-Aswan Experience

Who: Peregrine 

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Five days

How much: From £433 (exc. flights)

7. The pharaohs on a budget

Queen Hatshepsut's temple (Shutterstock)

Queen Hatshepsut's temple (Shutterstock)

This compact adventure tour with G Adventures offers maximum Egypt at minimum cost. 

Stare in amazement at the pyramids and float down the Nile on a felucca. Embrace the culture and meet remarkable people as you dine on traditional fare with a local family in a Nubian village. Walk through the Valley of the Kings or explore Karnak – it’s your call.

Don’t just dream of Egypt, wake up in the land of the pharaohs and open your eyes to adventure.

Trip: Egypt On A Shoestring

Who: G Adventures

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Eight days

How much: £549

P.S. This article was published in April 2019. For up-to-date travel advice for Egypt, please consult the Foreign Office's guidance on GOV.UK.


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