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The Ultimate 10 Day Egypt Itinerary (DIY)

The Ultimate 10 Day Egypt Itinerary (DIY)

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover the land of the Pharaohs in this epic 10 day Egypt Itinerary, covering all the main highlights to get the absolute most out of your trip!

From the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza to mindblowing archeological sites like the Valley of the Kings, the secrets of the Ancient Egyptians have long been a symbol of mystery and wonder.

After spending several weeks traveling in Egypt, I’ve narrowed down what I believe is the best way to spend 10 days in Egypt to immerse yourself in the culture, landscapes, and history of one of the world’s most incredible travel destinations!

Egypt itinerary map
Popular itinerary route for Egypt covered in this guide

Itinerary Highlights

This itinerary is adapted from the popular travel route in Egypt, visiting all of the major landmarks along the River Nile in the cities of Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor. At the bottom of this post, I offer some alternatives in the Red Sea and beyond.

Below is a quick summary of what you might expect in this awesome Egypt travel route.


  • Giza Pyramids
  • Great Sphinx of Giza
  • Saqqara Necropolis & the Djoser Step Pyramid
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Mohammad Ali Mosque
  • Coptic Church Hanging Church
  • Khan El-Khalili Bazaar
Ancient monuments in egypt


  • Unfinished Obelisk
  • Philae Temple
  • Abu Simbel Temples
  • Felucca Sailing (traditional Nile sailing boat)
  • Visit a Nubian Village
  • Temple of Kom Ombo
Felucca sailing boat in egypt


  • Kom Ombo Temple
  • Edfu Temple (Temple of Horus)
  • Karnak Temple
  • Luxor Temple
  • Valley of the Kings
  • Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Karnak temple pillars

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo

I'm not going to lie, landing in Egypt's capital Cairo can feel a little hectic.

Cairo is the sixth most populous city in the world and you'll certainly feel it once you get into the city. Therefore, I've dedicated this first day to rest up before a fairly fast-paced travel itinerary through Egypt.

However, if you're landing early, there are loads of day trips you can take from Cairo. One of the most popular is a visit to Alexandria, with highlights such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqqafa. TravelTalk offers an optional side trip to Alexandria if you arrive in Cairo early enough.

Others include a Nile dinner cruise or Cairo tours to the Bahariya Desert (White Desert).

Suuq el ataba markets in cairo

El Ataba Bazaar in Cairo

Where to Stay in Giza

On the first night in Egypt, I highly recommend staying in Giza. The reason is that the second day of this epic Egyptian itinerary departs straight for the ancient wonders of the Giza Plateau, the Great Pyramids, and the nearby Saqqara Necropolis.

Below are my top three picks for accommodation in Giza.

  • Marriott Mena House - Overlooking the Great Pyramids of Giza this five-star hotel boasts 40 acres of spectacular gardens visible from luxury air-conditioned rooms.
  • Great Pyramid Inn - This affordable hotel offers the best bang for buck in terms of pyramid views. A buffet breakfast is available each morning which you'll enjoy while watching the sunrise over the ancient landmarks.
  • Comfort Pyramids Inn- A short 4-minute walk to the Great Sphynx is enough to get anyone excited. This hotel is great for those wanting to experience a 5-star view over the Great Pyramids on a budget.
Marriot hotel in giza

Day 2: Cairo - Saqqara & Giza

For most, day two on this epic Egypt travel route is the day you've been waiting for!

You'll get to explore the colossal Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the mystifying Saqqara Necropolis. I highly recommend getting an Egyptologist guide for these attractions as there is so much to learn!

Great sphinx and the giza pyramids in egypt

Saqqara Necropolis

The first stop is the Saqqara Necropolis, the site where you will find the oldest Egyptian Pyramid– the Pyramid of Djoser, or the Step Pyramid.

This was constructed as early as 2667 to 2648 BCE, more than 100 years before the Great Pyramid. This is a great place to learn a lot about Egyptian history from the Old Kingdom and explore the ancient tombs, mastabas, pyramids, and temples in the old necropolis of ancient Memphis.

Step pyramid of djoser in egypt
Step Pyramid of Djoser
Egyptologist at saqqara necropolis

The Great Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramids of Giza are by far the most impressive monuments ever constructed. You can spend hours here exploring these ancient marvels.

The main pyramids on the Giza Plateau are the Great Pyramid (Khufu Pyramid), the Pyramid of Khaphre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure (along with the three adjacent Queen Pyramids).

While there are plenty more monuments that will blow you away, for most, the Great Pyramids of Giza will be the highlight of this 10-day Egypt travel itinerary. Enjoy the moment!

Inside the great pyramid of giza

Inside the Great Pyramid

If you can put up with the heat, I highly recommend paying the additional 440 EGP to go inside the Great Pyramid. This is an experience you really shouldn't pass up.

Olly gaspar at great pyramid of giza
Standing by the Great Pyramid of Giza: A huge bucket list moment for me.

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The final attraction at Giza is the iconic Great Sphinx.

The Sphinx is located just a short drive from the Great Pyramids, and I think it goes without saying that it is an absolute must-see for all traveling in Egypt!

What you might not know is that the Sphinx has its own temple complex situated just outside this amazing monolith. In fact, the ancient Egyptians built this temple using giant limestone stones cut from the bedrock in which the Sphinx is carved.

Girl at the great shinx of giza
The Sphinx lined up with the Pyramid of Khafre

Sleeper Train or Fly to Aswan

Leaving Lower Egypt behind (for now), the first transport element of this 10 day itinerary involves a 900-kilometer (560-mile) journey from Cairo to Aswan.

As I mentioned earlier, the overnight train is surprisingly comfortable (you get your own cabin) and is the best way to save valuable exploring time. The journey from Cairo to Aswan takes anywhere from 9 to 12 hours, depending on the schedule.

However, it's a good idea to get to the train station early because trains in Egypt are not exactly punctual.

Option: Another option is to fly directly to Aswan. I recommend EgyptAir as they include baggage in their standard fares.

Day 3: Aswan - Philae Temple & Unfinished Obelisk

Drop your bags at your accommodation in the morning, because day three is another full day of exploring ancient monuments! There are plenty of things to do in Aswan, and this itinerary covers the majority of the best highlights and attractions!

Unfinished Obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk is an immense 1,000-tonne piece of granite in an ancient quarry site close to the city of Aswan.

While never completed, this massive obelisk would have been the tallest and heaviest in the world. Today, it offers visitors an insight into how the ancient Egyptians carved out these enormous limestone pillars.

Unfinished obelisk at the aswan quarry
Ad Meskens, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Philae Temple

Next up is Philae Temple, a magnificent temple dedicated to the gods Isis, Osiris, and Horus. The majority of this temple was constructed around 280 BCE during the Ptolemaic era and under the reign of Ptolemy II.

While still very much an ancient site, it's mindblowing to consider that this temple was built 2000 years after the Great Pyramids!

Girl at philae temple, egypt

Philae Temple sits on an island called Agilika Island, and you will require a short boat trip to get here. There's plenty here to explore, from its huge columned halls to its various smaller temples dedicated to various deities.

Did you know: A team of archeologists and engineers took apart Philae Temple, along with other amazing monuments including Abu Simbel, piece by piece, and moved them to new positions. This was due to the gigantic Aswan High Dam project, which would have placed them at risk of damage from the rising Nile.

Man staring at philae temple in egypt

Where to Stay in Aswan

The options for where to stay in Aswan aren't as broad or as diverse as in Luxor or Cairo. However, that doesn't mean you can't find some great hotels here.

The most popular areas to stay in Aswan include the city center, where you'll find a mix of budget-friendly and upscale hotels, as well as plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Alternatively, Elephantine Island, accessible by boat offers one-of-a-kind views of the Nile River.

The new upscale resort area of New Aswan is also a great option for luxury hotels and spas.

Don't miss this comprehensive guide to the best hotels in Aswan, or take a peek at the three top picks for each budget below.

  • Sofitel Legend Old Cataract - Located in the Nubian Desert 1.3km from Aswan center the hotel offers excellent views and 5-star service. The rooms are beautifully designed and decorated and feature an indoor and outdoor pool, spa, and fitness facilities.
  • Tolip Aswan Hotel - A perfect choice for those not wanting to break the bank but still want to experience 5-star luxury overlooking the Nile River. Here, you'll get a buffet breakfast, pool-bar service, and beautifully decorated air-conditioned rooms.
  • The Mango Guest House - Located on a small island on the Nile River, this guest house is a short water taxi from Aswan's famous landmarks. It has everything you need at an affordable price and is only 5 minutes walk from the Nile.
Hotel in aswan on the nile river

Day 4: Aswan - Abu Simbel

The Abu Simbel Temples are an amazing set of two temples located 280 kilometers (173 miles) south of Aswan.

This is quite a long distance to travel to see one historic site. However, let me tell you that a trip to Abu Simbel is one hundred percent worth it! Some people say that if you didn't see Abu Simbel, you didn't really see Ancient Egypt. I tend to agree with them!

Abu simbel temple in upper egypt

Abu Simbel Day Trip

For travelers on the TravelTalk tour, the Abu Simbel Temples will be an optional side trip. This is the case with almost every tour company as the distance is quite vast.

Again, if you're going to do one optional activity, make it this one!

The Abu Simbel Temples are two massive rock-cut temples carved into the mountainside. The Great Temple is dedicated in honor of Ramesses II, or Ramesses The Great. He was arguably the most celebrated Egyptian Pharaoh, ruling the New Kingdom for over 66 years, during what many consider to be the height of Ancient Egyptian Civilization.

Everything inside and outside the temple is carved out of a single piece of rock. Highlights include the massive colossi of Ramesses II and the Hypostyle Hall with six huge statues of Osiris and several side chambers to explore.

Giant statues inside abu simbel temple in egypt
Girl at abu simbel temple

Day 5: Felucca Sailing (Nile River)

The fifth day of this Egypt itinerary involves one of my favorite activities during my time in the country.

A felucca is one of the oldest surviving sailing boat designs on the planet and was invented by the Ancient Egyptians. In fact, the Egyptians were the first civilizations to really make major advances in shipbuilding. Many believe this is the first place man ever navigated waters by use of wind!

Taking two days to sail and sleep on the River Nile is a well-earned break from exploring ancient sites, and one of the funnest and most enjoyable experiences in Upper Egypt.

The great benefit of traveling with TravelTalk was that you could choose to do this Felucca sailing adventure at no extra cost! They've also partnered with local Nubian villages to make the experience authentic and original. This is another reason why I highly recommend traveling with them.

Felucca sailing in aswan

Optional: As a modification to this itinerary, you could also choose to stay in Aswan again. There's plenty to see on land, including:

  • Nubian Museum
  • Qubbet El-Hawa
  • Monastery of St. Simien
  • The Old Cataract Hotel - Where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile
Felucca sailing boat on the river nile

Day 6: Felucca Sailing Continued

In my opinion, a two-day felucca sailing experience is the perfect amount of time. Many trips stop by Elephantine Island and if you're lucky, a Nubian Village. This is a great experience that beats any Nile Cruise!

Tour group nubian village in aswan
Fire in the nubian village of aswan

Day 7: Route to Luxor - Edfu Temple & Kom Ombo Temple

After an amazing two days on the Nile, it's time to start heading back north. Don't worry, there's still plenty to see, with many of the best ancient highlights still yet to be visited!

Day seven on this 10 day Egypt itinerary involves an overland journey from Aswan to Luxor. Along the way, there are two unmissable monuments, the Edfu Temple (Temple of Horus) and the Kom Ombo Temple.

Unfortunately, there isn't much in terms of public transport to these landmarks, so being on a tour is beneficial for these particular sites.

After exploring the sites, it's best to stay in Luxor, which will be the base for the last few days in Upper Egypt.

Kom Ombo Temple & the Crocodile Mummy Museum

Kom Ombo Temple is one of the most unique temples in Egypt and should definitely be included in your itinerary between Luxor and Aswan.

This site is regarded as a "double" temple, split to honor two different gods, the crocodile god Sobek, and the falcon god Haroeris (Horus the Elder). While the sanctuaries, courts, and halls are all magnificent, the most significant attraction here is the ancient Egyptian calendar engraved on one of the walls.

Ancient egyptian calendar at kom ombo temple
Ancient Egyptian calendar at the Kom Ombo Temple Complex

At the base of the temple, tourists will also find a newly opened crocodile mummy museum!

Crocodile mummies in egypt
Crocodile mummies

Edfu Temple (Temple of Horus)

The Edfu Temple is another amazing Ptolemaic temple dedicated to one of the most important gods of Ancient Egypt, Horus, the falcon.

This temple complex is very beautiful and extremely well-preserved. There's a large courtyard and a beautiful columned chamber with amazing hieroglyphs and carvings to marvel at.

Temple of horus at edfu

Where to Stay in Luxor

Luxor, the ancient capital of Thebes is nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Gates" due to its many temples and historic sites.

Most of the attractions in the city itself, including the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple are situated on the east bank of the Nile. However, there are also many great hotels on the West Bank, with cheap and easy boat crossings available.

Make sure to read my comprehensive guide to the best Hotels in Luxor, or take a peek at the three top picks below for each budget.

Steigenberger nile palace luxor outdoor pool with hot air balloon and nile river, aswan

1. Steigenberger Nile Palace East

Located in the East Bank of Luxor this hotel showcases a beautifully decorated interior with large open rooms. The buffet is one of the best I've ever had and the rooms are incredibly affordable for the luxury you get.

Al moudira hotel outdoor view with seating and garden, aswan

2. Al Moudira Hotel West

This is not just a hotel. This is an experience like no other. The rooms showcase a traditional Egyptian design and the overall layout of the hotel draws you into another world. With exceptional service, facilities, and location, it is a top choice on the West Bank of the Nile River.

Apartments nature hotel in omiš

3. Sweet Hostel Budget

The best budget/backpacker option is the Sweet Hostel. Guests are offered a free la carte breakfast each morning and the location serves as a great base to explore Luxor's landmarks including Luxor Temple– which is only a 9-minute walk away!

Day 8: Luxor - East Bank Itinerary

On day 8 of this travel route through Egypt, you'll arrive in Luxor, the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes.

Due to the positioning of the modern city on the Nile, an itinerary for Luxor is better broken up into two days of exploring the east and the west bank.

Giant stone column at karnak temple in egypt

Karnak Temple

The Karnak Temple is the largest and one of the most religiously significant temple complexes in the world. It is set on a total land size of over 250,000 square meters (2.69 million square feet) and has a history of continuous construction dating back as far as 2,000 BCE.

You can get lost at this amazing historic site, so I highly recommend spending at least a few hours here. The giant columns are out of this world, with amazing carvings and adorned with vibrant colors.

Girl at karnak temple in luxor

Visitors can also admire the tallest obelisk still in Egypt, the Karnak obelisks of Hatshepsut, carved out of a single 343-tonne piece of pink granite, standing 28 meters tall.

Quick fact: The ancient 3,400-year-old road linking Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple recently opened a few years ago in 2021. The Road of the Rams, or Avenue of the Sphinxes, is a 2.7-kilometer (1.7-mile) pathway along the Nile, lined with hundreds of ram and human-headed sphinxes.

Rams heads at the avenue of the sphinxes in upper egypt

Luxor Temple

Next up is the Luxor Temple. This is another amazing temple constructed around 1400 BCE. Egyptologists believe that the ancients used this place to crown their new Pharaohs. As a result, it was one of the most significant religious centers in ancient Thebes.

The Luxor Temple is smaller than the Karnak Temple, but a definite highlight on this east bank itinerary. I highly recommend visiting at night or in the late afternoon, since this temple is one of the best-lit in the country.

Luxor temple at night time

Day 9: Luxor - West Bank Itinerary

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the land far to the west is known as the Duat. This is where the sun god Ra travels each night to battle Apep in order for the sun to rise again each morning, with it bringing life back to earth.

The Duat is also the place where souls would go after death for judgment. As a result, the ancient Egyptians built their burial grounds in the lands west of the River Nile.

After nine days in Egypt, it's time to introduce Luxor's west bank itinerary, where you'll discover the one and only Valley of the Kings.

Optional: Luxor is one of the best places on earth to go hot air ballooning. There are popular (and very affordable) sunrise trips running every morning from the west bank, where you'll get an amazing view of the Valley of the Kings and the rising sun over the Nile River.

Read my Luxor Hot Air Balloon guide to find out more.

Hot air balloon during sunrise

Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is the royal necropolis of ancient Thebes. Archeologists have unearthed a total of 63 royal tombs here. Each rock-carved tomb tunnels deep into the ground and many feature spectacularly decorated tunnels, halls, and burial chambers.

Exploring the Valley of the Kings is a must on anybody's list of things to do in Egypt. Currently, around eleven tombs are open to the public. The most famous is the boy king Tutankhamun, whose mummy still rests in his burial chamber.

Mummy of tutankhamun in his tomb in the valley of the kings

However, this is by far the least spectacular. The truth is that most of the other tombs are far more impressive!

To help you out, I've written a detailed guide to the best tombs in the Valley of the Kings, which should prove useful.

Hieroglyphs on pillared hall in ramses iii tomb
Tomb of ramesses iii in the valley of the kings

Don't miss the Colossi of Memnon on the way to the Valley of the Kings. These are two massive statues depicting the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Each is carved out of a single block of stone and weighs up to 650 tonnes each!

Statue landmark in egypt

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Closeby to the Valley of the Kings is the impressive Mortuary Temple dedicated to the life of Queen Hatshepsut.

This beautiful temple contains incredible examples of colored hieroglyphs, with vibrant scenes of Queen Hatshepsut's trade achievements. I particularly enjoyed the scenes depicting boats bringing scores of goods from foreign lands, including African animals and exotic plants.

Tip: another west bank attraction is the Medinet Habu or the Mortuary Temple of Rameses III. This is another great addition if you have time.

Mortuary temple of hatshepsut on the west bank of luxor

Sleeper Train or Fly to Cairo

After an awesome and action-packed nine days traveling in Egypt, it's time to take the sleeper train back to Cairo. The train station in Luxor is less chaotic than the one in Cairo, which is refreshing since by now, you'll probably be pretty exhausted!

Also, just like before it's possible to fly back to Cairo if you prefer. There's an international airport in Luxor, approximately 15 minutes from the city.

Inside of a sleeper train in egypt

Day 10: Cairo - Egyptian Museum & Cairo City Itinerary

The final day of travel in Egypt sees us head back to Cairo for one final day of exploring!

However, this time the focus will be on the city highlights, exploring the vibrant mixing pot of cultures that have shaped this wonderous city for millennia.

Where to Stay in Cairo

The second time in Cairo on this Egypt trip is all about the city and less about the west bank highlights. As a result, it doesn't matter too much whether or not you stay in Giza.

Below are a few very good options for staying in Cairo.

Outdoor swimming pool at the four seasons hotel cairo at nile plaza

1. Four Seasons Hotel Cairo Luxury

One of the best 5-star luxury resorts with views over the River Nile. Its on-site spa and 2 luxurious outdoor swimming pools offer guests celebrity treatment.

Views from crowne pyramids view inn

2. Crowne Pyramids View Pyramid Views

One of the best value-for-money choices for spectacular views. This family-run hotel offers guests air-conditioned rooms with balcony views overlooking the Pyramids.

Holy sheet hostel private room

3. Holy Sheet Hostel Budget

An affordable stay within walking distance of The Egyptian Museum. This budget choice is great for backpackers looking to save money. For those wanting to fill their stomachs before a big day of exploring Cairo A la carte breakfast is served each morning.

Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities)

Leaving the Egyptian Museum to last is a great way to appreciate the history and amazing monuments and treasures within. By now, you'll have a deep understanding of ancient Egyptian History, having walked among some of the greatest landmarks yourself.

This is the oldest archeological museum in the Middle East and houses some of Egypt's best ancient treasures. The highlight for me was the King Tutankhamun exhibit, which features the boy king's famous golden headdress and sarcophagus.

Tip: There is currently a new museum under construction in Egypt– the Grand Egyptian Museum, or the Giza Museum which will open this year in 2024! This has been delayed now for a while but keep an eye out on the opening page to check if it is open for your visit! Once inaugurated, it will be the largest archeological museum in the world and a must-add to this itinerary!

Golden sarcophagus of tutankhamun at cairo museum

Coptic Cairo & the Hanging Church

Coptic Cairo is a part of Old Cairo, with several churches and historic sites including the Babylon Fortress, the Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George, and the Coptic Museum.

On our tour with TravelTalk, we visited the amazing Hanging Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Egypt. Its builders constructed it suspended on a 4th-century Babylon Fortress wall, which gave it its name.

Hanging church in coptic cairo

Mohammad Ali Mosque

If you've scanned Cairo's skyline, I'm sure you've already spotted the impressive mosque of Mohammad Ali. This mosque is the largest Ottoman-style mosque in Egypt, with very impressive minarets and impeccably decorated walls and domes.

From the outside of the mosque, you'll get amazing views of Cairo's landscape. And, on a clear day, you can even spot the Great Pyramids in the distance.

Muhammad ali mosque landmark, islamic cairo, egypt

Khan El-Khalili Bazaar

The final stop on this Egypt itinerary is a visit to the oldest bazaar (souq) in the Middle East, the famous Khan El-Khalili Bazaar.

Wander the labyrinth streets and practice your haggling skills. At this famous bazaar, tourists can purchase almost any souvenir you can think of!

We also took the time to enjoy the last meal of delicious Egyptian falafel and koshari as we sat at one of the historic cafes and watched the hoards of people trickle through the timeless streets.

Khan el-khalili bazaar in cairo

Egypt Itinerary Additions & Modifications

I hope that this awesome Egypt itinerary has inspired you to visit the land of the Pharaohs and explore all of its ageless landmarks!

While 10 days in Egypt is a good amount of time to see many of its attractions, the truth is that this travel route only scratches the surface of what this country has to offer.

Below I've included a few more areas you may wish to explore. Due to the distances, many of these can be added to this popular Egypt tourist route, either before or after.

The Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula is the upside-down diamond-shaped peninsula wedged between Africa and the Middle East, just east of Cairo.

Many people visit the Sinai Peninsula for a chance to experience the world-class diving in the Red Sea. Popular tourist destinations in Sinai include Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort area with great diving, and Dahab, the lazier backpacker town known for its famous Blue Hole and nearby Blue Lagoon.

Many people also make the trip to the Sinai Peninsula in hopes of summiting Mount Sinai, which is said to be the biblical mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

To get to Sinai, most tourists fly to Sharm el-Sheikh. But, there are also buses making regular trips from Cairo.

Man standing on top of mount sinai, egypt

Hurghada and the South Red Sea

Hurghada is a popular beach city on the south coast of the Red Sea. Many people choose to book a comfortable luxury hotel in Hurghada after their travels in Egypt since it offers a laid-back, resort-style atmosphere to unwind before flying back to their home countries.

Similarly to Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada has its own airport, which makes it an easy destination to get to from Cairo.

Hurghada is also world-renowned for scuba diving and a great place to get your open water certificate. Many people come here for a chance to swim with wild dolphins, who frequent this part of the Red Sea.

Scuba diving in the red sea


Alexandria is the Mediterranean port city of Egypt and once served as the capital of Egypt after its founding by Alexander the Great.

There are lots of sights to explore in Alexandria, including the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the underground Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqqafa, and the famous Ras el-Tin Palace.

However, most people visit Alexandria on a Cairo day trip, preferring to spend some time by the Red Sea instead.

White Desert

The White Desert is located in Western Egypt and is named after its white chalk formations that dominate the landscape.

Today, this is a very barren wasteland but it was once completely underwater, evident by the fossils, shells, and salt deposits.

Many people tend to dedicate a day to the White Desert on their Egypt Itinerary, but there are also many tour companies organizing camping and glamping in this region.

White desert in egypt
Modified from: © Vyacheslav Argenberg / /, CC BY 4.0

A Nile Cruise

If you've been researching travel options in Egypt, then I'm sure you've stumbled upon several Nile Cruises.

This replaces much of the overland travel sections between Aswan and Luxor. These cruises will still stop at many of the highlights included in this travel guide. However, just make sure to check the inclusions because many do not cover all.

If the Nile cruise sounds like a better option, then there are dozens of 2, 3, 4, or 5-day cruises you can add in between days 3 to 8 on this itinerary. While I haven't done it myself, TravelTalk has a Nile Cruise option which looks like it's great value.

No, you cannot take an Egypt Cruise from Cairo.

Nile cruise boat in egypt

Egypt Itinerary Overview - 10 Days

An admission. This epic itinerary has largely been adapted from the 9-Day Essential Egypt trip organized by TravelTalk Tours.

After traveling in Egypt independently myself, I recently embarked on this trip with them and it quickly changed my perceptions of organized tours. The reality is there is just so much to see in Egypt, the distances are vast, and travel isn't exactly easy.

Even with the immense logistical benefits, perhaps the biggest motivation for me recommending an organized tour in Egypt over doing things yourself is that having a professional Egyptologist guide is absolutely invaluable.

So, this 10-day Egypt itinerary post serves as a rough recap of my trip with them. Of course, I've added many variations and tips along the way so that it can be followed independently.

Egyptologist at karnak temple
Sameh, my egyptologist guide with traveltalk tours
Girl at edfu temple in egypt

Things to Know Before Travelling to Egypt

Before you jet off to Cairo for the adventure of a lifetime, here are some quick tips you'll want to know about traveling in Egypt.

Visas For Egypt

Tourists flying into Egypt need a visa.

Luckily, travelers from many parts of the world including the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and many parts of Asia can purchase a visa on arrival.

This costs $25 USD for a single entry or $60 for a multiple entry visa. You can purchase this from the bank stall once you land at Cairo International Airport. Strangely, you'll need to pay for this in cash in either Egyptian Pounds (EGP) or US Dollars.

Tip: travelers from certain countries including Indonesia, and the Philippines, will require an authorized visa from your local embassy or consulate. Make sure you check the latest rules before you leave.

Insurance For this Egypt Itinerary

Following the events of the past few years, it's safe to say that travel insurance is pretty much essential these days.

If you're looking for affordable and comprehensive travel insurance, check out HeyMondo. They cover everything you'll likely need and have an excellent app for managing claims on the go! Plus, We Seek Travel readers get 5% OFF

HeyMondo is a great option for short trips, especially for adventure travelers. If you're planning on a much longer stint, you can also check their multi-trip option.

Hot air ballooning in luxor
Hot air balloons over the Valley of the Kings

Accommodation in Egypt

Throughout this guide, I'll recommend some of the best places to stay in Giza, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan. These will be based on my own experience at these hotels, as well as providing some of the best-rated options for various budgets.

If you're traveling with TravelTalk as I did, then you'll get accommodation included (in some pretty superb hotels). Otherwise, the best website for booking accommodation in Egypt is

Tip: When booking hotels, make sure to check the city/tourist tax in the fine print. While not significant, it's often not displayed on the first page.

Steigenberger pool on the river nile in egypt
Poolside on the Nile at the Steigenberger in Luxor

Transport Within Egypt

In this Egypt itinerary, I've recommended traveling the long stretches using overnight trains (sleeper trains).

These are surprisingly comfortable, and in my opinion, the best way to travel within Egypt since you won't waste any precious days in transit.v

Alternatively, it is possible to fly between cities like Cairo and Aswan. However, this is usually more expensive. If you insist, Egypt Air is by far the best airline and they even include meals and baggage of up to 23 KG per flight (for domestic and international flights). I recommend Skyscanner for comparing fares.

For transport within cities, I recommend using Uber where you can (currently only in Cairo), and taxis in other areas.

Buses are also a good budget option, with various routes running between major cities. GoBus is a reliable website.

The Nile Cruise is a popular way for tourists to travel between Aswan and Luxor. These trips will usually also include stops at most of the attractions in this itinerary. I've given some suggestions for the Nile Cruise option at the bottom of this post.

Boat on the nile river in egypt

About the Egyptian Tipping Culture

A thing you might notice even before you get out of the airport is that Egyptians will try to squeeze a tip out of you for almost anything.

The word is baksheesh, and you'll hear it almost every day.

While tipping is expected for services like taxis, restaurants, tour guides, or even a selfie (which you'll be asked for), don't be fooled into paying a tip for downright outrageous things.

For instance, I was asked for a tip after a man pushed in front of me, grabbed my backpack, and threw it through security screening, just as I was about to do it myself.

Man at egyptian temple
Egypt travel infographic

And, that's a wrap for this comprehensive 10 day Egypt itinerary! I hope that it's served as a useful guide for you on what to expect when traveling in Egypt!

Remember that this itinerary mostly follows the route offered by the 9-day Essential Egypt tour by TravelTalk Tours. If you like the sound of this travel route, then I highly recommend checking out their offering.

For now, here are some more Egypt travel guides which I'm sure you'll find useful.

Exploring karnak temple in luxor, egypt

Plan Your Egypt Accommodation

Still in the planning stages of your trip? Perhaps you're booking on the fly. The below accommodation guides will help you plan where to stay in Egypt.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.


Sunday 28th of May 2023

Hello! I am thinking about take the same tour with my girlfriend ! how much was the extra cost for lunches , museum entrances etc that are not included in the tour price! Thank you!


Thursday 9th of February 2023

Hello, I am thinking of doing the tour to Egypt with Travel Talk Tours do you still recommend?

Olly Gaspar

Friday 10th of February 2023

Hey Maritza,

Of course. I'm always going to be honest with my tour recommendations. I've been on bad tours before and have let me readers know.

However the Essential Egypt trip with Travel Talk is one of my absolute favorite trips to date and I highly recommend them to my readers and people I know.

You won't regret it!