We’ve been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New 12 months interval arose we knew we wanted to go there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour by means of Egypt taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.
The rationale 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 proud of 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 might funds 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 resort. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and autos all over the place.
El Tonsy Lodge is your base in your arrival and final evening. 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 want warmth in Egypt but it surely was the center of winter and it was chilly at evening. No complaints with the placement although as we might see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and 15 minutes to Tahir Sq. (completely secure by the best way). Plus they’ve just a little 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 tremendous.
It’s fairly arduous to interrupt down a complete journey into one publish however right here goes:
Your tour begins with the most effective 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. At the present time was positively the spotlight.
That evening 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 concerning the offered meals so we ate earlier than we bought on-board however what we might 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 resorts and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper possibility aboard the Felucca so the following few days are from that viewpoint.
The afternoon is yours at Sara Lodge 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 Lodge 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 luggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover and we didn’t blame the Lodge 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 standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher convey your singing and dancing footwear.
The next day and evening is spent enjoyable aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than eight individuals you may be comfortable in case 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 nevertheless blankets had been offered.
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 of your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and keep 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 three nights on-board in snug lodging, a pool and buffets morning, midday and evening.
Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent technique to begin a brand new day. Sadly there may be little time for leisure earlier than you might be off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I have to say, all the transportation was greater than ample 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 Lodge in Luxor was most likely the decide of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and attractive buffet breakfast.
Yet another 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 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 break it for everybody by taking images as you may 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 want to drive 6 hours to succeed in Hurghada that evening.
Day Seven and Eight
The subsequent two days on the Crimson Sea are yours to do no matter you want so use them correctly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the workers had been nice however the entire day appeared just a little rushed which was a disgrace. Maintain a watch out for our publish on our diving expertise in Hurghada.
So good having the ability to chill out on a seaside and skim a e-book after such a busy schedule. It’s arduous to depart and the 6 – eight hour bus experience again to Cairo is hard.
Journey Tip: In case 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 12 months on the Lodge in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!
Your ultimate day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favorite a part of the day was positively the Cairo Museum with a superb tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having discovered about it during the last eight 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 great effort at maintaining 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 dwelling. Our flight was late the next evening 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 expect it’s vital to notice the little issues that would make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:
- It felt like we had been all the time hungry. Perhaps it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis but it surely significantly felt like we had been continually ravenous with lunches being served normally after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It could be the Egyptian technique to eat at these instances however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase numerous snacks for the street that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
- There was typically a scarcity of course in what gave the impression to be occurring. All the things is completed on Egyptian time so be affected person.
- We had been usually delayed or not on time with little to no steerage as to how lengthy it could take to get from place to put. Slightly information goes a protracted was as then we will plan forward.
- Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself moderately than have our fingers held all over the 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 might discover though we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
- The guides had been extraordinarily educated and by no means didn’t reply any questions we had. The insights into the day by day lives of the individuals round us was a pleasant break from all of the historical past. In addition 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 means of Egypt.
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Disclaimer: Expat Discover offered us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nevertheless as all the time our ideas are all the time our personal.