Tuesday. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your Egyptian adventure! Arrive Cairo, included airport transfer to hotel and overnight.
Bahariyya Oasis - White Desert. Bahariyya Oasis, dates back to ancient times, it was prosperous until the 4th century, when attacks from surrounding tribes and the decline of Roman rule left great chunks of its agricultural land to be reclaimed by the surrounding desert. There are several surrounding villages, but the main one is Bawiti. We explore some of Bahariyya such as the remains of a temple and settlement dating back to the 17th dynasty.
Continuing by 4x4, we drive to the White Desert via the Crystal Mountain - a large rock formation made from quartz, the Temple of Alexander the Great, Tombs of the Nobles and the Black Desert – so named as the desert surrounding the large volcano-shaped mountains is black. Our destination – the White Desert (Sahra al-Beida) is so-named due to its striking, white rock formations shaped by wind erosion. We’ll set up camp tonight under a starry expanse of sky, with a backdrop of stunning white rock sculptures set across the sand.
Overnight: White Desert | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
White Desert - Dakhla Oasis. This morning we drive onward to Farafra - the smallest oasis in the Western Desert famed for its exotic fruit and olive oil. Here, we visit Badr’s Museum. Later we tour the medieval city of Al Qasr - a true highlight of our journey. Only recently abandoned
we wander around the eerie high walled city, mosque, school, olive press and court. Many of the houses here have acacia wood lintels above the doorways whose kufic (Islamic script) inscriptions name the builder or occupants of the dwelling. Additionally, the inscriptions trace the family heritage, the oldest dating back to 1518. We continue on to Deir al-Haggar and have lunch. Afterwards you can opt for a dip in one of the mineral rich hot springs.
Overnight: Dakhla Oasis | Breakfast, Lunch
Dakhla Oasis - Kharga Oasis - Luxor. This morning we drive to Kharga Oasis visiting the Temple of Hibis (exterior only) and the rambling 4th century necropolis of el-Bagawat built entirely of mudbrick. After a break for lunch we continue on to Luxor.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast, Lunch
Luxor - Aswan. Journeying south we arrive at the Nile frontier town of Aswan. After hotel check-in we visit the mighty High Dam before taking a short boat trip to Agilika Island to visit the Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. Later there is free time to perhaps do some shopping in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile.
Overnight: Aswan | Breakfast
Aswan - Nile felucca cruise. Optional early morning excursion by road to Abu Simbel, the famous rock-cut temple of King Ramses II, the Great Builder. This afternoon, we board our Nile felucca for a 2-night voyage on the River Nile downstream. If sailing by felucca is not for you, consider upgrading to a 5 star luxury Nile Cruise with our Nile Cruise Upgrade.
On day 9, relax, go for a swim or just chill out in the sun on deck. Let your troubles melt away, as the felucca plies its route. A stop will be made at the waterside Temple of Kom Ombo.
Overnight: Felucca Cruise | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor. Disembarking, we enjoy a visit to the Temple of Horus at Edfu - a huge complex that began construction in 237 BC. We then continue on to Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak. Enjoy some rest and relaxation this afternoon. Tonight, an optional visit is available to the Temple of Luxor which is beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Take flight over ancient Luxor with an optional hot air balloon ride early this morning before exploring the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs. After lunch and time to relax by the pool we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the stone papyrus columns.
Overnight: Luxor | Breakfast
Luxor - Hurghada. Departing Luxor we head east to Hurghada, part of the beautiful Red Sea Riviera for 4 days on the beach!
Overnight: Hurghada | Breakfast
The next 3 days are free to explore Hurghada or simply relax. On day 13 there's an optional day trip to Giftun Island for swimming and snorkelling, which can be booked locally.
Hurghada is one of the Red Sea's most popular resorts with excellent aquatic facilities for sail boarding, yachting, deep-sea fishing, SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Hurghada’s central location provides a gateway to prime offshore reefs, which are some of the finest in the world. There are also plenty of restaurants and late night bars for evening entertainment in Hurghada. Just out of time is an ancient Roman quarry called Mons Porphyritis and Port Safarga – a famously windy place which is ideal for windsurfing.
Overnight: Hurghada | Breakfast x 3
Hurghada - Cairo. After a leisurely breakfast we depart Hurghada and head back to Cairo. The evening is at leisure so why not go out and visit the Khan el-Khalili bazaar - a hive of activity at night. This is a great place to pick up a few bargains or just sip some tea and people watch.
After breakfast on day 17 we take a guided tour of the enlightening Egyptian Museum, where you will see the famed solid gold death mask of King Tutankhamen. Spend the remaining hours of the afternoon and evening at leisure - why not head back to the Khan el-Khalili bazaar, or take an optional Cairo city tour.
Overnight: Cairo | Breakfast x 2
Friday. Our Egyptian adventure concludes today. Hotel check out and included onward transfer to the airport.
Visit the incredible temples of Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel, possibly the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt, with its gigantic rock–cut façade, was created to revere the mighty ruler Ramses II. Guarding the entrance to the temple, the 4 colossal statues of Ramses II sit majestically staring out across the desert.
Not to be missed! Bolt on an Abu Simbel excursion.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
In a great location for the Pyramids, the Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms are well furnished with modern interiors and en suite facilities. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and there is a beautiful outdoor pool perfect for relaxing by. Why not head to the restaurant on the roof for a delicious meal and impressive views of the Pyramids. Perfectly located across from the Pyramids and also close to Cairo University and the Hanging Church.
Set amongst a garden of palm trees, the Old Oasis Hotel is the ultimate in desert relaxation. A chilled out vibe surrounds the place and the guest rooms are simple and comfortable with good en suite facilities. Days can be spent cooling off in the out door pool and evenings are spent with the resident Bedouins, listening to music, sharing a sheesha pipe and singing along. Located in the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt's less visited Western Desert.
A grand and classical hotel, the Sonesta is luxurious, ensuring you a comfortable stay. The hotel has a sweeping terrace with fantastic views of the Nile, a grand entrance of polished marble and handsomely appointed furnishings with exquisite detail and a beautiful health spa.
Set in manicured gardens, the Helnan Aswan is an elegant hotel with impressive views of the Nile. Guest rooms are spacious with modern interiors and located next to the beautiful pool. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and by the pool. There is also two restaurants and bars, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and a cinema. Why not relax by the pool before exploring the rest of Aswan. The hotel has an excellent location on the Corniche in the heart of Aswan, just a few minutes from the Nile.
Feluccas are simple, traditional Egyptian sailboats that have plied the Nile since ancient times. Feluccas carry between 8 - 12 passengers comfortably. The boat’s deck is draped with soft colourful cushions that serve as your lounging area during the day and as your sleeping area at night. A support boat travels alongside your felucca and is on hand if you need to use the toilet or wash. It is also where your meals are prepared and eaten. You'll need to bring a sleeping bag/sheet and a towel with you. The crew, as well as being experienced sailors, are responsible for the preparation of the included meals, though they welcome helpers!
Sat on a golden beach in Hurghada, the Grand Plaza Hotel offers an unforgettable experience. Guest rooms are bright and well furnished with soft Egyptian cotton linen. 2 outdoor pools are on offer to refresh and relax by and there is also giant chess - perfect for families! Being on the beach there is a whole host of watersports on offer - a great way to enjoy the Red Sea Riviera! The Grand Plaza Hotel is only five minutes from Hurghada International Airport.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Egypt, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Dear On The Go,
I would like to take this time to thank you for an incredible tour! My wife and I chose the Dunes and Tombs tour because we sought an adventurous, historically rich and interesting tour. You sure did deliver! Everything we did and saw was fantastic, but what stood out for me the most was camel riding by the pyramids, camping overnight in the White Desert, riding a felucca along the Nile, witnessing Abu Simbel and finally relaxing in Hurghada. This tour was truly remarkable and the sights will remain in our memories forever. However, what made our trip the most memorable was our guide, Mahmoud Ramadan!
When we first met Mahmoud on day one of the tour, he immediately showed us his approachability and kindness. As the tour progressed, these characteristics never wavered. He constantly offered guidance and suggestions to make us feel comfortable and at ease. I never once felt uneasy asking for anything. Furthermore, he called our hotel rooms many times to see if the room was to our liking or if there was anything he could do for us to make our stay better. I've never encountered such dedication towards our comfort.
Mahmoud was extremely knowledgeable of the historical sites we visited. He knew all the names of important figures by heart, as well as the meaning of hieroglyphs found in tombs and temples. Listening to his knowledge of these sites made our trip even more worthwhile. He was very animated with his storytelling. He really made us appreciate the history of Egypt. On top of that, he explained often of current Egyptian culture. He also explained the history and differences between Islamic and Coptic and the influences of the Roman and Greek world on Egyptian architecture and art. He helped us learn essential words in Arabic, customs and even the current political situation, which I found very informative and interesting. He is very well-rounded.
All in all, Mahmoud was an outstanding and professional guide. The tour would not have been the same without him. He was very courteous and made every attempt at making our stay pleasant. I've been on many tours and by far he is the best. I plan to recommend this tour to friends and family and to request him as their guide. When we visit Jordan and/or revisit Egypt with On The Go, we will seek Mahmoud!
Thank you On The Go for a lovely experience! ”
I wanted to send you an email to express how much I enjoyed my tour "Dunes and Tombs" from Jan 20th to Feb 07th. It was the perfect combination of adventure, sight seeing and relaxation. My favourite sights were the Karnak temple, Luxor temple by night and of course, Abu Simbel. I also enjoyed the fact that we were able to relax in Hurghada for a few days but I wish On The Go gave us more activities to do.
My favourite part of the entire trip was the Western desert. The Bahariyya Oasis and the White desert...wow. Our hotel in Bahariyya was absolutely incredible. It was charming and gorgeous. I absolutely loved visiting the old, abandoned city of Bahr. It was very humbling to see the people who still live there. It was the first place I bought a souvenir from. So refreshing to buy something handmade and locally made that isn't made in China, like everything at the tourist sights.
Finally, I wanted to end this review with a commentary about my guide, Mahmoud Ramadan. He was absolutely, 100% AMAZING.
1) He is so passionate about his job. He loves Egypt, Egyptology, guiding and monuments.
2) He is respectful. He never forced our group to buy anything. He gave us lots of time at every sight. Even when we only had 15 mins, he always asked us how much time WE wanted.
3) He is so knowledgable. He knew what every hieroglyph, monument, time line of history, background information, biographies, currency exchange....anything...he knew it. To have a guide who is able to guide us and help us is so priceless.
4) He is kind and funny. He always made every single sight enjoyable and fun. An 18 day tour can be very tiring. Even by the end of the tour, I was still excited to see things.
5) He goes the extra mile. I went on this tour as a part of my honeymoon. He made every part of this trip so memorable for us. When we were least expecting it, he surprised us with local sweets. He always had coins handy if I needed to use the toilet and forgot my extra pounds. He toasted us at restaurants. When we wanted to do extra things, he organized those trips. He was always ready to help us. Even when we had free time and he should have been relaxing, he called our room EVERY DAY to ask if our room was perfect. He made sure that our room was extra special (made sure the hotel gave us flowers one time) because he knew this was our honeymoon.
To be perfectly honest, when I come back to Egypt, I will use On The Go but ONLY if Mahmoud is my guide. He was so great and I really hope your company recognizes what a great asset he is. ”
I want to pass on my thanks to the Egypt team and specifically our guide Mahmoud Ramadan for providing and creating an experience that will never be forgotten.
Mahmoud's knowledge of Egypt was exceptional and he definitely went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed our time in Egypt as well as learning about the country and customs. He made me feel comfortable from the first day and by the end of the tour we were like a little family, I believe this was due to Mahmoud's awesome personality.
The tour accommodation was better than I expected (top rate) and I am so happy that I elected the Dunes and Tombs because the desert and camping was the highlight of my trip in Egypt.
When we joined with the larger group half way through the tour it was good in the fact we got to meet other tourists enjoying the country as well, although at the same time it was difficult due to the numbers on the tour, it was also a shame to no longer have Mahmoud imparting his passion for Egypt, it was noticed and missed.
Dahab was like heaven, such a beautiful place and Dino did a great job looking after the group.
Again, I want to express my thanks to those involved (in particular Mahmoud, the best guide in Egypt) in making my stay and trip in Egypt one that I will remember and I will definitely look to take another On The Go tour again in the future if they are all of this standard. I will also be hopefully returning to Egypt in the future with other family and friends who are also passionate to learn about the country.
Many many thanks ”
I had a great time with on the go made a lot of friends, hope see all of them again! ”
Egypt was quite an experience made all the more enjoyable with kindness, passion and knowledge of our guide Bassam. Thanking you kindly for making my stay most memorable! ”
I had a great time with on the go made a lot of friends, hope see all of them again! ”