Itinerary in Egypt
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 2, 2013 9:14 PM Last Post By: tmpa1982
Jan 18, 2013 7:41 AM
Itinerary in EgyptMy boyfriend and I are planning a year long backpacking trip, and we'd like to stop in Egypt for a few days before going to Jordan and Israel.
I made some research and we are very intrigued by the desert. I have two possible itinerary in mind with different time frame and I would like to have your opinions as 1) Is it doable? 2) Are we gonna miss out on the cord of what Egypt really is?
about 2 days in Cairo
Night train to Siwa Oasis (about 2 days)
Possible to stop to Alexandria for a day
2 days in Cairo
3 days in the Sinai Peninsula (assuming the political situation is gonna get better)
about 4 days in Cairo
Night train to Siwa Oasis, 2 days
4 to 5 days in Luxor - Aswan and Abu Simbel
Take the ferry from Hurgada to the Sinai Peninsula, about 3 days
Are we crazy, do you think we're trying to do to much?
Jan 18, 2013 8:36 AM
1There is no railroad to Siwa. There is a direct bus from Turgoman at 21:45 for 75EGP. Our was 90 mins late. Bring warm clothes, they turn on the aircon even winter time.
If you have a lot of time (say 3 weeks), you could consider going to Luxor via the desert route (i.e. Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla, Al Kharga). We wanted to do it, but wasn't sure if it fitted in our timeframe. For Siwa - Bahariya, I was quoted 200 per person in a 8-10 person 4WD on the spot. Outside they quote superhigh prices like 1600/car.
Personally Cairo for 2x2 days for me is too much. But then I heard of people spending a week or two just there. Depends on your interests.
Jan 18, 2013 8:36 AM
2If you have the luxury of travelling for a year I would try and spend more time in Egypt. I think you are trying to fit in a bit too much into a short space of time. Getting to and from Siwa will eat up a lot of your time that you could spend somewhere else.
Sinai Peninsula seems fine, I was just in Dahab and there were no problems. Staying by the coast in the Red Sea resorts is fine.
The ferry from Hurghada to Sharm stopped a while ago I think.
Jan 19, 2013 12:44 AM
3We travelled for 1 year through Africa and spend 7 weeks of that in Egypt (beginning of 2012). The time we spend in the dessert (although self drive in our own car) was the highlight of the whole trip!
We went from Bahariya to Dahkla Oasis all offroad In six days. We hired another car which we could follow. To show us the way and of course in case of emergencies. We payed 130 euros per day incl food, driver, cook and 1 Landcruiser (2 peoples). However this was during the revolution so prices might have been low at the time.
The landscapes you will see on this trip are amazing, every 50km another landscape, check this out: http://goinglocal.nu/fotos_egypte . It is really adventurous, sleep under the dessert stars every night, drink tea at the campfire, smoke sheesha. Most people go for a day or 2, however if you're prepared to spend some extra, after 2 days you won't see another soul. That is, only the 'soul of the dessert'.
I think you can arrange a Cairo pick up with one of the companies. If you need recommendations please let me know.
Luxor temples are nice but very crowded, even during the revolution. When in Cairo, check out the nearby camel market (not for the faint hearted), is quite difficult to find though..
Jan 22, 2013 10:00 PM
4You must go to the western deserts of Egypt! We spent about 6 weeks in Egypt and wish we had more. It is such an amazing place. We were there in 2011 during the revolution so it was completely free from tourists, it was unreal.
It's 9 hours from Alexandria to Siwa Oasis. In our opinion, we could've done without seeing Alexandria. Cairo is a really lively city and we loved it there.
Siwa Oasis is really cool. You're going to want at least 3 days there in my opinion. You can sandboard in the Great Sand Sea, take a bicycle to the stunning oasis for sunset, swim in natural spring pools, see the amazing mud fort of Siwa and of course, chat with the friendly locals. It's quite the place. Check our our Siwa blogs here.
The Bahariya Desert is also amazing. We sent some time around Mut & Qasr and spent the day driving through the Black Desert, Mushroom formations, Crystal Mountain and slept in the White Desert. It was quite the journey. Check out our blogs from Bahariya here. and Mut&Qasr here.
I think that 4 days to see Aswan, Luxor and Abu isn't enough time. The temples of Luxor and the Valley Of the Kings is amazing but if you don't have at least 2 days in Luxor, then I wouldn't bother going there. There's so much to see.
I would suggest choosing between either the Western Deserts or going south to Aswan/Luxor. Once you're in the Sinai (Dahab) you won't want to leave! The Red Sea is amazing. Give yourself at least 3 days there. There is a horrible overnight bus you can take from Luxor to Dahab (21 hours). You'll arrive really tired but it's the cheapest way to get there if you are coming from Luxor. It's a shorter journey from Cairo to Dahab at about 9-12 hours. See our Dahab blog here.
From the Sinai, you can take a ferry from Neweiba, Egypt to Aquaba, Jordan.
Check out this photo journey through the deserts of Egypt!
Click here for our informative Budget Bacpkpacking Guide To Egypt.
Safe Travels and enjoy your trip around the world!
Goats On The Road
Jan 24, 2013 2:08 PM
5I have never been to Siwa but I can tell you that the trip to Baharya Oasis is much shorter, the road is in a good condition, you can drive there (4 H) or take the bus (5-6H), very nice and feasible!
Jan 29, 2013 7:23 AM
6Wow thank you so much for your replies!
We reconsidered this whole trip and decided to cut on some countries so we can spend more time in each of them.
@Tmpa1982 I tried finding info about the desert road to go to Luxor, but didn't find any, if you have more, please let me know!
@Goatsontheroad I look into your blog quite a lot already while searching for info, very inspirational!
@Robj46 Camel market? Sounds interesting! Do you have more info?
So after all your comments, here is what we think could work
3 days in Cairo
Night bus to Siwa (3 days)
Desert Road to Luxor
6 days Luxor - Aswan - Abou Simbel
21 hour bus to Dahab
3 days in Dahab
Feb 2, 2013 9:14 PM
7From Cairo to Siwa, it is easy. You can either go direct (as above), or stop at Alexandria / Marsah Matruh. Siwa is a small town / village. You can walk around and ask for offers to Bawiti. There is a very helpful tourist office opposite the bus station, you can ask around there too. Once you are in Bawiti (again a small place), you can shop around for a White Desert tour, with Farafra drop off. This is what I think is easily doable, based on what I have experienced.
The rest of the road, it's just from reading :-) ... bus to Dakhla, Al-Kharga, then to Asyut, then train to Luxor. If I had plenty of time, I would definitely try this route.
If you get stuck in Bawiti or Farafra, just take a bus back to Cairo and then take a train to Luxor.
If you are lucky, you may bump into groups in Siwa or Bawiti who wants to go a similar road and willing to have others joining to share the costs.
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