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The Perfect Egypt Itinerary: 7, 10, or 14 Days Full of Ancient Wonders

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Egypt is one of those places you dream about visiting as a kid. We all grow up learning about Pharaohs, hieroglyphics, the Pyramids, and the Sphinx as kids and it’s crazy to think all those things exist and you can see them in person! There’s so many things to do in Egypt, but I’ve come up with the perfect Egypt itinerary for 7, 10, or 14 days.

camel at the pyramids | egypt itinerary

Where is Egypt?

Most people don’t realize Egypt is actually on the continent of Africa. While Egypt is commonly grouped together with the Middle East, it’s part of Northern Africa. It borders countries like Israel, Sudan, and Libya, with the Mediterranean Sea to its North and the Red Sea to its East. While it doesn’t border Jordan or Saudi Arabia, it’s very close to both countries. Egypt is often combined on a trip with Jordan & Israel as they’re all very close to each other.

How do I get to Egypt?

The main international airport you’ll fly into in Egypt is the Cairo International Airport in Cairo (airport code: CAI). You can fly to Cairo from most major international airports throughout the world including two US airports: New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles. Other major cities to reach Cairo include London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Toronto.

How do you get around Egypt?

There are several ways to get around Egypt. You can drive, take a train, or fly. While the trains are cheap, they involve long rides and typically have extensive delays or just take way longer than scheduled (hence the delays). Driving is doable between some cities, but isn’t reasonable throughout the entire trip due to long distances between most cities. Therefore, the absolute best way to get around Egypt is to fly from place to place. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know below what cities are worth flying between and which ones you should drive between.

You can get to basically anywhere in Egypt flying from Cairo and the flights are rather inexpensive. Every city is pretty much an hour flight away from wherever you are in Egypt. The only exception to this is if you have to transit through Cairo. Then it’ll be 1 hour to Cairo and then 1 hour to wherever else you’re going. The two airlines you’ll see flying domestically in Egypt are Egyptair and Nile Air. Egyptair is the country’s flag carrier so that’s who I flew everywhere with and their safety records meet US standards. The only time I would’ve chosen Nile Air over Egyptair is if the time or price was a lot better.

Egypt Itinerary: 7 Days

The minimum amount of time I’d recommend spending in Egypt is a week. Over 7 days, you’ll be able to see the country’s major highlights without really missing out. Plus, once you’re finished your 7 days in Egypt, you’ll already be planning a longer trip back!

DAYS 1-2: Cairo & Giza

Fly from Cairo to Aswan.

DAYS 3-5: Aswan

Hire a driver between Aswan and Luxor, visiting Edfu or Kom Ombo along the way.

DAYS 6-7: Luxor

Fly back to Cairo to head home.

standing in front of great pyramids of giza | egypt itinerary
karnak temple pillars | egypt itinerary

Egypt Itinerary: 10 Days

The 10 day itinerary for Egypt is going to be fairly similar to the 7 day itinerary with a few options for the extra days. If you’re not a big beach person and want to see more historical sites or go camping in the desert, I would suggest visiting Alexandria or the White Desert. If you do love beaches and are into water sports like scuba diving or snorkeling, I would suggest Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada.

10-Day Egypt Itinerary: History & the Desert

The first itinerary I’m going to give you below is if you’re wanting to see more of those cultural and historical sites like in Alexandria or go camping in the White Desert. I prefer the White Desert of the two options because it’s the most unique compared to the rest of the itinerary.

DAYS 1-2: Cairo & Giza

Take a tour from Cairo to visit the White Desert or hire a driver to get to Alexandria.

DAYS 3-4: The White Desert

Your tour should end in Cairo where you can fly to Aswan.

**ALTERNATIVE** DAYS 3-4: Alexandria

Hire a driver to get back to the Cairo Airport in order to fly to Aswan.

DAYS 5-7: Aswan

Hire a driver between Aswan and Luxor, visiting Edfu or Kom Ombo along the way.

DAYS 8-10: Luxor

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Fly back to Cairo to head home.

sunset over the nile in aswan with felucca | egypt itinerary
inside tomb at valley of the kings | egypt itinerary

10-Day Egypt Itinerary: Sun & Sand

If you’re more of a beach and water sports kind of person, I highly recommend taking out Alexandria or the White Desert and including a visit to Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. Hurghada can be reached by air or by a 4-hour drive from Luxor. Sharm El Sheikh has to be reached by air, but is only about a 1 hour flight away from Cairo.

The itinerary below with Sharm El Sheikh is my favorite. The reason for this is because Sharm El Sheikh has the option to visit the desert on a day trip. It’s by no means the same thing as the White Desert, but it offers the most variety in all 4 options.

DAYS 1-2: Cairo & Giza

Fly from Cairo to Aswan.

DAYS 3-5: Aswan

Hire a driver between Aswan and Luxor, visiting Edfu or Kom Ombo along the way.

DAYS 6-7: Luxor

Fly from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh with a stop in Cairo, or hire a driver between Luxor and Hurghada.

DAYS 8-10: Sharm El Sheikh

Fly back to Cairo to head home or fly internationally from Sharm El Sheikh Airport.

**ALTERNATIVE** DAYS 8-10: Hurghada

Fly back to Cairo to head home.

close up of camel with pyramid backdrop | egypt itinerary
standing in front of king tut's tomb | egypt itinerary

Egypt Itinerary: 14 Days

If you can, spending 2 full weeks in Egypt will have you seeing the most. Unlike the previous itineraries I’ve mentioned, you don’t really have to miss out on anything. You can soak up those historical sites, see a bit of desert, and swim in the Red Sea.

Similar to the 10 day itinerary option, you’ll have to choose between Alexandria & the White Desert and Sharm El Sheikh & Hurghada. In my personal opinion, I would choose the White Desert and Sharm El Sheikh. I think this combination offers you the most variety on your trip.

DAYS 1-3: Cairo & Giza

Hire a driver to get to Alexandria or take a tour from Cairo to visit the White Desert.

DAYS 4-5: The White Desert

Your tour should end in Cairo where you can fly to Aswan.

**ALTERNATIVE** DAYS 4-5: Alexandria

Hire a driver to get back to the Cairo Airport in order to fly to Aswan.

DAYS 6-8: Aswan

Hire a driver between Aswan and Luxor, visiting Edfu or Kom Ombo along the way.

DAYS 9-11: Luxor

Fly from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh with a stop in Cairo, or hire a driver between Luxor and Hurghada.

DAYS 12-14: Sharm El Sheikh

Fly back to Cairo to head home or fly internationally from Sharm El Sheikh Airport.

**ALTERNATIVE** DAYS 12-14: Hurghada

Fly back to Cairo to head home.

standing with pyramids in the distance next to a camel friend | egypt itinerary
close up inside tomb at valley of the kings | egypt itinerary

Nile Cruise – Worth It or Not?

Nile Cruises are really common between Luxor and Aswan. Don’t confuse the Nile Cruises with the felucca rides. The felucca rides are typically a couple hour ordeal and you sleep in a hotel, which I totally recommend you do in Aswan.

Nile Cruises are typically 4, 5, or 7 night cruises that go between Luxor and Aswan. They can travel in either direction, but I prefer visiting Aswan before Luxor (cruise or not). The cruises will typically stop between Luxor and Aswan at cities like Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Esna.

I would suggest doing a 4-night Nile Cruise if you feel more comfortable with a group or if you’re rushing and want to optimize time, for example on the 7-night itinerary above. You could easily visit Cairo and then only do the Nile Cruise after that. I would suggest doing a longer cruise if you have more time to spend between Aswan and Luxor, maybe on a 7-night cruise.

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I’m happy I didn’t do a cruise because I wanted to create my own itinerary and not see things with a big group, which you can’t really avoid with a Nile Cruise. With the group, you’re stuck to their schedule whereas building your own itinerary allows you to decide when to go where to avoid the crowds. That being said, if I returned to Egypt I would likely do a shorter cruise just to get the experience of it as it does seem like the much more relaxing option.

Free Egypt Itinerary Maps

I really enjoy providing maps because I find them to be super helpful planning a trip. Every itinerary option has a corresponding map below to make planning your trip easier!

Pin me to Pinterest!!!! ⤵

Heather L

Saturday 5th of June 2021

Loved this detailed post so much that we booked our trip for september! Doing 3 days cairo, 4 days luxor/aswan and 6 days hurghdada! Thank you so much for the recs. Do you recommend Cairo Air or is it more a budget airline? Trying to find flights between cairo and luxor/ hurghada back to cairo.

Maddie

Sunday 6th of June 2021

So glad you love it and it was helpful!!! You're going to love Hurghada. Make sure to spend lots of time underwater! I did EgyptAir whenever possible just because it's the most reliable airline in the country and it also is a partner to United so I was able to bank the points for those flights to United.

Melissa

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Love how you lay out all the options! Currently in quarantine and dreaming up the next trip...definitely leaning toward Egypt. Also love the pics - Egypt looks amazing!!

Maddie

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Thank you! You absolutely should visit Egypt. It was such a great surprise to me and I wouldn't hesitate to go back!! Hope you're staying safe. <3

kelly

Sunday 26th of January 2020

Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures and the valuable maps. Really helpful.

Maddie

Sunday 26th of January 2020

Glad you like them! Hope you use them to visit Egypt :)

Natasha

Saturday 25th of January 2020

Beautiful photos! Egypt is definitely on my bucket list—especially that lantern shop (and, of course the pyramids, too)!

Maddie

Sunday 26th of January 2020

The market with the lantern shop was one of the highlights! I love visiting local markets. It was definitely a pleasant surprise for me in Cairo.

Josy A

Saturday 25th of January 2020

What a dream holiday! I guess almost everyone studied Egyptian history at school, so it gives us all a bit of wanderlust for visiting this beautiful country. I love your photos, you just made me want to visit even more!

Maddie

Sunday 26th of January 2020

Exactly!! Having learned about it growing up makes it feel that much more surreal. You have to visit! You would love it.