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C$4550 (p/p)

Nabateans & Nubians Tour

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Nabateans & Nubians OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

16 days

Cairo to Amman

From

C$4550 (p/p)

Country(ies): Egypt , Jordan

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 18

Accommodation: 3, 4 & 5-star hotels, felucca sailboat, sleeper train, bedouin camp

Meals:

Transport: A/C car/minibus/coach, sleeper train, felucca sailboat, ferry & Bedouin jeep

Highlights: Pyramids & Sphinx, Philae temple, Felucca cruise, Valley of the Kings, Karnak temple, Jerash Roman ruins, Dead Sea swim, Wadi Mujib Siq Trail, Petra tour, Wadi Rum safari & camp, 

We spend the first leg of this trip exploring the wonders of Egypt, our tour covers Cairo and the Nile Valley as well as the Red Sea at Hurghada. We start with visits to the iconic Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza where our local Egyptologist guides will start their explanations about ancient Pharaonic history and the evolution of pyramid building. While in Cairo we'll also visit the huge Egyptian Museum, home to a host of ancient artefacts, mummies, and the famous King Tutankhamun display.Next, we board an overnight sleeper train and head south into Upper Egypt, arriving in Aswan the next morning. Aswan is home to one of the most scenic stretches of the Nile and we'll take a boat trip to the beautiful island Philae temple. An option is also available to visit the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which were completely dismantled and moved when Lake Nasser was flooded.
We take to the Nile next for a relaxing overnight river cruise on a traditional Nile felucca sailboat, accompanied by our friendly Nubian crew. This is a great way to break up your sightseeing with some relaxation time and to see rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the Nile. After leaving the boat we'll visit Edfu temple en-route to Luxor, which is considered by many as the world's greatest open air museum. Here we'll tour both the east bank of the river to see the huge temple complex at Karnak and Luxor temple, which is beautifully lit up at night; and also the west bank of the Nile to explore tombs in the Valley of the Kings, see Queen Hatchepsut temple and Deir El-Medina, the valley of the artisans, as well as the Colossi of Memnon. You can also take a spectacular hot air balloon flight here if you wish.
After a final night in Cairo, our journey takes us under the Suez Canal and in to the Peninsula, where our final destination will be the beautiful bohemian resort of Dahab. We'll have 3 nights here, where you can choose to either relax or explore the region further on one of our optional tours to Ras Abu Galom, the Blue Hole, Coloured Canyon or even take a hike up Mount Sinai. 

The second leg of our journey begins by taking the ferry from Taba to the the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba from where we'll continue by road into the beautiful desert scenery of Wadi Rum where we'll spend the night in a comfortable Bedouin camp against the towering cliffs. The next morning we take a jeep safari through the sand dunes and past amazing rock bridges before spending some time with a local Bedouin shepherd, learning about their nomadic way of life and how they look after their animals in the desert. Next, we'll explore Jordan's main highlight, the amazing lost city of Petra. We have time for a guided tour here, as well as free time to hike up to the Monastery and High Place of Sacrifice for some amazing views. 
Heading north, our next stop will be Wadi Mujib, where we'll hike in the water, through the canyons of the Siq Trail and after a day of adventure we'll have time to relax on the shores of the Dead Sea where you can 'swim' in the salty waters or enjoy a spa treatment at your hotel. The final stops of this tour take you to the historial sites of Madaba, Mount Nebo and Jerash. 

ITINERARY

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Day 1:   Arrive in Cairo, transfer to hotel

Your tour starts with your arrival at Cairo International Airport. Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 5-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - pre-tour


Day 2:   Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum tour

Our tour of Egypt begins with a trip to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo. Home to the fantastic Tutankhamun exhibit the museum hosts a huge number of other ancient Egyptian artefacts. One of our local Egyptologist guides will be accompanying you on this and all of your other sightseeing tours, and you'll find them a wealth of knowledge and full of enthusiasm about Egyptian history, and their country in general. Following on from the museum we then head to Giza on the outskirts of Cairo to visit the Sphinx and the three great pyramids of Egypt. At 500 feet high and 750 feet wide at its base the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is an awesome man-made structure constructed of giant stone blocks with a hard limestone casing. The casing has, over the years, been stripped away to leave exposed the inner block structure. Together with the smaller pyramids of Khafre (Chephern) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), the majestic sight of these enormous structures rising out of the desert is a breathtaking spectacle. You will have the opportunity to climb down right inside the pyramids if you wish, though your guide cannot accompany you (a limited number of tickets are available for the Great Pyramid).

This evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Aswan (approx. 12 hours).

OVERNIGHT:

On board train

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Internal flights upgrade


Day 3:   Arrive in Aswan, Nubian Village, Philae Temple

This morning we arrive in Aswan and transfer to our hotel overlooking the Nile which is at its most picturesque here, with cascading rapids, lush green islands, and feluccas sailing to and fro. Aswan itself is a melting pot of African and Middle Eastern cultures, most easily experienced by wandering through the busy markets. It's also part of the ancient region of Nubia, which comprised parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan around the Nile rivers. Many descendants of the Nubian people still live here and we'll visit a local Nubian village to see their colourful houses, simple way of life and to enjoy a traditional lunch.

We continue our tour this afternoon with a visit the Temple of Philae, a beautiful island complex dedicated to Isis and reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, which we reach by a scenic boat ride. The evening is then free to look around Aswan's spice and general markets, and to walk up and down the popular Corniche, on the banks of the Nile. An option is also available to take a camel ride through the sands on the far bank of the Nile to St. Simeon's monastery. If you've chosen the Abu Simbel option then head to bed early this evening to be ready for a very early start tomorrow morning.

OVERNIGHT:

Aswan 5 star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4:   Aswan, Abu Simbel option, felucca cruise

This morning we have the option of taking an early start for the drive to the UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel. These amazing temples built by Ramses II are one of Egypt's main highlights and attractions. Those not visiting Abu Simbel can explore Aswan's markets this morning, walk up and down the Corniche on the banks of the river or visit the Nubian Museum which has a fascinating collection covering the development of the Nubian people in the region.

We board our traditional Nile felucca at lunchtime to enjoy an afternoon sailing down the Nile. Floating down the Nile on a felucca is one of Egypt's most enjoyable activities and you'll be able to watch local rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river as you drift past. Our Nubian crew will sail the boat and entertain you on the way, as well as preparing meals for you. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat has a welcome toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen where the crew will prepare a delicious evening meal. You sleep on the deck of the boat tonight (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided). You can upgrade your upcoming felucca sailboat trip to an additional night in the Aswan hotel, and in this case you'll spend tonight in Aswan and re-join the group tomorrow morning when they leave the Felucca at Komombo. All other touring remains the same.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan


Day 5:   Felucca, Edfu, Luxor temple

After breakfast on-board we bid farewell to our felucca crew and visit the nearby temple Edfu before continuing on north to Luxor. The town of Luxor is built on and around the ancient site of Thebes, and boasts the largest concentration of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. To the west of the Nile lies the City of the Dead, with its mortuary temples and rock-hewn tombs, whilst to the east lie the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. This evening we'll take a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night.

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6:   Luxor, West bank tour, Karnak temple

We cross the Nile early this morning to begin our tour of Luxor’s West Bank. Home to the Valley of the Kings, the dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and so it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Our tour includes several of these Pharaonic tombs, as well as the temple of Queen Hatchepsut, Deir-el-Medina (the Valley of the Craftsmen), and the huge Colossi of Memnon.

A spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available this morning (expect an early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).

After lunch we'll tour the huge temple complex at Karnak , once the religious centre of Thebes and Upper Egypt. It was linked to Luxor by an extensive avenue, lined with sphinxes, and the whole complex was in turn linked to the Nile via a canal through which moved the sacred boats of the god Amun. Entering through a smaller sphinx-lined avenue, built by Ramesses II, you come to the immense pylon entrance. Inside the huge Courtyard are three chapels dedicated to the gods Amun, Khous and Mut. The remarkable Hypostyle Hall has 134 towering columns, each carved with scenes of gods and pharaohs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions adorn the walls.

Later this evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train back to Cairo (approx. 9 hours).

OVERNIGHT:

On board train

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor


Day 7:   Cairo, optional tours, back streets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazzar

We arrive back into Cairo this morning and transfer to our hotel. Most of the day is then free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Another full day option further afield includes a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.

In the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We'll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We'll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt's unofficial national dish, Kushari before returning to our hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Cairo city tour
Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 8:   Drive through Sinai to Dahab

This morning we'll depart Cairo for our drive to Dahab, the journey will take us under the Suez Canal and through the Sinai region. If you prefer to fly, we also offer an optional Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh flight upgrade. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax by the hotel pool or beach, or head into Assalah to enjoy the unique feel of this friendly village.

The word Dahab in Arabic means gold and refers to the fine yellow sand that colours the beaches either side of the main bay. The nearby Bedouin village of Assalah lies along the shore of Ghazala Bay and is a collection of campsites, hotels, restaurants, shops, dive-centres and bars, dotted with palm trees. It is here that you’ll experience the Bohemian feel that makes Dahab so special (most hotels provide shuttle buses and taxis to and fro are cheap as well). The evenings provide a perfect opportunity to try out some of the many restaurants and excellent local seafood.

OVERNIGHT:

Dahab hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9:   Dahab Free day (options available)

Today is free to explore the many delights that Dahab, and its surroundings have to offer. You can do more snorkelling or try an introductory scuba-dive. Alternatively you can relax at one of the numerous beachside restaurants or do a spot of sunbathing on the beach. If you'd like to see more of what this area has to offer day trips are available to the protected area of Ras Abu Galum where you'll be have the opportunity to get up close with the marine life which this area has become famous for. Other options are available to the Blue Hole, Coloured and White Canyons, Mount Sinai & St Catherines Monastery and even a Bedouin evening in the desert.

OVERNIGHT:

Dahab hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 10:   Further free day in Dahab

You have another free day in Dahab today, to relax or explore the local area further on another of our optional tours. 

OVERNIGHT:

Dahab hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11:   Ferry to Jordan & overnight Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

This morning we'll travel from Dahab to Taba Heights (approx. 2 hours drive) for the ferry to Aqaba (approx. 1 hour). After arriving in Jordan and passing through passport control we drive into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum where friendly Bedouin hosts are ready to greet us at a comfortable camp beneath the towering rocks and cliffs. We spend the evening and night relaxing at the camp and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal which normally includes the option of 'Zarb' a Jordanish dish normally comprising of Lamb and Chicken that is cooked underground in Bedouin style. Options this evening include a sunset camel ride or star gazing with telescopes.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 12:   A jeep safari and Bedouin experience in Wadi Rum, travel to Petra

After breakfast in the camp, we take a jeep safari through the sands and beneath the towering 'jebels' of Wadi Rum, stopping to climb sand dunes and to see some of the strange rock formations, including a spectacular rock bridge.

We'll also do some local activities inspired from the Bedouin traditions, walking with a local shepherd with his sheep and goats to a Bedouin tent. 

We can also join in and learn about other traditional Bedouin activities such as shearing the sheep & goats' hair, milking, grinding grains, making bread and roasting coffee Finally, after really getting a feel for nomadic Bedouin life, we return by jeep to our camp and then drive to Petra. En-route to Petra we'll make a stop at the Petra Bakery where you'll see the locals making traditional bread and have a light lunch. 

You have the option for a spectacular and atmospheric introduction to Petra tonight, with the Petra by Night tour. Here you walk through the Siq to the Treasury, the whole way being atmospherically lit up by hundreds of candles.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 13:   Reverse-route mountain hike to Petra via Little Petra

Today is all about exploring the Nabatean site of Petra. It was once the ancient capital of the Nabataean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD. For a long period of time, Petra was forgotten - except by the local Bedouins - before it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Petra can be found at the edge of the Wadi Aruba desert, where canyon walls and towering hills make it virtually impossible to reach, except via a narrow cleft in the rock, known as the Siq. There are very few free-standing buildings in Petra, as the Nabateans chose to carve their dwellings into the multi coloured sandstone cliffs. Petra has become one of Jordan's main tourist attractions and the Jordanian Government is well aware of this. The tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, there aren't that many touts or souvenir sellers, and all the building feels miles away.

We have most of the day available today to explore this ancient city, though as an added bonus, we'll be exploring Petra via the back-route which starts at Little Petra. Before embarking on our hike into Petra, we'll explore the small but equally interesting site of Little Petra, or Siq al-Barid. From here we'll take a short jeep ride to the start of the mountail trail which links Little Petra to the Monastery and main site of Petra. 

The back-route into Petra makes for an interesting and much less crowded way of visiting, and what's more, you'll be rewarded with incredible mountain views towards the Holy Land. Whilst hiking the back-route you'll still have the opportunity to see all of the same monuments visited on the normal route, with the addition of Little Petra and the Monastery. The route starts with the ascent of a number of rock hewn steps and paths which straddle the mountain edge. After reaching a plateau, there is an opportunity to stop for refreshments at a small cafe from where you'll have some fantastic photo opportunities. From here the path continues until you'll have a glimpse of 'Ad-Deir' (or the Monastery) where you can have a well deserved rest before descending down into the main site of Petra. 

Once in Petra the valley opens out, and you'll see tombs carved into the rock on both sides. You'll get a glimpse of the ruined Roman amphitheatre and colonnaded streets. As we continue through the ancient city of Petra, we'll eventually reach The Khazneh (Treasury) which is probably the most familiar monument of Petra.

Whilst the back-route hike into Petra isn't particularly difficult, as a number of ascents/descents and a significant number of steps are required, this route is only suitable for those who have no issue in hiking in this type of terrain for a minimum of 2-3 hours as far as the Monastery and then a further few hours walking on sandy terrain, whilst exploring the main site of Petra. 

For those with less mobility or who are worried about the distance, horse carriages are available for around 20JD (USD 28) for an agreed period of time (only available within the main site of Petra, not on the hiking route). We do not recommend riding the horses that are available.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 14:   Dead Sea road to Wadi Mujib - Siq Trail Hike. Dead Sea 'swim'

After enjoying breakfast in Petra, we'll head north along the Dead Sea road to Wadi Mujib, where we'll hike along the exciting Siq Trail. Along the way we'll be rewarded with great views of the Salt Flats at the southern end of the Dead Sea. As we continue along the shores of the Dead Sea we eventually reach the visitor centre of Wadi Mujib. You'll have time to have lunch here (not included) before entering the water and embarking on the hike. 

Descending down into the gorge we enter the Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve where between months of April and October (see note below for periods outside of this) it's possible to take an exciting hike through the shallow waters that fill the gorge. Along the way you'll climb up small waterfalls where steps have being installed to make it easier, until eventually you'll reach the end of the gorge where you can relax beneath a large waterfall. The entire hike generally takes 2 to 3 hours roundtrip.

We highly recommend bringing along a dry-bag (so your camera or mobile phone don't get wet) and water shoes. It is possible to hire a dry bag at the visitors centre for around US$7.00 and purchase water shoes for US$7.00).

Note: In the months from November to March, when it isn't possible to hike along the Siq Trail, we'll include a visit to the Baptism site in Bethany. This is a relatively recently excavated site believed to be the biblical 'Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan' where John baptised Jesus Christ. Several churches, caves and pools dating from Roman and Byzantine periods have been discovered here. Both Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI have visited. An electric minibus takes you from the visitor centre to the three sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and John the Baptist's Church.

After a day of activities, we'll make our way down to our resort right on the banks of the Dead Sea, where you have some free time to swim - or rather float - in its incredibly salty waters and to relax by the hotel pool. Don't forget a newspaper or magazine for your iconic Dead Sea photo!

OVERNIGHT:

Dead Sea hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 15:   Madaba, Mount Nebo and Roman Jerash

After a restful night we head to nearby Madaba, where we'll marvel at the Byzantine mosaics and the 'Madaba Map' - which is the oldest preserved map of the Holy Land. From Madaba, we'll make our way to Mount Nebo, the place where the prophet Moses looked across the Promised Land and is also his burial place. On a clear day, which is most of the time, you get great views towards Jericho and beyond from here.

Our final visit of the day is to the ancient city of Jerash - known for being one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside of Europe. Once we arrive in Jerash, we'll visit the Forum, explore its Roman colonnaded streets, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis - built on one of the highest points in the city.

We end our day with a return drive to Amman, where we'll spend our final night in Jordan. 

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 16:   Free time in Amman, hotel to airport transfer included

Your time is free in Amman today until we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure. Further sightseeing tours are available today if you have a late afternoon or evening flight, including a trip to the Baptism Site at Bethany on the Jordan River. This tour also connects well with several of our Egypt and Israel tours; please contact us for ideas and help with connections.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - post-tour - Standard level


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Included:
  • 11 nights in 3, 4 & 5-star hotels
  • 1 night on board felucca sailboat with support boat (hotel upgrade available)
  • 2 nights on board sleeper train from Cairo/Aswan & Luxor/Cairo (flight & hotel upgrade available)
  • 1 night Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum in comfortable tents
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • All sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • 4x4 jeep safari and Bedouin experience in Wadi Rum
  • English speaking guide in Jordan
  • International Ferry from Taba (Egypt) to Aqaba (Jordan)
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Egypt Visa fees (US$25 available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Jordan Visa fees (available free as part of the Jordan Pass)
  • Egypt Entrance fees to sites visited (allow approx. US$122)
  • Jordan Entrance fees (discounted package included in the Jordan Pass, available in advance for JD70)
  • Tipping kitty whilst in Egypt (allow US$65)
  • Tips in Jordan
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Hotel gala dinner supplements if applied on Christmas & New Year's Eve
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

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Dates and Prices

Regular small-group departures run throughout the year and the tour can also be booked privately on any other date and customised to fit your personal requirements.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
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10th of Feb 2024

25th of Feb 2024

C$4730.00

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9th of Mar 2024

24th of Mar 2024

C$4730.00

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6th of Apr 2024

21st of Apr 2024

C$4820.00

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4th of May 2024

19th of May 2024

C$4640.00

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1st of Jun 2024

16th of Jun 2024

C$4550.00

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29th of Jun 2024

14th of Jul 2024

C$4550.00

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27th of Jul 2024

11th of Aug 2024

C$4550.00

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24th of Aug 2024

8th of Sep 2024

C$4640.00

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21st of Sep 2024

6th of Oct 2024

C$4640.00

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19th of Oct 2024

3rd of Nov 2024

C$5000.00

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16th of Nov 2024

1st of Dec 2024

C$5000.00

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14th of Dec 2024

29th of Dec 2024

C$5000.00

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28th of Dec 2024

12th of Jan 2025

C$5265.00

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan

Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan

Located in the modern 6th October District, the Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan is a fantastic addition to Cairo's accommodation portfolio, offering luxury accommodation with a choice of dining experiences on site. The Arkan Plaza shopping and dining precinct is located beside the hotel which offers a selection of bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment opportunities. All within an easy reach of the Pyramids, Sphinx and downtown Cairo.

GUEST ROOMS

At the hotel all rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Every room has a coffee machine, while some rooms come with a kitchenette with a fridge. At Crowne Plaza - West Cairo Arkan, an IHG Hotel the rooms come with bed linen and towels.

FACILITIES

A buffet, continental or Italian breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. At the accommodation you will find a restaurant serving Mediterranean, Asian and international cuisine. Vegetarian, dairy-free and halal options can also be requested.
The property features a year-round outdoor pool, fitness centre, sauna and shared lounge.

Located in the modern 6th October District, the Crowne Plaza West Cairo - Arkan is a fantastic addition to Cairo's accommodation portfolio, offering luxury accommodation with a choice of dining experiences on site. The Arkan Plaza shopping and dining precinct is located beside the hotel which offers a selection of bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment opportunities. All within an easy reach of the Pyramids, Sphinx and downtown Cairo.

GUEST ROOMS

At the hotel all rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Every room has a coffee machine, while some rooms come with a kitchenette with a fridge. At Crowne Plaza - West Cairo Arkan, an IHG Hotel the rooms come with bed linen and towels.

FACILITIES

A buffet, continental or Italian breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. At the accommodation you will find a restaurant serving Mediterranean, Asian and international cuisine. Vegetarian, dairy-free and halal options can also be requested.
The property features a year-round outdoor pool, fitness centre, sauna and shared lounge.

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel is a 5-star establishment located on the doorstep of one of the most famous landmarks in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza. Modern yet classic, the hotel is set amongst leafy gardens. It has been recently taken over and upgraded by Steigenberger, and now offers improved service and standards. Free WiFi is offered throughout the hotel, and there are two swimming pools. Several bars and restaurants are situated on site, serving a variety of flavours from around the world, as well as offering a taste of local cuisine. A wellness centre features modern fitness equipment and machines, while the spa offers a variety of treatments to help you relax after a day of touring.

Accommodation is offered in the form of classic rooms, as well as family suites. The classic rooms are available with either double or twin beds, and look out onto the gardens. The family rooms can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Amenities in all rooms include en-suite bathrooms, TVs, minibars, safes, and air-conditioning. There are also several bungalow-style rooms set within the gardens.

The hotel’s location is ideal, just 3km from the Pyramids and the Sphinx and directly opposite the New Egyptian Grand Museum. Two international airports are within driving distance, and a shuttle service is available on request. Choose from a variety of landmarks and sites to visit in the surrounding regions.

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel is a 5-star establishment located on the doorstep of one of the most famous landmarks in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza. Modern yet classic, the hotel is set amongst leafy gardens. It has been recently taken over and upgraded by Steigenberger, and now offers improved service and standards. Free WiFi is offered throughout the hotel, and there are two swimming pools. Several bars and restaurants are situated on site, serving a variety of flavours from around the world, as well as offering a taste of local cuisine. A wellness centre features modern fitness equipment and machines, while the spa offers a variety of treatments to help you relax after a day of touring.

Accommodation is offered in the form of classic rooms, as well as family suites. The classic rooms are available with either double or twin beds, and look out onto the gardens. The family rooms can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Amenities in all rooms include en-suite bathrooms, TVs, minibars, safes, and air-conditioning. There are also several bungalow-style rooms set within the gardens.

The hotel’s location is ideal, just 3km from the Pyramids and the Sphinx and directly opposite the New Egyptian Grand Museum. Two international airports are within driving distance, and a shuttle service is available on request. Choose from a variety of landmarks and sites to visit in the surrounding regions.

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Sheraton Cairo Hotel and Casino is a 5-star establishment found in the Dokki district of Cairo. A number of attractions are close by, including the Egyptian Museum. Included among the many facilities and amenities are a spa, fitness centre, sauna, library, and indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms are fully-equipped and feature mini bars, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary toiletries. The hotel offers several services, including 24-hour room service, a turndown service, and a paid airport shuttle.

 

Sheraton Cairo Hotel and Casino is a 5-star establishment found in the Dokki district of Cairo. A number of attractions are close by, including the Egyptian Museum. Included among the many facilities and amenities are a spa, fitness centre, sauna, library, and indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms are fully-equipped and feature mini bars, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary toiletries. The hotel offers several services, including 24-hour room service, a turndown service, and a paid airport shuttle.

 

Sonesta Hotel Tower & Casino

Sonesta Hotel Tower & Casino

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Sonesta Hotel Tower & Casino Sonesta Hotel Tower & Casino

Located in Nasr City, a short distance from Cairo International Airport, the Sonesta Hotel Tower offers the choice of 5 restaurants and 2 bars, along with an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace.

GUEST ROOMS

All rooms at the Sonesta are fully air-conditioned, spacious and tastefully decorated. In room facilities include Satellite TV, minibar and free WiFi.

FACILITIES

The poolside bar and full-service spa with hammam are havens for relaxation. After the pampering, guests are offered a varied choice of dining options at the hotel’s gourmet restaurants.

The Bien Vivre Spa and Fitness Center offers massage treatments, hydrotherapy, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam bath, a fully-equipped gym, aerobics classes and an outdoor swimming pool.

State-of-the-art British-Indian colonial-style casino located on the ground floor of the hotel, offering Blackjack, American Roulette, Stud Poker and loose Slot machines. Open 24 hours - 7 days a week.

A news and gift shop is located in the hotel lobby. Shopping centers, as well as the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, are nearby.

Located in Nasr City, a short distance from Cairo International Airport, the Sonesta Hotel Tower offers the choice of 5 restaurants and 2 bars, along with an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace.

GUEST ROOMS

All rooms at the Sonesta are fully air-conditioned, spacious and tastefully decorated. In room facilities include Satellite TV, minibar and free WiFi.

FACILITIES

The poolside bar and full-service spa with hammam are havens for relaxation. After the pampering, guests are offered a varied choice of dining options at the hotel’s gourmet restaurants.

The Bien Vivre Spa and Fitness Center offers massage treatments, hydrotherapy, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam bath, a fully-equipped gym, aerobics classes and an outdoor swimming pool.

State-of-the-art British-Indian colonial-style casino located on the ground floor of the hotel, offering Blackjack, American Roulette, Stud Poker and loose Slot machines. Open 24 hours - 7 days a week.

A news and gift shop is located in the hotel lobby. Shopping centers, as well as the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, are nearby.

Conrad Hotel

Conrad Hotel

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Conrad Hotel Conrad Hotel

The Conrad Cairo is located in the bustling heart of downtown Cairo, overlooking the majestic River Nile. The hotel is in close proximity to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and just a few minutes walk from the Nile City shopping mall. A choice of worldwide cuisines are available in the on-site restaurants, a full service spa, gym and swimming are also available. 

GUEST ROOMS

This luxury property offers premium rooms, many featuring a balcony with Nile views. Each room has a comfortable seating area, desk, flat-screen TV with movie channels, DVD player, marble bathroom with shower or bath tub, exclusive amentities, bathrobe, slipper, hair dryer. All rooms also have access to free WiFi.   

FACILITIES

Facilities include a heated outdoor pool, Room Service is available around the clock, a glamorous international casino and bar is available 24/7, and a health club with modern fitness equipment, 24-hour gym, sauna, steam, massage rooms, and on-site shops.

The hotel offers 6 restaurants and bars round the clock dining and entertainment; Savor the modern Italian cuisine at Oak Restaurant. Experience Pan Asian flavors at Kamala Asian Bar & Dining, sample the extensive breakfast buffet or choose from the delectable à la carte menu for lunch at Solana Restaurant or enjoy Egyptian Lebanese cuisine t Jayda Nile Terrace, serving in a stunning outdoor setting. Unwind in the glitz and glamour of Stage One Lounge & Bar and soak up the multi-cultural vibes of Cairo.

The Conrad Cairo is located in the bustling heart of downtown Cairo, overlooking the majestic River Nile. The hotel is in close proximity to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and just a few minutes walk from the Nile City shopping mall. A choice of worldwide cuisines are available in the on-site restaurants, a full service spa, gym and swimming are also available. 

GUEST ROOMS

This luxury property offers premium rooms, many featuring a balcony with Nile views. Each room has a comfortable seating area, desk, flat-screen TV with movie channels, DVD player, marble bathroom with shower or bath tub, exclusive amentities, bathrobe, slipper, hair dryer. All rooms also have access to free WiFi.   

FACILITIES

Facilities include a heated outdoor pool, Room Service is available around the clock, a glamorous international casino and bar is available 24/7, and a health club with modern fitness equipment, 24-hour gym, sauna, steam, massage rooms, and on-site shops.

The hotel offers 6 restaurants and bars round the clock dining and entertainment; Savor the modern Italian cuisine at Oak Restaurant. Experience Pan Asian flavors at Kamala Asian Bar & Dining, sample the extensive breakfast buffet or choose from the delectable à la carte menu for lunch at Solana Restaurant or enjoy Egyptian Lebanese cuisine t Jayda Nile Terrace, serving in a stunning outdoor setting. Unwind in the glitz and glamour of Stage One Lounge & Bar and soak up the multi-cultural vibes of Cairo.

Sleeper train

Sleeper train

Cairo, Luxor & Aswan

Local rating

Our rating

 Sleeper train Sleeper train

On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline style evening meal and breakfast are included. The carriage steward will make up and put away your beds in the evening and morning. All transfers between your hotel and the station are also included (these may well be separate to the main group if train times are very different on your dates). Single cabin supplements apply.

Note: We can arrange an internal flight upgrade for anyone not wishing to use the sleeper train.

On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline style evening meal and breakfast are included. The carriage steward will make up and put away your beds in the evening and morning. All transfers between your hotel and the station are also included (these may well be separate to the main group if train times are very different on your dates). Single cabin supplements apply.

Note: We can arrange an internal flight upgrade for anyone not wishing to use the sleeper train.

Tolip Aswan Hotel

Tolip Aswan Hotel

Aswan

Local rating

Our rating

 Tolip Aswan Hotel Tolip Aswan Hotel

The Tolip Aswan Hotel (formerly the Helnan) is located in downtown Aswan, on the banks of the Nile River. It comprises 195 air-conditioned rooms, each featuring en-suite bathrooms, satellite TVs, minibars, and furnished balconies with river views. In-room WiFi access is also available. An array of facilities is on offer, including a pool, bar, gym, sauna, massage treatments, children’s playground, and 24-hour front desk. The hotel is within close driving distance of several tourist sites including Philae Temple, the Unfinished Obelisk and the Nubian Museum, and is also a short drive from Aswan International Airport.

 

The Tolip Aswan Hotel (formerly the Helnan) is located in downtown Aswan, on the banks of the Nile River. It comprises 195 air-conditioned rooms, each featuring en-suite bathrooms, satellite TVs, minibars, and furnished balconies with river views. In-room WiFi access is also available. An array of facilities is on offer, including a pool, bar, gym, sauna, massage treatments, children’s playground, and 24-hour front desk. The hotel is within close driving distance of several tourist sites including Philae Temple, the Unfinished Obelisk and the Nubian Museum, and is also a short drive from Aswan International Airport.

 

Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboat

Aswan

Local rating

Our rating

 Felucca Sailboat Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboats

Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.

Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.

Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.

The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.

As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.

The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.

We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.

Felucca Sailboats

Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.

Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.

Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.

The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.

As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.

The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.

We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.

Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Luxor

Local rating

Our rating

 Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001.  It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor. The hotel has views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings on the opposite bank. The outdoor pool, restaurants, cafes and shops are all located in a central courtyard area.

The location and the high standards within the hotel make this one of our first choice hotels for stays in Luxor on our small-group tours, and for private & tailor-made trips (together with the Sonesta St. George hotel).

Location:

The hotel is centrally located next to the Nile in the heart of the tourist area of Luxor with shops and bazaars within a short walk. It is just 1.5 kilometres from the train station and 10 kilometres/15 minutes from Luxor International airport.

Accommodation:

The hotel offers excellent standards of accommodation and the rooms are spacious and modern. The 302 rooms and suites are located on 6 floors built around the courtyard. The standard rooms overlook Luxor or the courtyard area and upgrades to Nile view rooms are available on request for a small supplement. There are also disabled and non-smoking rooms available.

All rooms have deluxe en-suite bathroom, private balcony, air-conditioning, Satellite TV, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, hairdryer and electrical sockets.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. The main hotel restaurant is the Nubia which is open from 6.00-10.00 am for breakfast and then 6.00-10.00pm for dinner, serving local and international dishes. There are two other restaurants within the hotel which are open for both lunch and dinner. These are the Casa de Napoli Italian restaurant serving pizza and pasta and El Tarboush serving Lebanese dishes.

For light meals and snacks during the day there is the Tropicana poolside bar and the Cafe des Delices which is located in the courtyard.
In the evening there is the Nile bar & lounge, which is open until 2.00am, and you can enjoy views of the Nile while trying out the various cocktails on offer.

Pasha's Pub also has views of the Nile and has regular evening entertainment.

Facilities & Services:

The freeform outdoor pool which is heated in winter has views of the River Nile and the Valley of the Kings and is the perfect place to relax after a day spent sightseeing or exploring Luxor. Guests also have free use of the leisure centre and gym within the hotel and other activities such as golf are available nearby. The are various shops within the hotel including gift and souvenir shops, a beauty salon and foreign exchange services.

Other services include:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • 24hr Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Business centre
  • Porters
  • Games room
  • Library
  • Lifts

Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001.  It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor. The hotel has views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings on the opposite bank. The outdoor pool, restaurants, cafes and shops are all located in a central courtyard area.

The location and the high standards within the hotel make this one of our first choice hotels for stays in Luxor on our small-group tours, and for private & tailor-made trips (together with the Sonesta St. George hotel).

Location:

The hotel is centrally located next to the Nile in the heart of the tourist area of Luxor with shops and bazaars within a short walk. It is just 1.5 kilometres from the train station and 10 kilometres/15 minutes from Luxor International airport.

Accommodation:

The hotel offers excellent standards of accommodation and the rooms are spacious and modern. The 302 rooms and suites are located on 6 floors built around the courtyard. The standard rooms overlook Luxor or the courtyard area and upgrades to Nile view rooms are available on request for a small supplement. There are also disabled and non-smoking rooms available.

All rooms have deluxe en-suite bathroom, private balcony, air-conditioning, Satellite TV, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, hairdryer and electrical sockets.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. The main hotel restaurant is the Nubia which is open from 6.00-10.00 am for breakfast and then 6.00-10.00pm for dinner, serving local and international dishes. There are two other restaurants within the hotel which are open for both lunch and dinner. These are the Casa de Napoli Italian restaurant serving pizza and pasta and El Tarboush serving Lebanese dishes.

For light meals and snacks during the day there is the Tropicana poolside bar and the Cafe des Delices which is located in the courtyard.
In the evening there is the Nile bar & lounge, which is open until 2.00am, and you can enjoy views of the Nile while trying out the various cocktails on offer.

Pasha's Pub also has views of the Nile and has regular evening entertainment.

Facilities & Services:

The freeform outdoor pool which is heated in winter has views of the River Nile and the Valley of the Kings and is the perfect place to relax after a day spent sightseeing or exploring Luxor. Guests also have free use of the leisure centre and gym within the hotel and other activities such as golf are available nearby. The are various shops within the hotel including gift and souvenir shops, a beauty salon and foreign exchange services.

Other services include:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • 24hr Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Business centre
  • Porters
  • Games room
  • Library
  • Lifts

Rahayeb Camp

Rahayeb Camp

Wadi Rum

Local rating

Our rating

 Rahayeb Camp Rahayeb Camp

This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.

Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with their own bathroom, proper beds and all bedding provided. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars. 

WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night. Alcohol is not available.

Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).

This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.

Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with their own bathroom, proper beds and all bedding provided. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars. 

WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night. Alcohol is not available.

Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).

Petra Elite Hotel

Petra Elite Hotel

Petra

Local rating

Our rating

 Petra Elite Hotel Petra Elite Hotel

The 4-star Petra Elite hotel offers rooms featuring private bathroom, safety deposit box, TV and many rooms offer city views of Wadi Musa. The hotel also features an onsite restaurant, bar and indoor swimming pool.

The 4-star Petra Elite hotel offers rooms featuring private bathroom, safety deposit box, TV and many rooms offer city views of Wadi Musa. The hotel also features an onsite restaurant, bar and indoor swimming pool.

Petra Moon Hotel

Petra Moon Hotel

Petra

Local rating

Our rating

 Petra Moon Hotel Petra Moon Hotel

Just 100 meters from the Petra Visitors Centre, the Petra Moon has one of the best locations in town for those looking to explore the ancient site of Petra. The shops and restaurants of Wadi Musa are also on the doorstep. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a roof garden, seasonal outdoor pool and on-site restaurant. 

GUEST ROOMS

The Petra Moon offers well appointed, soundproofed rooms and suites, all of which come equipped with satellite TV, a DVD player and extra-long beds. Each has air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom.

FACILITIES

Breakfast is available in the on-site restaurant, which also serves lunch and dinner. In addition, you'll find a grocery store within the hotel and vending machine for drinks. The hotel has a pool which is normally only open in the summer months, and a roof garden where you can relax with views of Wadi Musa. 

Just 100 meters from the Petra Visitors Centre, the Petra Moon has one of the best locations in town for those looking to explore the ancient site of Petra. The shops and restaurants of Wadi Musa are also on the doorstep. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a roof garden, seasonal outdoor pool and on-site restaurant. 

GUEST ROOMS

The Petra Moon offers well appointed, soundproofed rooms and suites, all of which come equipped with satellite TV, a DVD player and extra-long beds. Each has air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom.

FACILITIES

Breakfast is available in the on-site restaurant, which also serves lunch and dinner. In addition, you'll find a grocery store within the hotel and vending machine for drinks. The hotel has a pool which is normally only open in the summer months, and a roof garden where you can relax with views of Wadi Musa. 

Dead Sea Spa Resort

Dead Sea Spa Resort

Dead Sea

Local rating

Our rating

 Dead Sea Spa Resort Dead Sea Spa Resort

The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea, around 1 hour's drive from Amman and Amman airport. There are several pools, and the hotel has great direct access into the Dead Sea itself, with the famous Dead Sea mud available on the beach to lather yourself with before swimming (if you wish!). Various treatments are also available in the hotel spa. Meals are generally buffet style with a good selection of different options including several vegetarian options. There are more luxurious 5-star resorts on the Dead Sea, but we feel the Dead Sea Spa hotel provides an very good mid-range option, ideal for short stays.

The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea, around 1 hour's drive from Amman and Amman airport. There are several pools, and the hotel has great direct access into the Dead Sea itself, with the famous Dead Sea mud available on the beach to lather yourself with before swimming (if you wish!). Various treatments are also available in the hotel spa. Meals are generally buffet style with a good selection of different options including several vegetarian options. There are more luxurious 5-star resorts on the Dead Sea, but we feel the Dead Sea Spa hotel provides an very good mid-range option, ideal for short stays.

Al Qasr Metropole

Al Qasr Metropole

Amman

Local rating

Our rating

 Al Qasr Metropole Al Qasr Metropole

The hotel offers guests comfortable and well-appointed rooms which feature flat-screen TV's, en-suite facilities, free WiFi and some rooms also feature a balcony with city views. In addition to spacious, modern rooms, the hotel has a choice of 4-restaurants to choose from and a cocktail bar.

The hotel offers guests comfortable and well-appointed rooms which feature flat-screen TV's, en-suite facilities, free WiFi and some rooms also feature a balcony with city views. In addition to spacious, modern rooms, the hotel has a choice of 4-restaurants to choose from and a cocktail bar.

Corp Hotel

Corp Hotel

Amman

Local rating

Our rating

 Corp Hotel Corp Hotel

Location on Queen Alia Street, opposite the Royal Cultural Centre, the Corp Hotel offers guests comfortable accommodation with free WiFi, outdoor pool with sun terrace, restaurant, free to use sauna and payable spa facilities. 

GUEST ROOMS

All rooms at the Corp Hotel are fully air-conditioned with most offering a view of the pool area. In-room facilities include free WiFi, satellite TV, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and en-suite bathroom with hair dryer. 

FACILITIES

Located close to The Specialty Hospital and Abdali Boulevard, Corp Amman Hotel provides a terrace, a cafe and a garden. Indulge in a body wrap, a hot stone massage and a body treatment at Orange Spa, the on-site spa. Enjoy international cuisine and al fresco dining at the two on-site restaurants. Stay connected with free in-room WiFi, and guests can find other amenities, such as a hair salon and dry cleaning/laundry services.
Other perks include:
 
  • A seasonal outdoor pool with sunloungers and pool umbrellas
  • Free valet parking
  • Buffet breakfast (surcharge), bike hire and a round-trip airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Express check-in, tour/ticket information and a lift
  • Guest reviews speak highly of the helpful staff

Location on Queen Alia Street, opposite the Royal Cultural Centre, the Corp Hotel offers guests comfortable accommodation with free WiFi, outdoor pool with sun terrace, restaurant, free to use sauna and payable spa facilities. 

GUEST ROOMS

All rooms at the Corp Hotel are fully air-conditioned with most offering a view of the pool area. In-room facilities include free WiFi, satellite TV, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and en-suite bathroom with hair dryer. 

FACILITIES

Located close to The Specialty Hospital and Abdali Boulevard, Corp Amman Hotel provides a terrace, a cafe and a garden. Indulge in a body wrap, a hot stone massage and a body treatment at Orange Spa, the on-site spa. Enjoy international cuisine and al fresco dining at the two on-site restaurants. Stay connected with free in-room WiFi, and guests can find other amenities, such as a hair salon and dry cleaning/laundry services.
Other perks include:
 
  • A seasonal outdoor pool with sunloungers and pool umbrellas
  • Free valet parking
  • Buffet breakfast (surcharge), bike hire and a round-trip airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Express check-in, tour/ticket information and a lift
  • Guest reviews speak highly of the helpful staff

La Casa Hotel

La Casa Hotel

Amman

Local rating

Our rating

 La Casa Hotel La Casa Hotel

The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms which feature private bathroom, air-conditioning, writing desk, kettle, minibar, safety deposit box and flat-screen TV's. Other facilities available at the hotel include an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre.

The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms which feature private bathroom, air-conditioning, writing desk, kettle, minibar, safety deposit box and flat-screen TV's. Other facilities available at the hotel include an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre.

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (JOSGNN)

From C$1190*

Single room supplement (JOSGNN)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 1 person/s


This group tour is based on twin-share accommodation. If you are a single traveller and would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, please add this option onto your booking. If you are happy to share a room, please let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you pay your balance, then 50% of the single room supplement fee will be payable. If a room share becomes possible after you have paid your balance then your payment rowards the supplement will be refunded. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: Single supplement prices may vary seasonally.

Hot air balloon in Luxor

From C$240*

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavour to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.
The price of this option is approximately $170.00. Please note that this option is only available to be booked locally, via your tour guide who will also advise you of the current price. 

Alexandria day trip

From C$170*

Alexandria day trip

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


Alexandria is about 2.5 hours drive, north of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. This ex colonial city is the second largest in Egypt and our visit will include the Roman amphitheatre with its twelve semi-circular marble tiers, the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa which is the largest Roman cemetery in Alexandria, Pompey's Pillar, Fort Qaitbey (from outside), the famous modern library before returning to Cairo. If time allows you can tour inside Fort Qaitbey and we may also visit the Montazah Palace gardens. Lunch at a seafood restaurant is included. As the tour takes a full day you will either need a late evening flight departure on the last day of the tour to accommodated it, or to add an extra day to the start or end of your trip. 

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 travellers choosing the option. Solo traveller supplements apply. Entrance fees to sites visited are not included (budget approx. USD 20) 

Cairo city tour

From C$105*

Cairo city tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This half day guided tour of Cairo tour begins with Islamic areas including the Citadel of Saladdin, boasting the famous Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Then we head onto the Coptic area of Cairo where the Romans constructed the fortress of Babylon. The church of St. Mary was built over the ruins of two towers of the fortress whilst it is more commonly known as the Hanging Church next stop is St. Sergius which is said to be the resting place of the Holy Family. The tour finishes at the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. The entrance fees budget covers the Coptic Museum, the Citadel and the Sultan Hassan Mosque. Depending on your day, you may not have time to visit all of these.
Entrance fees to sites visited are not included (budget approx. USD 20)

Prices shown are based on a minimum of 2 people travelling. Solo traveller supplements apply.

Abu Simbel overland

From C$215*

Abu Simbel overland

Min numbers: 2 *Based on 2 person/s


The temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel are one of Egypt's highlights, and have a fascinating story behind them to go with their impressive size. When Lake Nasser was flooded, the final water level was going to submerge several temples, the most important of which being Abu Simbel. The temple was therefore dismantled completely and rebuilt further up the hillside where it sits today. The temple stands today as a testament to Ramses II and the great building prowess of the ancient Egyptians, as well as to modern engineering. We depart Aswan very early in the morning (around 4am), with the aim of getting to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun. We then have a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists and some free time before we drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 1/2 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). The tour itinerary is designed so you will not miss any other activities if you choose this option.
Note - we choose the overland route to get to Abu Simbel as the flight times there are unreliable and the journey using the flight is much more segmented (you get more rest on the coach), not to mention it is much more expensive to fly.
Entrance fees to the site (approx. US$20, 50% for children) are not included in the option price and should be paid locally. . A minimum of 2 people is required to operate this option. 

Cairo to Aswan flight upgrade

From C$205*

Cairo to Aswan flight upgrade

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option provides an upgrade from the overnight sleeper train to an internal flight with Egypt Air. An extra night in the hotel in Cairo or Aswan is included in place of the train. Flight times vary and are subject to availability. Breakfast is included in the hotel, but you will miss the airline-style dinner provided on the sleeper train. Single room supplements apply.

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

From C$105*

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt. First we'll visit Saqqara, a huge desert necropolis which was built for the kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. Here we see Zoser's 'step' pyramid and the adjacent Imhotep museum where we learn more about Memphis and the history of the region. Next we head to Dashour to see one of the next attempts at pyramid building. Dashour's moniker of the 'bent pyramid' shows they still had a bit to learn, but this is a fascinating site and the pyramid still has much of its original limestone cladding. We'll then return you to your hotel.

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people choosing the option. Entrance fees to the sites visited are not included (budget approx. USD 30). Solo traveller supplements apply.

Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

From C$155*

Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


Although our overnight felucca journey is an amazing experience and often a highlight of the tour, the basic overnight accommodation is not for everyone. This upgrade is designed for those who would like a little more comfort in place of the overnight felucca sailboat trip, where you sleep on the deck of the boat.

You may choose to sail on the felucca for a couple of hours with the main group, and have lunch and dinner on the boat and then get transferred back to your hotel in Aswan in the evening. Or you can remain in Aswan for the whole afternoon to look around the markets and Corniche independently, and not do any sailing at all, as you prefer (no meals are included if you remain in Aswan).
Your night in Aswan will be spent in a 5-star hotel. The next morning we will transfer you to rejoin the group after they leave the felucca, and the rest of your tour will continue as normal from there on. Prices shown are based on travelling in low season (April to September) and staying in a shared twin/double room.

High season and single room supplements apply.

Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)

From C$240*

Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This tour provides a great contrast to the Pharaonic sites you have visited on the rest of your tour. We leave Cairo and head to the Fayoum region where we head for the Wadi Rayan Protected Area, which surrounds a fresh-water lake in the middle of the desert, filled by the remaining irrigation water from the Fayoum area. There are several waterfalls here (popular in Egyptian pop music videos), and a bird hide which gives good views of the lakes birdlife, particularly in the winter months when the lake is an important stop for migrating water-birds. We also visit the Springs Oasis area, a rare example of an uninhabited Saharan oasis, and host to many different plants and animals, including Dorcas Gazelle, Ruppell's Sand Fox and Fennec Fox. Before lunch, we'll make a stop in the sand dunes surrounding Wadi Rayan to have a go at Sandboarding. After a stop for a packed lunch, we then drive into the stunning desert & mountain scenery of Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales). This World Heritage Site is accepted as the most significant site in the world to demonstrate the evolution of whales, and we take a 2-3km walk here to see several specimens of fossilised whales of different types sitting on the surface of the sand, as well as fossilised mangroves and the remains of crab holes. 

This tour requires a full free day in Cairo, but can also be arranged straight after you arrive back in Cairo from Luxor/Aswan from the overnight sleeper train. We can also arrange it on any tour if you add extra days before and after your main tour. Prices shown are based on 2 or more people travelling, with an additional supplement due for solo travellers. 

Price includes lunch whilst in Wadi Hitan and entrance fees.

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour

From C$155*

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Amman - post-tour - Standard level

From C$85*

Extra day in Amman - post-tour - Standard level

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: This option is applicable to those who have booked the standard level of accommodation. If you have booked the superior accommodation package, please select the superior extra night option.
Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

The hotels used on this tour are rated at the 3 and 4-star level in Jordan, and 5-star level in Egypt. This gradual increase is intentional to improve your comfort as your time away goes on. Local star ratings may vary from international standards but we ensure we use some of the best hotels available at the level stated. Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will have a private double room.

A friendly local homestay is included for one night in Rasoun village. Accommodation here is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. There are a number of homes in the village that will accommodate guests, so depending on our final group size we may split across several houses. We will all eat together in one house with the hosts, who will also provide a tour of the village. All beds and bedding are provided. Bathrooms are separate and shared but quite basic. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable, and very welcoming experience with good food and interesting insights into local village life in rural Jordan.

In Wadi Rum we use a Bedouin camp located inside the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are separate, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars. 

Please see the Felucca note for more information on the overnight Nile felucca cruise.

One night is also included on a sleeper train in Egypt (see Transport).

Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.

Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt and Jordan's hotels arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.


  2. Felucca Sailboat

This tour features an overnight felucca cruise.  Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and are a fun and relaxing way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and some blankets are provided, but we suggest that you bring a sleeping sheet, blanket or light sleeping bag during the winter months of November-February).  There are no toilet facilities on board, but you will be joined several times each day and at night by our support boat where a toilet and warm showers will be available.  Mosquito nets are provided for use while you are sleeping but you should bring mosquito repellent for the evenings and early mornings. Your Nubian boat crew will cook all your meals while on board and entertain you in the evenings.

If you would prefer some more comfort in place of the felucca cruise, then an upgrade to an extra night in the hotel in Amman is available. You then rejoin the group the next morning after they finish on the felucca, and carry on with them to Luxor.


  3. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you're really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour.

In Jordan we use private AC minivans/minibuses for all the transfers and journeys throughout the tour, depending on the number of travellers in the group. The jeeps used in Wadi Rum are provided by the local Bedouins we work with, and while suitable for your desert safari, they may fall below the normal safety and quality standards for vehicles we use during the rest of our tours.

In Egypt we again use AC minivans/minibuses/coaches, many of which are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily.

For the overnight train journey from Cairo to Aswan (approx. 12 hrs) and Luxor-Cairo (appprox. 9 hrs) this tour uses the overnight sleeper train. This train has private twin berth cabins with large seats and fold-down beds with sheets, pillow & blanket. The lockable cabins also have a washbasin and storage cupboard, and an airline tray-style evening meal and breakfast is included. If you wish you may upgrade this journey to an internal flight.


  4. Transfers

Our Egypt and Jordan tours include a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Amman and Cairo airports, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.

On arrival in Jordan our representative will meet you in the immigration hall of Amman airport, before passport control. They will assist with visa formalities and then help you with your luggage and take you to your hotel.

On arrival in Egypt, our representative will meet you in the immigration hall of Cairo airport before you get to passport control. They will assist with visa formalities before helping you collect your luggage and taking you to your hotel.

Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary, plus on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.

On our Shoestring group tours we do offer optional hotel upgrades in Jordan. This may mean that additional pick-up and drop-offs are required each day. We do endeavour to ensure that all hotels used are close to each other and to streamline and time arrangements to limit any extra driving time as much as possible.


  5. Entrance Fees & Jordan Pass

The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour.

Jordan: 
We strongly recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan). It also allows us to speed up our entry to each site as if everyone has the Jordan Pass we won't need to queue for tickets. 
A handful of sites that we visit on our tours are not covered by the Jordan Pass (eg. Mt. Nebo, St. George's Church at Madaba, and the Shawmuri & Azraq Reserves), so to keep things simple for you while you are in Jordan, where these are visited in our itineraries, the entry fees are included in your tour price. If you visit any other sites not covered by the Jordan Pass during your free time or on additional tours you arrange while in Jordan, you will need to pay the entrance fee at the site. 
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass which is suitable for all our tours which visit Petra on one day is JD70 (approx. US$99). You should also check if your tour visits the Baptism Site at Bethany and if it does, add on the supplement for this site (an extra JD8, discounted from the JD12 payable at the site). Passes are available by completing a simple online form before you travel, taking care to make sure your passport details are entered correctly as this doubles as your visa application. Your Jordan Pass will then be emailed to you as a pdf document, which you should print out and bring with you. You will then need to show this print out at the immigration desk on arrival in Jordan to obtain your free entry visa, and also at each attraction where it will be scanned to confirm your entry. Obtain your Jordan Pass here
If you do not obtain the Jordan Pass before arriving in Jordan, you will need to pay the entry fees when you arrive at each site and also pay JD40 for your Jordan visa when you enter the country (or arrange your visa in advance). 
More information about the Jordan Pass

Egypt:
In Egypt, the tour price does not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary.  Please check the Exclusions section for a guide to the amount you should allow for this tour (a 50% discount for minors or ISIC card holders is often, but not always available and prices are changed from time to time). For your convenience, your guide will be normally collect payment for all the entrance fees in cash at the start of the tour, and pay them for you as you go along.


  6. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There's no point in us providing great guides if you've got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, on our small group tours we won't ever put you in a full size coach packed with other people and just one guide. Having a smaller group size also allows us to stay in more interesting accommodation, like the homestay in Rasoun, and to include some activities and experiences that just wouldn't be possible with large numbers.

This tour has a minimum group size of 2, and maximum of 14 for the Jordan section, and 18 in Egypt where we may join with other travellers doing one of our Egypt only tours.

To accompany you on the tour in Jordan we provide an English speaking local tour leader/driver and specialist guides in Jerash, Amman and Petra. Groups of 5 or more will have both a driver and a professional guide throughout the trip. In Egypt a professional Egyptologist guide will accompany you for all the tours in Cairo, and then from Aswan to Luxor. We also have representatives in all the major towns/cities en-route who will look after the practical arrangements for the tour.

At Encounters Travel we only use local Jordanian and Egyptian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.


  7. International Flights

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.

Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour.

On tours combining Jordan and Egypt we do not include the connecting flight between the two countries in the tour price (normally between Amman (AMM) and Cairo (CAI) - see the inclusions/exclusions or extension option sections for details). This flight can often be built into your main international flight ticket, or we may be able to book this flight for you separately if you prefer - please contact us and we will advise you on available airlines, times and prices.

We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued. 
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket. 


  8. Activity level

This tour includes several walks or hikes in Jordan and while you do not need to be super fit by any means, you should bring suitable footwear.

In Wadi Mujib we'll hike along the Siq Trail which is a water trail through the canyons of Wadi Mujib. The majority of this hike is relatively easy, however there are a number of small waterfalls which must be ascended in order to reach the end of the route. At these waterfalls, ladders and ropes are provided for assistance. We highly recommend bringing along a dry-bag (so your camera or mobile phone don't get wet) and water shoes. It is possible to hire a dry bag at the visitors centre for around US$7.00 and purchase water shoes for US$7.00).

In Dana Biosphere Reserve we'll take a short walk through the hills around the restored Dana village. Trails are generally always dry and a little rocky but we won't be taking one of the longer more challenging hikes here.

In Petra, you will be doing a lot of walking to explore the site. This tour includes the back route hike from Little Petra, to the Monastery and then through the main site of Petra. Whilst the back-route hike into Petra isn't particularly difficult, as a number of ascents/descents and a significant number of steps are required, this route is only suitable for those who have no issue in hiking in this type of terrain for a minimum of 2-3 hours as far as the Monastery and then a further few hours walking on sandy terrain, whilst exploring the main site of Petra. You can take everything at your own pace, but do be prepared for a long day. Again comfortable walking shoes and a daypack are required.

There are no walks of similar durations on the Egypt section of the tour. However, access on and off the feluccas is by way of planks and steps, and you do need to be fairly mobile for this part of the trip.


  9. Passports and Visas - Jordan

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

To promote tourism to the country, the Jordanian government has designed the Jordan Pass. This provides adults of most nationalities with a free single entry Jordan visa (for stays of 3 nights or more), a discounted package of entrance fees, and free digital brochures for the various sites in Jordan. Please check the Jordan Pass tour note for more information.

Double or multi entry visas for Jordan are no longer available and you will need to arrange two visas if you are doing a combination tour (eg. with Egypt and/or Israel) that visits Jordan more than once. Exceptions may occur if you are crossing to and from Israel via the King Hussein Bridge - please contact us for details.

If you wish to arrange your visa separately in advance, or if your stay will be shorter than four days/3 nights, then a visa fee of 40JD (approx. USD 57) will be due.

Families with children under 12 are recommended not to purchase the Jordan Pass for the children as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Instead, the adults should purchase a Jordan Pass and we will arrange a free visa for the children which you will receive when we meet you on arrival into Amman airport.

Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Jordanian embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details. In addition, if you plan to enter Jordan via the southern Wadi Araba crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or the Allenby Bridge/King Hussein border with Israel in the north, you will need to obtain your Jordan visa in advance as these are not available on arrival at the border.


  10. Passports and Visas - Egypt

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

We recommend that you contact your closest Egyptian consulate or embassy for current information for your nationality.

In general official advice is that all nationalities obtain their Egypt visas in advance, as we cannot guarantee that you can get them in the airport. An online e-visa is available through visa2egypt. Please do not use any other website as there are many scam sites offering Egypt e-visas.
In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA) can and do obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The process is much quicker and simpler, the cost is currently US$25 p/p and must be paid in hard currency (i.e. GBP, USD or EUR) - you'll be given change in local currency if necessary. There are no forms to fill in and you don't need to bring passport photos. Visas are issued at one of the bank desks in the immigration hall, before you get to passport control. Our representative will have met you by this stage and will assist with the process.

Imporant Note: Due to recent changes in the visa regime for Canadians, a visa on arrival or e-visa will no longer be possible for Canadian Citizens entering Egypt after October 1st 2023. Until further notice Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa prior to arrival, from the nearest Egyptian Consulate. 

All African & Indian nationals, and some others, will need to obtain their visas in advance.

For further information on your visa requirements, please either contact us or your local Egyptian embassy/consulate.


  11. Tipping

Jordan: Tipping is common practice in Jordan, as a sign of appreciation for services provided. You may therefore wish to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour. You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. US$10-15 per person per day would be appropriate.

Egypt: Tipping is also very much a part of Egyptian culture and customs, and many people you meet along the way will expect and make it clear they are waiting for a tip. To make it easier for you to budget and to remove much of the stress and hassle of tipping lots of people as you go along, we collect a 'Tipping Kitty' at the start of your time in Egypt. The kitty provides tips for a wide range of people you'll meet along the tour including hotel porters, train and station staff, drivers, site guards, local reps etc. Your guide will pay some of these tips as you go along on behalf of the group, and others are paid by our local reps in each location before or after your visit (eg. hotel housekeeping staff). Please check the Excluded section below the tour itinerary for a budget for this tour. Your Egyptologist guide is not included in this kitty and you may tip them at the end of your tour subject to your satisfaction with and appreciation of the service they have provided.  Again you should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. As a guideline, approx. US$10-15 per person per day would be appropriate.
Children under the age of 12 do not need to pay this tipping kitty.


  12. Money - Jordan

The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Jordan you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Jordanian Dinar, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.


  13. Money - Egypt

The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, often denoted 'LE'. The Egyptian Pound can vary significantly in value against the British Pound, but sticks fairly close to the value of the US Dollar. You do not need to arrange to bring any Egyptian Pounds with you to Egypt, as change facilities are available in all the hotels, airports and banks. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Egypt you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Egyptian Pounds. You may also need to pay for the tour Tipping Kitty and site Entrance Fees while you are in Egypt. Payments for these may be made to your tour guide in hard currency (USD, GBP, EUR) at the start of your tour. Please see your tour Included/Excluded details for more information and guideline amounts for these.

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.


  14. Voltage

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.


  15. Health and Vaccinations

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.  You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A

Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon

Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using 'black henna' instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.


  16. Time

The time in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon is GMT plus 2 hours and in UAE GMT plus 3 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.


  17. What to take

Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Egypt and Jordan. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips - you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: Most of your time in Egypt will be in a hot weather, while the climate in Jordan varies widely from hot days in the summer to cool and sometimes wet days in the winter months. However, at night, and especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required on the cruise boats or in 4 or 5-star hotel restaurants. Long sleeves are recommended to protect from mosquitoes if you are on the felucca. Modesty rates highly in Egypt and Jordan, especially for women, so to respect the local culture & people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). In the centre of Cairo and Amman, and when visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.

Other items: We recommend that you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, small towel, money belt, small torch, camera & charger. If you will be travelling on a felucca sailboat in Egypt then we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner all year round for comfort, and a light sleeping bag in the winter months (November to February). If your tour includes an overnight Bedouin camp in Jordan then bedding (sheets, blankets, pillow) is provided but we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner for comfort all year round (even with the best efforts, sand does find its way pretty much everywhere). In the winter months, or if you think you would like to sleep under the stars instead of in your tent, then we recommend you bring a sleeping bag with you as it can get very cold at night.

Footwear:  For tours that are going on board a felucca sailboat, or walking on the Siq Trail in Wadi Mujib, we recommend that you bring some footwear that you don't mind getting completely wet. As there is a fair amount of walking involved on many of our tours in Jordan and Egypt, whether that be just sightseeing or some hiking, we recommend you bring comfortable walking shoes with you. You do not need any smart dress shoes, unless you want to visit some fancy restaurants and to dresss up accordingly.


  18. Dates & Prices

We run regular small-group departures on this tour starting on Saturdays throughout the year. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers and a maximum of 18. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and on a separate dates & prices sheet available on request. Please do check our website for special offers on particular dates.


  19. Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.


  20. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If your tour includes car hire, ior if you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

Covid-19
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website


  21. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  22. Responsible Tourism

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  23. Follow Us Online

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  24. Before you travel

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Reviews

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