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Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring Tour

Best trip I have ever been on. I have traveled with many tour companies but none compare to the itinerary, information, and professionalism of this company.

Marijo W, 8 Feb 2018

reviews proof

Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

14 days

Amman to Cairo

From NZ$2250

NZ$2025 (p/p)

Country(ies): Jordan , Egypt

Tour type: Shoestring

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 32

Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, Bedouin camp & felucca sailboat

Meals:

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

Highlights: Hidden Petra, Swim in The Dead Sea, Wadi Rum desert safari, the Pyramids & Sphinx, Huge Karnak Temple complex, Island Philae Temple, The Valley of the Kings, Felucca cruise on the Nile

This comprehensive Jordan and Egypt tour is packed with all the main sights in each country and is designed to fit a low budget without compromising what you see and do.

Starting in Amman, Jordan, we first visit the well preserved Roman remains at Jerash before following the scenic Kings Highway through the centre of Jordan, stopping to see the Roman Mosaics at Madaba, enjoy the views from Mount Nebo, marvel at the grandeur and size of Wadi Mujib and explore the crumbling remains of the huge crusader castle at Kerak. This all brings us to Jordan's most popular attraction, the hidden 'Rose Red' city of Petra. We set aside a full day here with a guided tour and free time to explore further. Next we take a 4x4 jeep safari through the spectacular desert scenery with its towering rocky 'jebels' at Wadi Rum, famous for its links with Lawrence of Arabia. We'll spend a night in a comfortable Bedouin camp under the stars here. Then return to Amman with a stop to enjoy a dip/float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea - a must-do experience. We'll then take a flight to Cairo (not included - see Day 6 of the itinerary).

Arriving into Cairo we start with a visit to the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx before travelling south into Upper Egypt and the city of Aswan which sits on one of the most attractive stretches of the Nile. Here we explore the beautiful island temple of Philae and mighty Aswan Dam, with an optional extra early morning tour to the impressive temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Back in Aswan we hop on board a traditional Nile felucca sailboat and wend our way down the River Nile, with support en-route from our Nubian crew and accompanying facilities boat with on board toilet, showers and massage deck. Arriving into Luxor we take time to visit some of the many temples in this amazing open air museum, and of course we take time to explore the tombs of the Valley of the Kings. We finally head back to Cairo where the tour ends. If you'd like to add some time by the Red Sea to this trip, it's easy to add on a few extra days at the beach resort of Hurghada.

Private tour option
If our scheduled departure dates don't work for you, or you would prefer not to travel with a group, then we can also run this tour privately for you. Please contact us for more information and prices.

Note: From 2020 this itinerary will shorten to 13 days, changing the overnight Nile felucca cruise to a one night trip and also removing the two overnight coach journeys. A night in a Nubian guesthouse outside Aswan, and visits to Abydos and Dendara temples are also added.

ITINERARY


Day 1 Welcome to Amman. Airport to hotel transfers included

Once you arrive at the airport, one of our staff members will be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you're free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOSHJE)
As-Salt and Bethany tour


Day 2 Exploring Amman and Jerash

We start the day by heading north out of Amman to nearby Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Fondly referred to as the 'Jewel of the North', Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.

Jerash was hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations and restorations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.

After returning from Jerash we spend the afternoon exploring Amman, commonly known as the 'white city' due to its sheer number of white limestone buildings. Amman's rich history dates back many millennia, with numerous excavations and renovations uncovering remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.

Our tour will include the Citadel - the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. We'll also visit the 6000-seat Roman Theatre - which dates to the Roman period, when the city was known as Philadelphia.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Amman evening food tasting tour


Day 3 Mosaics, Castles & Wadis en-route to Petra

We say goodbye to Amman today as we drive to Petra via the King's Highway. The drive to Petra is a scenic one, as we cross deep Wadis, pass through olive groves and remote rural villages.

Before we reach Petra, we'll stop at Madaba, where we'll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George - famous for its 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. We'll also make our way up Mt Nebo, which provides spectacular views of the Holy Land, which is known as the burial place of the prophet Moses.

After exploring Madaba, we'll once again cross a few deep Wadis, including the impressive Wadi al-Mujib, where the road winds through olive groves before rising up the side of a spectacular 1-kilometre deep canyon.

We'll also stop at Kerak Castle, which is one in a chain of Crusader fortresses built across Jordan in the 12th Century on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan route. Built in 1132AD by the Crusader King, Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem, the castle fell to Saladin in 1188AD. It is still a hugely impressive building with commanding views over the surrounding hills & plains.

Once we arrive in Petra, we'll help you check into your hotel and the evening is free for you to relax and explore. An option is available to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Petra by night


Day 4 Exploring Petra, camping in Wadi Rum

We enjoy a full day today inside the world famous Nabatean site of Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabatean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD, Petra was largely forgotten, except by the local Bedouins, until it was 'discovered' in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Petra is situated on the edge of Wadi Aruba, whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossible to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. The city itself has very few free-standing buildings, as the Nabateans chose to carve their homes, buildings and tombs into the multi-coloured sandstone cliffs.

Nowadays, the Jordanian government and local people are aware of Petra's interest to tourists, and the tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, and all the building feels miles away.

We have a whole day today to tour this fascinating city (2-3 hour guided tour, then free time to explore yourselves). We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us, and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain places. The ancient Nabatean water channel can still be seen on one wall, as well as some remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city. Suddenly, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra's most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down and discuss the spiritual significance of the building style.

From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We'll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and during your free time you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing 'Monastery'. The biggest of Petra's carved monuments at 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan Valley. Another climb can take you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain.

Late in the afternoon, we leave Petra and 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, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 A Jeep safari in Wadi Rum & a swim in the Dead Sea

After breakfast, we explore the spectacular desert and mountains of Wadi Rum via a Jeep safari. The desert here, with its towering rust coloured rocky 'jebels' awed TE Lawrence during his visits during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18 and was later made famous in the film Lawrence of Arabia.

We'll leave Wadi Rum and drive north up the banks of the Dead Sea, one of the world's most amazing places. As well as being the lowest point on earth at over 400 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea region is one of the most spiritual landscapes in the world as well as being full of dramatic natural beauty.

The Dead Sea itself receives several incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.

The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela). We stop along the way to enjoy a 'swim', though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting - you'll also discover various tiny cuts you never thought you had!

We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Amman evening food tasting tour
As-Salt and Bethany tour


Day 6 Amman to Cairo. Hotel transfer included

We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Cairo. Once you arrive, we'll 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. We'll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Cairo independently.

Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day - all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Amman to Cairo flight


Day 7 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).

In the evening we leave Cairo by coach and head south through the Nile Valley to Aswan.

OVERNIGHT:

On board coach

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

One way sleeper train upgrade


Day 8 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 hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 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 two nights in hotels, and in this case you'll spend tonight in Aswan and then drive to Luxor, rejoining the group when they arrive after the felucca cruise. All other touring remains the same.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan


Day 10 Felucca sailing

You have the whole day today to relax and watch the world go by from the deck of the felucca. We'll stop at several islands and on the banks of the river for breaks and to walk to local villages. Meals are prepared by our Nubian crew and drinks are available on board.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11 Luxor & Karnak temple, and evening city walk

After breakfast on-board we bid farewell to our felucca crew and drive 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. Our tour this afternoon is to the huge Karnak complex with our Egyptologist guide. Later this evening he'll talk you on a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You'll also stop at some of Luxor's popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals.

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Nile cruise upgrade


Day 12 Luxor, free time, tour & balloon flight options

Your morning is free today and you can enjoy a welcome lie in after several early starts. Alternatively, a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).

Several optional tours are available today, including one to explore 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 temples of Queen Hatchepsut, the huge Colossi of Memnon, and the Worker's Village.

In the evening we board the coach again for the journey back north to Cairo.

OVERNIGHT:

On board coach

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Extra West Bank tour in Luxor


Day 13 Cairo, Free time. Old Cairo and the Khan-el-Khalili bazzar

We arrive back into Cairo early 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. Other full day options further afield include a visit to the colonnial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean, or 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.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Cairo city tour
Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 14 Cairo, departure transfer to the airport

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)


Day 1 Welcome to Amman. Airport to hotel transfers included

Once you arrive at the airport, one of our staff members will be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in Amman. After helping you check in and pointing you to any local shops, cafes or restaurants, you're free to explore Amman independently before our sightseeing starts tomorrow.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Bethany & Ajloun Castle
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOSHJE)


Day 2 Exploring Amman and Jerash

We start the day by heading north out of Amman to nearby Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Fondly referred to as the 'Jewel of the North', Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.

Jerash was hidden for centuries in sand, evacuations and restorations over the past 70 years have revealed a fine example of the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East.

After returning from Jerash we spend the afternoon exploring Amman, commonly known as the 'white city' due to its sheer number of white limestone buildings. Amman's rich history dates back many millennia, with numerous excavations and renovations uncovering remains from the Neolithic period as well as the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.

Our tour will include the Citadel - the former home of the ancient Temple of Hercules, The Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. We'll also visit the 6000-seat Roman Theatre - which dates to the Roman period, when the city was known as Philadelphia.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Amman evening food tasting tour


Day 3 Mosaics, Castles & Wadis en-route to Petra

We say goodbye to Amman today as we drive to Petra via the King's Highway. The drive to Petra is a scenic one, as we cross deep Wadis, pass through olive groves and remote rural villages.

Before we reach Petra, we'll stop at Madaba, where we'll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George - famous for its 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and other biblical sites. We'll also make our way up Mt Nebo, which provides spectacular views of the Holy Land, which is known as the burial place of the prophet Moses.

After exploring Madaba, we'll once again cross a few deep Wadis, including the impressive Wadi al-Mujib, where the road winds through olive groves before rising up the side of a spectacular 1-kilometre deep canyon.

We'll also stop at Kerak Castle, which is one in a chain of Crusader fortresses built across Jordan in the 12th Century on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan route. Built in 1132AD by the Crusader King, Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem, the castle fell to Saladin in 1188AD. It is still a hugely impressive building with commanding views over the surrounding hills & plains.

Once we arrive in Petra, we'll help you check into your hotel and the evening is free for you to relax and explore. An option is available to get a first taste of Petra itself with the atmospheric Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Petra by night


Day 4 Exploring Petra, camping in Wadi Rum

We enjoy a full day today inside the world famous Nabatean site of Petra. The ancient capital of the Nabatean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD, Petra was largely forgotten, except by the local Bedouins, until it was 'discovered' in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Petra is situated on the edge of Wadi Aruba, whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossible to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. The city itself has very few free-standing buildings, as the Nabateans chose to carve their homes, buildings and tombs into the multi-coloured sandstone cliffs.

Nowadays, the Jordanian government and local people are aware of Petra's interest to tourists, and the tourism infrastructure in the adjoining village of Wadi Musa is booming, though, thankfully, once you enter through the Siq, the site is protected, and all the building feels miles away.

We have a whole day today to tour this fascinating city (2-3 hour guided tour, then free time to explore yourselves). We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us, and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain places. The ancient Nabatean water channel can still be seen on one wall, as well as some remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city. Suddenly, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra's most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down and discuss the spiritual significance of the building style.

From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We'll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and during your free time you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing 'Monastery'. The biggest of Petra's carved monuments at 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan Valley. Another climb can take you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain.

Late in the afternoon, we leave Petra and 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, watching the stars and enjoying a delicious traditional Jordanian meal.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 A Jeep safari in Wadi Rum & a swim in the Dead Sea

After breakfast, we explore the spectacular desert and mountains of Wadi Rum via a Jeep safari. The desert here, with its towering rust coloured rocky 'jebels' awed TE Lawrence during his visits during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18 and was later made famous in the film Lawrence of Arabia.

We'll leave Wadi Rum and drive north up the banks of the Dead Sea, one of the world's most amazing places. As well as being the lowest point on earth at over 400 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea region is one of the most spiritual landscapes in the world as well as being full of dramatic natural beauty.

The Dead Sea itself receives several incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.

The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost otherworldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela). We stop along the way to enjoy a 'swim', though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting - you'll also discover various tiny cuts you never thought you had!

We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Amman evening food tasting tour
As-Salt and Bethany tour


Day 6 Amman to Cairo. Hotel transfer included

We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Cairo. Once you arrive, we'll 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. We'll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Cairo independently. An optional dinner cruise on the Nile is also available tonight.

Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day - all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 3-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Amman to Cairo flight


Day 7 Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx at Giza. To Luxor

We start our exploration of Egypt with the iconic three great pyramids at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Probably the most recognizable ancient buildings in the world, these three pyramids were built pyramids were built by the Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure around 2500 years BC. Our Egyptologist guide will start your introduction into Egyptian history here with information on how and why pyramids were built and how they fit into the whole ancient Pharaonic story. You’ll have the chance to climb down inside one of these pyramids if you wish (and if you’re not claustrophobic!).

Our next visit is the majestic Sphinx, which nestles nearby, and was uncovered completely only in the 1920s.

In the afternoon we then drive south through towns and villages along the banks of the River Nile to Luxor where we check into our hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

One way sleeper train upgrade


Day 8 Luxor to Aswan. Overnight in Nubian village

This is free to relax in your hotel, or perhaps take an optional tour to Luxor Museum, which has a beautifully displayed collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts and includes some very important and impressive specimens. There are also some items from the period after the end of Pharaonic times in Egypt. We then continue our drive south following the Nile to Aswan where we spend the night in a Nubian village staying in a local guesthouse. The ancient region of Nubia comprised an area around the Nile in parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

Many descendants of the Nubian people still live around Aswan and during our stay we’ll see their colourful houses and enjoying a typical meal this evening.

OVERNIGHT:

Aswan - Nubian guesthouse

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Aswan, Abu Simbel option, Philae Temple & felucca cruise

There is an optional tour early this morning to drive to the amazing UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel which sits on the banks of Lake Nasser about 3 hours away from Aswan. The temples here were built by Ramses II and are one of Egypt’s most impressive and fascinating sites, especially because they are carved into the hillside rather than built independently, and were completely dismantled and moved to their present location when Lake Nasser was flooded. If you don’t visit Abu Simbel you can explore Aswan’s markets and Corniche this morning or visit the Nubian Museum which has an excellent collection covering the history of the Nubian people in the region.

This afternoon we’ll take a boat trip to visit one of Egypt’s most beautifully situated temples which was also reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. This is the Temple of Philae, which was dedicated to Isis.

Later we board a traditional Nile felucca and sail a little way out of Aswan before mooring up for the night. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat helps us protect the environment of the banks of the Nile, having a proper toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen. You sleep on the deck of the boat, with mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided. This is a fun but basic experience, and you can upgrade the two nights sleeping on the felucca to an additional two nights in hotels in Aswan if you prefer. In this case you will s case you'll spend two nights in Aswan and then drive to Luxor, rejoining the group when they arrive after the felucca cruise. All other touring remains the same.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan


Day 10 Felucca sailing, to Luxor. Optional Luxor temple at night

We spend some more time sailing on the Nile this morning, and after lunch with the felucca crew, we bid them a reluctant goodbye and drive north to Luxor. Luxor is the jewel in Egypt’s crown with the largest concentrations of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. These are split across both banks of the Nile, with the City of the Dead on the West Bank with many mortuary temples and tombs cut into the rocky mountains, and with the Temples of Luxor and Karnak and their connecting Avenue of Sphinxes the highlights on the East Bank. Later this evening there is an optional tour available to Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You'll can also head into town to explore some of Luxor's popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals. We spend the night at a comfortable 4-star hotel with a pool on the banks of the Nile.

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Nile cruise upgrade


Day 11 Luxor, West Bank tour. Optional Karnak temple tour

This morning we take a tour to the West Bank of the Nile, where we’ll visit the Temple of Queen Hatchepsut, explore several tombs in the Valley of the Kings, learn about the workers who made all this happen in Deir El-Medina (the Valley of the Artisans) and stop to see the huge Colossi of Memnon. Your afternoon is then free to relax in the hotel, or take an optional tour to explore the huge temple complex at Karnak. A spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is also available today (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Karnak Temple tour


Day 12 Dendara and Abydos, to Cairo

We leave Luxor this morning and drive back to Cairo, stopping at the temples of Dendara and Abydos along the way. These temples are much less visited by tourists than the sites in Luxor, but are hugely impressive. Dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, Dendara in particular becomes many people’s favourite site, and is incredibly well preserved. Nearby Abydos is another fascinating site, and was the cult center of the god of the dead, Osiris.

The necropolis here was a pilgrimage and burial site and at least ten temples were originally built here. We arrive back into Cairo this evening and check into our hotel in the centre of the city for a final evening together.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 3-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 13 Cairo, Optional City & Museum tour. Departure airport transfer

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. We recommend an afternoon or evening flight so that you can take a tour to visit the incredible Egyptian Museum this morning. Extra nights in Cairo are also available if you would like to extend your stay.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Cairo city tour
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)


Expand all Close all

Included:
  • Accommodation in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • 1 night in comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
  • 1 night in a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan (2020 only)
  • Overnight felucca sailboat cruise with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower (2019 2 nights, 2020 1 night)
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles (plus Bedouin jeeps in Wadi Rum)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • 4x4 jeep safari in Wadi Rum
  • Services of a specialist tour guides for sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Amman-Cairo flight (available on request or bookable with your international flight ticket)
  • Visa fees (Free Jordan visa included in the Jordan Pass; Egypt US$25)
  • Entrance fees in Jordan (included in the Jordan Pass, to be purchased in advance, JD70)
  • Entrance fees in Egypt (allow approx. US$50)
  • Tipping kitty in Egypt (allow US$45)
  • Guide Tips in Jordan and Egypt
  • Tips in Jordan
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Hotel gala dinners (see Tour notes)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

Hotel Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats 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 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.

2019 Departures - During 2019 this tour is 14-days long, features a 2-night felucca sailboat trip on the Nile and takes two overnight coach journeys between Cairo and Aswan, and Luxor and Cairo. These may be upgraded to either the sleeper train or internal flights if you wish.

2020 Departures - From 2020 the itinerary changes to 13 days, removing one night on the felucca and both overnight coach journeys. We also add a night in a friendly Nubian guesthouse in Aswan, and stops at the ancient sites of Dendara and Abydos to the itinerary.

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Group tour departure dates and prices are shown below. The tour is also available as a customisable private departure on any other dates. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

19th of Aug 2019

1st of Sep 2019

NZ$2045

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14-day tour


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9th of Sep 2019

22nd of Sep 2019

NZ$2145

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23rd of Sep 2019

6th of Oct 2019

NZ$2145

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7th of Oct 2019

20th of Oct 2019

NZ$2250

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21st of Oct 2019

3rd of Nov 2019

NZ$2250

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4th of Nov 2019

17th of Nov 2019

NZ$2250

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18th of Nov 2019

1st of Dec 2019

NZ$2250

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2nd of Dec 2019

15th of Dec 2019

NZ$2250

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16th of Dec 2019

29th of Dec 2019

NZ$2350

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30th of Dec 2019

12th of Jan 2020

NZ$2350

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13th of Jan 2020

25th of Jan 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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27th of Jan 2020

8th of Feb 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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10th of Feb 2020

22nd of Feb 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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24th of Feb 2020

7th of Mar 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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9th of Mar 2020

21st of Mar 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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23rd of Mar 2020

4th of Apr 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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6th of Apr 2020

18th of Apr 2020

NZ$2555

NZ$2300
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13th of Apr 2020

25th of Apr 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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27th of Apr 2020

9th of May 2020

NZ$2310

NZ$2075
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11th of May 2020

23rd of May 2020

NZ$2310

NZ$2075
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25th of May 2020

6th of Jun 2020

NZ$2310

NZ$2075
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8th of Jun 2020

20th of Jun 2020

NZ$2310

NZ$2075
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29th of Jun 2020

11th of Jul 2020

NZ$2250

NZ$2025
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20th of Jul 2020

1st of Aug 2020

NZ$2250

NZ$2025
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10th of Aug 2020

22nd of Aug 2020

NZ$2250

NZ$2025
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31st of Aug 2020

12th of Sep 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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14th of Sep 2020

26th of Sep 2020

NZ$2350

NZ$2120
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28th of Sep 2020

10th of Oct 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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12th of Oct 2020

24th of Oct 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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26th of Oct 2020

7th of Nov 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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9th of Nov 2020

21st of Nov 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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23rd of Nov 2020

5th of Dec 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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7th of Dec 2020

19th of Dec 2020

NZ$2455

NZ$2210
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21st of Dec 2020

2nd of Jan 2021

NZ$2555

NZ$2300
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28th of Dec 2020

9th of Jan 2021

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NZ$2300
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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often 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.

Guest House Amman

Guest House Amman

Amman


The Amman Guest House is a comfortable 3-star hotel. The property has a good selection of dining outlets just a short walk from the hotel.

Local rating

Our rating

 Guest House Amman Guest House Amman

The Amman Guest House is a comfortable 3-star hotel located in central Amman. The property has a good selection of restaurants, cafes and shops just a short walk from the hotel. There are 30 en-suite rooms, all of which feature modern amenities such as Free WiFi, flat screen TVs, bathrooms with rainfall showers and a safety deposit box. The hotel also has an onsite restaurant/coffee shop.

La Maison

La Maison

Petra


La Maison is a comfortable, mid-range hotel in Petra with an excellent location less than ten minutes walk from the Visitor Centre and entrance into Petra.

Local rating

Our rating

 La Maison La Maison

La Maison is a comfortable, mid-range hotel in Petra with an excellent location less than ten minutes walk from the Visitor Centre and entrance into Petra. The 76 en-suite rooms have been recently rennovated and all ll have air conditioning, free internet and TVs.

The hotel has a lobby lounge and bar, a restaurant and an Arabic styled roof terrace where you can enjoy traditional Jordanian snacks, drinks and shisha pipes. 

Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

Wadi Rum


In Wadi Rum we use a Bedouin camp located on the desert sands and against the rocks and cliffs. You sleep in traditional goat hair tents with proper beds, mattresses and all bedding provided.

Local rating

Our rating

 Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

In Wadi Rum we use a Bedouin camp located on the desert sands and against the rocks and cliffs. This may be Captains Desert Camp or other similar camps subject to availability at the time.  You sleep in traditional goat hair tents with proper beds, mattresses and all bedding provided. Bathrooms and toilets are shared, though en-suite tents are available on request for a small upgrade fee. You can also sleep outside under the stars if you prefer (bring a sleeping bag).

Zayed Hotel

Zayed Hotel

Giza


The Zayed Hotel is a small and friendly 3-star hotel overlooking a square and gardens in the respectable Mohandiseen district of Cairo.

Local rating

Our rating

 Zayed Hotel Zayed Hotel

The Zayed Hotel is a small and friendly 3-star hotel overlooking a square and gardens in the respectable Mohandiseen district of Cairo. There are plenty of shops and cafes in the immediate vicinity, and the hotel has its own pub/café area and restaurant. It is around 15 mins drive from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum, and 20 mins drive from the Pyramids area in Giza.

Rooms are spacious and en-suite with air conditioning, free WiFi, satellite TV, safes and minibars.

Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel

Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel

Aswan


Situated on the banks of the River Nile close to the centre of Aswan, comfortable 4-star hotel offers a wide range of services and friendly staff.

Local rating

Our rating

 Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel

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

Introduction:

The Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel is a medium sized hotel located right on the banks of the Nile in Aswan. It is rated in the Egyptian 4-star category. Overall however, hotel standards throughout Aswan don't live up to the rest of the country, but we are happy to use this hotel for tours with our Standard comfort rating.

Built in 1982, this hotel is under new ownership and therefore has a welcoming feel, with different types of rooms available and a good level of service, making it a friendly and relaxed hotel for your time in Aswan. Its location on the banks of the Nile means that all the feluccas used on our standard tours can simply pull right in and pick you up direct from the hotel.

Location:

This hotel has one of the best locations in Aswan, perched right at the edge of the Nile on the Corniche. It is only a 5 min drive from the train station and only a 30 minute drive to the Philae Temple and the Aswan Dam. The swimming pool and bar areas look out across the Nile and this is a great place to watch feluccas on the Nile basking in the setting sun.  It is just over the road from the main bazaars and there are some good eating options nearby and ATM’s within easy walking distance.

Accommodation:

The hotel has almost 100 rooms and many of these have either Nile views or pool views and are available as twin beds or doubles. All come complete with Satellite TV, en-suite, phone, mini-bar and Air-con. It is usually no problem for us to arrange triple rooms. There are also electrical sockets in each room for charging phones and cameras.

Bars & Restaurants:

There is an Italian restaurant on-site as well as the main Hotel restaurant overlooking the Nile where a comprehensive buffet breakfast is served every morning. Egyptian and Western food is available. A fully licensed bar is also available to enjoy the perfect sun-downer looking out over the river after a full days tour.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a great swimming pool that looks out on to the Nile as well as a well equipped health club with sauna, massage, Jacuzzi, steam bath and gymnasium all with very reasonable prices where you can unwind and relax. The hotel also has a business centre where you can access computer treminals with internet access or make use of the wireless connection.

Other services include:

  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Safety deposit boxes
  • Laundry Service
  • Luggage Storage
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Feluccas on hire
Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboat

Aswan


Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river.

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.

Eatabe Hotel

Eatabe Hotel

Luxor


Eatabe Hotel is found in Luxor town centre, near the famous Luxor Temple. It features double and twin rooms with air-conditioning and satellite TVs. Facilities and services include WiFi access, room service, a pool, bar, and restaurant.

Local rating

Our rating

 Eatabe Hotel Eatabe Hotel

Eatabe Hotel is set on the Corniche El Nil in Luxor, close to the famous Luxor Temple. It offers easy access to Luxor Airport and Karnak Temple. Its facilities include a swimming pool for both adults and children, a bar, and a restaurant. There is WiFi access and 24-hour room service. Rooms are available with twin or double beds, and have air-conditioning and satellite TVs. Some have Nile views, while others have garden views.

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 (JOSHJA)

Single room supplement (JOSHJA)

Min numbers: 1 person


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.

Price from
NZ$490
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, 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 book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Petra by night

Petra by night

Min numbers: 1 person


This magical experience takes you in through the narrow and winding Siq to the Treasury at the entrance to Petra. The whole route and the sand in front of the Treasury is lit up by numerous candles.

Price from
NZ$39
per person

This magical experience takes you in through the narrow and winding Siq to the Treasury at the entrance to Petra. The whole route and the sand in front of the Treasury is lit up by numerous candles creating a beautiful and atmospheric sight. While at the Treasury you'll also enjoy some traditional Bedouin music and tea.

Pricing includes your entrance ticket and any transfers required to and from your hotel. Please bring a flashlight/torch with you for this trip as the path through the Siq is rough underfoot in places and while there are candles all the way, a torch provides extra assurance against mis-stepping.

Abu Simbel overland

Abu Simbel overland

Min numbers: 1 person


This option takes you from Aswan to see the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Aswan. We travel overland and return to Aswan by midday.

Price from
NZ$180
per person

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 early in the morning to join an escorted convoy which departs Aswan at around 04.30. This gets us to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun, and we then have a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists and some free time before we drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). All transfers, guide, and entrance fees are included. 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.

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Min numbers: 1 person


A trully memorable, approx 1-hour, early morning flight over the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor.

Price from
NZ$180
per person

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.

Cairo city tour

Cairo city tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This tour visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque before heading to the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

Price from
NZ$90
per person

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.

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

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo

Min numbers: 1 person


Egyptian entertainment and food while cruising the Nile.

Price from
NZ$110
per person

This option offers an evening of cruising up and down the Nile through the centre of Cairo on a 5-star riverboat while enjoying some middle eastern cuisine as well as a traditional Egyptian Sufi and Belly Dancing show. A great way to spend a free evening in Cairo and see some more of the city. Transfers to and from your hotel are included.

Amman to Cairo flight

Amman to Cairo flight

Min numbers: 1 person


This flight is a required part of the tour. It is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket.

Price from
NZ$345
per person

This flight is a required part of the tour. It is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your flights, just the Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at anytime during the day - all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


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

Price from
NZ$79
per person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival 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 Cairo post-tour (3-star)

Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)

Min numbers: 1 person


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.

Price from
NZ$50
per person

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.

Luxor West Bank Tour

Luxor West Bank Tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This half day tour takes you across the Nile to Luxor’s West Bank and includes visits to the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatchepsut Temple, the Colossi of Memnon, and the Workers Village.

Price from
NZ$100
per person

This half day tour takes you across the Nile to 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, the Workers' Village, and the huge Colossi of Memnon.

Felucca to Hotel upgrade

Felucca to Hotel upgrade

Min numbers: 1 person


If you would like some more comfort in place of sleeping on the felucca, then this option provides two extra nights in the Aswan hotel. You then rejoin the rest of the group after they finish on the felucca. Single room supplements apply.

Price from
NZ$155
per person

If you would like some more comfort in place of sleeping on the felucca, then this option provides two extra nights in the Aswan hotel. You then rejoin the rest of the group after they finish on the felucca. Your time is free in Aswan, but additional sightseeing tours are available locally on request. Single room supplements apply.

Amman evening food tasting tour

Amman evening food tasting tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This evening culinary tour povides a great taste of traditional Jordanian food. We'll walk along Rainbow Street and in Downtown Amman, checking out the various local restaurants and food available. 3 different typical Jordanian dishes are included.

Price from
NZ$100
per person

This evening tour of Amman provides a great taste of traditional Jordanian food. We take a walk down Rainbow Street and through Downtown Amman, checking out the various local restaurants and street food available. Your guide will give you plenty of explanations of what is on offer, and what are the local favourites.

During the tour we'll try several different dishes, starting with a snack of either Manakish (with its various toppings of egg, white cheese or za'atar) or a classic falafel sandwich. Then in Downtown Amman we'll try a main meal, perhaps the Jordanian national dish of Mansaf, slow cooked lamb with rice and yoghurt sauce. Finally we'll try one of the cities famous desserts like Knafeh from one the popular local sweet shops. All 3 dishes are included in the price of the tour, plus transfers to and from your hotel, but you'll need to pay for your own drinks.

A supplement will apply if there is only one person on the tour. The tour can also be booked locally, subject to availability of guides & transport.

As-Salt and Bethany tour

As-Salt and Bethany tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This option runs on Day 1 so requires an extra night adding to the tour. We start by exploring the hilltop town of As-Salt before heading down to the Baptism Site at Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan where John baptised Jesus Christ.

Price from
NZ$135
per person

Our first visit today is to the hilltop town of As-Salt, around 40 minutes drive from Amman. As-Salt was an important trading link between the Jordan Valley and Eastern Desert, and once the capital of Amman. The town developed its old Islamic architecture using yellow limestone, which was the finest at the time and many impressive buildings can still be seen today, as well as tiny narrow streets packed with shops and stalls. Today the town provides an example of religious and cultural friendship between the local Muslim and Christian population and we take a walking tour on its self-designed 'Harmony Trail' to learn more about the town and local life in Jordan. We'll also take lunch with a local family for a first taste of Jordan's delicious cuisine (if groups are over 10 people or no families have availability that day we will eat in a local restaurant instead).

After lunch we descend out of the hills to the Baptism Site at 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 busy day, we'll return to our hotel in Amman where we'll spend the night.

This tour runs on Day 1 of the tour, so an extra night needs to be added in the hotel in Amman before the tour starts. A supplement will apply if there is only one person on the tour.

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

Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex. If you are happy to share, then you will only need to pay the single room supplement if we are unable to pair you up.

Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page for details of the normal hotels used on this tour. On our group and shoestring tours, these may change from time to time for other properties of a similar standard. If you would like to guarantee a particular hotel, please request a tailor-made tour.

In Egypt we use good quality hotels rated at the local 3 and 4-star level on this tour while accommodation in Jordan is in 3-star hotels, with optional upgrades available to 4 or 5-star. In Wadi Rum we use a comfortable Bedouin camp located on the desert sands, against the cliffs. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are separate, though en-suite tents are also available and upgrades are available if required. 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. 

Gala Dinners:
Many of Egypt and Jordan’s hotels and Nile cruise boats 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 compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$30 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, and will be added to your booking if required. More information is available on request.


  2. Felucca Sailboat

This tour features a two night 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 like some more comfort in place of the felucca, then an option is available to spend these two nights in a hotel instead.


  3. Transport
Our trips feature a mix of different transport options and uses an air-conditioned minibus or coach for all the transfers, sightseeing, and journeys between cities. 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. The journeys between Cairo and Aswan, and Luxor and Cairo are done overnight in vehicles with plenty of extra space so you can spread out and relax. These journeys are broken up with a couple of convenience stops while not stopping too frequently to prevent you sleeping.  All the vehicles we use are air-conditioned, many are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily.

An upgrade to the overnight sleeper train is available for the Cairo-Aswan and Luxor-Cairo journeys. 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.

Amman-Cairo flight
The connecting flight from Amman to Cairo is not included in the price of this tour. It is left out of the set tour price as it is sometimes more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to assist with all your flights, just the Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at anytime during the day - all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.


  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. 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.


  6. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

Most of our small-group tours have a maximum of 12-20 travellers. However, to keep costs down, we do allow our Shoestring tours to have slightly larger groups and this tour departs with a maximum of 32 travellers. Average group sizes are around 10-15. We may also share this departure with travellers booking onto our tour through other operators.

In Jordan we provide fully trained, local English-speaking guides for all of the sightseeing tours.

In Egypt we provide fully trained, local English-speaking Egyptologists to act as your tour guides for all of the sightseeing tours in Cairo and the Nile Valley.

Our local reps in all the towns and cities en-route are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. We also use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert.

At Encounters Travel we only use local guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous guides.


  7. Entrance Fees

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).
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass suitable for this tour is JD70 (approx. US$99). 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

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). Your guide will be happy to collect payment for all the entrance fees at the start of the tour, and pay them for you as you go along if you wish.


  8. 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$3-8 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. Your guide will manage this as the tour goes along and ask one or more of the group members to assist and make some of the payments. 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.  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$3-8 per person per day would be appropriate.


  9. 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.


  10. 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 as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Our Jordan Family tour prices include your entrance fees and we will also arrange a free visa for you on your 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.


  11. 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 https://visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/. 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, Canadian) 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.

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.


  12. 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.


  13. 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.


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. Dates & Prices

We run regular departures on this tour throughout the year, starting on Mondays. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of two travellers. Departure dates & prices are on our website (please check the website for up-to-date prices & special offers).


  18. 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.


  19. 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 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.


  20. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  21. 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).


  22. 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')


  23. 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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Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring & Country Reviews

Product Reviews


Posted 8th of Jun 2016

For the Egypt part - shout out to Aboudy, the best tour guide ive ever experienced! His passion and care made the trip!

Product Reviews


Posted 23rd of Oct 2015

Good