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Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring Tour

I highly recommend you to use Encounters if you travel to Egypt. Their customer service was excellent and exceeded my expectations.

Tiffany C, 04 Nov 2018

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Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

13 days

Amman to Cairo

From

$1725 (p/p)

Country(ies): Egypt , Jordan

Tour type: Shoestring

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 32

Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, Bedouin camp, Nubian guesthouse & 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, Abydos & Dendara temples

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 with stops on the way at the less visited temples at Abydos and Dendara. 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.

ITINERARY

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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:


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:


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:


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:

Request a quote for 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:

None


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 can enjoy 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 night sleeping on the felucca to an additional night in a hotel in Aswan if you prefer.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)


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 (2020 departures)


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 and see more of the city 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)
Egyptian Museum & Bazaar Tour


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Included:
  • 9 nights accommodation in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • 1 night in comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
  • 1 night in a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan
  • 1 night on felucca sailboat with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower
  • 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$65)
  • 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 and Jordan's hotels arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but normally compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$180 per person in 5-star hotels. 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, especially for New Year's Eve. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. Please budget accordingly. More information is available on request.

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Small-group departure dates are listed below. The tour is also available as a customisable private departure on any other dates. Please contact us for more information and prices for your preferred date and number of travellers.

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

12th of Oct 2020

24th of Oct 2020

US$1725

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26th of Oct 2020

7th of Nov 2020

US$1725

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9th of Nov 2020

21st of Nov 2020

US$1725

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7th of Dec 2020

19th of Dec 2020

US$1725

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21st of Dec 2020

2nd of Jan 2021

US$1795

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28th of Dec 2020

9th of Jan 2021

US$1795

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4th of Jan 2021

16th of Jan 2021

US$1840

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1st of Feb 2021

13th of Feb 2021

US$1840

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15th of Feb 2021

27th of Feb 2021

US$1840

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15th of Mar 2021

27th of Mar 2021

US$1840

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29th of Mar 2021

10th of Apr 2021

US$1870

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26th of Apr 2021

8th of May 2021

US$1840

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24th of May 2021

5th of Jun 2021

US$1810

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28th of Jun 2021

10th of Jul 2021

US$1770

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19th of Jul 2021

31st of Jul 2021

US$1770

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9th of Aug 2021

21st of Aug 2021

US$1810

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30th of Aug 2021

11th of Sep 2021

US$1840

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13th of Sep 2021

25th of Sep 2021

US$1840

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27th of Sep 2021

9th of Oct 2021

US$1870

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11th of Oct 2021

23rd of Oct 2021

US$1870

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25th of Oct 2021

6th of Nov 2021

US$1870

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8th of Nov 2021

20th of Nov 2021

US$1870

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22nd of Nov 2021

4th of Dec 2021

US$1870

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6th of Dec 2021

18th of Dec 2021

US$1870

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23rd of Dec 2021

4th of Jan 2022

US$1955

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28th of Dec 2021

9th of Jan 2022

US$1870

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3rd of Jan 2022

15th of Jan 2022

US$1870

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17th of Jan 2022

29th of Jan 2022

US$1870

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31st of Jan 2022

12th of Feb 2022

US$1870

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14th of Feb 2022

26th of Feb 2022

US$1870

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28th of Feb 2022

12th of Mar 2022

US$1870

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14th of Mar 2022

26th of Mar 2022

US$1870

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28th of Mar 2022

9th of Apr 2022

US$1870

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11th of Apr 2022

23rd of Apr 2022

US$1940

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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.

Oasis Hotel

Oasis Hotel

Cairo


The Oasis hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens.

Local rating

Our rating

 Oasis Hotel Oasis 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 Oasis Hotel really is, as its name suggests, an oasis in the immense city of Cairo. The hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. It is one of the few good 4-star rated hotels in Cairo, and we use it on many of our tours with a 'standard' comfort rating.

Location:

The Oasis hotel is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the Great Pyramids (too far to walk), 1 hour from Cairo International Airport and 30 minutes from Downtown Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. As there aren't many bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, a complementary shuttle bus service operates throughout the day - although many guests chose to stay within the hotel complex as there are plenty of facilities and different bars & dining options there.

Accommodation:

The Oasis has a total of 300 guest rooms including 6 executive Suites and 1 royal suite. Most are single storey chalet-style rooms, though there is a new 2-storey extension (no children are allowed in the new section though). Connecting rooms and extra beds are available for family parties.

All guest rooms are furnished to a high standard and overlook the perfectly maintained gardens. The rooms also all feature Satellite TV, Air-Conditioning, Direct Dial Telephone, Mini-Bar, Wireless Internet and Music Channels.

Bars & Restaurants:

The resort features several dining outlets, mainly located around the pool area, making dining at this hotel a relaxing experience.
Bedouin - This modern restaurant serves mixed international cuisine with influences from Lebanese, Syrian and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day and provides both buffet and a la carte options.
La Terrazza - This restaurant is one of the hotel's a la carte options and offers cuisine from various parts of Italy. The restaurant is open daily for dinner.
Palmyra - This buffet style restaurant offers a large variety of international cuisines.
Palm Garden - Palm Garden is a Syrian and Lebanese restaurant and nightclub open daily from 10pm. You can enjoy a meal next to the waterfall whilst taking in one of the live shows.
The hotel also offers a section of coffee shops and bars that serve an extensive menu of western snacks in addition to ice creams & western snacks ideal for children and cocktails for the adults.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large free-form swimming pool available to guests featuring both shallow and deep areas with easy access steps in the shallow end, in addition to the swimming pool, the hotel has many other services available such as a health club and spa, fully equipped gymnasium, children's playground, free shuttle bus to Downtown Cairo and 24 hour room service.

Other services include:

  • Basketball and Tennis Courts
  • Free Parking
  • Bank
  • ATM Machine
  • Valet and Laundry Services
  • Luggage Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Massage, Sauna and Jacuzzi
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
Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Luxor


This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001. It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor.

Local rating

Our rating

 Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

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

Introduction:

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

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

Location:

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

Accommodation:

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

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

Bars & Restaurants:

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

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

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

Facilities & Services:

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

Other services include:

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

Sleeper train

Sleeper train

Cairo, Luxor & Aswan


On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline style evening meal and breakfast are included.

Local rating

Our rating

 Sleeper train Sleeper train

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

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

Le Meridien Pyramids

Le Meridien Pyramids

Cairo


Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa boasts unparalleled views of the majestic Giza Pyramids, located just a short distance away. It features a large free form outdoor pool with bar island. Some rooms offer pyramid views.

Local rating

Our rating

 Le Meridien Pyramids Le Meridien Pyramids

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

Introduction:

Le Meridien Pyramids is a large, modern resort style hotel set in its own landscaped gardens with excellent views of the Pyramids. The hotel has a good outdoor swimming pool and a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from offering Oriental, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. Many of the rooms have been recently renovated and the pool area is family friendly.

Location:

The hotel is located in Gisa, 10 kilometers south west of Cairo on the outskirts of the city and is within walking distance of the Pyramids and Sphinx. There is a busy roundabout outside, but once inside the hotel you do feel cut off from this. It is only a 15-25 minute drive to the centre of Cairo and 35-45 minutes to Cairo International Airport.

Accommodation:

The 532 rooms and suites are all generously sized and  furnished with Egyptian ornaments and artwork. 218 rooms enjoy views of the Pyramids while many others overlook the swimming pool. Upgrades to Pyramid view rooms are available on request for a small supplement.

All rooms have deluxe marble bathrooms with bath and shower, hair dryer, mini-bar, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, safety deposit boxes and 24-hr room service. There are electrical sockets in every room for charging cameras, telephones etc. Non-smoking rooms are also available.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a variety of international restaurants to choose from, including The Med which offers the finest Mediterranean dishes in elegant surroundings to Laredo which is a Tex-Mex restaurant with a fun and informal atmosphere. Al Shams is open 24 hours a day and offers a range of international dishes either buffet style or A la carte. The Nubian Village overlooks the Pyramids, has both indoor and outdoor dining and offers a selection of Oriental and Lebanese specialities with live entertainment every night. There is also The Harris Cafe, offering freshly prepared cakes, pastries and breads and the Shisha Cafe for a typical Egyptian evening with specially flavoured shisha (water pipe).

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large freeform swimming pool with waterfalls, swim up bar and a children's pool. Le Mirage Health Club boasts the very latest exercise equipment and also provides saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi and massage facilities. Within the hotel there is a shopping arcade, beauty salon, 24-hour exchange bank and a children's play area.

Other services include:

  • 24 hr concierge desk
  • Business Centre
  • Modified Rooms for Disabled Travellers
  • Doctor (on call)
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning
  • Baby Sitting (on request)
  • Tennis Courts
  • Golf Course (10-min)
  • Jogging (nearby)
Movenpick Resort

Movenpick Resort

Aswan


Located on Elephantine Island in the middle of the River Nile, Movenpick Resort Aswan offers luxurious accommodation with countless services including a swimming pool, tennis court, and gymnasium.

Local rating

Our rating

 Movenpick Resort Movenpick Resort

Located on Elephantine Island in the middle of the River Nile, Movenpick Resort Aswan offers luxurious accommodation with countless services including a swimming pool, tennis court, and gymnasium. Guests can enjoy free WiFi in the whole property including the rooms.

The well-appointed rooms are spacious and stylish. All of them offer private balconies or terraces, and many enjoy panoramic views across the river.

Guests at Movenpick Resort Aswan have a range of dining options with 3 restaurants, 2 bars. Some are located by the picturesque pool, while others boast romantic views across the water. For more casual dining, guests can also make use of the barbecue facilities.

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.

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.

 

Al Waleed Hotel

Al Waleed Hotel

Amman


The Al Waleed is rare in Amman in that it is a decent mid-range hotel located within easy walking distance of lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. This is ideal if you have any free time before or after the main tour, and also in the evenings.

Local rating

Our rating

 Al Waleed Hotel Al Waleed Hotel

The Al Waleed is rare in Amman in that it is a decent mid-range hotel within easy walking distance of lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. The hotel is located in the Sweifieh district, just a few setps away from Wakalat Street which is very popular with Jordanians for shopping and eating. The location is ideal if you have any free time before or after the main tour, and also for going out to eat in the evenings. Unfortunately nearly all other 3 and 4-star hotels are situated in more obscure areas and on main roads with nothing much around them, meaning you either need to eat in the hotel or take taxis if you want to explore during your free time.

Rooms are comfortable and all en-suite and air-conditioned. There is a good Italian restaurant on the ground floor.

Al Anbat Hotel

Al Anbat Hotel

Petra


Alanbat Hotel is located in the peaceful heart of Petra with sublime mountains and spectacular panoramic views of Petra's sunset.

Local rating

Our rating

 Al Anbat Hotel Al Anbat Hotel

Located on the main street in Wadi Musa, this hotel is just 1.9 miles from Petra. Leisure options include an outdoor pool, hammam and hot tub.

The air-conditioned rooms come with private bathrooms equipped with toiletries and hairdryers. Each room has a mini-fridge and a TV set. Some rooms include balconies.

Guests can relax in the Turkish bath and sauna, or have a massage. Al Anbat Hotel & Restaurant also provides a stone lounge with cushioned seats and shisha.

Panoramic views of the mountains can be enjoyed from the hotel's restaurant, which serves traditional local cuisine. Breakfast buffet is served every morning and there is an outdoor dining area.

The hotel is located 5 minutes' drive from the Roman Theatre and 10 minutes by car from Taybeh Village.

Al Fanar Hotel

Al Fanar Hotel

Amman


Al Fanar Palace Hotel is a family-owned and operated hotel located in the heart of classy modern west part of Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Local rating

Our rating

 Al Fanar Hotel Al Fanar Hotel

Set in a contemporary building with glass façade, Al Fanar offers modern accommodation along Queen Rania Road. It features a pool with a hot tub and a well-equipped gym with sauna.

Rooms at Al Fanar Palace Hotel are decorated in European fashion with plush beddings and wooden furnishings. They are all air conditioned, equipped with satellite TV channels and a spacious work desk.

Facilities at the Palace Hotel include free Wi-Fi access and private parking. There are a handful of shops within the property and upon request a shuttle from Queen Alia Airport is also available.

Guests can enjoy a fusion of Jordanian specialities and international classic dishes at the restaurant of the hotel. Guests can enjoy shisha in the outdoor covered terrace all year round. Amman's Old Town is famous for its traditional food stalls and is 4.3 miles away.

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).

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. 

 

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.

 

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.

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Min numbers: 1


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

*Price from
$90
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavour to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.

Abu Simbel overland

Abu Simbel overland

Min numbers: 1


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
$90
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

The temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel are one of Egypt's highlights, and have a fascinating story behind them to go with their impressive size. When Lake Nasser was flooded, the final water level was going to submerge several temples, the most important of which being Abu Simbel. The temple was therefore dismantled completely and rebuilt further up the hillside where it sits today. The temple stands today as a testament to Ramses II and the great building prowess of the ancient Egyptians, as well as to modern engineering. We depart Aswan 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.

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Min numbers: 1


This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt.

*Price from
$55
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

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

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people choosing the option. Solo traveller supplements apply.

Single room supplement (JOSHJA)

Single room supplement

Min numbers: 1


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
$299
per person/s

*Price based on 1 person/s

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.

Request a quote for Amman to Cairo flight

Request a quote for Amman to Cairo flight

Min numbers: 1


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
$225
per person/s

*Price based on 1 person/s

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. UK residents will need to book their own flights. 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. If you add this option to your booking, we will get back to you with a quotation for this flight.

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1


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
$30
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

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.

Superior hotel upgrade (JOSHJS)

Superior hotel upgrade

Min numbers: 1


This option upgrades all your Jordan hotels on the tour from the local 3-star to 5-star level. At the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum you stay in en-suite tents instead of those with shared facilities. Single room supplements apply

*Price from
$269
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This option upgrades all your hotels on the tour from the local Jordan 3-star level to 5-star. At the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum you stay in en-suite tents instead of those with shared facilities.

The specific hotels used may vary on different dates but include the Landmark and Le Grand in Amman, and the Old Village or Hyatt Zaman Resort in Petra. The Petra hotels can be considered a good 4-star level despite their official 5-star rating.

Prices are based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements apply - please check the website reservation form or contact us for prices to match your preferred dates.

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

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

Min numbers: 1


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
$25
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

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

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Karnak Temple tour (2020 departures)

Karnak Temple tour (2020 departures)

Min numbers: 1


This tour takes you to the huge Karnak Temple Complex for a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists. You'll see the avenue of Sphinxes, huge columns in the Hippostyle Hall, temples dedicated to different gods, obelisks and much more.

*Price from
$35
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This tour takes you to the huge Karnak Temple Complex on the East bank of the Nile in Luxor. Karnak is connected to Luxor Temple by a long 2.4km avenue of Sphinxes, which is currently being opened up and restored. The site started being built over 4000 years ago and construction continued until Roman times with many Pharaohs adding their own additions and alterations. The entire site covers around 200 acres (1.5km x 0.8km) and is often considered the largest religious building in the world. There are temples dedicated to several different gods, a huge Hypostyle Hall containing 134 massive columns, several obelisks including one 30m tall erected by Queen Hatchepsut and a sacred stone walled lake.
You will spend several hours in the site with one of our Egyptologists with your entrance ticket and transfers to and from your hotel included.

Luxor Museum tour

Luxor Museum tour

Min numbers: 1


Luxor Museum 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.

*Price from
$35
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

The Luxor Museum has a much smaller collection than the huge Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but the collection is beautifully displayed and includes some very important and impressive specimens. These include a huge red granite head of Amenhotep III, a calcite double statue of the crocodile god Sobek and some items from Tutankhamun's tomb such as boats, sandles and arrows. There are also some items from the periods after the end of Pharaonic Egypt. The museum is normally open in the mornings from 9am-2pm and then in the evenings from 5pm-9pm. Your guide will advise you of current opening times and arrange a guided visit to fit around your other sightseeing. Your entrance ticket and transfers to and from your hotel are included. Solo traveller supplements apply.

As-Salt and Bethany tour

As-Salt and Bethany tour

Min numbers: 1


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
$89
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

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.

Egyptian Museum & Bazaar Tour

Egyptian Museum & Bazaar Tour

Min numbers: 1


This half day guided city tour explores the huge Egyptian Museum, home to the incredible Tutankhamun display which is then followed by a walk through the back streets and markets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. Solo traveller supplements apply

*Price from
$45
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This half day guided tour of Cairo tour spends a couple of hours exploring the huge Egyptian Museum with our Egyptologist guide providing insights and information into the various displays, including the incredible Tutankhamun collection. We then walk through the busy back streets and various different markets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar, a perfect chance to secure some souvenirs of your time in Egypt.

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

Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)

Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)

Min numbers: 1


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

*Price from
$45
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

If you would like some more comfort in place of sleeping on the deck of the felucca, then this option provides an extra night in a hotel in Aswan instead. 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.

 

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.

Accommodation in Jordan is in 3-star hotels, with an optional upgrade available to the local 5-star level in Amman & Petra if you would like a more luxurious stay. In Egypt we use good quality hotels rated at the local 3 and 4-star level on this tour and an overnight stay on board a traditional felucca sailboat, plus from 2020 a comfortable Nubian Guesthouse in Aswan.

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. 

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

Gala Dinners:
Many of Egypt and Jordan’s hotels 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 minivan/minibus or coach subjec tto the size of the group 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 drives between Cairo and Luxor follows the Nile Valley and take around 9 hours, with several stops along the way for refreshments, toilet stops, and to tour the sites at Dendara and Abydos on the return journey. These drives are done in the afternoon & evening, arriving in Luxor/Cairo late in the evening to check into your hotel for the night.

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.


  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.


  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.


  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 Review


Posted 3rd of Jan 2019

Just amazing affordable price.

Product Review


Posted 14th of Aug 2018

Overall good. Need better transportation. Tour guide good but needs to be more respectful of the female guests less touchy feely

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Posted 21st of Nov 2017

A fabulous trip. Wonderful experience being part of a small group touring a truly amazing country. Sami, our guide, was fantastic - superb knowledge, delivered in a fun and relaxed style. A really outstanding, memorable trip.