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Jordan & Egypt Explorer 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 Explorer OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

15 days

Amman to Cairo

From US$1870

$1680 (p/p)

Country(ies): Jordan , Egypt

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, Dendara and Abydos temples

Our Jordan tour starts in the capital city of Amman, from where we'll visit the Baptism Site at Bethany on the River Jordan and also take 'Harmony Trail' through the hillside town of As-Salt, learning how people of different religious live here, side by side. We'll also explore Amman itself and tour the magnificent Roman site at Jerash before heading south on the picturesque King's Highway, crossing deep wadis and travelling through small villages, olive groves and farmlands along the way. We'll stop to see some well preserved mosaics in Madaba, enjoy views over Israel from Mt. Nebo and explore the huge crusader castle at Kerak before we arrive at Petra, undoubtedly the country's main attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have a full day to explore the site with a guided tour plus free time to walk up to the Monastery or High Place of Sacrifice. Our next stop is the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum, where we spend the night in a comfortable Bedouin camp amidst the rocky cliffs and sandy desert, beneath clear starry skies. The tour then finishes with a jeep safari in Wadi Rum and a scenic drive north back to Amman along the banks of the Dead Sea, where you’ll have the opportunity to float on the surface of its salty waters. 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 7 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 stay in a friendly Nubian village guesthouse and 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 with stops at the lesser visited Abydos and Dendara temples on the way. 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 Jordan! Hotel transfers included

Your Jordanian adventure starts in the busy capital city of Amman. We'll be there to meet and greet you at the airport before we transfer you to your hotel in the city. You have the rest of the day free to explore Amman on your own.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour


Day 2 Exploring the Harmony Trail & the Baptism site at Bethany

We start the day with a visit to the hilltop town of As-Salt, which once served as a trading link between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. As-Salt is known for its impressive old Islamic architecture which was built using yellow limestone.

Today, the town serves as an example of the religious and cultural friendship between the local Muslim & Christian population. To learn more about As-Salt, we'll head out on a walking tour of its 'Harmony Trail', which will give you greater insight into the lives of the locals.

We'll have lunch with a local family today, giving you your first taste of Jordanian cuisine (this is group size dependent, if the group is too large, we will head to a local restaurant).

After lunch, we make our way to the Baptism site at Bethany, which is an excavated site believed to the place where John baptised Jesus Christ. Many churches, caves and pools dating back to Roman & Byzantine periods have been found here. We'll also visit three of its most important sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and John the Baptist's Church.

We'll return to our hotel in Amman where we'll spend the night.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Amman & Jerash

Today we head out on a city tour of Amman, taking in its rich history which dates back many millennia. We'll start with a visit to the Citadel - the former home of the ancient temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, Byzantine Church and the ancient Roman theatre, which is still being used today to host various cultural events.

Next, we make our way to Jerash, one of the most well-preserved Roman architecture sites on the planet. Jerash was hidden underneath sand for centuries and over the past 70 years, archaeological work has uncovered that Jerash was once a fine example of Roam urbanism, boasting paved and colonnaded streets, hilltop temples, public squares and plazas.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Travel to Petra

We leave Amman today, driving along the scenic King's Highway to Petra. We'll drive slowly, giving you time to take in the beauty of your surroundings as we pass through deep wadis, olive groves and rural villages.

We'll stop at Madaba to see the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is famed for its 6th century-old Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land. We'll also visit Mount Nebo, which is known to be the burial place of Moses.

Next, we'll stop at the Kerak Castle, which is one of a few Crusader Fortresses spread across Jordan. The castle was built in the 12th century and provides breath-taking views of the surrounding hills and plains.

There is an option is available tonight to get a first taste of the rose-red city by booking the Petra by Candlelight tour. If this is something you would like to experience, please chat to your travel consultant.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor


Day 5 Exploring Petra

We spend most of the day exploring the famous Nabatean site of Petra, which is situated at the edge of Wadi Aruba. One of the best ways to get to Petra is by travelling through the Siq - a narrow gorge which cuts through its towering canyon walls and surrounding hills.

Once we get to Petra, you will notice that there are few freestanding buildings. The Nabateans preferred to carve their homes into the sandstone cliffs.

We'll head out on a guided tour of Petra, before you get some time to do some exploring on your own. We'll take you through the Siq until we reach the Khazneh, one of Petra's most spectacular temples. You'll also get insight into the lives of the Nabateans and find out how they carved their homes into the sandstone rock faces.

Next, we visit the ancient ruined Roman Amphitheatre and explore Petra's colonnaded streets before you're given time to explore on your own. Be sure to visit the Monastery - Petra's largest carved monument. The walk to the Monastery is tiring, but the views are rewarding. If you still have enough energy, you can also hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Lion Fountain.

We say goodbye to Petra today as we make our way into the Wadi Rum Desert, where we'll be staying in a Bedouin Camp, taking in the beauty of the towering rocks and cliffs around us. We'll enjoy a traditional Jordanian meal here as we relax and marvel at the starry skies above us.

OVERNIGHT:

Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Wadi Rum Jeep safari & visiting the Dead Sea

We start the day with a jeep safari, exploring the rugged desert scenery of Wadi Rum. Look out for the copper-coloured rocky jebels, which mesmerised TE Lawrence during his visit to the desert during the Arab Revolt and was later featured in the movie, Lawrence of Arabia.

We leave Wadi Rum later today and make our way towards the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth coming in at 400 metres below sea level. The Dead Sea is also one of the world's most spiritual landscapes, filled with dramatic, natural wonders.

Numerous rivers run into the Dead Sea, including the River Jordan. Once the water reaches the Dead Sea, they become land-locked and eventually evaporates, leaving a dense, rich mixture of salt and minerals behind.

We'll stop to enjoy a 'swim' in the Dead Sea's salty waters, which will be a unique experience as the salinity makes it virtually impossible to swim but rather to float or sit in its waters. We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Arrive into Cairo, transfer to hotel

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel in central Cairo for the start of your trip. They will help you settle in, introduce you to the local area, and explain tomorrow's arrangements. The rest of the day is free. If you arrive early you may like to take an evening dinner cruise on the Nile, or enjoy a spectacular sound and light show at the pyramids (both available to book locally on arrival).

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 3-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:


Day 8 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 9 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 10 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 nights in a hotel in Aswan if you prefer.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)


Day 11 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 12 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 13 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:

None

EXTRAS:

None


Day 14 Cairo. Egyptian Museum & City Tour

After breakfast we begin our tour of Cairo. Founded in 969 AD by Gohar, a Fatimid army leader, El Kahera (Cairo) soon became the capital of Egypt. Subsequent additions like the El Azhar mosque, the Islamic University, and defensive walls and a citadel, built by Saladin in 1179, have helped Cairo remain Egypt's principal city. The 16-year reign of Ismail (1830-1895) ushered in a new period of expansion and modernisation in Cairo. Areas like Heliopolis, Dokki and Roda were added, while gardens, Opera houses, large hotels and wide, tree lined avenues were built. Further post revolutionary, urban expansion has left Cairo as one of the world's largest cities. Today it is a bustling metropolis of over 20 million people, a strange mix of modern and old, a unique blend of diverse cultures and a gateway to Egypt's past.

Your tour includes a visit to the Egyptian Museum (which houses a vast collection of artefacts from Egypt's past, including the famous King Tutunkhamun display) and the Khan al Khalili bazaar (a mazy market that offers a window to the past and a guaranteed souvenir). In the afternoon an additional half-day tour is available to Memphis, Dashour and Saqqara to learn and see more about the history of pyramid building.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 15 Cairo. 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


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Included:
  • 11 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 Nile felucca sailboat with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower (hotel upgrade available)
  • 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 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.

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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

7th of Jun 2020

21st of Jun 2020

US$1795

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28th of Jun 2020

12th of Jul 2020

US$1795

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19th of Jul 2020

2nd of Aug 2020

US$1795

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9th of Aug 2020

23rd of Aug 2020

US$1795

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30th of Aug 2020

13th of Sep 2020

US$1795

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13th of Sep 2020

27th of Sep 2020

US$1870

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27th of Sep 2020

11th of Oct 2020

US$1910

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11th of Oct 2020

25th of Oct 2020

US$1910

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25th of Oct 2020

8th of Nov 2020

US$1910

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8th of Nov 2020

22nd of Nov 2020

US$1910

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22nd of Nov 2020

6th of Dec 2020

US$1910

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6th of Dec 2020

20th of Dec 2020

US$1910

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20th of Dec 2020

3rd of Jan 2021

US$2085

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27th of Dec 2020

10th of Jan 2021

US$2085

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3rd of Jan 2021

17th of Jan 2021

US$1985

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31st of Jan 2021

14th of Feb 2021

US$1985

$1785
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28th of Feb 2021

14th of Mar 2021

US$1985

$1785
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28th of Mar 2021

11th of Apr 2021

US$2155

$1940
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25th of Apr 2021

9th of May 2021

US$1985

$1785
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23rd of May 2021

6th of Jun 2021

US$1910

$1720
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27th of Jun 2021

11th of Jul 2021

US$1870

$1680
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18th of Jul 2021

1st of Aug 2021

US$1870

$1680
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8th of Aug 2021

22nd of Aug 2021

US$1870

$1680
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29th of Aug 2021

12th of Sep 2021

US$1910

$1720
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12th of Sep 2021

26th of Sep 2021

US$1910

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26th of Sep 2021

10th of Oct 2021

US$2010

$1810
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10th of Oct 2021

24th of Oct 2021

US$2010

$1810
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24th of Oct 2021

7th of Nov 2021

US$2010

$1810
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7th of Nov 2021

21st of Nov 2021

US$2010

$1810
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21st of Nov 2021

5th of Dec 2021

US$2010

$1810
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5th of Dec 2021

19th of Dec 2021

US$2010

$1810
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22nd of Dec 2021

5th of Jan 2022

US$2155

$1940
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27th of Dec 2021

10th of Jan 2022

US$2155

$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.

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.

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.

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
$40
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
$35
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.

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
$70
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.

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
$120
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.

Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)

Felucca to Hotel upgrade (2020)

Min numbers: 1 person


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
$60
per person

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.

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
$120
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.

Luxor Museum tour

Luxor Museum tour

Min numbers: 1 person


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
$50
per person

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.

Karnak Temple tour (2020 departures)

Karnak Temple tour (2020 departures)

Min numbers: 1 person


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
$50
per person

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.

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Min numbers: 1 person


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
$75
per person

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 (JOSHEX)

Single room supplement (JOSHEX)

Min numbers: 1 person


This tour is based on room sharing with other travellers of the same sex. If you would like your own room, or if a room share is not available, this option provides a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour.

Price from
On Request
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and happy to share a room, we will aim to pair you up with another traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available, then the supplement will be payable. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

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, plus a night in a friendly Nubian guesthouse and one night on board a felucca sailboat. Accommodation in Jordan is in 3-star hotels, with optional upgrades available to 4/5-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 an overnight felucca cruise.  Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and are a fun and relaxing way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and some blankets are provided, but we suggest that you bring a sleeping sheet, blanket or light sleeping bag during the winter months of November-February).  There are no toilet facilities on board, but you will be joined several times each day and at night by our support boat where a toilet and warm showers will be available.  Mosquito nets are provided for use while you are sleeping but you should bring mosquito repellent for the evenings and early mornings. Your Nubian boat crew will cook all your meals while on board and entertain you in the evenings.

If you would like some more comfort in place of the felucca, then an option is available to spend this night 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.


  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 8-15. 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 & Jordan Pass

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

Jordan:
We strongly recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan).
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 - 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.


  15. 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.


  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 Sundays. 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). The tour can also be run privately on any other dates.


  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 Explorer & 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

Product Review


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.

Product Review


Posted 8th of Aug 2016

My only complaint was that the first hotel we stayed at in Jordan, the JAD Hotel was not the hotel in the itinerary. It was supposed to be the Imperial Palace, which looked like a substantially better hotel

Product Review


Posted 10th of Jun 2016

Except the first day of arrival without giving a briefing about the meeting time and gathering spot, everything else was excellent. I was a little bit lost on my first day of arrival and had to ask the hotel front desk about what time I should come down the next day to meet my group. If there can be a debriefing session, that would be nice.

Product Review


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 Review


Posted 8th of Jun 2016

The tour on the whole was fantastic hotels were well above what was expected for the price paid the sites were amazing and the guide was knowledgeable but i did feel he rushed through things a bit compared to other tour guides I've encountered in the past. Unfortunately the tour was totally let down by the desert camp experience we were virtually abandoned at a so called desert camp at 11am with no tour vuide nobody who spoke English told us what was happening or what to do. At no time were we offered any excursions ie camal ride as stated in intinery. It was a complete waste of a day sleeping unxer the stars could of made up for it if we weren't next to a busy road. I definitely wouldn't recommend the desert night. However the rest of the tour and Jordan are spectacular.