Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring tour

Jordan & Egypt on a Shoestring tour

Tour Experience

Budget adventure tour of Jordan and Egypt

Available

All year round

Location

Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan

This great tour is jam packed with all the main sights in Jordan and Egypt. Petra, The Dead Sea, The Pyramids and more, and all for an amazingly low price.

Starting in Amman, Jordan, we tour the city centre before taking a tour out to the well preserved Roman remains at Jerash. Heading south we then follow the scenic Kings Highway stopping at Madaba, Mount Nebo, and the crumbling remains the crusader castle at Kerak, before arriving at Jordan's most popular attraction, the hidden city of Petra. We set aside a full day to explore the sprawling "Rose Red City" of Petra. Enter through the Siq and gaze upon the rock hewn Treasury built more than 2,000 years ago. Next we head into the desert at Wadi Rum, famous for its links with Lawrence of Arabia. We spend a night in a Bedouin camp here and take a 4x4 jeep ride through the stunning desert scenery before returning via a swim in the Dead Sea to Amman for our flight to Cairo (not included - you can book this as part of your main international flight ticket or we can book the flight for you separately).

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

VIEW THE PHOTOS

INCLUDED

  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles (plus Bedouin jeeps in Wadi Rum)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a specialist tour guides for all sightseeing tours
  • 4x4 jeep safari in Wadi Rum
  • 2 night felucca sailboat cruise with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower
  • 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 as part of the Jordan Pass
  • Entrance fees in Jordan (included in the Jordan Pass, to be obtained in advance, cost JD70, approx. US$100)
  • Entrance fees in Egypt (allow approx. US$55)
  • Tipping kitty in Egypt (allow US$30) plus tour guide tips
  • 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

PACKAGE DETAILS

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive in Amman, transfer to hotel

Our staff will greet you upon arrival at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Amman. We’ll help you check in, point you in the direction of nearby restaurants, cafes and shops. You have the rest of the day free to explore the city on your own before we start the sightseeing tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| EXTRAS:
Amman city tour, Extra day in Amman – pre-tour, Single room supplement (JOFAFA)

DAY 2: Amman city tour, Jerash

We officially start the Jordan tour with a guided journey through Amman. Your guide will show you the excavations and renovations from the Neolithic period, the Hellenistic period and the late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.
We’ll visit the Citadel, where you can view the ancient temple of Hercules, the 8th century Umayyad Palace, the Byzantine Church and the 2nd century, 6,000 seat Roman theatre, which is still being used today for cultural events.
We leave Amman this afternoon as we travel to the ruined city of Jerash. Often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the North’, this impressive example of Roman architecture was only restored 70 years ago.
We’ll explore its ancient hilltop temples, ruined theatres, baths and fountains, which was hidden under sand for decades.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

DAY 3: King's Highway to Petra via Madaba and Kerak

We leave Jerash behind this morning as we drive along the scenic King’s Highway to Petra. This route takes a bit longer but promises spectacular views. We’ll cross numerous wadis, olive groves and rural villages.
We’ll stop at Madaba to visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. Your guide will also point out the famous 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land along with other biblical sites. We’ll also travel up Mount Nebo, which provides spectacular views of the Holy Land.
We continue crossing more deep wadis, most notably, the impressive Wadi al-Mujib, before stopping at Kerak Castle – which is one in a chain of Crusader fortresses in the 12th century, lined across Jordan on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan route. This large fortress was constructed in 1132 AD by the Crusader King Baldwin and then fell to Saladin in 1188AD.
Once we reach Petra, we’ll help you check into your hotel for the evening. The rest of the evening is yours, however, we do suggest trying the Petra by Candlelight tour through the Siq to the Treasury.
| OVERNIGHT:
Petra hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Petra by night

DAY 4: Full day visit of Petra, Wadi Rum camp

Today is all about exploring the Nabatean site of Petra. Before the Romans took over in 106AD, this ancient city was the capital of the Nabatean commercial empire. For a long period of time, Petra was forgotten – except by the local Bedouins – before it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
Sitting on the cusp of Wadi Aruba and guarded by hills and canyon walls, reaching the ancient city does take some effort. To enter, you must make your way through a cleft in the rock called the Siq, which rises to 200 metres above us and narrows to just 2 metres wide in certain places. Keep an eye out for the ancient Nabatean water channel which is still visible on one wall and there are remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city as well.
As you exit the Siq, you will get a glimpse of the ancient city’s most imposing monument – the Khazneh, also known as The Treasury. In the city you will notice that there are not many freestanding buildings as the Nabateans chose to construct their homes into the sandstone cliffs.
The other points of interest include the ruined Roman amphitheatre and during your free time, you can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge to the towering ‘Monastery’ – which is 50 metres high and 45 metres wide, giving you breath-taking views of the Wadi Araba desert and the Jordan Valley.
Another climb takes you to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain. All in all, this is a full and tiring exercise, but hugely rewarding day touring one of the world’s most famous ancient sites.
We say goodbye to Petra later today as we drive into the Wadi Rum desert, where friendly Bedouin hosts will greet us at a comfortable campsite beneath the imposing rocks and cliffs which surround you. We’ll enjoy a delicious traditional Jordanian meal together before we spend the rest of the evening relaxing underneath the stars.
| OVERNIGHT:
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: Wadi Rum jeep safari, Dead Sea swim

After breakfast, we head out on a Jeep safari exploring the spectacular desert and mountain scenery of Wadi Rum. You’ll get a glimpse of the copper-coloured rocky ‘jebels’, which mesmerized TE Lawrence during his visits to the desert during the Arab Revolt. We’ll take a jeep safari through the beautiful desert scenery, seeing more of the sheer cliffs and bizarre rock formations.
We then travel north towards the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth at over 400m below sea level. The Dead Sea receives a collection of incoming rivers including the Jordan River. The rivers merge together and when they reach the sea, they evaporate, leaving behind a unique amalgamation of minerals and salts that supply local industries with excellent products.
To the west of the Dead Sea, you can see the hills of Jerusalem. These hills are now barely inhabited but were said to have been the home of 5 biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela).
You will have a chance to swim (or rather float) in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Given that the water is so salty, we recommend that you avoid getting it in your eyes!
After your swim, we’ll make our way back to Amman.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amman hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

DAY 6: Amman to Cairo, transfer to hotel

We leave Jordan today and transfer you to Amman airport for your flight to Cairo. Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip. We’ll help you check in before giving you some free time to relax or explore Cairo independently.
Note: the Amman-Cairo flight is left out of the set tour price as it is often more cost effective for you to include this flight as part of your main international flight ticket. We are happy to book all your international flights, just this Amman-Cairo flight, or none of them at all, whichever works best for you. Direct flights are available with both Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. You can fly at any time during the day – all transfers in Amman and Cairo are included.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Amman city tour, Amman to Cairo flight

DAY 7: Cairo, Museum & Pyramids tour

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

DAY 8: Arrive in Aswan, Nubian Village, Philae Temple

This morning we arrive in Aswan and transfer to our hotel overlooking the Nile which is at its most picturesque here, with cascading rapids, lush green islands, and feluccas sailing to and fro. Aswan itself is a melting pot of African and Middle Eastern cultures, most easily experienced by wandering through the busy markets. It’s also part of the ancient region of Nubia, which comprised parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan around the Nile rivers. Many descendants of the Nubian people still live here and we’ll visit a local Nubian village to see their colourful houses, simple way of life and to enjoy a traditional lunch.
We continue our tour this afternoon with a visit the Temple of Philae, a beautiful island complex dedicated to Isis and reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, which we reach by a scenic boat ride. The evening is then free to look around Aswan’s spice and general markets, and to walk up and down the popular Corniche, on the banks of the Nile. An option is also available to take a camel ride through the sands on the far bank of the Nile to St. Simeon’s monastery. If you’ve chosen the Abu Simbel option then head to bed early this evening to be ready for a very early start tomorrow morning.
| OVERNIGHT:
Aswan hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9: Abu Simbel option, Nile Felucca Cruise

This morning we have the option of taking an early start for the drive to the UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel. These amazing temples built by Ramses II are one of Egypt’s main highlights and attractions. Those not visiting Abu Simbel can explore Aswan’s markets this morning, walk up and down the Corniche on the banks of the river or visit the Nubian Museum which has a fascinating collection covering the development of the Nubian people in the region.
We board our traditional Nile felucca at lunchtime to enjoy an afternoon sailing down the Nile. Floating down the Nile on a felucca is one of Egypt’s most enjoyable activities and you’ll be able to watch local rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river as you drift past. Our Nubian crew will sail the boat and entertain you on the way, as well as preparing meals for you. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat has a welcome toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen where the crew will prepare a delicious evening meal. You sleep on the deck of the boat tonight (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided). You can upgrade your upcoming felucca sailboat trip to an additional two nights in hotels, and in this case you’ll spend tonight in Aswan and then drive to Luxor, rejoining the group when they arrive after the felucca cruise. All other touring remains the same.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner
| EXTRAS:
Abu Simbel overland, Upgrade from felucca to hotel in Aswan

DAY 10: Felucca, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor temple

You have the whole day today to relax and watch the world go by from the deck of the felucca. We’ll stop at several islands and on the banks of the river for breaks and to walk to local villages. Meals are prepared by our Nubian crew and drinks are available on board.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board felucca
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: Luxor, West Bank tour, free time

After breakfast on-board we bid farewell to our felucca crew and drive north to Luxor. The town of Luxor is built on and around the ancient site of Thebes, and boasts the largest concentration of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. To the west of the Nile lies the City of the Dead, with its mortuary temples and rock-hewn tombs, whilst to the east lie the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. Our tour this afternoon is to the huge Karnak complex with our Egyptologist guide. Later this evening he’ll talk you on a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You’ll also stop at some of Luxor’s popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals.
| OVERNIGHT:
Luxor hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Nile cruise upgrade

DAY 12: Luxor, Karnak temple

Your morning is free today and you can enjoy a welcome lie in after several early starts. Alternatively, a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).
Several optional tours are available today, including one to explore Luxor’s West Bank. Home to the Valley of the Kings, the dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and so it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Our tour includes several of these Pharaonic tombs, as well as the temples of Queen Hatchepsut, the huge Colossi of Memnon, and the Worker’s Village.
In the evening we board the coach again for the journey back north to Cairo.
| OVERNIGHT:
On board coach
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Hot air balloon in Luxor, Internal flights upgrade

DAY 13: Cairo, Khan-el-Khalili bazzar and Al Guri sufi show

We arrive back into Cairo early this morning and transfer to our hotel. Most of the day is then free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Other full day options further afield include a visit to the colonnial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean, or a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.
In the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We’ll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We’ll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt’s unofficial national dish, Kushari. Finally we visit the evening Al Guri Sufi show at the Wikalat al Ghuri, a 16th centry market place with a domed roof and some beautiful Islamic architecture. A colourful and flamboyant show packs crowds of locals, and some tourists in here twice a week with displays of dervish inspired dance, sufi vocals and vibrant percussion. This makes a thrilling and entertaining end to our time in Egypt.
| OVERNIGHT:
Cairo hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Alexandria day trip, Cairo city tour, Nile dinner cruise in Cairo, Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales), Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

DAY 14: Cairo, departure transfer to the airport

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast
a | EXTRAS:
Extra day in Cairo (5-star) – post-tour

DURATION

14 days

Price

A$1833

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