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12 Days in Egypt

12 Days in Egypt: Your Ultimate Guide to Spend Amazing Trip

Egypt is a land of boundless possibilities; whether you crave bustling bazaars, ancient wonders, or tranquil Red Sea escapes, this guide empowers you to tailor your dream Egyptian journey in just 12 days.

Embark on the journey of a lifetime with the best Itinerary for 12 Days in Egypt—your expertly curated guide to exploring Egypt’s wonders. Crafted by seasoned experts at Egypt Planners, this guide transcends ordinary travel experiences, offering a blend of adventure, culture, and history at unparalleled value.

Our deep understanding of Egypt’s treasures and commitment to transparency and quality ensures a journey filled with authentic encounters and meticulously chosen highlights. From the majestic Pyramids of Giza to the serene Nile River, every aspect of your 12-day adventure is designed to enrich, educate, and inspire.

This blog post is your gateway to 12 unforgettable days tailored to your unique travel style. Keep reading to design your itinerary, learn insider secrets, and discover the hidden gems that will make your Egypt trip indeed yours.

12-Day Comprehensive Egypt Exploration Itinerary

Dive deep into the heart of Egypt with this meticulously planned 12-day itinerary designed to explore Egypt’s ancient wonders, vibrant culture, and awe-inspiring landscapes.

Day 1: Arrival and Welcome to Cairo

  • Arrive at Cairo International Airport, where your guide or representative will greet you. Settle into your hotel in Cairo, conveniently located near the city’s major attractions.
  • As you acclimatize to the lively energy of Cairo, stroll around your neighborhood to get your bearings. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the streets of Cairo, and maybe stop at a local café for a sweet mint tea.
  • In the evening, savor your welcome dinner featuring an array of Egyptian delicacies. Try delicious dishes like kosher, a comforting lentil-and-pasta bowl, or classic stuffed grape leaves while enjoying a lively cultural performance.

Day 2: Giza Plateau Exploration

  • Embark on a full-day excursion to the legendary Giza Plateau. Imagine yourself transported back in time as you stand at the foot of the Great Pyramids of Giza, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Explore the inside of one of the pyramids (if open) and get a sense of their imposing scale.
  • Stand before the enigmatic Sphinx, a mythical creature shrouded in mystery. Learn about its history and the various legends associated with it over time.

Day 3: Egyptian Museum and Khan El-Khalili Bazaar

  • Delve into Egypt’s rich history at the iconic Egyptian Museum. As you wander among its halls, you get lost in time, home to an unparalleled collection of ancient artifacts. And admire countless statues, jewelry, and objects that bring ancient Egyptian civilization to life.
  • Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, a sprawling marketplace in the heart of Islamic Cairo. Explore a labyrinth of alleys and browse stalls piled high with Egyptian souvenirs, spices, textiles, lanterns, jewelry, and souvenirs. Practice your bargaining skills, and indulge in a cup of Arabic coffee or hibiscus tea in one of the traditional cafes.

Day 4: Flight to Luxor and Karnak Temple

  • Begin your journey to Upper Egypt with a short domestic flight from Cairo to Luxor, the ancient city of Thebes. Check into your hotel or settle on your Nile cruise ship for those who choose the cruising option.
  • Dive into Luxor’s ancient glory at the Karnak Temple Complex, an awe-inspiring open-air museum. Wander through a forest of columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall, admire the towering obelisks, and explore the sacred sanctuaries. Feel the energy of centuries of worship and devotion as you walk through this impressive landmark.

Day 5: Luxor Temple and Nile Cruise Embarkation

  • In the morning, witness the grandeur of Luxor Temple, dramatically illuminated at night (or bathed in the morning sunlight, depending on your itinerary). Admire the towering statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions that narrate stories of gods and pharaohs.
  • In the afternoon, embark on your luxurious Nile Cruise, your floating home, as you sail down the legendary river. Unwind on the sun deck, indulge in delicious meals, and enjoy the ever-changing scenery as you witness the heart of Egypt.

Day 6: Valley of the Kings Exploration

  • Enter a realm of the afterlife as you venture into the Valley of the Kings. Explore a selection of elaborately decorated tombs carved into the rugged cliffs where ancient Egypt’s powerful pharaohs were laid to rest. Descend into the legendary tomb of Tutankhamun (if your ticket permits) and witness the treasures discovered within. Marvel at the vibrant hieroglyphics that depict the pharaoh’s journey through the underworld.
  • Discover the majesty of the Temple of Hatshepsut, built for Egypt’s most successful female pharaoh. This beautifully colonnaded temple, nestled against a dramatic mountain backdrop, exemplifies the power and ambition of this remarkable ruler.
  • Optional: Experience the thrill of a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Float gently over Luxor, admiring the temples, fertile fields, and the Nile bathed in golden morning light –a truly magical experience.

Day 7: Philae Temple and Aswan Delights

  • Arrive in Aswan and be captivated by the enchanting Philae Temple. Dedicated to the goddess Isis, the temple boasts intricate carvings and an intriguing history, having been meticulously moved to Agilkia Island to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a serene felucca sailboat ride on the Nile. Embrace the tranquility as you glide along the river, observing traditional riverside villages and scenes of daily life.

Day 8: Abu Simbel Day Trip

  • Take a day trip to the breathtaking Abu Simbel Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be awed by these immense temples carved into the mountainside – colossal monuments dedicated to Ramses II and his beloved queen, Nefertari. Stand in wonder beneath the towering statues and learn about the impressive engineering feat it took to relocate these temples during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
  • Optional: If you have time in the late afternoon, consider visiting a Nubian village. Here, you’ll encounter the Nubian people’s unique culture, try traditional foods, and perhaps even get a henna tattoo.

Day 9: Red Sea or Desert Adventure – Choose Your Path!

Choice 1: Red Sea Bliss

  • Journey to the coastal towns of Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh for a change of pace. Check in to your beachside resort, relax by the pool, and soak in the laid-back atmosphere of these Red Sea destinations.
  • Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea, renowned for world-class snorkeling and diving. Swim among vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life – an unforgettable underwater experience.

Choice 2: Desert Wonders

  • Embark on an exhilarating overnight expedition to the White Desert. This otherworldly landscape is sculpted by wind erosion, creating bizarre yet beautiful chalk-like rock formations. After a thrilling 4×4 journey, experience a night of stargazing under the vast desert sky, a sight you’ll never forget.
  • Optional: Extend your desert journey to the lush Siwa Oasis, a secluded paradise boasting freshwater springs, salt lakes, and remnants of ancient fortresses. Discover the distinct culture of the Berber people who inhabit this magical place.

Day 10 & 11: Continue Your Chosen Adventure

  • Red Sea enthusiasts: Dedicate more time to sunbathing by pristine beaches and venturing into the underwater realm. Try exhilarating water sports like parasailing or windsurfing, or embark on a boat trip to explore the Red Sea’s diverse islands and reefs.
  • Desert adventurers: Continue exploring the otherworldly scenery or return to Cairo to explore the city’s diverse districts further.

Day 12: Farewell Cairo and Departure

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Cairo, and depending on your flight, take advantage of some last-minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping. Perhaps visit the Coptic Quarter with its historic churches or explore Islamic Cairo’s beautiful mosques.
  • With your bags packed and your camera full of memories, transfer to Cairo International Airport for your departure. Bid farewell to this land of fascinating history and modern-day vibrancy, promising yourself to return one day.

Pre-customized Itineraries for Spending 12 Days in Egypt

Itinerary #1: 12 Days Cairo & Nile Cruise and Hurghada – Price starts from $1820

12 Days in Egypt

Discover the magic of Egypt! In Cairo, we stand before the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx, ancient wonders that defy time. Unearth the secrets of pharaohs at the Egyptian Museum, where royal mummies and dazzling treasures tell tales of the past. Escape to Hurghada, a Red Sea paradise where crystal-clear waters invite you to explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with life. Embark on a luxurious 5-star Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan, delving into history at the Valley of the Kings and Queen Hatshepsut’s majestic temple. In Aswan, marvel at the power of the High Dam and sail peacefully to Agilkia Island, where the enchanting Temple of Philae awaits. Let Egypt’s timeless beauty and unforgettable adventures sweep you away!

Day 1Arrival in CairoCairo
Day 2Giza Pyramids, Saqqara & MemphisCairo
Day 3Egyptian Museum, Cairo Citadel & Khan el-Khalili BazaarCairo
Day 4Fly to Aswan – Aswan City TourStay on Cruise
Day 5Tour to Kom Ombo TempleStay on Cruise
Day 6Edfu Temple & Luxor West Bank TourStay on Cruise
Day 7Luxor East Bank Tour & Transfer to Sharm El SheikhHurghada
Day 8Hurghada Open dayHurghada
Day 9Hurghada Open dayHurghada
Day 10Hurghada Open day & Back to Cairo.Cairo
Day 11Tour to Islamic and Coptic CairoCairo
Day 12Final Departure 

Check Full Detailed Itinerary & Prices

Itinerary #2: 12 Days Cairo, Cruise & Bahariya Oasis – Price starts from $2000

12 Days in Egypt

Set off on an unforgettable journey through Egypt, where ancient marvels and natural wonders await at every turn. Your adventure kicks off in Cairo’s vibrant heart, beneath the towering Pyramids of Giza and the storied Pyramid of Saqqara, before taking you through the hallowed halls of the Museum of Civilization, showcasing Egypt’s glorious heritage. Continue to the awe-inspiring Abu Simbel, a UNESCO treasure, where the colossal temples of Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari are set against stunning desert vistas. In Aswan, marvel at the engineering feat of the High Dam and the ancient splendor of Philae Temple on Agilika Island, shadowed by the enigmatic Unfinished Obelisk. Your journey culminates at the Bahariya Oasis, a serene escape in the Western Desert dotted with palm trees and natural springs, revealing Egypt’s captivating allure.

Day 1Arrival in CairoCairo
Day 2Giza Pyramids, Saqqara & MemphisCairo
Day 3Egyptian Museum, Cairo Citadel & Khan el-Khalili BazaarCairo
Day 4Fly to Luxor – Luxor East Bank tourStay on Cruise
Day 5Luxor West Bank tourStay on Cruise
Day 6Edfu and Kom Ombo TourStay on Cruise
Day 7Abu Simbel Temples TourHurghada
Day 8Aswan City Tour & Back to CairoHurghada
Day 9Open Day in CairoHurghada
Day 10Tour to Bahariya Oasis from CairoCairo
Day 11Tour to White Desert & Back to CairoCairo
Day 12Final Departure 

Check Full Detailed Itinerary & Prices

Planning Your Egyptian Adventure for 12 Days

Let’s dive into the details to ensure your Egyptian odyssey runs smoothly. Here’s what you need to know before you pack your bags:

  • Visas and Currency: Most nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt. You can obtain a visa on arrival at major airports or apply for an e-visa online beforehand. Always double-check the latest visa requirements based on your nationality. The official currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). Having some local money exchanged upon arrival is advisable, and you can use ATMs and exchange bureaus throughout your trip.
  • Accommodation: Egypt offers fantastic accommodations to suit every style and budget. In Cairo, you can indulge in five-star luxury hotels along the Nile corniche, find charming boutique hotels tucked within historic neighborhoods, or opt for budget-friendly hostels in the city center. Luxor and Aswan cater to many travelers, from opulent resorts overlooking the Nile to cozy guesthouses and traditional Nubian-style lodging.
  • Packing Essentials: Egypt’s climate is generally hot and dry, so pack light, breathable clothing like cotton and linen. A wide-brimmed sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential. Bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings and air-conditioned spaces, even in warmer months. Comfortable walking shoes are a necessity for exploring ancient sites. Consider packing a scarf out of respect for local customs, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Safety and Cultural Sensitivity: Egypt is generally a safe country for tourists. However, like any destination, it’s wise to take common-sense precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and use trusted transportation services. To experience Egypt fully, it’s essential to respect local customs. Dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or churches. Learn a few basic Arabic greetings to break the ice and show interest in Egyptian culture.

Additional Considerations

  • Costs: Egypt is a relatively affordable country. Budget travelers can get by comfortably, while those seeking Luxury will find plenty to indulge in. Estimated costs (per person):
    • Accommodation: Budget ($20-50/night), Mid-range ($50-150/night), Luxury ($150+)
    • Nile Cruise: $400+ for a 4-day cruise
    • Attractions/Activities: $50-100 per day
    • Food: $20-30 per day
  • Booking Tours and Activities:  Pre-booking offers convenience and guarantees spots on popular tours. However, booking locally can sometimes provide greater flexibility and potential for negotiation. 
  • Best Time to Visit: Egypt’s high season is October to April, with pleasant weather. Consider shoulder seasons (May- June or September) for fewer crowds and lower prices. Summer (July-August) gets Egypt somewhat hot, especially in the south.

Tips to Enhance Your Journey

  • Learning Some Arabic: Knowing basic greetings goes a long way in showing respect and building rapport with locals.
  • Trying the Local Cuisine: Take advantage of savory dishes like Kushari (a national favorite!), falafel, hummus, and meaty mixed grills.
  • Responsible Tourism: Support local communities by purchasing handicrafts from artisans, using eco-friendly tour operators, and minimizing your environmental impact.
  • Staying Connected: Purchase a local SIM card for data and calls, or check if your international plan covers Egypt.
  • Photography: Be mindful of restrictions when taking photos in certain tombs or temples, and always ask permission before photographing people.

Egypt offers a wide range of activities that are perfect for a break. Here are some of the suggested activities to do in Egypt:

  • Camel Rides: Take a camel ride and experience the traditional mode of transportation in Egypt. Camel rides are available at many tourist sites, including the Pyramids of Giza.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides: Take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor to enjoy the stunning views of the ancient temples and tombs from above.
  • Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the Red Sea’s underwater world with snorkeling or diving excursions. The Red Sea is home to some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and marine life.
  • Desert Safaris: Take a desert safari tour in Egypt and experience the stunning landscapes of the Sahara Desert. You can ride a camel, ATV, or jeep and explore the desert’s dunes and rock formations.
  • Traditional Food Tours: Sample traditional Egyptian cuisine on a food tour. Try Koshari, Ful Medames, and Shawarma, and learn about the country’s culinary traditions.
  • Sound and Light Shows: Experience the Pyramids of Giza and other historical sites at night with sound and light shows. These shows use lighting and sound effects to tell the story of the site’s history and significance.
  • Souvenir Shopping: Shop for souvenirs and traditional handicrafts at local markets like the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo.


Egypt can transform how you see the world with its wonders, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. This 12-day itinerary provides the perfect foundation for an unforgettable adventure, but the magic of Egypt extends far beyond any guidebook. Allow yourself to be swept away by the timeless enchantment of this extraordinary land, and you’ll leave with a heart full of memories and the insatiable desire to return.

Now, it’s your turn to start planning an Egyptian odyssey that will stay with you forever!

About the author

Egypt Planners Team is a highly experienced travel agency specializing in memorable trips to Egypt. The team comprises expert travel planners and tour guides with a deep knowledge of Egypt's history, culture, and top tourist destinations.