Sands & Seas tour

Sands & Seas tour

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tourhub | Encounters Travel | Sands & Seas tour | 9
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9 Days From

$1495

$1428

Sands & Seas tour

9 Days Starting and ending in Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

Visiting: Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, Khan el-Khalili

Tour operator:

Encounters Travel

Tour code:

9

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 18

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

Over 6s

Special diets catered:

Request dietary needs

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Art, Cultural

From:
$1495
$1428 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$67

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

A 10-day tour exploring both the historical sites and beautiful beaches of Egypt. Visiting all of the main historical sites in Cairo, including the world renowned Egyptian Museum, Great Pyramid and the Giza Plateau, you will then travel south to Luxor with a free day to explore Luxor Temple and the local markets before we then experience the incredible temples and world famous tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the enormous temple complex at Karnak. We then head to the sandy beaches of Hurghada on the Red Sea for a few days where you can enjoy scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and quad biking, sample the delicious local seafood and take a ride on a camel. It is your choice whether to then depart from Hurghada or travel back to Cairo.

Highlights

  • The great Pyramids & Sphinx, King tut's mask in the Egyptian museum

  • dramatic Karnak temple, ancient Valley of the Kings

  • Queen Hatchepsut temple, Colossi of Memnon, Red Sea Riviera

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arrive Into Cairo, Transfer To Hotel

Location: Cairo

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Cairo 5-star hotel

Meals Included: No Meals

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. 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).

Day 2 : Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum Tour

Location: Cairo

Accommodation Name: On board sleeper train

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Our Egypt guided tour begins with a trip to the famous Egyptian Museum with its huge number of ancient Pharaonic exhibits.

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 (Chephren) 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).

This evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Luxor (approx. 9 hours). You’ll enjoy dinner on board in your private twin-berth compartments before the steward sets your beds up for the night.

Day 3 : Luxor, West Bank Tour, Free Time

Location: Luxor

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Luxor 5-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

We arrive into Luxor early this morning and cross the Nile to begin our tour of Luxor’s West Bank. Home to the Valley of the Kings, the dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and so it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Our tour includes several of these Pharaonic tombs, as well as the temple of Queen Hatchepsut, Deir el-Medina (the Valley of the Craftsmen), and the huge Colossi of Memnon.

Your afternoon is then free to relax and enjoy the facilities of your 5-star hotel on the banks of the Nile. This evening we visit Luxor temple, which is located right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night.

Day 4 : Luxor, Karnak Temple

Location: Luxor

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Luxor 5-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Your morning is free today and you can enjoy a welcome lie-in after your early start yesterday.

After lunch, we'll tour the huge temple complex at Karnak, once the religious centre of Thebes and Upper Egypt. It was linked to Luxor by an extensive avenue, lined with sphinxes, and the whole complex was in turn linked to the Nile via a canal through which moved the sacred boats of the god Amun.

Entering through a smaller sphinx-lined avenue, built by Ramesses II, you come to the immense pylon entrance. Inside the huge Courtyard are three chapels dedicated to the gods Amun, Khous and Mut. The remarkable Hypostyle Hall has 134 towering columns, each carved with scenes of gods and pharaohs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions adorn the walls.

One of the main highlights of this Egypt guided tour is a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available this morning (expect an early start to catch the sunrise as the balloon rises).

Day 5 : Luxor To The Red Sea At Hurghada

Location: Luxor

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Hurghada 5-star resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

We leave Luxor this morning and drive through the hills and desert to the Red Sea beach resort of Hurghada (approx. 5 hours). Hurghada is world famous for its scuba diving and snorkelling and the rich Red Sea marine life here attracts divers from all over the world. Other adventurous activities available include wind surfing and kite surfing, glass bottomed submarines, quad biking, camel rides and sea fishing trips. Alternatively you can spend the next few days here relaxing on the beach and enjoying the year-round sunshine.

Your stay here is on a 'soft all inclusive' basis, with all meals, soft drinks and snacks included but not alcoholic beverages.

Day 6 : Red Sea. Free Day

Location: Hurghada

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Hurghada - 5 star resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your day is free today to relax and enjoy your time by the Red Sea. Hurghada is world famous for its scuba diving and snorkelling and the rich Red Sea marine life here attracts divers from all over the world. Other adventurous activities available include wind surfing and kite surfing, glass bottomed submarines, quad biking, camel rides and sea fishing trips. Our local rep based in Hurghada will be on hand to help make any arrangements. Hurghada itself has an interesting marina and old town to explore.

Day 7 : Red Sea. Free Day

Location: Hurghada

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Hurghada - 5 star resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you have another free day in Hurghada to relax, or to take advantage of some of the adventurous activities on offer. Our local representative will be happy to help assist with any arrangements.

Day 8 : From Hurghada To Cairo. Old Cairo & Khan-El-Khalili Bazzar Walk

Location: Khan el-Khalili

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Cairo 5-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

We leave Hurghada this morning for the transfer back to Cairo by private minibus (approx. 5 hours). Upon arrival we check into our hotel in central Cairo. Then, in the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in Old 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 mint tea and a shisha pipe and this is a great final opportunity to pick up some souvenirs of your time in Egypt.

You could take a final evening dinner cruise on the Nile, or perhaps revisit the pyramids for a spectacular sound and light show. You can also upgrade this drive to an internal flight if you wish (prices on request) or fly home directly from Hurghada instead of returning to Cairo (discounts available).

Day 9 : Cairo, Departure Transfer To The Airport

Location: Cairo

Accommodation Name: N/A

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our Egypt guided tour comes to an end today however, the day is yours to do some last-minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.

If you have an afternoon or evening flight departure, then the half-day Cairo City Tour or Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis tours are also available today. Alternatively, you can add extra nights to your time in Cairo which would allow you to take a day trip to the colonial city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, or a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    5*

  • 7 nights accommodation in 5-star hotels

  • 1 night on board overnight sleeper train in private twin-berth cabins (flight/hotel upgrade available)

  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles

  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary

  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all sightseeing tours

  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

What's Not Included

  • International flights

  • Visa fees

  • Travel insurance (compulsory)

  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary

  • Entrance fees (allow approx. US$75)

  • Tipping kitty (allow US$60)

  • Drinks, snacks, guide tips, and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)

  • Hotel gala dinners

  • Any other items not mentioned above

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    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 visa2egypt. 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.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Our Egypt tours include a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Cairo airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers. 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.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    In Egypt we provide fully trained, local English-speaking graduate Egyptologist guides to run your tour and escort you during all of the sightseeing in Cairo and the Nile Valley. We also have permanent local reps in all the main towns/cities and Red Sea resorts who are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. We use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert. On some departures we may use one guide in Cairo, and a second guide if you are travelling between Aswan and Luxor. At Encounters Travel we only use local Egyptian 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 Egyptian guides.

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Our Small Group tours do not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. We do however normally include these in prices for Tailor-Made and Escorted tours. Please check the Inclusions and Exclusions section below the tour itinerary for a details about your tour and the amount you may need to budget. This amount is subject to change and will be reconfirmed in Egypt at the start of your tour. A 50% discount for minors or ISIC card holders is often, but not always available. 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. This payment is normally collected in US Dollars cash together with payment for any Tipping Kitty used on the tour, though you may also pay with Egyptian Pounds or other currencies, converted to USD. Local exchange rates are set on a monthly basis and based on local bank rates so may not match the exact rates you may find online on the day.

  • What should I know before I 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.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    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.

  • Is travel insurance compulsory?

    Yes! 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).

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    You are always able to change your travel date. However, some charges may apply depending on how long before your departure you make the change. Our flexible booking conditions and reduced charges will apply if you are changing date because of a Covid-19 reason or because your government is advising against travel to your destination. Please check our detailed booking conditions for full details.

  • When is my balance payment due?

    60 days prior to departure

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    On most of our group tours, solo travellers may choose to form a temporary 'tour bubble' and share a room with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If a room share is not available then a single room supplement may be payable, with the costs for these kept as low as possible. We have also removed compulsory single supplements from many of our tours, and are reducing the cost by 50% on s

  • Can I transfer my booking to someone else?

    Customers may transfer their booking or any Credit on File to another person who satisfies all the relevant conditions to the tour, provided that we are notified not less than 7 days before departure, and the transferee agrees to these booking conditions and all other terms of the contract between us. The Client and new booker are jointly and severally responsible for any outstanding payments and a transfer administration fee of GBP50 / USD75 / CAD100 / AUD100 / NZD100 / EUR75 / ZAR1000 / INR5000 or GBP100 / USD150 / CAD200 / AUD200 / NZD200 / EUR150 / ZAR2000 / INR10,000 if the transfer is made less than 60 days before departure. Important Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended or transferred after they have been confirmed (for example flight tickets, Gorilla Permits) and any alteration could incur a cancellation and rebooking charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Brian Feldbloom  

Recommended Trip

June 2017

These guys are top notch. I am so happy to have experienced Egypt with them. Thank you.

Deni Karly  

Recommended Trip

September 2019

We had such an amazing experience on the Sands and Seas tour to Cairo! I was a little hesitant with the reviews beforehand - but know that if there were any negative things about the trip before - they have all been addressed and improved. We stayed in amazing hotels and felt incredibly safe the entire time. Waleed Kamouna was the most informative and amazing tour guide we had ever had. Our tour group consisted of around 16 people, which was the perfect amount. Great tour buses, awesome drivers, etc... Hot Air Ballooning over Luxor was definitely a MUST-DO! Seriously cannot say how happy I am that we went on this tour! Thank you Encounters!

William Sutton  

Recommended Trip

March 2018

Encounter Travel arranged my recent visit to Egypt. Great sights and excellent service. From meeting at Cairo Airport to departure. Ask for tour guide Sam. Very knowledgeable and fluent in American English

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Encounters Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform encounters travel, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Encounters Travel requires a minimum deposit of 150 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of encounters travel charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 35% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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