Route Planning in Egypt

Route Planning in Egypt
Egypt is an exciting country with plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Take a camel trek, explore the bustling marketplaces and ancient sites, go for a hike, or visit the pristine beaches. Many people experience Egypt through the lens of a tour group, and miss out on many of the pleasures of this magnificent land. With a little planning, you can tailor your Egypt experience, get off the beaten tour bus-filled path, and onto the road to adventure.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Guidebook Map
  • Guidebook
  • Map
Step 1
Flip through a guidebook or go online to get an idea of where you want to spend your time. Like flashy beaches with luxury accommodations? Try Sharm el Sheik. Want to be surrounded by miles of sand and stars? A camel trek and Bedouin tent stay might be a better option for you. In general, Cairo and Luxor host the major historical sites, while the Sinai has the country's best hiking and beaches, ranging from the flash of Sharm el Sheik to the more relaxed, hippie vibe of Dahab.
Step 2
Look at a map to get an idea of where your desired destinations are relative to each other. Egypt isn't a large country, but a bus trip between Luxor and Dahab can take up to 24 hours, and you'll need to factor in travel time.
Step 3
Figure out how much time you want to spend in each place. Allow a full day to see the pyramids of Giza and the surrounding historical sites. Camel treks are generally three days long, departing from the Sinai or Cairo. Depending on your interests, allow time for wandering the marketplaces and cities or relaxing on the beach.
Step 4
Determine your budget. Transportation options in Egypt range from boats to planes to buses, and all have different price points.
Step 5
Decide on your desired mode of transport among your selected destinations. Take into account the amount of time you want to spend on travel and your desired comfort level. Flights are available between Cairo and Luxor and the Sinai; an overnight train runs between Cairo and Luxor; boats run the length of the Nile, and buses run between all cities fairly regularly. Minibuses are faster and generally more comfortable than the normal buses, but they cost slightly more and run only when full, making scheduling more difficult.
Step 6
Determine if you want to book transportation ahead of time. Flights, for instance, must be booked in advance, but it's generally easier to book buses and trains once you're in Egypt. Websites like Seat61.com are helpful if you want to book from home. For a small fee, most hotels can arrange all of your transportation for you, including sending someone to the bus or train station to pick up your ticket for you.

Tips & Warnings

 
Use your hotel proprietors. It's often worth staying at budget hotels because of the help they offer in arranging tours and transportation. Research accommodations at sites like Hostelworld.com and TripAdvisor.com. Don't over-plan from home. Things that are readily accessible online for European travel (train and bus schedules, etc.) are much harder to find for Egypt. Once you get there, it is far easier to make these arrangements. The easiest way to see the sites on the outskirts of Cairo is to hire a car for the day. This can be arranged through your hotel and will cost less than $100 for the entire day. Allow time to wander. Don't miss out on what the country has to offer by only seeing the major sites of Luxor and Cairo.
 
Use your hotel proprietors. It's often worth staying at budget hotels because of the help they offer in arranging tours and transportation. Research accommodations at sites like Hostelworld.com and TripAdvisor.com.
 
Don't over-plan from home. Things that are readily accessible online for European travel (train and bus schedules, etc.) are much harder to find for Egypt. Once you get there, it is far easier to make these arrangements.
 
The easiest way to see the sites on the outskirts of Cairo is to hire a car for the day. This can be arranged through your hotel and will cost less than $100 for the entire day.
 
Allow time to wander. Don't miss out on what the country has to offer by only seeing the major sites of Luxor and Cairo.
 
Bus trips often take longer than they are scheduled to. On the route from Luxor to the Sinai, the bus is often delayed due to extensive passport checks. The overnight train from Cairo to Luxor arrives early in the morning (5 or 6 a.m.). Make sure you have your accommodation in Luxor taken care of to simplify your arrival.
 
Bus trips often take longer than they are scheduled to. On the route from Luxor to the Sinai, the bus is often delayed due to extensive passport checks.
 
The overnight train from Cairo to Luxor arrives early in the morning (5 or 6 a.m.). Make sure you have your accommodation in Luxor taken care of to simplify your arrival.

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