Explore an ancient desert monastery, take a local-led food tour around the backstreets of Cairo & sail the Nile on a private felucca
About your trip
Bypass the generic tours and wander straight into Egypt’s beating, authentic heart with Flash Pack.
On this adventure, prepare to go so much further than the Egypt you conjure in your mind’s eye. Over the course of eight days you’ll explore Cairo’s atmospheric backstreets and visit exotic medieval bazaars, and you’ll travel to an ancient desert monastery that once housed 1,000 monks. You’ll dine with a Nubian family and disappear into the fabric of Egyptian life on a local-led food tour. You’ll even get to feel like a pharaoh as you ride a camel around the legendary pyramids of Giza.
Among the more intrepid moments, there’ll be hours of perfect calm, too. Think sailing down the Nile on your private felucca, passing untouched riverside communities, and stints in luxe hotels with pools to retreat into from the North African sun. All experienced with new friends, united in a mission to be lost in the heady magic of true Egypt.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 4-5 star hotels
- We offset the carbon emissions per person on this trip
- Arrival airport transfer
- All local transport including a private felucca on the Nile
- 1 domestic flight
Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure OR proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their adventure starting. Flashpackers must also provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Welcome to Cairo
Be sure to book a window seat on your flight to Cairo for a chance to witness the majesty of the pyramids as you fly over Giza to land. From the airport, you’ll be chauffeured through Cairo’s overwhelmingly energetic streets to your luxe city hideaway, where you’ll have time to settle in before meeting your group and Pack Leader for a celebratory welcome drink. Later, you’ll set off on a special tour of Cairo’s backstreet food haunts. This is an invaluable introduction to Egyptian cuisine that will immerse you in the local culture and lead you down secret streets most visitors would never find. You’ll sample home-made sausages, a distinctive dish called molokhiya and the best baba ganoush you’ve ever had.
Day 02 Giza Pyramids & camel ride
First up today is a short drive to Giza to visit the world-famous pyramids and Sphinx that are synonymous with Egypt. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and the only one still standing), these vast pharaonic tombs are an extraordinary testament to the power and organization of the ancient Egyptian dynasties. Your guide will explain why the pyramids were built and the ongoing mysteries surrounding their construction. Then, you’ll get to feel like a real-life pharaoh as you climb aboard a camel for a ride across the dunes. After enjoying lunch with your group, overlooking the iconic monuments, it’s time to head back to your hotel to relax or explore the city.
Day 03 King Tut’s treasures & Saladin's Citadel
This morning you’ll explore the extraordinary Egyptian Museum. Home to a staggering collection of statues, sculptures and carvings, you’ll take a wander around the ancient artifacts, immersing yourself in Egypt’s rich history and witnessing the rich treasures found over years of excavation. Mind blown, you’ll drive downtown to visit another of Cairo’s great sights: the 12th-century Citadel – built by Saladin to protect Egypt’s rulers from the Crusaders – with its ornate Alabaster Mosque. For lunch today, you’ll make your way to Khan El Khalili Bazaar and El Moaz Street, where your Pack Leader will help you source some delicious local food. Then it’s time to head back to the airport for your flight south to Aswan.
Day 04 Ancient desert monastery
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the banks of the Nile where a private motorboat will be waiting to transport you across the river. From here, you’ll mount a train of camels and lumber gently up the hill until the imposing stone- and mud-brick ruins of St Simeon Monastery heave into view. In its heydey, this vast seventh- to 10th-century structure housed up to 1,000 monks, who slept on hard stone benches and traveled far and wide to convert Nubians to Christianity. With its well-preserved basilica and humble monks’ cells set in miles of empty desert, it’s an eerily atmospheric sight. Back in Aswan, you’ll have lunch and an afternoon to explore. We recommend paying a visit to the excellent Nubian Museum, which showcases the art and culture of this ancient region.
Day 05 Nile sailing & a Nubian feast
You’ll spend much of today on Egypt’s grand river – the lifeblood of the country. First, you’ll take a motorboat to the tiny island of Agilkia to explore the ancient temple complex of Philae. Then you’ll transfer to a private felucca (a traditional Egyptian wooden sailboat) to float leisurely down the Nile, while your onboard hosts keep you fed and watered – leaving you to sit back and absorb the beautiful scenery as it meanders by. This evening, you’ll experience an authentic taste of local cuisine with a home-cooked meal prepared by a Nubian family. It’s the perfect opportunity to gain a local’s perspective into the history and culture of the region, as told through its people.
Day 06 In the footsteps of pharaohs
After an early breakfast, set off in a private minibus and travel north to the ancient sites and treasures of Luxor. This was the site of mighty Thebes, the seat of the Egyptian pharaohs at their most powerful, and nothing in the world compares to the scale and grandeur of the monuments that have survived. En route, you’ll visit the atmospheric Temple of Edfu, preserved by the desert sand. Then, you’ll continue on to Karnak, where an English-speaking guide will point out the finest corners of this sprawling wonder of temples, chapels and pylons. Relax at your hotel until sunset when a visit to Luxor Temple beckons. Exploring the famed Avenue of Sphinxes at night, as the light and shadows play off the reliefs and colonnades, is a particularly eerie experience.
Day 07 Valley of the Kings
It’s your final full day in Egypt and it’s sure to be one to remember*. Today, you’ll head across the river to explore the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Dotted among the arid hills, over 60 richly decorated royal tombs have been discovered, including Tutunkhamun’s final resting place (additional fee) and the Temple of Hatshepsut. Mind-blown by ancient history, you’ll return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. There’s one last treat in store tonight. You and your fellow Flashpackers will dine in style at an elegant riverside restaurant – the perfect place to reflect on your trip and celebrate eight epic days in Egypt. *You have the option to begin your last full day with a sunrise hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings for an additional cost. You can arrange this with your Pack Leader while in Egypt.
Day 08 Until next time, Egypt
Today spells the end of your Egyptian escape; it’s time to say goodbye. Banish the blues by riding high on the incredible journey you’ve just had – from exploring Egypt’s ancient pyramids and temples, to mastering your haggling skills at local bazaars and navigating your way along the mighty River Nile. After all that, we think you deserve a lazy breakfast at your hotel, and the next stop of your voyage is up to you.
Our Favorite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Conrad Cairo Hotel
A sophisticated five-star stay in the heart of the capital. Enjoy killer views of the Nile from the gorgeous outdoor pool and try your hand at a game of roulette in the 24-hour casino.
Sonesta St George, Luxor
Four-star grandeur set on the banks of the Nile, Sonesta St George feels like a world of its own. Expect a glistening outdoor pool, a top-notch restaurant and superb river views to watch the world drift by.
Set on an island in the middle of the Nile, river views don’t get much better than this. The five-star hotel is a secluded oasis, with a Nubian-style orangerie and infinity pool surrounded by vast tropical gardens.
- What airport do I need to fly in and out of?
Fly into Cairo (CAI) and fly out of Luxor (LXR).
- What time should my flight arrive?
We recommend arriving by 2pm.
Your welcome meeting with your Flash Pack Leader and group will begin at 4:30pm, but we suggest getting to Cairo earlier to enjoy some time to relax and explore.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 20 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack Leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.
- Do you include airport transfers?
We offer one arrival transfer which is private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived so you can make your own way to the first hotel if you wish.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- How much luggage can I bring?
The luggage allowance for internal flights is 23kg plus a carry-on bag weighing up to 7kg.
Please make sure your luggage is within this weight limit, or you’ll have to buy an extra suitcase and pay an extra US$30 at the airport.
- Do I need a visa?
Most visitors will require a visa to enter Egypt, including those from the USA, UK, Australia, New, Zealand, Canada and the EU. Please check with your local embassy to find out what the requirements are for your nationality.
Single entry visas cost USD 25 (whether you buy them on arrival or online) and are valid for 30 days of travel within Egypt. Passports must be valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
Visa on arrival
For most nationalities, the easiest way to get a visa is on arrival at Cairo International Airport.
- Purchase the visa at an approved bank kiosk within the arrivals hall before proceeding to the immigration counters. Visas can be purchased in US dollars, British pounds or euros, and only in cash.
- You will be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself.
- Proceed to the immigration counters where you need to present your stamped passport, plus a print-out of your travel itinerary, including accommodation and tour bookings.
You can also apply online for a visa through the official Egypt e-visa portal www.visa2egypt.gov.eg (beware of other websites falsely claiming to provide this service, often at twice the price). 30-day tourist visas are valid for three months from the date of issue. You must create an application at least seven days before your arrival.
- Follow the prompts to sign up, sign in, apply, and pay online. Payments can be made using a credit or debit card in US dollars or euros only.
- After your visa application has been processed, you will receive an email updating you on the status of your application.
- If successful, you will be emailed a link to download and print your e-visa.
- On arrival in Egypt, you must present a printout of your e-visa, along with your passport and a print-out of your travel itinerary, including accommodation and tour bookings.
Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information.
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try to communicate to you.
- Are there any optional extras?
On day seven you have the option of a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings. This would take place at around 4am before breakfast. The cost for this is USD150 per person and can be arranged with your Pack Leader while you’re in Egypt.
- What about Ramadan? Will it affect my trip?
Ramadan in 2023 will begin on the evening of Wednesday 22nd March and continue until the evening of Friday 21st April 2023. This is then followed by national celebrations for Eid Al Fitr (the Festival of Fast-breaking) and many people will be on holiday until 1 May.
Your itinerary is not expected to change during this time as tourists sites will remain open. However, many shops and restaurants will be closed and it will be more difficult to buy alcohol – your Pack Leader can advise. Some activities, such as the food tour in Cairo, may not be able to run or will have to run later in the evening.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
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