Travel made in February 2020
Duration: 11 days
Welcome to Egypt!!
Welcome to the roads of Myoxybubble Egypt! The history of this country has crossed more than 30 dynasties! There is much to learn or read about the pyramids, its kings, gods and people. Today, many mysteries still remain when it comes to the construction of the latter, not to mention the unsolved or buried archaeological sites.
Many backpackers wonder about Egypt! Very few answers circulate on blogs or social networks about this country, except the cruise is too touristy for my taste. The media terrorize us on a daily basis about the attacks. It’s a trip that can scare us! This image of terrorism prevents us from taking the step and embarking on the discovery of this wonder of the ancient world.
Do you want to discover the keys to a non-tourist trip to Egypt? Would you like to live in total immersion with the wonderful and extremely kind and respectful Egyptian people? Are you ready for a Myoxybubble Egypt escape? So, Landing in Cairo! Here the cars are doubled indifferently by the right or the left, the calls of headlights and horns are an integral part of Egyptian traffic and the priorities on the right do not exist! They ride in their own way but trust them. they master! I never felt unsafe.
- Welcome to Egypt!!
- Egypt, in the land of the pharaohs
- Day 1 : The Pyramids
- Day 2 : Luxor and its surroundings
- Day 3 : Luxor again!
- Day 4: On the roads of Upper Egypt!
- Day 5 : The majestic temple of Abu Simbel!
- Day 6: On the way to Hurghada!
- Day 7: Orange Bay, the island paradise
- Day 8: Quad in the Hurghada Desert
- Day 9: Return to Cairo
- Day 10: Cairo and its wonders
You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format
Egypt, in the land of the pharaohs
Day 1 : The Pyramids
# The Pyramids of Giza
We advise you to book your nights in Cairo at the Confort Pyramids Inn hotel (39€/night for 1 room of 4pers). He has an incredible location! The place is magical. It features a terrace with direct views of the pyramids.
You’ll love admiring the sunrise (or sunset) from its upper terrace, as well as the free sound and light that takes place every evening (in French on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:30 pm)!
You will not get tired of having your very hearty breakfast included in the booking rate facing the majestic and emblematic pyramids of Egypt. Enough to recharge your batteries for the day! Under a striking calm, before your eyes will be revealed the magnificent pyramids of Giza. Nothing is more enjoyable than waking up like this for your first day in Egypt. A childhood dream come true!
The rooms are welcoming, clean and spacious.
Every morning Egypt wakes up to the song of the call to prayer at 5 a.m. There are 5 prayers a day. The pyramids of Giza (sphinx side) are a few minutes walk from the hotel, which is very convenient.
I advise you otherwise to opt for a private taxi including a driver and a guide for the day ($ 135 for 4 people). This will allow you to visit 3 sites: the Giza Plateau, Saqqara and Memphis.
The site of Giza is known for its 3 pyramids Cheops, Khephren and Mykerinos built for the pharaohs. Kheops is one of the ancient wonders of the world.
It measures 137m high by 230m wide, has 152 seats and 2 accesses: an artificial entrance created for tourists and the real one a little higher. Its stones are made of limestone from nearby quarries. It took 20 years of construction with 50 to 100,000 workers. The entrance to the pyramids is always to the north because the pharaoh always had to see the North Star which is the soul of the sky. All the faces of the pyramid lead to the cardinal points. This plateau was chosen because it is higher and larger than that of Saqqara.
The soil is less sandy and can therefore support the weight of larger pyramids. The land is fertile on the right bank because the Nile tends to spread there when it is raw. As a result, the pyramids were built on the left bank. Youwill continue your day by going to the site of Saqqara and the remains of the city of Memphis which are located about thirty kilometers from the pyramids, or 45 minutes by car. The guide will allow you to read all the necessary historical and cultural explanations. The tour is organized by the hotel on request.
In Cairo, it is possible and highly recommended to use an Uber and not taxis which are 10 times more expensive! This tour is not possible by Uber because of the distance. In addition, there are none at remote sites. Nevertheless, it may be possible to negotiate so that they wait for you during the visits and then accompany you. Lunch is included in the price of the excursion.
At the exit of the Saqqara site, you will have lunch at the Sakkara restaurant. You will appreciate the welcome, the setting, but also the freshness of the food and especially the grilled meat! I recommend!
# The Memphis website
Head to the Memphis site! Memphis is an ancient city that is located 25km from Cairo. The site is to be seen. Admission will cost you 80LE for an adult and 40LE for students. The combined tour of Memphis and Saqqara provides a better understanding of the ancient pyramids, the desert on one side and the Nile Valley on the other side. Onthe site, you will discover the largest existing statue of Ramses II, measuring 13 meters.
In the middle of the remains, stands a sphynx : the lion’s body representing power and man’s head wisdom (or spirit).
Here you will understand the problems between Lower and Upper Egypt. At the time, Ramses II had a red crown representing Lower Egypt that he wore when he declared war; and a white crown representing Upper Egypt, which he wore when he announced victory.
I also let you discover sarcophagi of the time.
Above are hieroglyphics that represent the deceased, as well as Osiris to enter paradise, Anubis the god of the dead and mummification (represented by a dog’s head) and Horus the god of protection (represented by a falcon’s head).
The eyes engraved on the stone represent the soul. The god Ra (god of the sun) could communicate with the deceased through these eyes.
Do you know the tragic death of Osiris (god of the dead and of life)? He was murdered and drowned in the Nile by his brother Seth and then dismembered into 14 pieces! What a horror! His wife Isis reconstructed her late husband’s puzzle with 13 pieces that she found. Only one organ was missing. Then she mummified him with the help of Horus and Anubis. Osiris is the first mummy in Egypt!
# The Saqqara Plateau
The site of Saqqara is sublime and worth the few kilometers of road that separates it from Cairo !
There is the pyramid of Saqqara of 60 meters. It has 14 entrance doors, 13 of which are fake, as well as mastabas belonging to the 3rd dynasty. The 13 artificial doors would refer to the story about the death of Osiris (1 door for each piece of the body).
In front of the pyramid is a courtyard where the bullfight took place. The king had to catch the bull in front of his people to prove his strength and ability to protect his people. Be careful not to forget to go to the back of the site, to the pyramid of Ounas and the burial chamber where there is a 4000-year-old royal tomb. The walls are still resplendent with hieroglyphics.
This tour is included in the price. Provide a tip (as always in Egypt).
# Papyrus Museum
At the end of the day, you can make a stop at the small Papyrus Museum in Cairo which looks more like a souvenir shop. This stop allows you to have playful explanations on the manufacture of papyri and avoid buying a fake. On the other hand, the price is high but understandable given the work. The most beautiful are those who with the light off change engraving. Personally, we did not buy anything because it did not interest us as a souvenir but the visit remains interesting.
Day 2 : Luxor and its surroundings
We advise you to take an internal flight Cairo – Luxor in the middle of the night to benefit from an interesting price. Count 1 hour of flight. The latter cost us 49 € / person while by day we would have paid 90 € / person. We were 4 so there are no small savings! Not to mention that you can enjoy your full day the next day! It’s up to you 😉.
Arrive in Luxor, take a taxi and go to your accommodation. Be careful, Luxor does not have an Uber service. It will cost you 20€ for this transfer. I advise you to book on Airbnb at the Golden Palace at Walid an exceptional superhost and full of small attentions!
He is very available and at your disposal. You will have at your disposal the entire villa (with garden) with Arabic and Egyptian architecture and decoration.
The neighborhood is conveniently located on the west bank of the Nile, quiet and on a street with many restaurants and grocery stores. The ferry is also a 3-minute walk away. The pier is right in front of the Luxor Temple. It’s very convenient! The night cost us 17,36€ with the service fee for 4 people! We stayed a total of 3 nights at Walid’s.
I suggest you take a taxi with driver at least one day through Walid (75 €) or half a day (35 €) to be able to visit the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens easily and easily. There are really no other solutions. We chose to visit several sites. Entrance tickets must be purchased at a ticket office at the entrance to the valleys.
You will pay there and choose the temples you want to visit:
# Temple of Hatshepsut
The funerary temple of Hatshepsut, erected against the pink granite mountain is intact and magnificent.The whole life of the only female queen pharaoh is transcribed in the paintings. Colossi facing the sun welcome you. A small train allows the transfer to the temple. A small participation will be required for this routing. You can also make the journey on foot.
# Tombs of nobles
Arrived at the site, we visited 3 tombs. We had not taken a guide but a guard at each entrance of the tombs offers you to make a visit with his very detailed and complete explanations. In return, you will tip him. It will cost you less than a guide. He will explain to you the paintings and hieroglyphics that are beautifully preserved. The site is very interesting and peaceful.
# Temple of Medinet Habou
Access to this funerary Temple of Ramses III is through a majestic door decorated with carved bas-reliefs. You will then access a courtyard where statues of Ramses III stand. You will admire the frescoes in the original colors.
# Colossi of Memnon
Welcome to the Colossi of Memnon ! The tour is free and quite fast. You will find yourself face to face with these 2 majestic colossi that are quite damaged.They are on the road towards the Valley of the Kings.
# Karnak temple
I advise you to visit the temple of Karnak around 1pm. It’s a less touristy hour as all bus groups leave for lunch. The site of Karnak is beautiful and full of history. You will appreciate the immensity and beauty of the column room.
Possibility to attend at night to a sound and light show. Personally, we have not done so.
# Luxor temple
From Walid: Take a ferry and cross the Nile. It will cost you 5 Egyptian pounds per person. On the other bank, Luxor temple awaits you.
Very convenient and fast! The entrance to the temple is 160 Egyptian pounds and 80 for students. We strongly recommend the international student card (13€) if you go like us with teenagers. Here is the link to get it. It is indispensable in Egypt for the number of historical sites to visit. It will be very quickly profitable with a 50% discount at the checkout. I promise you a savings gain during your stay! I advise you to make your visit to the Luxor Temple in the morning when the sun will illuminate the majestic colossi at the entrance of the temple. The photos will be more beautiful for amateurs. I went there in the afternoon and I regret a little.
It is a magnificent vestige of ancient times to visit absolutely. Just in front of the entrance of the temple you will be able to admire the famous alley of the sphynxes! It is a long avenue consisting of more than 650 sphinxes (there were 1350 at the time). This 2.7 km ancient road connects Karnak to Luxor temple. On the side of Karnak, the sphinxes are represented with a lion’s body and a ram’s head (cf. photos temple of Karnak) while on the Luxor side, they have a lion’s body and a human head. Today, this ancient road is not open to the public.
Possibility to visit Luxor temple in the evening where you will admire this very well lit building.
At the entrance of the temple stands the magnificent Obelisk alone without its twin. Do you know the story of his twin? Doesn’t it remind you of an emblematic monument of Paris located on the Place de la Concorde ? And yes! The Paris Obelisk is the twin of the Luxor Temple Obelisk. Egypt had offered this obelisk to the France in 1836. His journey to Paris will last 7 years! We can say thank you to Mr Champollion, a French Egyptologist who is the first to have deciphered the hieroglyphics.
Day 3 : Luxor again!
# Temple of Deir el-Medina
On the site Deir el-Medina, also called valley of the craftsmen you will discover the ancient foundations of the houses of the craftsmen.
the craftsmen were in charge of the realization of the tombs of kings, queens and nobles. The most beautiful thing to see is their graves. Their access is via arduous stairs. Be careful, photos with flash are prohibited. The burials are smaller than for the Valley of the Kings, but the conservation of paintings and colors are splendid!
# Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is a valley in the mountains where the deceased pharaohs were buried in their sarcophagi. Their mausoleum was dug underground in the mountain. Too bad it is not possible to visit the number of tombs you want!
Only 3 tombs to choose from are included in the price of the site visit. Possibility to take some extra visits for 100LE. So, choose well!
We recommend 3 tombs: Ramesses IV
Tausert and setnakht tomb
We have chosen as an extra the tomb of Ramses V / VI which is really beautiful! You will not be disappointed by discovering the sarcophagus of Ramses VI.
Possibility to visit the Tomb of Tutankhamun for 18 € / person. We made the choice not to visit it because all its treasures were moved to the Cairo Museum which we visited at the end of our trip.
# Valley of the Queens
More modest than the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens is however a must. We visited 3 tombs :
- Tomb 52 titi
- Then Tomb 44 Kha M Waset
- And infin Tomb 55 sarcophagus
Possibility to visit the most beautiful tomb in Egypt: that of Nerfetari, which means “the most beautiful of them”. She was Ramses 2’s favorite woman. The visit will cost you 1400 Egyptian pounds (75€ / person). We unfortunately could not visit it because there were 4 of us and it did not fit into our budget.
# Souk of Luxor
Tourists are rare this season, our crossing of the Souk was very noticed by the sellers. They are very nice. They try to sell you their merchandise with a little insistence, but always with a smile. Small walk to do to pass the time. I wish you a good shopping and do not forget to haggle if you have decided to treat yourself to some souvenirs!
# Luxor Museum
Admission to the Luxor Museum will cost you 60LE/adult. During your visit, you will discover statues, mummies and weapons from the period. This museum is worth visiting even if the most important discoveries are of course in Cairo. Photos without flash are allowed with your phone. If you use a camera or camera, you will have to pay a surplus at the entrance. This museum is of course smaller compared to the Cairo Museum. The walk along the Nile to get there is very pleasant.
Day 4: On the roads of Upper Egypt!
Departing from Luxor, I suggest you get to Aswan by private taxi. Walid our host from Luxor helped us arrange the transfer. (155€ for 4 with car and private driver). The city of Aswan will be your stopping point and then you go to the south of Egypt to Abu Simbel. Allow a 4-hour drive to Aswan. We had planned to cut the trip by making stops visits.
In the program:
# The Temple of Horus in Edfu
It takes a 2-hour drive from Luxor to reach the Temple of Horus in Edfu.
Admission will cost you 100 LE/adult and 50LE/student. This temple is beautiful and worth a stop. It is in a very good state of conservation! The Temple of Edfu is dedicated to Horus, the falcon god who embodies the protective god. Moreover, you will find it as a statue as soon as you enter and everywhere on the walls of the temple.
The temple was built during the dynasty of Ptolemy and then was buried by sandstorms which explains its good state of conservation. Work to desensitize it began in 1860 and lasted several years.
# Kôm Ombo
Kôm Ombo is an isolated temple perched on the heights.
Access is direct via a pier for tourists cruising on the Nile as it is built right by the river. The view is splendid.
Possibility also to get there by car like us. Count 1 hour drive from the temple of Edfu. Admission will cost you 80LE. This temple is dedicated to 2 gods: the god Sobek (crocodile god or god of fertility) and the god Horus (falcon god who represents here the god of medicine). The whole history of the temple revolves around medicine, fertility, gods and crocodiles. Inside everything is split, the north side for the god Horus and the south side for the god Sobek. You can distinguish the 2 central aisles.
At the exit, go to the crocodile museum. You will see mummified crocodiles. This tour is included in the museum ticket.
# Island of Philae temple
Welcome to the Temple of Philae! Here the magic operates as soon as you arrive with its unique access by sea.
You will sail on a motorboat for 5 to 10 minutes before discovering this hidden wonder that is breathtaking. The temple of Philae is on an island in the Nile!
This temple has been the victim 2 times of flooding of the old dam due to the floods of the Nile! We still see traces on the stones. It was then, as for Abu Simbel, moved from its original location and relocated by UNESCO to the island of Anguilkia before the construction of the new Aswan Dam to prevent it from being totally engulfed under water. It took 8 years to move the temple stone by stone. What an unimaginable and incredible job! And for the pun: a pharaonic work !!
In Greek Philae means “beloved”. This temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis.
Day 5 : The majestic temple of Abu Simbel!
This long-awaited big day has arrived! On the way to discover the jewel of Abu Simbel 😍. You will attend a magnificent show that will take you to the depths of Egypt. For information, the road from Aswan to Abu simbel only opens at 5am. Schedules are strict and respected.
If you want to attend the sunrise, I encourage you to go to Abu Simbel the day before and book your night not far from the temple. Be careful, hotels are expensive! Leaving at 5am, you will be on the scene at 7.30am. To get to Abu Simbel, we advise you to take a private taxi or bus.
Possibility to take a flight to Abu simbel if you have the budget. The show on the road will be spectacular because the desert will gradually reveal itself in front of you at the same time as the sunrise.
Attention, it is necessary to report his trip to Abu Simbel minimum 24 hours before the day of the desired departure. The driver must declare you to the police for traffic permits. I heard about a military convoy but I didn’t see anything. They opened the road, there was a control and that’s it. Abu Simbel is a must-see temple in Egypt. It is the last resting place of Ramses II. The temple is carved out of pink granite rock and it reminds me of the colors of Kazneh in Petra !
The 4 majestic colossi represent Ramses II at different ages of his life. They look straight ahead at Lake Nasser. They’re impressive.
This temple was saved from the waters of the Nile. UNESCO has allowed the reconstruction and relocation of the site! The work done to rebuild it is just pharaonic!
The trip to Abu simbel is worth a visit even if the journey is long. The setting is simply idyllic! It is for my part the most beautiful of the Egyptian temples. Right next door you will find a temple dedicated to Nefertari the wife of Ramses Il. It is also splendid!
On the façade of the temple of Nefertari, you will admire 6 statues including 4 representing Ramses II and 2 others representing Nerfetari while it was his temple! Count 2 hours of visit. Admission will cost you 255LE/adult.
It’s time for us to hit the road back to Luxor (7h drive). We made a stop for the night again at our friend Walid’s house at the golden palace. On the way back, we stopped in the middle of the desert to drink a karkadé (hibiscus tea).
We also had the chance to witness some mirages.
Day 6: On the way to Hurghada!
To get to Hurghada, we recommend either a private taxi with driver (120€) or a bus via the Go bus company. It takes a 4-hour drive from Luxor to Hurghada. Possibility to book your bus seats in advance. Leaving at 8am, you will be at your hotel around 1pm with a stop during the journey. The bus is clean, in very good condition and runs normally. Drivers are careful. Very good value for money! The Wifi on board is very poor. There is a toilet. On arrival, enjoy your afternoon discovering your hotel and enjoying the beach or lazing around for example.
I offer you an apartment for rent on Airbnb in a very welcoming complex. It is very clean with all the necessary amenities. On the other hand, do not expect sandy beaches, there are none on the coast of Hurgada. These are artificial gravel beaches.
On the other hand there are very beautiful beaches on the surrounding islands, as you can see in a few lines 😉
In Hurghada, you can also rent in large resorts! It all depends on your budget! It’s up to you….
Day 7: Orange Bay, the island paradise
For this first day in Hurghada, I suggest you go to Orange Bay. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hurghada! It’s paradise, with white sand and turquoise blue water as far as the eye can see. For excursions, the departure by boat is at 8am and the return around 5pm.You will enjoy your walk at sea!
Breakfast is offered upon arrival on the boat.
The tour includes a stop for banana and sofa making which are included in the price. A real moment of pleasure for everyone!
During our sea trip, we had the chance to see the dolphins. It’s always a childhood dream 😍.
Welcome to Orange Bay! You will stay 2 full hours on this paradise island.
Sit on a beach ottoman, enjoy the sun, this idyllic setting and drink a good beer to quench your thirst!
Or, explore the island and take the opportunity to take some Instagram souvenir shots. Life is good in Orange Bay.
On your return, there will be 2 snorkeling stops with 2 very nice spots to explore. Masks, snorkels and fins will be provided.
The excursion will cost you 25€/person. Do not hesitate to negotiate. We went through our hosts for the excursion. They aligned themselves with the internet price after negotiations!
Day 8: Quad in the Hurghada Desert
Looking for thrills? A total change of scenery and a breath of fresh air? I invite you to book on Get your guide 3h30 of quad in the middle of the desert 😀.
The activity will cost you only 16€ / adult (price in February 2020). We had booked for an afternoon excursion. A 4×4 picks you up and takes you back to your hotel. Meet at the foot of your hotel around 1:30 p.m. and return around 6 p.m. On site, we offer you a rental of protective mask at 5 € / person to protect yourself from the sand projected by driving in the desert.It is strongly advised to take it despite its excessive price because simple sunglasses are not enough to protect you.
Possibility to choose a quad duo or single. The price fluctuates slightly if you want a quad per person. The activity is definitely worth it! The view is breathtaking.
You will be in the heart of the Hurghada desert. A real feeling of well-being and freedom! A micro ride (just time to take a picture) in a camel is also included in the price as well as a shisha break and coffee.
Day 9: Return to Cairo
# From Hurghada to Cairo
It’s time for you to hit the road again and return to Cairo as the end of the journey approaches. I invite you again to book in advance your trip via the company Go Bus from Hurghada to Cairo (225LE/pers; possibility to take a flight or a taxi with private driver but more expensive). Departure is usually at 8am and arrival at 2pm. The bus is punctual. We had not taken a night bus for more safety but it is quite possible. You will have 5 hours drive with a 30-minute stop to eat.
# The garden of Al Azhar
After dropping off your suitcases at the hotel and getting acquainted with the place, I invite you to walk in the one and only garden of Cairo: Al Azhar. This park is a real breath of fresh air in a relatively polluted Cairo. Admission will cost you 20LE/ adult. This park is well laid out and offers a magnificent view of Cairo and in particular the Citadel and the Mohammed Ali Mosque.
Many Egyptian couples walk there and enjoy the calm. It is one of the only places of greenery in Cairo with fountains, palm trees and a small lake.
You will witness a beautiful sunset over the city from this park!
The place is very popular for wedding photos.
Possibility to eat in the park. Here you will find several restaurants. I promise you a very pleasant moment!
Day 10: Cairo and its wonders
# The Egyptian Museum in Cairo
The Egyptian Museum opens its doors at 9am. Allow 2 to 3 hours of visit minimum. I strongly advise you to visit the museum at the end of your trip!
The history of Egypt will be more exciting and interesting after following in the footsteps of the pharaohs.
The place is a must when you are passing through Cairo. Here you will find a collection of exceptional objects from ancient Egypt.
We look forward to the opening of the new museum at the end of 2020! The museum will be relocated outside the city, more modern. Possibility to take a guide on site or like us the backpacker’s guide where each piece of the museum is very well explained and detailed. Not to mention all the explanations given in English in the museum.
You will also have the pleasure of admiring the treasures of Tutankhamun including his sublime mask exposed in a small room specially dedicated to him! A real pleasure for the eyes!
Admission to the museum will cost you 160 LE/adult. Be careful, cameras will not be allowed unless you take the paid option. Lockers are available free of charge to store them if you do not take the option. A check of the bags by scan is carried out scrupulously. They also check that you are in possession of the ticket allowing you to keep your camera and use it. As for the phones it is free and allowed without paid option. If you arrive as soon as the museum opens, I advise you to start with the 2nd floor and finish with the 1st floor. This is a trick to circulate and enjoy the museum avoiding the tourist crowds!
# The citadel of Saladin
It is very pleasant to walk around the citadel of Saladin. The view of Cairo is exceptional! You can see the pyramids in the distance.