Beyond the Pyramids: A 2-week Egypt Itinerary

Find the ride you need in

Go beyond the Pyramids and explore the incredible history, nature, and underwater world Egypt offers. Check out our ultimate 2-week Egypt itinerary!

felucca ride in Egypt

Famous for being the cradle of one of the world’s earliest civilizations, Egypt is home to some of the richest history on our planet. Yes, its past is fascinating, but its present is as well. Its nature, culture, religion, food, underwater world and, of course, its people are equal parts intriguing and beguiling.  

Obviously, the Pyramids of Giza are the country’s most visited site. Travelers want to experience what it feels like to step back in time to when Ancient Egyptians created works of art and architecture that we’d struggle to complete now. 

Wander through the Valley of the Kings, scuba dive in the Red Sea or sail down the River Nile — the adventures in Egypt are endless!

As someone who has traveled around this magical country a few times and lived there for seven months, I’ve compiled the best 2-week itinerary for Egypt. 

Ultimate 2-week Egypt itinerary 

Day 1 & 2: Arrive in Cairo and explore

RIver and Downtown Cairo, Egypt

Most people start their adventures in the crazy capital city of Cairo. You’ll struggle to find a louder, more hectic city. It’s an attack on the senses, but in the best way — it really feels alive!

The first thing you should do is visit the Pyramids of Giza. They’re one of the Seven Wonders of the World for a reason. It’s genuinely mindblowing that something of this magnitude could have been constructed thousands of years ago. 

And while the famous Pyramids of Giza are sensational, don’t forget to check out Dashur, home to the Red, Black and Bent Pyramids. The Bent Pyramid is one of the best pyramids to go inside. 

After exploring the pyramids, head to one of Cairo’s most popular markets, Khan Al-Khalili. This is THE place to buy souvenirs!

Finish the day off with a taste of Egypt’s national dish, koshary. Don’t go anywhere else but Abou Tarek. Its koshary is famous.

More Cairo highlights: 

Cairo, Egypt market
  • The Egyptian Museum 
  • Mosque of Muhammad Ali
  • Walking around the neighborhoods of Maadi and Zamalek
  • Visit New Cairo City

Day 3-5: Luxor 

statues on the palace in Luxor, Egypt

Luxor is often referred to as the “World’s Greatest Open-Air Museum.” And I couldn’t agree more!

Located on the east bank of the River Nile in southern Egypt, this city is home to some of the best temples in all of Egypt! You won’t be able to keep count of how many jaw-dropping moments you experience. 

The Valley of the Kings is one of my favorite historical sites I’ve visited worldwide. And that’s a big statement! 

It was built as a burial site for pharaohs, queens, high priests and other elites. Incredibly, their spectacular hieroglyphics have maintained their brilliant blues, reds, and yellows for over 3,000 years. And you get to wander around their tombs and breathe in their history. 

The list of incredible historical sites continues with the Temple of Luxor, Karnak Temple, Temple of Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Queens, to mention just a few. 

More things to do in Luxor: 

  • Hot air balloon ride 
  • Admire the view from the McDonald’s opposite Luxor Temple
  • Eat at Nubian House
  • Colossi of Memnon

How to get from Cairo to Luxor

Colossi of Memnon hotair baloon Egypt

To start your 2-week itinerary in Egypt, get from Cairo to Luxor. You’re about to leave the chaos and head to a slightly less noisy city. You have three options: bus, train or plane. 

Some people opt for a flight as it’s significantly faster, but it’s also more expensive and bad for the environment. 

The best option is to take the bus, preferably overnight, so you don’t waste a day. The journey should take around 10 hours, but in Egypt, buses always take longer. 

If you want a unique experience, consider taking the train. It’s not any faster than the bus and almost five times the price, but the views are beautiful. 

Day 5-7: Aswan

Aswan on your Egypt itinerary

Your journey along the Nile continues into Aswan, a gateway to Nubian culture and Abu Simbel. 

Built by King Ramses II in the 13th century BC to commemorate himself and his wife, Queen Nefertari, Abu Simbel is considered one of the most outstanding temples in Egypt.

At both temple entrances, you’ll find magnificent 20-meter (66ft) statues of Ramses and his wife. Inside are captivating hieroglyphics and yet more well-preserved statues.  

After the Aswan High Dam was built in 1968, the temples had to be moved to higher ground, piece by piece, to prevent them from being submerged. This feat is almost as impressive as the temples themselves.

If you want to soak in a completely different culture from what you’ve experienced in Egypt, head to the Nubian Village. The Nubian people have a rich heritage and distinct traditions, and visiting the Nubian Villages provides a unique opportunity to learn about their way of life, crafts, and customs. 

Plus, their colorful and vibrant homes are stunning!

More Aswan highlights:

  • Philae Temple
  • Trying camel meat at King Jamaica 
  • Nubian Museum
  • Monastery of St Simien

How to get from Luxor to Aswan

Nubian woman in Egypt

Thankfully, the journey from Luxor to Aswan is much shorter than most other routes in Egypt. This one should take 3-4 hours, depending on the mode of transport that you pick. 

You can opt for a bus, minivan or train. The bus is the cheapest option and also reasonably comfortable! 

There is a third exciting way to cover this distance, but I’ll get into that below. 

Day 8-9: Aswan to Luxor 

feluccas on the Nile in Egypt

Have you ever considered sailing on the River Nile? Now is the time! You can use it as transport and an unforgettable experience simultaneously. 

The decision-making isn’t over yet. You now need to decide whether you have the time and budget for a cruise ship or prefer to travel in a more traditional style on a felucca boat. 

If time allows, a cruise ship usually takes around four days and includes stops at iconic temples. Onboard, you’ll have your own room, restaurants, sundeck and even a pool if you’re lucky. After the four days, you’ll arrive in Luxor, where you can make your way back to Cairo. 

If you are keeping to a two-week Egypt itinerary, opt for the felucca style of sailboat. It’s a lot simpler than a cruise ship but a very unique experience. You’ll eat dinner in the same communal area where you sleep – an open-air covered deck that feels like one big mattress. 

If you’re short on time, choose the one night felucca ride. You’ll get off the boat wherever the wind has managed to sail you and continue the journey by minibus to Luxor.

Alternative: Cairo to Aswan

You could reverse this whole route and head from Cairo directly to Aswan. A flight is your quickest option. Then, slowly make your way up the Nile back north, stopping in Luxor.  

Alternative: Aswan to Cairo 

If you want to skip the river cruise, head straight from Aswan to Cairo. The best way to cover this distance is by taking the bus. It’s cheap and faster than the train. I recommend taking an overnight bus to save on accommodation. 

Day 10-13 option 1: Dahab

windsurfers in Dahab Egypt

Dahab is a small beach town on Egypt’s Red Sea, famous for scuba diving, free diving and kite surfing. It’s an entirely different vibe to the rest of Egypt. 

Everyone’s story here starts as, “I came for five days, and I’m still here five months later.” I lived here for seven months after only planning to stay ten days. 

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the charm of this laid-back town! You can spend your days soaking up the relaxed atmosphere or pack your days full of activities. 

Go scuba diving and explore some of the best coral in the world, only meters from the shore. Or will you give kitesurfing a go? There’s also the opportunity to climb Mount Sinai, where Moses was said to have received the Ten Commandments. 

More things to do in Dahab: 

  • Relax at the Lagoona beach
  • Escape to Abu Galum 
  • Join a workshop at Moods 
  • Take a boat trip 

How to get from Cairo to Dahab

red canyon in Abu Galum Egypt

It may be Dahab’s anonymity that causes people to miss this beach town, or the journey to get there puts people off. Either way, you shouldn’t miss it.

There are two ways to get from Cairo to Dahab: minibus or bus. I highly recommend taking the minibus. 

There are several military checkpoints between Cairo and Dahab where you’ll have your documents and bags checked. Having fewer people onboard means that you can pass through them faster. Trust me, it can make a big difference to your travel time. 

The journey time can vary between 6-10 hours. 

Day 10-13 option 2: Siwa 

Siwa, Egypt fortress

You may have seen Siwa popping up on your social media feeds over the past year. Its brilliant turquoise salt pools have caused a storm, and people are traveling for 10 hours just to see them. 

Siwa is an oasis in the heart of the Sahara Desert. There’s much more to this historical town than just its salt pools. But yes, it is fun to float around in the pools as if your body is as light as a feather. 

When not doing that, explore rolling sand dunes, visit the ancient fortress of Siwa or simply relax in beautiful desert camps. 

Other things to do in Siwa: 

  • Chill in natural hot springs
  • ATV adventures

How to get from Cairo to Siwa

Siwa Egypt salt pools and resting spot

Like most journeys in Egypt, the travel time from Cairo to Siwa is around eight hours by bus, but in reality, you’re looking at about 10.  

Most buses travel at night, so you’ll arrive in Siwa bright and early, ready for a day of exploring. 

Weather in Egypt 

Ancient Egypt

The best thing about the weather in Egypt is you never really have to worry about rain! Instead, you should plan your trip around the temperature. During the summer months (June-August), this Northeast African country can get HOT! 

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April. The weather is much cooler, meaning you’re not dripping in sweat when exploring tombs and temples. 

Expect temperatures to range between 15-23°C (60-73°F) between October and February and reach 30°C (86°F) in March and April. 

Packing list essentials for Egypt 

Nubian village colorful home

What you need to pack for Egypt depends on when you’re visiting. If you’re heading there during the colder months, bring a light jacket, as it can get pretty chilly at night. 

Bring the lightest and coolest clothes if you’re exploring in the summer months. But remember to keep them conservative. Women should have their shoulders covered and avoid short skirts, dresses or shorts. 

No matter the season, bring sun cream, a hat and sunglasses. The sun is pretty much always shining in Egypt. 

Map of a 2-week itinerary in Egypt 

Egypt is a surprisingly vast country, which is why so many of the bus journeys edge into double figures. Look at this map to decipher which route is best for you. 

How to get to Egypt 

Camel riding along the beach in Egypt

Getting to Egypt is a relatively easy task from most countries. Cairo International Airport receives direct flights from all over the world. 

It’s also worth checking whether it’s cheaper for you to fly into one of Egypt’s other airports, such as Luxor, Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh. These are popular destinations for budget airlines coming from Europe. 

Once there, you can use buses, trains, taxis and internal flights to explore the country. 

Are you ready for the best 2 weeks in Egypt?

Egypt pyramids

Egypt is unlike any other country with its ancient history, out-of-this-world diving, and remote nature waiting to be explored. Enduring the long bus journeys to explore its diverse lands is without a doubt worth it. 

Two weeks can feel like a whistle-stop tour through this vast country, so if you can carve out more time, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, hopping from bus to bus can get a little tiring. 

And who knows, you may visit Dahab and fall in love with it as I did! 


How many days do you need in Egypt?

Some other itineraries will say that 10 days is enough time in Egypt. As someone who has taken this route a few times, I recommend at least 14 days. Otherwise, you’ll feel extremely rushed, and like you’re spending half your time on buses

Is Egypt cheap for traveling?

Over the past year or so, Egypt’s currency has declined, creating hard times for locals, but that means the country has become cheaper for foreign currency. Street food, taxis and accommodation are all very affordable. 

Is Egypt safe?

Yes, Egypt is a safe destination that has been receiving tourists for a long time. You may have already been forewarned about pushy salesmen. Don’t worry. Just say, “la, shukran,” meaning “no, thank you,” and they should leave you alone. 

Posted January 22, 2024
Kate Woodley
After a 2-year career break travelling the world, Kate quit her job as a Management Consultant and went all in on digital nomad life. She continues to travel, working as a freelance writer and inspiring others to travel through her Instagram, Maskedtravelsx. Kate also shares her love of travel by running group trips to unique destinations — Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan etc. Where life will take her next? She has no idea!