Walking Egypt

Land of the Pharaohs

1st Departure: February 10–19, 2017 • 10 Days • $3550

2nd Departure: February 24–March 5, 2017 • 10 Days • $3550

Join us for an unforgettable journey through age-old history, fascinating cultures, and magnificent scenery as we walk the landscapes of Egypt in 2017!

Jordan & Petra Extension

1st Departure: February 19–23, 2017 • 5 Days • $1800

2nd Departure: March 5–9, 2017 • 5 Days • $1800

Extend your visit to Egypt with a stop-over in Jordan, with visits to Petra, Wadi Rum, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea.

WATCH A BRIEF VIDEO

WAI Guide Scott Isom presents Egypt & Jordan 2017 at our most recent Tour Presentation.

To enlarge, click symbol in right corner.

View Daily Itinerary

Our Walking Egypt Adventure promises a camel caravan’s load of amazing cultural experiences! We’ll dip into ancient history as we explore the Old Kingdom pyramids of Giza and Saqqara; gaze spellbound at the wonders of Tutankhamun’s tomb safeguarded in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum; and check out the successors to the pyramids in the Valley of the Kings as we set sail up the Nile on our 5-star luxury cruise ship, the MS Nile Adventurer!

Our optional extension through Jordan reflects a mosaic of varying and beautiful landscapes: the Dead Sea, its shore crystallized from centuries of salt flows that have washed its banks; Petra, with its  breathtaking sandstone formations in hues of red, yellow, gray, and orange; Wadi Rum, possessing the stark beauty and striking contrasts of the desert world; Karak, site of a crusader fortress; and Pharaoh’s Island, offering a chance to snorkel amongst the sea life of the Red Sea and explore Saladin’s fortress on shore.

Changes to this edition of Egypt & Jordan

It’s been seven years since our last visit to Egypt and we are excited to be working with a new partner that has provided hotels upgrades and a Nile River sailing aboard a smaller, more intimate 32 cabin ship. In Jordan, our stops include Petra, Wadi Rum, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea — all fabled attractions with links as far back as the Bible’s Old Testament, and as recent as the filming of the popular Hollywood movie “Martian” in the deserts of Wadi Rum.

Our Ship – Sanctuary Nile Adventurer

The elegant Sanctuary Nile Adventurer has just 32 cabins, offering a luxurious yet relaxed cruise on the Nile. Decorated in a contemporary style, the ship’s design combines modern Egyptian culture with seven thousand years of heritage. Add gourmet cuisine as well as sightseeing experiences with the country’s most experienced Egyptologists to provide a taste of genuine 5-star luxury on a timeless river. The ship has an exclusive docking area at Luxor and Aswan.

Launched in 1990 and renovated in 2009, the Sanctuary Nile Adventurer has an upper sun deck with swimming pool, a shaded deck with an outdoor bar and a lounge bar terrace. The restaurant is spacious and seats 75. In addition, there is a library and games room with computer and internet access. Along with a gym and a massage room, there is also a gift shop. For guests wishing to relax, there is room service, and a sun deck snack bar. A doctor is on board at all times and first aid medicines are available. Security on board: there are on board security officers 24 hours a day and two police guards during sailing.

All cabins are fully air-conditioned with individual control, and have Nile view plus private bathroom with bathtub, shower and hairdryer, mini bar and LCD television. International telephone access is available through the reception. There is chargeable Wi-Fi in all outlets, cabins and suites.

Deckplan for Sanctuary Nile Adventurer

Egypt – Land of the Pharaohs

Including:

  • Airport to hotel transfers on first and last day
  • 2 flights within tour: Cairo – Luxor and Aswan – Cairo
  • 4-night cruise on the 5-star MS Nile Adventurer
  • All land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Luxury (5 star) hotel accommodations
  • 25 meals: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 9 dinners*
  • All listed walks
  • Fees for walking credit (if IVV approved)
  • Cultural and historical expertise of Egyptologist guide throughout
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $600

Visits to:

  • Pyramids of Giza – Cairo
  • Pyramid of Saqqara – Memphis area
  • Memphis (ancient capital of Egypt)
  • Egyptian Museum – Cairo
  • Valley of the Kings – Luxor
  • Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut – Luxor
  • Deir el-Medina (Village of the Workers) – Luxor
  • Karnak Temple – Luxor
  • Luxor Temple – Luxor
  • Temple of Horus – Edfu
  • Temples of Kom Ombo – Kom Ombo
  • Felucca cruise – Aswan to Nubian Village
  • Saladin Citadel of Cairo – Cairo
  • Khan el-Khalili Bazaar – Cairo
  • More fun and educational stops than we can list!

Optional Excursions:

  • Great Pyramid of Cheops Pharaoh’s Burial Chamber – Cairo (Day 2)
  • Hot air balloon over the Nile – Luxor (Day 5)
  • Temples of Abu Simbel – Abu Simbel (Day 8)

Jordan & Petra Extension

Including:

  • Airport to hotel transfers on first and last day
  • Flight from Cairo, Egypt to Amman, Jordan
  • All land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Superior tourist-class (3 star) or better hotel accommodations
  • 11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 5 dinners*
  • All listed walks
  • Fees for walking credit (if IVV approved)
  • Cultural and historical expertise of national guide throughout
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $200

Visits to:

  • Karak Crusader Castle – Karak
  • Petra Archeological Park – Petra
  • 4×4 jeep transport with guide – Wadi Rum
  • Jordan River – site of Jesus’ Baptism
  • Dead Sea – including time for a dip!

Optional Excursions:

  • Camel ride – Wadi Rum (Day 3)
  • Pharaoh’s Island in the Red Sea with lunch & snorkeling – Aqaba (Day 4)

* (B,L,D) indicates included meals: breakfast, lunch, or dinner

“After each of the WAI trips, I return with a greater appreciation for the similarities of people all over the world. Although other ‘canned’ trips may be less expensive than yours, I value the unique adventures and personal touch you bring to each of your adventures. I’ll keep on walking with you!”

-Chalonnes H; Beaumont, TX


“Every time we have traveled with WAI we have been treated like friends and not just a customer.”

-Linda H; Pasadena, MD


“Individual attention given to all – Makes you feel special – FUN! FUN! Trip was beyond expectation! It seems like this was better than the last – now on to the next.”

-Jean B; Arvada, CO


“I was very pleased to find out how well the walks blended with the traditional aspects of sightseeing travel. In fact the walks added a dimension well beyond typical travel that was a big plus!..My concept of a ‘tour group’ has been significantly changed and all for the better! The relatively small group, the personal attention, and the wonderful blend of information, exercise and traditional sightseeing made this trip a wonderful experience.”

-Ron B; Salem, OR


“Was concerned about traveling with a group and not having the freedom to do what we wanted. Found that [our] guide would work with individuals so everyone could enjoy the trip [in] the best way to get satisfaction for most if not everyone on [the] trip.”

-Charles L & Betty G; Maryville, TN


“Walking Adventures presents outstanding tours. You can feel that you are touring, learning, and enjoying in a manner that other tour groups can only dream of offering their clients. This trip was absolutely wonderful.”

-Mike & Esther C; Sewell, NJ


“This is our 5th trip with WAI. We love the small-scale sense of family and your efforts to make every trip a memorable experience.”

-Bob & Sue C; Tigard, OR

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

25-30 travelers

Lodgings

5 nights in strategically located luxury (5 star)  hotels and 4 nights aboard a 5 star cruise ship

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of lunches and dinners. Letters BLD indicate which meals are included.

Airfare

Two internal flights included for the Egypt tour with a third flight for travelers continuing on to Jordan

Transportation

Included. Via motorcoaches, 5 star cruise ship, and flights within tour.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

WAI Guide Scott Isom on Egypt Walking Tour

Scott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. That sense of adventure continues with his wife, Debbie and their three girls on the terrific trails of Mt. Rainier National Park and in other natural wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest. Scott will be guiding the 1st Departure of Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs, assisted by Roger Dorway.

 

WAI Guides Roger & Jana DorwayRoger & Jana Dorway will be guiding the 2nd Departure of Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs. Roger’s business background connecting buyers and sellers, and Jana’s career as a teacher provide this couple with a gift for connecting with people. They have always appreciated the experiential, paradigm-expanding value of travel, and have been privileged to explore destinations on 4 continents. Since retirement, they’ve increased their commitment to discovering the world, fostering a growing desire to share cultural and historical insights as part of the WAI guide team. They look forward to sharing the wonders of Egypt & Jordan with you!

Itinerary

Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs

Day 1: Arrive Cairo (D)

Travelers arrive into Cairo today and enjoy their first exposure to this, the second largest city in Africa, during a fascinating drive from the airport to our hotel in the heart of the city on the east bank of the Nile. Travelers arrive throughout the day and our first group activity is this evening’s Welcome Orientation followed by dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Activities from Cairo (BLD)

Pyramids of Giza Walk – 6 km, rated 2B

The Great Pyramid of Cheops is a fitting starting point for today’s walk. While we struggle to take in the enormity of this engineering feat, the brave among us may opt to enter the pharaoh’s burial chamber to experience what ancient actually means. (Estimated price: $45 per person) Our walk route provides multiple vantage points of these monuments to human achievement. After going nose to missing nose with the legendary Sphinx, we continue by bus to Saqqara to examine the earliest pyramids. We finish our day with a stroll through Memphis, ancient capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.

Day 3: Cairo – Luxor (BLD)

The star attraction of our spellbinding visit to the Egyptian Museum is the exhibit of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The splendors of his tomb, especially multiple layers of golden, jewel encrusted sarcophagi, give testimony to the splendors of the age of the pharaohs. Following lunch, an afternoon flight takes us south to Luxor to start our Nile River experience.

Day 4: Activities from Luxor (BLD)

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut to Deir el-Medina – 2 km, rated 1B
Temples of Luxor Walk – 4 km, rated 1B

An early morning wake-up call gives us a chance to beat the crowds at the Valley of the Kings. Our visit evokes a twinge of sympathy for New Kingdom pharaohs, who could neither take their treasures with them nor keep them a secret. On the other side of the hill, the dramatic and conspicuous Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut makes no such attempt at illusive discretion. After exploring the temple, our Egyptologist guide leads us across the sands passing the tomb of Montuemhat, El-Assasif tombs, and several others en route to Deir el-Medina, the Village of the Workers. Here we explore excavations of a town built over 3000 years ago for workers responsible for sculpting the tombs of the pharaohs. We pass the Colossi of Memnon by bus en route to our ship, where we’ll check in and enjoy lunch and a rest. The afternoon stroll takes us along the Nile promenade between the expansive Karnak Temple and spectacular Luxor Temple.

Day 5: Cruising the Nile: Luxor to Esna (BLD)

A late morning departure provides opportunity for an optional hot air balloon ride, offering a surreal experience floating over timeless landscapes of the Nile Valley. (Estimated price: $195 per person) We lunch aboard the ship as we cruise upstream on the legendary Nile River. We are excited to announce an upgraded cruise experience aboard the MS Nile Adventurer, an intimate 5-star luxury vessel with only 32 cabins. A relaxing afternoon passes as we enjoy timeless scenes of traditional white-sailed feluccas, observe agricultural pursuits along the Nile’s banks, and share the company of fellow passengers lounging on the Sundeck.

Day 6: Cruising the Nile: Edfu & Kom Ombo (BLD)

Today’s first port of call in Edfu offers the superbly preserved Temple of Horus. Further upstream, the Temples of Kom Ombo were dedicated to two deities: the crocodile-headed “Sobek” and “Haroeris,” a double-headed sparrow/hawk. Gaining understanding of the myriad manifestations of the Egyptian pantheon and the cryptic symbols of hieroglyphics requires a good teacher – an Egyptologist who will be with us throughout our Egyptian Adventure.

Day 7: Cruising the Nile: Aswan (BLD)

Aswan Nubian Village Walk – 7 km, rated 2B

Today’s multi-part walk is punctuated with several colorful and diverse stops. We start at the Unfinished Obelisk, a granite quarry with a partially carved obelisk still struggling to be finished after several thousand years. We walk from here to the Nile where we board a felucca to sail across to Elephantine Island. Our exploration of Elephantine Island takes us to an ancient Nilometer, an ingenious device used to measure annual flooding and predict harvest yields, and resulting tax revenues. Our felucca cruise continues upstream through stunningly pristine stretches of the Nile to a Nubian village. Here, we learn about this African race who have settled in this southern region of Egypt. If school is in session when we arrive, we ask to visit a classroom, then enjoy lunch in a local home. Returning to Aswan this afternoon, you are invited to finish the walk with a stroll along the Nile promenade Corniche and into the large and colorful souq (market) near our ship.

Day 8: Aswan – Cairo (BD)

This is a free morning in Aswan to relax and explore the Nubian Museum or peruse the souq at leisure. Consider joining us, however, for an optional excursion to the temples of Abu Simbel. More than 32 centuries ago, Ramses II built two temples into the rock face of a promontory in Nubia, the larger dedicated to the sun god Harakhti, and the lesser dedicated to the Goddess Hathor. A visit to these temples, considered by many to be the apex of Egyptian temple architecture, involves a roundtrip flight to Abu Simbel, departing early in the morning, and includes admission to the temples, lunch, guide service by our Egyptologist, and all transportation. (Estimated price: $299 per person)

Back in Aswan, we return by plane to Cairo, anticipating our last day in Egypt tomorrow, and check into our hotel in time for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9: Activities in Cairo (BLD)

The Saladin Citadel of Cairo Walk – 3 km, rated 1B
Al-Azhar Park Walk – 2 km, rated 1B
Islamic Cairo & Khalili Bazaar – 3 km, rated 1B

Today’s multi-part walk fills in pieces of the cultural puzzle helpful in understanding modern Egypt, a predominantly Muslim nation since the 10th century.  The first segment of our walk surveys the Saladin Citadel of Cairo, where we explore the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. We then observe Cairo citizens at leisure as we wander through the lovely gardens that overlook Cairo in Al-Azhar Park, also the venue for today’s lunch. In the afternoon, we thread our way through the Islamic Quarter to reach the Khan el-Khalili bazaar, where you’ll have time to browse and enjoy the maze of colorful shops. After a day exploring Egypt’s more recent past, we gather this evening for our Farewell Dinner and reminisce about our Adventure together in this ancient land of pyramids and pharaohs!

Day 10: Depart Cairo for Home or Jordan Extension (B)

Travelers returning home today will be transferred to the airport for their flight from ancient Africa to 21st century North America. Those continuing for the Optional Jordan & Petra Extension will fly to Amman (flight included) to continue our Adventures in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Jordan & Petra Extension

Day 1: Cairo – Petra, Jordan (LD)

A mid-morning flight from Cairo takes us to Amman, Jordan. Our Jordanian coach and driver takes us first to Karak to enjoy lunch, then wander through the evocative crusader fortress in this ancient city. From Karak, we continue to Petra in preparation for our walk tomorrow through this epic combination of natural and manmade wonders.

Day 2: Activities in Petra (BD)

Rose Red City of Petra – 10 km, rated 2B

A full day is allotted to roaming the Rose Red City of Petra. This breathtaking collection of sandstone formations with hues of red, yellow, gray, and orange was carved into magnificent facades by Nabatean tribes 2000 years ago to serve as tombs for their nobles. Our standard route threads through the narrow, winding canyon to the signature sculpting – the Treasury – then continues past a host of other tombs. Longer, more challenging, and even more memorable routes are available and will be offered by your WAI guide. Petra is one of our top 10 walking destinations! Our hotel is located very near the entrance to Petra, so return at your leisure and rendezvous again this evening for dinner at our hotel to share tales of our day in the Rose Red City.

Day 3: Petra – Aqaba (BLD)

Wadi Rum Lawrence of Arabia Walk – 10 km, rated 2C

Leaving Petra, we enter the stark beauty of a desert world where in the early 19th century Lawrence of Arabia rallied the Arabs against the fading, but still formidable, power of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Our 21st century expedition begins with an optional camel ride in a land where camels are highly prized and camel racing is serious sport. (Estimated price: $35) The main event of the day is a combination of walking and 4×4 jeep rides through stunning vistas of Wadi Rum with local Bedouin guides. Breathtaking panoramas of multi-colored monoliths against grain-colored waves of sand and bright blue desert sky are no less impressive than the timeless scenes of Petra! Viewers of the recent Hollywood hit “Martian” will recognize Wadi Rum as the terrain in which Matt Damon staged his heroic battle of survival, albeit with a less reddish tint. A memorable Bedouin feast in a desert camp precedes our return to modern “civilization” in Aqaba.

Day 4: Activities in Aqaba (BD)

After many busy days, enjoy some time off to stroll and window shop the charming markets of Aqaba. Or join us for an optional all-day excursion into the Red Sea to Pharaoh’s Island to see yet another face of this surprisingly diverse corner of the Middle East. Home to a well-preserved crusader castle captured by the able Arab general Saladin, Pharaoh’s Island also offers a chance to snorkel amongst the Red Sea’s famed underwater coral and sea life. Included in this excursion is the all-day cruise, lunch, a guided walking tour of the rebuilt fortress on Pharaoh’s Island, and snorkeling gear. (Estimated price: $75 per person) Back in Aqaba this evening, we celebrate our Adventure in Jordan at the Farewell Dinner.

Day 5: Aqaba – Amman – Depart for Home (BD)

The Adventure comes to a close today as we make our way north towards Amman along the Dead Sea. Because flights generally depart for North America in the middle of the night, we’ll have a leisurely departure from the hotel and enjoy stops along the way. Just north of the Dead Sea, we’ll visit the Jordan River to see the site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Late in the afternoon, we visit a resort on the shores of the Dead Sea to soak in its fabled, unsinkable waters, then share a final dinner together before departing for the airport. We part ways at Amman International Airport with fond memories of this surprisingly diverse corner straddling Africa and Asia – memories of amazing places we’ve heard about all our lives, a new awareness of these mysterious and sometimes difficult to understand cultures, and recollections of the joy of sharing the experience with walking friends.

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

We are now accepting registrations. Call us to save your spot with a $500 registration. A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on each of these two departures.

General Tour Conditions and Registration Form

To finalize your official registration, a completed and signed copy of the Registration Form is necessary. Please be sure to read all the  fun stuff (the fine print) in the General Tour Conditions!

First Time Traveler Savings

In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $400 credit on this Adventure!

Group Travel Credit

If you have joined a group, remember that a $500 registration is still required for this Adventure. Your group leader is responsible to submit your name in writing to us before you make your $500 registration payment, qualifying you for the Group Travel Credit. Your Group Travel Credit will be reflected on your final statement.

How is airfare arranged?

The official start and end point for travelers joining us for the Egypt tour only is in Cairo, Egypt. Travelers joining us for both Egypt and the Jordan Extension start in Cairo, Egypt and finish in Amman, Jordan. Transfers to and from the airports are included.

The Egypt tour includes two internal flights. Travelers continuing on with us for the Jordan Extension have a third flight included from Cairo, Egypt to Amman, Jordan.

More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, that will be mailed to you after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the Adventure Advice flyer!

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to over-exertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with Dani in our office at 1.800.779.0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system, provided by the American Volkssport Association (AVA), which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure.  Many travel insurance providers are available for  you to consider. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc. a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well  as your airfare. (email debbi@wtpdx.com -OR- call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as  well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the Insuremytrip.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

  • Allianz
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International

We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.

Note on Travel Insurance for Egypt

The safety of our travelers is of highest concern to us. WAI maintains contact with our local sources and watches any impending situations carefully to see if they will effect our tours or tour routing. However, those who have concerns about travel to this area of the world may wish to consider upgrading their travel insurance. Most travel insurance policies exclude many types of civil unrest or terrorism. But for a  higher premium, you may be able to purchase insurance that allows you to cancel “for any reason.” If this is of interest, check with the agent from whom you purchase your policy.

What happens next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. The Adventure Advice packet will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you receive the Adventure Advice flyer. The final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 2 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

Enjoy perusing the Adventure brochure—we are excited to offer this updated and revised sojourn to the wonders of Egypt & Jordan via the perspective of a walking tour!