There is a lot to see in Egypt, besides the Great Pyramids. Give yourself a week or so and you really only need 2 days in Cairo/Giza. You can book at a local EgyptAir for flights to Luxor and Sharm El Sheik, which are two other places you should visit. If you want to scuba dive, consider staying in Naama Bay (near Sharm El Sheik) and spend a week going through your certifications.
You can also take Nile cruises and they have old-style riverboat restaurants/casinos along the waterways.
My trip started with a week in Naama Bay/Sharm El Sheik, I then ventured off thanks to EgyptAir to Cairo for 3 nights, then Luxor for 2, and back to Sharm before flying back to London (where I was living at the time).
Scuba diving, shopping, get a massage on the beach for an hour and just relax.
Egyptian Museum, Riverboat Dining, Giza (Great Pyramids)
I found it very cheap to simply jump on the local buses, although crammed, which take you to Giza. For 50 Piastre, rather than 20X that for taxi, and being a foreigner, you can join the locals on the buses that cruise the streets with wanton disregard for human life (you’ll see).
Giza has a few dirty old streets and shops, then you approach the strip and you will not be surprised to know everything else has sprung up around it. There is even a Pizza Hut just across the street from the entrance. I recommend going early morning, and getting in line to be one of the 500 visitors that day who get to climb inside one of the pyramids. Then walk around and if you dare, pay a camel jockey for a small ride (have friends with you or they may try to extort more money before letting you down) – tip generously. Re-visit the Great Pyramids at night for a laser light show, similar to Mount Rushmore in the US. You get a little narration, history and a few good evening photo opps.
I stayed at Sheraton, which is a ways from the ferry terminal. Each room is a little private bungalow, and if you don’t mind walking a bit, you can walk towards the shops, Internet cafes, etc. See some local sites with old Roman ruins, then trek to ferry terminal to go to mainland. Hire a cab (or hoof it like I did for hours) to Valley of The Kings. There are some impressive stops along the way, and I actually hiked the back side of the Valley of the Kings and traversed down the rocks to wind up within the gates and w/o paying the entry fee – oops. You still have to go back to the gates to get tickets for entry into a set amount of tombs, and also a ticket for taking photos.
Tutankhamen’s tomb charges more money to visit and I personally think some of the others are more impressive, and included in your 3-5 tombs pass. Note that these underground palaces were all dug out from solid earth and that the columns, stairs, etc were not installed… Pretty cool.
I would recommend hiring a local falluca (sailboat) driver for a couple hours, and have them take you to Crocodile Island and back. It is relaxing and you can even “man the ship” and do a little sailing on the Nile.
Enjoy!over 7 years ago