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Egypt - how to get there...

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Egypt - how to get there...

1. Posted by roshljo (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

roshljo has indicated that this thread is about Egypt

... with a motorcycle?! Hi all, I am planning a bike trip to Egypt this summer and wondering if anyone knows the fastest way to get there from Eastern Europe, with a bike? I've heard of some ferries from Greece to Egypt, but can't find any info online. I've also heard for some ferry from Jordan (Aqaba - Nuweiba), but I am not interested in driving all the way accross Turkey, Syria and Jordan, if there aren't any ferries from Greece, I'd prefer to go through Turkey - Syria - Israel. Where can I cross the Syria - Israel border and the Israel - Egypt border?

Heh, I can imagine driving by a camel caravan in the desert somewhere and seeing some piramids in the distance, a nice trip picture to show to the future grandchildren :)

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Interesting trip. You can best pass the border near Eilat (in Israel & the Palestinian territories) into the Sinai (Egypt). Must be great to travel through Sinai by motorcycle. You need a carnet de passage for Egypt....;)

3. Posted by roshljo (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

Interesting trip. You can best pass the border near Eilat (in Israel & the Palestinian territories) into the Sinai (Egypt). Must be great to travel through Sinai by motorcycle.....;)

Ok, I can enter Egypt near Elat, but this is if I am already in Israel. I found something very discouraging about the whole trip on some US Government page - http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1035.html

It says:

  • **************

The Syrian government rigidly enforces restrictions on prior travel to Israel, and does not allow persons with passports bearing Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. Syrian immigration authorities will not admit travelers with Israeli stamps in their passports, Jordanian entry cachets or cachets from other countries that suggest prior travel to Israel. Likewise, the absence of entry stamps from a country adjacent to Israel, which the traveler has just visited, will cause Syrian immigration officials to refuse admittance. Entry into Syria via the land border with Israel is not possible.

  • **************

Does this means that if I go through Syria - Jordan - Israel (near Elat) and to Egypt from there, I will be unable to enter Syria when headed back home because of the Israely stamp in my passport?!? And get stucked in Middle East forever... The page explains this for the US citizens and I am Bulgarian, but I suppose syrian authorities will treat me like american, because of our damn corrupt government which sent our forces in Iraq...

Anyway, there is an alternative way - Syria - Jordan - Egypt, but as Jordan and Egypt do not have a commmon border, I'll have to catch a ferry from Aqaba (Jordan) to Nuweiba (Egypt) and I really really would like to avoid this ferry as it is very expensive compared to the fuel price of the few kilometers of Israely land between Jordan and Egypt near Elat - the price I would pay for this ferry to take me across 80km will cost me the fuel enough to ride my bike for more than 4500km! This makes the stupid ferry almost half the cost for the whole trip!

Any ideas will be really appreciated...

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 1, 2007, at 12:30 PM by roshljo ]

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

Yes, you got that right about entry to Israel - you would not be able to return. The Syrians are very strict about that. The text you quoted applies to everybody, not just US-citizens.

However, there are several "tricks" to get around the rule.

The easiest - check whether there is a code in your country's passport law allowing you to own two passports. I know that Germany would issue me a second passport if I could show proof that I was planning a trip such as yours. With a second passport you can easily hide the fact that you went onward from Jordan. (Whether you would be able to keep the trip out of the papers you need for your motorbike I do not know.)

The second and most commonly used one is to enter and exit Israel through the Allenby-King Hussein bridge border crossing. Jordan won't stamp you out of their country there, as they consider the West Bank to be part of Jordan. The Israelis will -upon request- stamp a piece of paper instead of your passport. But this method will still force you to use the ferry, as you cannot leave Israel by any other border crossing than Allenby-King Hussein.

BTW, are you sure about the price for the ferry from Jordan to Egypt? I never used it, but generally prices for public transport are very low in Egypt. Maybe you looked at the high-speed one? Or got a price quote from a travel agent, offering to get you a ticket?

There seem to be ferries to/from Egypt from/to Greece in summer - see

http://www.ask-aladdin.com/ferries.html

So you could go Turkey-Syria-Jordan-Israel-Egypt, but only if you are willing to cough up the cash for the ferry trip from Egypt to Greece.

BTW, if you are an experienced traveller you could try to go the other route. Croatia-Italy-Tunisia-Lybia and then Egypt. The problem would be the Lybian visa and arranging for a guide to accompany you in Lybia. Needless to say, the Lybians are even more anal-retentive about Israeli entry stamps than the Syrians.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 2, 2007, at 8:37 AM by t_maia ]

5. Posted by roshljo (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Thank you very much t_maia for te useful info. I'll check if I could get two passports for the trip... The Aqaba - Nuweiba ferry prices are available in several web sites and all show $100 for a vehicle (both the fast and the slow ferry) and $20 (slow) - $40 (fast) for a passenger in one direction making $250 or more for both directions. This is not so much of a fare of course, but it still is the cost of my bike's fuel for way over 4000km. My whole trip is going to be about 6000 - 7000km max, so a 4000km extra is something I'd really like to avoid. If it wasn't for this ferry I'd be able to go to Egypt and return for about 300 Euros spent for fuel. I like adventures and never stay at hotels, motels, etc., always use my tent to sleep at some beautiful place I find, (or if I'm very tired - just under some bridge) regardless of the fact that this is forbidden in most countries, so my only expenses are fuel, different road/border taxes and food/water. The whole ride would cost me about 500-600 Euros if it wasn't for the damn arab - israely relationships and the stupid ferry. Compare that to the ferry prices Greece - Egypt, I finally found some, but those go above $2200 for a return ticket with the vehicle...

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

I would not recommend camping on your own in Egypt. It certainly is possible, but you might run into trouble with the tourist police there.

Egypt takes the threat of Islamicist terrorism very seriously, there are heavy measures taken in order to separate tourists from locals. All in the name of your security - but terribly inconvenient at times.

If you want to visit Abu Simbel or get into Luxor by road, you have to ride in a convoy. From what I heard, the Egyptians can be a bit difficult if you want to ride your own vehicle in the convoy.

The tourist police also forces tourists to leave certain places they consider unsafe. In Middle Egypt there are several cities officially closed to tourists and if you get caught staying there, the tourist police will ensure that you leave them ASAP.

A single rider on a motorbike camping out alone is certainly something the tourist police will not be happy about.