I will be travelling to Egypt and overland into Jordan around August. I know, the hottest part of the year, but I have no other choice so I'm just going to suck it up. But I was wondering if three weeks was enough time to experience all the main highlights of these two countries? I'm not realy interested in week long or so tours so will be undertaking this fairly blind. Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
I spent 6 days in Jordan and covered a lot of the main sites. My itinerary was:
-1 day Jerash (day trip from Amman)
-1 day drive down to Petra via madaba, Mt Nebo, and Karak Castle
-2 days petra
-1 day wadi rum (and a stay overnight in the desert - definitely recommended)
-1 day drive back to amman via dead sea
I would recommend at least a week in Jordan so you don't have to rush, and allow 2 days for Petra. we found an amazing taxi driver in amman who took us to most of the places for a really good price and really made our trip to Jordan. If you want his details send me a pm.
I haven't been to Egypt so can't advise on that one.
[ Edit: Edited on Jul 10, 2008, at 12:29 AM by bex76 ]
Completely agree with Bex and that itinerary is a good one! Add another day or 2 if needed plus one to get from Amman to Sinai. 9 days in Egypt will cover the main points but will be a push so I would suggest something like:
- 3 days Dahab
- Ferry Sharm el Sheik to Hurghada, overnight Hurghada
- Hurghada to Luxor
- Full day Valley of Kings and West Bank tour (Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple)
- Train to Aswan (Abu Simbel, High Dam, Philae Temple etc)
- Maybe a couple of days on a felucca?
- Train to Cairo
- Full day Pyramids and city tour.
3 weeks is heaps of time. I used to live and Guide in Egypt and myself and 2 mates are off there in November (I am honorary tour guide) so if you want to have a look at our itinerary (we are doing all the sites in 9 days and then 10 days diving!) then email me and I will forward it to you. Can also suggest some good, clean, cheap hotels for you in both countries.
The Western Desert is also worth a look if you have time. Although tourist facilities don't really exist out there and local transport doesn't exist at all!
I was in Egypt and Israel last year at this time and it was forty degrees in the shade. Nine days in Egypt is an eternity. Depending on how in-depth you want to explore the country, and how truly interested you are, I think one day for the Cairo museum and the pyramids of Giza, one day for the Valley of the Kings, one day for the Luxor Temple and Hatshepsut palace is enough. Of course you'll need travel time (we flew from place to place) and a Felucca boat ride along the smoggy Nile is fun but I'd say one week is plenty.
Also, if you have time in between pyramids, the Khan el-Khalili market is a must-do, namely El Fishawi's famous coffee house for mint tea.
Spend the money and hire a private tour guide. It's cheap and they pick you up in an air-conditioned van and take you everywhere. The guides are great, most of them are Egyptologists and can teach you a lot. We stayed at the Mena House; it was an oasis in a zoo.
The heat is so repressive, you may regret being there for too long, so plan well!
1st of all - August is not "the hottiest", but "killing heat". If it's your only possibility to travel there - try to get ready to it as much as possible: very high sunblock creams, good sunglasses, wide & white cloths (long sleeve!) and all-the-time-drink-water (litres). All this is not a joke and i dont trying to scare you out, but August is really bad in this area.
2) Sites themselves are not that huge, but distances between them make it difficult. The most famous in Jordan is PETRA. As i know it's possible to do even in 1 day, but if you already there and if time allows, get more of Jordan.
briefly Egypt can propose you :
Sinai (that includes Red Sea and desert, and, if it's interesting to u - St Katarina monestery),
and piramids (several sites).
If you are not about guided trips, but going on your own - i'd suggest you to try to get a little bit from everything instead of marking "v" in every important point. I mean : one stop for Red Sea, one trip (camels or jeep) into desert, one sites of Piramids, etc.
public transport in Egypt is slow.
Again, heat is terrible in August-September. Hope you could survive it and enjoy your trip!
I as well will be visiting Egypt and Jordan. Here is my trip plan:
-Night train to Aswan
-Visit Abu Simbel
-Aswam to Luxor via felucca
-Fly Luxor to Sharm
-Nuwebia to Aqaba
Now here is where I need help. I want to head north through Jordan visiting Wadi Rum, Petra, Dead Sea, Madaba, Jerash, and ending in Amman for my flight home to the US via London.
Is this do-able via public transportation? All tours I have found run an Amman loop but I wanted to do it in one direction. Any suggestions for a good budget tour?
Bex76 has a good plan as per post#2 with her taxi driver, otherwise it is pretty easy using local transport. Other than public buses and the like you can pick up transfers from the hotels at each place you stay which I found to be a cheap and easy way of getting around. Hiring a car is also not that expensive. Maybe you could contact the hotels/backpackers you wish to stay at and ask them if they provide transfers/tours to the next destination on your list...
As for tours, a colleague of mine has successfully used Peace Way Tours before and they may have something that suits. I have also used Jordan Direct Tours before although not for the route you have mentioned. Both companies have a good reputation and both rank highly on Google as well. Can't guarantee it will fit your budget though.