Most visitors to Egypt go on tours, which takes the decision-making out of the equation when deciding on an itinerary. If you do decide to go it alone, you would be well advised to roughly follow their leads.
Egypt in 2-3 days
Unless you just happen to be in the neighbourhood, don’t bother. If you are, stick to Cairo where you can see the pyramids, ride a camel, visit the Egyptian Museum and absorb the atmosphere in this hectic city.
In 7-9 days
Spend at least 2-3 days in Cairo where you can take in the pyramids, the world-famous market Khan el-Khalili Bazzar and the Egyptian Museum. Jump on a sleeper train to Aswan where you can stay for a couple of days visiting the Philae Temple and the High Dam. Organise a trip to the astounding Abu Simbel which is one of the highlights of any visit to Egypt.
Then, jump on a felucca for a couple of nights to Edfu. You’ll need your own sleeping bag and be comfortable going to the toilet along the banks of The Nile, but it does make for a relaxing couple of days. Once in Edfu head for Luxor where you can visit the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Luxor Temple, Temple of Hatshepsut and the Temple of Karnak.
Two weeks +
Start with the 7-9 day itinerary and then make your way to the Sinai Peninsula. If you’re keen to dive or laze by the beach in Egypt, Dahab makes a great base. Not only can you spend days lazing by the Red Sea or exploring some of the best reefs in the world, but you can climb Mt Sinai. It’s best to retrace Moses’ steps in the early hours of the morning, so you can be at the summit for sunrise.