If you are thinking of visiting Egypt and looking for the best way to travel, keep reading. We have written the advantages and disadvantages of visiting Egypt without a tour, so you can decide which way is more suitable for you. In general it is perfectly safe solo travel in Egypt.

Most tourists heading to Egypt travel with a tours that organizes sightseeing everything. Some beach lovers stay the whole time in one resort. We are used to travelling solo and enjoying independence, so we decided visit Egypt without a tour. Travelling without a travel agency has both advantages and disadvantages.

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We were all alone during our visit to the Ramesseum

Travel safety in Egypt

Almost every traveller deals with the safe that currently is in Egypt. Sometimes, it is difficult to estimate from the comfort of home what the reality is. Some websites are very cautious and strictly and do not recommend travelling without tours, while other sites are more open-minded and do not see the danger. It is always important to check the relevance of the source of information you are drawing from. On the other hand, if there is any threat in the form of a terrorist attack on the street, the presence of a travel guide will not protect you anyway. It is, therefore, necessary to maintain common sense and evaluate the risks as rationally as possible. It is up to you how we see the situation because we have to rely primarily on ourselves.

Check the updated Egypt travel advice at GOV.UK or Travel.State.gov.

Most of the riots have always been concentrated in major cities in the north of the country around Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Certainly, it is useful to avoid large gatherings, holidays and so on. It is always important to find up-to-date information as the safe situation in Egypt may vary.

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Dendera Temple is one of the best preserved monuments in Egypt

Our six-day Egypt travel itinerary

Our trip to Egypt began in the seaside town of Hurghada, where we rented our car through RentalCars shortly after arrival. We had to drive for about five hours to Luxor through the Egyptian landscape, which was mostly barren, rocky and hills. According to this article, it is one of the most dangerous road, but we don’t think so. The road was in great condition; there was hardly any cars, so the journey was quick and comfortable. We stopped and visited the Dendera Temple complex. It is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt, and Cleopatra is depicted on its walls. We were almost alone in this place.

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Driving in Egypt is more for the more courageous people.

When we arrived in Luxor, we stayed at the Aracan Eatabe Luxor Hotel where we spent three nights. During these days, we travelled around Luxor and visited monuments, temples and museums. Check out how to spend time in Luxor and what to see and do here. During our stay, we did not miss a visit to the Valley of the Kings. We have written an article that will walk you through the Valley and get useful advice. When we were fully satisfied with Luxor, we drove back to Hurghada and returned the car there (the map of our route). There we spent a few days in the resort on the beach.

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AMC Royal Hotel & Spa where we stay couple of days near Hurghada

What are the advantages of visit Egypt without a tour?

  1. Freedom and independence, possibility to travel outside tourist places
    We see the greatest advantage in our own freedom. You are your own boss all the time, so you can travel wherever you want and be there as long as you want. If you look outside the tourist area, you will find that the local Egyptians can also be pleasant and nice.
  2. Tasting local cuisine in local restaurants
    The meals at the resorts are not as good as those at local restaurants. Arabic cuisine is very good, and Egyptians like to eat a lot. If you only eat in hotels, you do not know the local cuisine at all.
  3. Visit smaller tourist sites
    During your journey, you can plan to visit even fewer tourist places, where you will usually be alone and which may even be more interesting than typical tourist attractions (e.g, the already mentioned Dendera Temple, which we found absolutely magnificent, and we were almost alone).
  4. Independence during sightseeing
    You have complete freedom in where and how much time you spend. Travel guides usually have a very similar program, and so often all tourists are in the same places at the same time. You can schedule sightseeing visits to suit your needs; no one will dictate how much time you can spend viewing or photographing a temple, so it’s up to you.
  5. Avoid forced visits to souvenir shops
    Tours often stop at various souvenir shops, where they have a commission with the dealers for any purchase. Sometimes, it’s annoying and lengthy if you really don’t want to buy anything. Not far from the Valley of the Kings, there are several alabaster shops selling various alabaster products. The shop owner could hardly believe his eyes when two foreigners chose his shop to visit without being brought by an agency. He treated us very respectfully, and we even agreed on a great price for the gifts.
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Egyptian temples are full of different images

What are the disadvantages of travelling without a tour?

  1. You will not avoid constant negotiation with locals
    As a single tourist, you are conspicuous, so you will be bothered by local vendors with their goods on every corner. Whether they offer you a taxi, sell a variety of trinkets or pull you out, as a single tourist, you are an easier target than when you are travelling in a group.
  2. You will not have a guide with you
    Delegates or travel agent guides should know the site very well and know which places to visit and learn a lot of useful information. If you are travelling alone, you have to Google it or catch a guide on the street in front of the temple.
  3. Travelling with a travel agency will probably be cheaper
    Many travel agencies that focus on Egypt, and staying in all-inclusive resorts will probably be cheaper than looking for flights and hotels by yourself somewhere else.
  4. Locals aren’t used to single travellers
    In Egypt, you will often be forced to explain to the locals that you are a single traveller. We encountered misunderstandings at every corner, especially in parking lots in front of various monuments. Parking is usually designed for bus tours or tourist taxi. The car park administrators did not know what to do with us and often did not want to park our car there. One day, we even got an armed military escort to protect us, who took us across the city of Qena.
  5. Traffic in Egypt is insane
    If you are an inexperienced driver, then consider your options. Transport in Egypt is only for the hardened because to us, it felt like there were almost no rules. The lanes on the road are not adhered to, the law of the stronger applies, and all the time you pray for your health to survive. However, at least as a driver, you have your life in your own hands.

eva_profilBeware of Pharaoh’s Revenge: An experienced traveller knows that in Third World countries, it is good to drink only bottled water. Egyptian bacteria causes unpleasant diarrhoea and can complicate your vacation. As a precaution, take a few weeks before leaving the probiotics to increase your immune system resistance. If you are still affected, do not be afraid to look for local medicines Anitnal, Drotazide, Diax or Streptoquin.