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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava, Spain

If you are looking for a cycling adventure for summer 2013 then biking the rail trail in Costa Brava might be the right choice for you.

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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

If you only had one option to get around Europe, then I would recommend by bike. Especially if you are in the northeast of Spain around Costa Brava. Wide open landscapes, warm weather in summer and cute towns around every bend make it a cyclists haven.

Check out our awesome short video below of my adventure biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava.

A multitude of old rail trails dissect the landscape and provide the perfect excuse to see the hidden gems of Spain and work off all those tapas you have been eating. Not to mention the fine wine that you have been guzzling.

To travel from Girona airport into the City before your rail trail experience, we recommend Atlas books and transfers.  They will help you get your bike to the start of your adventure.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Descending from the Pyrenees to the pearly white sandy beaches dotted along the Mediterranean Sea the biking pathways crisscross this beautiful landscape.

With just a simple bike you can meander along along abandoned railway tracks that have been converted into gravel cycling paths suitable for all abilities, including kids. With minimal inclines you don’t even have to break a sweat, yet can still cover 30+ km’s in just a couple of hours.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

The entire cycling network is over 125 km in length and is broken into 4 distinct routes; the Iron and Coal Route, the Olot-Girona Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, the Girona-Sant Feliu de Guíxols Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, and the Little Train Route.

Make sure you check out Vies Verde de Girona for more information on the Greenways around Costa Brava. They have maps, secret spots to be discovered and all the things you might not have thought about. If you are travelling from another city, then Girona airport transports will get you and your bike to the start of your adventure.

Along the way the old railway stations have been converted into Tourism Information centers as well as small cafes so that you can rest your legs.

Rail Trail Train Station Costa Brava

On our first day we covered 35 km in just a few hours. And that was with plenty of rest breaks to snap photos and have a coffee.

Plus you can compare your hotel and accommodation options before you go. This way you will know exactly how far you have cycle each day and then you can rest when you need to.

While it took 2 days for our butts to get used to molding into the seats, I would jump at the chance to do it all again. Especially with views like this to look forward to.

Costa Brava Landscape Rail Trail

Travel Tips and Information

You can Bike the Rail Trail with Ciclo Turisme and find out more about the Greenways in Costa Brava by checking out Vies Verde de Girona who can provide maps and information.

You can fly direct to Girona airport, in Costa Brava, from throughout Europe.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Costa Brava tourism board for 3 days, although the video footage, photos and opinions are always our own.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Andrea

    October 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Love the video! Great memories. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Cheers Andrea 😉 Was a great couple of days with some lovely people!

  2. Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator)

    October 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Nice video Cole 🙂 – I’m surely going to take your options of seeing the place on a bike when I do visit the place.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Abishek! Bikes are much better for the environment and wildlife too 😉

  3. Chad @RoadDogTravel

    October 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    The views do look incedible and the weather looks nice too. Great photos. Seeing the area by bike sounds like an excellent idea, you can cover a lot of ground, but still be in the environment. Sad I just sold my bike, ha. Thanks for the info.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      We had hire bikes and they were perfect. The team fitted us out and away we went!

  4. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    The key word in this post is “descending” from the Pyrenees. Certainly wouldn’t want to bike those hills in the other direction!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      Haha you got that right! Luckily it is not a huge decline either, rather a gentle slope.

  5. Carla @ Coolmons Blog

    October 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    What a beautiful place to go for a ride nice pictures and article too.

  6. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 18, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    What a stellar backdrop for a bike ride!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Not many places can beat Costa Brava for its scenery.

  7. Laurence

    October 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Wow, that is such a great video 😀 Really captured the essence of the trip. Plus, it had me doing a skid. Which was so like.. rad. And stuff!

  8. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    October 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Nice video and amazing pictures, Cole. What a place to go for a bike ride.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Even though it was lots of exercise, it was somehow very relaxing at the same time! I guess the beauty of the area helps, plus the enormous amounts of food we ate haha.

  9. Daniel McBane - Funny Travel Stories

    October 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I think bikes could be a great way to get around and I would love biking myself, if it weren’t for the seats. It’s hard to fathom that, in all the years since the invention of the bike, and with all the improvements to the bicycle since, the one thing they haven’t managed to do is invent a more comfortable seat. I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      It usually takes about 3 days before your butt gets used to the seats. Problem is that on a cycling trip like this you don’t get time to ice it haha.

  10. Jeff Titelius

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Wonderful tour of Costa Brava my friend and loved the video too…that bridge looked a wee bit harrowing though…my stomach flopped over once on my virtual ride. LOL. Stunning pics too!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks Jeff! I just made sure I didn’t get too close to the edge to look over the bridge 😉

  11. Cez (@CezKrol)

    October 22, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    Hey Cole,

    I agree that cycling is the best way to travel. Not only exposes you to views all A to B, but also gives you enough time to fully appreciate and think about them. The efforts always pay back and it’s unforgettable. I have cycled the full length of Vietnam (only 2500 km) and I didn’t get enough. Yes, the seat is uncomfortable and I don’t think I got used to it in nearly two months, but nothing will give you as much exposure to scenic landscapes as your bike.

    On the note, I think the best way to plan your biking journey is not to plan it. Some days you can cycle for 30 km and can’t move any further, and other days 110 km is easily achievable. In my opinion booking in advance can limit you on the day, and could be more expensive. On a bike you can visit few hostels/hotels to ask for prices within little time and save money this way.

    I hope you’re going to cycle more. I’d love to read more from you about it (and see another video!).

    Safe travels,
    Cez

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Wow cycling the full length of Vietnam is my dream! Wanted to just do it on a scooter but biking sounds like way more fun Cez! We are going to cycle around Eastern Europe next summer 🙂

  12. Turtle

    October 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    The best thing about biking is being able to stop and take photos, have a rest, and that kind of thing. The worst thing is sore legs. That’s why I used an electric bike in Costa Brava! (Shortly before I asked someone to peel my grapes and feed them to me…) 🙂

  13. Dave

    October 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Thanks for this… I thought i had heard of most of the cycle routes in Spain, but this one slipped me by completely. At least i know what I will be doing the next time i am there now!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      It is only a really new cycle track so that is probably why you missed it Dave! I think they plan to increase the length over the next year or so. Should be fun next summer 😉

  14. Pola (@jettingaround)

    October 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I have recently taken up biking again and have done so on the road too. Costa Brava looks to be an ideal setting for that. I loved your pictures!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Costa Brava was perfect for it because the rail tracks are all nice and flat. Means you can take it at a much more leisurely pace 😉

  15. Jade - OurOyster.com

    October 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I’m not that into cycling – I only learned how to do it recently when I lived in Belgium – and now even thr thought of a gradual incline puts me off – but I guess a rail trail would be mostly flat. And the fact that you can stop for coffee along the way… well that’s not too bad

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      You can get electric bikes if you want Jade 😉

  16. Cathy Sweeney

    October 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda — perfect for working off the tapas and wine. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      I have never eaten so much food before than when we were in Costa Brava! Was glad to do a bit of exercise every day to burn a bit of it off Cathy 🙂

  17. Oriana

    October 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I really liked the video, especially the down-to-the-wheel perspective (which I would never be able to manage *while* cycling!!).
    This goes straight to my ever-growing travel wish-list!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Haha luckily I had a little tripod I could hang onto Oriana to get some of those shots. And looks like I am going faster in the video than I actually was 😉

  18. Danyelle Franciosa

    October 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    That was totally a big biking event! Biking like this is fun and how I wish I could join like this event. That was totally fun. Thanks for the video I enjoy it.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Thanks Danyelle! I really enjoyed making the video and hope to have some more up soon 😉

  19. Adrian@Travel universally

    October 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Biking is always been my favorite sport activity and when it comes the Rail Trail in Costa Brava , I would get there to do that even if I forget to wear my Pants! Thanks

  20. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Bicycling looks like a great way to see the countryside. Beautiful photos!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      After this trip we definitely now want to cycle more of Europe. Maybe Eastern Europe for a few months next summer…

  21. Alex Smith

    October 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Sometimes, we easily forget one of the most exciting modes of entertainment in our travels which are bicycles.

  22. Arti

    October 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Who would not love to bike along these lovely trails!! Beautiful captures and a wonderful video to go with them 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      And the trails were pretty much flat the entire trip! Hardly worked up a sweat 😉

  23. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Definitely something I would enjoy.

  24. davidwilliam7854

    November 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda

  25. Wends of Journeys and Travels

    November 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    This is awesome and a great adventure. The views are superb and inspiring. 🙂

  26. Pingback: Ermita de Sant Elm - Costa Brava : Photo Travel Guides

  27. Cicloturisme

    March 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Hi Cole! Thank you for this post! It’s great to know that you spend such a wonderful time here in Girona and its surroundings going by bike and all the other activities you made during TBEX meeting. Telling your experience via blogging it’s one of the best ways to let people know about all the nice and interesting places you’re visiting, and even more when you can see this “adventure” on a video. It’s great! 🙂
    BTW thank you to mention Cicloturisme website 🙂 Let us know if you come to Girona again, you’ll be very welcome anytime!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 18, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Would LOVE to return to Girona and Costa Brava to going cycling again. Such an amazing part of the world and we will definitely need to return 🙂 Will be in touch for our next visit!

  28. Pingback: Start Bookin’: Bicycle tour of Costa Brava and Pyrenees, Spain | Follow Ben and Jenna

  29. Hello! This summer I will visit for the first time the Costa Brava, and I would love to do a cycling tour. I’m staying at the Hotel Garbi in Calella de Palafrugell. Do you know any route from that village? I’d like to stop to bathe on the beaches and coves, but also to visit villages of the area. Thank you!

    Gina

    • Cole Burmester

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 AM

      Hi Gina!
      Unfortunately I don’t know Costa Brava that well. I would recommend getting hold of Cicle Turisme or Vies Verde de Girona who can help you organise it though!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  30. David Lloyd

    September 22, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Hi guys, just wanted to say thanks for tip on Ciclo Turisme in Girona. As a family of 4 doing a 6 month OE it was great to get back in the saddle again (even for a short ride) and these guys were awesome to deal with. Thanks again and great blog by the way.
    Cheers

    • Cole Burmester

      September 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it David and the team at Ciclo Turisme are definitely awesome! Enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  31. Adam

    April 27, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    It’s good to know that Costa Brava has adventure sport options … I might look into doing this if I travel to this part of Spain in the future…

  32. Pingback: Top Travel Blogs: The Travel Tester Favourites April '16

  33. Wilson

    May 23, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Wow….!!!!!!!!! really awesome place for bicycle ride.

  34. wtgseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog. it was very informative and the pictures are captured very beautifully.

  35. pwmseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Great photos. thanks for the blog. I like this blog.

  36. anzseo

    June 13, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    Beautifully photos. Interesting read. thanks for the blog. keep up the good work.

  37. alexa.al

    August 30, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    thank for great article

  38. Elias Santana

    September 3, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog.

  39. anna jennai

    September 22, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    I love the video great memories we had hire bikes and they are were perfect

  40. ResultsMigration

    September 28, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Costa Brava just looks amazing on those photos. Back here in Brisbane, AU, biking doesn’t seem so loving on the legs with some of our inner city hills unfortunately 🙂

  41. Sonali Chauhan

    November 18, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Biking has such amazing fun & this some become more amazing when you are Biking with your friends group.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Adventure Travel

The 4 Best US Cities for an Outdoor Adventure

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If you are looking for a destination that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you will be spoilt for options in the US. Offering various landscapes and tough terrains to tackle, outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the biggest and best challenges in different states across the country.

If you want to enjoy an adrenaline fix in 2019, check out the following four best US cities for an outdoor adventure.

  • Los Angeles, California

There is more to Los Angeles than celebrity homes, high-end stores and boutiques, and fun Hollywood tours. Not only can you book charter jets Los Angeles to touch down in the city with ease, but there are many superb outdoor pursuits for adventure enthusiasts.

For example, you could try your hand at horseback riding at Griffith Park, or you could hike up Mount Baldy, which is the highest mountain point within Los Angeles County. Also, if you want to come face-to-face with various forms of marine life, you will be happy to learn you can snorkel in the stunning Lover’s Cove.

  • Seattle, Washington

As Seattle is surrounded by water, you can choose from a multitude of fun watersports during a visit in the Emerald City. For example, you can take to the city’s lakes and waterways to enjoy a spot of:

  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Sailing
  • Jet skiing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Kite boarding

While hikers, cyclists, and runners will love to tackle the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is an extensive trail located north of Ballard by Puget Sound.

  • Portland, Oregon

Offering more than 40 state parks and eight beautiful beaches, those looking for a fun outdoor adventure should look no further than Portland. Avid hikers should head straight to Forest Park once they arrive in the cool, laidback city, as it covers approximately 5,100 acres and is one of the largest urban forests in America.

Visitors can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Columbia River Gorge, which offers the largest concentration of waterfalls in the US, including the 620ft tall Multnomah Falls. It will offer a great hike for almost every age and can help visitors to reconnect with nature.

  • Aurora, Colorado

Offering more than 300 days of glorious sunshine throughout the year, it is easy to see why many people make their way to Aurora to enjoy its many outdoor pursuits. One destination you shouldn’t overlook is Aurora Reservoir, which allows visitors to enjoy a spot of fishing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, and boating.

If, however, you are looking for a destination that offers superb horseback riding opportunities, don’t miss out on 12 Mile Stables, which has been serving both locals and tourists for many decades. It’s an experience you will not forget in a hurry, as you can enjoy 27 miles of riding trails across 3,300 acres at Cherry Creek State Park.

If you are considering an outdoor getaway in the United States, you can rest assured the above destinations will not let you down.

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Adventure Travel

Review: 10 Day Egypt Explorer Tour with Expat Explore

A comprehensive review of Expat Explores 10 Day Explorer Tour through the stunning country of Egypt.

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Expat Explore Group in Egypt

We have been wanting to visit Egypt for a while now so when the opportunity to get away over the Christmas and New Year period arose we knew we needed to head there for a break. We joined Expat Explore on their 10 Day Explorer Tour through Egypt taking in the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.

Expat Explore Group Photo

The reason we chose Expat Explore was that they were the cheapest in price with all the same sights and in the end we were happy with our choice.

Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the optional excursions and additional costs for entry fees included so that we could budget properly. As well as following up with our pre-trip questions regarding flights, insurance and uhealth and safety advice.

From the start they were very professional. Landing in Cairo we were personally greeted the day before our tour and transported to our City centre hotel. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with crazy lane changes, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, people and vehicles everywhere.

El Tonsy Hotel is your base for your arrival and last night. Luckily we didn’t expect much as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms were freezing cold with a broken heater and only one blanket. You wouldn’t think you would need heat in Egypt but it was the middle of winter and it was chilly at night. No complaints with the location though as we could see the Pyramids in the distance and were only 5 minutes walk from the Nile and 15 minutes to Tahir Square (perfectly safe by the way). Plus they have a little bar/restaurant with cheap food and free Wi-Fi. Just buy your snacks and water from the supermarket across the road and you will get on fine.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s quite hard to break down a whole trip into one post but here goes:

Day One

Your tour starts with the best in my opinion by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than expected Sphinx. This day was definitely the highlight.

That night is spent aboard the train for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I highly recommend the Sleeper train for an extra £50 per person. Others that caught the standard train froze their butts off while we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Unfortunately Expat Explore never told us about the provided food so we ate before we got on-board but what we could fit in was delicious.

Day Two

The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship while the others spend time in hotels and on a Felucca. No surprise that we went with the cheaper option aboard the Felucca so the next few days are from that point of view.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Hotel on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the beautiful rays of the sun and managed to turn our pasty white bodies a more fitting slightly white shade. The Hotel was great until the toilet next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste across our bedroom floor (throw your toilet paper in the bin not the loo)! Luckily we woke in time to rescue our bags from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Explore and we didn’t blame the Hotel either as shit happens.

Day Three

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous High Dam for 10 minutes (fairly boring) and a drive past the Unfinished Obelisk. While the highlight is definitely the Philae Temple. When the sunsets across the Nile reflecting off the stonework it really is quite magical.

Philae Temple Sunset

The evening ended with an optional dinner in a traditional Nubian families house. The food was scrumptious and you better bring your singing and dancing shoes.

Day Four

The following day and night is spent relaxing aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for several hours. Sleeping no more than 8 people you will be snug if you bring your own sleeping bag like us. The rest of our crew were jealous as it did get quite chilly in the evening however blankets were provided.

With delicious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you will not be disappointed with the food either.

The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the crazy fun Nubian crews. This was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip for us.

Travel Tip: Don’t be put off by doing your “business” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Just enjoy the view and remember to bring your own toilet paper (which you need everywhere in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

By all accounts, from the other tour members, the River Cruise is just as great with 3 nights on-board in comfortable accommodation, a pool and  buffets morning, noon and night.

Day Five

Waking to a sunrise breaking the morning chill is a glorious way to start a new day. Unfortunately there is little time for relaxation before you are off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I must say, all of the transportation was more than adequate with toilets on the buses and room enough for everyone. It’s lucky because you do spend the majority of the time being driven around.

The Lotus Hotel in Luxor was probably the pick of them all. Situated on the Nile bank with a swimming pool and tasty buffet breakfast.

Day Six

One more day, one more busy schedule. Rushing to beat the crowds at the Valley of the Kings it’s another 8am start. You are only allowed to visit three tombs and we recommend the guides picks which were Ramses II, IV and IX.

Travel Tip: You are NOT allowed to take your camera with you off the bus. Please don’t ruin it for everyone by taking photos as you will be charged by security when caught.

We also squeezed in the crowded rock carved Hatshepsut Temple but only drove past Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as you need to drive 6 hours to reach Hurghada that night.

Day Seven and Eight

The next two days at the Red Sea are yours to do whatever you like so use them wisely. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the staff were great but the whole day seemed a little rushed which was a shame. Keep an eye out for our post on our diving experience in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So nice being able to relax on a beach and read a book after such a hectic schedule. It’s hard to leave and the 6 – 8 hour bus ride back to Cairo is tough.

Travel Tip: If you plan to do the tour over New Years Eve then you will have to depart Hurghada half a day early which sucked as it meant celebrating the New Year at the Hotel in Cairo. Bit of a let down but when hasn’t New Years Eve been!

Day Nine

Your final day of sightseeing is spent around Cairo. Our favourite part of the day was definitely the Cairo Museum with an excellent tour guide. It fits perfectly at the end by seeing all the history close-up after having learned about it over the last 8 days.

By the time we hit the old area of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we were spent on history but our guide made a good effort at keeping us entertained.

The last group activity is free time for an hour or so at the Khan El Khalili souk markets where the touts try to prise your cash from you for the last time from every nook and cranny.

Day Ten

With the tour over it’s time to head home. Our flight was late the following night so we walked around the city and Souks on our own for the day. Expat Explore provides transport back to the airport which was great.

The Negatives

The trip was awesome but we think it’s important to note the little things that could make a huge difference to the overall experience:

  • It felt like we were always hungry. Maybe it is just Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat all the time but it seriously felt like we were constantly starving with lunches being served usually after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It might be the Egyptian way to eat at those times but not for us. Travel Tip: Buy lots of snacks for the road which are very cheap at supermarkets.
  • There was sometimes a lack of direction in what seemed to be happening. Everything is done on Egyptian time so be patient.
  • We were often delayed or behind schedule with little to no guidance as to how long it would take to get from place to place. A little knowledge goes a long was as then we can plan ahead.
  • More free time would be great to explore places on your own rather than have our hands held everywhere.

The Positives:

As we said above, the trip was amazing and the little positive things far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable trip.

  • Pre-departure information and care was extremely good.
  • The tour was exceptional value for money and it was the cheapest tour we could find even though we still saw all the same sights the other groups did.
  • The guides were extremely knowledgeable and never failed to answer any questions we had. The insights into the daily lives of the people around us was a nice break from all the history. They also ensured you never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • The Felucca trip was better than expected and overall so was the accommodation and transport options.

All in all we highly recommend you book with Expat Explore if you are considering a trip through Egypt.

Make sure you subscribe now and come back soon so you can enjoy reading our new posts which will cover everything else in more detail.

Disclaimer: Expat Explore provided us with a discount for our 10 day tour of Egypt however as always our thoughts are always our own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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