Trip idea / Egypt

Egypt

Footsteps of Pharaohs

Be caught in Egypt’s spell

The lowdown

  • What:

    A visit to Egypt that includes time in Cairo and the Pyramids and a Nile cruise finishing with a visit to Abu Simbel.

  • Who For:

    Anyone with even a passing interest in ancient history will be astounded by Egypt’s sights

  • When To Go:

    The best time to visit Egypt is the cooler months from September to May.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy Cairo’s cultural clash and visit the Pyramids and Sphinx
  • Take a relaxing river cruise on the Nile including riverside visits to temples
  • Revel in the wonder of Luxor and its giant obelisks
  • Visit Egypt’s newest museum (opening in 2023) at the Pyramids
  • Explore Aswan and the temples at Abu Simbel

With an ancient history that spans around 4,000 years, Egypt never fails to astound its visitors, from the monumental Pyramid tombs to the golden glory of Tutankhamun, the charming alleyways of Old Cairo to the bankside temples of the swirling Nile.

Culture Clash in Cairo

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Ancient sphinx and pyramids, symbol of Egypt
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Cairo and the Pyramids

Arriving in Cairo, you’ll feel the thrill of travelling to a place far from home. The sights and the smells of this sprawling capital city will set you immediately into explorer mode. On your first full day, rise early to journey to Giza – to Egypt’s most famous landmarks where the Pyramids and Great Sphinx await. With a guide, fathom these extraordinary and unfeasibly geometric pharaoh’s tombs from inside and outside and get up close to hieroglyphics, the enigmatic feline sphinx and ancient artefacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

"Cairo is the gateway to Egypt's intriguing wonders - soak up its exotic atmosphere in busy markets and side streets while you anticipate visiting the Pyramids."

Must Do

In Cairo, be sure to immerse yourself in the city’s otherness in the bustling bazaar, explore its multitude of mosques and spend time in Cairo’s many museums, which reveal astonishing treasures. Not to be missed is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities which features over 120,000 artefacts including an avenue of sphinxes.

Riverside Temples

Avenue of the Rams Headed Sphinxes at the Karnak Temple complex in Luxor.
Mask of pharaoh Tutankhamun
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LUXOR

Nothing compares to the sheer scale and grandeur of ancient Thebes. Prepare to be dwarfed by the gigantic obelisks and statues amid temples such as the hugely ornate Karnak and Avenue of the Sphinxes.

Explore the Valley of the Kings where you’ll discover tombs of Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut and Ramesses II and III and stop by The Temple of Luxor which glows golden as the sun sets.

"Luxor, also known as ancient Thebes, was specifically built here by the Egyptians in order for them to worship the sun. A visit here means getting up close to the grandeur of ancient architecture."

MUST DO

The sheer expanse of ancient sites here mean visiting Luxor can feel quite overwhelming and can become busy with visitors. We recommend using a guide who will know the best times to visit each sight, and can also bring the temples, statues, tombs and obelisks to life with a deeply immersive knowledge of ancient history.

From Luxor to Aswan

Sailboats on Nile
Sundeck6
Boats at sunset
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NILE CRUISE

The distillation of thousands of years of history and secrets that span millennia are encapsulated on a cruise along the Nile, the world’s longest river. There is no better way to travel between the fabled Valley of the Kings in Luxor to Aswan’s archaeological wonders, 150 miles downstream. The key is to find a way to explore which suits your style, whether it’s a high spec Nile cruiser or a white-sailed dahabiya.

"As you leave Luxor, see how the scrubby banks of the Nile - Africa’s longest river – reveals low-rise settlements and local way of life in between Egypt’s ancient temples."

MUST DO

Sit back and relax aboard your Nile vessel, perhaps have a drink at the bar, sit and watch the fisherman haul their catch, admire romantic felucca boats billow in the breeze or have a refreshing swim in the pool on the sun deck.

Imposing Rock Temples

The palm on the bank of the Nile river in Abu Simbel Temple, Egy
Dendera temple in Luxor, Egypt
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ABU SIMBEL

The mighty rock temples of Abu Simbel were built for one of Egypt’s most powerful and celebrated pharaohs, Rameses II. Visited from Aswan, this remarkable site is as impressive now as when the monument was constructed 3,000 years ago.

Abu Simbel’s location on the banks of Laker Nasser in the Nubian Valley is an impressive story. Due to fears of damage from the construction of the Aswan Dam, the temples were dismantled and physically moved 200 foot up a cliff to a place where they were reassembled in the exact same relation to each other and the sun.

"Located on the banks of Laker Nasser in the desert region of the Nubian Valley, two gigantic rock-cut temples with vast seated pharaoh statues stare out in an ancient welcome."

MUST DO

Experience the imposing magnificence of Abu Simbel and its temples including interiors covered in hieroglyphics from floor to ceiling and intricately carved pillars making up the ancient architecture.

Where To Stay

Villa Belle Époque

With such deep immersion into ancient Egyptian history, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to lay your head and recuperate. The Villa Belle Époque’s calm ambience is the perfect antidote to Cairo’s clamour; enjoy its pool shaded by fig trees and spacious rooms littered with antiques. Enjoy the hotel's excursions such as high-tea by the Nile, visits to Cairo’s opera house or walking-tours of leafy neighbourhood Maadi’s historic homes and gardens.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Where Agatha Christie stayed while writing the book Death on the Nile, the Old Cataract was also the location of the 1978 film. Today it rekindles an old world glamour of travel with its emblematic dusky-pink exterior dotted with palm trees in between a stunning pool. Inside its décor is made up of Moorish touches, chandeliers and elegant furnishings.

SS Misr Royal Steamer

SS MISR ROYAL STEAMER, Nile, Egypt

This 1918-built steamship, constructed for the Royal Navy is now a floating example of how time travel might just be achieved. Decorated with rich fabrics, elegant styling and opulent antiques, it’s not hard to see why this boat was the vessel of choice for Egypt’s last monarch, King Farouk. Choose between a three-, four- and seven-night cruise with days spent on shore excursions with knowledgeable Egyptologists exploring pyramids, desert tombs and temples

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