From the Nile to the Red Sea, the Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings – Egypt is a sun-drenched country of varied landscapes and sensational history.
In Cairo you have a thousand years of history on your doorstep – marvel at the Pyramids of Giza, discover magnificent mosques and fine old houses, see incredible artefacts up close at the Egyptian Museum and wander through Khan al-Khalili, Cairo’s most famous souk.
In contrast, Aswan is known for its slow pace of life, UNESCO protected sites such as Abu Simbel, and peaceful felucca cruises on the Nile. In Luxor you can peruse show-stopping sites such as the Valley of the Kings at your own pace, with a private guide or by hot air balloon.
On the Sinai Peninsula you can trek to St Katherine’s Monastery and overnight in a Bedouin camp, or watch the sunrise from the peak of Mt Sinai, and spend days snorkeling and diving off of the beach in some of the Red Sea’s excellent underwater sites. Venture into the depths of the Sahara in the little-visited Dakhla or Siwa Oases, the perfect spot to explore enchanting labyrinths of mud – brick houses or watch an unforgettable sunset atop a Saharan sand dune – a must for any adventure in Egypt.
Our recommended accommodation in Egypt ranges from western style luxury hotels and resorts to charming boutique and heritage properties, cruise boats, and desert camps and lodges.
In Cairo’s affluent Garden City district we love the Kempinski Nile Hotel for it’s understated elegance and rooftop pool, or for a great central location on the banks of the Nile with views over the city and the river, as well as endless restaurant options on your doorstep we recommend the Four Seasons. For a private viewing of the pyramids from your bedroom look no further than Mena House Oberoi.
Begin your journey in the laid-back Nubian enclave of Aswan, the country’s southernmost city. The Old Cataract Hotel is housed in a Victorian building dating back to 1899 and has accommodated many famous faces, from Sir Winston Churchill to Agatha Christie. Further north, no visit to Luxor is complete without a stay at the Moudira Hotel, whose pink Oriental palace of domed suites between sugarcane fields and desert is one of the most beautiful hotels in the Middle East.
To explore the river Nile further, the elegant Steamship Sudan allows you to follow in the footsteps of Agatha Christie herself. Three days on board will give you a taste of what the Belle Époque days of Nile Cruising were like, with all the comforts of a tasteful renovation in 2011.
For a spot of eco-luxury head to Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary Lodge and Spa in Dakhla, where 20 suites offer views over oasis orchards, palm groves and sanded-up Roman Wells, or Adrere Amellal in Siwa, where the wild beauty of desert, lake, mountain, sky and hundreds of lanterns replace electricity. There’s a large pool, too, and daily excursions into the desert are unmissable.