Luxury Egypt Holidays: An Overview

Few destinations work for both couples and families, but Egypt manages more than credibly, combining culture and corking beaches in one delectable holiday destination.

Amelia is here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Egypt is not far to fly - and it's pretty much an all year round luxury holiday destination
  • The Great Pyramid of Khufu is sole survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Drifting down the Nile in a private felucca (traditional wooden sailing boat) at sunset is magical
  • Dive the amazingly colourful 'Small Crack' - often described as a flooded florists - off the Red Sea coast

Luxury Holidays to Egypt: the Detail

Besides the obvious attractions of its Pharaonic history, Egypt has Greek, Roman and Islamic treasures to explore in Alexandria and Cairo, and numerous historic Christian monasteries such as St. Catherine's in the Sinai Peninsula. But there is more to a luxury Egypt holiday than just culture - the Red Sea coast offers luxurious beach resorts, good weather and the best diving in close proximity to the UK.

If you travel via Cairo then you really can't miss the pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza. To stand and admire the Great Pyramid of Khufu, a structure which consists of over two million blocks of stone and has stood for more than forty-five centuries - for most of which time it was the world's tallest building - is something special. As the Arab proverb goes: 'Man fears time, but time fears the pyramids.' We also recommend Cairo itself for a day or two, despite the bedlam, because our excellent guides can show you the edited highlights among the 120,000 relics in the vast Egyptian Museum or arrange sedate sailing trips on elegant felucca yachts along the Nile.

Did you know

  • Some of the ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone
  • The Egyptians invented the 365 day calendar
  • Egypt has the largest Arabic population in the world
  • Egypt's Nile river is the world's longest, measuring 4,135 miles from source to mouth

For fanatical divers the Red Sea coast offers undoubtedly the best diving within easy reach of Europe. Sharm el Sheikh, at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, and Hurghada, just across the Gulf of Suez, both have excellent fully equipped dive centres for scuba instruction and exploring the beautiful underwater world. Unlike many other places, the coral reefs here are still in good health and harbour almost as many fish species as Australia's Great Barrier Reef, while the numerous wrecks that lie in these warm, shallow waters add extra interest to the diving.

The cultural heartlands of Egypt are strung out in Luxor, Aswan and along the Nile, the river that provides the lifeblood to the country. Luxor, or Thebes as the city was once known, is home to the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, while Aswan is home to the awesome Abu Simbel temple, a testament as much to engineering prowess as the Pharaonic emperors' dedication to vanity.

While it's easy to know what to see in Egypt, it's not so easy to know what you might be missing. And it's these hidden wonders that can transform a fabulous holiday into an experience that's truly out of the ordinary. The secret, as mentioned earlier, is to have a top guide. Fortunately we have access to some of the best. A skilled guide is essential not just for the depth of knowledge they can share with you, but for their ability to avoid crowds and hassle. One of the best parts of a tailor made Original Travel holiday is that you'll feel like you're able to unlock invisible doors.

Without your guide, you might never touch the real Egypt, the one beneath the skin of everyday life. You might never find the silversmith in the souq who will engrave your name in hieroglyphics on a key-ring. Or have the chance to get your personal travel diary bound in the most beautiful decorative leather book-binding. Or visit the belly-dance costume stall. All Original touches we can tailor make for you.

Luxury Family Holidays in Egypt

For winter sun, warm sea and the best diving within easy reach of Europe, Egypt's Red Sea coast is the place to go, with excellent, family-friendly resorts and top class facilities. On the way to or from the Red Sea, stop off in Cairo to visit the nearby pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza.

Once you've stood and gawped at the Great Pyramid and its extraordinary feat of engineering, take a relaxing boat trip down the Nile in a private felucca (traditional wooden sailing boat) or relax at our recommended hotel in the shadow of the pyramids, where facilities include a large pool, tennis courts, horse riding and an 18-hole golf course.

Once on the Red Sea, our recommended hotels have professional, in-house dive centres that are the perfect environment for learning to dive. Once qualified, the beautiful underwater world can be explored at dozens of dive sites, including numerous shipwrecks and the colourful reefs of the Ras Mohammed National Marine Park.

Here your urchins can come face-to-face with their marine equivalents and other spectacular sea life such as parrotfish, lionfish and turtles. For children too young to dive, there is still great snorkelling and all kinds of other activities on land and sea. There are excellent kids clubs, tennis courts and private sandy beaches with a variety of watersports on offer. Original Travel can also organise excursions such as boat trips or camel rides in the desert. For parents, there are spa treatments and excellent restaurants to enjoy.

This makes Egypt the perfect place to holiday with your family, especially as they say that in the eyes of a child there are not seven wonders of the world but seven million, and Egypt should prove suitably wonderful for your youngsters.


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Original Highlight

Western desert landscape

For me, the highlight was probably riding through the Western desert before setting up camp under the stars - though there were too many amazing moments to mention.

Amelia, Original Traveller

A note on price

The total cost of a luxury Egypt holiday, including flights, transfers, and a week’s accommodation at a hotel like the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh on a bed and breakfast basis will start from approximately £2,185 for two travellers. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 14°C / 57°F
  • Rainfall — 0cm / 0.0 inches
Flight from London

5:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +2 hrs


Top picks for Egypt

Mena House

Mena House

Pyramids and the Red Sea

Mena House is the great, colonial era hotel of Cairo, with an incomparable setting in the shadow of the pyramids at Giza, 10 miles from the city centre.

Where to stay

MS Mayfair

MS Mayfair

Luxor, Aswan and the Nile

A cruise without the crowds – the MS Mayfair has all of the benefits of a larger ship, just with less people, the most knowledgeable guides and whole lot more privacy.

Where to stay

Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh

Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh

Pyramids and the Red Sea

The Oberoi at Sahl Hasheesh is a luxurious, all-suite resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.

Where to stay

Adrere Amellal

Adrere Amellal

Siwa and the Western Desert

Located some 10 miles from the magical oasis town of Siwa and at the base of a huge white monolith known, unsurprisingly, as the White Mountain, Adrere Amellal is dictionary definition remote.

Where to stay

Mövenpick Resort Aswan

Mövenpick Resort Aswan

Luxor, Aswan and the Nile

The Mövenpick Resort Aswan has an unparalleled position on an island in the middle of the Nile near Aswan. The 230 spacious modern decorated rooms, suites and villas all overlook the Nile.

Where to stay

Camels and pyramids

Pyramids and the Red Sea

Egypt

Still one of the classic destinations, Egypt is a long-standing Original Travel favourite. Cairo may be a little on the hectic side, but with good hotels and the Pyramids of Giza, it’s well worth exploration

Where to go

Four Seasons Nile Plaza

Four Seasons Nile Plaza

Pyramids and the Red Sea

Set on the banks of the Nile, the Four Seasons at Nile Plaza is a stylish and contemporary hotel.

Where to stay

Nile river cruise

Luxor, Aswan and the Nile

Egypt

The river Nile has always been the lifeblood of Egypt, flowing as it does from south to north for the entire length of this otherwise barren country.

Where to go

Kempinski Soma Bay

Kempinski Soma Bay

Pyramids and the Red Sea

Built to resemble a Moorish fortress, and promising “European hospitality with an Egyptian flavour”, the Soma Bay resort from the tried-and-tested Kempinski group is an excellent Red Sea option for families.

Where to stay

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Luxor, Aswan and the Nile

The hotel is built in the Nubian desert on a shelf of pink granite overlooking the Nile opposite Elephantine island.

Where to stay

Siwa overview

Siwa and the Western Desert

Egypt

Weird and wonderful landscapes and oasis towns seemingly unchanged for centuries. Welcome to one of the world's most Original destinations.

Where to go

Four Seasons Sharm El Sheikh

Four Seasons Sharm El Sheikh

Pyramids and the Red Sea

Located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the Four Seasons Resort at Sharm el Sheikh provides luxurious accommodation and a first class range of facilities.

Where to stay

Original Travel's dossier (restaurants, sights, useful tips) arrived through our letterbox before we left, and we sacked off TripAdvisor for the entire trip.

Lucy

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