Egypt is one of the world's great holiday destinations. It lies at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia and has been enticing travellers for centuries - many of them drawn by the tales of the pharaohs who ruled Ancient Egypt. Visiting the 4,000 year-old Great Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of the capital, Cairo, is a great introduction the country's past and should feature in your Egypt luxury holiday itinerary.
Nile river cruises
Sailing along the Nile in search of ancient temples decorated with hieroglyphics and striking statues is another superb way to experience Egypt's absorbing heritage. A felucca trip or luxury cruise between Aswan and Luxor reveals a timeless snapshot of every daily life beside the river. You'll see farmers working in their fields, merchants loading their wares onto ships and hear the sound of the adhan - the call to prayer of the muezzin - ringing out from the minarets of mosques.
In between relaxing on deck and watching the world drift by are expert-shore excursions to historic monuments, such as the twin temples of Rameses the Great at Abu Simbel. The Valley of the Kings at Luxor is another Egypt travel highlight. It was here that, in 1922, the English Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh, Tutankhamun – or King Tut as he is often called. Many of the pharaoh's treasures are on display in Luxor, others at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo or in touring displays around the world.
Egypt's Red Sea
The Red Sea is another hugely popular travel destination on most luxury Egypt holidays. Some of the planet's best coral reefs run parallel to the dusty shoreline of the Sinai Peninsula. Pontoons from upmarket hotels provide direct access to the reef in resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh. Underwater adventures can also be had at Ras Mohammed National Park and the Blue Hole at Dahab. These are some of the best known diving and snorkelling spots on Egypt's Red Sea coast, with abundant tropical fish, turtles, rays and sharks among the colourful coral.