I read TA weekly for months before my trip, and want to share my experiences with others thinking about Egypt. We were 4 women in our 70’s traveling independently for 2 weeks in Egypt, then on to Jordan for a week and ending with 5 days in Marrakech. I personally did all the planning, hotel reservations, and chose the various destinations.
I’d first like to address “safety”, as it was a concern of mine. I am happy to report that there was not one second that I was uncomfortable or even thought about it the entire time in Egypt (both Cairo and Luxor).
We spent 5 days in Cairo, which was about the right amount of time to see the sights–our favorite being Saqqara (don’t miss it). We stayed at the pyramids and out of the chaos of Cairo, which was quiet and relaxing after zipping around all day. The places we spent time at were not crowded, and we often would have the place nearly to ourselves. We did not get a Cairo pass, but bought tickets at each venue, which took very little time. We had a spectacular guide (Azmy Salama) with a very clean van and driver each day.
We then flew to Luxor for a week, which was our main destination. We stayed at a villa on the West Bank, and enjoyed being in a quiet area. It also is easy to access the Valley of Kings/Queens/Nobles, etc. We spent a couple of days in Luxor City seeing the temples and shopping!
There is so much to see in Luxor, it would be wise to sort out exactly what you want to see and then fill in with ideas when you arrive. While the temples were interesting and impressive, the tombs were what we came to see–and we were not disappointed. We spent one day seeing 3 tombs in Valley of Kings, another day seeing Valley of Nobles, and another seeing Nefertari’s tomb. It is $50 and if it is available and open, you really must consider it. It is magnificent–and we were the only ones in it. We filled in our days with others sights, including an active dig, which was very interesting.
We then boarded our dahabya (Amoura) for a 5 day sail from Esna to Aswan. It is a beautiful boat, with a lovely crew. There were 8 of us, with 9 wonderful men to sail, cook, clean, drive the tug, and meet our every need. This was to be the highlight of our trip–but we had so many incredible experiences it was just one among many. We stopped each day and had a wonderful guide (Ishmael), but we had seen so many things in Cairo and Luxor, we were sort of templed up by that time, and the sights didn’t compare to those we had already seen.
Egypt has been on my list for many years, and it met my high expectations X 10. I feel completely full of experiences, history, and the lovely people of Egypt. It was an A+ in every way.