Luxury travel is more than just sight “seeing”. It is all about participation. You want to spend your time and money experiencing all that is authentic about the place. This is what makes Egypt a perfect destination for luxury travelers. Its mesmerizing sights - from the ancient pyramids and temples to the fertile banks along the Nile - are ideal for exploration, whether you have just a few days to spare, or a fortnight to holiday. The country has all the modern luxury five-star amenities with a touch of traditional aesthetics. What’s more, you can go beyond the travel guidebooks and get an in-depth immersion into the local culture with a qualified Egyptologist keeping you company. They can take you behind-the-scenes and even open doors to museums and tombs for you, giving you exclusive access not ordinarily available to regular tourists.
Egypt provides great value for money, which is why as an affordable luxury destination, it is among the most popular choices. A 12-day private tailor-made tour in Egypt costs around $4,790 per person while a similar holiday in Switzerland costs $8,795, in Italy costs $12,995 and can be as high as $34,995 for a tour of Argentina, Chile and Brazil. If you are seeking a full luxury experience in Egypt, this guide will help you decide the must-visit places, the best restaurants to dine at and how to avoid getting ripped off in the name of luxury.
Discover the ancient Egyptian world in style
Egypt is a land with history and culture that is over 5,000 years old and is home to the world’s best-preserved monuments. The most iconic images of Egypt come from Cairo, where travelers can spend a full day just exploring the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum. Alexandria, another favorite destination, was founded by Alexander the Great and is famous for its Roman monuments, the Catacombs, and Bibliotheca Alexandria. Not to be missed are Aswan and Luxor, both located along the Nile. The Temple of Kom Ombo and the Philae Temple are the most Instagram-worthy spots in Aswan. Luxor is home to several tombs of the Pharaohs and is really the world’s largest open-air museum. Both, the Karnak Temple and the Valley of Kings are especially breathtaking. As opposed to a regular travel experience you won’t have to visit the places “with the crowds” or shuffle through in a hurry. As a luxury traveler, you can get a private tour organized to any of these places just for yourself and your family or friends. Not only that, you can experience the place in your own way - whether you want to dine by the Giza Pyramids or explore the Valley of Kings by night, your travel agency can organize these personal experiences for you.
Must visit natural wonders for the luxury traveler
Even though 95% of Egypt is covered by desert, it offers panoramic landscapes, especially along the fertile Nile region and the shoreline. Take a luxury cruise along the Nile to discover some of the best parts of Egypt. For those who love wildlife, Ras Muhammad National Park in the Sinai Peninsula is where you should head to see the coral reefs. The beaches of Marsa Alam, South Sinai, and Dahab, are particularly recommended for those who love the sun and sand.
Luxury hotels and resorts to stay in Egypt
Egypt has a wide range of five-star accommodations that are a combination of modern elegance and classical Egyptian interiors. Here are some of the best affordable luxury hotels in Egypt.
The Gourmet Side of Egypt
Egypt has a wide range of five-star accommodations that are a combination of modern elegance and classical Egyptian interiors. Here are some of the best affordable luxury hotels in Egypt.Egypt is a haven for food lovers. Its traditional cuisine is a feast for both the palate and the eyes, with its abundant use of rich and colorful spices and herbs. The local culinary delights have both a Turkish and Mediterranean influence. If you are a meat-eater, try the tagjin lahma, which is a meat casserole. Another popular dish is Sharkasia Chicken, which is Circassian chicken covered in a creamy walnut sauce and served on a bed of rice. Those with a sweet tooth must indulge in Om Ali (bread and butter pudding with nuts and cream) and Konafa (shredded filo dough cooked in butter and syrup). You must also try Karkade, a rich, sweet infusion of the dark red hibiscus flower, which is usually enjoyed cold.
Many upscale fine-dining restaurants offer both international cuisines as well as a modern take on local flavors. A few of our picks for affordable luxury restaurants and ultra-luxury dining experiences in Egypt:
The finest spas and wellness centers in Egypt
Egypt has some of the most luxurious and exotic spas you’ll find anywhere in the world. It is well worth getting a relaxing treatment for your weary bones on your rest day. Head to The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza in Cairo, which offers exotic beauty treatments like the Cleopatra Bath Ritual and a Moroccan Bath Ritual. The Mandara Spa at JW Marriott in Cairo is a destination in itself and provides wellness rituals that draw inspiration from Egypt, India, Bali, and Thailand. The So Spa at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract in Aswan offers one of the most visually soothing experiences. Its blue mosaics and tiles are especially mesmerizing, which reflect the styles of old Moorish bathhouses.
Unique luxury experiences in Egypt
Egypt is the perfect destination to indulge in exotic experiences, especially for luxury travelers. One of the things you must try is a ride on a felucca along the Nile. A felucca is a wooden sailing boat, traditionally used for transportation and fishing but is now used for fun. For lovers of art, the Egyptian Art Scene offers a mix of ancient and contemporary art. A private tour of the Egyptian Museum is the best way to explore the country’s ancient culture and history at your pace. The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art and the Townhouse Gallery are both dedicated to contemporary artists and their works.
As a country located on the crossroads of the Middle East and Africa, Egypt has Islamic, Jewish, and Coptic influences. The Coptic culture of Egypt and the Islamic side of Egypt are fascinating to explore with visits to the many religious sites like mosques, churches, and synagogues around Cairo.
Finally, there are the fascinating bazaars in Cairo, the most famous of which is the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, a 14-century watering stop for caravanserai. As you wander through the alleyways, you can buy local souvenirs like traditional glassware, jewelry, and works of textiles, leather, and metals.
Knowing what to include in your list of adventures is important if you want to have experiences that are top-notch, comfortable and safe. You will want to avoid touristy experiences or buying souvenirs that have no value. Luxury experiences that are personalized by travel advisors take into account your interests and your time constraints. They handpick and curate a list of activities for each destination you visit, ensuring that you don’t waste your time or money and have a hassle-free experience.
Top tips for luxury travel to Egypt
Egypt is the perfect destination to experience a luxury holiday without breaking your bank. And when you're looking for luxury, it's best to let a trusted local operator in Egypt manage the hassle of coordinating all your bookings and travel. Such operators have an extensive network of partnerships with domestic airlines, hotels and activity operators, so they can deliver exclusive, five-star facilities to you. If the travel agency is boutique, they can focus on designing a travel itinerary that works best for you and your tastes - which means they are no off-the-shelf packages or tours handed down to you. Luxury travel should offer you both value for your time and money. Every place you visit, every restaurant you eat at, and every cultural experience you indulge must meet high-quality, comfort and safety standards.
The best time to head to Egypt is anytime from October through February. May to August is the low season when the heat can be unbearable, and not many tourists are to be found then. The best way to explore the country is by touring the sights with an Egyptologist. They have extensive knowledge on everything from the country’s fables to fascinating facts about places. They also get you around the country easily and safely. You should also ensure that you know in advance what facilities are available in various locations. For instance, you should know what to expect on board a luxury Nile cruise ship, so that you can pack accordingly.
Avoid getting ripped off in the name of luxury travel in Egypt
When going on a luxury tour, avoid making these mistakes so as not to get ripped off. Travelers should beware of hidden costs in a travel operator’s program. If a luxury tour says it is private, make sure it comes with your own personal Egyptologist who guides you around the sights and a personal driver. A lot of hotels in Egypt advertise themselves as five-star properties, even though they are not, so make sure you have done your research. Luxury travel does have to be expensive, and travelers must prioritize value by indulging in authentic experiences. As a luxury traveler, you want to experience a place as it truly is, with high standards of accommodation and comfort. This can happen only when you get outside the “bubble” of group tours visiting only the famous places. You can do this by mixing both luxury and off-beat places to explore in Egypt. Talk to a boutique luxury travel agency as they can advise on what to include in your Egypt travel plan, what to avoid, and help you navigate through any issues.
Customize your plans to suit your tastes and schedule
No two travelers are alike, and Egypt offers something for everyone. So, it is recommended to have an itinerary designed that makes the most of your time here. For inspiration, you can check out these private tours.