Luxor is immense. Few places on earth reveal so much history so tightly packed together. This is the epicentre of Pharaonic Egypt, the most visited tourist destination in the country, a fact borne out by the growing number of international flights arriving at its airport. You will gasp your way around town. From the Temples of Karnak to the Ramesseum, from the Valley of the Kings to Hatshepsut’s spectacular mortuary, you will wonder at the size, the scale and the scope of the sublime architecture which this ancient civilisation begat. Give yourself a minimum of three full days to see it all. And take it slowly; there is no point rushing through 3,000 years of history.
Then there’s the Nile. Little you see in Egypt will beat the beauty of the eternal river and, like so many attractions in this mind-boggling country, it would be foolish not to partake in a journey down- or upstream. Follow its banks and find water buffalo sloshing about in the shallows, egrets following hungrily behind each plough, camels and donkeys at work on the footpaths, the odd fox out on patrol. At times the Sahara comes all the way to its western bank, at others lush palm groves soar into the sky. It is a majestic river, deserving of every superlative it has ever received and although the best cruises (which run down to Aswan) come with a hefty price tag, it is one expenditure you will never regret. Don’t miss the Temple of Horus at Edfu, all but perfectly preserved; or the Temple of Isis at Philae, which UNESCO moved brick by brick to save it from flooding.