1. Take a cruise down the River Nile and watch the sun go down - We took full advantage of the Red Sea Holidays’ Luxor Special and stayed overnight on one of their cruise boats on the River Nile (£99 per adult). It was incredible to sit on the top deck of the MS Sun Times (where the staff could not have been more accommodating), with a beer in hand and watch the sun turn from orange to pink.
2. Visit Karnak Temple - this place is like a movie set – honestly, you’ll be stunned by just how well preserved all the ancient pillars are (the hieroglyphs carved into them could’ve been done yesterday). Karnak Temple is also the biggest religious site in the world – and a lot of people I’ve spoken to who’ve visited here and the pyramids in Cairo said they preferred Karnak (less busy, more time to explore and no KFC opposite!).
3. Eat and shop your way around Makadi Bay - Makadi Bay is a beach area along the Red Sea Coast with tons of cute milkshake shacks, crepe bars and other foodie delights to keep your energy levels topped up in the blissful sunshine. There’s also a pier which you can scuba dive from – and trust me, Egypt is exactly the place you’re going to want to get in the water (more on that later!). Our other favourite thing about Makadi Bay? The faux designer shops – we bagged an unreal Jimmy Choo-inspired handbag for a mere £20. All the shopkeepers are up for haggling and stock everything from Nike-style trainers to Prada clutch bags.
4. Go diving in the Red Sea - The Aquarius Diving Club run countless of daily excursions out into the glorious Red Sea and are so patient. In Hurghada, prices start from just €27 for a day of diving. For a long time I’ve been a bit wobbly about getting into deep open water, but the Red Sea has such a high salt content your body naturally stays afloat – and who can resist those incredible blue waters?! It’s an amazing place to try scuba diving and snorkelling, there are so many tropical fish and beautiful corals to check out.
5. Spend the afternoon lazing in actual paradise, otherwise known as Orange Bay - Take a boat trip out to Orange Bay, which basically looks like a screensaver in real life. The white sands are breath-taking and there’s a cute little seating area in the shallow waters of the sea, so you can chill with a cocktail surrounded by turquoise. There’s a café and bar on the island run by locals too, so make sure you pop in for lunch (and a mojito or three).
6. Go quad-biking in the Eastern Desert, and if you’re not too hungover – ride a camel - If you’ve never tried quad-biking before (or even if you’re a pro), this is a must! We had so much fun speeding through the desert, meeting the families who live in the desert and seeing all the jewellery they make, and rounded the day off with a camel ride. Warning: camels can be a bit jolty when they raise from the ground and lower back down – don’t try this one on a hangover (We learnt that the hard way so you don’t have to. Most welcome).
7. Stay at the Makadi Spa - This 5* hotel has everything you need and more for a luxurious (and reasonably priced!) stay in Hurghada. The restaurant options are phenomenal, the staff the perfect level of attentive (without being overbearing) and there are multiple pool options to choose from – including an infinity pool that looks out over the ocean. Take a look at this dreamy Egyptian home-away-from-home here!
8. Check out the Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple - The Valley of the Kings in Luxor is jam-packed full of ancient royal tombs, including the legendary Tutankhamun. There are over 60 tombs to choose from (and I so WISH I could show you how stunning they are, but there’s a no photography rule – which was actually pretty cool and meant you got to really take it all in, without trying to take the perfect shot too!). Luxor Temple is only £5.50 to visit and stays open until 10pm at night – we went in the day time and it was fascinating. I’d say try and time your visit to early evening before sunset so you get to experience it in both day and night mode.
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