Having returned from a memorable Nile cruise with Discover Egypt I must say this is the time to go!
Despite the negative exposure in the media there is no social unrest on the stretch of the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. Our guide said that 90% of the Nile cruising ships are tied up because of the massive drop in visitors and the consequence is that the river is peaceful and uncluttered, and the fabulous historic sites are relatively deserted. We did not queue anywhere, had wonderful access to the tombs and temples and were able to take photographs with ease and without hordes of tourists. The local guides are desperate, many have lost employment, and they hope a more positive message can be promulgated by visitors returning to the UK. Despite their concerns and uncertain future, they show exceptional enthusiasm, impressive knowledge and a proud command of English. Go now while it is quiet, safe and cheap!
Now is the best time to go to southern Egypt – the weather is perfect and the locals will be particularly pleased to see you after a lean year. The Winter Palace’s grander rooms and elegant late 19th century façade overlook the Nile, and conceal from the bustle of the Corniche a lush and well tended garden. You can relax with a drink or a swim after a day exploring the sights, and watch the desert sun turn even the drabbest building to gold as the sound of the muezzin rises from mosques all around. For a romantic dinner, albeit without alcohol, go to the atmospheric Sofra, where delicious mezze are served on round brass tables under hand-blown glass chandeliers.
Corniche el Nile street Luxor
Google map: bit.ly/H3jLOJ
90 Mohamed Farid St.
+20 95 2359752
Google map: bit.ly/HmHdos
+20 95 235 9752
It's a Victorian era hotel, built by Thomas Cook in 1886, and has not been overly modernised. It was used by passengers of the flying boat era, though I don't know if they stopped overnight or just for lunch. Now it is just 'old school': extensive gardens, grand piano in the bar, peace and quiet. Best position on the Corniche. Timeless.
If you don't mind that Tony Blair had a suite there, its worth a couple of nights.
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