Package Holiday Review: Luxor, Egypt
Luxor was one of the best package holidays I’ve had in recent times, mixing history with relaxation – the perfect holiday for me!
Luxor is in Egypt, as if you didn’t know! About half-way down and a very hot destination! We actually chose a fantastic time to go – the week directly before Christmas. This was great for two reasons: firstly the temperature was a bearable 29/30 degrees (high 80′s Fahrenheit) and when we got back, we were straight into Xmas with no time to moan about the UK weather. What amused us was on one trip, our (excellent) Egyptian tour guide was wearing a scarf and long, thick overcoat and the temperature was pushing 30 degrees celcius!
We booked this holiday package through Thomas Cook and the whole trip – 7 nights B&B accommodation in the 5* Luxor Hilton plus flights cost us a mere £249 each ($450), booked at the last minute obviously! Plus the food is so cheap out there it’s unreal – even the Hilton only charged £10 for the evening meal. And don’t worry about the food – it’s a real mix of local stuff, English, European and American. A huge buffet everynight with themed options if you wanted them. The hotel is situated about a 20 minute walk from Luxor itself, and 10 minutes from the amazing ruins of Karnak temple.
Each day we booked a trip out – the usual suspects, Luxor Temple, Valley of the Kings etc, and these would leave early @ 7am normally so you were back at the hotel by lunchtime before the sun got too hot. Then the afternoons lying by the pool or on the terrace or down by the Nile. Truly relaxing and a wonderful place to chill. The trips were reasonably priced, ranging from £10 ($18) to £25 ($45) but worth every penny. The only thing I would say is to watch the itinerary for a trip to a “museum” (papyrus usually) on the way back. Invariably this is a scheduled stop at the shop of the brother-in-law of the coach driver and in the middle of nowhere! And trust me when I say the Egyptians are pushy! Polite…but pushy. The trick is to look past them and ignore them. The minute you say something they become like an unwanted tail. “No” isn’t a word in their dictionary! I hasten to add that this in no way spoiled the holiday…it’s their culture, they are always smiling and it’s just part of the experience.
Now this isn’t a package holiday I would recommend for kids to be honest. You could count the number of children at the Hilton on one hand, but for couples it’s idyllic and a fantastic blend of stuff-to-see and chilling out. The deals are still good – although we went with Thomas Cook, we actually booked it via Lastminute.com, but the TC reps were excellent and the whole thing went like clockwork. My advice: if you like a little history mixed in with your sun-worship, then do it. And it’s such a cheap place!