Category - Egypt

Let Purple Travel give you the ultimate insider’s guide on what to see, do and where to stay on cheap Egypt holidays

Another reason to enjoy Red Sea holidays this year
9 things to do in Luxor (besides the pyramids)
Purple Hearts: Luxor Travel Guide
Purple Hearts: Sharm el Sheikh Holidays

Another reason to enjoy Red Sea holidays this year

The bustling resort of El Gouna is getting ready to introduce a brand new attraction: the world’s largest cable water park.

Due to open in July 2013, just in time for summer holiday season, the El Gouna Watersports Complex will feature facilities for water skiing, wakeboarding as well as new pool facilities. As if you needed another reasons to enjoy Red Sea holidays this year?

The 90,000m² area, known as the Sliders Cablepark will feature two parks, for beginners and youngsters to get to grips with wakeboarding in the red sea. This is where sliders and kickers come in. (No, we didn’t really know what they were either!) It will be the place for water skiers, wake boarders and wake skaters to really put their skills to work.

If you prefer to relax, the Malibu Beach Club will feature two large sun terraces, a beach club, pool and spa, while in the evening the club turns into a party zone with DJs from all over Europe.

And the best bit? Thanks to the wonderful weather in El Gouna, the complex, aided by floodlights will stay open all year around.

Click here to find out more about holidays in El Gouna from Purple Travel.

9 things to do in Luxor (besides the pyramids)

The ancient ruins of Luxor are admired the world over (yay, go pyramids!) and visiting them can be a profound and awe inspiring experience. But their not the city’s only attractions, here are nine of our favourite things to do when you’re all templed-out.

Alternative Things to Do in Luxor

Rent a bike

Work off one too many kebabs while seeing the city. Hiring a bike is perhaps the most exhilarating way too see the East Bank, and when you’re done you can catch a ferry over to the West Bank and do it all over again.

Drink tea

Tea is by far the national drink of Egypt and they drink it strong, black and very sweet. There are a number of hotels that offer a full afternoon tea, and even an English tea room on St Joseph’s Street, but the best way to drink tea in Luxor is to wander into a local cafe and ask for glass of ‘duty.’

Visit the animal sanctuary

Away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist trail, ACE animal sanctuary is a charity dedicated to caring for animals. Keep kids entertained for hours with this loveable lot -donkeys, horses, camels, dogs and perhaps even the odd tortoise. Visitors are offered a guided tour and if you time it right, you might even catch a Thursday morning lesson in animal welfare.

Caleche at night

Experience the city at night by horse drawn carriage. Perfectly romantic and also a jolly good way to get around.

Swim at the Maritim Jolie Ville

Take a load off your aching feet and cool off in one of the Jolie Ville’s outdoor pools. Relax in luxury and when you start to wrinkle, there’s a great balcony for taking photos of the stunning bird life that lives in and around the Nile. For a truly unforgettable experience, try the infinity pool at sunset.

Take a balloon ride

See the city from a whole new perspective – get a bird’s eye view of one of the most famous landscapes in the world. Expect tranquility, unbelievable views and stunned silences. For the ultimate wow factor, take an early morning flight and catch the sunrise.

Spend, spend, spend

Luxor is a great place to pick up a bargain. Carvings, Egyptian cotton, gold and silver are just a few of the goods on offer, but don’t forget to haggle.

Cruise the Nile in style

Glide down the river on a felucca, a type of sailboat. Feel the breeze in your face as you pass banana and mango trees, local fisherman and grassing animals. Trips are by the hour or, for even more of an adventure, a three-hour trip will take you to Aswan, the ancient Egyptians ‘gateway to Africa.’

Go Veggie

Unlike many Western countries, fresh seasonal produce is plentiful in Egypt. A great way to take advantage of this is at one of the large fruit and vegetable markets. However, if you don’t fancy cooking, the local restaurants are more than happy to oblige – we have to warn you though, once you’ve tried Egyptian falafels your meat-eating days could be numbered.

All these tips kindly shared with Purple Travel by Liz Cookman. Go visit her lovely blog here or follow her on the twitter machine @lizonomy


Purple Hearts: Luxor Travel Guide

Not to be confused with the stunning Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, (which is also amazing) this is the one in Egypt, perched right on the banks of the Nile offering the ultimate in history, holidays and sunshine. Either on its own, a stop off on a Nile Cruise or on your way to one of the stunning Red Sea Resorts like Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor is a city just waiting to be discovered. Enjoy Egypt this year with our Luxor travel guide.

Luxor’s been named the ‘world’s greatest open air museum’ with its stunning complexes of temples, tombs and history. Perched right on the banks of the infamous Nile River, its Indiana Jones appearance feels completely exotic and its show stopping antiquities are well worth the visit.

The city is more or less divided in two. On the West Bank sits major ruins including the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, that’s where you’ll find the likes of the tombs of Tutankhamun and Nefertiti, still standing vibrant against the blue sky after a 3000 whopping years. The town proper sits on the East Bank, home to the Luxor and Karnak Temples as well as tonnes of Hotels, restaurants, and nightlife.

It’s not just the history that draws people in, but the extensive city, that is absolutely made for exploring. It’s a group of districts that come together to create a bustling environment of nightlife, accommodation, eateries and sightseeing. It’s ideal for families who want to share the discovery of ancient times, couples who are looking for romance or anyone looking to simply soak up the sunshine.

Read more: Purple Hearts Sharm el Sheikh

What to see in Luxor

Valley of the Kings archaeologists are *still* finding new tombs in this vast complex. The Valley of the Kings is where you’ll find the extraordinary tombs of the boy king Tutankhamun and Ramses the Great.

Sound and Light show at Karnak Temple The aim of this is to bring the ancient city of Thebes to life through the magic of sound and lights. It’s also said to be one of the largest religious sites in the world. Everything is lit up and it’s a great way of viewing the historic monuments in a different way way, plus the reflection of the temple on the Sacred Lake makes a great finale.

Memnon Colossis these are two huge figures depicting the famous god Amenhotep III and featured in front of his temple.

Museum of Mummification This is a small museum but is devoted entirely to the mummification process. So, if that’s something you’re into, this is the place to go.

Read more: top 10 facts about the pyramids of Egypt

What to do in Luxor

Go to the Egyptian Museum Kids will absolutely love this and mum and dad will get some preparation for years worth of school projects here. Luxor is where the ancient capital of Egypt Thebes once stood and the museum is home to the great finds from the (cursed?) tomb of Tutankhamun and the Royal mummies of the pharaohs Ahmose I and Ramesses I. There’s even a double statue of the crocodile god Sobek. If that doesn’t impress the kids, nothing will.

Afternoon tea Agatha Christie style at the Winter Palace Hotel Agatha Christie stayed here while she was working hard on her famous Poirot detective story Death on the Nile. So what better place to indulge in a little tradition, than in her footsteps with tea and sandwiches? There are macaroons, fruit scones, assorted cakes and custard along with proper brewed tea. It really is a home away from home.

Horse drawn carriage These cost about £1 and kids will love it. A great way to rumble around the city, stop and get your picture taken or just take in the breathtaking sights.

Felucca rides These are traditional Egyptian sailboats that float up the bustling banks of the Nile. It’s a great way to see the cities that dot the shore. Just one thing to remember, it’s best to haggle over a price, it’s totally expected.

For something extra special (honeymoon anyone?) a hot air balloon trip is a stunning way to enjoy the beauty and history of Luxor. Flights usually start before dawn and last about 40 minutes, so you can totally indulge in the beautiful surroundings of this ancient city.

Buy stuff The old Luxor market is great for an afternoon out. Here it’s all about the ritual, find a seller you like, sit down, have a cup of tea and put your bartering hat on. It might seem a little intimidating at first, but haggling over the price of even the smallest item is all part of the experience. There are spices, scarves, and sheesha (water pipes) to be had here.

Read more: Opera in El Gouna

Where to stay in Luxor

For a honeymoon Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island this 5 star is proper luxury, set on its own private island and surrounded by lush gardens. There are ten restaurants on site andevery possibility amenity you could imagine.

For a little luxury Iberotel Luxor, The 4 star Iberotel Luxor is home to a heated floating pool on the Nile and overlooks the Theben Hills for a great holiday, with spacious rooms and a relaxed atmosphere.

For all the family Gaddis Hotel Luxor The 3 star Gaddis offers hotel and apartment accommodation and is in a peaceful neighbourhood as well as within walking distance of the main sites.

For something a bit different Bob Marley House Hotel Bob Marley might not be synonymous with Luxor, but this relaxed hotel has a certain charm. This budget friendly hotel is within walking distance of lots of amenities and even offers horse riding lessons.

Read more: Top 10 holidays for history buffs

What and where to eat in Luxor

Luxor is a paradise for vegetarians. Restaurants usually offer whatever they have in season, so you get beautiful extra fresh tomatoes or cucumbers. Mezze dishes are a big deal in Luxor, these are small dishes that give you a taster of Egyptian style food. It’s usually traditional pieces of pita, with baba ganoush or taboule. You can of course get meat in the form of simple kebabs in plenty of the street shops and if you’re really missing home there are plenty of chain restaurants downtown to pick up a Big Mac.

Jamboree Restaurants on Market Street, inside the souk. This one is child friendly, with lots of choices and is great value.

Sofra has a great terrace where you can enjoy delicious, traditional Egyptian food.

El Kebabgy Reasonably priced, decent quality food, offering pasta, kebabs or mousaka. Snobs in the East Bank. Worth it for the name alone really, Snobs servers Western style food at great prices.

The Lantern, Al Roda Sharifa Street, good quality English style and Egyptian food at good value prices.

Read some our customer reviews of Luxor.

Purple Hearts: Sharm el Sheikh Holidays

Purple Hearts: Sharm el Sheikh Holidays

What once was a tiny village at the very southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has grown into one of the most popular holiday resorts in the world: Sharm El Sheikh. For the ultimate in sun, sea and sand, you’ll find relaxation in abundance on the beautiful golden coast of Egypt. For families looking for all ages fun, couples in need of some quality time, or adventure seeking groups, the beaches and scenery, aqua parks and desert day trips make Sharm the ultimate holiday destination. Find out more about Sharm el Sheikh holidays in our Purple Hearts Guide…


Diving: Known as one of the best diving spots in the whole world, it’s a swimmer’s playground. Sharm was initially built on a reputation of snorkelling and diving over 25 years ago – so there’s lots of experience for beginners to the most advanced underwater adventurer. Diving safaris are a great choice, they take you away from the crowded popular spots and you might be lucky to find a real hidden gem. The wreck of the SS Thistlegorm is also regarded as a great wreck diving point and pick from any number of diving and PADI schools and bam, you’ll be in underwater heaven in Sharm.

You should read: World’s best scuba diving spots

Ras Muhammed National Park: Take a boat trip to this natural wonder that’s also a Diving Hot Spot, with parrot fish and puffer that go as far as the eye can see. There are over 1000 species of fish and even sea turtles to get friendly with in this underwater adventure land and in parts you can see stretches of coral reef up to eight or nine km wide. You can organise these locally when you arrive.

Camel tour: If a Bedouin dinner under the stars sounds like something you’d be interested in, then head out on a camel safari at sunset to dine on local, home cooked meals from the comfort of a candlelit tent.

Grab a bargain: Sharm’s old market is a riot of colour, with the best in bargains from jewellery to handbags, paintings to clothes. As a tourist you’ll probably stick out like a sore thumb, but if you’ve got your haggling skills packed then it’ll be an opportunity for great fun as you bargain for sometimes up to an hour to get the best price. A little warning, women tend to get a little extra attention, so be careful you don‘t get swapped for a camel!

Hit the Clubs: Sharm el Sheikh is fairly bangin’ place after dark. There are lots of restaurants, bars and clubs that stay open to the early hours. Famous for attracting top DJs, it’s also worth keeping an eye on local information to see if someone good will be in town when you’re there.


In May, Sharm plays host to the South Sinai Camel Festival, where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of competing camels stampeding through the desert. It’s said over 250 camels take part from 17 different tribes, so grab your camera check out the bumpiest ride in town.


Mount Sinai: This is the historic mountain where it’s said Moses received the 10 commandments on two stone tablets. A sunset or sunrise day trip is a really magical experience and the jaw dropping views are something you’ll never forget.

St. Catherine’s Monastery: One of the best preserved sites of Roman and Greek heritage, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is found at the foot of Mount Sinai. Attracting visitors for hundreds of years, according to some sources, this is the place where God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and where the holy relics of St Catherine are found.

Luxor: You couldn’t go to Egypt and not see some of the country’s most ancient wonders now could you? A day trip starts early (we’re talking 5am) but the breathtaking Luxor Temple, Temple of Karnak and Valley of the Kings make it all worthwhile.
Tiran Island: It’s believed that Tiran is the site of the parting of the Red Sea, as written in the bible’s Book of Exodus.


Dahab: The best thing we can think to do in Dahab is: very little actually. It’s made for completely relaxing and soaking up the sunshine on the long, sandy shores.

Naama Bay: The gently sloping beaches of Naama Bay make it an excellent choice to take the kids. Take your bucket and spade and enjoy the lively atmosphere among the many cafes, bars and restaurants along the seafront.

Taba: There are over five km of beautiful snady beach to choose your perfect spot. Surrounded by lots of palm trees, if you’re feeling energetic enough there’s a bit of beach volleyball on offer, or if you’re more into relaxing, we LOVE the idea of hammocks with a sea view between the palm trees.

Shark’s Bay: Is made of a beautiful curving cove, with loads of hotels, bars and restaurants nearby. Like most of the places in Sharm it’s a top diving location and has lovely views across the bay of Tiran Island.

Find the best deals on cheap holidays to Sharm el Sheikh from Purple Travel.

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