Discover Egypt Walk in the footsteps of pharaohs, marvel at magnificent monuments, and sail the mighty Nile River on Orbridge's exquisite Egyptian escape.

Orbridge travel programs are carefully developed by our passionate team. They scout locations and properties firsthand to ensure guests experience all we have to offer and provide detailed information, observations, and highlights for prospective travelers.

We sat down for a Q & A session with team members Dan and Ashley, who recently returned from Egypt, to capture their impressions and insights of this comprehensive program. We invite you to experience Egypt through their eyes on this virtual tour.

The iconic sights of the Pyramids and Sphinx

Welcome back, Dan and Ashley! Was this your first adventure in Egypt?

Dan: Yes, this is the first time I have been to Egypt and it has always been on my bucket list!

Ashley: Actually, I was in Egypt about 18 months ago, also working on travel planning.

Dan (left) and Ashley (right) exploring Egypt. This destination has so much to offer, but a huge part of why people are drawn here is its historical significance.
El Kab

Take me and our readers there with sensory immersion. What does it smell like? What sounds were you hearing? How does it feel being there?

Ashley: The second you step out of the airport, you are met with a distinct aroma of burning spices. It's like nothing I've ever smelled. It's not overwhelming, but it's noticeable. Five times per day, there is a call to prayer that can be heard from the nearby mosques. It's a special experience that sounds like chanting and song. The feeling that comes to mind when I think about being in Egypt is peace.

Dan: I agree with the olfactory experience. Throughout most of the trip, you could smell aromatic incense. There was such a richness to the air—full of smells of fresh cooking, birds chirping, the sound of locals laughing and playing along the banks of the Nile River. Seeing and experiencing the culture alongside local residents has been enriching, eye opening, and inspiring.

Views from the Nile River

Wow! Of course no sensory journey is complete without talking about food. How was it?

Dan: I did not go hungry throughout this expedition, that's for sure! The food was very wholesome with an abundant variety at every meal. Breakfast was a bounty of pastries, hot dishes, and fresh local fruits. The lunches and dinners featured scrumptious grilled meats, lots of vegetables and salads, and of course, incredible desserts. I was very impressed with the vast variety and freshness of food.

Ashley: Yes, the food was indeed fantastic! The majority of the cuisine is traditional Egyptian, similar to what you might find in a Mediterranean or Israeli restaurant. Think hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, tajines, and like Dan mentioned, grilled meats. I'll definitely attempt re-creating Egyptian falafel at home. In Egypt they make it with fava beans as opposed to the traditional chick peas. It's delish! Also, the meals we had took place in some breathtaking settings, overlooking beautiful vistas or in lush gardens. This enhanced our dining experiences.

Casual snapshot of meal featuring local, fresh food

Dan and Ashley's photos of Egypt's antiquities are inspiring a serious case of wanderlust! Imagine how much more impressive the rich history and iconic landmarks must be to see in person.

Abu Simbel
Treasures seen at the Museum of Antiquities
Top left and right: Edfu, Bottom left: Ruins of Elephantine, Bottom right: Philae Temple

What were some of your favorite highlights from our itinerary? With temples thousands of years old, pyramids, mummies, and the longest river in the world, it would seem to be an explorer's dream—exotic, mysterious, and utterly fascinating. These images from the Valley of Kings are just mesmerizing.

Valley of the Kings

Dan: Egypt is awesome, and in so many ways. It is an incredible, compelling civilization. History comes to life. You aren't just learning it; you are experiencing it. I enjoyed that a lot. Take as one example the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor. This is a mix of decayed temples and buildings that dozens of pharaohs added construction to and each section has a different name. You could spend all day here in awe and wonder. It has to be seen in person to be appreciated, but imagine these enormous pillars and obelisks and structures—some with intricate carvings of hieroglyphics—and to be dwarfed by their presence and contemplate HOW did they build this so long ago... it is mind-blowing. This site and all of the temples, tombs, and ruins are such amazing feats.

Dan at the Karnak Temple Complex
Top: Ashley at the Great Pyramids, Bottom left: the Great Sphinx of Giza, and right: Dan at Temple of Kom Ombo

Ashley: Like Dan, there are too many highlights to single out a favorite, but I really enjoyed our four nights on the Nile River aboard a dahabiya. This is a traditional Egyptian sailing vessel. It was small and nimble for navigating and air conditioned and well-appointed for comfort—making it a perfect craft to sail the river.

All Aboard the Dahabiya
Images of living space and life aboard the dahabiya

Speaking of accommodations, what are the hotels like on this program?

Ashley: All of the properties are luxurious and have the comforts of a modern resort.

Dan: The days have been long, and the mornings are early, but the sleep has been restful and sound. The hotels are top-notch historic properties that are not only incredibly comfortable, but also rich with history and charm. Even with the historic nature of each hotel, the service, attention to detail, and comfort has been unparalleled to any other trip I have experienced. Guests will be in for a real treat on this program! In fact, I'll let our guests in on something special they can anticipate. One of my “wow moments” was getting to our final hotel, the Sofitel Legend Cataract in Aswan. This hotel is nothing short of opulent, but not at all stuffy. Perched along side the Nile River with rooms nine stories above, the panoramic views providing an opportunity to end on such a defining note is something I’ll never forget.

Hotel Legend Cataract, a five-star luxury hotel in a 19th-century Victorian palace on the banks of the river Nile
Top left: Enjoying refreshment poolside at the Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor (shown also top right), Bottom left: Marriott Mena House, Bottom right: view from Hotel Legend Catatact

Describe for us what the people of Egypt were like that you encountered. What impressions did you get?

Left column: BBQ dinner with music and dancing, right: local jewelry maker at work

Ashley: The guides and staff were very hospitable. There is a feeling of deep Egyptian pride that can be felt when they speak about anything from cuisine to religion. Tourism is a huge industry for Egypt and their level of service reflects that.

Dan: Yes, the people that we met were very warm and welcoming. Tourism is so important in Egypt, so locals have been happy and excited to have us visit their country. An example of this is when we were at Gebel el-Silsila and a local resident helped one of our travelers up a steep staircase as we were looking at a sphinx in the distance. It was a poignant and special touch that made all of us in the group feel welcomed.

Gebel el-Silsila
temple of Kom Ombo

What advice would you offer to someone considering Egypt as a travel destination?

Ashley: At Orbridge, we provide guests with a comprehensive set of documents informing them of important details of the destination they will be exploring so that they are well-prepared for the journey. Egypt is no different. One thing to keep in mind is dressing appropriately, both for weather and for cultural expectations. Dan and I conducted our inspections during a very warm month. I found that light, gauzy shirts, skirts, or dresses are best. The sun is aggressive here and I stress the importance of hats and sunscreen. For females, modest clothing that covers your knees and shoulders is recommended. On the day that we visit the mosque, shorts are prohibited for both men and women. I'd also suggest bringing a lightweight scarf for covering your head during that visit. While it isn't mandatory, it is regarded as respectful. The guides appreciate it.

Dan: Throughout the trip, there is significant walking, so it was incredibly helpful to wear comfortable shoes. Personally, I chose to wear sandals when not visiting religious sites where that is not permitted. Overall, I would say that it is an area steeped in history and dynamic cultural evolution. Someone needs to be open-minded and eager to trace the routes of human existence as we know it today. All of the modern amenities that travelers need are available, but don’t expect with this tour modern city centers, skyscrapers, and the like. For getting about, Orbridge groups enjoy small, modern and comfortable motor coaches. Our small group was divided among two buses in order to have ample room to spread out and for each traveler to have a window seat with picturesque views.

Group at Abu Simbel

How do our readers learn more to discover Egypt and the Nile Valley?

Dan: A great place to start is our program's webpage which may be accessed here. Also, I'd like to mention this program offers both an optional pre-tour to Alexandria as well as a post-tour of Jordan. For a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Egypt, these may be of interest for travelers wishing to maximize their time and experience.

Ashley: That is good to note, Dan, and since we are continuously evaluating and refining our programs with feedback from our travelers, I want to let potential guests know we are also beginning to look at an Egypt program option with a shorter itinerary to meet the needs of those with less time to spend. Keep in touch with Orbridge for additional development details.

Thank you, Dan and Ashley, and we look forward to more insights from your travels!

El Kab


Created with images by Dan Stypa, Ashley Perkins, Cnippato78 - "egypt pharaoh egyptian" • Cezzare - "egypt pyramids egyptian"