This week, the Nota Bene team is on the ground in Egypt, sourcing the most unique private experiences, meeting the crème de la crème of Egyptologist guides and subject experts, reviewing all the top hotels and restaurants in microscopic detail, and mapping out the ultimate no-expenses-spared journey of a lifetime through this extraordinary destination.

A land of ancient civilisation, mythology, the enduring mysteries of the Great Pyramids and the lost tomb of Nefertiti, Egypt transports its visitors to a world of intrigue, where great legends and historic preeminence meet electrifying modern-day street scenes. The mighty River Nile, flowing from south to north through East Africa, is Egypt’s lifeblood, supporting almost the entire population with transportation, irrigation, fishing, farming, and tourism.

Its extraordinary monolithic Pyramids are national treasures that soar majestically against a brilliant blue sky backdrop. Yet, there is much else to explore within this enigmatic destination. Sailing on the glistening waters of the River Nile is a hypnotic departure from the bustle of modern-day city life and a fascinating journey through the ages. You’ll savour some of the world’s most astonishing archaeological remains and learn about age-old Nubian culture. A thriving contemporary art scene exists in Cairo alongside vibrant souks, colourful cuisine, splendid museums crammed full of ancient artefacts, and myriad examples of intricate Islamic architecture.

Prepare to be utterly captivated as we take you on a Nota Bene journey through the highlights of Egypt, including:

  • An unforgettable private dinner at the Pyramids of Giza, complete with traditional music, henna painting and Nubian folklore
  • Sail the River Nile on Egypt’s most exquisite, newly-built private yacht, complete with expert senior crew
  • A private lesson in Egyptian hieroglyphics or the art of paper-making from papyrus
  • A beautiful candlelit dinner on Herbyab Island against the soft glow of lanterns
  • Personal shopping and meetings with talented artisans to source local treasures, including magnificent textiles, intricate wood carvings, perfume, jewellery, and ceramics.
  • Some of the world’s oldest, most revered monuments and archaeological sites, guided by a professional Egyptologist, hand-picked by our team.

I have always loved Nota Bene – they’re like your best friend dishing insider tips on where to go (and what to ask for) in the world’s most fabulous destinations.

Michael Kors, Fashion Designer

CAIRO

“The city of a thousand minarets”, modern Cairo is known to be whizzingly action-packed, yet founded in the 10th century, it is also one of the oldest Islamic cities in the world. Positioned on the River Nile, there are few places where the juxtaposition of old and new is quite as startling. Its sprawling maze of neighbourhoods combines colonial quarters, leafy, upscale districts and modern, urban cityscapes bursting with noise, traffic and a twenty-four-hour pulse, with ancient Coptic streets, exquisite Islamic architecture, and, of course, the Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of the city. A vibrant food scene exists alongside contemporary art, a superb collection of museums, and a handful of well-run hotels. Our team has explored every corner of the city to narrow down the most memorable, insider places to dine, and you should speak with us for details on which is at the top of our list for accommodations and views. The right guides and carefully chosen accommodations make or break a trip to Cairo, so it pays to rely on expert advice!

RIVER NILE

The Nile Valley is one of the earliest cradles of humankind, a hotbed of ancient civilisation and life force, steeped in legend and movie-star romance. Its river flows some 6,600 kilometres from south to north, finally emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptians have journeyed between cities on its waters for thousands of years, traded along the banks, developed vital irrigation systems, and grown papyrus plants for making paper. Sail the Nile’s glimmering waters on board an exquisite private boat with a superb crew and expert historian guide, take in the desert landscape with its palm-shaded oases, and experience one of the world’s greatest waterway adventures as you unravel thousands of years of history.

LUXOR

Approximately 650km south of Cairo, the historic ancient city of Luxor is a far cry from the freneticism of Egypt’s capital. Frequently characterised as the “world’s greatest open-air museum”, nothing can prepare you for the scale of its monuments, the sheer magnitude of its antiquities and the astonishing level to which they’ve been preserved. Formerly the ancient city of Thebes, Luxor is home to some of the world’s most important archaeological sites, including the enormous Karnak temple complex and the Valley of the Kings, where the tomb of Tutankhamun lies. Our favourite hotel is an owner-run work of art, beautifully styled with a treasure trove of artefacts, sculptures and artworks, complete with exotic landscaped gardens and farm-to-table cuisine. Its six private pool villas are amongst our favourite accommodations in Egypt. Take in the sunset as it filters through the palm trees, watch traditional wooden felucca boats as they glide along the Nile, soar above the desert on a hot air balloon, and be prepared to be completely blown away by one of the world’s greatest ancient cities.

ABU SIMBEL

In ancient Nubia, near Egypt’s southern border with Sudan, lies the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage temple complex of Abu Simbel. Carved out of the mountain on the western bank of Lake Nasser lie two temples dedicated to Pharaoh Ramesses II and his first wife, Nefertari. Perhaps most extraordinary, these colossal statues were created in the 13th century, towering at 65 feet high, and remained hidden beneath the sand until their discovery in 1813. Here, at one of Egypt’s most revered archaeological sites, learn all about the remarkable history of Abu Simbel from an excellent Egyptologist guide and complete the tapestry of some of the world’s finest remnants of ancient civilisation.

CONTACT OUR TEAM to have us create an itinerary that reflects your specific preferences, interests, and passions. Our greatest joy is unravelling all that is beautiful and unique worldwide and providing you with a service that goes above and beyond.