Safaga (Luxor), Egypt

The port of Safaga affords you access to Upper Egypt and the River Nile, the country’s lifeline since ancient times. Take a cruise on its calm waters or perhaps head to Luxor, the mesmerizing ‘Land of the Pharaohs’, to discover the once-hidden Valley of the Kings. Here the tombs of more than 60 Pharaohs, including the boy king Tutankhamun, lay preserved deep underground. In Karnak, visit the great Temple of Amun, the greatest place of worship in history. The temple was completed by Ramses II (1290-1224 BC), considered by some to be the pharaoh of the Exodus, and the site bears evidence of an even earlier temple, dating back another thousand years. Other highlights include the Avenue of the Sphinxes, creatures combining the body of a lion and the head of a ram. Once the main road linking the temples at Karnak and Luxor was lined with these fantastic creatures, each holding a statue of Ramses II between their paws.