IF YOU GO
I booked my Egypt trip through Audley Travel in Boston (1-855-838-8300, www.audleytravel.com/us). The package included hotels with breakfast, guides and drivers, domestic flights, most admission fees, and cultural activities, such as the cooking class. A seven-day trip starts at $2,500 per person double.
WHERE TO STAY
Le Riad Hotel de Charme: Boutique hotel in the old Islamic quarter with 17 Egyptian-history-themed suites with private balconies and exotic decor. From $120. www.leriadhotel.com
Sofitel Winter Palace: Five-star luxury hotel built in 1886 features opulent gardens and pool, stately bar, restaurants and ideal location by the Nile River, Luxor Temple and commercial district. From $250. www.sofitel.com
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan: Stunning property set in a 19th-century Victorian palace, with Nile views, pool, gardens, dining on the veranda, fitness center and spa. From $310. www.sofitel.com
WHERE TO EAT
Sofra Restaurant & Cafe: Casual and cozy restaurant serves Best of Egypt dishes, such as stuffed pigeon and the lentils-and-rice dish koushry. Main dishes from about $2.50. www.sofra.com.eg
Naguib Mahfouz Cafe: Elevated traditional cuisine served in a serene setting amid the hectic market. Entrees from about $12.
WHAT TO DO
The House of Cooking: Cooking classes led by very entertaining and knowledgeable mom-and-daughter chefs. Various cuisines offered. The "I Love Egypt" three-course class costs $65. www.thehouseofcooking.com
The Great Temple of Ramses II: The next sunrise event takes place on Oct. 22. Book early — and go early!