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General information

Flats in Luxor is Officially Green
In 2007 I went on holiday to Japan and found my holiday through Responsible Travel. When I read their ethos I thought  this is exactly the sort of holiday I want. Then it occurred to me this exactly the sort of holiday I provide. Responsible Travel agreed and now we are officially green. Examples of our policy are

  • Staff and subcontractors are all local
  • Low energy bulbs and timed electricity in communal areas
  • Local craftsmen used for building and fittings
  • Food is local and organic
  • Walking, cycling and donkey tours
  • Introducing guests to real Egyptians and their life

Why go Local?
I would encourage every visitor to Egypt to make their own arrangements with the local guides rather than use the big tour companies. If you use the tour companies none of your money goes to the local economy. You get a much better price by going local as well. The locals have had a double whammy of increased safety concerns and the new bridge across the Nile. This means fewer tourists and those that come are cocooned in tour buses and taken from hotel to site with no local contact.

Another advantage is that you can schedule your tour to avoid the hottest part of the day. Especially during the summer, wise tourists start their sightseeing really early e.g. 5 am and rest in the hottest part of the day.

You also get the chance of getting to know the local people and being invited to share their lives. Egyptians are a very friendly people. By being a good tourist (using a local guide and tipping well) you will end up having meals in local homes, meeting the women and children, being invited to weddings and party's and even sitting up late drinking beer and chatting.

Moulids
Moulids are local celebrations and on this site you can see a photo of the Abu al-Haggag moulid. This is an amazing display of colourful costumes, local music, horse races and much happiness. Although tourists do wander in the crowds I find the best way is to watch it from the safety of a first floor hotel bar with lots of cold beer. :)

Baksheesh
OK I admit that the continual demands for money can get a bit irritating but if you remember that for many of these people a small tip can make a huge difference to their lives. It is more than a reward for services (it can also be an acknowledgement of a friendliness, an act of charity or easing the way). In the West we only tip on certain occasions and for certain services. In Egypt you give baksheesh for everything. This is not just the tourists but the locals too. An example my uncle in law took me on a trip and my husband was organising and paying for it. When I got back my husband slipped me some money so I could give the baksheesh to his uncle. Crazy, no Egyptian.

Try and hang on to your small change as a supply of 5 LE, 1LE, 50pt and 25pt notes are invaluable for the small tips. You can also bring cheap biros and boiled sweets from England these are very acceptable to the children and even the grown ups need pens.

Visas
When I travelled to Egypt prior to 2002 I always applied to the Embassy in advance after then like lots of people I got one on the spot at Luxor airport. It's very easy but make sure you have sterling to pay for this. BUT always check with the Embassy for the latest rules as they can change at very short notice.

Shopping
Haggling is the way of life but it can be a bit overwhelming, if you want help or advice about good shops and the prices you can expect to pay we are happy to oblige. There are many local crafts worth buying apart from the standard tourist fare; a good example is alabaster.

Transport
In Luxor there is every kind of transport available A/C Mini Buses, local taxis, horse carriages, bicycles and even donkeys. Rides can also be made on camels, hot air balloons and horses.

Insurance
We recommend that all visitors have travel insurance, a lot of regular travellers take out annual travel insurance.

Flights
Most of the major charter firms do flight only tickets to Luxor you could go to your local travel shop and get them to search for you or use one of the Internet holiday sites like Teletext.

A number of our guests have used www.charterflights.co.uk for cheap travel from the UK.

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