Perhaps one of the most storied rivers in the world, the Nile River has nurtured civilization for over 6,000 years. A source of life-giving waters in a vast desert, numerous towns have sprung up along its banks over the years. Ribbons of fertile soil weave along each bank, giving rise to ornate temples, date palm plantations and sleepy fishing villages.

Many of the region's most iconic experiences takes place along these banks. Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert, explore the vast Karnak Temple complex, wander the Luxor Temple when it's illuminated against the starry skies and delve into the tombs of Egypt's great bygone royalty in the Valley of the Kings and Queens. To protect from grave robbers, many of Egypt's later rulers constructed their tombs into the mountains outside of Luxor as a way to mimic a pyramid's stairway to heaven shape.

Nile Cruises take place between Luxor and Aswan, with boats sailing in either direction. Drift along on a traditional dahabiya boat sipping on a cold drink as a gentle breeze rustles your sails. Stop off every day at a different point of interest ranging from beautiful temples to tranquil hiking trails and swimming holes under the shade of towering mango trees.

Along the southernmost reaches of Egypt's Nile River lies the Abu Simbel Temple. Designed to be an imposing show of power to deter the Nubian Kingdoms of modern-day Sudan, this site is well worth the day trip down.