Forget cruising on the Nile - if you really want to see Egypt in all its many facets, stay at Riverbank House. It's a most beautiful home, light and airy, with a simplicity and faithfulness to its Egyptian design and detail, with fantastic views across the Nile to the Temple at Luxor and the Winter Palace to the front, and the mountain at the back. It is so peaceful, and with Mahdi and Sayid preparing wonderful meals, and Khyry organising all our excursions, wherever we wanted to go, nothing could be more relaxing. Partly because he accompanied us, and also because the local people are so warm and welcoming, we felt entirely safe.
We adored the trip up the Nile in the dahabiya, and the richness of the bird life in the shallow waters of the banks is a joy for anyone interested in ornithology. Visiting the temple at Esna was a bonus - it was fascinating to see how the Greeks and Romans adapted their own religion to incorporate Egyptian gods and goddesses.
More locally, there is plenty to do. We enjoyed swimming in the hotel outdoor pool, set in pleasant gardens, just a short walk away, and it was interesting walking through the village and along the paths by the banks of the Nile, seeing how the local people make use of the fertile soil to grow crops and feed cattle, a little glimpse into true Egyptian life.
Of course, if you want to visit Egyptian tombs and the Valley of the Kings, these are right on your doorstep.
Altogether, I cannot think of a more lovely place to stay, looked after by such attentive people, and with such varied and interesting things to do and see: a perfect and memorable holiday.