Egypt’s towns and cities, ancient and modern all depend on the River Nile. Cairo, the capital, is considered as the largest city in Africa. Thousands come here to trade, worship or study. Egypt also has the oldest tourist industry in the world. Over 2 thousand years ago, Greeks and Romans traveled here to marvel at the country’s ancient temples and tombs. They even left their graffiti behind to prove their existence. Today, over two million tourists visit Egypt each year to enjoy wonders such as the Great Sphinx and the towering pyramids of the pharaohs.
Here are ten of the not to be missed cities and attractions in Egypt.
The key step in a journey to Egypt is a visit to the
that is located outside from the town, on the outskirts of Cairo, the capital city. The famous
Pyramids of Giza
are on the edge of the Sahara Desert. These are the huge tombs of three Pharaohs who ruled here over 4,000 years ago. This complex of ancient monuments is located about 8 km from the ancient city of Giza, the Nile, and about 25 km from the center of Cairo in a southwesterly direction. The three pyramids of Kheops, Kefren and Menkaure (grandfather, son and grandson) are spectacular and evocative. Take the tour astride a camel, get some great photos and breathe the air of the desert. The Egyptian guides are skilled and very knowledgeable. To avoid huge crowds, go there early in the morning (7am).
The Pyramid of Keops at Giza
, is the oldest of the seven wonders and the only one that survives today. Visit the small enclosures with passages on the side, check out the temples at the foot of them. Visit the
that is located in the middle of the desert, a wonderful place with incredible energy.
The Great Sphinx
is one of the most beautiful works known to man. Watch a sound and light show at the pyramids and the Sphinx will be in your memories forever. These pyramids are Egypt’s legacy that can still make a difference after thousands of years.
Across the pyramid of Keops stands the
Solar Boat Museum
. Each tomb contains a reproduction of the “boat of the sun” that will lead the deceased in the afterlife. The boat of the sun God Keops is unparalleled for it is huge and has remained intact even after so many centuries. The museum is well laid out but you must wear shoe covers so it will not ruin the floors that cover the entire area. The boat is so preserved that you can see even the knotted cords of the time. If you go to Giza to see the pyramids, do not forget to tell the guide to take you to see this unique wonder.
Sharm El Sheikh
Ras Mohamed National Park
is the best diving/snorkeling center in the area and the crew will take care of absolutely everything with your safety as their main concern. If you want to disconnect from the world and dive in warm waters, with visibility guaranteed good weather and better atmosphere, this is the destination. Do not hesitate to make a “live-aboard” lifestyle where you can spend a relaxing in a sarong and dedicate the course of your stay to dive, eat, and sleep – and moments to share with other travelers.
built in 2000, represents the Orthodox of Alexandria (Coptic means only Egyptian Christian). Inside you can see the various orthodox architecture, painting of St. Mark and a native of Alexandria singing in Arabic. At the entrance you need to go through to the metal detectors and armed police guard, and the dog anti bombs. In Egypt the religion is lived in a more liberal approach and other orthodoxies are therefore accepted, unlike in other places of Islamic belief. This church is the most beautiful externally and internally (the paintings and frescoes inside are of great interest and value), but what sets it apart is that it exists here and that the oratory is a meeting place for various religions which makes it more attractive.
winds its way past Luxor.
The ancient Egyptians called the Nile Valley the “Black Land”, because the river floods left rich black mud behind each year. However, this black soil is ideal for growing crops.
When in Luxor, a visit to the
Temple of Karnak
is a real journey into the heart of Egypt during the Old Kingdom. The historical temple complex is astonishing for its enormity that is almost impossible to describe. At the entrance walkway you can see dozens and dozens of Sphinxes. It is a grand temple that is aged over 4000 years. It is worth studying the history of Egypt before as you tour around with a good guide. The hieroglyphs are beautiful and well kept. The inscriptions of Ramses II and Alexander the Great can be fully observed.
Valley of the Kings
is situated on the west side of the Nile. To the ancient Egyptians the west side of the river in the city of Luxor represented death and the east side of life. The Valley of the Kings has immense corridors in the middle of the desert rocks that lead to the tomb of a great Pharaoh. The paintings are beautiful and fascinating and tell the story of the life of each Pharaoh. It is a priceless treasure for humanity.
Makadi Water World
is a large water park with about fifty slides. It is safe to swim here as there are guards everywhere that gives good service and security. There are fun water slides of various sizes and difficulty that is suitable for all ages. Fresh toilets and changing rooms are conveniently located within the park. The ticket includes a water amusement show featuring the seals, walrus, and sea elephant. There are free sun beds and the abundance of food and drinks ensures a relaxing and comfortable stay.
is unique and magical. The heat is stifling and you need to drink every 5 minutes. To learn more about it rent a camel, horse or donkey with a guide or a quad motorbike and discover more of its vast presence. The Bedouins are kind to tourists because they know tourism revenue help them. Many Bedouins still follow the traditional nomadic lifestyle. They move across the sparse desert scrub in search of pasture for their herds of goats, sheep and camels. They are very poor and they give a great deal to sell ointments, food, hand crafted souvenirs and more. You can visit a mock village (the real one is inaccessible to those who are not Bedouin) and a barbecue smoking hookah and watch some belly dancing. The day ends with a magnificent spectacle (starry night) which is associated with a buffet meal as the festive atmosphere wears on until midnight.
is a modern museum library with the latest technology and free Wi-Fi. There are guided tours in several languages, including Spanish. In less than 30 minutes it is possible to know the entire structure. It consists of a great architecture and is beautifully situated on the Corniche. There is an interesting photo exhibition at the
Museum of the Library
showing the city of Alexandria in ancient times. Scary interesting, especially when you see what kind of wonderful villas, streets, houses, and cosmopolitan flair Alexandria has at the beginning of the 19th Century.
The Corniche of Alexandria
and its environs provides a pleasant walking area although it is very long. The 30 kilometer stretch facing the sea is filled with hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and the congested looking Alexandria skyline. It starts from the Fort Qaitbey Beach passing through the library and going all the way down up to the famous Stanley Bridge. It is lined with numerous beach coves and has 4-12 lanes. It is Impressive at first glance, and it’s good to admire the nearly continuous high-rise backdrop that covers all over many kilometers. In these gloomy tower blocks (often rather run down) the calls of the muezzin sound off every hour of prayer. The view of the crowded city skyline, the minarets of the mosques that rise above residential rooftops provides a mix of haze and traffic pollution.
Talcum powder sand, shallow waters, snorkeling with 2 barrier reefs full of fish, foxes, sea etc., makes the
Sharm El Luli Beach
definitely worth visiting. It is deal for those who want to try snorkeling for the first time. From this spot you can access the reef directly from the beach. The barrier is rich and populated as well as protected from the current and waves.
If you are lucky you can have an exciting close encounter with the giant tortoises and get to swim among the schools of silver fishes, marvel at unique coral fishes on an island where everything looks and feels enchanting you can proudly say it is a corner of paradise in the middle of the Egyptian desert.
When in St. Catherine a tour or expedition climb to the sacred
is a must. First you must hire a Bedouin guide and a camel for easier transport up to the allowed level.
The tour of Mount Moses in the Sinai in Egypt usually begins at an altitude of 2200 meters. This excursion adds a visit to the Coptic
Monastery of St. Catherine
protected by Christian religions. It is dubbed as the oldest Christian monastery that is still in existence and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its Byzantine architecture. It is a sacred place revered by three major religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The monastery also houses an extensive collection of ancient manuscripts and icons. In particular, it has the largest library of preserved ancient Byzantine texts that is honored by the Vatican.
Continue the climb up to the
the peak where Moses was given the 10 Commandments. Accessible after a fairly arduous climb, the path has trails with a passage for pedestrians and space for the steady stream of camels that graze as you assault the climb on foot. Heart and breath, and feet are put to the test. The temperature decreases with altitude. When you reach the top, you wait for the sunrise and go inside the famous chapel where history tells the intact body of St. Catherine was discovered. It’s an emotional pilgrimage experience that must be done even once in a lifetime.
Abu Tig Marina
is the newly renovated and largest port in El Gouna. It’s nice to stroll along the promenade and see the impressive ships and yachts docked along its neat harbor. The Promenade itself is lined with many shops and nice restaurants that have everything you need.
Some evenings a feast is held in the Marina area and the place gets really quite busy. The port also has many lively outdoor concerts every night at an affordable price.
is a spot that was discovered relatively recently and quickly became indispensable in the Red Sea region.
The entry of this dive called “El Bells” is a nearly vertical shaft that goes from the surface down to about 28m and leads to a fall you will never see the bottom (600m or 500m deep), then it follows the falling slowly back along the coral to a depth of 5 to 6m and then returns back to the blue hole, a kind of a round pool with a “bottomless” radius that is large enough for divers to go through.
It is the monument of
that draws more attention and tourists in because of its imposing size and location. He was moved due to the construction of the Aswan Dam to avoid being engulfed by the rising waters.
To witness its presence is a unique experience. You feel transported back to the ancient times and you find it hard to understand how they could build and move something so perfect, a tremendous feat of engineering.