Egypt- a Land Where Beauty Never Fades
Last Updated June 12th, 2020
Attractions in Egypt | Egypt Tours and Travel
Wondering where to go on your next vacation? Bring out your world map and take a look at the African Continent. Focus on a tiny section on the North East, shaped like a slice of pizza, with the Red Sea to its East and the Mediterranean Sea above, lapping at its sandy white shores.
This is a country with more than a six-thousand-year old rich history to back its phenomenal presence in the vast continent of Africa!
What is the famous in Egypt?
Egypt, once the land of the Pharaohs, is today one of the most populous countries in the Middle East and Africa.
And she continues to attract more visitors every year to immerse themselves into her magnificent past laced with enigma, beauty and splendor.
As you walk through the passages and stairways of the ancient temples and pyramids, the beauty in Egyptian architecture, intricacy in design and walls filled with hieroglyphics almost whisper to you the tales of ancient Pharaohs and their Queens.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You could be exploring the antiquities of Cairo or visiting Egypt’s Coptic churches and Jewish synagogues; from witnessing the Catacombs in Alexandria (Kom El Shoqafa) to visiting the museums that conjure up Egyptian history; from discovering the modern day nightlife to taking a cruise along the River Nile that sweeps you back into a 2000 year old past…Egypt is a land where the discovery never ends.
Although Egypt is a fairly large country, its harsh deserts and arid land have pushed the majority of its vast population to sustain themselves on the banks of the River Nile.
The most important cities in Egypt therefore, lie along the Nile. Travel is best done from Alexandria and Cairo in Lower Egypt to Aswan in Upper Egypt.
Lets discover Egypt,
The capital city of Egypt is also the largest African city, crowded, dusty, noisy, and yet exotic in its own right. If you are staying in a hotel or have booked with a tour operator, they could provide you with a good Egyptologist who can be your guide and help you find order in the chaos.
Why Egypt is the best place to visit?
Influences of the ancient empires that ruled here, like the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks and British are all seen in the architecture found here.
Coptic Cairo is the nucleus of the Coptic Christians and also the oldest part of the city, being inhabited for over 2000 years.
What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?
A walk down its cobbled streets would help you discover most of Egypt’s churches and synagogues including the Hanging Church, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, and some ancient Roman ruins.
Medieval Cairo. brings you into the bustling streets and bazaars of Egypt offering trinkets, perfumes, alabaster lamps, musical instruments, carpets, spices, Egyptian cotton, gold and silver and even a camel if you can afford one! Of course you are perfectly welcome to politely refuse.
- Khan al-Khalili,
- Khan Misr Touloun, and
- Wekalet al-Balah
welcome tourists looking for souvenirs to carry back home.
This part of Cairo houses some famous mosques including Ibn Tulun, the largest mosque in the world, and Al-Azhar, a mosque that houses the world’s oldest university.
What are the Must be Visited Places in Egypt?
Egyptian Museum – what you missed in the tombs at Luxor and in the Pyramids of Giza have landed here to be protected and kept for the world to see.
120000 retrieved treasures and artifacts from the tombs and the sarcophaguses, jewellery and pottery, mummies and ancient relics have all been retained in the museum to preserve Egypt’s glorious past.
Pyramids of Giza
– The main attraction of Egypt lies here in the three pyramids-
- the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu),
- the Pyramid of Kafhre and
- the third and smallest of them all, Pyramid of Menkaura.
The Great Pyramids of Giza is the only surviving wonder of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Seated in front of the pyramids and carved from a single block of stone, is the Sphinx seemingly left to guard the pyramids and what once lay within.
The Saqqara, also called the Step Pyramid is one of the first and oldest pyramids built in 2800 BC.
The Memphis Museum is an open air museum close to Saqqara, worth visiting.
Apart from these, Cairo. can afford you experiences of renting your own Falucca (an ancient Egyptian sailboat) on the river Nile, weekly performances of Sufi dancers at the Citadel, a panoramic view of the ancient city from the Cairo Tower, and finally the Quarafa (the city of the dead) where cemeteries have come alive with the poor folk making their homes and business quarters within the ornate tombs!
The Great Pyramids of Giza
What to Do In Egypt
The great Pyramids of Giza are one of the most spectacular sights in Egypt and has been a symbol of the Egyptian culture for years. It is one of the oldest Seven Wonders of the World that remains intact till date. It always tops the list of the major attractions and is an exceptionally beautiful landmark of the city. It has to its credits of being the tallest building in the world for 4300 years. One is surely to be mesmerized by its magnificence.
Let us explore some more facts on the pyramids of Giza.
Where are the great pyramids of Egypt?
The Great pyramids of Giza are located in Giza, Egypt, on the west bank of Nile River near Cairo. The pyramid is located at the northern edge of the Giza plateau. It lies in the desert west of Giza, next to the pyramids of Khufu’s son, Khafre and grandson, Menkaure.
When was the pyramids built in Egypt?
The great pyramids of Giza were built during the times when Hufu was the pharaoh. He ruled over Egypt from 2551 BC to 2528 BC. Khufu had built the pyramids during 2560 BC. The pyramids took a period of more than 20 years to get complete from 2550 to 2530 BC and served as a tomb when Khufu died.
Why were the Great Pyramids of Giza Built?
The Great Pyramids in Giza were built to serve as a tomb for the pharaoh of the fourth dynasty Khufu. According to what is known about ancient Egypt and the pyramids, it was tradition in the Ancient and Medieval times to preserve the mummies of their kings and queens.
Egypt is known to have more than 93 pyramids, but the Pyramids at Giza are the most splendid amongst all.
How were the pyramids built?
The pyramids are one of the finest pieces of architecture that the world has seen till date. Based on the facts on the pyramid of Giza known, the pyramids are built from 1,300,000 blocks composed of limestone. The blocks weighed between 2.5 tons to 15 tons. The pyramids are spread over an area of 13 acres. The pyramids have a square base with sides about 230m (755ft) and the four sides face the four cardinal points precisely and it has an angle of 52 degrees.
Who Built the Pyramids?
Since there was not much information about the Pyramids of Giza known people believed that the structure was built by slaves and foreigners. However, recent excavations show that the pyramids were built by Egyptians who lived in nearby villages. Most of the workers were either farmers or bakers or normal villagers who were contracted for a specified period of time. Some of them were permanent employees of the pharaoh.
The labour constituted of both men and women. There are no depictions showing women labours but some skeletons excavated show wear that suggests they laboured with heavy stone for long periods of time. It is estimated that about 20,000 – 30,000 labourers were hired.
The entrance pyramid of Khufu is on the northern side, the same for almost every Pyramid in Egypt. However, the pyramids have two entrances, the original one is located at 55ft above the ground level and the second one is man-made one located below it. In fact, one is allowed to climb the pyramids only up to the original entrance. Climbing above that is forbidden.
The second entrance was actually constructed by Khalif El-Mamoun in the 9th Century AD with an intension to find treasures in the Pyramids. The entrance was cut in the centre of the northern side. Following the entrance is 35m deep tunnel that goes into the pyramid and connects with the original inner corridors of the Pyramid in the end. Nothing was found in his quest. Today, the visitors use this entrance to gain access into the Pyramid.
Following the main entrance of the pyramids, is a 100m (330 ft) deep long and narrow corridor that leads to an unfinished burial chamber located about 24m (79ft) below ground level. The roof of the corridor is quite low and one needs to actually bend down in the entire passage till they reach the chamber. The chamber has very little air to breathe in and access to it is forbidden now.
There is one more corridor connected to this narrow corridor at a distance of 20m (66ft) that takes you op to the Grand Gallery which is a 49m (161ft) long, and 15m (49ft) high long, rectangular hall. The Gallery has another tunnel at the bottom that leads to the Queen’s Chamber.
Moving up from the Grand Gallery you will reach the actual burial chamber of the king where his stone coffin is placed, made out of a single block of granite. The chamber is a rectangular one with a flat roof built from granite. There are five relieving chambers above the burial chambers built so that the chamber does not collapse.
Opening hours: Giza plateau is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Ticket Price: entrance to the Giza plateau 50 EGP – Khufu pyramid entrance fees 100 EGP – Khafre Pyramid entrance fees 30 EGP – Menkaure pyramid entrance fees 25 EGP
The Snefru Red Pyramid in Dahshur
What to Do In Egypt
The Red Pyramid better known as the North Pyramid is the next great pyramid in Egypt. It is known as the shining northern pyramid. And also known as Snefru pyramid. It is located in Dashur which is not really far from Saqqara and just a few drives from Cairo. The red pyramid of dahshur is actually the second great of the Egyptian pyramids next to Giza. It has the second largest base of all pyramids in whole Egypt.
Why to Visit the Red Pyramid Egypt?
Although it is not as popular as the Giza Pyramids, Snefru red pyramid also plays and important part in Egypt’s culture and tourism. It is in fact one of the best ancient sites in Cairo Egypt. This is because of the fact that it is fully accessible. Meaning, anyone can inter into it without any limitations and restrictions.
This pyramid is perfect for those who wish to explore the Egypt’s rich history and culture without the hassles of having to brush elbows with many other curious tourists from different parts of the globe. This is because this pyramid is less visited compared to the Giza.
Facts about the red pyramid of Dahshur
This red pyramid at Dahshur is known for its large base measuring 722 feet on all sides. This makes it the second largest among all Egyptian pyramids. It is also famous for its height being the fourth tallest pyramid ever built in the country having 160 layers of stone and 341 feet high. The red pyramid Egypt is actually the first ever true cased pyramid successfully built. The red pyramid of Dashur obviously got its name from reddish limestone used to build majority of its core.
Inside the Snefru pyramid you will find the Mortuary temple’s remains on the east side. The only entrance to this pyramid’s three chambers is found on its Northern side just like many of the pyramids in Egypt. From its entrance, a passage of 206 foot leads to the first chamber with corbelled ceiling which make it superbly strong to withstand even millions of tons of stones above it.
The passage of the second chamber of this red pyramid at dahshur is found on the southern part of the first chamber. It is located right at the pyramid’s apex making it a distinct design from among the many Egyptian pyramids. Just 25 feet above the floor of this chamber is the entrance leading to the third and last chamber.
It is believed that this particular chamber is actually the burial chamber with a room measure 14 by 27 feet with an enormous ceiling height of reaching as much as 50 feet.
History of King Snefru Pyramid
The red pyramid of Egypt was purposely built for the pharaoh Snefru. He is the father of Khufu of whom the Giza pyramid was made for. Based on the dates carved on the casing of this pyramid, it was believed to be constructed around the 22nd and 29th year of the reign of king
The dated encrypted on the stones of its casing not only tells when the pyramid was actually built but it also details the fact that it took seventeen long years for the entire red pyramid to be completed.
King Snefru was the founder of the fourth dynasty of the Egypt. No exact information is available about the period for which he reigned.
However pharaoh Snefru was one of the greatest builders, who is known for building three pyramids that still survive and introducing introduced major innovations in the design and construction of pyramids in Ancient Egypt.
EGYPT Travel Tours – Discovering the Land of The Pharaohs
The second largest city in Egypt was created in 333 BC as one of Alexander the Great’s plan to build a great city near the Mediterranean Sea, but sadly never saw him witness its beauty when he died in 323 BC .
Alexandria houses the underground Catacombs dating back to 1st century AD, Pompeii’s Pillar, Bibliotheca Alexandrina which is the largest library in the world, the Roman Amphitheatre, the 15th century Quaitbay Citadel constructed on the site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria and a 360 acre Montazah Complex consisting of Royal Gardens and Palaces, five beaches, a hotel and many water activities like snorkeling, waterskiing etc.
Alexandria’s markets and cafes are places to unwind and drink in the sights of this lesser crowded city.
Rosetta History and tourist attractions
Rosetta, an open-air museum for Islamic monuments and a perfect reflection of Islamic culture, is a city of Egypt, located in the northeast of Alexandria. Its distance from Alexandria is about 65km. The city of Rosetta is also named as “Rashid” and the reason behind this name is nothing, but that branch of Nile, which is also called “Rashid”. The city of Rosetta is situated on the western bank of Rashid, the branch of Nile. There was a time, when this small city had no value in the whole Egypt, but that was the time before the arrival of Muslim rulers in this area.
Rosseta attraction reflects Islamic culture in Egypt
After the influx of Muslim rulers in this small piece of land that is situated along the branch of Nile, the value of this area has become much more thanks to its numerous great monuments. These splendid pieces of architecture not only reflect the true Islamic culture, but also make this place one of the best attractions in Egypt for the visitors both national and international.
When anyone will ask a question from you that “what to do in Egypt”, you can easily give the answer “just plan a visit to Rosetta. I am sure, when you will visit this open-air museum of Islamic culture, you will also admire this reality that there is no other place that comprises such a great number of Islamic monuments at a time.
No doubt, there are countless examples of Islamic architecture as well as monuments here. However, the two things that are in fact, the most famous attractions in Rosetta are like “Rosetta Stone” as well as “Arab Killy House”.
The actual reason behind the fame of Rosetta is nothing, but a stone called Rosetta stone. This was the time, when Egypt was under the influence of French Rules. At that time, during the extension of a fortress near the city of Rosetta, an amazing discovery was brought about. This discovery was initially considered as just a piece of stone. However, after its deep examination, it was realized that it is not just a black basalt stone, but a masterpiece that comprises three ancient different languages.
The measurements of this piece of stone are like 3 feet, 9 inches in length, 11 inches in thickness and 2 feet, 4.5 inches in width. A great research work was made to understand these three different pieces of writings. Obviously, different ideas were also come in front. However, the most reliable one is that the top most piece of writing was nothing, but sounds of a royal name “Potelmy”. The second piece of writing was an ancient Egyptian script and the third one was written in ancient Greek language. The stone now is in the British museum, hoping one day to return to its normal place in Rosetta.
Arab Killy House
Arab Killy House or National Museum of Rosetta is also one of the most splendid attractions in Egypt. This is one of the largest ancient houses of Rosetta that was constructed in 18th century. At that time, it was the residence of Arab Killy, an ottoman governor of the city. Today, it is one of the most famous and marvelous attractions in Rosetta as well as whole Egypt.
The city is described as the world’s largest open air museum. One third of the world’s most valuable monuments are located here in Luxor, making it one of the most important tourist sites on the globe.
During the rule of the Pharaohs, Luxor was a religious capital known as Thebes and housed two of their main temples which bear witness today to one of the greatest civilizations that ever existed-
Among the several temples and sights to choose from, a visit to Luxor is incomplete without visiting museums like:
- the Mummification Museum and the
- Luxor Museum,
- the Valley of Queens,
- Deir El-Bahri (Temple of Hatshepsut) and the
- Colossi of Memnon.
Top Attractions in Luxor Egypt
The Temple of Luxor
Temple of Luxor – it was built around 1400 BC under the orders of Ramesses II and Amenhotep III, to celebrate the festival of Opet. Although many kings built on it later, it remained a place of worship. There is a mosque built inside the complex that is a popular tourist site.
The night lighting in the temple complex is breathtaking.
Is a must see site for everyone, who want to know about great luxor attractions. You will be delighted to see the ancient architecture.
The Temple of Karnak
The Temple of Karnak was Built with heavy stones, this temple is dedicated to the ancient Egyptian Gods, Amun, Mut and Khonsu. It is one of the largest religious buildings made in Egypt. It is a huge mansion as it covers around 200 acres. It holds not only large and small temple but a vast lake is also part of this monument.
Temple of Karnak contains the largest temple complex in the world. It brings a series of kiosks, obelisks, pylons and sanctuaries representing every Theban God and Goddess worshipped in Egypt over 2000 years ago, under one roof.
Luxor Museum is another attraction on the East bank of River Nile in Luxor, providing an answer to the question that what to do in Luxor Egypt. This museum is situated between the Luxor temple. and Karnak temple. It holds a huge collection of artifacts, statues and other sign of ancient Egyptian civilization, which were found on the famous archeological sites around Luxor. It is open seven days a week; however, time schedule varies with the season. Mummification museum is also a big attraction for the tourists.
The Valley of Kings
Valley of kings: If we talk about west bank of the Luxor, you will see plenty of historical places. The Valley of kings is one of the major attractions in Luxor and Egypt.
The Valley of Kings became a famous tourist destination in the 1920’s when the tomb of one of the youngest Egyptian kings, Tutankhamun was discovered.
The Valley of Kings contains the tombs of the great pharaohs who ordered all the wealth and treasures for their afterlife to be buried along with them.
Although most tombs were raided by tomb robbers, Tutankhamun’s tomb was found mostly intact. November- March are good months to explore these tombs.
located in the west bank or river Nile in Luxor. This was the ancient burial place for the kings of Egypt. It holds more than fifty royal tombs, including the tomb of famous king, Tutankhamun, which was discovered in 1922. All tombs are not open for the public, but many are open and offer wonderful sites for the visitors.
Madinat Habu is a great temple associated with Ramses lll. The main attraction of the sites is the well preserved carving on the walls. As compared to other temples this one is in very good condition and colors on columns and ceilings are clearly visible.
Deir el Madina
Deir el madina are the tombs of workers, who were involved in building the tombs of kings and queens. They are not the same as the temples of great kings, but still worth a visit. All the tombs in deir –el- medineh are not open for the visitors and you cannot take your camera with you.
This is Egypt’s third largest city located at the foot of the Nile near Lake Nasser. It is known for its local holiday shopping and fresh spices.
Many cruise boats bring in visitors to stop over for a while. The city is filled with temples and monasteries to visit.
Abu Simbel- It consists of two rock-cut temples built by Ramesses II in honor of himself during 1290-1223 BC. When the Aswan Dam was being built in 1960’s , many countries of UNESCO collectively helped save the temple from drowning in the waters of lake Nasser by breaking the parts and bringing it up 65 meters to a higher ground and reconstructing the entire temple, piece by piece to restore it to its original glory. It took 4 years to complete the rescue operation!
Other attractions include the Nubian Museum and the Unfinished Obelisk which was abandoned due to some flaws during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. It would have been the heaviest obelisk of Ancient Egypt, had it been completed.
Must see Attractions in Aswan
Aswan, rate as the city with highest recorded temperature in all of Egypt, it lies along the eastern bank of River Nile. No doubt, it is still an inhabited city of Egypt, but it is one of the most beloved attractions in Egypt. Tourists, who know a little bit about the history of Egypt, choose Aswan as the first place to visit.
Aswan is a epicenter of ancient Egyptian culture and contains many historical landmarks. There are also some amazing attractions in and around the city, and many are a must see and must visit for lover of the Egyptian culture and customs.
It’s ironic that this city, which top the list as one of the world’s most dried and inhabited place and one that receives almost no rainfall throughout the year is regarded as a top tourist attraction for both national and international travelers in all of Egypt.
Famous attractions in Aswan
After visiting this place, you will never ask the question like “what to do in Egypt?” The main reasons are:
Some great things to do are:
Tombs of Nobles
Tombs of Nobles in Aswan or Qubbet el Hawa are very much different from other Egyptian tombs in terms of structure as well as characteristics. These tombs are rock cut tombs that are unique in terms of shape among all other tombs of Egypt. The most memorable things in these tombs of Nobles are splendid wall paintings. So, if you are in Aswan, don’t forget to visit tombs of Nobles. This place will mesmerize you and let you reflect on the beauty of ancient Egypt. Simple awesome must see.
Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo temple was one of those marvelous monuments that were built in the era of Ptolemaic Dynasty. The location of this temple a treat for visitors, as it is located on the banks of the Nile River. The temple has two sides, while both sides represent a different story.
Ancient Egyptians had very unique believe such as – one side of temple is related to their crocodile god, named Sobek who was also considered as a god of fertility.
The other side was related to falcon god, Haroeris.
The most popular (bucket list for many people) and a very beautiful experience in Aswan is the Nile cruise. Felucca cruise in Nile River is one of such beloved attractions for visitors all over the world.
The cruise is not only very economical, but it is very memorable. You can enjoy sunset cruise or full day cruise on the Nile River by the means of these historical feluccas. You can say that Nile cruise is no doubt, an unforgettable opportunity that you must experience, when you visit Egypt.
Nile Cruise Holidays
If you are looking to travel to Egypt I would highly recommend you consider a cruise on the River Nile. The Nile is the longest river in the world and will supply you with an extremely memorable vacation.
Here are some tips on how I suggest you employ when planning your Nile Cruise Holidays trip.
The time of year will be very important. This will both be important in terms of the actual temperature and climate and the amount that you need to spend on the Nile Cruise.
During the high season prices will be a lot higher, but you also need to bear in mind the climate and temperature.
Consider the duration of your Nile Cruise Holidays.
Work out whether you are going to be visiting Egypt solely to visit the Nile, and to go on a cruise; or whether you will be adding this as part of the entire package. Nile Cruise Holidays generally range from only three days up to a couple of weeks and for that reason you will have plenty of choice.
Consider how much you are willing to spend on the entire trip. Obviously this will depend upon the time of year, the duration of the trip, and the star quality of the cruise that you go on. If you are travelling from a Western nation, however, five star cruises are certainly affordable and recommend. Spend some time comparing prices and you should be able to find a few decent options.
Whenever you travel to somewhere like Egypt it is very important to get yourself proper travel insurance. There are several dangers that you might face such as the threat of terrorism or medical concerns. A full travel insurance policy should be an important part of your piece of mind.
Once you have booked your trip you will need to plan exactly what you are going to pack and take with you.
The most popular way to indulge in the ancient wonders of Upper Egypt is one on the numerous Nile Cruise Holidays that sail on a regular basis from Luxor.
Visiting this huge dam is another beautiful attraction in Aswan which is situated across from the Nile River.
Sinai is of historical, archeological and religious importance to many cultures. It formed a pilgrim route for many in the ancient times. Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai.
The Red Sea Riviera consists of the coastal towns along the Red sea beginning from the Gulf of Suez. And the famous towns of:
- Dahab and
- Sharm-El-Sheikh fall in the Sinai region.
What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?
Tourism flourishes here with beautiful hotels, resorts and restaurants. The lazy beaches, turquoise blue sea and the therapeutic mud and sand attract visitors in plenty to soak in the sun and surf. Deep sea diving and snorkeling are popular sports here.
The magnificent coral reefs and crystal clear waters are a perfect haven for amateurs and professionals.
- Marsa Alam,
- Al-Qusseir, and
- Bernice are some of the other popular towns.
Egyptian Oasis’ situated on the Western Desert offer a unique experience of witnessing their geographical beauty and observing the people, their culture and lifestyle. The most famous Egyptian Oasis’ are
- Kharga and
- Farfara Oasis.
Egypt- a Land Where Beauty Never Fades https://t.co/Rvs25CYth1
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) May 26, 2018
Holidays in Taba Heights
Taba heights, this is a newly developed resort region for tourist, it is situated on the bank of Red Sea in Sinai Egypt. If you are looking for the experience of beautiful sunshine on sandy beaches with some privacy, this is a perfect place to visit. Here you can find, mountain, desert and sea all three elements together in one place, which is an amazing site in itself.Let’s explore what we can do during our vacation in the Taba heights.
What to do in Taba Heights
Like many other attractions, Taba Heights is a great visitor’s resort region. Egypt is famous for the tombs and temples but it is also full of natural beauty. The landscape of the country is mostly desert but places like Taba heights offer lavish sea shores, rare marine life such as dolphin, turtles and fish.
The sandy shores are peaceful and invigorating perfect for the ideal rest and relaxation holiday.
If you are visiting from a temperate country you will find this place amazing and the sun offers great way to sit and do nothing all day long.
Taba Heights Highlights:
- Famous for the natural beauty
- You can also indulge in many water sports.
- Many people call it the best place for scuba diving
- The area has many great coral beds, which makes it good for snorkeling
- You can visit the Sinai desert on jeeps or horseback
- You can go for camel riding on the sunny beach
- Golfing is another activity for visitors. Many hotels and resort offers attractive packages for the golfers.
- Taba heights is Located on a charming stretch of the Sinai red sea coastline around 20 km south of Taba city and nestled between the Red Sea and Sinai desert and mountains
- Apart from water sports you can visit Monastery of St. Catherine. This is an old structure built in 6th century. You will need to climb 3,000 steps to reach the top from which you can also see the beautiful colored canyon (you can climb as the canyon as well).Ps You will need to take a car from Taba to get there, but it worth the view.
- Holidays in Taba heights are very affordable
Travel Tips While In EGYPT
What to Wear While in Egypt?
- Water – Always drink bottled water and carry lots of it. Tap water is only for bathing and washing. Bottled water is cheaper at the shops than on the cruise boats or hotels.
- Guides– Availing a guide through the hotel could work out a lot cheaper than from the local touts. None of the so called guides at any of the monuments have been employed by the government. They are all freelancing and may not always guarantee credible information.
- Groups – Groups usually have packages with an Egyptologist included. You may also take help from the hotel you stay in. Going in a group can be fun, safe and have most of the inclusions except tips.
- Clothing – Wear light and absorbent clothing. Sunhats and scarves serve to protect your head from the strong sun. Dress modestly especially when visiting the monuments and religious places. Women must avoid sleeveless clothing and shorts/ short skirts. Being an Islamic country, certain norms and practices must be accepted and respected. Trousers are best for monuments that involve climbing steep stairways.
- Climate – Hot and dry summers with high humidity along the coastal areas calls for heavy sun protection. Sand storms are common between March- April. October – Feb are the most pleasant months for a visit.
- Transport – Travel is best arranged through the hotel/ tour operator. The Rail system is good but very crowded. Road transport can be arranged. Taxis may not all be licensed so follow the color coded license plates. If you hire a felucca on the Nile, make sure you get a good captain so that you don’t get taken for a ‘ride’!
Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?
The Nile cruises organized through the hotel or tour operator are the best.Security- Entry to most places would involve heavy security checks because of the recent unrest in the region.
Be patient and prepared for these delays. Baksheesh is sought by anyone who even poses for a photograph with you. So be prepared to be asked for tips. ‘La Shukran’ means “No, Thank you” and should be used every time someone tries to sell you something or asks for an uncalled for tip.
Carry a basic medical kit with pills for headaches, stomach problems, eye drops, etc. Carry Egyptian Pounds separately so that you don’t have hawkers and peddlers looking into your collection of credit cards and foreign currency and charging you more!
A pocket flashlight helps inside stairs and passageways of some monuments which depend solely on natural light.
What not to do in Egypt?
Egypt is a conformist nation. Citizens of Egypt and conservative Muslims in general will take offense if one appears in a mosque or even on the street for that matter in attire that is considered immodest according to Islamic law. Women especially need to keep their shoulders and upper arms covered, by wearing full sleeve clothing/attire. Neither men nor women ought to wear shorts; however resorts are an exception to this rule, where these rules don’t apply.
Cotton tends to be perfect for all seasons, and wool is well suitable wintry weather as well as for, most summer nights, because it tend to get colder in the night in Egypt. Loosely fitted clothes are not only a sign of modesty in Egypt, but also tremendously practical and comfortable to wear in Egypt, due to its hot climate. Hats are definite must have and will be needed to protect against heat stroke, as sunglasses, which protect your eyes against the powerful UV rays of the Egyptian sun. You’ll also need comfortable all terrain shoes, like timberlands, this is because you’ll be doing a lot of walking and the streets of Cairo nor Luxor’s temple floors will be easy on your feet.
Taking pictures of individual folks will require a little bit of deliberation. The Egyptian folks hate having cameras pushed in their faces, so ask for permission before photographing anyone.
Here is a list of absolute things of what not to do in Egypt one should keep in mind, before vacationing in Egypt.
- No matter what you do, do not wear miniskirts and short sleeves, walking or basketball shorts, or tight clothing in Egypt. This clothing is considered to be immodest by the Muslim faith, and it will be distasteful to most Egyptian people.
- Keep in mind that any tourist who would like to stay longer for 30 days in Egypt will have to submit and HIV aids clearance certificate. Keep in mind: For people who have HIV, there are no restrictions for them to travel to Egypt
- Do not bad mouth Islam. The folk of Egypt hold great reverence for their Muslim faith, and reproachful remarks about their belief is make any Egyptian lash out on you.
- Never bring pornographic material into Egypt. Pornography is illegal in Egypt and will carry harsh penalties if you get caught!
- DON’T take a trip to Egypt if you have a harsh influenza (FLU), or are in bad health. Since the H1N1 (swine flu) and the corona outbreak, all visitors/tourist entering into Egypt at Cairo International Airport will go through a health screening. Any person who seems to have flu-like symptoms will be taken to a hospice for tests and will be placed in quarantine for a period of 48 hours. If test results are positive, the individual will be held at the hospice until they are cured of the disease.
It is important to know what to do in Egypt and what not to do and following the instructions above will make sure that you never get in trouble with the authorities. Egyptian laws carry harsh penalties for anyone breaking the law. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Now that you know what not to do in Egypt, you’re surely to have a safe vacation.
To Book A Tour Or Go Solo?
At some point in our lives, most of us get the desire to travel, for some it’s when we are young, fresh out of school and full of confidence and ideas, for others it may be a mid to late life calling to leave behind the monotony of nine to five and see some of this beautiful world. We are not talking about a beach vacation here, but the desire to pack your sturdy backpack and set out on a roving journey through one or a number of less than first world countries.
So once we have this desire to travel the how to do it starts to play on our minds. Should you book a group tour or go solo and be independent? Hours of leafing through colourful brochures or browsing on line can leave you cross eyed and the large bold printed figures which indicate how much you have to pay may make travelling solo more enticing.
There are of course pros and cons for both styles of travel, but ultimately you have to decide which is best going to suit your travel needs and personality. We can offer this advice to make your choice easier.
Going Solo, Some food for thought:-
Safety – It’s always the ever lingering doubts about how safe are you going to be if you travel alone? Well in my view, travel safety always comes down to commonsense. Basically if you make sensible choices in regards to your accommodation, your character socializing choices and keeping track of your money and location, you will not have much trouble with safety.
And nowadays many, many people travel so no matter where you are you will most likely meet others to travel with and gather advice from about where to go and where to avoid. You will soon discover the back packers grape vine and no doubt hear about places to avoid and places not to miss, shading characters and fantastic local spots etc.
Freedom – Ultimately, if you travel alone you have complete freedom to move at your will and choose who you travel with. If you meet people on route and get along, you can team up and travel together. Quite often lifelong friends are made by travelling this way. Also you are not locked in to set dates and travel plans, if you absolutely love a place, then you are completely free to stay and vice versa if you hate a place.
When I first travelled we had a mix of solo and planned tours and I personally at times loathed the idea of having to leave a place we loved just to meet a tour or catch a flight. Another good tip is open ended train, bus and plane tickets…..may cost a tad more but worth the added freedom it brings.
When booking an organised tour:-
So you have decided to join a tour, for whatever reason, the added safety, ease of travel, meeting likeminded travellers or the pure convenience. You should know that group tours do not always have to be dull. Here are some things you should look out for.
Small is beautiful – Look for a company that limits group sizes. It’s much better to have a small group than a big one. You will have a much better local experience, be closer to your guide and fellow travellers, and not get lost in the crowd.
But you should also try and find out how many other people are booked, because on the downside, if it’s just you and one other and you don’t get along….well then you are going to be stuck together for possibly a very long time, and at most times sharing rooms unless you opt for single accommodation at a cost. The ideal size for organised group travel is between four and 12 people.
Locally Operated – Try and find a tour company that uses local guides and amenities rather than foreign ones in the country(s) that you will be travelling. This way you will get a much better cultural experience and also your travel dollar will more likely go where it is needed, and not into a giant corporation pocket back in the western world.
Flexibility– Look for a company that has a degree of flexibility, in regards to their itineraries. For example optional activities for adventure seekers, Add On’s that allow you to see more of the country and opt out options on some activities you may not want to do like a museum tour or a rafting trip etc.
Down Time – Look for a tour that gives you a bit of free time and free days. You may just need a break from your travel pals, or just some time to explore on your own once your courage begins to bloom. Try and avoid a tour program that crams in lots of things and involves lots of travelling and long travel days in a row. You will get tired and cranky. Also make sure ample time is given to explore major sights and attractions.
A well thought out program that explores the highlights as well as the local cultural will be much more enjoyable than a crammed coach ride around a country with the guide pointing sights out of the window as you wiz by or repeatedly pile out and back in the bus in your 15 minutes!
When booking a tour, always, always check out thoroughly what is and is not included in the price. Check companies against each other. Inclusions to look out for are meals, entrance fees and domestic flights.
If these are not included it could end up costing you a lot more. You will be surprised at how many companies get away with looking cheaper but in the end work out more expensive for you with all the hidden extras.
The other big one is the LOCAL PAYMENT. An advertised price might look cheap but when you delve in you may find that you have to pay up to US$400 in local payment on arrival to your guide! Let me let you in on something here that local payment is probably the money used to run your entire trip in your destination country! Of course the travel agent you booked through takes a commission on the booking, and a well earned one at that after all they are doing you a service, but where is the rest of that money going? It is certainly not benefitting the local communities you will be travelling through.
One last thing to look at is the cancellation policy. If for any reason you change your mind, get sick or cannot attend the tour, how much do you stand to lose and will your insurance company reimburse you? Never ever travel uninsured!
Another good tip is to look for a tour you might like in the country you want to travel in one of the travel agents brochure, get an idea of what’s included and where the tour goes. Then look on line for a local agent in that country.
Chances are that the international company producing the brochure uses a local agent to operate the tour at a third of the price that you will pay. So get on line, make contact with some local agents and get them to price the tour for you. On the down side you cannot always be guaranteed a good sized group from a local agent and the reputation may be questionable.
That’s also where travel forums online come in handy, check around for people that have done a similar thing and ask for recommendations of locally based companies.
Mix and Match
If you still haven’t made up your mind, why not mix it up and try some independent travel and a booked tour. Get to your destination and take a look around yourself. Chances are that the city you’re in will have some sort of tourist information area.
Here you will be sure to find a hive of local agents where you can cheaply book a short tour to get you initiated. Once you are comfortable with the county and a bit of the lingo, or have met a few like-minded travellers, then you will feel more confident to head off alone.
Another good idea is to book an airport pick up or make sure the travel company includes it and spend your first two nights in a pre-booked Hotel. It’s always nice to know that you have somebody waiting to pick you up and a place to stay. Gives you time to settle and get a feel for your destination.
Regardless of whether you go solo or book a tour, I am sure you will have a fabulous time travelling, for nervous first timers a booked tour is probably the better option, make your choices well and before long you will be a travelling pro and have no qualms about slinging on your pack and exploring the world again and again!!!
Joint project written by Eva Krakowski, Elizabeth Dcosta – Travel blogger and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
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