Egypt- a Land Where Beauty Never Fadesadmin
Last Updated January 3rd, 2019
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bazaars like 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.
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 Pyramid 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!
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.
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- The Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Luxor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab and Sharm-El-Sheikh fall in the Sinai region.
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. Hurghada, Safaga, 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 Baharia, Dakhla, Siwa, Kharga and Farfara Oasis.
Egypt- a Land Where Beauty Never Fades https://t.co/Rvs25CYth1
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Travel Tips 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’!
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.
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