As well as the Pyramids – a must-see in this country – other major reasons for visiting Egypt include nearby Cairo itself, which contains the fascinating Egyptian Museum; the southern cities of Luxor and Aswan along the Nile river, and northern Alexandria. In addition, the Mediterranean and Red Sea beaches in places such as Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada are reason alone to visit Egypt with their excellent entertainment and water sports options. Egypt has more to offer travellers than any other North African country and its cheap prices, amazing history and great beaches account for its popularity as a holiday destination for travellers from the UK.
Egypt is essentially a desert, an extension of the great Sahara Desert in the south of the country. It is generally very hot at any time other than in the winter. Many people, therefore, tend to visit sometime between November and March. Having said that, tourists come all year round.
– Cairo: straddles the mighty Nile river in the north of the country, has a rich history and a massive population. Most people come to Cairo, and indeed Egypt, to visit the nearby Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, however, which lie just a few miles away to the southwest in the town of Giza. While in Cairo, you simply must take a look at the Egyptian Museum even if you are not into museums. The sheer amount of stunning antiquities in here is mind-boggling, while another must-do is to wander the network of alleys in the town to seek out an old coffee shop (ahwas).
– The Pyramids and Sphinx: are by far the biggest attraction in Egypt, way above the capital itself. Situated in Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, the pyramids are the only live remainder of the true ‘Seven Wonders of the World’; the largest is 450ft in height. Camels, horses, touts and incessant tourists can be slightly off-putting if you let it get to you, but there is no taking away the grandeur of this sight. The 160-foot long Sphinx also sits nearby, with the head of a female and the body of a lion and all carved from a single block of stone. A visit here is unforgettable.
– Luxor: also lies on the Nile but deep within the bosom of the country. This fine ancient city is one of spectacular architecture, of which the temples of Karnak are the focus. There are chambers and enclosures galore in here along with numerous statues and sphinxes. The Valley of the Kings is also near to Luxor and is the main reason that people head down this way. The Pharaohs’ Tombs are here, including that of King Tutankhamen, which was uncovered in 1922. Cruising the Nile in this region is a pastime, not to be missed.
– Aswan: is further south from Luxor on the Nile and is one of the main places to visit in Egypt, a frontier desert trading town of stark beauty with many nearby attractions. The massive Aswan Dam is one of the main sights and one of the world’s largest dams, which led to the creation of the huge Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake. In addition, the temple ruins of Abu Simbel are a popular but long day-trip from Aswan. Also well worth a look is Elephantine Island via traditional felucca sailboat to admire the ruins here.
– Alexandria: is situated right on the Mediterranean in the extreme north of Egypt and has a welcome climate compared with the interior of the country. Egypt’s second largest city was home to the likes of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar and is a hodgepodge of historical intrigue. Sights worth seeing include the Roman Amphitheatre, the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa, the huge Pompey’s Pillar and the Greco-Roman Museum. While here, have a sit on the seafront and taste some traditional thick kahwa (strong Egyptian coffee), or some shay bil na’na’, mint tea.
– Beaches: in Egypt: many Europeans are choosing to come here for summer holidays over European destinations nowadays owing to the near perfect weather and cheap prices. There are several main beach areas to choose from: the Mediterranean beaches from the Suez Canal to the Libyian border; the various regions of Sinai, on the Med and the Red Sea; and the mainland coast along the Red Sea. Most beaches have some type of entertainment and some throng with tourists year round, particularly along the Red Sea. The Red Sea also offers the best water sports action, particularly so scuba diving. The most popular resorts are Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada – many package holidays departing from the UK are available here – ideal for families as well as couples.Share this tour
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