The Red Sea provides a myriad of activities from diving, snorkelling and watersports
Egypt – The very essence of the word conjures up imagines of Pharaohs and pyramids; but
Egypt is a country of great diversity offering a kaleidoscope of culture, climates, and color
from temperate Mediterranean towns, cities rich in history, and desert interiors. This is Egypt;
a vast country with a plethora of places of interest and leisure. This is why Egypt is a great
holiday destination. There is something for everyone; the country is full of things to do and
To have an idea Egypt covers an area of 1,001,450km and is divided up into various zones.
Although the country is vast, it is relatively easy to move around and visit the different areas
due to the comprehensive internal flight service from Egypt Air, and the road network with
many modern tour bus companies providing luxury road transport.
Cairo the capital is a buzz of mixed culture, rich in history, and a hybrid of past and present.
It is an all out sensory experience and something which shouldn’t be missed. The city is
home to the only remaining monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the awe
inspiring Giza Pyramids and Sphinx. Another must see is the Egyptian Museum full of
artefacts and Tutankhamen's treasure.
Other great places of interest is the Citadel in Islamic Cairo, the Nilometre, Al-Azhar Mosque
one of the pillars of Islamic thought and home to the world's oldest university, and Ibn Tulun
the oldest and possibly the most beautiful mosque. Alternatively there are 100 more things
to d; shopping, eating, nightlife, and Nile cruises to name a few.
Alexandria is named after Alexander the Great and is Egypt's 2nd largest city, set on the shores of the
Mediterranean. The climate is temperate with beautiful turquoise seas and white sand
beaches. Two great attractions are the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos) and the Library the
largest of the ancient world. Visit Montazah Palace and gardens, Pompey's Pillar
constructed in honour of the Emperor Diocletian in AD 297, and the Roman Theatre.
Religious icons are the Abou el Abbas al-Mursi mosque built over the tomb of the 13th century
Sufi Saint, and St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral founded in 60AD. St Mark was buried
here but the body was stolen by the Venetians in 828 to be enshrined in St Mark's Basilica in
Marsa Matruh and the North Coast are situated to the west of Alexandria on the
Mediterranean coast. This area is busy and vibrant in the summer months when most of the
Caireans escape to the cooler climes from the city’s heat. Marsa Matruh is 240km west from
Alexandria and has beautiful unspoilt beaches.
Southwest and situated in the Western Desert is the isolated oasis town of Siwa. Although
remote many people choose to visit it as the town and Berber people have a special appeal,
unique character and it is the gateway to some of the most beautiful desert landscapes in the
world. Siwa Oasis is a vast region of date palms and olive trees extending over the horizon,
with villages and a central lake. Visit the natural hot springs of Cleopatra's Bath and Gebel el
Mawta, go on a 4x4 adventure to Bir Wahid, or try sand boarding on the enormous rolling
Further south on the Red Sea coast is the sprawling holiday resort of Hurghada. This main
metropolis stretches along the coast-line almost joining with the other smaller resort towns in
the south of Safaga, El Quesier, and Makadi Bay, and to the North the purpose built
upmarket town and resort El Gouna. The main attraction is the Red Sea which provides a
myriad of activities, from diving, snorkelling and watersports. This is a great place to get
100km south is the resort of Marsa Alam which has become one of the fastest growing
holiday destinations in Egypt, popular with wind surfers, kite surfers, and divers. Although the
resort is reasonably remote and remains fairly tranquil it is now far more accessible since the
opening of the International Airport. Diving is fairly advanced drift diving and not for the
inexperienced. You can also visit the Emerald Mines and the Temple of Seti I.
For a holiday immersed in ancient times, the premiere place to visit is Luxor, Aswan,
and Abul Simel. These three areas are linked by the river Nile which makes a Nile Cruise
the ultimate archeologist adventure. Luxor has a lot offer any visitor, from vast temples, to
ancient royal tombs, via spectacular desert and river scenery and a bustling modern life. Visit
the East Bank town the Luxor Temple and the Temple of Karnak. The West Bank you can
take a short felucca trip across the river and visit the Valley of the Kings, The Valley of the
Queens and Hepshatsut's temple. At sunset take a felcucca trip or pop into the imperial
Winter Palace hotel built in 1886 where Agatha Christy wrote 'Death of the Nile' and wander
around the gardens or enjoy cocktails in the colonial bar.
From Luxor you can go on a Nile Cruise to Aswan and stop off and visit impressive
temples along the Nile at Edfu, Esna, Komombo. The cruise normally takes 2-3 days.
Aswan is divided into three areas; the East bank, West Bank, and Islands. The area is
rich in Nubian culture as most of them resettled from their homeland when it was flooded
by Lake Nasser. Visit the Nubian Museum and the unfinished Obelisk. Enjoy a felcucca
ride to Sehel Island well known for its excellent beaded jewelry. Ferry across to
Elephantine Island and visit the local Nubian villages of Siou and Koti, the famous
Nilometers and the Temples of Sati, Khnum and Pepinakht-Heqaib. Afterwards go to
Kitcheners Island - Also known as Plantation Island which has wonderful botanical
gardens amidst the Nile. Other attractions in the Awan area are the West Bank, the High
Dam, the Philae Temple and the Kalabsha Temple.
A short flight further South takes you to the remote and unforgettable destination of Abu Simbel.
The area was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser in a massive archaeological
rescue plan, as Abu Simbel is home to a complex of temples dedicated to the Pharaoh
Ramesses II. Each temple was carefully moved and reassembled before the water rose. The
sight is a remarkable ancient architectural feat as the temple was carefully angled so that the
inner sanctum would light up twice a year; on the anniversary of Ramesses II rise to the
throne, and on his birthday. At sunrise the light illuminates the statues of Ramesses, Ra and
Amun providing a spectacular sight.
Another unique destination in Egypt is the Sinai Peninsular. This triangle of land bridges the
two vast continents of Asia and Africa. Visit the resort towns of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab,
Nuweiba, and Taba. Other historical attractions are Saint Katherine's Monastery, Mount
Sinai, the site of the biblical burning bush and where Moses was lost for 40 years, the National
parks and protectorates, and the indigenous Bedouin culture.
Egypt is a land of diversity with a range of leisure activities, cultural interests, and
historical and religious tours to suit any age or taste. There is something for everyone
with five star luxury resorts, cruise boats, and facilities. Enjoy your Egyptian adventure.
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