Tourism in Egypt
Official language: Arabic
National anthem: Bilady, Bilady, Bilady
Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
National holiday: July 23
Border countries: Libya, Israel, Sudan
Why visit Egypt?
Egypt is discovered through a journey on the Nile, its mythical river, over which we gradually discover the pharaonic temples. These constitute Egypt’s cultural heritage, one of the richest in the world, and one of the best preserved. Egypt is also the Pyramids of Gyseh, the desert, the capital of Cairo, the seaside resorts of the North, and those that overlook the Red Sea. The latter has some of the most beautiful and famous seabed in the world. A trip to Egypt will therefore be ideal for those who love history combined with breathtaking visits in the footsteps of antiquity. During your cruise on the Nile or to explore the Red Sea, you will enjoy strolling in the souks, having a tea and talking with the locals who are very welcoming. It is unfortunate that the country is under tension given the beauty and the treasures which it conceals.
Activities in Egypt
What to visit in Egypt:
Abu Simbel: Surely the most impressive and well-known temples, the two temples of Abu Simbel are famous for the 4 huge statues posted at the entrance, in homage to Ramses II. The second temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor, who was the wife of Ramses II. These temples were also made famous by Unesco’s rescue from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. In the 60s, the temples were cut piece by piece to be rebuilt out of reach of the waters. They were originally located on the sacred hills of Méha and Ibshek.
Philae: South of Aswan, Philae temple has incredible beauty. Submerged in water until the 1970s, it shines today. It’s Isis who was worshiped there. On the island, you can discover the Trajan Kiosk, a very pretty building, better preserved, because it was not underwater before.
The Lac Nasser sites: Other sites exist in the Lac Nasser region, but are less important than those mentioned above, not without being less beautiful. We find the three temples of Wadi-es-Seboua (or Ouadi-es-Seboua): that of the same name, Dakka, and Maharraqa. Then follow those of Kalabsha, Amada, and Derr. They are among the fourteen temples saved by Unesco.
Around Aswan: The Aga Khan Mausoleum overlooks the city of Aswan and the Nile Valley. This is where the body of Aga Khan III, who was once the head of a sect, rests. Behind this mausoleum, we discover the Saint-Simeon monastery which is the largest and oldest Romanesque church in Egypt. The visit is superb. Take advantage of being in Aswan to take a tour of the souk before hitting the road (or the boat). The temple of Akhetaton and its archaeological site are to be seen at Tell el-Amarna. Further north of the city, we find the site of Kôm Ombo and its temples of Sobek and Haroëris which worship several gods.
Luxor and its surroundings: In the current city, the Luxor temple dedicated to the god Amon, was built at the request of Amenhotep III, then its construction evolved under Tutankhamun and Ramses II. It is recognizable by its aisle of sphinxes and its two obelisks. Three kilometers north of Luxor, the temples of Karnak still represent the largest religious complex in the world today.
On the opposite bank to Luxor, begins the Valley of the Kings which has a large number of tombs of ancient dynasties which constitute a part of the great necropolis of ancient Thebes (Luxor today). The temple of Hatshepsut is unmissable. Its structure and architecture bear witness to the work carried out. It is located in Deir el-Bahari. 65km north of Luxor, the more recent temple of Hathor, in Dendérah, has a good conservation which allows to admire the paintings inside.
You can explore the Valley of the Queens, still from Luxor, whose tomb of Nefertari is the most beautiful. Finally, on the bank of the Nile, the valley of the Nobles has some tombs to visit.
Between Luxor and Aswan, two cities deserve to linger there: Edfu for its temple of Horus, and Esna for its temple of Khnoum.
Giza Pyramids: This is the oldest tourist site in the world, and it attracts crowds. The Pyramid of Cheops is the only one of the 7 wonders of the world that still exists. On site, the whole is suitable for photos taken with camels and sand dunes. There is no shortage of the Giza Sphinx which is the largest monolithic monumental sculpture in the world.
Saqqara pyramids: 15km from Giza, the site of Saqqara is a funerary complex which extends from the Old Kingdom (2700 BC) to the Ptolemaic period (10th century AD), on which the pyramid is located at from sandstone of Djoser, the oldest stone monument in the world. The entire site is very well restored, which allows you to fully enjoy it.
Beni Hassan: South of Al-Minya, the Beni Hassan necropolis has nearly 40 tombs, some of which have been decorated with exceptional frescoes. The view from the cliffs is superb.
Abydos: The sacred city of Abydos is also interesting for its murals in the temple which was the center of worship of Osiris.
Kharga: In the middle of the lybic desert, 330km west of Luxor, the oasis of Kharga comes out of nowhere. If you go there, visit the Temple of Hibis and the Bagawat Necropolis.
The north coast of Egypt, overlooking the Mediterranean, is unfortunately devoid of interest, as violent history has made the beaches ugly. However, the city of Alexandria stands out and its visit is remarkable. Having nothing to envy the big city of Cairo, Alexandria is cosmopolitan and has a very Mediterranean style. World famous for its famous lighthouse, the city can be visited in a few key points: Fort Qaytbay which protected the city and which was built with the remains of the stones from the lighthouse in the same place, the Column of Pompey, the catacombs of Kom esh- Shuqafa, and the Greco-Roman Museum.
Note that Port Said is the port city and gateway to the Suez Canal, which was largely built by the French. The old town has a certain charm. In general, Port Said is visited during an excursion during a cruise.
The Red Sea region is exploding in tourism and the seaside resorts that have emerged since the 1990s continue to grow and emerge from the ground. Tourists flock from all over the world for its magnificent seabed. They are among the most beautiful on earth and it is no small thing to say: fish, corals, wrecks, and many colors! Either snorkeling (just mask and snorkel) or real scuba diving with bottle will delight all diving enthusiasts from beginners to experts. Those who are not comfortable in the water will not have a problem with the beautiful beaches nearby. The most difficult, finally, being to choose your meeting point namely one of the stations of the Arabian coast (Hurghada, El Gouna, or Safaga) or the Gulf of Aqaba (Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba, or Dahab).