By: Neha Singh (Contributing Writer)
Editor: Katy Terroz
History and adventure lovers have long been drawn to Egypt as the place of ancient pharaohs, interesting historical heritage, tombs, and pyramids. However, Egypt has so much to offer other than the obvious places of interest and archeological wonders that suit travelers of all types; it offers wondrous cities and coastlines laced with stellar sandy beaches and a vibrant buzz that will leave you enthralled. This article will introduce you to the top things to see and do for all those planning a vacation to Egypt.
Pyramid of Giza and Sphinx
One of the popular things to do in Egypt is to visit the majestic Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx. The attractions in Egypt are synonymous with the identity of the country, which is why most tour packages in Egypt include the chance for visitors to see these marvellous historic landmarks.
These centuries-old archeological wonders are located in the Giza Pyramid Complex which also features other temples, tombs, burial sites, and remnants of village settlements of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. These monumental structures have withstood the test of time and will definitely get you awestruck at their colossal splendor.
The Nile River
Cruises on the Nile River are a great way to see Egypt if you are not keen on camel/horse rides or desert settings. Nile River meanders through Egypt, offering a unique opportunity to experience the Egyptian landscape through a unique perspective.
Several cruise liners operate on the river, so you can find the experience that meets your budget and interests. Cruise liners operate mostly between Luxor and Aswan. With a luxury cruise experience on the Nile, you can spend a couple of days onboard a ship that provides spacious cabins, an amazing cuisine as well as spectacular leisure and recreation opportunities.
While most people think Egypt is filled with ancient ruins and deserts, they are rather surprised to discover the world of modern culture mixed with a traditional Egyptian flair. Cairo is the ideal destination to explore some of these fascinating experiences. Begin with some wholesome Egyptian breakfast or grab some delicious lunch while exploring Cairo. Khushari is a filling traditional meal to try if you feel hungry during your Cairo city tour.
The food scene in Egypt is amazing and the palette is teemed with legumes and non-vegetarian choices. Several traditional goods and cultural cuisine await you at Khan El Khali – an Egyptian bazaar. Cairo is also rich with some of the most charming ottoman-era architectures and centuries-old structures that are amazing to view.
Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh is a dynamic coastal township nestled between the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula, offering the best of Egyptian luxury and laid-back leisure. The sweeping sea views and stunning coastline make this place one of Egypt’s best beach destinations. Places like Naama Bay and Shark Bay are amazing havens for sun-soaked relaxation or a soothing dip in clear waters.
Sharm El Sheikh provides a totally different ambience from the usual idea Egypt conjures up. It is a clear indication that Egypt is much more than its archaeological attractions and ancient wonders. It is also an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkelling as the surrounding waters are teeming with spectacular marine life.
Most globetrotters overlook the fact that Egypt is bordered by the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea which both along with the Nile River gives this destination a dramatic topography. Alexandria is one such destination that anyone travelling to Egypt should add to their travel itinerary. Perched on the north of Egypt, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria is a fascinating port city that fuses Egyptian cultural essence with a refreshing natural panorama.
The city is steeped in historical fables and its remnants can be seen throughout the city. The extensive sea views offer a haven for serene sunset views and is a spectacular place to simply unwind at any of the beach shore cafes and seafront restaurants. Don’t miss a trip to Alexandria Souk for an amazing shopping experience.
Located along the Red Sea, Hurghada is another charming seaside town popular among tourists and residents alike. Come and experience life on the beaches of Hurghada; Egypt’s best white-sandy beaches located next to the most relaxing hotels and resorts along the Red Sea coastline. You can also enjoy a refreshing swim in the waters, or even explore the underwater world if you are an extreme adventurer.
A boat ride to The Giftun Island is one of the popular tours to enjoy on a trip to Hurghada. Aside from being a premier snorkelling destination, Hurghada is also an excellent spot to experience some exhilarating water sports.
White Desert National Park
Located in northwestern Egypt, the White Desert National Park is a stunning landscape of chalky white rock formations scattered on the golden desert landscape. This national park also goes by the name Sahara el Beyda and extends across over 116 square miles.
The White Desert is a part of the Farafra depression which was formed by the reaction of calcium, quartz, and limestone with the forces of nature, resulting in this textured, unique landscape. This park is not just famous for the unique white sands and rock formations of the Sahara Desert, but it also protects a wide range of animal wildlife and makes a great wildlife viewing experience.
One of hidden gems of Egypt is this lush stretch of land situated south of Cairo. Within a vast desert expanse, Fayoum oasis boasts abundant vegetation and stunning waterfalls. The serene setting is often a refuge for Cairo dwellers escaping from the bustling city life.
The contrast of sand dunes and rock formations with the desert’s wilderness and water cascading down jagged cliffs and glistening on the still waters of a tranquil lake create an ambiance of relaxation for all who visit. The Fayoum Oasis is also home to an UNESCO World Heritage site – The Valley of Whales which comprises fossils of marine animals and wildlife.
If you do not know much about Egypt, you probably know it to be the land of mummies, pyramids, and pharaohs. However, if you dig deeper, you will find that Egypt has much more to offer than archeological relics and vast deserts. The Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the meandering Nile River all contribute to giving Egypt a relaxing and refreshing ambience. The beaches of Egypt are some of the best to visit on the African continent. The coastal ambience along with the desert landscape, archaeological ruins, delicious cuisine, bustling traditional and modern cities all complement each other to present a varied combination of experiences while visiting Egypt.