Reasons to Visit
The Ancient Egyptians have attracted more interest and attention than almost any other ancient civilisation. Their feats of engineering, and the details of their lives we can glean from tomb and temple walls make them seem very alive; similarly their obsession with death also fascinates us.
From the temples of Upper Egypt, to the numerous fantastic pyramids near Cairo, Egypt is probably best known for its ancient ruins. Even once away from the ever-popular Nile Valley, there are oasis tombs, and remnants of Roman Alexandria to uncover.
The shores of the Red Sea are rightly famous the world over. The water is a stunning clear blue and the coral reefs are simply amazing. Year-round, the sun shines, and there are excursions into the mountainous interior to tempt you away from the sand and lapping waves.
Gliding serenely past lush green fields, farmed by ox-drawn ploughshares, admiring the sleek form of a egret is one of the great pleasures of a visit to Egypt. The fact that this glimpse of unchanged rural life also links together some of the greatest historical monuments in Egypt makes a Nile cruise a must!
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is one of the world's great treasure troves, crammed with artefacts from the country's illustrious past. Other, much smaller museums are more than worthy of your time: Luxor museum is especially noteworthy.
As you twist and turn deeper into the Khan El Khalili, passing under Mamluke arches and admiring Ottoman 'mashrabiya' window screens, you're drawn into a traditional world where charismatic vendors try to persuade you to purchase handicrafts and goods manufactured in a tiny workshop behind the shop front.
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North Africa & the Middle East
The Old Winter Palace is one of the most famous hotels in Egypt. Its central location means that it is perfectly placed to explore the temples of Luxor and Karnak.
The Old Winter Palace is one of the most famous hotels in Egypt. Built in the late 19th century to provide accommodation for visiting English nobility, much of this historic grandeur is still tangible today. It was here that Howard Carter was staying (courtesy of Lord Carnarvon) when he discovered Tutankhamun's tomb.
A building of real character, it occupies a prime location on the Nile corniche in Luxor. The hotel was recently renovated and the rooms have marvellous high ceilings and period furnishings, while the corridors, restaurants and bar all display some wonderful antiques. Service is not of the highest standard, and despite refurbishment there is still a slightly aging feel to much of the hotel: as with other historic hotels in Egypt. As long as you are prepared for this, it is part of the hotel's charm.
Luxor, the hub of Ancient Egyptian monuments and a busy town, has developed to cater to the thousands of tourists who pass through. On the east bank of the river, the town itself is modern but has grown up around the two temples of Luxor and Karnak.
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Further reading:Tours in EgyptWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasEgypt CruisesPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout EgyptCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:IranJordanLebanonLibyaMoroccoOmanSyriaTunisia
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