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
More than any other monument, the Pyramids of Giza symbolise the mystic appeal that Egypt has exerted over travellers for so many millennia. Sentinel to the pyramids, the Sphinx sits in enigmatic splendour.
More than any other monument, the Pyramids of Giza symbolise the mystic appeal that Egypt has exerted over travellers for so many millennia.
The instantly recognised tableau of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the Pyramid of Chephr, and the smaller, flanking Pyramid of Mycerinus dominates the Giza skyline, sitting on the fringes of the ever-expanding city, facing urban streets to the north and east, and staring south and west over the endless desert sands.
Sentinel to the pyramids, the Sphinx sits in enigmatic splendour, nursing a beard trimmed by Mamluke and Napoleonic target practice.
Beyond Giza lie the pyramid fields of Saqqara and Dashur where the development of pyramid building can be traced through early attempts at their construction, and the ancient city of Memphis, the first capital of a unified Egypt.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the invasion by Alexander the Great's Hellenistic forces, the Roman and Ottoman empires, and the introduction of Christianity and Islam have all played their part in shaping Egypt's long and fascinating history.
7 miles away
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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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