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
Aswan is easily the prettiest town in Egypt, and our recommendation for the perfect place to unwind at the end of your trip. Although not as rich in sights as Luxor, it does still have the picture-perfect Temple of Philae, and the monumental Aswan High Dam.
The sands of the Sahara tumble over blackened rocks into the Nile at Aswan. Fringed with palms, the desert horizon is broken by the Aga Khan’s mausoleum and the faint outline of the Monastery of San Simeon, stunningly located amidst the arid landscape.
The river itself is choked with the rounded boulders that gave Elephantine Island its name, and over which the inundation used to surge and roar before the dam was built.
The town is modern, but sleepy, and has a wonderful little Nubian Museum. Nubian influence is strong, and their food, arts and crafts are best sampled here.
Home to some of the world's most iconic historical sites, Egypt is undoubtedly a “must see” destination. Its proximity to the UK and size makes it possible for the first time visitor to see many of the major highlights in a relatively short trip.
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.
17 days from £3,800pp
9 days from £1,460pp
10 days from £1,880pp
163 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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