Did you know? Egypt has Seven UNESCO Heritage sites spanning through the nation from Cairo all the way brings down south to Upper Egypt as far as Luxor and Aswan.
The Pharaonic period lasted an incredible amount of time all the way from of 32nd century BC as far as 332 BC, it of course has its own biblical history concerning Moses.
Over time, Egypt has had many rulers from several different faiths and beliefs including Christianity, Greco Roman and Islamic. However, in today’s society the predominant religion is Islam with a smaller percentage of Coptic Christians across the country of whom all interact into society.
Besides the historical aspect of Egypt’s ancient wonders, many tourists and locals choose to opt for an Egyptian experience which can offer them the ‘best of both worlds’, that of the beautiful calm waters of the Red Sea and North Coast with all it has to offer, along with a combination of Egypt’s historic locations.
There are many different options to choose from in terms of resorts along both sides of the Red Sea. The two most popular resorts along Egypt’s Red Sea coasts are Sharm El Sheik on the east coast and Hurghada on the west coast with Mersa Matruh on the North coast.
A very large percentage of tourists are drawn to the beautiful and idyllic resorts of the Red Sea which is known for its spectacular diving spots on both east and west sides where divers can experience incredible corals, species of fish and sea mammals. The benefits of staying in either of these locations on the Red Sea are numerous.
Sharm El Sheik has a reputation for being a more upmarket and luxurious resort with numerous excellent diving schools to explore the glorious underwater sea life and local attractions such as Ras Muhamed National Park and pretty islands easily reachable by local boat excursions. Being located on the eastern side of the Red Sea means that it has access to some fascinating ancient sites which include the beautiful and ancient Saint Catherine’s Monastery which sits at the base of Mount Sinai, one of the most scenic and breathtaking hikers paradise known as Mount Moses andsaid to be the setting where Moses received the ten commandments from God and pointed to the Promised Land after crossing the Red Sea.On the western side of the Red Sea is the main resort of Hurghada, once a small fishing village which is a now a very large resort with more than enough activities for all ages. Amongst its many options besides diving and visiting superb local islands by boat, Hurghada has a very large shopping district, a Marina with excellent restaurants and access via a reliable bus service to either Cairo or Luxor. Tours and excursions can take visitors to the important sites such as the large Mosque El Mina, situated right on the coast near the Marina.
Nearby are the resorts of Marsa Alam, and Sal Hasheesh and the very large resort within a resort known as El Gouna with apartments, villas and houses for rent or sale and has themed areas with its own shopping centres, restaurants, marina and beach.
Pharaonic Egypt – Cairo, Luxor and Aswan
Most tourists across the world have the desire to visit Egypt at least once in their lifetime. The main reason? To explore the Unesco heritage sites most famous in Egypt. Archaeologists have been digging ancient sites for centuries and even to this day, are still discovering hidden secrets such as burial sites, old cities and more.
Cairo and Giza are usually the first place that visitors arrive at due to the Great Pyramids of Giza and plenty of other historical sites to explore.
Cairo itself is a bustling and fascinating city with ancient history and the scenic Nile River flowing through. You will discover ruins and heritage of the oldest civilization on earth., admire the example of ancient Egypt’s architectural marvels, and home to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The 3 Great Pyramids of Giza and the Pyramid of Cheops being the largest Pyramid in the world. The other two pyramids on the Giza Plateau Pyramids are that of Chephren and Mykerinos sitting alongside Cheops. Other sites at this location are the Boat Museum, hosting an original boat that was discovered, unearthed, then reconstructed and proved to be a boat that was used for sailing the Nile from Upper Egypt to bury a Pharaoh or dignitary for their resting place at Giza.
Overlooking the Great Pyramids is the greatest monument ever built, the Great Sphinx of Giza, a colossal marvel with the body of a lion and head of the Pharaoh Khafre.
Another important site is that of the Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara,the legacy of Egypt’s oldest pyramid in Egypt built for the ambitious King Djoser- the first king of the Third Dynasty of Egypt.
Close by is also the ancient City of Memphis, the first Capital of Egypt under the rule of the first Pharaohs. Known as the ‘open air museum’, Memphis has many important relics such as the giant Statue of Ramesses II is made of red granite at an amazing 3,200-year-old and found in 1820 at the Great Temple of Ptah nearby Memphis, Egypt.
No visit to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum featuring thousands of artifacts from the Pharaonic period. The museum displays a rare collection totalling 5000 years of art which is considered the largest most precious collection of Egyptian art in the world. Over 250,000 genuine artifacts are presented, including an exhibit dedicated to Tutankhamun collection of treasure, gold and jewelry including the stunning precious gold mask of Tutankhamun which was enclosed in his tomb for over 3,500 years before it was discovered in the 1920s when his tomb was excavated.
Another important history of Egypt was the emergence of the Islamic period from the advance of the Ottoman Turk invasion. The glorious Salah El din Citadel is a important reminder of this period which hosts the lavish Mohamed Ali Alabaeter Mosque designed by the architect Yousif Boushnaq, a Turkish man who travelled from Istanbul, Turkey especially for the purpose of building this great mosque for Mohamed Ali, the then ruler of Egypt (1805-1849) who ruled for over 45 years.
Another important reminder of past history in Egypt, is the area of the city known as ‘Old Cairo’ which is still home to the original Coptic Christian community and ancient Mosques, Christian rock churches, and old Khan Khalili bazaar.
Downtown Cairo is in comparison, much more modern with districts home to local Egyptians, ex patriots from around the world, immigrants from war torn countries and home to Embassy’s, modern cafes and restaurants, and original buildings with a distinct English colonial look from the past history of English settlements in Cairo. The River Nile runs straight through the centre of the city with distinctive landmarks such as Cairo Tower, the 6th of October Bridge named after the 6th October 1973 when Egypt defeated Israel in the war of 1973 and one of the most important bridges in the Capital transporting over 500,00 people on average every day to several districts across the City. Along with this, many large 5 star hotels sitting along the corniche.
Upper Egypt – Luxor and Aswan
Nobody needs to be told what Luxor is famous for. Home to the renowned Valley of the Kings and its most famous discovery of the Tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun. Unearthed by the English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
Located on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor, the Valley of the Kings was home to many important sites such as the Colossi of Memnon, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and over 63 tombs discovered with the possibility of yet more to be unearthed.
On the East Bank of Luxor, are the important Luxor and Karnak Temples.
Originally known as the city of Thebes in ancient times, and often described by archaeologists as ‘the world’s greatest open air museum’, Luxor has an immense history and was originally the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom of 1570C – 1069BC
Luxor Temple was under the rein of several Pharaohs and Kings and Karnak Temple under the rule of Senusret on the East Bank next to Luxor City will be an eye opening opportunity to see two of the first ever temples to be constructed in Upper Egypt. Luxor City sits right next to Luxor Temple and has a really interesting Souk with an abundance of souvenirs, traditional coffee shops and restaurants and well worth exploring.
Aswan and Nile Temples:
Most trips to Aswan are via sailing along the Nile from Luxor on a relaxing Nile Cruise, enabling the opportunity for pure relaxation with the lovely views along the Nile delta and Temples to stop at on route.
Near to the lock at Esna, is the important Temple of Edfu, known as the God Horus, representative of a falcon built during the Hellenistic period and completed in 57BC meaning it was during the Greek rein of Ptomely XII Auletes.
Further along the Nile isKom Ombo Temple, the crocodile God Sobek, also constructed during the Hellenistic period and worshipped as a twin temple along with Horus at Edfu.
A most beautiful City, famous for the Nubian people from the African continent who were forced to move to Egypt after serious floods further along the Nile before the Aswan Dam was constructed. Their colourful homes often built from mud brick are very welcoming to visitors on the West Bank of Aswan.
Aswan city has a very large and lively souk for strolling and browsing their traditional goods with many stalls of spices and herbs. It is also famous for several important sites such as the Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan Dam (built to prevent the Nile from flooding in to Upper Egypt) and Philae Temple, located on Agilika Island.Sailing along the Nile from Aswan, you will pass under the beautifully constructed Aswan Bridge. Directly opposite the City on the West Bank, are the large limestone rocks which are home to the burial chambers known as the Tombs of the Nobles from the 1st Dynasty.
When travelling to Aswan, it is essential that you do not miss the opportunity to visit one of the greatest and largest temples in Egypt. Perched on the edge of Lake Nasser is the mind blowing temple known as Abu Simbel, built in honour of Egypt’s great Pharaoh Ramesses II. It has a lot of history, including the mammoth task of completely moving the whole temple due to flooding of Lake Nasser in order to preserve it. This was amazingly achieved thanks to a Polish archaeologist and his team and completed in 1968.
It is said that the temple was positioned in a certain way as to allow the sun to enter the chamber and shine on several sculpted figures, whilst avoiding the God of the dead, Ptah. This takes place on two days of the year, October 22nd and February 22nd which is a massive draw for tourists and historians alike.
A totally different experience awaits you in the beautiful Oasis town of Siwa, a hidden gem famed for the route of the old Silk Road and originally a Berber settlement.
Over time, it became home to many people passing through from the Silk Road. It has many attractions such as the Temple of the Oracle Amun, the Spring of Juba known as Cleopatra’s pool, the Shali Fortress and original mud built homes which give the city it’s unusual look. Along with its calming oasis, it is the most relaxing place to unwind and have the experience of a traditional style. With traditional style accommodations, local cuisines and friendly people who have their own dialect, it is an unmissable opportunity to see the history of Siwa and learn about the Oracle which told Alexander the Great as he passed through, that he would become a great leader and King.
A popular North Sea resort known as Mersa Matruh, very much visited by Egyptian families during their annual vacations. In the heart of the City is the local souk to explore and all it has to offer. Also, very calming and relaxing beaches for a spot of sunbathing. Known as the place where Field Marshall Rommel stayed and organised his German troops and tanks for battle across the Egyptian desert at El Alamein, even having a Hotel named after him which is still there to this day.
travelling along the North coast is the very historical site of El Alamein. Home to the incredible vast site of the War Graves which is the resting place of soldiers and airmen from the fierce battle of El Alamein during the 2nd World War which ended in the Egyptian western desert October 1942. A total of 7,240 graves are spread across a wide area with graves of men from a wide range of countries as far as Australia.
Rommel’s Cave Museum:
Just a quick drive from Mersa Matruh is the Rommel Cave Museum. In recall of Rommel’s extreme efforts, the Egyptian and German governments work together to open a Museum in 1977 at the Cave where Rommel executed his plans for attacks on the British and other militaries. Located close to the City, it was an ultimate location on the coast for his top-secret plans. Several places in Mersa Matruh are nominated after Rommel including a Hotel, overpass, and an Island.
The old capital city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great, known to be the greatest leader through the Greco- Roman period. The city hosts numerous sites dating back to this period including the extraordinary ancient Roman Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, dating back to the early Roman period. These catacombs were used to intern the dead for over 200 years. The architecture and traditions were influenced by Egyptian, Greek and Roman styles. Today the Catacombs standout as evidence of an age when three cultures, three arts, and three religions co-existed on Egyptian Soil.
On the waterfront sits the Citadel of Quatbay, located at the entrance to Alexandria’s eastern harbour. Built-in the 14th century to defend the city from the advances of the immense Ottoman Empire.
The enormous Alexandria Library was once was the centre of learning in the ancient world and lost in time yet recreated to modern-day architecture and learning and is still a modern-day Library of learning and frequented by students on a daily basis. Sadly, the original library was all but burnt down with its old important manuscripts by ancient scholars from an attack by Julius Caesar’s army. There is also a large Pompey’s Pillar along with ruins of a roman amphitheatre still visible amongst the cities buildings.
Rosetta (Rashid) City:
Lying at the tip of Egypt directly on the Mediterranean Sea, the City of Rosetta was originally built in the Ptolemaic period and has had several name changes over time due to the different religious changes and rulers. In later years during Islamic rule, the city was renamed Rashid and has stuck with this name ever since.
However, during the French campaign lead by Napoleon Bonaparte, the City was named by the French who landed nearby at Fort Julien in 1799 after discovering the original Rosetta Stone, hence the name Rosetta (meaning beautiful rose in French).
It was during the 19th century, that Rosetta became a popular tourist attraction for British visitors due to the unique style of homes designed like Ottoman mansions, pretty citrus trees and groves along with a reputation for cleanliness.
So, whether it is a holiday to Egypt is for pure relaxation on the sun drenched beaches of Egypt, or excitedly exploring the ancient civilisations of this unique land of the Pharaohs or even a twin centre adventure to discover both, look no further!
We can offer many different tours ranging from full day, half day, 2 days or more, twin centre holidays, multi country holidays, ranging from Hotel stays to Nile Cruises or traditional Bedouin style accommodations. We have it all.
As a reputable company, we like to be able to offer our clients a multitude of tour options to ensure your holiday of a lifetime.
Adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, therefore we do our utmost to provide ‘off the beaten track’ excursions, offering a brand new experience of often unknown regions and cultures in Egypt.
All our tours are with a qualified and experienced Tour Guide who can able to communicate your language. He/ she will be with you from your pickup point until drop off at the end of your journey.
So, what are you waiting for a look at our superb trips and see what thrilling selections are on offer to fit your perfect vacation? Welcome home to Egypt!