Egypt is filled with spectacular ancient monuments and natural wonders too. As a destination, it’s definitely one of those must-see places. Here are a few of Egypt’s highlights, a taste of some of the things you’ll see on a tour of Egypt. Which have you seen? And which have we left out?
The Nile is an ancient waterway and has been the source of life for Egypt since ancient times. What better way to experience the Nile than from the deck of a felucca? A traditional sailing boat, there are few things more relaxing than stretching out in the sun on the deck and watching the world drift by.
2. Kom Ombo Temple
A double-temple dedicated to the crocodile god Sibek, and the falcon-headed god Horus, the temple is perfectly symmetrical. Though parts of it have been damaged over the years by floods, earthquakes and builders who used the stones for other building projects, it’s still a striking building. Look out for paintings, which give a clue as to how bright and vivid the temple must have been in its glory days.
3. Karnak Temple
Sphinxes line the road leading to the entrance of Karnak Temple, one of Egypt’s main attraction. With construction beginning in the 16th Century BC, over 30 pharaohs contributed to the temple, allowing it to reach a size and complexity that you won’t find elsewhere.
4. Valley of the Kings
Hundreds of tombs make up the Valley of the Kings (and the Valley of the Queens, an adjacent necropolis.) Probably the most famous – and the only one to be found in modern times untouched by grave robbers – is the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamen. Exploring the other tombs in the area (most of which are larger than his) makes one wonder at the ancient treasures that must have been housed in this valley all those years ago.
5. The Colossi of Memnon
Standing about 18 meters high, these two statues have stood guard here at the entrance of what was Amenhotep III’s memorial temple on the West bank of the Nile since 1350BC. There's something imposing about them - even after all the centuries that they've been there.
6. Hot-air Ballooning
The best way to see the Valley of the Kings is undoubtedly from the air. Get a superb view of the temples and monuments built by numerous pharaohs in ancient times as you drift soundlessly through the dawn air. It’s an experience not to be missed!
7. Abu Simbel
Many people list Abu Simbel as a monument that could rival the pyramids purely in terms of scale and engineering ingenuity. Built by King Ramses II, the temple was carved out of a mountain (as opposed to being built) and was aligned so that the beams of the sun shone straight into the inner sanctum on the days of Ramses’ birth and coronation. And although the temple was moved and rebuilt to escape the rising waters of Lake Nasser, this is still a bi-annual event! (Albeit a day out of sync – it seems those ancient Egyptians still can’t be beaten!)
8. Diving in Dahab
Located alongside some of the best reef waters on the Red Sea coast, Dahab offers mostly shore-diving to around 30 diving sites for both beginners and the more experienced diver, some of which are located just a few miles north of Dahab. Divers are usually driven along the coast by jeep, to 'gear-up' at water's edge and commence their sub-aquatic experience. One of the most popular dive sites is the Blue Hole - a dive site with the greatest attraction lying not in the blue hole itself, but on the rich sloping coral reef garden on the outer lip of the hole.
The only remaining world wonders out of the original Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids of Giza continue to amaze visitors thousands of years after they were built. There are surely very few monuments that are as frequently photographed, but there’s nothing to beat standing beside them – they still inspire awe even today!