A different side to Egypt… Hidden Gems (3 minute read)

(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

Given Egypt’s location and long history, it truly is a fascinating mix of Arabian, African and European cultures. From modern resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada to the old city streets and markets of Cairo, Egypt has everything. Egypt is a land of wonder and it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the temples and monuments of the Ancient Egyptian Civilisation and of course the great River Nile. However, there’s a wealth of things that can be done in Egypt that you might not have considered. We’ve highlighted a few of our favourite Egypt hidden gems below:

The Zhoser's Step Pyramid at Saqqara is one of the best Egypt hidden gems - visited on all our Egypt tours
The Zhoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara – visited on all our Egypt tours

The Pyramids of Saqqara

The pyramids of Saqqara are certainly less well known than their famous cousins but are actually considerably older. The step pyramid is the oldest freestanding pyramid in the world. It was built by Imhotep for King Djoser in roughly 2700BC. While the Great Pyramids tend to have far more visitors, Saqqara is lesser-known. You’ll have a much better opportunity to explore and appreciate the site away from the crowds. It’s not just the pyramids that are worth the trip, however. The temple complex, outer walls and the various courtyards are very well preserved.  Saqqara is not far from the Pyramids of Giza and we visit these ancient pyramids on all our group tours to Egypt.

The Coloured Canyon

Among all of Egypt’s famous monuments and sites, the Coloured Canyon can get overlooked. But it’s something you should consider on your list of things to visit. It’s only reachable by 4×4 and takes roughly 2 hours of driving through the Sinai (an experience in itself) to reach. Once you’re there though you’re bound to marvel at this wonder of nature. The canyon is a winding formation of rocks with narrow passages, large arches and incredible colours. Although only 800m long, it can be quite physically demanding in places. But there’s always the opportunity to cool off in the nearby Red Sea.

Dunes in the Western Desert in Egypt
Dunes in the Western Desert in Egypt

Desert Driving and Sandboarding

Egypt is a fantastic place to do some serious off-road driving and the desert is an incredibly beautiful place.  There’s nothing quite like driving through the desert and experiencing these magnificent vast and empty places; and especially the amazing starlit night sky! The Western Desert – with the Bahariyya, Kharga and Dakhla Oases are top spots for some 4×4 desert driving and you could consider a bit of cross-desert camel trekking too.  To the northwest of Egypt is the isolated Siwa Oasis. And it’s also close to The Great Sand Sea, which is a brillaint place to sandboard.

Many thanks to Dave Gregory for contributing this article to THE INSIDE TRACK. Are there any other hidden gems and unusual activities in Egypt that you would recommend? We’d be happy to arrange an adventure and cultural tour to Egypt for you, but in case you are looking for a quick Red Sea beach getaway – try TUI who often have cheap charter flight details to resorts like Sharm-el-Sheikh.

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