Pyramids, Temples & Papyrus – Highlights of Egypt

Earlier this year I travelled to the Land of the Pharaohs on our 9 day King Tutankhamen tour. Kicking off in the bustling city of Cairo, I got my first glimpse of the legendary Pyramids of Giza and iconic Sphinx – as well as the lesser known, Siqqara Pyramids. From here I ventured south to discover the treasures of Aswan and Luxor – riddled with ancient temples and hidden tombs. Add to this a peaceful cruise along the Nile and a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings and you’ve got a pretty epic holiday! Here I highlight some of my favourite moments on tour with photos that I snapped along the way.

The Pyramids of Giza

We arrived early in the day on day 1 of the King Tutankhamen tour, this meant after a few hours of catching up on sleep we were anxious to see the amazing Pyramids and learn all about the history. The Pyramids Sound and Light Show is a bit cheesy, but it’s a fantastic way to get an insight into the history of these monuments without battling the heat, while getting your fist good glimpse of what for me was the oldest thing I had ever laid eyes on.

Siqqara Pyramids

After seeing the Pyramids of Giza, the tour then takes you to the not as well known, but just as spectacular, Siqqara Pyramids. These are currently being restored and have some fantastic monuments to discover. You can grab a great picture like we did above with some of the local men and donkeys around too!

Papyrus making

Everywhere you go in Egypt you can purchase papyrus, though the authentic ones can only be purchased from a few select places, including the museum visited on tour. The visit starts out with an incredible demonstration of how it is made and how to tell the difference between the different types, and the rest of the time is spent gazing and these handicrafts and making purchases if you wish – I got three!

Abu Simbel

From Aswan there is the opportunity to take an excursion to the temple of Abu Simbel. On arrival, my guide Alam suggested everyone form a line and look only at the persons feet in front of them, from here we continued around in from of the entrance to the temple and once we were all in place for the best possible view, on Alam’s command we all looked up to view the magnificent structure for the first time. This was by far the most awe inspiring part  of the entire trip and I’d like to stress to all travelling to Egypt in the future, not to skip it!

Nile Cruise

For my nights on the water, I chose to upgrade to the 5 star Nile Cruiser instead of the felucca and I did not regret the decision at all! The top level sun deck was a great place to spend our afternoon watching the sunset from the pool or sun lounge, and the evenings were spent eating a delicious buffet with local food, and Egyptian entertainment into the evening.

Nile swim - highlights of Egypt

Nile swim

Although we didn’t opt to sleep on the felucca, we did spend a morning taking an optional excursion on one of these local boats. It was lovely to cruise by the communities and was topped off with a refreshing swim in the Nile. You can’t tell from the photo but the water is actually quite clear in the shallows.

Philae temple - highlights of egypt

Philae Temple

Take a boat across to the island of Agilika to visit the Philae Temple – dedicated to the goddess of love, Isis. The temple takes up most of the Island, except for a small convenience style store which is a great spot to stop for an ice cream and enjoy the incredible views back across to Aswan.

Mummified crocodiles - highlights of egypt

Mummified crocodiles

After visiting the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile headed god Sobek, be sure to make some time to step inside the museum on site. Here you can view some of the fascinating artefacts found on the site, including mummified crocodiles.

hot air balloon - highlights of egypt

Ballooning over the Valley of the Kings

In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a morning than an incredible view, and this balloon trip does not disappoint. Shortly after take-off you can see the mesmerising site of the Valley of the Kings, where you will visit later in the day. Seeing the enormity of this site from the air before later exploring it’s tombs (including that of King Tut himself!) was a fantastic experience I will never forget.


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1. The Pyramids of Giza

We arrived early in the day on day 1 of the King Tutankhamen tour, this meant after a few hours of catching up on sleep we were anxious to see the amazing Pyramids and learn all about the history. The Pyramids Sound and Light Show is a bit cheesy, but it’s a fantastic way to get an insight into the history of these monuments without battling the heat, while getting your fist good glimpse of what for me was the oldest thing I had ever laid eyes on.

2. Siqqara Pyramids

After seeing the Pyramids of Giza, the tour then takes you to the not as well known, but just as spectacular, Siqqara Pyramids. These are currently being restored and have some fantastic monuments to discover. You can grab a great picture like we did above with some of the local men and donkeys around too!

3. Papyrus making

Everywhere you go in Egypt you can purchase papyruses, though the authentic ones can only be purchased from a few select places, including the museum visited on tour. The visit starts out with an incredible demonstration of how it is made and how to tell the difference between the different types, and the rest of the time is spent gazing and these handicrafts and making purchases if you wish – I got three!

4. Abu Simbel

From Aswan there is the opportunity to take an excursion to the temple of Abu Simbel. On arrival, my guide Alam suggested everyone form a line and look only at the persons feet in front of them, from here we continued around in from of the entrance to the temple and once we were all in place for the best possible view, on Alam’s command we all looked up to view the magnificent structure for the first time. This was by far the most awe inspiring part of the entire trip and I’d like to stress to all travelling to Egypt in the future, not to skip it!

5. Nile Cruise sun deck

For my nights on the water, I chose to upgrade to the 5 star Nile Cruiser instead of the Felucca and I did not regret the decision at all! The top level sun deck was a great place to spend our afternoon watching the sunset from the pool or sunlounge, and the evenings were spent eating a delicious buffet with local food, and Egyptian entertainment into the evening.

6. Nile swim

Although we didn’t opt to sleep on the felucca, we did spend a morning taking an optional excursion on one of these local boats. It was lovely to cruise by the communities and was topped off with a refreshing swim in the Nile. Although you can’t tell from the photo, the water is actually quite clear in the shallows.

7. Philae Temple

Take a boat across to the island of Agilika to visit the Philae Temple – dedicated to the goddess of love, Isis. The temple takes up most of the Island, except for a small convenience style store which is a great spot to stop for an ice cream and enjoy the incredible views back across to Aswan.

8. Mummified crocodiles

After visiting the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile headed god Sobek, be sure to make some time to step inside the museum on site. Here you can view some of the fascinating artefacts found on the site, including mummified crocodiles!

9. Ballooning over the Valley of the Kings

In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a morning than an incredible view, and this balloon trip does not disappoint. Shortly after take-off you can see the mesmerising site of the Valley of the Kings, where you will visit later in the day. Seeing the enormity of this site from the air before later exploring it’s tombs (including that of King Tut himself!) was a fantastic experience I will never forget.

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