The river Nile is one of the most magical and marvellous natural landmarks in the world. But even though ‘the Great River’ provided Egypt with political, spiritual and economic guidance centuries ago, it remains an incredibly significant and important part of the country’s character and constitution.
For that reason, it is an ever-present holiday option for travellers, tourists and families. Not only do Nile cruises give visitors the opportunity to stop off at a host of remarkable destinations, they also allow you to sample what traditional and contemporary life is like in Egypt.
Referred to as “The Pearl of the Mediterranean”, the country’s second largest city was founded by Alexander the Great in 331BC. But Alexandria is perhaps best known as the location of Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Today, visitors can learn about Egypt’s fascinating past at the Graeco-Roman Museum or the National Museum of Alexandria. Another highlight is The Corniche, a crescent-shaped bay where colonial buildings struggle to stay standing in the face of the powerful sea air.
Located in the south of Egypt just before the Nile enters Sudan, Abu Simbel is somewhat lucky to be here today. In the 1960s, an archaeological rescue plan sponsored by UNESCO saved this small village from the rising water of Lake Nasser to preserve its astounding temples.
The highlight is the Great Temple of Ramses II, which was originally carved out of a mountain between 1274BC and 1244BC. Although the four statues of Ramses are impressive enough, the fact Egyptian architects build this temple in such a way that light would illuminate the temple on just two specific days of the year is staggering.
Egypt’s modern day capital is a hectic and humid city, which hosts several historical and cultural delights such as Tahrir Square, The Citadel, City of the Dead and Ibn Tulun Mosque. But while in Cairo, it is difficult to spurn the opportunity of visiting its world famous monuments situated nearby.
The Pyramids of Giza are bound to be on most people’s wish list. The Great Pyramid is the oldest structure, which dates back to 2550BC and the reign of Khufu. But be sure to take in the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure too.
While western parts of Sinai run alongside the Nile for miles, it is practically uninhabited. Therefore, tourists should travel to the Bedouin settlements and tourist hotspots found on its eastern coast.
Here you’ll find the perpetually popular Sharm el-Sheikh as well as the alternative resort of Dahab, which is well liked by independent and adventurous travellers.