Set in the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt is an enigmatic destination that draws thousands of intrigued tourists every year. With a fascinating history and heritage that dates back 3200 years BC, Egypt has many surprises in store for its visitors.
Before you begin your Indiana Jones journey and set out to discover the secrets hidden in the pyramids, keep in mind you need to apply for an Egyptian e-visa. All travellers who would like to live an adventure in this beautiful country should have an approved travel authorization upon arrival.
Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria was founded in 331 BC by a young Alexander the Great. The city is home to the Pharos Lighthouse, which marked the ancient harbour’s entrance, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria also had the Great Library, which held 500,000 of ancient texts. Today, it’s been replaced by a modern one.
Once in Alexandria, head to the Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa. Discovered accidentally in 1900 after a donkey was swallowed by the ground, the catacombs represent the largest Roman burial site in Egypt.
#2 The Great Pyramids of Giza
The great Pyramids cannot be excluded on any list that depicts Egypt’s most essential landmarks. Probably Egypt’s most famous site, the pyramids are an existing legacy of a once powerful civilization. It is estimated that they are 4,600 years old and the sole remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
It is possible to visit the site on a camel or a horse. Aim to visit the pyramids near sunset and take in the striking views.
#3 Siwa Oasis
One of Egypt’s most intriguing landmarks, Siwa Oasis is set at the heart of the Egyptian desert about 50 km from the frontier with Libya. Siwa Oasis extends about 80 km in length and is 20 km wide. Surrounded by olive trees and palms, this settlement has scattered crystal-clear springs that honor its name.
There are about 23,000 Siwi people who live in this settlement and have their very own culture and language.
Many have called Luxor the “world’s greatest open-air museum”. It’s astounding that so many structures and monuments that date back to the ancient Thebes have survived. The Nile flows between the newer, modern city and west-bank necropolis and backdropped by the Theban legacy.
#5 Abu Simbel
Egypt has a wide range of temples and ancient building, but none is quite like Abu Simbel, will take anyone’s breath away. Abu Simbel is Ramses II’s temple, at the entrance you will see incredibly large guards. Indoors, you will discover a decorated interior with numerous paintings.
Its original location would have destined Abu Simbel to disappear under water. However, the entire temple was moved in the 60s thanks to a UNESCO operation that took four years.
#6 White Desert National Park
Hands down, Egypt most odd natural wonder. The White Desert features chalk-shaped white mountains that give the illusion of a snowed wonderland in the middle of the arid sand. A natural reserve would be an ideal break from the architecture and history excursions. The chalk rock formations are the result of occasional sandstorms in the area.
#7 Temple of Horus or Temple of Edfu
Built between 237 and 57 BC the Temple of Horus is not only of Egypt’s most alluring attractions, but it is also one of the best preserved. Horus was one of the most important ancient Egyptian gods. Horus was the God of the sky and kingship and son of Isis and Osiris. The temple can be found in the west bank of the Nile, in Edfu. There are inscriptions on the walls that have provided essential knowledge about their time.
#8 South Sinai
If you are looking to soak up the sun in Egypt, then South Sinai is a must. Here you will find European-style resorts, luxury hotels, and a wide range of restaurants. The area has many beaches where you can disconnect and swim in the crystal clear waters. Try Dahab if you are on a budget. You will be able to admire the Red Sea in any beach in the area.
#9 Islamic Cairo
The capital of Egypt had to make it to our top 10. But, we’d like you to focus in the Islamic Cairo. A district crammed up with mosques, madrassas, and monuments from Fatimid to Mameluke periods. This is a perfect location to shop in the impressive Khan el-Khalili where you will be able to see tiny workshops and buy directly from coppersmiths and artisans.
Visit the Al-Azhar Mosque and the Sultan Hassan Mosque to enjoy of the dazzling architecture and learn its history. You can also climb to the roof of the ancient medieval gate of Bab Zuweila, for the most remarkable panoramic views of Cairo.
Set north of Lake Nasser, in the southern Egyptian region, Aswan is a modest city when compared to Cairo or Alexandria. However, from Aswan you can visit the temples of Philae and Kabasha. You can book an excursion to the Sun Temple of Ramses at Abu Simbel.
Aswan is an ideal location if you wish to do several excursions to the many temples located in the area. You can also take the river ferry across to Elephantine Island and stroll the charming streets of Nubian villages.