You’d be forgiven for thinking the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx were the top attractions for a trip to Egypt; there is a lot more to see and do than just these incredible monuments though.
Starting in Cairo and travelling South you’ll be spoilt for activities, especially if you relish diverse landscape and mind blowing history. Here’s your list of must do activities in Egypt.
Felucca Down The Nile
It’s not for everyone (there are cruise boat option for those wishing for a little more comfort) but a felucca ride down The Nile is an unbeatable experience. For starters, The Nile is the largest river in the World, travelling the length of the country, starting in Ethiopia and finishing in Egypt’s North where it flows to the Mediterranean Sea.
Travelling the popular Egypt portion from Aswan to Luxor will see you pass landscapes to cement a place in memory. From desert sand dunes reaching into the distance from the banks of the gentle flowing Nile to lush green trees that offer glimpses of shade form the heat for animals. It is perhaps the scenery coupled with the slow ride of the felucca on the calm waters that makes this a fascinating experience.
A felucca is a traditional Egyptian wooden sailing boat and in some cases they are little more than a raft with sail. You’ll simply lay back with a book or deck of cards and notice the scenery pass you by; a pleasant reprieve from the bustle of Egypt.
The Valley of The Kings & Hatshepsut Temple
Located on the West Bank of The Nile, the first thing to hit you with this exquisite site is that in a scape of dusty hills in every direction is a very well preserved building which was carved into the cliff. The Valley of The Kings was built around 16th century B.C for pharaohs of the error. What’s even more intriguing than recognising the grand architecture of such an old building is that in 2005 and 2008 more tombs were discovered; its evident there may still be more than meets the eye.
Also located in The Valley of the Kings is the tomb of the most famous pharaoh of Egypt, King Tutankhamun. Discovered by a British archaeologist in the 1920’s, Tutankhamun’s tomb was completely intact some hundreds of years after his death. This is largely due to the mummification process adopted by the Egyptians which allows for todays traveller to gain access and insight into the world of Tutankhamun.
Another mind blowing architectural feat by the Egyptians; Abu Simbel is certainly worthy of a must do activities in Egypt list.
Much like with The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel is beautifully carved into the dusty landscape and depicts times of a by gone era. Located near the Sudan border in Nubia, Abu Simbel is riddled with temples and the main compound was erected to demonstrate the power and eternal supremacy of Egypt. Visiting the site is accessible to the public 7 days a week.
The Pyramids and Sphinx
The most famous Pyramids in Egypt are known as the pyramids of Giza which are a cluster of three pyramids more than 3800 years old. Located in the city of Cairo, the pyramids complex has more to view than just the pyramids of Giza; there are several smaller pyramids of slightly lesser quality in the same area and the famous Sphinx positioned directly beside.
While the image of the pyramid won’t come as a surprise to visitors – they have been hailed around the globe for many years – it’s perhaps the size of the structure that will be the most intriguing. Standing close to the bottom row of bricks it becomes truly curious as to how exactly the pyramids were built; some of the bricks are the size of a child and in the age of the build modern day machinery didn’t exist.
It’s possibly to gain insight into the theory of the build by Egyptian tour guides standing close by and ready to ply currency from willing tourists in exchange for a dubious run down of historical events but the reality is that the truth of the build is largely unknown. Instead, sit back and enjoy the incredible sights during a stay in Cairo.
Khan el-Khalili Souk
Located in the historic Islamic Cairo, Khan el-Khalili is a major souk and must visit for shopping enthusiasts and collectors.
Originally the site of The Saffron Tomb, Khan el-Khalili is occupied by hundreds of Egyptian merchants offering souvenirs, antiques and jewellery. Adjoining the original building are a host of workshops and coffee shops including the oldest coffee shop in the area which was established in 1773.
Although Khan el-Khalili was the target of the 2005 terrorist attacks, the building and merchants within continue to operate with their trademark haggle style system that foreigners have come to love. Visiting Khan el-Khalili is certainly one of he must do activities in Egypt for the hive of activity, ornate building and myriad of Egyptian goods and products.