Egypt is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East, being a country of incalculable historical significance, and also of stunning weather. From the banks of the Nile to the shore of the Red Sea, Egypt is chock-full of tourist sights – and here are seven of the sights you absolutely must see.
1. Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are the first thing many of us learn about the country – an instantly recognisable set of monuments, the largest of which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the oldest of them to boot. These pyramids are even more breath-taking in person than in the history books, standing tall to commemorate the commemorate the pharaohs buried within. The pyramid complex also includes the Temple of the Sphinx, with its imposing statue of the mythical creature made famous in popular culture.
2. Luxor Temple
On the other side of the River Nile to the Giza pyramid complex, situated on the east bank is the Luxor Temple, still standing nearly 3,500 years after its construction. It is thought that the temple was built as a place to crown Egypt’s pharaohs, as a celebration of their divine right and upcoming rule. The temple is itself home to numerous monuments and items of historical significance and great beauty, from the Great Colonnade to the Avenue of Sphinxes.
3. The River Nile
The Nile itself is an attraction in its own right, being the longest river on the continent and a stunning place from which to view the majesty of Egypt as a whole. Cruising the River Nile as part of a guided Egypt tour would bring to your attention the amazing natural beauty of the country, as well as the landmarks and monuments that line its banks.
4. Valley of the Kings
The Valley of Kings is a natural valley into which pharaohs excavated tombs, between 1500 and 1000 B.C. It is a sobering and spiritual visit, with steps and tombs intersecting natural formations in the rolling Theban hills. This limestone valley hosts well over 50 tombs, encompassing royalty and noblemen alike. Access to the Valley includes entry to eight tombs, including those of Rameses III, IV, VII an IX – allowing you to see for yourself, up close and personal, the intricate designs that house Egypt’s holy dead.
5. Red Sea Reefs
Egypt’s tourist draws do not solely lie in its ancient history; it is also home to natural wonders that simply have to be seen to be believed. Principal among those wonders are the corals of the Red Sea, stunning and expansive ecosystems brimming with colour and life. Scuba dives take place regularly on Egypt’s shores, allowing you to visit the reefs for yourself and encounter the vibrant, exotic wildlife that call them home.
6. Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum is the crown jewel of archaeological centres in the Middle East, and home to some of the most important archaeological finds on the planet, from before the Ancient Egyptian dynasties to the Roman occupation. The museum is a fantastic destination to add on to your tourist’s itinerary, if only to see the intact sarcophagi of Psusennes I and Queen Kawit.