Egypt is a country rich with history and culture. As a tourist one has countless options of locations that can be explored, from historical sites to sandy beaches with diving sites full of sea life.
Here are 10 of the most amazing sites.
1. Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are the most prominent landmarks in Cairo. Built as tombs for the affluent Pharaohs, the complex contains three main pyramids. The Pyramid of Khafre, The Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menakaure, along with the Great Sphinx of Giza was built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.
2. The Step Pyramid of Saqqara (Pyramid of Djoser)
Saqqara is an immense ancient burial ground. The Pyramid of Djoser is one of the many pyramids that scatter about the site. The Step Pyramid is the oldest complete structure in the complex. It was built during the Third Dynasty. The tomb is known for its step-like features that set it apart. The site also includes other sites, such as the Bent and Red pyramids.
3. Karnak Temple
The Karnak Temple Complex has a vast array of ancient temples, chapels, pylons, and buildings. It is located in Luxor. The construction of the complex started during the Middle Kingdom, during the reign of Senusret I, and continued till the Ptolemaic period. The main place of worship was around Karnak in the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun. The spot is a large open site and also hosts the Karnak Open Air Museum. It has four main parts, the largest is currently open to the public.
4. Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel is a temple of Ramses II. The colossal statues that stand guard outside are the most well-known features of the place. The interior has well preserved painted hieroglyphics and artefacts. The entire temple was moved from its original setting in the 1960s by the UNESCO. The operation took four years and saved the structure as it was threatened to go underwater because of the Aswan dam.
5. Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is an area where for 500 years, rock-cut tombs were unearthed for the prominent nobles and pharaohs of the New Kingdom. The valley sits on the west bank of the Nile and is opposite Thebes, which is now modern Luxor. The burial site is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers. It was the main burial place for major royal figures in the Egyptian New Kingdom. The tombs are decorated with various scenes from local mythology. This is where King Tutankhamun's tomb lies.
The Egyptian Museum in Downtown Cairo has one of the most extensive collections in the country. It has multiple exhibits that display a wide range of historical finds. Upstairs is the display of the royal possessions of King Tutankhamun, including the golden mask, jewellery, and clothing. Mummies of various royal figures are also there. Ph: MartinEvans / Shutterstock.com
7. White Desert National Park
White Desert National Park is a protected area located in the Farafra depression, 45km away from the town of Farafra. The park is known for its large white chalk formations. Wind erosion caused the rocks to be bent into fascinating shapes. It is also one of the best spots for stargazing, as many tourists flock there for the activity. It also serves as a refuge for animals such as the Rhim gazelle and Barbary sheep.
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, it is a major economic centre in the country. It is the biggest town in the Mediterranean and the ninth-largest in Africa. It includes sites like the Citadel of Qaitbay, Montaza Palace, Bibliotheca Alexandria and the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. Ph: eFesenko / Shutterstock.com
Hurghada is a beach resort town. It stretches 40km along the coasts of the Red Sea. It is well known for scuba diving due to its rich sea life. Water sports such as windsurfing and sailing are popular. Other attractions include glass bottom boats and submarines that allow tourists to see the lush sea life. It also has the renowned diving site Giftun Island, a national park. There are also many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
10. Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh is another resort town. It is between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. It is known for its diving sites and resorts. Ras Muhammed National Park is a prominent diving destination. It has incredible sea life located in the Shark and Yolanda reefs. It is also home to the Thistlegorm shipwreck. Naqb Bay the access point for scuba diving and snorkelling points in the Straits of Tiran, which include the Thomas, Jackson and Gordon reefs. Desert Safaris are also popular, as they include sites like Saint Catherine's Monastery.