Egypt – land of the pharaohs and always a popular travel destination. The country on the Mediterranean is best known for its relics and buildings from the time of the Egyptian rulers. This unique culture can still be admired today at many sights in the form of temples, tombs or pyramids.
Apart from that, the country also offers wonderful bathing beaches, diving areas and of course the River Nile with all its natural beauty. Arabic is the country’s official language, but there are various dialects. The capital is Cairo, important tourist centers are in Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Marsa Alam.
In the following we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights in Egypt. See map of Egypt on DigoPaul.
1. Giza pyramids
No visit to Egypt would be perfect without the impressive sights of Giza – around 20 kilometers from Cairo. These ancient wonders of the world should not be missed. The most important structures are the pyramids of Mykerinos, Chephren and Cheops. The Great Pyramid of Cheops is also known as the Great Pyramid, it is actually the largest of the ancient Egyptian structures. Originally, it was 147 meters high, making it the largest structure in the world for a long time.
The three pyramids were probably built between 2620 and 2500 BC. Even before the construction of the three great pyramids, the area was used as a cemetery, which is why there are a large number of old graves to visit here. A detour to the Great Sphinx of Giza should of course not be missed. The mythical being, carved in stone, is actually a “he”. How the Sphinx lost its nose has not yet been clarified.
2. Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is on the west bank of the Nile, across from the modern city of Luxor. Only a small number of visitors are allowed to enter the valley every day. Too many tourists could damage the delicate tombs. The first mortuary temples are said to be here in the 2nd millennium BC. BC. At that time only high-ranking officials were buried here. From the 18th dynasty (1,500 BC) the pharaohs were also buried in the valley.
Rock graves were filigree carved into the stone, with numerous decorations and wall paintings, which gave experts many insights into the ideas of the afterlife of the Egyptian kings. One of the most important sights in Egypt today is the famous tomb of Tutankhamun, which was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. It is one of the few graves that has not been looted.
3. Aswan Dam
Not only ancient buildings are the sights of Egypt, the huge Aswan Dam is also worth a trip. It was built from 1960 to 1971 in cooperation with the Soviet Union and is located south of the city of Aswan. The dam is almost 4 kilometers long and can hold up to 169 cubic kilometers of water. The Aswan Dam is the third largest dam in the world.
The dam has the task of damming the water from the Nile to the 5,250 square kilometer Lake Nasser, which is partially located in Sudan. On the one hand, the dam protects against flooding, generates electricity and helps agriculture. On the other hand, it also harms nature: the fish stocks have declined, Lake Nasser is threatened with sand and the Nile has become poorer in nutrients.
4. Karnak Temple
The area around Luxor is full of sights from Egyptian times. About 2.5 km north of the city is the Karnak Temple on the banks of the Nile. The oldest building remains come from the time of Sesostris I of the 12th dynasty (2nd millennium BC), but the complex was maintained and expanded even until the Roman era. Then the ruins were buried under rubble and partially built over.
What remains today are the numerous ornate columns and labyrinthine corridors. The stone hall in the main temple is the largest temple hall in the world. A tower by the complex offers a breathtaking view of the temple and the Nile. There are also two secondary temples to visit, various small chapels and several obelisks.
5. The Red Sea
The Red Sea describes the strait of the Indian Ocean, which is located between the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. The beaches of the Red Sea represent an alternative to the Mediterranean beaches in northern Egypt. The sea here is particularly salty and is said to have a healing effect. The clear, blue water reveals the colorful coral reefs.
The water temperatures are pleasantly mild all year round. It is not only suitable for swimming and sunbathing, but also for extended diving tours. Popular beaches are for example in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada. Meanwhile, the up-and-coming trend destination is the lagoon city of El Gouna, not far from Hurghada, with its great marina and a large number of luxurious resorts.
6. Siwa Oasis
If you want to experience sights far away from the usual tourist routes, you should take a trip to the oasis of Siwa. The oasis is located in a depression, 275 km from the Mediterranean Sea and close to the Libyan border, which is why you should be prepared for a longer bus trip. In this almost isolation, the unique Berber culture was able to survive.
The Berbers make up the majority of the population in the oasis. The Siwa oasis extends over a stretch of land 80 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide. Here you can admire large salt lakes, dense palm gardens, fresh water springs, thousands of date palms, olive trees, romantic orange groves and the interesting Amun temple from ancient Egypt.
7. Abu Simbel
The rock temples of Abu Simbel are among the best-preserved sights from ancient Egypt. In addition, the two rock temples are the most imposing of their kind. The outer facade of the large temple can be seen from afar with its huge statues, which were carved 20 meters high into the rock.
The great temple was dedicated to the gods Ptah, Amun-Re and the Re-Harachte. The smaller of the two temples was dedicated to Queen Nefertari. Abu Simbel is located around 280 kilometers south of Aswan. At that time this country was part of Nubia. The temples were built 3200 years ago when the land was ruled by Egypt.
8. Nile cruise
One of the most pleasant ways of traveling in Egypt is undoubtedly a Nile cruise. The ships are practically floating hotels, with beautiful outside cabins, their own restaurant and usually even a sun deck with a pool area. Nile cruises mainly operate between the cities of Luxor and Aswan.
This makes a trip twice as attractive, because you not only admire the Nile Delta, which slowly glides by, which is lush green compared to the otherwise rather barren landscape. You will also experience some of the most beautiful sights and temples mentioned above on your route. A great experience!
9. Catherine’s Monastery
The St. Catherine’s Monastery is located in the center of the Sinai Peninsula, at about 1585 meters above sea level. The monastery is best reached from the village of el-Miga, from here it is about 2 kilometers. The monastery was named after Saint Catherine, a martyr who died in the 4th century.
The monastery is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in Christianity. Here the burning thorn bush is said to have shown itself to Moses. Nearby is the Mount of Moses (Gebel Musa), on which the Prophet received the Ten Commandments. These legends make the place one of the most important sights in Egypt.
10. Underwater world in the Ras Mohamed National Park
Not far from Sharm El Sheikh, the Ras Mohamed National Park is another highlight of your Egypt trip. Thanks to the comparatively shallow water, the breathtaking underwater world is also ideal for beginners, which is why snorkelers in particular get their money’s worth in the national park. Look forward to thousands of colorful fish and, with a little luck, even sea turtles!
The well-preserved coral reefs are of unique beauty and reveal an almost unbelievable biodiversity. The highlights of this attraction include the Jackfish Alley, where you can sometimes even watch sleeping (harmless) sharks and rays between the grottos on the sandy bottom! On the other hand, the Yolanda Reef, where various toilet bowls from an old cargo ship are located, is bizarre.