Top 10 experiences you cannot miss in Egypt
Egypt has so much to offer visitors who are looking to experience its charm. Whether you’re interested in its ancient history or simply looking for an adventure, this place, and its people, are sure to captivate your very existence. Read on to discover our top 10!
1. A Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor
Cruise from Aswan to Luxor and go for brief felucca sailing excursions to visit world renowned monuments and secluded islands. You'll get to explore the High Dam, the Granite Quarries and sail to the Temple of Philea and Kom Ombo, visit the famous botanical garden, the Horus Temple of Edfu and the Galabiya party, as well as the Temple of Karnak, Hatshepsut's Temple, the Valley of the Kings and Queens, and Luxor Temple. You will not get bored for a second!
2. A visit to the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan
At first sight, the Mausoleum of the Agha Khan in Aswan may appear to you as an austere and isolated building, on the west bank of the Nile River. Inspired by the architecture of the Cairo Fatimids, the structure is recognizable by its elegance and by its special use of pink granite. It was built at the request of the begum, wife of the Aga Khan III who died in 1957.The begum who died in 2000 lived in the white villa below but closed the mausoleum to the public in 1997 to allow the deceased to rest in peace away from the bustle of the living. Nevertheless, the spot is more than worth a visit, be it for the serenity of the place or the amazing panoramas of the Nile and the villa below.
3. Trekking in the White Canyon
A camel safari or 4x4 safari to Ain Khudra Oasis is the perfect starting point for a trek into the White Canyon. The rocks of the canyon have a high lime content that creates the magnificent pure white walls you can marvel at while pacing and hiking in the canyon. The Canyon can be reached in less than one hour from Dahab by a 4X4.
4. Shopping in Khan El-Khalili Bazaar
No visit to Cairo is complete without a stop at the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, where you will be transported back in time to an old Arab souk. Shop owners calling you to their stalls, the scent of spices, the hustle and bustle of trade, and the many beautiful objects that can purchased will have you lost among alleys for hours. Put your haggling skills to the test when buying statuettes, spices, souvenirs, silver jewellery, t-shirts, galabiyyas, belly dancing costumes, or anything for that matter. When your shopping's done, don't miss out on a traditional cup of tea at the famous Fishawi's cafe.
5. Picturesque views from Pharaoh Island
After a short ferry ride from Taba's coast, you'll reach the Island of the Pharaoh, a small granite atoll surrounded by coral reefs and dominated by the magnificent Saladin fortress, built by Crusaders in the 12th century and recently restored by the Council of Egyptian Antiquities. Salah El-Din based his soldiers on this strategic island in order to control the trade of products coming from Asia and demand ransoms from pilgrims on their way to Mecca. A truly strategic spot: you'll be stunned by the fortress's panoramic view, a landscape merging between the coasts of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
6. Visit to the Hanging Church
Take the steps that lead to one of the most beautiful churches in the Middle East known as the Hanging Church. Built on top of the Roman fortress gatehouse called Babylon, the nave of the Hanging Church is suspended over the passageway. Located just south of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, the Hanging Church boasts 13 magnificent pillars in its interior, representing Jesus and his 12 apostles. Listen in on the ancient liturgical Coptic language used in service and witness a living vestige of Ancient Egyptian history.
7. Bedouin dining by the beach
One of the main attractions of Dahab is the unique on-the-ground dining experience. Many restaurants offer a Bedouin-laid back setting of large colorful cushions and low tables placed close to the beach. Most of these restaurants have also fish stalls where you'll be asked to choose your fish and have it prepared the way you like it. The food is exquisite and quite cheap. After finishing your meal, you can just lean back on the cushions and rest for as long as you wish. Thinking of how much a shisha would fit into the whole setting? Think no more, your wish will surely be anticipated by the restaurant staff.
8. Visit to Coloured Canyon
One of the natural wonders of the Sinai, the Coloured Canyon, can be visited from Taba. It's a maze of sandstone rocks in hues of yellow, purple, red, magenta and gold reaching up in some places a height of 40 meters. The uneven forms and height of the rocks sometimes make climbing necessary, so be prepared and try to get there as early as possible, not only because of the weather, but also to avoid the crowds. Although you might agree that the magic of the place is best enjoyed when you're on your own, you will have to take a guided tour to the Canyon. Many hotels and tour operators in Taba organize day tours to this amazing destination.
9. Diving in Ras Mohammed
Egypt's first protected area is a world-famous area with several top diving locations. The area of Ras Mohammed is a cape formed by ancient corals; you can see those emerging on the surface of the sea. It is indisputably one of the most beautiful places in South Sinai. Due to currents carrying out of the Gulf of Aqaba, the underwater inhabitants of the area are simply exceptional and a lot of fish come here from the open seas in search of food and shelter: you'll observe an unperceived abundance of hard and soft corals, big schools of tunas, barracudas, jackfish, and even sharks, only to name a few. Strong currents bringing in a wide variety of fishes made the spot one of the most perfect sites for underwater photography.
10. Giza camel rides
A camel ride is a must-do for every first-time Egypt traveler. Many people who visit the Giza plateau choose to go on a camel ride around the Pyramids. Yet a better idea is to explore the desert behind the Pyramids. Try to be there just before sunset to enjoy a magnificent view of the Pyramids, as well as the mystical and melodious Call to Prayer rising from hundreds of mosques at the same time. But before going on a camel ride, always agree on the price first and give a tip only if you want to!
Need more convincing? Watch the video below to find out why Egypt should be your next travel destination!