One of the places that deserves to be seen at least once in a lifetime is definitely Egypt. Cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations and rich in archaeological sites, in this land it is possible to take a journey back in time and immerse yourself in a millenary civilization. From Cairo, passing through the pyramids of Giza, to Sharm el Sheikh: a journey that combines culture with fun, for a 360-degree vacation that will win you over. The most classic idea to visit Egypt is to book a Nile cruise . In fact, along the river you will be able to admire the pyramids and beautiful natural landscapes.
Nile cruise: how to organize it
Many tour operators now offer a trip of this type and it is better to rely on them rather than planning the cruise by you. The organized trips in fact have the advantage of offering a complete package of flight booking, cabin, excursions … On board the boat is also almost always present entertainment, so you can cheer even your evenings.
The prices are very varied and you can find some for all budgets: you go from a luxury cruise with a ship equipped with every comfort to low cost trips, with the possibility of last minute booking.The duration usually ranges from three to eight days, depending on the number of attractions planned for the visit.
The classic route goes from Aswan to Luxor and each bank of the river is characterized by a particular meaning. The eastern part is dedicated to life, with the valley of the temples, while the west side represents death, with the tombs of the pharaohs. In addition to archaeological wonders, along the river you can see herds of gazelles and other animals, for a natural spectacle that will leave you breathless.
The most beautiful archaeological attractions to visit
It’s easy to say pyramids. In Egypt there is one of the largest archaeological complexes in the world, with unforgettable monumental works. First of all there is certainly the Giza necropolis, located near Cairo and the last of the seven wonders of antiquity to still be standing. Here are the three pyramids of the Pharaohs Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinus, as well as the Great Sphinx with a lion’s face, which is said to portray just Cheops.
Near the town of Luxor we then have the famous Valley of the Kings, an ancient complex where for over 500 years the sovereigns were buried. The tombs are numbered in order of discovery and it is also possible to visit the interior. Among these is the famous tomb of Tutankhamun, one of the most iconic pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Inside the area there is also the complex formed by the Great Temple of Amon and the Temple of Luxor, whose overall size is 300,000 square meters.The complex consists of various layers that date back to the different pharaoh dynasties and it is not possible to distinguish which was the first nucleus.
Another necropolis that deserves to be mentioned is that of Saqqara, which houses Djoser’s famous stepped pyramid which is said to be the oldest in the country. Another place that must be absolutely visited is the archaeological site of Abu Simbel, which was erected by the pharaoh Ramses II. This consists of two very large stone temples, the largest and the smallest and for several years it has been a UNESCO heritage.
Cairo, the capital
You can’t go to Egypt without obviously visiting the city of Cairo, chaotic and mysterious, but above all rich in places to discover. The capital of Egypt is a perfect example of how antiquity and modernity are based to perfection, giving life to a capital where narrow streets and contemporary buildings are intertwined.
The first destination to visit in this city is the Egyptian Museum, where it is possible to admire the golden sarcophagus of Tutankhamun and the riches that have been found inside. In the Islamic quarter it is then possible to walk among the characteristic buildings and visit the mosques, fantastic examples of Ottoman style architecture.
There is also a visit to the bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, the characteristic open-air market where you can have fun negotiating the price of spices, perfumes and small objects. There is also the Citadel, a massive fortress from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole city.
Diving in Sharm el Sheikh
If you want to combine culture with a sporting activity, a suggestion is to go to Sharm el Sheikh, known for its wonderful seabed where you can practice scuba diving and admire the incredible variety of tropical fish and turtles.
The coral reef offers a breathtaking spectacle and also the dives can be carried out all year round thanks to the pleasant temperature of the water that fluctuates between 18 and 26 degrees. One of the most recommended areas for snorkeling is the Ras Mohammed National Park, near Sharm, where it is also possible to go hiking.
To complete your dream vacation in Egypt, it can’t be a little fun, and from this point of view the main cities have a lot to offer. There are many bars, pubs and nightclubs where you can spend an evening with friends. If you love dancing the discos of Sharm el Sheikh are definitely for you. The most famous is the Pacha, open every night, with themed events and various attractions.
In Cairo, instead, the reference area is the central area of Piazza Tahrir, where there are many restaurants, cafes and theaters. Many places are furnished like beaches, with cushions instead of chairs. Here you can enjoy excellent tea and try smoking the narghili, a water pipe. It should also be mentioned the Oriental Dance Festival which takes place every year in the capital and offers fantastic shows for belly dance fans.
The dishes to taste
Finally, for a total immersion in the Egyptian culture, food should not be forgotten. Egyptian cuisine has a double influence, the Mediterranean (Greek and Lebanese), more present in the north of the country and the African one, which characterizes the south. The two main foods are whole wheat bread and rice. Vegetables such as aubergines and legumes such as beans and beans are used a lot.
One of the typical dishes to try absolutely is the torly, a casserole made with lamb stew and vegetables, a real delicacy. There are also numerous meat, fish or legume soups called shurbahs, all to be tried. Here all the dishes are very colorful and enriched with sesame seeds and spices like cumin and coriander. In short, it is a cuisine different from ours and waiting to be discovered!
In conclusion: Egypt awaits you with its many attractions, organize your trip, you will not regret it!