Most journeys to Egypt begin and end in chaotic Cairo. The capital city is the gateway to the lower Nile and the launching point for tours of the country’s premier attraction — the pyramids at Giza. Cairo itself has plenty to offer, but it is the sites surrounding the city that draw most tourists to Egypt. Here are some of the best day trips away from the bustling metropolis.
A nighttime satellite photo of Egypt is the most vivid illustration of the country’s unique population distribution. A stream of bright light representing the thin corridor of habitable land either side of the Nile bulges to the west when it reaches Cairo, regroups then fans out as the arms of the delta reach for the Mediterranean, with only the occasional twinkle in the inky desert blackness beyond.
Most visitors to the Sinai Peninsula gravitate to Sharm Al Sheikh, Dahab and other coastal resorts. But this land bridge between Asia and Africa has more to offer than just top class diving and beachside relaxation. While much of the desert peninsula is inaccessible, the southern hinterlands offer natural splendor, Bedouin traditions, and places of pilgrimage for the three great monotheistic faiths.
Architecture, or at least the profession of “architect”, began with a figure from earliest recorded history known as Imhotep (incidentally also considered the first physician and the first engineer). After he died he was accorded the attributes normally reserved for gods, inspired no doubt by what were considered miraculous healing gifts, but historians are convinced that he was a real person, born some four and a half millennia ago.
The Valley of the Kings in Egypt is one of the most important and dated historical landmarks in the world. Containing several tombs belonging to ancient Egyptian pharaohs, nobles and their families from the New Kingdom dynasties from the 16th to 11th century B.C., the valley includes the tombs of Ramesses I, Ramesses III and Merenptah.
One of Egypt’s nature hotspots is located in a coastal village in the Southern peninsula of Sinai called Dahab. For anybody who has been there before it is love at first sight, with clear blue waters and lovely sandy beaches. If you are planning on spending just one day in the area, here is what you need to do.