Are you planning an upcoming trip to Egypt? Or, perhaps, for the sake of knowledge, do you just want to get to know the most beautiful places in the land of the pharaohs?
Our team has prepared for you a selection of 10 places that are absolutely essential for any self-respecting Egyptian getaway!
What to visit in Egypt:
- the temple of Abydos
- The Necropolis of Saqqarah
- The Thistlegorm dive site
- The White Desert
- Abu Simbel
- Siwa Oasis
- The temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings
- The Pyramids of Giza
After reading this article, you will have covered a large part of Egypt's cultural heritage.
So let's take a closer look at these 10 places, which are worth 1,000.
10) The temple of Abydos
Your eyes will have the chance to observe the colors of the portraits and hieroglyphics of the temple of Abydos, still vivid after 3 millennia.
The dusty city of Abydos would be uninteresting without the incredible temple at its gates. The temple of Osiris of Abydos is one of the most well preserved artistic treasures of Egypt.
Its walls and columns covered with hieroglyphics and paintings of ancient Egyptian legends are enchanting views. Better yet, your visit will be disconcertingly peaceful because despite its dazzling beauty, it receives few visitors compared to the temples of nearby Luxor.
9) The Necropolis of Saqqarah
The necropolis was the final resting place of the early pharaohs and their subjects before the technology needed to build the Pyramids at Giza was awaited by the ancient Egyptians.
Everyone has heard about the Pyramids of Giza, but they are not the only pyramids Egypt has up its sleeve. One day from Cairo, Saqqarah is the largest necropolis of the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom and shows how the ancient Egyptians advanced their architectural knowledge to finally create a true pyramid.
Here you will discover the experimental ancestors of the Pyramids of Giza: the step pyramid, the curved pyramid, and the red pyramid. The various tombs of the court nobles, whose interior walls are covered with friezes depicting the most intense scenes of Egyptian mythology, only confirm that the site is worth the detour.
8) The Thistlegorm dive site
Exploring the wreck of the Thistlegorm, this huge warship, will be possible after a short half-day training with local guides.
Beneath the surface of the Red Sea lies another world as fascinating as the temples and tombs on dry land.
Among the many offshore coral reefs, there are also a multitude of shipwrecks in the Gulf of Gubal and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Of all the wrecks, the most famous is the Thistlegorm, a British warship of World War II that was on its way to supply British troops when it was sunk by the Germans in 1941.
Today, the site is considered by divers to be one of the top five best underwater wreck dives in the world due to the vast cargo of cars, motorcycles and Second World War memorabilia that you will have the opportunity to discover lying on the sea floor around the wreck but especially when entering the interior of the dark stranded ship.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you will leave this dive with an unforgettable memory. So let's meet in Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada where the departures of the diving boats to the huge wreck are organized!
7) The White Desert
Chalk mountains in the middle of the desert, impressive isn't it?
Egypt's most bizarre natural wonder is the White Desert, where surrealistically shaped chalk mountains have created what looks like a snowy wonderland amidst arid sand.
The landscapes here resemble those of a science fiction movie, with blindingly white rocks that could be mistaken for icebergs.
For desert fans and adventurers, this is the most unusual playground there is. Those who have had their fill of temples and tombs will appreciate this changing natural landscape.
Qaytbay Fort erected in the 15th century on the ruins of the famous lighthouse of Alexandria.
Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria has always been the main transportation hub in Egypt. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, the city was once considered the crossroads of the world.
The most part of its famous ancient historical sites (including its "Library of Alexandria" which housed over 600,000 books) were destroyed by important earthquakes from 1300 to 1400. Today, the city is still worth a visit for the few of its preserved remains of the time of Alexander the Great.
The famous sarcophagus of Tutankhamun, made entirely of solid gold, representing the pharaoh with folded arms holding his royal attributes: the flail and the crook.
Situated close to the mouth of the Nile Delta, the modern capital of Egypt is a vibrant metropolis with a long and eventful history. Situated near the ancient capital of the ancient Egypt (the ancient city Memphis), modern Cairo is the starting point for most cruises on the Nile river and for touristic explorations of the Giza Pyramid Complex located on the city's borders.
At the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, visitors can discover the treasure of the pharaoh Tutankamun (as well as pharaonic sarcophagus, pharaonic mummies, Egyptian gods' statues, and other objects from Egypt's ancient past).
4) Abu Simbel
Who would believe that Abu Simbel and its immense giants have been moved a hundred kilometers to preserve them from imminent engulfment?
Even in a country adorned with temples everywhere, Abu Simbel still has something special.
It is the great tomb of Rameses II, adorned with gigantic statues standing guard and watching over the tranquility of his eternal sleep. You will also discover an interior lavishly decorated with murals.
To add nothing to its exceptional character coming from its colossal size, Abu Simbel is also famous for the incredible history of its new emplacement in Egypt.
Indeed, a vast UNESCO operation that lasted four years and requisitioned thousands of workers saved the tomb that was to be engulfed during the construction of the great Aswan Dam in the 1960s.
3) The oasis of Siwa
Siwa, an ancient city in the middle of the desert.
The Siwa Oasis is the historical emplacement of the temple of Zeus-Ammon. In this temple was present the very respected oracle of the merged Greek and Egyptian kings of gods (the Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Amun-Ra forming together the god Zeus-Ammon).
In 328 BC, the oracle of Siwa explains to Alexander the Great in visit in Egypt that the latter is the son of Zeus-Ammon and that he is destined to become the new pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, in 329 BC, Alexander became pharaoh of Egypt (by taking back Egypt from the hands of the Persian emperor Darius III).
Tourists come here to enjoy the splendid desert lake and to explore the ancient earthen fortresses of Siwa.
2) The Karnak temple in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings
The temple of Karnak and its perfectly preserved high stone columns.
Famous for the memorial temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings, and the temple of Karnak, the city of Luxor in Upper Egypt (Upper Egypt is the northern part of Egypt) is full of tourist attractions. Indeed, Luxor is nothing less than the city once called "Thebes", the power base of the New Kingdom pharaohs. It is home to more sights than most people can see in a single visit (or even in a lifetime).
To understand why Luxor continues to fascinate historians and archaeologists to this day, spend a few days there. You can explore the colorful ancient wall art of the tombs and marvel at the colossal columns of the temples still standing after four millennia.
1) The Giza Pyramid Complex
Whatever the duration of the journey the gigantic Pyramids of Giza are unavoidable.
The Giza Necropolis, directly located at the exit of Cairo, is probably the most famous ancient site of the world. The fantastic pyramids have become, alongside the Sphinx at the base of the Giza Plateau, the iconic image of Egypt.