One of essentially the most popular countries to visit on the continent, Egypt lies in the northeast nook of Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Home to unimaginable vacationer sights such because the Valley of the Kings, the Great Sphinx, and the pyramids at Giza, it’s famed around the globe for its historical monuments and age-old archaeological websites.
While its astounding tombs, temples, statues, and obelisks virtually beggars perception, Egypt additionally boasts loads of gorgeous surroundings. Besides the life-giving waters of the Nile and the scenic sands of the Sahara, you’ll find lovely seashores, colourful coral reefs, and plentiful marine life lining its sun-scorched shores. In addition to these items to do in Egypt, the nation has a wealthy tradition and heritage for you to delve into, with implausible museums and monasteries alongside a plethora of Ancient Egyptian sights.
17. Temple of Isis at Philae
Located in southern Egypt, the Temple of Isis lies on a small island in a reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, surrounded by the swift-flowing waters of the river Nile. Originally situated on Philae, it was dismantled after which relocated and reconstructed on Agilkia Island in the Seventies to shield and protect the traditional complicated from flooding.
Impressively, the temple is the oldest constructed in the classical Egyptian model and dates again to the third century BC. Dedicated to the goddess Isis, it options sturdy stone columns and thoroughly carved capitals, with age-old hieroglyphs additionally on present.
Besides the terrific Temple of Isis, there are some gorgeous shrines, statues, and sculptures for guests to take a look at, with Aswan’s alluring sights mendacity not distant.
One of a very powerful and spectacular archaeological websites in Egypt, the traditional metropolis of Abydos lies in the middle of the nation, simply a few hours north of Luxor. Home to an astounding array of temples, tombs, and tantalizing treasures, it was right here that the early pharaohs had been buried, with the royal necropolis of Seti I being the undoubted spotlight.
Wandering across the intensive but largely unexcavated web site is an awe-inspiring expertise as large monuments and cavernous chapels, chambers and courts lie throughout. Once the principle cult heart of Osiris, the god of the afterlife, Abydos is believed to have been based over six thousand years in the past, remaining in use as a necropolis for many of that point.
15. Temple of Edfu
Boasting a rare entrance, the Temple of Edfu lies on the banks of the river Nile, between Luxor and Aswan. Built between 237 and 57 BC, the Ptolemaic temple is devoted to Horus; one of the necessary historical Egyptian deities.
Very well-preserved, it showcases exceptional reliefs and delightfully detailed carvings and hieroglyphs; even its roof is undamaged. Surrounding its sanctuary are 9 chapels, and enormous stone columns line its divinely embellished halls.
It is its gigantic gateway that’s the Temple of Edfu’s standout characteristic; it’s guarded by grand granite statues and embellished with reliefs of long-gone pharaohs.
14. Bibliotheca Alexandrina
One of a very powerful facilities of studying and tradition in the nation, Bibliotheca Alexandrina is situated in Egypt’s second-largest metropolis of Alexandria, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Opened in 2002, it makes an attempt to replicate, commemorate, and have fun the data and studying that after occurred in the Great Library of Alexandria – one of many historical world’s biggest establishments.
It actually achieves its aim. Within the complicated are quite a lot of magnificent museums and artwork galleries and a superb planetarium, whereas its predominant studying room can maintain up to eight million books. The library displays pretty structure: its design imitates the rising solar, and its exterior is coated in symbols and scripts from all around the globe.
13. Red Pyramid
Surrounded by the limitless sands of the Sahara, the Red Pyramid is situated some 40 kilometers to the south of Cairo on the Dahshur necropolis. Widely believed to be the primary profitable smooth-sided pyramid ever constructed, it dates to 2590 BCE and lies subsequent to the Bent Pyramid, an earlier and distinctive however finally unsuccessful try.
Once encased in white limestone, the 105-meter-high pyramid is now a ruddy purple – residents of Cairo carted off its outer layer and used it to erect buildings. Visitors to the Red Pyramid can enter its inside chambers by a collection of slender passageways and marvel on the astonishing feat of engineering which paved the way in which for the pyramids at Giza to be constructed.
12. Siwa Oasis
Set in a scenic but secluded spot in the Sahara, Siwa Oasis lies not removed from the border with Libya. It boasts its personal distinctive desert tradition and distinct dialect. Mostly made up of Berbers, the city is primarily recognized for being house to the highly effective and prestigious Temple of the Oracle, which even Alexander the Great got here to seek the advice of.
While its revered ruins appeal to essentially the most guests, astounding archaeological websites, such because the rock tombs of Gebel al Mawta and the crumbling mud-brick fortress of Shali, are additionally properly price trying out. Siwa Oasis has a wealthy historical past, tradition and heritage for you to delve into, with gorgeous salt lakes and desert surroundings discovered close by.
11. Blue Hole (Dahab)
One of Egypt’s hottest dive websites, the Blue Hole, lies simply north of Dahab on the southeast of the Sinai Peninsula. Dropping straight down for over 100 meters, the sinkhole is brimming with colourful coral reefs and shimmering shoals of fish.
Due to the abundance of marine life and shoreline accessibility, leisure scuba divers line up to discover its underwater riches each day. While it’s completely protected, the Blue Hole has sadly claimed the lives of quite a lot of deep divers as they tried to cross by its archway – a 26 meter-long tunnel which lies greater than 55 meters beneath the floor.
10. Al Azhar Mosque
The first mosque based in the town, Al Azhar was constructed by the Fatimids in 972 in their newly established capital of Cairo. Located in its mesmerizing medieval quarter, the mosque displays beautiful structure, with majestic minarets and madrasas mendacity alongside divinely embellished prayer halls and marble-coated courtyards.
In addition to the high-quality options and prospers that date to the Mamluks and Ottomans, amongst others, Al Azhar can be one of many oldest seats of studying in the world and nonetheless capabilities as a college to today.
9. St Catherine’s Monastery
Set in the middle of the Sinai Peninsula, St Catherine’s Monastery lies not removed from the small city of the identical identify, beneath the splendidly weathered Willow Peak. Sacred to Christians, Muslims, and Jews, it is without doubt one of the oldest monasteries in the world, having been established in the 12 months 324.
Enclosed inside its historical partitions, you’ll find a stunning church, mosque, and library, in addition to innumerable necessary icons and mosaics. On high of its historic, cultural, and non secular worth, St Catherine’s Monastery additionally boasts some very good surroundings: it’s set in a spectacular spot in the desert.
8. Pyramid of Djoser
Out of all of Egypt’s astonishing and awe-inspiring archaeological websites, the Pyramid of Djoser stands alone as the primary colossal stone monument constructed in the world. Due to the quantity of labor and degree of societal organizing wanted, its development represented an astounding leap from earlier architectural types and norms.
Dating all the way in which again to the twenty seventh century BC, the gorgeous step pyramid was constructed to home the burial chamber of Pharaoh Djoser, and plenty of tunnels and galleries may be discovered inside it. Part of the sprawling Saqarra necropolis, the outstanding pyramid is flanked by colonnaded corridors, monumental halls, and courts, and lies some 30 kilometers to the south of Cairo.
7. Egyptian Museum
Full of glittering jewels, marvelous mummies, and stupendous statues, the Egyptian Museum is house to one of many world’s most intensive collections of historical artifacts. First opened in 1902, the massive pinkish-red constructing may be discovered in Downtown Cairo overlooking Tahrir Square.
Wedged inside its grand galleries are over 100,000 objects, with elegant stone sculptures and tantalizing treasures wherever you look. While its intricately embellished furnishings, boats, and sarcophagi make for fascinating viewing, the undoubted spotlight is the glittering Gold Mask of Tutankhamun, which is famend around the globe.
6. Ras Mohammed
Lying proper in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, the small and scenic peninsula of Ras Mohammed juts into the nice and cozy waters of the Red Sea. Now a nationwide park, its desolate landscapes distinction delightfully with the colours and life discovered beneath its waves.
As such, it is without doubt one of the hottest locations in Egypt to go scuba diving and snorkeling, with the well-known Shark and Yolanda Reef websites being the decide of the lot. Besides its beautiful coral reefs and shimmering shoals of fish, Ras Mohammed additionally has some lovely seashores and very good surroundings for guests to get pleasure from.
5. White Desert National Park
Boasting a few of the most unusual, uncommon, and unimaginable landscapes in Egypt, White Desert National Park lies in the west of the nation, not removed from Farafra. Here, you’ll discover glowing white chalk rock formations, outcrops of glinting quartz, and the magically named Crystal Mountain.
Sculpted over millennia by the desert winds and sands of the Sahara, their surreal shapes and colours are mesmerizing to gaze upon, with the most effective views to be had from atop the 2 towering Twin Peaks. As the implausible formations are so spectacularly lit up at sundown and dawn, it’s properly price tenting the evening in the nationwide park to see them in all their glimmering glory.
4. Karnak Temple
Renowned for its staggering measurement, scale, and splendor, the Karnak Temple complicated covers an unlimited space and is one in every of Luxor’s hottest sights. While work first started on the location round 2000 BC, roughly 30 pharaohs contributed to its dazzling and decadent design, with every ruler including their very own temples and sanctuaries, chapels and obelisks.
Wandering across the temple actually does really feel like stepping again in time as you cross by colossal colonnades, human-headed sphinxes, and astounding structure. The standout sight is the nice Temple of Amun-Ra that dominates and defines the complicated and boasts an impressive hypostyle corridor.
3. Valley of the Kings
One of essentially the most exceptional archaeological websites on Earth, the Valley of the Kings lies on the west financial institution of the river Nile, dealing with Luxor. Cut into the encircling cliffs, valleys, and mountains are an unimaginable 63 royal tombs, with pharaohs equivalent to Tutankhamun and Ramesses buried right here from the sixteenth to eleventh century BC.
Most of those chambers are sumptuously embellished with spiritual texts and resplendent reliefs, though their glittering treasures and sarcophagi have lengthy since been eliminated. Visiting the age-old tombs is an awe-inspiring expertise as you navigate cool rock-cut corridors and emerge into burial chambers painted with arresting scenes from Egyptian mythology.
2. Temples of Abu Simbel
Set in the deep south of Egypt, not removed from the border with Sudan, the Temples of Abu Simbel look out over the shimmering waters of Lake Nasser. Carved out of the mountainside in the thirteenth century BC, the dual temples are one of the iconic sights in Egypt thanks to the big rock reduction figures flanking their entrance.
While the famed facades appeal to essentially the most consideration, their interiors are simply as pleasant to discover, with statues, reliefs, and pillared halls all on present. Almost as spectacular because the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor is the truth that the complicated was relocated totally in 1968 to keep away from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam.
1. Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza
Lying on the outskirts of Greater Cairo is one in every of humankind’s most astonishing architectural achievements – the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. Built between 2580 to 2510 BC are three phenomenal pyramids, with the big Great Sphinx and its human-like options set beside them.
While the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure each make for gorgeous sights, the Pyramid of Khufu – the oldest, largest, and most intact of the trio – is the actual showstopper. Towering to a staggering 146 meters, it’s made out of greater than 2.3 million blocks, with grand galleries and burial chambers discovered inside.
Exploring the Giza Pyramid Complex on foot or camelback is an expertise like no different as you cross by a few of the oldest buildings on Earth with the desert stretching out throughout you.