Egypt – The Jewels of the Nile – Part I

Egypt - The Jewels of the Nile - Part I

A Dream Comes True

When my sister called me at work and randomly asked “Do you want to go to Egypt?” I responded with an almighty “Hell Yeah!”. How could I resist? Egypt was always high on the bucket list. So without any hesitation, we started the ball rolling arranging flights, accommodation, tour packages, passports, visas and a countdown to our departure date.

I’ve dreamed of travelling to this fascinating country famous for the Pyramids of Giza, which is an extraordinary Ancient Wonder of the World that has weathered the test of time. Egypt is also steeped in history, full of mystique, rich in culture and eye-opening customs. We wanted to take a step back into the past, into an era of Pharaohs and a civilisation that spans thousands of years.

In this three part series, I focus on the most impressive tourist attractions that Egypt is renowned for. These gems are scattered along the Nile, all of which are man-made monuments built thousands of years before Christ and a testament to man’s ingenuity. I’ve also added basic facts about the history and significance of each site just for a little bit of trivial information.

Insight Vacations: Jewels of the Nile – 11 Day Tour

We weren’t the adventurous type, and being creatures of style and comfort, we opted for a leisurely 11 day guided tour with Insight Vacations. The trip was predominantly spent cruising Lake Nasser and the Nile River to witness the many exotic highlights that Egypt has to offer. The package included buffet breakfasts, lunch and dinner, airport transfers, domestic flights between Cairo and Aswan and between Cairo and Luxor, as well as a stay at the deluxe 5-Star Cairo Marriott Hotel. While on land, we were transported by an air-conditioned bus between each site, accompanied by an enthusiastic guide who had in depth knowledge of the city and the history behind each spot visited. Bottled water and headsets for all guided visits and walking tours were provided for extra convenience. We didn’t have to figure out where to eat, what to do, where to go or determine how to get there (and waste valuable time getting lost along the way).

Egypt at a Glance: Things to Do, Cities to See

Cairo

  • Highlights include the Salah El Din Citadel, Mohamed Ali Mosque, Khan El Khalili bazaars and the Egyptian Museum where you can view Tutankhamun’s treasures
  • Visit Memphis and see the statue of Rameses II
  • Visit Giza to view the Pyramids and the great Sphinx
  • Take the opportunity to ride a camel with the Pyramids as a backdrop

Alexandria

  • Highlights include the Roman Amphitheatre, Pombey’s Pillar and the Quayet-Bey Fortress

Aswan

  • Highlights include the Temple of Dakka and the Temple of Kalabsha
  • Visit Abu Simbel to view the Temple of Rameses II and Temple of Hathor. Experience the monuments at their most majestic – lit up for the sound and light show
  • Visit Kom Ombo to see the Temple of Kom Ombo
  • Travel by motorboat to visit the Temple of Philae
  • Sail on a traditional ‘felucca’ where you’ll hear festive Egyptian music
  • Celebrate in true Egyptian style with a Galabea party, along with some belly dancing. Even get jiggy to some Egyptian music while dressed up in traditional Egyptian costumes
  • Experience life in a Nubian Village and get a henna tattoo while you’re there

Luxor

  • Highlights include the Temple of Luxor, the Temple of Karnak and the Colossi of Memnon
  • Visit Edfu to view the Temple of Horus
  • Visit the Valley of the Kings and enter the tomb of Tutankhamon and view his mummified body
  • Visit the Valley of the Queens and the Temple of Hatshepsut

I hope this quick snapshot is enough to wet the appetite. In my next instalment, I will delve into the stunning attractions of Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan in greater detail, and include extraordinary pictures capturing the amazing beauty of Egypt and its gems.

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20 thoughts on “Egypt – The Jewels of the Nile – Part I

  1. What a variety of architecture – Roman theatre, what looks like a French Castle, Greek columns, and, of course, the pyramids. Such a rich variety and history – perhaps one day …

  2. OK, I’m REALLY glad you stopped by my blog today. It led me back here to yours and this post…which is awesome! I also have been dying to see Egypt, and I also will probably do a tour rather than my usual do-it-on-my-own travel style. I had a bit of a hellatious experience in Morocco years ago, and I just want to avoid any and all hassle to enjoy the sights…which you have documented beautifully here with photos. Anyway, I’ll return to this post when I start planning. Thanks for the useful and inspiring post!

    • Thanks you so much for the wonderful compliment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Egypt is a must for the bucket list. Words cannot describe what you’ll see & experience. Egypt is captivating and awe-inspiring.

      • I love hearing travelers talk like this about places that I’m inspired to visit. I have spoken to a few people who were negative about the Pyramids etc as they were “too touristy.” My question is…what place on earth these days ISN’T too touristy. So I think that you have seen beyond the touts and you have seen what lies underneath. And that inspires me to do the same 🙂 So consider it near the top of my bucket list for sure.

      • I love ‘touristy’ places, in fact, they’re usually the first places I visit. I’m the type of person that needs to get out of their comfort zone and travel more along the ‘roads less travelled’, ‘off the beaten track’ destinations. Egypt is fascinating. My suggestion is you start at Alexandria, then head directly to Abu Simbel where you work your way up north to Cairo. The landmarks build up like a crescendo – they start off small and get bigger and grander.

      • And we have a winner!! This is the kind of plan I like to know about. Alexandria => Abu Simbel => Cairo. Got it! Love the idea of the crescendo! Cheers 🙂

  3. Your blog is great! You seem really well traveled and I’m so jealous of that! I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt and this was an incredibly informative post with great pictures 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment. It’s a simple blog with no real focus…just anything that comes to mind. I’ve been to a few places but I’d love to see more of the world. Egypt is awesome, it’s a place to add to the bucket list.

  4. Hi Vibe 101! My sister asked the same of me re: an Amazon River cruise. Aren’t sisters wonderful? We had a great time; in fact we’re currently working on another trip – this time around the Arctic. Looks like you both had a great time as well. These are great photos.

  5. Pingback: Egypt – The Jewels of the Nile – Part I | THE VIBE 101

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