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