Are you ready to see Egypt? Having visited Egypt a few times, we’ve been lucky enough to see various parts of the country from the seat of a bicycle, the back of a truck and even with a private driver. We started our African cycling trip in Egypt, we’ve backpacked on a budget and been guest speakers at a conference where we were treated to five-star service, so we’ve seen it through many different eyes. That has given us a unique perspective on this beautiful destination. With everything that’s going on in the world, people often think of Egypt as a no-travel area. But Egypt is wonderful. The people are kind and friendly, the scenery is beautiful and the history is out of this world.
Ancient Egypt in pictures
While we’re not saying travel abroad right now, Egypt is a destination you should add to your future travels. There are plenty of things to see and do in Egypt besides marveling at the pyramids. So, to celebrate the dreamer in you, we’ve rounded up our favorite photos of Egypt to remind you to add this incredible country to your travel bucket list. For now, enjoy these beautiful photos of Egypt. (CC: All images of Egypt by ThePlanetD)
Pyramids of Giza
Okay, I know I said above that there’s a lot more to see in Egypt than the Pyramids of Giza, but you can’t visit the country without taking a trip to see them in person. They are truly magical.
Be sure to take a tour to see the pyramids from a different perspective. We rented a camel to see the pyramids and fulfilled our fantasy of being Bedouins in the Sahara desert. If you like adventure, you can book a quad bike and camel tour of the pyramids. We have been quad biking in the Sahara and it is great.
My favorite thing to see in the Giza complex is the Great Sphinx guarding the pyramids. They say that the face of the Sphinx represents King Khafre. The fourth king of the 4th Dynasty from 2575 BC. Now that’s ancient.
The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali is located in the Citadel of Cairo and is not to be missed. Built between 1830 and 1848, it contributes to Cairo being known as the City of Minarets.
Be sure to go inside to see the beautiful interior of the most visited mosque in the country.
In Cairo we stayed in both five star hotels as well as budget and mid-range hotels. Honestly, it was in the budget hotel that we had the best time in Cairo. But here are the three we have stayed in.
Intercontinental Cairo City Stars – This was truly an amazing hotel with all the amenities and good food. We loved the spa. Dahab Hostel – This place was cheap and we loved it. Located in the heart of the city center, it is walking distance to the main attractions like the Egyptian Museum and Tahrir Square. Cataract Pyramids Resort – This mid-range hotel offers fantastic views of the pyramids.
The Alabaster Mosque may be the most visited mosque in Cairo, but don’t rule out other mosques. The polished marble of an abandoned mosque is one of our favorite photos of Egypt.
Library of Alexandria
The Library of Alexandria houses one of the largest collections of literature in the world, but what’s most striking is its modern architecture. Students hang out in the complex and ponder the challenges of Egypt’s future as we take snapshots of its striking design.
Alexandria was home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The Library of Alexandria was the largest library in the ancient world. It was founded in 323 B.C. It may be located in an ancient city, but it has also been updated to modern times.
Interesting fact: the Library of Alexandria houses the largest digital collection of historical manuscripts in the world. They are definitely keeping in tune with the 21st century.
Meet the people
Egypt is full of ancient monuments, but the magic is walking the streets and meeting the people. Egyptians are some of the friendliest people in the world.
As we walked through the streets we were invited to tea at establishments and people greeted us with welcoming smiles. Children would approach us to ask where we were from and everyone would ask us to take their picture.
People would offer us tea, greet us and we would sit and enjoy the conversations. Egypt will always have a special place in our hearts.
Ancient burial of Saqqara
One of the largest burial temples in Egypt, it is also where archaeologists discovered the oldest coffins ever found. There are more temples in Egypt than the pyramids of Giza.
The amazing thing about traveling in Egypt is that temples and cemeteries are still being discovered. You will always see a working archaeological dig.
The tramway of Alexandria
Alexandria’s streetcar system began operation in 1863. We did not expect to see streetcars running on the streets. A very cool fact is that most of the streetcars came from Toronto. It was great to see a connection from home in this ancient city.
Located 40 km from Cairo, the Red Pyramid is an incredible place to visit. It is much less visited than the Pyramids of Giza, but no less impressive. We can even crawl into the center of this temple. Read more: Egypt’s Red Pyramid – Experience it Inside and Out
The White Desert
The White Desert of Egypt is like being on another planet. Located in the Farafra depression in western Egypt, visiting it is a unique experience. Imagine yourself sleeping like the ancient Bedouins among the immense chalk-white rock formations.
The White Desert National Park is only 5 hours from Cairo, but not many people visit this protected area that spans 300 square kilometers. See more information here: Egypt’s White Desert Moonscape
The black desert
Egypt has many deserts. Home to the mother of them all, the Sahara, a black desert can also be seen here. The Sahra al-Suda, made up of mounds of black mountains, contrasts with the light, sandy deserts we are used to.
Valley of the Kings
No trip to Egypt would be complete without a visit to the Valley of the Kings. Located on the Nile River, it was part of the ancient city of Thebes. Here you will see the tomb of King Tut, Ramses and all the other famous kings of ancient Egypt.
Temple of Hatshepsut
This impressive temple is dedicated to the female king Hatshepsut. She was the leader of the pharaohs for 27 years. Hatshepsut’s monument rivals even the greatest of kings. Built between 1490-1460 BC, it is one of the most impressive temples in Egypt.
The River Nile
Aswan is on the Nile in southern Egypt, just before the journey across Lake Nassar. It’s a popular city, with boats sailing every day, but be sure to spend a few days exploring. You don’t need to take a cruise, as you can hire a felucca for a very reasonable price to see the sights.
Luxor Temple is the star attraction of Luxor, located on the banks of the Nile, it is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. Take a 3 day luxury Nile cruise from Luxor, you won’t regret it.
Situated on Lake Nassar Abut Simbel is the imposing temple of Ramses II. It was built to show the power of Egypt. Originally located on the Nile, Abu Simbel had to be moved when the Egyptians created the Aswan Dam project (which, incidentally, decimated neighboring Wadi Halfa in Sudan). The water would have engulfed it, never to be seen again until the government came to its rescue.
We saw Abu Simbel on the way to Sudan, but it can be visited on day trips from Aswan and Cairo.
And these are our favorite photos from Egypt. We’ll be adding more as Dave goes through his photo library. The good thing about being cooped up for so long, is that we’ve had the pleasure of revisiting our travels around the world.
One of our Egypt trips was courtesy of Memphis Tours, We also cycled across the continent from Cairo to Cape Town and spent over 30 days exploring Egypt. Egypt is a country very close to our hearts, as it was the starting point for this great trip we have taken over the last few years, and it brought back some great memories as we walked its ancient corridors.
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