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10 Reasons you need to visit Egypt!
Egypt is a phenomonal country, with so much to offer! Here are 10 reasons why you absolutely need to visit.
I visited on a G Adventures tour, which was fantastic as not only did it cover ALL of the below. But it was also great for the logistics and safety aspects if you feel like Egypt isn’t the easiest country to travel around. Take a look at the tour by clicking this link: BEST OF EGYPT !
Read on for the reasons you need to add Egypt to the list.
1. The Ancient tombs
How could the list of reasons you need to visit Egypt start anywhere else? It is incredible to think how long these ancient places have been around!
First port of call needs to be the iconic Pyramids of Giza, which are the only remaining wonder of the world. These 9 structures rise up against the backdrop of the city of Cario, and are just incredible to see.
Interested in finding out more – everything you need to know is here: Visiting Pyramids of Giza: Everything you need to know
But these are not the only ancient tombs you need to see! The Valley of the Kings is a truely remarkable place. The detail, the intricary and the care that was put into building these tombs. To be able to enter inside is to step back in time. It seems difficult to imagine a more historically interesting place.
Find out more! Visting Valley of the Kings, Egypt
In addition to this, there is also the Valley of the Queens and the Artisans. Both of which look equally fascinating, and definitely worth a visit if you have some time!
2. The Food!
Egypt may not be famous for it’s food, but if you know where to look you are in for some real treats. The falafel here is made with fava bean, rather than chickpea, and it is so much more delicious. They are almost crunchy on the outside – no other falafel will no compare. Accompanied with some delicious homemade hummus and pitta – perfect. There are also a lot of barbequed meats, which are delicious.
One of the highlights is Egyptian pizza! Known as feteer, it is made of very thin pastry, layered over and over again with fillings inside. These can either be sweet or savoury and it is so so good. If in Luxor – try visiting Al-Sahaby Lane restaurant for lots of excellent options. The service wasn’t amazing, but the food was delicious and it was a beautiful rooftop setting over looking the Nile.
In Aswan, take advantage of dining with the local Nubians – the Egyptian lentils and their chicken are absolutely delicious. I do have the recipe!
3. Take a trip down the Nile
The Nile is arguably the most famous river in the world, and so stepped in history. It is literally the lifeblood of the country, and stories of Egypt flow through the river. Nothing is more Egyptian than taking a trip overnight on the Nile.
Either take a traditional Felucca sailing boat for the quintessential Egypt experience, or opt for a cruise if you are after a little more luxury!
Considering felucca sailing? Take a look at this post:
4. The Souks
Two of cities you are likely to visit on a trip to Egypt are Luxor and Aswan, both of which have fascinating souks. Smaller than the Khan Al-Khalili in Cairo, they are perfect to dip in and out of.
The souk in Aswan is larger and has a lot of stalls geared to locals doing their local shopping. You can find delicious spice stalls if you hunt.
The souk in Luxor is essentially one long road, which loads of stalls lining each side. If you wanted to pick up a cheap gift, this is the place for you. Just be prepared to haggle hard. It is incredibly easy to dip in and out of, so take your time and don’t get overwhelmed. Patience is key!
5. Hunt for amazing Souvenirs
Purchase some amazing souvnienrs to take home. Not necessarily the cliched travellers pants from haggled from the hawkers outside the temples (although, I have some pharaoh pants I am in love with!). But if you look a little deeper there are some amazing things to take home.
Some beautiful artwork on papyrus paper. This is one of the oldest forms of paper, and you will be shown how they make it, before perusing to choose your perfect piece.
Near the Valley of the Kings, there are old factories which sell alabaster sculptures in every shape and size. These beautiful things are hand carved and unlike the fake ones you can find in the tourist spots.
When in Luxor if you want the most personalised gift, head to Moses Jewellery, located in Abu-Elhaggag Square. Here you can purchase your own personalised Cartouche. A cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating the text enclosed is a royal name.
At Moses’ you can chose the design of your cartouche, gold or silver and you pay per weight. Then write down what you want to have engraved, and in less than 24 hours you can pick up the most perfect souvenir or gift. Mine says my name, was checked by my guide who understands hieroglyphics and was $22!
6. Explore all the Temples
The temples in Egypt will blow your mind and will definitely been one of the top reasons you need to visit Egypt. History unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Any Egypt itinerary will no doubt include a few of these and with good reason.
They cover quite the span of years. Some as ancient as 3500 years ago, some more like 1500. Regardless, the history, the detail, the conservation and the changes they have gone through makes Egypt and unforgettable country!
Take a look at this post for more details:
7. Friendly people
Sure, you are going to get a certain amount of hassle from the men who have the stalls as you leave the temple and at the pyramids. But if you look beyond that, Egyptians are so friendly and welcoming.
The Nubian on Elephantine island who opened his doors to 15 people and feed us, the guide who helped me through immigration, the Nubians who sail the feluccas down the river. Plus my guide was of the loveliest, happiest, genuine people I have ever met. And so passionate about his country and its incredible history.
8. Learn hieroglyphics
Ok, so perhaps you aren’t going to come away fluent in Ancient Egyptian, but learning more about this ancient language is a fascinating business.
Hunt out Cleopatras cartouche in Philae Temple, where you can see how her name is spelt (it’s not how you think).
Find out how the direction of the characters dictate which way the hieroglyphics are read and even check out the first calendars – one of these can be found in Kom Ombo.
The temples and tombs in Egypt are the best place to see them first hand and learn a little bit more. Although, having a trained Egyptologist as a guide really does help with this!
9. Ancient artefacts
Cario museum is one of the most unique and fascinating museums you can visit and definitely one of the reasons you need to visit Egypt!
It is crammed full with more ancient artefacts than you can possibly even try and see. Honestly there is no way you could see them all, unless you had days and days. While the information for some of the items is a little patchy, it is still incredible to see so much history in one place. You might want to considering looking at getting a guide, who can point out the key things to see, as well as provide a bit more information.
Regardless, there are some things you need to make sure you don’t miss. Firstly the Namer tablet, which is the oldest artefact in the museum dating way back to the first dynasty and depicts the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. Also the teeny tiny statue of Khafre – the only known one of the builder of the Great Pyramids. The statue of Hatesheput, the only female pharaoh of Egypt. Plus, the rather random room of mummified animals.
Pay more to see the mummies, it is interesting but they all look kind of the same. Finally don’t miss the treasures of Tutankhamun.
Tickets into the museum cost 160 EGP. The mummy room is 180 EGP and a photography ticket is extra. Regardless, you can’t take photos in Tut’s room or the Mummy room.
10. Discover Nubian Villages
Finally on the list of reasons you need to visit Egypt! A trip to visit a Nubian Village. One of the best places to do this is on Elephantine Island, and sail from the banks of Aswan. One half of the island has resorts, but the other is home to two Nubian villages. The Nubians originated from the south of Egypt and Sudan. When the dam created Lake Nasser, some of the Nubians were relocated to Elephantine island.
Now home to nearly 3000 residents, who all follow traditional Nubian cultures. It is a peaceful haven after the hustle and bustle of Aswan and wonderful to explore and discover more about the Nubian way of life. To get the most out of the experience, a local guide is invaluable!
Have you been to Egypt? What would you say was one of the reasons you need to visit Egypt?
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