Egypt is a fabulous place for both first-time travellers and seasoned adventurers. Check here for some facts about Egypt to help you plan your trip—particularly if you’ve never been before, three is a lot to learn and a lot to love. Read on to find out more about Egypt beyond the desert…
Not just the capital of Egypt, Cairo is at the centre of the largest metropolitan area in Africa, and is the eleventh-largest urban area in the world. Offering a home to nearly 17 million people, Cairo has experienced incredible growth over the past few decades, to become a huge mega-city of linked regions. As the busy and bubbling hub of Egypt, this ancient capital city has grown over the millennia and now encompasses the myriad strands of Egyptian life.
The magnificent monument of Abu Simbel
Not only are the two 3,000 year-old temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world, their removal and reconstruction was an historic event in itself. When the temples were close to sinking in Lake Nasser in the 1960s, the Egyptian Government launched a worldwide appeal to raise them over 60 metres up the sandstone cliff where they had been built more than 3,000 years before. Here they now sit, in the exact same relationship to each other and the sun as before.
The golden sands of laid-back Dahab
Low-key and laid-back, Dahab is Egypt’s best beach resort for independent travellers. The town has seen a startling transformation from dusty Bedouin outpost to spruced-up tourist village over the last few years, and Dahab – which means “gold” in Arabic, and refers to the area’s sandy coastline – is now a great place to explore someone of the country’s most stunning underwater treasures. The resort is also the perfect base to explore the interior deserts, go on a camel excursion and climb the heights of Mount Sinai.
Water activities on the vibrant Red Sea
Water activities, games, sports and sunbathing are all a must do while you visit parts of Egypt like the Red Sea Riviera, the White Med or the Sinai. Plus, diving and other water sports are now a much safer and more organised activity in the country, thanks to better regulation of operators. Along the coastline of the Red Sea, you’ll find pool side bars in hotels, seaside restaurants, ancient and new harbours, seaside citadels, coastal islands and plenty of diving sites to choose from.
The calm of the oases
If you want to see something a little different while travelling on the Great Desert Circuit, you can visit one of the four stunning inner oases of Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga. These are best to explore starting from cities such as Cairo, Assyut and Luxor. Each of these oases is different in character due to their diverse landscapes and how modernized they are – from Roman temples and fortified villages to modern towns.
(Photo by 2007828/Andrew A. Shenouda via Flickr)
Article by Julia