Egypt, the land of Pharaohs, is one of the oldest countries in the world, with a history dating back to over 5,500 years BC. It is a cultural hotspot of the world, and the birthplace of some of the world’s most celebrated inventions, including the modern 365-days a year calendar and an ancient type of a water clock. The country is also famous for the development of the decimal system and other forms of complex mathematics. Indeed, a visit to Egypt is a worthwhile trip down the memory lane. A must book a trip for all cultural, adventure and cruises, and dessert safari lovers.
Most of the ancient monuments in Egypt are in a state of ruins, thanks to persistent human encroachment and the vagaries of the elements. However, those that have stood the test of time offer a glimpse into what’s left of the ancient Egyptian civilization. But the rich historical heritage of Egypt isn’t its only claim to fame.
There’s something about the country that saw it host over 9 million tourists in 2018 alone. If you’re planning a trip to this wondrous country, it pays to have a bucket list of the top things to do. This article shall highlight Egypt’s top points of interest.
1. Take a Nile Cruise
You can hardly discuss the top adventurous things to do in Egypt without making reference to the enchanting Nile cruises. A Nile cruise in Egypt is a golden opportunity to sample the best of land and sea as you relish the cool and serenading breeze from the mighty Nile River.
The Cairo Luxor Nile cruise is one of the most popular Nile cruises to consider during your tour of Egypt. The main attraction of this Cairo and Nile cruise is the fact that it takes the longest scenic route from Cairo to Luxor, enabling you to sample as much of Egypt’s splendor as possible. The cruise features visits to the Pyramids of Giza, Dendara Temple, the Valley of the Kings, the Colossi of Memnon, among other points of interest.
The MS Mayfair Cruise is yet another magnificent Nile cruise tour to add to your itinerary. Ranked among the top Nile cruises in 2020, the MS Mayfair Cruise follows paths that take visitors through majestic waterways and excursions to numerous spots, such as Karnak, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the Luxor Temples. Besides the Cairo Luxor and the MS Mayfair, there are numerous other Nile cruises in Egypt. If you would like to book your 2020 with the local experts of the Egyptian tourism industry, visit Memphis Tours and explore their vast and diverse collection of itineraries. The brand has been offering Nile Cruises for decades, and they have packages of all budgets.
2. Explore the Hurghada Desert on a dirt bike
A dirt bike ride in Egypt offers a unique opportunity to escape into the country’s least explored landscapes. And the Hurghada desert is one of the most popular spots for dirt bike adventurers within the country.
Hurghada is a town that’s nestled along the Red Sea coast, which is known for its scores of fun activities, especially during December. While exploring this town on a dirt bike, you can choose to follow the trails near the coastline or ride far into the desert. Some of the highlights around the coastline include the sandy shores, coral reefs, and, of course, the pristine sea waters. However, a bike ride far into the wilderness is the best way to traverse this expansive desert and leave your prints on areas that are off the beaten paths.
A bike ride across the Hurghada desert features stopovers at the quaint Bedouin village, where you can sample some local cuisines as you catch up on the ancient cultures of the local communities. Though it’s typically a desert, the Hurghada landscape is relatively mountainous too. That means riding through these elevated landscapes also presents an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of the setting sun.
3. Take a camel ride to the Giza Pyramids
The Great Pyramids of Giza are the defining symbols of Egypt. As they’re located a paltry 13 kilometers from Cairo downtown, most people often prefer to drive to the site. However, a camel ride to these iconic landmarks offers a far more scenic experience.
Take your time to mingle with the locals as you pass through the bustling suburb of Giza. Then, proceed to marvel at the world’s only surviving landmarks among the ancient wonders. Besides their sheer magnificence, the Great Pyramids also features an observatory point from where you can view the sprawling suburbs of Cairo as you savor the sight of the sun sinking beneath the horizons. The Great Pyramids are located in an open area, which means it can get excruciatingly hot. Therefore, remember to dress appropriately, which includes wearing a hat and carrying a pair of sunglasses.
After having a splendid time at the pyramids, you can proceed to the Giza plateau and experience yet another iconic ancient landmark, the Great Sphinx. Or, you can opt to visit the numerous museums spread across the greater Giza area, such as the Egypt Papyrus Museum, the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Solar Boat Museum, to mention but a few.
4. Go on a hike across the Sinai Desert
The Sinai desert of Egypt boasts numerous trails that take you through some of the country’s most beautiful sceneries. The most popular one is Mount Catherine, that features trails through mountainous landscapes, historic ruins, and natural pools.
A hike of Mount Catherine typically takes about a week, excluding mountain climbing. Therefore, this is a unique opportunity to camp in the midst of nature and escape the hustles and bustles of ordinary life. The trail begins from Saint Catherine, which is the highest point in Egypt. From there, hikers can take the scenic 6-kilometers trip to Naga Mountain. The rest of the journey is a 25-kilometers hike that features several highlights, including the natural blue pools set atop mountains, the castle ruins of Abbas Basha, and Saint Catherine’s Monastery.
Besides the Mount Catherine trail, you can enjoy the equally breathtaking hiking trail of Mount Moses, popularly known as Mount Sinai. What makes hiking the Mount Moses trail such a scintillating adventure is the alternating inclines and declines of the paths. Its close proximity to Saint Catherine’s Monastery makes this mountain ideal for tourists that are keen to shop for souvenirs. If you’re looking to retrace the steps of Moses and the Israelites on their long and treacherous journey out of Egypt, then this is your rare chance to do so.
5. Trek to the Siwa Oasis
One of the best ways to wind up your trip to Egypt is to visit the Siwa Oasis. Oases are famous for their ability to provide pleasant contrasts to the otherwise unforgiving landscapes, and the Siwa Oasis is no exception.
Tucked away in the Western Desert near the Libyan border, a trek through the Siwa Oasis is a chance to venture onto the less-traveled paths. Siwa is arguably the most expansive desert settlement in Egypt. Its location far away from civilization makes it an ideal spot to sample Egypt’s most indigenous cultures and share in their rich heritage, a special highlight here being the Berber culture.
Siwa is also a rich agricultural land, and you’ll hardly miss the vast olive and date plantations that dot the entire span of this oasis, giving a semblance of life to the rather dry and arid landscape. While you’re at it, spare some time to visit the mystic temple of the ancient Oracle of Ammon. Though it’s now in a state of ruins, the temple still offers insights into the ancient ways of life of the inhabitants of the Western Desert.
Evidently, there are numerous things to see and do in the glorious land of the Pharaohs. How you wish to experience the country’s top tourist destinations is purely up to you. But our top highlights above are a great place to begin for tourists seeking for adventure-filled tours across Egypt.