Luxor and Thebes is the main city of the pharaohs. The names of the most famous pharaohs are associated with Luxor: Ramses, Tutankhamun, Seth, Amenophis, Thutmose, who left here monuments of monumental architecture. Luxor occupies a special place in ancient Egyptian history during the new kingdom, where it was the capital of the entire Egyptian empire.
Luxor is the scene where the story of Amenhoteb III “Akhenaten” was played out – the first pharaoh who called all people to monotheism, to the god Aton. Luxor is 400 miles from Cairo. The Nile River divides it into two parts: East Luxor – the city of the living, where the pharaohs lived and built their prayer temples dedicated to the god Amon.
West Luxor is the city of the dead, where funerary temples and tombs are carved into the mountain. The modern city is located on the site of Thebes, the former capital of Ancient Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms, and therefore has the glory of “the largest open-air museum. All new finds of archaeologists exhibited at the Luxor Museum of Antiquities (opened in 1975)
Luxor is the most popular tourist center of Egypt. The abundance of monuments of ancient Egyptian architecture provides a visit to Luxor by hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.
Luxor has an international airport and for most Nile cruises, Luxor is the starting point or end point.
Aswan located on the Nile about a thousand kilometers south of Cairo, Aswan has been a trading center on the caravan route for many centuries. The ancient Egyptians called him Swin, and the Greeks Siena. Ivory and other goods from Central Africa were brought here. The economic importance of the city was especially great during the reign of the pharaohs. In the vicinity of Aswan, the famous pink granite was mined.
Nowadays, Aswan is known as a first-class winter resort. The sills of the Nile begin south of the city, thanks to which Aswan is one of the most picturesque places in the country. The Nubians who settled in Aswan give it a special African flavor: in restaurants you can hear old Nubian music, and in souvenir shops you can buy bright Nubian embroidery. In winter, Aswan revives, its streets, restaurants, promenades and bazaars are filled with crowds of tourists.
Tourist boats run along the Nile from Asun to Luxor, going along the way to Kom Ombo, Esna and Edfu, where wonderful temples have been preserved since ancient times. This trip is very popular, and the number of “floating hotels” has long exceeded two hundred. Feluccas are moored between the boats – traditional Egyptian boats with a slanting sail. You can’t get to many of the city’s sights except on the felucca.
We usually associate with Aswan a giant dam built in the 60s with the assistance of the USSR. With the construction of the Aswan Dam, the Egyptians finally got the opportunity to manage their great river – to direct the entire tide of the Nile to the reservoir, named after Nasser, whose length is 500 km, and a third of it is already in Sudan.
Aswan Dam has become one of the attractions of the city. This gigantic, unique structure 111 meters high, 3.5 km long and 1 km wide is called the “pyramid of the twentieth century.” On the left bank of the river, at the western base of the dam, a monument of Egyptian-Soviet friendship was erected. Five lotus petals shot up 75 meters. From the observation deck of the monument at a height of 46 m, both the dam, and the reservoir, and Aswan are perfectly visible.
3. Sharm el sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh (the “Royal Bay”) is an international-class resort in the south of the Sinai Peninsula.
Its geographical location is very unusual. On both sides it borders the Ras Mohammed National Park and the Nabq Nature Reserve, from the north-west Sharm El Sheikh protects the ridge of the Sinai Mountains, and from the south-east the city is washed by the Red Sea.
The tourism industry in Sharm El Sheikh is well developed and the resort can offer vacationers, depending on their inclinations, a relaxing vacation at sea, vibrant nightlife or interesting excursions.
The tourist season here never stops: you can sunbathe and swim in the Red Sea all year round. Here are the most beautiful corals and marine flora in the Northern Hemisphere. Corals are located right on the coast. The remains of sunken ships, shark bay and other attractions attract divers here from all over the world. Crystal clear water, a rich underwater world and a large number of coral reefs create ideal conditions for diving in winter and summer.
History buffs will be able to take excursions from here to Cairo or Luxor and to such biblical places as Mount Moses, at the foot of which is located the most ancient Christian monastery of St. Catherine.
Sharm El Sheikh consists of a tourist zone, stretching for almost 35 km. The tourist center and at the same time the center of the resort’s nightlife can be called Naama Bay, where the very first hotels in the resort were built. In the future, in addition to Naama Bay, hotels began to be built in other bays to the north and south: Sharm El Maya, Shark Bay, Nabq Bay, etc.
Today, Sharm El Sheikh is considered the most comfortable and respectable resort. It has everything that makes a vacation at sea unforgettable.
Hurghada is a resort town on the Red Sea coast in Egypt. The city was founded at the beginning of the 20th century and since 1980 has been actively developing thanks to Egyptian and foreign investments. Compared to another popular Egyptian resort, Sharm El Sheikh is considered to be somewhat more democratic and, accordingly, slightly less expensive.
Hurghada consists of the old center “Dahar” (or in English “down town”), the new center “Sakkala” (Sekalla) and an almost continuous chain of hotels stretching along the coast of Hurghada to the north the city with a total length more than 40 km
This resort, one of the most famous on the Red Sea coast, where the weather is sunny throughout the year. Endless sandy beaches washed by the gentle and warm sea stretch for tens of kilometers. The heat here is easily tolerated due to the dry climate of Egypt and the constant light breeze from the sea, which allows you to be on the beach all day even in the hottest months. Hurghada is an international center for lovers of water sports, such as: windsurfing, kiting, deep sea fishing, swimming, all possible types of snorkeling and diving, as well as boat trips under sail.
With the onset of darkness, other temptations await the tourist: discos, a casino, an amazingly beautiful light and music show of fountains, cozy restaurants and cafes where you can taste not only meat, but also fish dishes, as well as dishes of Eastern and European cuisine. And in the southern part of Hurghada is the legendary palace “A Thousand and One Nights”, built in the style of eastern Disneyland, where theatrical performances on themes of life in Egypt in the era of the pharaohs take place every evening.
Cairo is the largest city not only in Egypt, but throughout Africa. The favorable strategic position between the valley and the Nile Delta contributed to the emergence of settlements on the territory of modern Cairo in ancient times. At different periods of its history, the city bore two names: El-Kahira (“Invincible”) and Umm al-Dunja (“Mother of the world”). Now it is called the city of “thousands of minarets” or “Gates of the East”. This city is famous for its history. The faces of the Islamic medieval city and the ancient city of the Pharaonic era are still preserved, all this can be seen now.
The history of the city dates back to the 7th century, when the name of the commander Amr ibn al-Asa was first mentioned in written sources. On the site of the Roman camp of Babylon, he sets up his military camp, which became the embryo of Fustat (old Cairo). But only the Fatimids in 969 found the new city of El Kahira, now Cairo, north of Greater Fustat.
Currently, the population of Cairo exceeds 15 million people, including about 2 million visitors from the territories adjacent to the city to work. It occupies 13th place in terms of population in the world.
The most famous places visited by thousands of tourists every day are:
The Egyptian Museum is most famous museums in egypt and the world. It was founded in 1858 by the French Egyptologist O. Mariet. The walls contain the richest collections of monuments of art and culture of Ancient Egypt, including the treasures of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, a golden sarcophagus weighing 100 kg, the mask of Tutankhamun, the oldest clamshell in the world, mummies of the pharaohs and the mummy of a sad monkey. Currently, the collection has more than 100,000 exhibits.
Giza, with its last “wonder of the world”, the Pyramid of Cheops, built in 2650 BC. Next to which you can see – the Great Sphinx and the Museum of the Solar Rook. In the halls of the former palace of the Viceroy is a museum of Egyptian antiquities.
An endless number of mosques, more than 300. The most famous of them are the mosque of Amr (642), Ibn Tulun (878), Al-Azhar (970) and the mosque of Muhammad Ali.
The city of the dead is the largest necropolis in the world, the most ancient burials of which date back to the 15th century.
The famous Cairo bazaar is Khan el Khalili, the largest bazaar in the Middle East, little changed since the XIV century, where you will plunge into the exotic of the exotic with its unimaginable confusion and diversity.
The Citadel of Salladin, one of the oldest fortresses in the world, has for centuries reflected the invasions of the conquerors.
And this is only a small part of what you must see in this city. Everyone who visits Cairo, he causes different emotions and impressions, but no one remains indifferent.
And as they say in one of the short stories “1000 and 1 Nights” – “He who did not see Cairo did not see the world. His Nile is magnificent, and the women are like black-eyed virgins of paradise, his palaces, and the soft air smelling like an aloe tree, favorably affects the heart. And it could not be otherwise, because Cairo is the cradle of civilization. ”
Alexandria is a city in northern Egypt and a port on the Mediterranean Sea, 225 km northwest of Cairo, in the western part of the Nile Delta. The second largest city in Egypt. Large transport, commercial and industrial center of the country. The main seaport of Egypt. Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 332-331. BC e. on the Mediterranean coast in the place of the small village of Racoda, on the spit, between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis (Mariut). Thanks to trade, which was extremely favored by the unusually advantageous position of the city, Alexandria quickly grew and towered. During the time of the Ptolemies (305-30 BC), it became the capital of Egypt and the center of Hellenistic culture, the center of famous scientists and writers of an entire era (Alexandria) and the busiest trading center of the ancient world. Here were the Alexandrian Museyon, one of the main centers of science and culture of antiquity (early 3rd century BC – 272-273 CE), and the Alexandria Library (about 500 thousand scrolls, among which are manuscripts of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides etc.), created on the initiative of the philosopher and statesman Demetrius Falersky (the library burned down in the time of Caesar). Cleopatra, the last queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty, bewitched here with her beauty Caesar, and then his successor Mark Anthony.
Directly opposite the city lay the island of Faros (now an inseparable part of the mainland), connected by a dam with Alexandria by a long jetty called septastadion (7 stages). It is believed that he shared two very spacious harbors: a large or new one in the northeast and an old one, or Einosto harbor in the southwest. Both harbors were connected by bridges built at both ends of the pier. At the northern end of the island was the famous Faros (or Alexandria) lighthouse, ranked as the “seven wonders of the world.” In 1326, the Lighthouse of Alexandria collapsed from a major earthquake. In its place in the XV century. Sultan Ashraf built a fortress – Fort Kite Bay with round towers and loopholes overlooking the sea.
There are many mosques in the city. In the Al-Afoush district, the mosque of Abu al-Abbas is located – the largest and most beautiful in Alexandria. Built in the XVIII century. in the place of its crumbling predecessor over the tomb of the Muslim “saint” Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi. Almost completely rebuilt in 1944, the mosque is considered a masterpiece of building art.
Only a few of the ancient monuments have survived to our days:
The column of Pompey is the most famous preserved ancient monument. It is located on the ancient Alexandrian Acropolis – a hill located next to the city Muslim cemetery. Initially, the column was part of the temple’s colonnade, its height, along with the pedestal – 30 m. “Pompey’s Column” is an incorrect term introduced by the crusaders; nothing connects it with Pompey, in fact, it was built in 293 under Diocletian.
Near the south-west of the column are the Alexandrian catacombs of Kom el-Shukaf, they consist of a multi-level labyrinth, which leads to a spiral staircase, which consists of dozens of halls decorated with curly columns, statues and other syncretic Roman Egyptian symbols. Here are burial niches and sarcophagi. The catacombs were abandoned a long time ago and again accidentally discovered in 1900.
Excavations are currently underway in the Kom Ad Dikka area, where a well-preserved ancient university was discovered, which until 2008 was considered an amphitheater and Roman baths.
A native of the city was the Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis, his house turned into a museum. Alexandria is also the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria and all of Africa.
This resort is located on the Sinai Peninsula, 200 kilometers from Sharm El Sheikh, almost on the border of Egypt and Israel. The subject of many years of strife between the two neighboring states, now Taba has become a thriving tourist center. This is a place for a quiet family holiday with children, there is almost nothing to do outside the hotel.
But the Taba coral reefs are in no way inferior to the underwater gardens of Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab. The peculiarity of the beaches of Taba is that the coral reefs are very close to the coast, but the coastal sand strip allows you to enter the water without special shoes.
Taba offers a beautiful view of the Gulf of Aqaba and immediately to three countries: Israel (Eilat), Jordan (Aqaba) and Saudi Arabia. The main attraction of Taba is its border status. It is also conveniently located on the highway that connects this resort with Cairo, the Christian monastery of St. Catherine, Color Canyon. An interesting historical monument is located near Taba, on the island of the Pharaohs.
Taba will make your stay in Egypt pleasant and unforgettable, harmoniously combining the enjoyment of the sea, the sun, beautiful nature, excellent service and interesting excursion programs.
8. El gouna
El Gouna is a tourist resort on the Red Sea, located 20 km north of Hurghada International Airport, and is known as the “Egyptian Venice.” All the hotels and buildings of the El Gouna resort are located on small islands connected by bridges and canals. on which boats ply. The resort has beaches, hotels and golf courses. Possible activities include yachting, fishing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing and diving.
All hotels have a common entertainment infrastructure. El Gouna guests use free minibuses and boats to travel around the resort. In El Gouna, everyone can find what they like: secluded beaches and cozy hotels, striking in their sophistication, desert safaris and an unusual underwater world for those who crave adventure, entertainment programs for the whole family and a vibrant nightlife for young and energetic . Fans of scuba diving are waiting for interesting finds – sunken ships.
The real heart of El Gouna is Kafr, a charming area of this elite resort. Kafr was built in the style of traditional Egyptian architecture with its courtyards, endless alleys and domed arches. The delicate pastel colors of the Kafra buildings create an impressive contrast with the bright emerald lagoons with sea water. Here, in Kafra, life is in full swing day and night: there are numerous shops, restaurants, cafes offering local and European cuisine, their cinemas and discotheques at the service of vacationers.
A special pride of El Gouna is the newly built fashionable golf club, considered one of the best in the Middle East.
El Gouna was chosen by artists and photographers from around the world. A special complex has even been built for them, which has become their home and workplace. El Gouna is also a huge success among wealthy Egyptians: their luxurious villas organically fit into a single architectural plan of the city.
9. Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam (translated as “Fish Village”) is a new, rapidly developing resort, where there are hotels of different levels from three to five stars, which is located on the Red Sea, 240 km south of Hurghada. Marsa Alam hotels are well equipped for families and fun diving companies.
Fans of scuba diving will discover new unknown depths of the Red Sea, will be able to visit the Dolphins House or the Dolphin House: a huge reef, curved in the shape of a horseshoe, amazing transparency of water and, very unusual, algae grow at the bottom ..
In this place you can meet flocks of dolphins. The corals of this region with their beauty will not yield to the flora of Sharma and Dahab. Convenience of diving from the shore, suitable for all levels of fitness. Coastal reefs covered with beautiful coral gardens, turtles, sleeping sharks are very beautiful.
For those who just want to touch all these beauties, there is already a scuba diving school for 10 years, where everyone can take a training course of any difficulty level under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Diving programs at the resort include exciting boat trips with a dive into the sea, as well as particularly interesting dives in the early morning and night.
The advantages of this place: the silence and tranquility of life in the desert, the romance of this is perfect for newlyweds. They will never forget their honeymoon here.
Nuweiba is a small and cozy town, located 85 km north of Dahab and is located between the Strait of Aqaba and high desert hills.
It’s even more likely not a city, but the name of a coastal stretch of about 30 km, on which there are small settlements (total number of inhabitants – 15 thousand people), a few hotels that are separated by significant distances, and the port of Nuweiba, which has never been especially busy and usually used by passenger ferries departing for Saudi Arabia.
Nuweiba in the past is the most important point on the way of Islamic pilgrims to Mecca.
There is also a small tourist center in Nuweiba – the village of TARABIN, where restaurants and shops are concentrated. Nuweiba is famous for its sea and magnificent beaches.
Another local attraction is a small bay with the so-called dolphin beach. A family of Bedouins settled on its shore, which tamed dolphins. Now many local travel agencies include swimming with dolphins in their Sinai tours.
Not far from Nuweiba is Color Canyon, White Canyon and the Christian monastery of St. Catherine.
100 kilometers northeast of Sharm El Sheikh is the resort of Dahab. Absolutely different: free from conventions, party and bright – this is how Dahab seems at first glance, but in fact EVERYTHING is even better!
Dahab in translation – gold. He grew up on the site of a Bedouin village. Due to the unique wind rose, Dahab resort is the most attractive place for windsurfing. Dahab is famous for its fish restaurants and low prices.
The bay where Dahab is located is very different from the organized Sharma and the respectable Naama Bay. No paved boardwalks, wicker chairs with tables, fluorescent signs … In Dahab, everything is simple and very lively! A rocky road along the sea is a street – on the one hand the beach and cafes, on the other – shops, shops, hotels. Dahab beach is also extremely difficult to call it a beach. It is rather a rocky-sandy area, from which it is convenient to enter the sea. There are no familiar sunbeds, but there are coziest rugs and pillows.
Dahab is a divers resort. It is in Dahab that the most unique place of the Red Sea is located – the Blue Hole. The vertical coral wall accessible from the shore, the absence of currents, and clear water make the Blue Hole convenient for simple observers with a mask. Caring for tourists, the Arabs even made a bridge directly to failure. 5 steps from the shore, mask flippers, and now you are hovering over the abyss …. The successful location of corals allows light to penetrate deeply and illuminate the coral from morning to evening.
It is in Dahab that flocks young people from all over the world, turning a small Arab settlement into eastern Amsterdam. In Dahab, they come off for real, but peacefully, pleasantly, at home. Small discos, surfing, nice cafe-restaurants, and, most importantly – an international party.
Attracted to Dahab, of course, low prices! There are expensive hotels of famous chains in Dahab, but they are located a little to the side, where the bay is full of wind.
Wind … Who cares in Dahab, because it’s surfer – the wind blows here almost all year round, there are strong waves, but at the same time access to water is simple, and the coast is gentle. So hundreds of colored sails glide over the water …
Dahab, like the whole Sinai, is under construction. New hotels are constantly being erected, the coast is being cultivated. The Egyptians’ vast plans to turn the coast from Sharm El Sheikh to Taba into one big promenade, create their own Cote d’Azur … So far this has not happened, and the wild Dahab remains a pleasant place for a secluded vacation and a youth party.
12. Port Said
Port Said is a port city in northeastern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea at the northern end of the Suez Canal. The population is 529,684 people (2004). Developed fisheries, chemical industry, cigarette production and food industry. Egypt exports cotton and rice through the port. Serving the Suez Canal, refueling passing ships. Seaside resort.
The city was founded in 1859 on a sand spit that separates the Mediterranean Sea from the salty coastal lake Manzala. Originally built as part of the canal infrastructure. It developed rapidly as a duty-free port.
The city has preserved many houses built in the 19th century.
The Statue of Liberty, which is now the symbol of the United States, was originally planned to be installed in Port Said under the name The Light Of Asia, but the then government decided that transporting the structure from France and installing it were too expensive for it.
Port Said became famous during the Suez War of 1956, when for one day it resisted the Anglo-French naval landing, in connection with this event the city is sometimes called “Egyptian Stalingrad.” In 1962, Port Said and Volgograd became twin cities. To compensate the residents for the losses from this war, the Egyptian government decided to declare Port Said a special economic zone of duty-free trade and today goods in Port Said can be purchased at extremely low prices (but you should not expect that it will be cheap in the central stores of the city). However, there is an important limitation: you can buy anything, export is limited to a certain list, the excess of which is subject to customs duties.
Port Said is not focused on mass tourism. Therefore, for the same money the level of a hotel in Port Said will be higher than in any resort in Egypt. At the same time, the city has enough restaurants and cafes with panoramic views of the Suez Canal.
Sitting on the promenade with a cup of coffee, watching ocean liners pass by can be forever.
A tribute to the tourist destination of Egypt can be attributed to the local National Museum. The exposition is mainly made up of samples of the material culture of the Egyptians from the pre-Pharaonic times (it must be remembered that during the construction of the Suez Canal, so much land was taken out that somewhere else it would have sufficed for an entire state or principality)
And yet, the main thing in Port Said is the canal, and also, probably, the new, highest suspension bridge in the world. The height of this unique engineering structure is 70 meters under which any vessel can easily pass.
13. Makadi bay
Makadi Bay is a new resort area located in a quiet bay on the Red Sea coast, 30 km south of Hurghada. Transfer from Hurghada International Airport to Makadi Bay takes about 40 minutes. On the secluded shore of Makadi Bay are luxury hotels. Also, a beautiful shopping center surrounded by greenery has been built with shops, cafes, a playground, patios. Makadi Bay also has a supermarket with the necessary range of goods at reasonable prices and very beautiful and cozy cafes built in oriental style. In the center of Makadi Bay, you will also find a pharmacy and a bank branch, as well as a newly built wellness center. For youth and all who are young in soul, in the evenings, a disco El Khan is organized.
Makadi Bay is a great place for a relaxing family vacation with children. Long sandy beaches with clear water attract lovers of the sea, sun, sand and walks along the coast, and coral reefs that can be reached directly from the beach attract many scuba diving enthusiasts.
Makadi Bay organizes many excursions to interesting places in the surrounding areas of the country. Being here, it is impossible not to visit Giftun Island, which captivates with the beauty of the coral reefs surrounding it. A few hours away are the monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul – two of the most impressive and peaceful corners of the Red Sea, where monasticism originated. The monks of these monasteries will tell you about the wonderful world of antiquity. Excursions to Luxor, one of the most interesting cities in Egypt, are very popular.
Safaga is an Egyptian city on the Red Sea coast, located 60 km south of Hurghada along a strip of desert stretching between the sea and mountains. The city has one of the oldest ports in the Red Sea, which was created during the reign of the Egyptian king Sahur as a base for trade and exploration of the Red Sea. For many years, the port of Safaga was the center of busy trade, and today this city, bordered by wide azure bays, long sandy beaches and beautiful islands, has turned into a popular tourist resort and the famous sports center of the Red Sea Riviera.
Due to the relatively small popularity of Safaga, the nature of local coastal waters has not experienced the presence of humans, which will allow you to see a large number of underwater coral reefs that amaze with their beauty and the diversity of flora and fauna of the Red Sea. Particularly curious tourists will be able to visit a ship sunken in local waters and go scuba diving between its remains, which in the refracted rays of the sun look mesmerizing and a little frightening … The beauty of the local coast and a relatively small number of tourists have turned Safaga into one of the most popular places among amateurs diving and windsurfing.
For those who are interested not only in hotels, beaches and restaurants, the Safaga resort organizes tourist trips to the most famous places in Egypt, the cities of Cairo and Luxor. These old and majestic cities will certainly amaze you with the remnants of ancient buildings, the aura of ancient times and the indescribable color of the local population, which is difficult to get used to.