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Egypt a land of a thousand faces

by Paresh Bramhane
Egypt a land of a thousand faces

One of the places that deserves to be seen at least once in a lifetime is definitely Egypt. Cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations and rich in archaeological sites, in this land it is possible to take a journey through time and immerse yourself in a millenary civilization. From Cairo, passing through the pyramids of Giza, to Sharm el Sheikh: a journey that combines culture with fun, for a 360-degree holiday that will conquer you. The most classic idea for visiting Egypt is to book a Nile cruise. Along the river you will have the opportunity to admire the pyramids and beautiful natural landscapes.

Nile cruise: how to organize it

By now there are many tour operators that offer a trip of this type and it is better to rely on them rather than planning the cruise yourself and we recommend Luxor and Aswan Travel as they best Nile Cruises tour operator in Egypt. In fact, organized trips have the advantage of offering a complete package for booking a flight, cabin, excursions… On board the boat, there is also almost always entertainment, so that you can also brighten your evenings.

The prices are very varied, and you can find a little for all budgets: you go from a luxury Nile cruise with a ship equipped with every comfort to low-cost travel, with the possibility of last-minute booking. The duration usually ranges from three to eight days, depending on the number of attractions to be visited.

The classic route goes from Aswan to Luxor and each bank of the river has a particular meaning. The part to the east is in fact dedicated to life, with the valley of the temples, while the one to the west represents death, with the tombs of the pharaohs. In addition to the archaeological wonders, along the river you can see herds of gazelles and other animals, for a natural spectacle that will leave you breathless.

The most beautiful archaeological attractions to visit

It’s easy to say pyramids. In Egypt there is one of the largest archaeological complexes in the world, with unforgettable monumental works. First of all there is certainly the necropolis of Giza, located near Cairo and the last of the seven wonders of antiquity to still be standing. Here are the three pyramids of the pharaohs Cheops, Khafre, and Menkaure, as well as the Great Lion-faced Sphinx, which is said to portray Cheops.

Near the town of Luxor, we then have the famous Valley of the Kings, an ancient complex where kings were buried for more than 500 years. The tombs are numbered in order of discovery and it is also possible to visit the inside. Among these is the famous tomb of Tutankhamun, one of the most iconic pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Within the area there is also the complex formed by the Great Temple of Amun and the Temple of Luxor, whose overall size is 300,000 square meters. The complex consists of various stratifications that date back to the different dynasties of the pharaohs and it is not possible to distinguish which was the first nucleus.

Another necropolis worth mentioning is that of Saqqara, which houses the famous step pyramid of Djoser which is said to be the oldest in the country. Another place that absolutely must be visited is the archaeological site of Abu Simbel, which was built by the pharaoh Ramses II. This consists of two huge stone temples, the major and the minor one and has been a Unesco heritage site for several years.

Cairo, the capital

You cannot go to Egypt without obviously visiting the city of Cairo, chaotic and mysterious, but above all full of places to discover. The capital of Egypt is a perfect example of how antiquity and modernity blend perfectly, giving life to a capital where narrow streets and contemporary buildings intertwine.

The first destination to visit in this city is the Egyptian Museum, where it is possible to admire the golden sarcophagus of Tutankhamun and the riches that have been found inside. In the Islamic quarter it is then possible to stroll among the characteristic buildings and visit the mosques, fantastic examples of Ottoman-style architecture.

You cannot also miss a visit to the Khan el-Khalili bazaar, the characteristic open-air market where you can have fun bargaining on the price of spices, perfumes, and small items. There is also the Citadel, a massive fortress from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole city.

Diving in Sharm el Sheikh

If you want to combine culture with a sporting activity, a suggestion is to go to Sharm el Sheikh, known for its wonderful seabed where you can practice scuba diving and admire the incredible variety of tropical fish and turtles.

The coral reef offers a breathtaking spectacle and diving can also be done all year round thanks to the pleasant temperature of the water that oscillates between 18 and 26 degrees. One of the most recommended areas for snorkeling is Ras Mohammed National Park, near Sharm, where it is also possible to go hiking.

Nightlife

To complete your dream vacation in Egypt, a little fun cannot be left out and from this point of view the main cities have a lot to offer. In fact, there are many bars, pubs and nightclubs where you can spend an evening with friends. If you love to dance, the nightclubs of Sharm el Sheikh are definitely for you. The most famous is Pacha, open every evening, with themed events and various attractions.

In Cairo, on the other hand, the reference area is the central one of Tahrir Square, where there are many restaurants, cafes, and theaters. Many places are furnished like beaches, with cushions instead of chairs. Here you can enjoy excellent tea and try to smoke the narghili, a water pipe. It should also be mentioned the Oriental Dance Festival which takes place every year in the capital and offers fantastic shows for belly dance enthusiasts.

The dishes to taste

Finally, for a total immersion in Egyptian culture, food must not be forgotten. Egyptian cuisine has a double influence, the Mediterranean (Greek and Lebanese), more present in the north of the country and the African one, which characterizes the south. The two main foods are wholemeal bread and rice. Vegetables such as aubergines and legumes such as broad beans and beans are used a lot.

One of the typical dishes to taste absolutely is the torly, a casserole made with lamb stew and vegetables, a real delicacy. There are also numerous meat, fish or legume soups called shurbah, all to be tried. Here all the dishes are colorful and enriched with sesame seeds and spices such as cumin and coriander. In short, it is a cuisine different from ours and waiting to be discovered!

In conclusion: Egypt awaits you with its thousand attractions, organize your trip, you will not regret it!

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