When my cousin called me for Egypt tours with her, I came across with my eyes closed – just as you, after reading this post, will be willing to get on the first plane there. After all, traveling is with myself, I have always been in love with Ancient Egypt and I thought it would be cheap to visit the Pyramids, the Tutankhamen mask and all those people “from the old days”.
The temple of Isis is well placed among the top 6 that you will read in this post!
It turned out that, after 18 days, Egypt became consecrated as one of the trips that most marked my life. The trip in which I took the best photos and lived the best experiences to date. And, that is to say, only one of them was related to the Pyramids of Egypt, although they are a great attraction for the country.
I came back completely in love with Egypt – and really hoping that the political confusion that settled there a little later would pass soon because the world deserves to see and visit it – especially for its charming people and its fascinating history.
And now I have selected the “top 6” destinations and the most fantastic experiences and organized them, compiled in this post here.
1. Abu Simbel
Let me tell you a secret: the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are the attractions that make Egypt famous around the world, but it is the Abu Simbel Temple that brings that “oh” of admiration from the bottom of the people. There are four effigies – or three-and-a-half since one of them was destroyed – of Pharaoh Ramses II (the most “bamboo” of the times of Ancient Egypt) carved in stone, in colossal dimensions. Pharaonic egocentrism is not enough! We challenge you to visit Abu Simbel and not let out a WOW in the face of such beauty. Companies like Nile Cruise Vacation provide a lot of different tour packages that suit every pocket.
2. Philae Temple – or Temple of Isis
Take advantage of the fact that to visit the Abu Simbel Temple it is necessary to set up a base in the city of Aswan and organize your trip to go also to this one, which is right in the city and is easier to reach. The visit is valid for being one of the most beautiful temples – you have to take a small boat to get there, and you have the view of ruins surrounded by water and palm trees.
It is said that Cleopatra frequented the Temple of Isis in search of guidance.
3. Nile tour and overnight stay
One thing I noticed is that all Egypt tour packages included at least one – or more – nights on a Nile River cruise (learn more about on Memphis Tours). My opinion on this: yes, it is a beaten tour and turistan (you cannot see locals doing the same thing), but the experience of navigating the Nile is – I think – unforgettable. After all, the river has been closely related to the economy, geography, history and religion of Egypt since the time of the pharaohs, so that sailing on its waters is, in a way, repeating the same route that the ancient Egyptians did so long ago…
4. Karnak Temple
This is another double of unmissable tours that are also in Luxor. But, before you get to the ruins, here’s the warning: the temple is even more interesting if we look at it by the numbers. Yes, that’s right: numbers. First, because the temple took almost two thousand years to be fully built – this was because each pharaoh and dynasty decided to attach an extra part to it, and, since the parade of egos has been around since that time, each wanted their part to be more exuberant than the other.
5. The black desert and white desert
The black desert and the white desert in Egypt was the trip I enjoyed the most when I lived in Cairo. The white desert, in particular, is truly sensational… Less known when we talk about Egypt, the white and black deserts will remain as my best memory of this fabulous country. Many organizations offer excursions in this region which is part of the Lybic desert which itself belongs to the Sahara.
These tour operators are easily found directly in Cairo or in the oasis of Bahariya, the starting point of the “adventure” towards the white desert and the black desert. It is recommended to go there in the spring or fall because outside these periods the nights can be freezing in winter and the days sweltering in summer. I had made the choice to contact directly a person who organizes these excursions which had been recommended to me by Egyptian colleagues (I was very happy with it and the prices were very interesting: I can find the coordinates if necessary!). So I had to reach the village of Bawiti in Bahariya on my own: for that, it’s very simple, just take a bus from the Cairo bus station and it takes at least 4 hours to drive more than 300km.
Arrival in the oasis generally at the end of the day, the guide takes care of us in his 4 * 4 and it left for 2 days of pleasure in the black desert than in the white desert. In our case, the start was made at night and it was impressive: our guide drove in the dark, without GPS or compass and apparently managed to find his way. After a while, he stops, breaks a few carpets on the floor and it was actually our bed that was ready for a first night under the stars …
Three reasons to visit Dahab: diving, cycling, and food! But the order is up to you! I explain: Dahab is a tiny town on the Sinai Peninsula, off the coast of the Red Sea. As a seaside town, it has that relaxed, colorful vibe of sea and sun, but because it is tiny, it lacks that luxurious (and impersonal) grandeur of the resorts of the famous neighbor, Sharm-El-Sheik.
There are still many interesting places in Egypt to visit but the 6 places above are your first steps to explore the land of the Pharaoh.