Egypt is a country so rich in history and so adorned with remarkable monuments that it can be a major challenge just deciding what to see and do on your visit. I’ve put together a list of the ‘Top 5 Tours To Do in Egypt’ that I believe give a traveler the most complete and relevant view of this fascinating country. Equally, there are many ways in which to travel in Egypt, whether it’s independently, or with an organized Egypt private tour. There are even Egypt luxury tour options, but whichever way you choose you are sure to have the trip of a lifetime.
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza
Probably some of the most recognized manmade structures on the planet, the magnificent pyramids that sit strong and proud on the Giza plateau have to be seen to be truly appreciated. The Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Cheops, is the largest and oldest of Giza’s three pyramids, and is an astounding feat of human ingenuity and engineering mastery. At more than 4,500 years old, the technology used by the ancient Egyptians is still contested by some scholars, but one thing is not in doubt; to visit The Great Pyramids of Giza is to witness first hand the mystery and magnificence of the ancient world, and stand in awe of one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments.
2. Karnak Temple, Luxor
Walking along the enigmatic Avenue of The Sphinxes in Luxor gives any visitor a palpable sense of history, and as one approaches the colossal entry way into Karnak Temple, you know you’re entering into a truly special place. Built over two millennia and dedicated to a host of Egyptian Gods, including Amun and Khonsu, this ancient pantheon simply oozes power and history.
And Karnak Temple is vast. The central hypostyle hall, at 54,000 square feet (16,459 meters) remains the single largest room of any of the world’s great religious buildings, and standing in the shadows of the 134 unimaginably tall columns puts into stark context just what an impressive achievement it was for the people of ancient Egypt to create such beautiful and lasting monuments to their Gods.
3. Valley of The Kings, Luxor, and King Tut
Few places in the world fire the adventurous imagination better than The Valley of The Kings. Located on the west bank of the mighty River Nile, the Valley of The Kings is where many of Egypt’s most powerful kings and pharaohs were entombed, and all the world has heard of it’s most famous inhabitant, Tutankhamun. King Tut is perhaps the most enigmatic of all the pharaohs due to his young age and the mystery surrounding both his life and death. Born circa 1341 B.C.E, King Tut was the 12th king of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, but the ‘Boy King’ disappeared from history until the rediscovery of his tomb by real life Indiana Jones, British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
To enter some of the tombs in The Valley of The Kings is to literally step back thousands of years in time, and is a very humbling experience, and yet another unmissable activity when you visit Egypt.
4. Nile Cruise, Luxor to Aswan
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live a day in the life of beautiful Queen Cleopatra? Well if you take a luxury cruise along the sedate waters of the River Nile, you’ll find out. At 4,258 miles the Nile is the world’s longest river, and meanders its way north through eleven countries until spilling into the Mediterranean Sea. All along the river you will see aspects of Egyptian life unchanged in millennia, as buffalo and children wallow and play in the shallows, while farmers and their wives plant crops and wash clothes along the banks of the life giving river. The narrow swathe of lush greenery that lines the river is in stark contrast to the barrenness of the Sahara Desert beyond, but it’s a beautiful juxtaposition of colors and landscape, and is a wonderful snapshot of Egypt across the ages. On your cruise, you’ll pass myriad ancient temples and statues, and as the smiling children wave at you from the banks aboard your luxury vessel, wave back and imagine you’re a queen, if only for a few days.
5. Abu Simbel Temple
Abu Simbel is a village in the Nubian region of southern Egypt, and home to some of the most iconic of all Egyptian monuments; The Abu Simbel Temples. Built during the reign of Ramses II (c. 1279 – c. 1213 BCE) these two beautiful temples are an excellent demonstration of both the artistic excellence and engineering capabilities of the ancient Egyptians. Originally carved from the sheer rock cliff face on the banks of the Nile, when the Egyptian government decided to start work on the Aswan high Dam, it was learned that both temples would be submerged beneath the water. UNESCO got involved, and at a cost of $40 million US dollars, a manmade mountain was built and the temples were painstakingly moved to nearby higher ground, in what was another amazing demonstration of engineering.
Bit it is the colossal statues of Ramses himself that capture the imagination. Flanking the temple entrance, the four carved figures each stand an impressive height of sixty-five feet to dominate the facade and loom over visitors with regal and powerful elegance. Ramses was a giant of his time, and these magnificent colossi pay everlasting tribute to one of ancient Egypt’s most impressive pharaohs.
Egypt is a country that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. With its world class temples and monuments and the welcoming charm of the local people, Egypt offers a safe and memorable adventure around every corner. With the help of the experienced experts at Osiris Tours, who offer visitors the benefit of Egypt private tours or Egypt luxury tours, you’ll depart after your time in this spectacular nation with a lifetime of unforgettable experiences.
The only question will be; how soon can you go back?