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Discovering the Land of the Pharaohs: A Guide to Egypt’s Wonders

Discovering the Land of the Pharaohs: A Guide to Egypt’s Wonders

Egypt is the ideal place for a sunny, shoulder-season holiday. We Brits love a bit of winter sun but the weather in Europe is unpredictable and travelling further afield is expensive and time consuming. That’s why Egypt is a brilliant option if you’re looking for warm weather, sunny skies, flight times under six hours, gorgeous hotels and lots of activities to keep you busy.

Egypt is also a budget friendly option for winter sun. You can find great flights with airlines like EgyptAir and all-inclusive hotels at a fraction of the cost of resorts around much of Europe.

The last time I visited I stayed at Baron Palace Resort in Hurghada and it was gorgeous!

While it might be tempting to stay in your resort for the majority of your holiday, there’s a lot to see and do in Egypt so it’s well worth getting out and about to explore.

Here are 10 of the best things to do in Egypt:

Visit the Pyramids of Giza

Most hotels will offer a tour to visit the Pyramids of Giza so don’t worry about organising your own day out. These pyramids are one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world so you really can’t visit Egypt without seeing them! Explore the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Sphinx.

Don’t forget your camera! These will definitely be photos to show the grandchildren!

Explore Luxor

Luxor is often called the world’s greatest open-air museum, with its incredible temples and tombs. Visit the Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and the Colossi of Memnon.

Again, this is a BIG day out but it can be booked as part of a package from your hotel.

Cruise the Nile River

A Nile River cruise offers a relaxing way to see the sights of Egypt. Many cruises stop at key sites along the river, including Luxor, Aswan, and Edfu.

If you’re really making the most of your trip to Egypt you could book an extended tour over a few days and combine this with a hotel stay for a week. Now that would be a great way to see Egypt!

Discover Egypt’s Lesser-Known Ancient Temples

While Luxor might be home to the most famous temples, there are lots of other amazing ancient temples worth visiting. Check out Abu Simbel, Philae Temple in Aswan, Edfu Temple, and Kom Ombo Temple.

Depending on the location of your hotel, it may be easier to visit these so don’t dismiss them!

Explore Cairo

If you’re flying into Cairo then I highly recommend staying in the city for a night or two to explore Egypt’s bustling capital city. 

Visit the Egyptian Museum, home to an extensive collection of ancient artefacts, including those from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Also, explore the historic Islamic Cairo area, including the Citadel and Khan El Khalili Bazaar.

As well as the museums there’s lots to see but I generally like being immersed in the local hustle and bustle, dining in local restaurants and seeing areas away from the usual tourist hot spotshot-spots.

Soak up the sun in the Red Sea Resorts 

Of course, Egypt isn’t all about ancient monuments and pyramids. Egypt’s Red Sea coast is famous for its beautiful beaches and world-class diving and snorkelling. The three most popular resort towns include Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and Dahab so start your search there! There are endless 5* resorts to choose from!

Visit Alexandria

A lesser-known place to visit in Egypt is the historic city of Alexandria.

Alexandria is known for its Greco-Roman ruins, including the Citadel of Qaitbay and the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. Don’t miss the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern library and cultural centre.

Have an adventure in the Western Desert

 OK, this is one for the adventure seekers! If you love to get out and have an adrenaline-fuelled activity then Egypt’s Western Desert is the place to do it. 

There are lots of tours where you can try desert safaris, camp under the stars, and visit unique rock formations like the White Desert and the Black Desert. Now I love an all-inclusive resort but camping under the stars in the desert would be such an incredible experience.

Relax on the Mediterranean Beaches 

You’ve experienced the Red Sea, now it’s time to explore Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. You’ll find beautiful beaches and resorts, perfect for sunbathing and swimming.

Some of the top Mediterranean beach destinations in Egypt include:

Alexandria which is Egypt’s second-largest city. Popular beaches include Maamoura Beach, Cleopatra Beach, and Montazah Beach.

Marsa Matrouh which is just west of Alexandria is known for its pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Cleopatra Beach, Agiba Beach, and Rommel Beach are among the most popular beaches.

Sidi Abdel Rahman is an upscale beach resort area near Marsa Matrouh and has more luxurious hotels, beach clubs, fine dining and private beaches. Definitely, the place to go if you’re feeling spenny! 

Ras El-Bar is another popular beach destination known for its natural beauty and calm waters. The beach is lined with palm trees and is more laid back and peaceful than the other resorts.

Try ALL the Egyptian Cuisine!

Last but not least, you’ll definitely want to sample as much of the delicious Egyptian cuisine as you can. Try traditional dishes like koshari, falafel, ful medames, and stuffed pigeon.

Egyptian cuisine is flavorful, diverse, and influenced by various civilizations throughout its long history. Here are 10 things you have to try!

1. Koshari

A beloved Egyptian street food dish made with rice, lentils, macaroni, and chickpeas, topped with a spicy tomato sauce, crispy onions, and sometimes served with garlic vinegar.

2. Ful Medames

A traditional Egyptian breakfast dish made from cooked and mashed fava beans, seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, often served with bread.

3. Mahshi

Stuffed vegetables such as grape leaves, zucchini, eggplant, and cabbage, filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes meat, cooked in a tomato-based sauce.

4. Ta’ameya (Egyptian Falafel)

Deep-fried patties made from mashed fava beans or chickpeas, flavoured with herbs and spices, typically served on pita bread with salad and tahini sauce.

5. Molokhia

A nutritious green soup made from the leaves of the molokhia plant (also known as Jew’s mallow), cooked with garlic, coriander, and sometimes chicken or rabbit meat, served with rice or bread.

6. Roz Bel Laban (Rice Pudding)

A creamy and comforting dessert made from rice cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar, flavoured with rose water or vanilla, and often garnished with nuts or cinnamon.

7. Hawawshi

Egyptian-style meat pies made with spiced ground meat (usually beef or lamb) stuffed inside flatbread dough and baked or grilled until crispy and golden.

8. Shawarma

Thinly sliced marinated meat (often beef, chicken, or lamb) roasted on a vertical spit and served in sandwiches or on plates with vegetables, pickles, and tahini or garlic sauce.

9. Basbousa

A sweet semolina cake soaked in syrup, flavoured with coconut and sometimes garnished with almonds or pistachios.

10. Aish Baladi

Egyptian flatbread is made from whole wheat flour, traditionally baked in wood-fired ovens and served with various dishes or used to wrap sandwiches.