If you are planning a trip to Egypt, as the UK Director of operations for One World Tours in the UK, here’s my top ten list of places to go and things to see and do in Egypt…
1. The pyramids at Giza. This may sound obvious but visiting them is not the only option. You can go inside them, ride camels around them and possibly most spectacular of them all, visit them and night and view the awesome Sound and Light Show at the pyramids. In the darkness of night, the Sphinx is lit up and narrates the history of the Pyramids. In addition a fantastic soundtrack plays and lasers dance all over the Pyramids. This show is a MUST.
2. Kings Tuts Mask. The mask of the child king, just has to be seen in person to be believed. The intricate work is one thing, but there is just an amazing “aura” of peace around this artefact. Words simply cannot describe what you will feel as you stand in front of it.
3. Abu Simbel. This is a true past and present wonder. The past is obvious, but as a present day wonder, not everyone realises that this entire structure was moved to make way for Lake Nasser. That alone makes it well worth the trip out from Aswan to view it.
4. Valley of the Kings. I personally love Luxor and the Valley of the Kings is a true site to behold. Despite its close links to death, there is a truly peaceful feeling there. It should be mentioned however that not all the tombs are worth seeing. You entry tickets gets you into 3 of the tombs and you can pay extra for others and for King Tuts tomb too. The 3 we suggest visiting are Ramses I, Tuthmosis III and Ramses VI .
5. Luxor Temple. This temple is located right on the bank of the River Nile and is a great place to stroll at leisure. Ironically an amazing view of this place can also be seen from the second floor of the McDonalds opposite – sorry it’s true !
6. A Felucca sailing on the Nile. Best taken in Luxor (opposite the entrance to Luxor Temple) this is a simple yet fantastic pleasure. We suggest heading out early in the afternoon, partly because the river provides a welcome rest from the days heat, but mainly because the return journey will see the sun setting over the Nile and this is something just not to be missed.
7. Karnak Temple. This temple complex can be visited either by day or night. If you can do both, do both, but if you can only do it once, do it at night. Karnak Temple is a huge place and is lit beautifully and as you wander around and the story of its history unfolds, you are truly transported to another time and place. The final act takes place overlooking a lake where the temple is stunningly lit and reflected in the still waters in front of you.
8. Diving in the Red Sea. Diving in places like Hurghada, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh is some of the best in the world and if you are a beginner, where better to learn that at the Red Sea Riviera !
9. A Nile Dinner Cruise (in Cairo). Arguably a little cliché, but if you can get past that, then a Nile river cruise in Cairo is well worth doing. The skyline is beautifully lit and as your cruise ship heads out into the dark waters, you are sure to have a romantic evening which you will never forget.
10 Riding a Camel. It just has to be done ! The best locations are at the pyramids on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor. Here it can be done nicely in conjunction with a trip on the Nile by felucca (stopping for a camel ride during the afternoon).