Egypt shares land borders with Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast and has coasts on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
Large areas of land are part of the Sahara Desert and are sparsely inhabited. The majority of Egyptians today are urban, living in the great Arab population centers of greater Cairo, the largest city in Africa, and Alexandria.
The very name Egypt conjures images of treasure, mystery and the mighty river Nile, the life blood of this arid country. Egypt has long acted as a magnet for travellers from all over the world, thanks to its fascinating and awe-inspiring monuments, its dramatic landscape and its intrinsic sense of history. Choose to visit the Cairo Museum and witness the wealth of Tutankhamun’s tomb, or take a camel ride to the nearby pyramids and stand beneath the gaze of the Sphinx. Why not fly on to Luxor to join a vessel for a Nile cruise, or take a guided tour of the gigantic Temple of Karnak with its forests of columns and the great court of the Temple of Luxor. For a different view of Egypt, board a hot air balloon bound for the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, to see the magnificent mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the brilliant painted tombs of nobles and kings.
Egypt is renowned for its sandy white beaches and deep turquoise waters which stretch from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and for the warm and friendliness of the Egyptian people. The warm waves of the water engulf you whether you are bathing on the sandy shores or exploring the depths of Coral Reefs of Sharm El Sheikh , Hurghada and Marsa Alam The breezy winds coupled with the warm waters of the Red Sea offer the optimum environment for swimming, snorkeling, diving, sailing, para-sailing or select from a vast array of sea activities that are sure to keep you basking in the sun all day, plus 18 hole golf courses.
Cairo-The Giza Pyramids – the only remaining monuments of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World- are a fascinating example of the architectural masterpieces that were built during the height of the Pharaonic civilization. Despite the numerous pictures you may have seen of the pyramids, nothing can truly prepare you for the first time you see these magnificent structures in real life. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom.
There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the ‘Great Pyramid’.
Luxor – Luxor has often been called the world’s greatest open air museum, as indeed it is and much more. The number and preservation of the monuments in the Luxor area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Actually, what most people think of as Luxor is really three different areas, consisting of the City of Luxor on the East side of the Nile, the town of Karnak just north of Luxor and Thebes, which the ancient Egyptians called Waset, which is on the west side of the Nile across from
Luxor. To say that the Luxor area is a major attraction for tourists in Egypt would be an understatement. It has been a tourist destination since the beginning of tourism. Even in ancient times, during the late Dynasties of the Greek and Roman periods, the area drew tourists, and has been doing so ever since. Today Luxor is well equipped to accommodate tourists with many hotels and in general a tourist industry ready and willing to serve the people from many countries that descend on this area of the Nile Valley every year.
Aswan – Egypt’s sunniest southern city and ancient frontier town located about 81 miles south of Luxor, has a distinctively African atmosphere. Its ancient Egyptian name was Syene. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. Days can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish.
In Aswan the Nile is at its most beautiful, flowing through amber desert and granite rocks, round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants. Explore the souk, full of the scent and color of spices, perfumes, scarves and baskets. View the spectacular sunsets while having tea on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel (Named due to the location of the Nile’s first cataract located here). Aswan has been a favorite winter resort since the beginning of the nineteenth century, and it’s still a perfect place to get away from it all.
Hurghada – Hurghada was founded in the early 20th century, and until a few years ago, remained a small fishing village. Today Hurghada is already a hot spot for tourists, and European holiday makers.
The town has all the facilities you would expect from a holiday resort, including restaurants, diving schools, hotels, long sandy beaches and more.
If it takes place in or on the water you can do it here: windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, but, above all, snorkeling and diving. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, justifiably famous amongst divers.
There are many Islands near Hurghada to visit which offers all kinds of fun and excitement. Take a day trip to Giftun Island for snorkeling and a fish barbecue, or view the Red Sea from a submarine! When you’re not in the sea you can shop in the boutiques, visit the Roman Mons Porphyrites (mountain of porphyry) remains at nearby Gebel Abu Dukhan. Take a day-trips or safaris to explore the Red Sea Mountains by camel or jeep.
Hurghada is also a city still under development. The realization of a lifelong ambitions to own a property overseas is often far easier to achieve than most people realize and there is no doubt the Egypt’s benevolent all year round climate, vast range of activities and exhilarating atmosphere make it an extremely attractive destination for those who seek a holiday, retirement or investment property with a twelve month season.
Sharm el Sheikh – The Red Sea resort for scuba diving, snorkeling and family fun. The jewel of the Sinai, with history going back thousands of years.
Sharm el Sheik is situated on the Southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the Red Sea on one side and the mountains of Mount Sinai on the other.
This resort area is one of the most accessible and developed communities on the Sinai peninsula. All around are Bedouins, colorful tents, mountains and sea. There are small, intimate hotels with modern designs, as well as larger hotel complexes belonging to International chains, plus about all the amenities one could expect of a tourist center, including casinos, discos and nightclubs, golf courses and health facilities. In fact, with diving and snorkeling, windsurfing and other water sports, horses and camel riding, desert safaris, and great nearby antiquities attractions, it is almost impossible for a visitor to ever suffer from boredom.
Four miles south the southern section of the town stands on a cliff overlooking the port. and is a great view.
Na’ama Beach is one of the centers of the tourist activities. Located just north of Sharm, this area is developing into a resort town of its own. Most hotels at Na’ama Bay have their own, private beaches with comfortable amenities such as chairs, shades and even bars.
Shark’s Bay is also nearby, and again is a growing resort community with more and more to offer, along with several diving centers.
The small harbor known as Sharm el-Moiya is located next to the civil harbor, has accommodations for boats, and includes a Yacht Club with rooms.
For those who live to shop, the Sharm El-Sheikh mall provides shops with both foreign and local products, including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, pottery and books.
It has been said that this is a must visit for all diving enthusiasts. There are many diving sites along the 10 mile beach between Sharm el-Sheikh and Ras Nusrani.
How to get there
Most visitors to Egypt will get there by air. A huge number of airlines operate in and out of Cairo and Egyptair offers international flights in and out of Luxor and Hurghada. Charter flights from London and Manchester also fly in to Cairo, Luxor and Hurghada.
There are many car hire companies within Egypt, but driving is not for the feint hearted. Public transport is very reasonable and there are coaches which travel to all major cities.
Trains are an excellent way to travel within Egypt. There are air-conditioned express trains as well as ordinary trains which tend to be a bit slower and less likely to have Air conditioning. Note that trains do not go to the Sinai or the main beach destinations of Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh.
Buses range from luxury to overcrowded. But they service all towns in Egypt. In general, the faster more luxurious buses will run between major cities and tourist destinations. Tickets can be bought at bus stations and often on the bus itself.
Small mini buses in Harghada are the best form of transport around the town, they pull up anytime anywhere about every 1min of the day and night, hop on hop off with not specific stops, quite an adventure within its self.
Abu Simbel Festival – Twice every year, 22nd February and 22nd October)
Abu Simbel is located in the heart of Nubia and is accessible by road or air from Aswan. The most remarkable feature of the site is that the temple is precisely oriented so that twice every year, on 22 February and 22 October, the first rays of the morning sun shine down the entire length of the temple-cave to illuminate the back wall of the innermost shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there
Ramses II, in a fit of precision and despotic architectural egotism, carefully angled his temple at Abu Simbel so that the inner sanctum would light up twice a year: once on the anniversary of his rise to the throne, and once on his birthday. The combination of human endeavour and natural phenomena provides what must be one of the most spectacular sights in the world.
Eating Dining Shopping
The most interesting shopping area for tourists in Cairo is the old bazaar, Khan-el-Khalili, specializing in reproductions of antiquities. Jewelry, spices, copper utensils and Coptic cloth are some of the special items. There are also modern shopping centers available, particularly near Tehrir Square.
In all the tourist resorts you will find a host of air-cooled international restaurants serve some of the finest cuisine in the country, offering Egyptian, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian and Mexican from menus that proclaim, “Enjoy your dining in Egypt – the land of the year-round summer”.
When shopping learn to haggle the Arab way – DO NOT PAY THE FIRST PRICE OFFERED. You can buy anything from papyrus leather goods, jewelry, special perfumes and the usual souvenirs.
It was the Muslim Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the seventh century changing Egypt into a linguistically “Arab” nation.
Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub; however, the country also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt’s government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914.
Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel 122/123
Airport Information (Cairo airport) Tel: +20 (0)2 265 5000 or (0)2 265 5001
Tourist Office: Tel; (Cairo) (2) 284 1707
Holiday rents online:
National Transport Line
24 hour medical service