How to make the most of your time in Egypt
25 Nov 2014 11 AM
As a country with such a deep and rich history, it’s easy to think that Egypt is full of museums, archaeological sites and pyramids. Those are, of course, a huge part of the local culture, but there are plenty of modern attractions and activities too.
In order to truly make the most of your time in the country, it’s best to experience a bit of everything. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the very best that Egypt has to offer.
If you really want to dive in and immerse yourself in Egyptian history, then there’s no better option than visiting the Great Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo. Giza in particular is a remarkable structure, while the Sphinx statue is not to be missed either.
You can take in these spectacular views following a short taxi ride from the capital’s centre, for the reasonable price of LE 30.
However, if you want the full Giza experience, you’re advised to actually enter the pyramid through what is known as ‘Robbers Tunnel’ – a 27 metre-long passage way that was dug out by Caliph al-Ma’mun in AD 820.
From there you will ascend up through another passage that leads to the Grand Galley, a long and tall room that can take you to either the King’s or the Queen’s Chamber, both of which are extraordinary historical sites. There is a lower chamber located 24 metres below ground level, but there is too little fresh air available and so it is deemed inaccessible.
If you’re looking for something a little closer to the city, then the Pharaonic Village is an excellent choice. You can experience what life was like back in the days of the Pharaohs through a tour of the canals. Authentic reproductions of buildings, clothing and lifestyles are brought to life by over a hundred actors, giving performances that will give you a truly exciting experience.
Travelling with kids? You might decide that a trip to the local amusement park will keep them entertained. Dream Park is the largest in the Middle East and just a five minute taxi drive from Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort
Alternatively, taking in a festival might be more to your taste. In Cairo, there’s at least one every month, so whenever you visit there will be something on. From Shem al Nessim – the celebration of the first day of spring – in April, to the Arabic Music festival in November. Check this post
for a full year-round list.
For those looking for a more traditional beach holiday, then Alexandria is the ideal place. Based just by the Mediterranean Sea, tourists will find a wide range of locations to unwind and catch the sun, while occasionally cooling off in the water.
Within the city itself, you will find Stanley Beach, Miami Beach and the Montaza Palace Complex – all within walking distance or a short taxi journey from Hilton Alexandria Corniche hotel.
When the evening comes, many choose to relax in one of a number of bars the city has to offer. The Spitfire Bar is popular among younger locals, while the Portuguese Club also acts as a restaurant.
If you are interested in the historical aspects of Egypt, then you don’t necessarily need to go to Cairo. The Alexandria National Museum is considered to be one of the best in the country, despite only opening in 2003.
Based in the restored Bassili Pasha Palace, the museum displays more than 1,800 artefacts
, ranging from valuable jewels to actual mummies, which tell various stories from the city’s intriguing history.
It takes just fifteen minutes to travel to the museum from Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza, and for the excellent price of £3, it’s certainly well worth a visit.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, it is likely that you’ll be choosing the city of Sharm el-Sheikh as your holiday destination. Based near the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm is far different to what you would experience in Cairo or one of the other major cities.
For example, scuba diving is one of the more popular activities in this area, with amateurs and professionals from around the world flying into Sharm in order to experience diving in the Red Sea.
The coral reefs are worth the trip alone, and the marine life you’ll come across really makes this a unique venture. Not to mention all the shipwrecks from centuries gone by that can be found on the sea bed.
If you fancy something above sea level, then there are plenty of other water sports available in Sharm. Water-skiing, kite surfing and windsurfing are activities available all-year round.
For those who enjoy sight-seeing, the Ras Mohammed National Park provides plenty of spectacular views of various white-sand beaches and untouched deserts. If you don’t mind getting wet, there are several snorkelling sites to explore
, with more than 1,000 different species of fish to be found. Families of sea turtles have also been known to make appearances every now and again.
But a trip to Egypt wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit to a historical landmark, and Sharm offers access to one of the most prestigious there is. St Catherine’s Monastery is based at the foot of Mount Sinai, where it is said Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Despite the four hour trip from Sharm, tourists consistently head to this location as it is considered to be one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. Many claim the Prophet Mohamed visited this site, so there is plenty of historical significance here.Have you been to Egypt recently? What activities would you recommend to visitors? Let us know in the comments.