Posts Tagged With: Cairo

 
 

Find the lesser known Secrets of Egypt

Egypt, the origin of civilization, is primarily identified for the Nile River, the mysterious Pyramids and the Great Sphinx that date back to the ancient Pharoahs. If you are more of an Egyptophile, you have more knowledge about the mummies, the temples, the archaeology and early Egyptian royalty. But if you are like me, a bucket lister who wants to experience Egypt, wants more than a popular guidebook experience, where do you visit for some of the lesser known secrets of Egypt, while also seeing the key sites?

The country of Egypt is known for its relations to the Middle East however physically, it is located in northeast Africa. Cairo, the capital sits on the Nile river, today a very modern and luxurious city, is the perfect introduction to the culture and history of the Egyptian antiquities. 

When planning your Egypt agenda, you will no doubt have the highlights of visiting the Nile River Valley, the city of Luxor’s Valley of the Kings and the 4500 year old limestone monuments of Giza. Here are 5 lesser known experiences throughout the region that you can add to your must see list for an unforgettable experience. 

Djoser Pyaramid
  1. The Pyramid of Djoser – is an archaeological site northwest of the ancient capital city of Memphis, home of the Sphinx. Serving as the necropolis (cemetary) for the ancient Egyptian capital. The Djoser Pyramid was built for the burial of the early Egyptian Pharaoh Djoser in the 27th Century BC. The Step Pyramid is part of a large necropolis site (Saqqara) of many tombs of court officials and lesser royalty known as the “tombs of the nobles”. Built using stone and clay, the Step Pyramid was the first pyramid that the Egyptians ever built. Originally designed as a house of eternity with a flat roof and sloping sides in the standard for the time, mastaba style, the tomb evolved into a 200 foot six-layer pyramid. Within the structure, the limestone walls still contain images that were painted approximately 4,500 years ago. Underneath the pyramid are a labyrinth of tunnels almost 3.5 miles long. The pyramid and the complex are an amazing representation of early Egyptian architecture and with about 7 other structures in the area was one of the largest complexes ever built at the time. Saqqara is approximately 30 minutes outside of Cairo and 10 minutes from Old Memphis. 
The Suq Market of Old Cairo
  1. Khan el-Khalili – during a visit to Old Cairo, visiting a bazaar or suq market as it is referred to in Egypt is a must to physically transport yourself back in time. The main trade area established by the Muslims in the 14th century is now a standard part of the Cairenes lifestyle and a must see attraction. Khan el-Khalili, the largest and most popular of the bazaar’s is made up of many historic structures that combined offer more than just a place to bring home fun souvenirs. You will find handmade items, antiques, spices, gold & copper artifacts and jewelry. Visiting is truly a scavenger hunt of exotic local merchandise scattered throughout a maze of shops and alleyways. In addition to the shopping experience, there are many old cafes throughout to round out your visit. If you are looking for a great spot to sit, and sip some local tea or try a hookah while you people watch, El-Fishawi is the oldest cafe in the bazaar, for a full Egyptian dining experience, head over to Naguib Mahfouz Cafe near the Khan-el-Khalili compound. 
The Temple if Isis
  1. Temples of Philae – located near Aswan, a historic city on the river Nile, is an island where a significant number of Egyptian archeological sites can be found. One of Nubia’s major monuments, the sacred former temple site is an astonishing experience to add to your agenda. Started in Egypt’s Pharaonic era and completed in the Greek-Roman period between 332 BC – 395 AD are the majority of ancient structures that were relocated brick by brick to a Agilkia island for their protection from flooding. You will arrive by rowboat to the temple complex as you explore the area you will journey through well preserved temples and structures of ancient Egypt where you will see first hand the original hieroglyphic reliefs that are still in the process of being translated. To fully understand the story and history of the complex from erection to conversion as a Christian pilgrimage site, you can also visit the site at night for an amazing Sound and Light Show. 
  1. Temple of Edfu – One of the best preserved temples in Egypt, can be found within the lesser visited Edfu region along the West Bank of the Nile Valley. Built in honor of the Egyptian God Horus, the first national god of Egypt, also known as Apollo by the Romans, represented kingship and the sky. Horus, depicted in drawings as a falcon was worshiped from late prehistoric Egypt through Roman Egyptian occupation. The temple’s building started in 237 BC and was completed in 57 BC. The structure originated during Pharaoh rule under Ptolemy III and was completed by Ptolemy XII. The inscriptions on the walls describe life during the Hellenistic period including the language, religion and culture with scenes of the mythical conflict between Horus and Seth for the claim to the throne. Edfu can be reached within 2 hours from Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. 
Glide over the Valley of the Kings
Sail along the Nile River
  1. Bucket list worthy experiences – the last experiences if not already on your to do list, may be one’s that you may not have known about or thought about, but highly recommended for the region:
  • Take a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings and Queens. This unique experience offers you views of the temples and monuments as you glide over Luxor and Karnak on the West Bank of the Nile while the sun rises and illuminates them by the light of the sunrise. A once in a lifetime view of the ancient sites that even the Pharaohs themselves did not have.
  • We also recommend discovering the view of Cairo from a Felucca. Experience traveling by ancient river vessel used by royalty as you watch the sunset and sail the Nile river as many of Egypts Pharaohs and Queens did thousands of years ago.

Egypt is a bucket list experience. If you would like to discover the extended history and culture of  Egypt starting in Cairo and then traveling from Luxor on a 7 day river journey, to visit the most important sites and some of the lesser known secrets of the region, discover more about river cruising from our website. 

Categories: Bucket List, Dream Vacation, Eco-Friendly, Experience, River Cruise, Sustainable Travel, Travel Bucket List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

How to Find Luxury when visiting Egypt

When you think of Egypt, your mind immediately goes to pyramids, desert and the cradle of civilization. Egypt is a bucket list venue, it is exploration, archaeology, archaic monuments and more or less venturing into a world embraced by Indiana Jones. 

Traveling to Egypt as one of the most luxurious places in the world like Rome, Dubai or New York city it is hard to imagine that Egypt would rise to the level of modern amenities and opulence that you would find in one of these other locations. But it does, with many options for high-end accommodations, spas, golf, sun and sea and even diving to make your bucket list experience a well rounded luxury experience. 

A country that is part of the continent of Africa, Egypt’s culture is more associated with the middle east. And yes while it does date back to ancient civilization to the time of Pharaohs, millennia old monuments, tombs and ancient historical relics, all were centered around the luxuries of the time. Even during the Greek and Roman Empire, Egypt was the playground of the rich and powerful. So as Egypt has become a modern city, it is not unexpected that it is to this day filled with luxuries and affluence just as it was many thousands of years ago. 

In fact Egypt in 2019, was a top spot for visiting elite (billionaires) who were flocking to the many locales that make Egypt so alluring:

Cairo

The capital city of Egypt, set on the Nile river has a history that dates back to the 26th Century BC. But today’s Cairo is a modern city with over 9 million residents. It is the largest city in Egypt and the largest within the middle east. 

Cairo boasts some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in the middle east. The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Sofitel and St. Regis to name a few are all present. Additionally there are many options for boutique brands with postcard-like amenities for the ultimate experience. 

Travelers also have many unique options, like a stay at luxury hotels centered around archeology, dating back to the colonial era offering acres of landscaped gardens and the splendors of the old-world providing views off your balcony of the ancient Pyramids.

Today’s Cairo is a food destination, offering high end dining experiences with fine dining and Michelin rated to local standouts for superior dining experience. Le Pacha 1901, once a floating palace, is today a dining and entertainment facility on the Nile in Cairo offering 8 award winning restaurants.

Explore Cairo on private tours with English-speaking Egyptologists to the pyramids and many other historical sites that draw visitors with exclusive VIP experiences escorting you to the highlights of the area in luxury and based on your travel style.

 Luxor to Aswan along the Nile River

Travel the Nile river as the Pharaohs once did between Luxor and Aswan visiting archeological sites and temples with breathtaking ancient views that still reflect a time when the eastern banks of the Nile were the place of birth and growth and the west bank was reserved for the eternal rest of royalty as their place of death.

The best way to experience this part of the Nile is on a luxury river cruise from Luxor, the original Egyptian capital, to Aswan. Enjoy the bucket list panoramic views as you travel the waters from your luxury ship’s balcony. If you prefer to stay on land near Luxor, today a modern day city, travelers can find refuge in luxury boutique hotels featuring inspirations of ancient Egyptian history and architecture. 

When visiting Aswan you will also find a luxurious five star private resort on Elephantine Island located in the middle of the Nile river. The hotel is completely surrounded by elegant gardens with modern rooms offering amazing views of Aswan across the Nile. Explore Aswan and her islands as the ancients did, by felucca, an oar driven boat with sails, symbolic of the region. 

Alexandria 

Alexandria is a port city in Northern Egypt on the Mediterranean sea. The second largest city in Egypt and the largest city on the Mediterranean, her history has influences of Greek, roman and Cleopatra’s Egypt. Today Alexandria is referred to as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” for her cooler weather, location on the sea and modern amenities, making her a popular locale for resident summer visitors. 

The city, founded in 331 BC, by Alexander the Great, is home to the Alexandria Lighthouse one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the great library and the necropolis catacombs both considered seven wonders of the middle ages among many other Roman ruins that still stand scattered throughout the city today. 

With its rich history, Alexandria is historic yet also contemporary with modern skyscrapers, and experiences throughout the culturally-rich city. At two miles wide and 12 miles long it is often compared to Nice in France.  As one of the lesser visited Egyptian cities, there is a strong attraction for high end visitors looking for less touristy yet high luxury regions to visit. 

You will find multiple 5 star hotels along the coast offering luxury accommodations, dining, entertainment, spa services and may also offer private beaches.

The Red Sea Riviera

A lesser known destination on the Northeastern African continent, along the Red sea in Egypt connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. The region offers a relaxing and luxurious cosmopolitan beach resort experience.

Enjoyable climate, warm sea, many miles of shore and multiple underwater parks make this a popular scuba diving and surfing destination. 

Made up of resort cities along the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the eastern coast of mainland Egypt offering inclusive luxury resorts providing pampering spa treatments, championship golf, beautiful beaches, high end dining, local entertainment, snorkeling and diving all are strategically placed along the coast for intimate relaxation and fun.

For anyone wanting a more private beach destination away from the popular Red Sea resorts, Agiba Beach in Marsa Matrouh offers a remote beach and the Fjord hole a small bay outside Taba is another option for its spectacular diving and amazing display of marine life. 

Egypt can be so much more then adventure but a truly luxurious bucket list experience. If you would like to discover the culture of old and modern Egypt spending a few days in Cairo and then traveling from Luxor on a 7 day river journey, discover more about river cruising with the option of some additional time in historical Alexandria or the resorts of the Red Sea.

Categories: Bucket List, Dream Vacation, River Cruise, Travel, Travel Bucket List | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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