Egypt is one of the world’s oldest civilisations, dating back to 3150 BC. I’d always dreamt of one day travelling to Egypt and embracing the Middle Eastern culture while learning about its history. When I finally arrived in Cairo earlier this year, while travelling on the Ultimate European and Egypt Tour, I was in awe. Egypt was everything I’d dreamt of and more. Here’s why a trip to Egypt should be top of your bucket list…
1. The pyramids will not disappoint
Who wouldn’t want to see the last surviving wonder of the ancient world? Located in Cairo, the pyramids are visited by over ten million tourists each year. Take a stroll around the structures and you’ll see that the pyramids will NOT disappoint.
2. You can cruise down the longest river in the world
Egypt is home to the longest river in the world… the Nile! Running all the way from Lake Kyoga in Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile stretches to 6,693km. No trip to Egypt is complete without a cruise. Visitors can glide on a luxury line or hop on a traditional felucca and take in the riverside villages. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, this is the famous hotel where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile.
3. There’s great weather all year round
The ideal location in North Africa gives Egypt great weather all year round, making it the perfect destination for any vacation. Summer days are often warm and sunny, ideal for swimming in the Red Sea and exploring the temples. Although winter might see the odd rain cloud, Egypt delivers great weather for tourists 365 days of the year.
4. Egypt has some of the best natural scenery in the world
If you’re after sunlit sandy hills and bright blue skies, Egypt is the place to be. Not only can you find impressive man-made structures and temples, but nature’s work is at its finest when you see the barren expanse of the Sahara and the tranquil water in the Red Sea. Beneath the surface, a marine-life wonderland lives on the coast of Hurghada waiting to be explored.
5. Don’t forget about Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel Temple is by far one of the most incredible man-made creations I’ve ever seen. Egyptian slaves spent 20 years building this structure to commemorate the reign of Ramses II and it still stands proud today, welcoming visitors from all over the world. The colossal size and mechanics are surreal, and inside, hieroglyphic treasures await.
6. The overnight trains are really cool
If you’re looking for a unique adventure when planning your trip to Egypt, an overnight train ride is ideal. Not only is the train itself a wild and memorable experience, but the station platform is a stage for fascinating Egyptian cultures to play out.
7. The culture will blow your mind
Arriving in Egypt, I was instantly blown away by how different everyday life was compared to Australia. Driving on the highway in Cairo and through the Egyptian villages proved to be an entertaining insight into Egyptian communities where we saw people working in farms and wandering the streets. Visiting a Nubian village, we were exposed to the home life of an Egyptian family – this was also a chance to receive traditional henna artwork from a local.
8. History can be found everywhere
From the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the Valley of Kings, history can be found in every corner of Egypt. Tomb walls are decorated in hieroglyphic, and showcase detailed patterns inscribed in their pillars. Check out mummified people and animals at the Egyptian Museum or venture inside a pyramid and learn about ancient rituals. Your local guide will fill you in on all things Egypt and answer any questions you have. Even better, the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo is set to open next year!
My trip to Egypt far exceeded all my expectations, and if you want to visit somewhere warm, full of culture and history, this is THE place for your list.