Spoilt for choice in Egypt!

All Gizah Pyramids

All Gizah Pyramids

Spoilt for choice comes to mind the moment you mention Egypt. Tourist or longer-term visitor, doesn’t matter which, you’ll pop the clogs long before running out of places to see and things to do in this fascinating country of some 83 million people, where the ancient world and the 21st century seem to sit so comfortably together.

Egypt facts and figures to whet the appetite

Money

Egypt’s retail and business banking sector is as modern as any in the world and home to major multinationals such as HSBC, Barclays and Citibank. No ATMs in use in ancient Egypt, however! But they did have a rudimentary form of coinage, in the form of gold, silver, copper and bronze rings. When ancient Egyptians were unable to barter for what they needed, they used the rings as payment. Foreign mercenaries were often paid this way, allowing them to buy goods when they returned home.

All Gizah Pyramids

All Gizah Pyramids

Pyramids

Think of Egypt and you think of pyramids. There are well over a hundred known pyramids, both large and not so large. The most famous make up the iconic Giza pyramid complex situated on the west bank of the River Nile near the town of Nazlet el Samman, some seven miles from Cairo.

The complex consists of three main pyramids; the largest and oldest is the Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid or the Cheops Pyramid; next is the slightly smaller Pyramid of Khafre; the Pyramid of Menkaure makes up the set. The complex is also home to the Sphinx, which at over 66 feet in height is the largest monolith statue in the world.

River Nile

With a length of more than 4,100 miles, the River Nile is the longest river in the world at over. A Nile cruise is a ‘must do’ for any self-respecting tourist wishing to experience first-hand the antiquity of Egypt. Cruises usually combine a stay in Luxor with visits to the nearby Karnak temple complex, the largest ancient religious site in the world, and the Valley of the Kings, where some of the most famous pharaohs, notably Tutankhamen, were buried.

The Burning Bush

No, you won’t be able to see it burning. But, according to the ancient Monastery of St. Catherine, built at the foot of Mount Sinai, the bush in the courtyard is the very burning bush mentioned in the Bible. Whether true or not, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has a rugged beauty and charm all of its own, with rugged mountains, unforgettable hiking trails and beautiful oases.

And of course, there’s the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. It is one of Egypt’s top holiday destinations, offering year-round sunshine and holiday fun for all the family. It’s also one of the best areas in the world for diving and snorkelling.

Cairo

Egypt’s capital city Cairo, with a metropolitan population of around 17 million, is a mega-city and the most populous on the African continent. It is also the largest city in the Arab world. Cairo is the political, economic and educational heart of the country, a magnet for both tourist and expatriate alike.

From traditional coffee houses to bars and dance clubs, restaurants catering for every taste, traditional Sufi dancing, high-brow offerings at the Cairo Opera House, seven-nights-a-week performances at Cairo Jazz Club, Giza Zoo, Cairo Botanical Gardens, theme parks Dream-park and Magic land…the list goes on and on. It’s simply impossible to list everything.

 

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