Egypt is an alluring destination which has captured the imagination of visitors since ancient times. The River Nile is the country’s life-giving artery and any trip along its majestic waters will take you on a magical journey through time and treat you too some stunning sights.
With a growing number of popular resorts, economical flights and accommodation, and the new Egypt eVisa application, which only takes a few minutes to complete, it has never been easier and cheaper to get to Egypt. So start planning your trip!
This article highlights just a few of the best bits to look out for on a voyage along the River Nile…
The Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids are synonymous with Ancient Egypt and no trip along the Nile would be complete without a glimpse. The largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid, is both the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to still be standing. The mass of stone weighs around 6 million tonnes and was an incredible achievement. An estimated 800 tonnes of stone were put in place each day to have built it over a 20 year period.
Valley of the Kings
The West bank of Luxor is the burial ground of the ancient Pharaohs. From the 16th to 11th century BC, rock tombs were cut for the Ancient Egyptian royals and powerful nobles. The isolated valley has 63 tombs and is dominated by Mount Al Qurn (The Horn). They are constantly finding new tombs so who knows how many are still undiscovered.
The Egyptian Museum
The story of the ancient era is told through to the world’s largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. Also known as the Museum of Cairo, it contains around 120,000 items, including the iconic mask of Tutankhamun which weighs 11kg in solid gold. You can see mummies, collections of papyrus, coins, statues, coffins, and other objects that combine to give you a feel of the nation’s rich history and culture.
The Karnak complex is the second-largest ancient religious site in the world (after Angkor Wat in Cambodia). It is a huge open-air museum consisting of temples, chapels, pylons and other structures. Around 30 pharaohs oversaw its construction which is why it reached its a vast size and achieved such diversity. After the Pyramids of Giza it is the second most visited attraction in Egypt.
Because of the importance it once had in the ivory trade, its name means both ‘elephant’ and ‘ivory’ in ancient Egyptian. Situated opposite central Aswan, it was strategically important throughout the ancient era and the Roman and Greek eras as a military and trade port. The island’s quiet villages, such as Siou and Koti, can be a welcome, peaceful break from the crowds of tourists.
Avenue of Sphinxes
The ancient route which used to connect the temples of Karnak and Luxor contains around 1,350 sphinx statues.The stunning collection of human-headed sphinxes continues for over one and a half miles. The first sphinxes were originally built during the reign of Nectanebo, who inscribed each one with his name, in the 4th century BC.
Philae sound and light show
The fascinating show tells the story of the gods Osiris and Isis through narration, lights, and music. Set in the Philae temple, visitors can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view while listening to the detailed stories of the two gods. The rainbow of lights and lasers which illuminate the temple are truly spectacular, and combine well with the fantastic setting. Ghosts are summoned atmospherically as the temple’s history is told.
Built in 1400 during the reign of Amenophis III, it was originally a shrine to the gods Amun, Chons, and Mut. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans later used the temple. Alexander the Great built a chapel there and it served as a fortress and the headquarters of the Roman Government. The inspiring temple contains 14 colossal columns which are 23 metres high and have a circumference of around 10 meters.