Things not to miss
#02 Valley of the Kings
The descent into the Underworld, the Judgement of Osiris and the rebirth of the pharaoh are vividly depicted on the walls and ceilings of the royal tombs.
Hieroglyphs on the wall in King Tut's Tomb © bleung/Shutterstock
#03 Street Food
Sold from pushcarts or in sit-down diners, taamiya, kushari, fuul and shawarma are tasty, cheap and nourishing.
The centuries-old tradition of raqs sharqi (oriental dance) is best seen at clubs frequented by locals, where the dancers and musicians will set your pulse racing.
© Waleed Shah/Shutterstock
#05 Karnak Temple
Dedicated to the ancient Theban Triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu, this vast complex reached its zenith during the New Kingdom.
#06 Jeep or Camel Safaris
Make tracks into the dunes of the Western Desert or the canyons of Sinai – overnight trips or major expeditions are easily arranged.
© Banana Republic images/Shutterstock
#07 Islamic Cairo
City of a thousand minarets, teeming with life and chock-full of architectural masterpieces and historic monuments. Head for Khan el-Khalili bazaar, or the Citadel.
Detail of a wall, Khan el-Khalili souk © Eric Valenne geostory/Shutterstock
© Raimonds Romans raymoonds/Shutterstock
#09 Fresh Juice
Most towns have a sprinkling of juice bars or carts, where you can quench your thirst with whatever’s in season, from freshly pressed oranges and mangoes to strawberries and sugar cane.
Egyptian vendor men selling fruits for fresh juice in market at night mood in Cairo © rafik beshay/Shutterstock
Beneath the Karmous quarter of Alexandria are the spookiest tombs in Egypt, with a bizarre fusion of pharaonic, Greek and Roman funerary motifs reflecting the city’s ancient diversity.
#11 White Desert
#12 Balloon Rides
© Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock
One of the most ancient cult-centres in Egypt, Abydos’ mortuary temple of Seti I contains magnificent bas-reliefs, the finest to have survived from the New Kingdom.
© akimov konstantin/Shutterstock
© Marcel Bakker/Shutterstock
#15 Mount Sinai
This awesome peak is revered as the site where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
Home to Tutankhamun’s treasures, monumental statues from the Old Kingdom and the Amarna era, a dozen royal mummies and countless other artefacts, some engagingly humble.
© Sean M Smith/Shutterstock
#17 The pyramids of Dahshur
Less famous than the Giza trio but no less fascinating – and far less crowded. The Bent Pyramid, resting place of Snofru, has a distinctive angled top.
#18 Ras Mohammed
Egypt’s oldest marine nature park boasts spectacular shark reefs and the wreck of the Dunraven.
Scuba divers entering a shipwreck Dunraven © Anna segeren/Shutterstock
With its fabulous seafood and vintage coffee houses, its dazzling new library and the chance to dive the ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace, there’s plenty to discover in this Mediterranean port city.
© Kayihan Bolukbasi/Shutterstock
Secluded beneath Mount Sinai, St Catherine’s harbours the burning bush that appeared to Moses in the Bible, among other holy relics.
#21 The Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza
The world’s most famous monuments have inspired scholarly and crackpot speculations for centuries.
© Raimonds Romans raymoonds/Shutterstock
Sinai chill-out zone, renowned for its diving, beach cafés, and camel and jeep safaris into the rugged interior.
#23 Siwa Oasis
With its unique culture, hilltop citadel and spring-fed pools, Siwa is rated by many as the best of Egypt’s oases.
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