Enchanting Egypt more than just pyramids
Intriguing questions on the wonders of the pyramids might cross the minds of visiting delegates at World Tourism Day (WTD) being held today in Egypt. The pyramids are famous. So famous that when one thinks of Egypt this ancient heritage immediately comes to mind. Until today, people are still wondering how the ancient Egyptians were able to build such a huge structure and what life was like 4,500 year ago when it was constructed.
Seeing the pyramids is indeed among the things that most visitors are eager to do while having a holiday in Egypt. In fact, however, Egypt - famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world’s most famous monuments - has many more wonderful attractions to visit. The Egyptian city of Aswan where the tourist extravaganza is taking place might make attending delegates reluctant to go home as the city is set on the East bank of the serene romantic Nile.
Aswan is a popular place to start cruises. One of Egypt’s most ancient sites is Elephantine Island. Take a traditional wooden felucca around the island or disembark and explore the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. In addition to rich history and stunning scenery, Aswan offers opportunities to experience true African culture in the surrounding Nubian villages.
The following is a brief description of several amazing tourist attractions in Egypt:
Pyramids of Giza
Situated in the immediate vicinity of the southwestern suburbs of Cairo, The Pyramids of Giza, are the undisputable top attraction in Egypt. The pyramids at Giza were built over the span of three generations – by Khufu, his second reigning son Khafre, and Menkaure.
Temple of Kanak
The temple of Kanak is the largest ancient religious site ever built, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of Egyptian builders. The Temple of Karnak actually consists of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about 2.5 kilometers north of Luxor.
Red Sea Reef
The Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt, is one of the most beautiful places in the world to go diving. The waters of the Red Sea are renowned for their spectacular visibility and feature some of the most exotic seascapes. With its wide expanse of coral formations on the reef, it is home to thousands of different sea creatures.
River Nile Cruise
The River Nile has been Egypt’s lifeline since ancient times and there is no better way to trace the passage of Egypt’s history than to follow the course of the Nile. Almost all Egyptian cruise ships travel the Luxor-Aswan route which is safe, scenic and terminates at two of Egypt’s most important towns.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is a valley where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the kings and privileged nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley contains 63 tombs and chambers, ranging in size from a simple pit to a complex tomb with over 120 chambers.
Egyptian Museum is home to at least 120,000 items of ancient Egyptian antiquities and is, one of Cairo’s top attractions. Highlights include the objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamen and the Royal Mummy Room containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times.
Mosque of Ibn Tulun
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is one of the oldest mosques in Cairo. It was built between 876 and 879 AD and commissioned by Ahmad ibn Tulun, the Abbassid governor of Egypt. The mosque is constructed around a courtyard, with one covered hall on each of the four sides. The minaret, which features a helical outer staircase similar to that of the famous minaret in Samarra, was probably built several centuries later. Parts of the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me were filmed at the Mosque of Ibn Tulun.