Egypt has just so much to offer! It is also varied, what appeals to one person doesn’t do a thing for the next. One could spend anything from a week to a lifetime in Egypt and still be fascinated. But let us concentrate here on how to make the most of a limited amount of time, one week, and let it go without saying that any of the sights and activities could be extended indefinitely should one choose.
The history of Egypt, ancient and modern is so rich, abundant and complex that without explanation it can be overwhelming and impossible to find and understand the key elements, main stories and participants. Thats why early on we decided that the only way to see Egypt, understand it and enjoy it is with a Private Guide, on one of our Private Tours to Egypt.
The Minimum Highlights
At a minimum you will want to spend two or three days in Cairo. One of those days should be spent on the west bank of the Nile playing amateur archaeologist at Memphis (one ancient capital), Saqqara and the Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza. Back in town, at least half a day is needed to see the Egyptian Museum which in itself should be one of the wonders of the world. And you will want to get to The Citadel, shop in the bazaars of Khan el Khalili and maybe visit Coptic Cairo.
In the far south, Aswan is near the monumental High Dam and other interesting sites such as the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple (which was moved in its entirety for a site flooded by the Dam), and views of the tomb of the Agha Khan which sits in glowing splendor as a marker for the felucca sail, probably the most graceful sailing experience in the world. And, of course, just about 150 miles south is Abu Simbel, Ramses’ monument to himself intended to warn the Nubians that they were entering Egypt, which was also relocated because of the rising waters from the creation of Lake Nasser. In fact, that relocation was a massive cooperative engineering effort by dozens of nations under the guidance of the United Nations, which is still considered one of the largest engineering projects in history.
Luxor. It doesn’t seem possible that there can be so many sights to see concentrated in one place but in Luxor there are. How is this for a couple of days: start by visiting the Luxor Temple right in the middle of the city and then take a calesche (horse drawn buggy) to the complex at Karnak. That’s just your warm up. The next day cross early to the West Bank to the Valley of the Kings where you will explore selected tombs of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs. After lunch, wander around the area taking in the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, a stunning construction that would grace any of today’s cities with its design, and the Ramesseum and Deir Al-Medina are particular favorites of mine. And there still are the Colossi of Memnon and a visit to one of the many alabaster factories and maybe a journey deep into one of the mines. In the evening, the bazaars are pulsating with life and it’s a good place to gather up the souvenirs as prices are much lower than in Cairo and the people seem genuinely happy to see you.
Often overlooked the Sinai Peninsula is a remarkable excursion. The stark mountains, the wind scultured desert rock and home to Mt Sinai is well worth the effort if you can add on 2-3 days. A climb up Mt Sinai for sunrise is one of those events in life you will always remember and refer back to …as well as being proud of the achievement!