Despite problems in recent years, Egypt remains one of the world’s great destinations. Not surprisingly, tourism to Egypt plummeted since the country’s 2011 revolution, and the political and social upheaval and security issues that followed. Yet surprisingly, just this year, the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Egypt as one of the fastest growing tourist destinations.
This classic tour begins in Cairo and takes in perhaps the world’s oldest tourist attraction: the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. It doesn’t matter how many photos or how much video you’ve seen, nothing prepares you for your first glimpse of the ancient and spectacular monoliths rising from their plateau.
You will travel by sleeper train south along the Nile to Aswan. Take a leisurely boat trip to the idyllic ruins of Philae Temple, before watching the sunset over the mighty river. Cross the desert wastes to Abu Simbel, the mesmerizing temple of King Rameses II that is carved out of rock and overlooking Lake Nasser near the Sudan border.
You will board a traditional felucca for a relaxing, two-night sailing voyage along the infamous River Nile. Pass villages, desert scenery and waving papyrus. Sleep on deck, eat simple but hearty local cuisine and possibly cool off in the river. Visit the temples of Kom Ombo and Horus, and journey to the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, where the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered almost a century ago. Then return to Cairo to visit the world-class museum where King Tut’s many treasures are on display.
While the Canadian government advises against non-essential travel to Egypt at time of press, that advice does not apply to the Red Sea coastal resorts of Hurghada and surrounding area, nor to Sharm el-Sheikh. It also does not apply to the area from Luxor to Aswan along the upper Nile.
Having said that, Egypt has experienced instability and some terrorist activity in the past few years, so it’s wise to stay abreast of news and advisories and exercise caution when travelling there.
ON THE GO TOURS
- Length/Departs: 9 days/year-round
- Accommodation: Hotels, train, felucca
- Price: From $1,495 CDN
- Difficulty: Easy
- By Simon Vaughan, Senior Editor/Special Travel Advisor for Outpost Travel Media