Welcome to Egypt

Settling along the fertile banks of the Nile, the ancient Egyptians established a magnificent and enduring civilisation whose achievements have captured the imagination of the world ever since. Few countries can match Egypt’s wealth of ancient monuments and temples; the relics of Pharaonic culture have been drawing visitors to Egypt for centuries.

A land of magnificent World Heritage Sites and a thousand tourist clichés, Egypt was enticing visitors millennia before Thomas Cook sailed his steamers up the Nile. It was here that the Holy family sheltered, Alexander conquered and Mark Antony flirted. Napoleon stopped long enough to pilfer a few obelisks, the Ottoman paused to prop up the great and barbarous pasha Mohammed Ali, and the British stayed around to get the train system running and furnish every spare nook of the British Museum. And all this was long after Menes united the two states of Upper and Lower Egypt, and set the stage for the greatest civilisation the world has ever known.

Sitting on the northeast corner of Africa, with coastlines along the Mediterranean and Red seas, Egypt borders Libya to the west, Israel to the east and Sudan to the south. Over 90 percent of the country is desert and most of the 74 million population live along the Nile Valley and in the Nile Delta, with a small percentage living in the oases that dot the barren interior.

The geographical variety of Egypt means that visitors are spoiled for choice: from the bustle of Cairo to the austere adventure of the Western Desert; from the coral of the Red Sea to the cultural wealth of the Nile Valley temples; from the lush Delta region with its cosmopolitan, cultured city of Alexandria to the endlessly fascinating pyramid fields around Cairo.

Beyond the graceful symmetry and calculated order of the country’s ancient pyramid and temple complexes, Egypt is in a pretty bad state with a list of problems that seem to go on forever. Unemployment is rife, the economy is of the basket-case variety and terrorist attacks are occurring with worrying regularity.

Although visitors cannot ignore the current state of modern Egypt, its glorious past is what attracts travellers to this magnificent land, and the resulting contrasts of ancient and modern Egypt make it a uniquely fascinating place to visit.

Essential Egypt

A selection of recommended experiences to complete your Egypt holiday

  • Ride a camel in front of the vast and imposing Pyramids of Giza
  • Marvel at the underground complex of richly decorated tombs at Valley of the Kings
  • Go crazy shopping in the old and colourful Khan-el-Khalili market in Old Cairo
  • Listen to a call to prayer from the Citadel in Islamic Cairo
  • Watch the sunrise from the Summit of Jebel Moussa on Mt Sinai
  • Dine and drink at one of the many seaside cafes and restaurants in Alexandria
  • Smoke a sheesha and play backgammon with the locals in Cairo
  • Go diving among the coral reefs of the Red Sea from Sharm el Sheikh
  • Learn about Egyptian history at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
  • Relax and unwind at one of the plush resorts in Hurghada

Choose your destination

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