Whenever we think of Egypt, it is mostly synonymous with the giant Pyramids of Giza. Though undoubtedly spectacular and worth a visit, Egypt is so much more than these magnificent structures! From spectacular temples and awe-inspiring monuments to breathtaking natural landscapes and hidden oases, this country has so much that is worth exploring! With so many interesting options, plan your vacation to Egypt and we promise you that you won’t be disappointed! Take a look at this list of things to do in Egypt besides visiting the pyramids and you will know that we are right-
1- The White Desert
A natural wonder in the heart of Sahara, The White Desert derives its name from the chalk rock formations and deposits that cover the scenery there. Housing some of the most incredible formations and sculptures created by winds which resemble the giant mushrooms and floating clouds, an authorized tour of this stark beauty is sure to leave any tourist speechless. A part of the Farafra depression, The White Desert is on of the main attractions of this region, owing to its rock type colored from snow-white to cream. A popular location for camping trips, The White Desert was formed due to centuries of soil erosion caused due to sandstorms. The most awe-inspiring structure housed in this desert is the famed “chicken and tree” set, also called “chicken and mushroom.”
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2. Valley of the Kings
The monarchs of Egypt, also known as pharaohs, were buried for centuries in a remote area which is nestled in the shadow of a pyramid-shaped mountain. This place later came to be known as the Valley of the Kings and now contains numerous burial sites and tombs which contain astounding depictions of ancient paintings and hieroglyphs, most of which were painted more than 3500 years ago! These underground tombs are found to be well stocked with all the goods and objects that the ruler might need in the next world. So, from the most basic and mundane things like clothes and books to dazzling pieces of jewelry and unique furniture items, these tombs house everything!
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3. The Avenue of the Sphinxes
A legendary boulevard joining two of Luxor’s great temples, The Avenue of the Sphinxes is a nothing short of a marvelous work of art! Adorned with hundreds of half-man-half-lion figures, this road is indeed a site to behold! Spanning over a distance of approximately 3 kilometers, the avenue is home to close to 1,350 sphinx statues. The construction of this spectacular piece of art began during the New Kingdom and finished during 30th Dynasty rule of Nectanebo I.
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4. The Temple of Karnak
Considered to be the largest religious structure ever-built, Temple of Karnak in Luxor is spread over 250 square acres. Housing numerous impressive chapels, obelisks, and statues, the construction of this temple began in 2055 BC. Great Hypostyle Hall containing 134 columns, each 80 feet high and 33 feet around, divided into 16 rows is the primary attraction at this temple! Dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, The Temple of Karnak is the largest ancient historical preservation of the world. Numerous displays adorning the walls of the temple depict complex battle scenes between pharaohs and enemies, and rulers. For those who want to understand the history of Egypt in detail, this is a must-visit place.
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5. Cairo Citadel
A hub of historical mosques and museums, Cairo Citadel is the best place to experience the flavors of Egypt and get to know its culture. Started by Saladin in 1176 as a fortification against the Crusaders, the Cairo Citadel is home to three unique mosques as well as several palaces. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali, a popular attraction in Cairo known for its beautiful interiors, is located in this citadel. In addition to the monuments, a trip to the Cairo Citadel will bequeath you with magnificent views of the city as well as the pyramids. Located on Mokattam hill, the citadel is famous not only for its state-of-the-art monuments, but also for the fresh breeze and the lovely locales.
6. The Glorious Nile
A vacation to Egypt is incomplete without spending some time at the magnificent Nile, the largest river in the world! Having played a major role in shaping up the history of Egypt, the Nile river derives its name from the its name from the Greek word Neilos, which means valley. Home to several amphibians, herbivores, carnivores and retiles, the Nile River basin is the best place to spot the famous Nile crocodiles, the hippopotamus, black rhinoceroses, and more than 30 species of snakes. Consulting any travel planning website, be sure to include some activities like a Nile River Cruise in your trip plan and rest assured that you will have a memorable time!
7. Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel is a set of two temples dedicated to Ramses II, a great Egyptian pharaoh, and his wife, Nefertari. Providing the visitors a glimpse into the excellence of Egyptian craftsmanship, these temples are intricately carved structures which have been carved directly into the rocky cliff. Visitors are greeted by four gigantic stone structures and numerous other smaller figures upon entering the temple premises. No longer located at the original location at which they were constructed. Both the temples were relocated to their current location back in 1968 when the Aswan Dam was being constructed.
8. Luxor Temple
Nestled on the eastern bank of the River Nile, Luxor Temple was known as Ipt rsyt in ancient Egypt. This sacred site houses a holy mosque which is said to have been constructed in the 13th century. Individual pharaohs added their own personal touches and modified the structure during their respective reigns; so, the temple that you see today is a blend of the architectural styles of several generations of rules. It contains chapels, statues, and a massive stone obelisk which is sure to leave you stunned!
9. Mediterranean Beaches
Though Egypt is not a country which is famous for its coasts, the Mediterranean beaches framing the country are surprisingly lovely! Mersa Matruh, Alexandria, Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Taba, and Ras Shitan are some of the stunning beaches in Egypt which are completely unmissable! The magical shorelines featuring a unique marine ecosystem are perfect for lazy beach bums as well as adventurous souls seeking for some thrill near the water. The dark blue waters, the splendid sunset views and the fine sand make the beaches in Egypt ideal relaxation spots.
10. The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
Built in the honor of Egypt’s only female Pharoah, The Mortuary Temple of Hatsheput is nothing short of an architectural marvel. Hatshepsut, one of the most ferocious and respected rulers of Egypt, took controls of the reign after the death of her husband, Thutmose II. The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was known to the ancient Egyptians as Djeser-Djeseru, is a stunning sight with chambers, pillars, and chapels dedicated to the gods Amun-Ra and Anubis. Known to have been destroyed and rebuilt on at least three occasions, this temple sits directly against the rock, giving it the appearance of growing from the rock itself!
Convinced that there is no dearth of places to visit in Egypt? Great! Book your tickets to this land of wonders today!