Egypt is a transcontinental country of contrasts, of stunning historical monuments, and of a abundant variety of possible experiences. From the bright sun and heat of the desert and contrasting date palm dotted oases, stunning coral reefs and watersports of all stripes; to ancient traditions and massive monuments contrasting with modern resort destinations and cosmopolitan cities, Egypt offers it all.
The majority of Egypt’s land is arid or semi-arid. The vast deserts provide for adventures and family fun. The third largest dune field in the world, The Great Sand Sea, features linear dunes stretching to 110 meters in height and extending for hundreds of miles. Hike the dunes, and search for fossils of sea urchins and sharks teeth! Or try camping, join a jeep safari, ride a quad, or scale the peaks in the Sinai. Take a tour and visit date plantations in an oasis, visit cave drawings on plateaus rising above the dunes, or tour long abandoned desert fortresses or even ancient oasis bakeries. At Siwa, the oasis, it is possible to view ancient Grecian history in remains of the oracle’s temple, early Roman influence in the City of the Dead necropolis, the salty-mud walled fortress built to withstand Arabian invasions in 1100 AD, as well as the modern day continuance of Bedouin traditions and arts and crafts.
As most school children know, the Nile is the world’s longest river. The Nile River Valley and Nile Delta, while comprising only about 5.5% of total land area, support about 99% of the population and the majority of Egypt’s arable land. Ancient settlers also depended on the Nile’s fertile valley, and so most of Egypt’s renowned colossal monuments as well as its most cosmopolitan cities are located in this valley. The Giza Plateau offers the Great Pyramids and the last of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. The Great Sphinx is found nearby, as are the Temples of Ramses II and Nefertiti. Cairo, the capital, is tied to ancient Egypt through Old Cairo and the ancient monuments, and the current city, founded in 10 AD, is a major political and economic hub for North Africa. Cairo is sometimes dubbed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” due to major Islamic architectural influences.
Alexandria, setting for Marc Antony and Cleopatra’s famed and troubled relationship, is a modern center of commerce and politics and boasts a futuristic library hosting the world’s largest reading space. It is Egypt’s second largest city and its largest seaport. A cruise down the Nile, followed by drinks on the terrace of your private LaCure villa, would make for a fine romantic getaway.
Egypt sports two coastlines. The area from El Alamein to the Libyan border, known as the White Med, is one of the longest Mediterranean coastlines in West Africa. Port Said, the entrance to the Suez Canal also offers an interesting 19th century colonial city center. The area is dotted with fishing villages, five lakes and a number of bird sanctuaries, and features Mediterranean climate and vegetation type. Ras El Bar, also known as “the golden triangle”, is a tourist mecca located where the Nile meets the Mediterranean and which overlooks both. Sidi Abdel Rahman and Mersa Matrouh both feature calm secluded bays, and a selection of holiday villas. Explore natural caves along the shorelines. The area also provides for attractions that reflect the varied history of Egypt. Visitors may find a rock whirlpool bath said to have been used by Antony and Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Bath”, an old temple fort dating from the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II, or even the ruins of a Coptic chapel. From more modern times, a military museum has been built in “Rommel’s Hideout”, a cave where some World War II campaigns were reportedly planned. And, of course, beautiful Alexandria with it’s Islamic influence shouldn’t be missed.
The Red Sea Riviera, the other coastline, lies on the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and along the eastern coast of mainland Egypt south of the Gulf of Suez. This popular tourist destination for both international and local travelers encompasses thousands of miles of shoreline opening onto naturally warm waters and national parks hosting great natural beauty, as well as archeological points of interest. National parks protect both sea and desert areas. Naama bay in Sharm El Sheikh is known as a paradise for snorkelers and divers with preserved coral reefs and numerous species of marine life. As a tourist destination, there are also luxury villas, hotels, resorts, dining venues, casinos, and shopping. There is a marina and an exhaustive variety of water activities, including glass bottomed boat rides, parasailing, and wind surfing, are available. Your luxury villa makes for a personal oasis whether venturing forth to private beaches, National Parks, desert or archeological tours, or more cosmpolitan activities.
Egypt truly offers an oustanding range of adventure, romance, cultural and historical opportunities and is sure to offer the perfect combination of experiences for a wide variety of discerning travelers.