There’s extra to Egypt than the Pyramids of Giza! I spent a month there, traversing deserts and oases, discovering off-the-beaten path cities and temples, and it was one of many best experiences of my life. Listed below are a few of my favourite spots, locations I didn’t know even existed till I arrived! In these locations, you’ll get to expertise a few of Egypt’s lesser-known minority cultures and existence, that of the Amazigh Berber, Nubian and Arab Bedouin peoples.
Don’t let the 12-hour in a single day bus-ride from Cairo be a deterrent: Siwa, an oasis city within the Sahara desert close to the Libyan border, is a fascinating place with dozens of pure cold and warm springs and archaeological websites. In previous Siwa, climb as much as the highest of the hilltop ruins for a view of the encircling panorama, or dive proper in, on a dune-bashing and desert-exploration tour with a neighborhood Berber information. Should you look rigorously, you’ll uncover small crystal-blue lakes, even saltier than the Useless Sea. The traditional Oracle’s temple, the place Alexander the Nice was coronated as King of Egypt over 2200 years in the past, is considered one of many historic locations to go to close to this city, making a 2 or Three day tour to Siwa price your whereas!
Ditch the hostels and camp out with a semi-nomadic Bedouin tribe as a substitute! The Sinai Peninsula is stuffed with lovely seashores, dive websites, party-towns and quiet villages, making it excellent for New Years Eve in Sharm el-Sheikh or a peaceable retreat in Nuweiba or Dahab. Bedouin ‘camps’ charges vary from $Three bare-minimum bedding-and-mosquito-nets to $20-per evening reed huts on the seaside, with mattresses and wifi.
Feeling adventurous? Trek for 1-Three days into the Sinai’s inside areas to go to well-known Abrahamic websites akin to Mt. Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery.
The White Desert
Deep within the Egyptian Sahara close to Farafra, weird white rock formations are scattered about an space generally known as ‘The White Desert’. Whereas these rock formations are cool to see throughout the day, the actual magic occurs throughout sundown and dawn, when a number of the white rocks seem blue within the low-light. To see this uncommon phenomenon, rent a neighborhood information and pitch a tent for the evening– you’ll really feel the temperatures drop however don’t fear, there’s at all times loads of sizzling candy tea to go round.
Nicknamed ‘the Gateway to Africa’, Aswan charms guests with its slower tempo, colourful villages on its Nile river islands. Kitchner’s and Elephantine Island are brimming with picturesque conventional Nubian houses, lovely gardens, and historic ruins from the Pharaonic, Hellenistic, Coptic, and Islamic eras. Sail throughout the river in a felucca boat to West Aswan to discover the traditional “Tombs of the Nobles” and pattern native Nubian meals. Close by, the majestic temples of Philae and Abu Simbel host spectacular hieroglyphics and larger-than-life statues of Egyptian gods. There’s no scarcity of issues to do in Aswan; I spent per week exploring its many websites, and nonetheless didn’t see all the things!
Egypt is stuffed with tradition and historical past, so after you’ve had your fill of mummies and pyramids, enterprise out of your consolation zone. Hop on a neighborhood bus, cease at any city alongside the Nile and also you’re certain to search out one thing historic, pleasant individuals and scrumptious meals. This record contains a few of my favourite locations in Egypt, however bear in mind the very best a part of touring goes out and discovering your individual!