Travel Tip Tuesday: Destination of the Week – Egypt

Close your eyes and think about the top five places you’d love to visit.

Keep thinking…

Now narrow that down to ONE.

I know it’s tough.The world is a spectacular place, and beauty, history and culture can be found everywhere we look. From the Golden Gate in San Francisco to the Sydney Opera House, from the Westmann Islands in Iceland to Brazil’s Iguassu Falls. For those of us with itchy feet, anxious to get on with our next exotic trip, the world is just too dang big … with too many enticing options. Often choosing a destination for your next getaway is stressful, exciting, and frightening all at the same time.

With limited free time and dwindling resources, travelers have to make the most of each vacation. Come back here on Friday when I will share ideas and tips on how to select your next vacation.

But for now let’s get back to that list, and I’ll let you in on a not-so-well-keptsecret. The numero uno place on my list of must see places before I croak is Egypt!

I dream about it. I read about it. I long for it.

Egypt, the land of eternity where Cleopatra dreamed of Antony and pyramids mysteriously rose into the skies, where the Nile River flows with passion, and well, you get the idea.

Two years ago, Pep and I were invited by our best buds to join them for an Egyptian vacation. They planned to fly from NYC and spend 15 glorious days touring Luxor, Cairo, cruising the Nile, riding camels … man was it tempting. We got married instead.Told ya I loved him.

And we dressed up for Halloween.

As an Egyptian-wannabe, you can imagine my excitement upon meeting my Aunt’s native-Egyptian honey for the first time in November. In his endearing Egyptian accent, he told us all about his native land, places to see, and even taught us how to say “I love you” in his language.

But I forgot.

According to these friends who have traveled and/or lived in Egypt, the top things to see include the following sites.

1. Yes, they are touristy, but you aren’t going to visit Egypt without stopping by the Pyramids of Giza. It is estimate 20,000-30,000 people built the pyramids over a period of 80 years. It’s a sight I can’t wait to absorb.

2. You’ve probably seen images of the Temple of Abu Simbel without realizing their significance. Dating back to 1250 BC, these rock-carved temples were saved from destruction in the 1960s with the help of UNESCO and various countries.

3. Said to be the largest ancient religious site in the world, the Temple of Karnak is the world’s largest temple, covering more than 100 hectacres. You might need more than a day for this baby!

4. According to Nile River Cruise, the Nile River has been the lifeblood of Egypt for more than 5,000 years, and there is no better way to explore the Land of Eternity than on a Nile River Cruise. My group of experts agree!

As a free-spirited traveler who likes to do my own thing, I am normally an anti-tour group kind of gal. However, my friends went to Egypt with OAT Travel and absolutely loved it. I just checked their website, and 15 days in Egypt with round-trip airfare from New York City costs $2,145.00. I saw flights from Calabria to Texas for that rate. Check it out!

Have you ever been to Egypt? What can you tell me about it? What is your NUMBER ONE-MUST SEE destination?

15 Responses
  1. Well, of course you know my #1, but I would love to go to Egypt as well. I think it’s the pyramids and tombs!!! Too bad we couldn’t hit the lottery and do a world tour together C 😉

  2. Maff

    Yeah, having been to egypt 3 times it is a pretty beautiful country to visit. You forgot to mentio the coptic and muslim sites to see. You can see churches were jesus stayed, and stunning grand mosuqes.

    Egypt definitely has lots to offer!

  3. I went to Egypt at the end of a a study abroad in Israel. I was sick as a dog so my memories weren’t the greatest so I need to go back. One of my favorite evenings was going for a boatride on the Nile at sunset!

  4. Meena

    Egypt is a unique and beautiful place butremember that Cairo is a busy city with over 12 millions cramped up over each other.
    The reason for that was the 67 war when the Israelis bombed the four coastal cities on the borders of the canal that their inhabitants got no choice but to moved to the safest place ( the capital ) Cairo.
    By the time the country overcome it was late for most families to return to their homes and stayed on.
    Of course there are other reasons why tourists see Cairo as a busy and disorganised place.

    When in Egypt, do not forget to take the nile cruise you will never have a comparaive experience as this journey on the nile.

    In Cairo, there are plenty and cheap water transport, best is Nile-Autobus from opposite the Nile Hilton on the main Cairo square across to Giza. The trip is about 20-25 minute and will cost you one pound a round trip.

    Once you cross there, try the Moven Pick restaurant and their ice cream..! Wow. or better still order Egyptian food there to learn best about its taste.

    You may also share a boat ( felouca ) with one or two of your friends for a nile trip of a life time ( best done at the sunset ) take your drinks with you,

    do not be afraid to ask the local about things, and dont be surprised if you are surrounded by a number of them each trying to help you best. This is normal..People are very helpful and do their best to help a guest.

  5. I have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt. I doubt there is a show on the history or history international channels I have not seen! lol It is definitely on the top of my list (and Morocco is worming its way up after looking at the other post). Two other places up there for me are: Portugal – with all of its beautiful tile and seemingly sad yet exotic ambience. Greece – like in Santorini, to see the very cool archeological digs going on there.

    so many places to see – so little time and money!

  6. Erica

    Egypt and its history is so fascinating. Although it’s not one of my top 5, it would definitely be amazing to go there someday.

  7. Sally

    When I think of planning my trip to Egypt someday, I think of the movie, Death on the Nile based on the novel by Agatha Christie. I’d like to kind of mirror the trek they took, (minus the murders, of course) staying at places now past their heyday but still with that old world ambiance and charm and, dressing the part by wearing those gauzy, white vintage clothes with big sun hats! But for now, within driving distance, Monterey and Carmel are on the list for this weekend. And, with the price of gas and food increasing at an alarming rate, who knows what the future will hold.

  8. My husband as always wanted to go to Egypt…maybe one day he will go…whilst the history is fascinating I don;t think it is the place for me..have been over to Robin’s blog and her travel tip is Morocco..this might be more me…but still not sure…

    Thanks for the tips I will keep reading. 🙂

  9. Diana Romano

    I love your blog! I read it regularly. I am a bit older than you. I am Calabrese and I love when you speak and show pictures of Calabria. One day soon I want to see Calabria. Maybe I will stay at your BB. A member on Il Circolo wanted info on a BB in Calabria and I mentioned your blog and your BB. They had already found a BB and thanked me for the info. Love your blog. More on ‘all of Calabria,’ please!

  10. Meena

    Sally, if you liked the film ‘Death on the nile’ you will for sure like the nile cruise which resemble the film/novel, hopefully you will not experience the murder though..!
    Nile cruise is ideal for the first time visitor to Egypt cous you will be guided and your questions will be answered.You will also stop at various places of interest and the food often is first class plus the evening entertainment.
    Ask the staff if you have Egyptian food on the boat?
    If you got time, do not forget to visit Aswan as its the perfect spot for the perfect marriage of the southern med.sea with Africa culture.
    Abu.simble temple should never be missed,lake Nasser is also another fasinating spot.

    By the way learning a few words in Arabic will help a lot getting closer to the local and will be much appreciated by them. Simple greetings like ‘Salamu Aliaku’which covers good morning/evening/hello/good bye. Also learning simple numbers do help.

  11. Robin – I AM ALL about that lottery thing, which of course would lead to the world tour!

    Oh, Maff! Great recs. See, I need to see all of these things for MYSELF!

    Amber, you definitely need a do-over. I’ve heard that Nile Cruise can’t be missed.

    Oh, Meena, thank you so much for the advice. This is great. You mention the costs of one of the trips being only 1 pound. Is everything pretty affordable there, then?

    Jan, we were separated at birth!

    I hear you, Stacy. I was just talking about Portugal the other day and saying how I’d love to go there. I’ve been to Greece, but it is on my list of places to return to.

    It is fascinating, Erica. What are your top 5?

    Sally – that is funny because as I was reading your comment, I thought “without the murders,” then you said that! Enjoy the weekend and tell us all about it.

    Morocco is definitely a great choice, Anne!

    Ciao Diana! Thanks for the comment and for the recs. I hope you get to come to Calabria soon.

    Meena, my friends recommended the cruise for the same reasons you did. They said it was a great way to see a lot. They also mentioned Aswan … were you on a trip with them?? 🙂

  12. And finally came the Egyptian girl to comment!
    I am Mai, Egyptian but lives in Munich, i´m really flattered to know that other people see egypt so beautiful, ofcourse it is a very intresting country full of history and mistry,and you will be welcomed by all the egyptians when you visit it, i saw the suggested places but you forgot sharm el sheikh and Hurgada, the red sea is a wonderful place for diving, snorkling and swimming…

Leave a Reply