Destinations

Abu Simbel

Village in Egypt

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Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh (Arabic: شرم الشيخ, also transliterated as Sharm ash Shaykh and popularly known simply as "Sharm") is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, popular with package holiday makers and divers.

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Dahab

small town situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt

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Cairo

capital city of Egypt

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Aswan

Egyptian city

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Valley of the Kings

necropolis in ancient Egypt

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Siwa

Depression in the Western Desert of Egypt

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Saqqara

village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

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Memphis (Egypt)

ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, Egypt

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Hurghada

city in Egypt

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Alexandria

second largest city in Egypt

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Port Said

city in Egypt

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Luxor

city in Egypt

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Sights

Egyptian Museum

museum in Cairo

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Saint Catherine's Monastery

Greek-orthodox monastery in South Sinai, Egypt

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Sahara

desert in Africa

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Giza

City in Egypt

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Memphis, Egypt

ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, Egypt

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Aswan Dam

Despite being a very important piece of infrastructure, the Aswan High Dam is (to put it delicately) a bit of a letdown even for dam lovers.

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Elephantine

Nubian villages of Siou and Koti occupy this island. Also home to the famous Nilometers and the Temples of Sati, Khnum (ancient rams-head god) and Pepinakht-Heqaib. Movenpick resort is on the island. The Aswan Museum (adult: LE70, student LE35, Jan 2019) at the southern end of the island houses items found during excavations on Elephantine Island, and includes access to the neighbouring archaeological site. Also, be careful of unsolicited tours from locals, which will result in a request for baksheesh. There is regular boat taxi to Elephantine Island run by the locals for LE5 for one return crossing for tourists (you usually pay LE5 to go and don't pay to come back).

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Pyramid of Djoser

This structure marks the transition between the bench-like mastaba style of burial and the true pyramid shape (first seen at Dahshur).

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Dahshur

village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

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Mount Sinai

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Cairo Tower

free-standing concrete tower in Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

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Abu Simbel temples

Carved out of a mountain between 1274 BC and 1244 BC, but lost to the world until it was rediscovered in 1813 by Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burkhart. Dedicated to Ramses II and gods Ra, Amun, and Ptah. Features 4 statues of Ramses, each higher than 20 m. Its axis was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that twice a year, on February and October 22, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculpture on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark. These dates are allegedly the king's birthday and coronation day respectively, but there is no evidence to support this, though it is quite logical to assume that these dates had some relation to a great event, such as the jubilee celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the pharaoh's rule. This image of the king was enhanced and revitalized by the energy of the solar star, and the deified Ramses II could take his place next to Amun Ra and Ra-Horakhty. Due to the displacement of the temple, it is widely believed that this event now occurs one day later than it used to. Also, look for a "Kilroy was here" on the lower legs of one of the 4 giant statues of Ramesses II, along with other graffiti, used to be considered fashionable.Guards do check for photo permits, especially in the main temple.Be sure to follow the pathway inside the fake mountain dome, to see how the mountain was constructed.

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Kom Ombo

city

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Siwa Oasis

Depression in the Western Desert of Egypt

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Philae

Built to honor Isis, this was the last ancient temple built in the classical Egyptian architectural style. Construction began in approx 690 BC. It was moved from Philae Island, to its new location on Agilkia Island, after the flooding of Lake Nasser. A multinational UNESCO team relocated Philae, and other temples that now dot the shores of Lake Nasser. You can see the submerged island a short distance away, punctuated by the steel columns used in the moving process. Don't miss the Sound and Light show at night, see picture to the right, the least cheesy of the Sound and Light "extravaganzas". Note also the re-use of the temple as a Christian church, with crosses carved into the older hieroglyph reliefs, and images of the Egyptian gods carefully defaced. There are graffiti dating from the 1800s. At the ticket office there is a sign stating that a daytime motorboat to the site costs LE150 roundtrip for 1-8 people including a one-hour wait, which is generally enough time (Nov 2018). Take a picture of this sign to use when haggling with the boatmen who will demand LE150 each way, although don't be surprised if you are still pressed for an additional baksheesh.

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KV62

KV62 may be the most famous of the tombs in the Valley, the scene of Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of the almost intact royal burial of the young king. Compared to most of the other royal tombs, however, the tomb of Tutankhamun is barely worth visiting, being much smaller and with limited decoration. Anyone interested in seeing evidence of the damage to the mummy done during attempts to remove it from the coffin will be disappointed as only the head and shoulders are visible. The fabulous riches of the tomb are no longer in it, but have been removed to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Visitors with limited time would be best to spend their time elsewhere.

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Gezira (Cairo)

island in the Nile River, in Cairo, Egypt

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El Nabatat Island

Lord Kitchener, who owned the 6.8-hectare island in the 1890s converted it to a botanical garden. Filled with birds and hundreds of plant species and palm trees. Accessible by motor boat (LE200 for two people, which can be haggled down to LE100), via a felucca tour, or via a rowboat from Elephantine island (ask a local near where boats are lying on the western shore).

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Graeco-Roman Museum

A history museum with a vast collection mostly dating from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD, spanning the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Closed indefinitely; inquiries about its supposed "renovation" are met with shrugs and up-rolled eyes.

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Ras Muhammad National Park

Egyptian national park in South Sinai

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Pyramid of Unas

Smooth-sided pyramid

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Mount Catherine

mountain in South Sinai

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Zamalek

urban district

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Islamic Cairo

urban district

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KV57

The tomb of Tutankhamon's and Ay's sucessor, the last king of the 18th Dynasty.

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KV43

High in the cliffs above the valley floor, it had been spared the extensive flood-water damage suffered by other tombs, and its wall decorations are consequently very well preserved. The pharaoh's outer stone sarcophagus is also still in place in the burial chamber.

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KV17

It is the longest, and one of the best decorated tombs in the valley.

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KV34

One of the most remote tombs in the Valley, at the far end of the Valley and up several flights of steps to gain entry. The climb is worth it though. The tomb is of the typical, early curved plan with a large oval burial chamber. The decoration is unique, being in a simple, pleasing style that resembles the cursive writing of the time.

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Aswan Low Dam

When built between 1899 and 1902, nothing of its scale had ever been attempted; on completion, it was the largest masonry dam in the world. However, its capacity became insufficient later, which led to the construction of the Aswan High Dam 6 km upstream.

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KV46

Tthe tomb of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu, the parents of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenhotep III, and King Ay. It was discovered in February 1905 by James E. Quibell. Until the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, this was the richest and best preserved tomb found in the valley, and the first to be found with major items in situ.

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KV8

The son of Ramesses the Great, Merneptah's tomb has suffered greatly from flash flooding of the Valley over the millennia. Those paintings and reliefs that have survived, however, are generally in good condition.

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WV23

The tomb dates from the very end of the 18th Dynasty and is the burial place of the vizier (chief minister) Ay who gained the throne after the extinction of the line of succession within the ruling 18th Dynasty family of pharaohs. As such, WV23 was the last tomb to be established in the valley. Scenes from the tomb decoration, bearing close resemblance to the style seen in the tomb of Tutankhamun (Ay's predecessor), include a depiction of Ay hunting in the marshes (unique amongst royal depictions in the Theban necropolis) and an assemblage of twelve baboons. The sarcophagus was recently restored and re-installed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, though its orientation is now reversed from the original.

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Sehel Island

Friendly Nubian villages. Well known for its excellent beaded jewelry. Also the location of the Famine Stela. Cliff with more than 200 inscriptions from the 18th dynasty.

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Port Said Lighthouse

One of the icons of the city at a beautiful location in front of the Suez Canal, the Lighthouse built in 1869 so it is the oldest building remains in the city also the lighthouse got his importance from being the first building in the world by reinforced concrete.

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KV15

Relatively little is known about the history of the tomb. Seti II was buried there, but he may have originally been buried with his wife Twosret in her tomb in KV14 and subsequently moved to the hastily finished KV15 tomb, perhaps by the later pharaoh Setnakhte, who took over KV14 for his own tomb.

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Alexandria National Museum

museum in Alexandria, Egypt

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Ras El Tin Palace

building in Egypt

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Pompey's Pillar (column)

An ancient monument, this 25-meter-high granite column was constructed in honor of the Emperor Diocletian in AD 297. The confined area where the column stands also has other ruins and sculptures such as the Serapium oracle. Also beside this area is a very big shopping center for cloth and furniture called "El-Saa3a," where you can find many types of cloth or clothes.

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Abdeen Palace

About 1 km east of Midan El-Tahrir, it was the royal residence until the Egyptian monarchy was deposed in 1952.

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Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa

These catacombs were probably carved out to be a single wealthy family's mausoleum, and later expanded to take other elite funerals, from the 2nd to 4th C CE. The name "Kom el-Shouqafa" means "mound of shards" as people brought offerings to the dead here in earthenware bowls, then smashed the empties before returning home. They are composed of a ground level construction that probably served as a funerary chapel, a deep spiral stairway and three underground levels (the lowest now flooded by groundwater) for the funeral rituals and entombment. The place was discovered in 1900 when the ground gave way under a donkey.Built as a separate (and older) catacomb, the Hall of Caracalla became linked when energetic tomb-robbers tunnelled through. It seems to have been a burial place for the Roman emperor's horses, as horse bones predominate. No, not the donkey's.The catacombs are interesting for their plan and for their decoration, as the last of the pharonic burials transitioned into Grecian and Roman styles. But if you've seen the richly decorated burial chambers around Luxor, this one will suffer by comparison.

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KV9

The KV9 tomb was started by Ramesses V, but usurped after his death by his successor Ramesses VI, who enlarged the tomb and had his own image and cartouches carved in over his predecessor's. The tomb is one of the most interesting in the Valley, with one of the most complete and best preserved decorative schemes surviving.

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WV22

Closed to public view while a Japanese expedition undertakes cleaning and conservation work.

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Statue of Ramesses II

This 10m (33ft) tall statue of Ramses II was discovered in 1820 by Giovanni Caviglia, near the entrance of the temple of Ptah. The statue is now located in a small indoor museum, near where it was discovered.

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Giza Zoo

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Al Masry Club Stadium

football stadium

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Unfinished obelisk

The largest known ancient obelisk, carved directly out of bedrock. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (120 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons. There is also a short video about obelisks shown by a man who demands tips. This site would be of interest to the most dedicated Egyptophiles, but maybe not to others.

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Royal Jewelry Museum

art museum

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Khan el-Khalili

Cairo's souk area where visitors will find many merchants selling perfume, spices, gold, Egyptian handicrafts.

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Alexandria Museum of Fine Arts

Mostly modern and Orientalist paintings

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Greater Cairo

metropolitan area in Egypt

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Temple of Beit el-Wali

The rock-cut temple of Beit el-Wali was moved from its original location by a Polish archaeological team. It is dedicated to Ramesses II, and the gods of Amun and Anukis (among others). It was originally decorated in bright colors, but these were mostly removed by a "squeeze" taken in the 19th Century (the results of this squeeze are now on display in the British Museum).

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Imhotep Museum

museum in Egypt

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Qubbet el-Hawa

Small shrine/tomb of a local sheikh and holy man. The climb is rewarded with amazing views of Aswan, the Nile river and the surrounding landscape, richly evoked in the translation from the Arabic of the place name, "the dome of the wind'.

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Trajan's Kiosk

A hypaethral temple on Agilkia Island in Old Aswan dam reservoir. One of the largest Ancient Egyptian monuments standing today, it is conventionally attributed to the Roman emperor Trajan, who gave it its current decorations, though some experts think the structure may be older, possibly dating to the time of Augustus.

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Gerf Hussein

The temple of Gerf Hussein is dedicated to Ramesses II and was built by the Viceroy of Nubia Setau. Originally, it was partially free-standing and partially rock-cut. During the flooding of Lake Nasser, the free-standing section was dismantled and then rebuilt at New Kalabsha. Most of 23.2833333332.91 the original rock-cut Gerf Hussein temple was left in place and is now submerged beneath the waters.

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Citadel of Qaitbay

Set on the tip of the Anfushi/Pharos promontory, looking back over the eastern harbour and downtown Corniche. It was built by Mameluke Sultan Abdul-Nasser Qa'it Bay in 1477 CE, by re-cycling the stone of the ruined lighthouse. It tried (with limited success) to defend the city against invaders, from crusaders to Napoleon, and was in military use as late as 1882, when the British bombarded it.There are two entrances and admissions. West, facing your approach along the Harbour mall, is the ground-floor Maritime Museum - this is of little interest. (Its collection continues in a building on the mall.) Come round to the south flank facing the Corniche for the main entrance into the Citadel. There's a fortified courtyard then a 4-storey bastion.

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Temple of Kalabsha

Like Philae, this temple and its surrounding ruins were moved by UNESCO to save them from the floodwaters of Lake Nasser. The main temple was built to the Nubian fertility and sun god Marul during the rule of Emperor Augustus.

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Coptic Cairo

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Mausoleum of Aga Khan

Tomb of the 48th iman of the Islami sect and his wife. Visible from the outside, although closed to the public.

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Coloured Canyon

Canyon in South Sinai

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Kiosk of Qertassi

A tiny Roman kiosk with four slender papyrus columns inside and two Hathor columns at the entrance. It is a small but elegant structure that "is unfinished and not inscribed with the name of the architect, but is probably contemporary with Trajan's Kiosk at Philae."

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Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt (Arabic: مصر, màSr) is in north-eastern Africa. Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its art, temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and above all, its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt's Coptic Christian and Muslim heritage, with ancient churches, monasteries and mosques dotted across the landscape. Egypt stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.

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Nearby countries

Sudan

Sudan (Arabic: السودان Al-Sudan) is the third largest country in Africa and sixteenth largest in the world, bordering Egypt, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Libya, and South Sudan. Getting a visa for Sudan is an expensive hit-and-miss affair, but if you do manage to get in, and you stick to the safe areas, you will probably have a memorable experience. The Sudanese people are very hospitable, and you can visit some awesome tourist attractions without even seeing another tourist.

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Libya

Libya (Arabic: ‏ليبيا Lībyā) is a country in North Africa. In the north it has a Mediterranean Sea coast, with Egypt to the east and Tunisia to the west. It also has land borders with Algeria, Chad, Niger and Sudan. More than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert.

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Israel

The State of Israel (Hebrew: מדינת ישראל; Arabic: دولة إسرائيل) is a small yet diverse Middle Eastern country bordered by Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the southwest, by the West Bank and Jordan to the east, and by Syria and Lebanon to the north. The country has a long coastline on the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and very limited access to the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba (often called the Gulf of Eilat in Israel). Since 1967, Israel has controlled most of the West Bank (often called "Judea and Samaria" in Israel) as well as the Golan Heights. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan, but most other countries, except the United States, reject the annexation, and consider these areas and the West Bank (which Israel did not annex, and Israeli law does not apply to the area) to be occupied Palestinian territory. Wikivoyage takes no stance on these political issues, but notes that in practice, current visitors to these areas will need Israeli visas and permits.

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