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Written by
Natalie Johnson

Published on: August 2nd, 2023

Last modified: November 7th, 2023

Some destinations capture the imagination of travellers the world over – and Egypt is certainly among them. Home to one of the oldest civilisations on earth, this North African country has a culture all of its own.

Explorers flock to Cairo and Luxor for their rich history, and to the Nile and Sahara for their natural allure. But there’s far more to this place than what you might see on a postcard. From temples and tombs to sand dunes and snorkelling, here are the top 10 reasons to visit Egypt.

Why Visit Egypt?

 

Fascinating history, legendary landmarks and stunning landscapes are some of the most obvious reasons to visit Egypt. But it’s also overflowing with hidden gems, gorgeous beaches, delicious cuisine and opportunities for adventure. And the only way to truly understand this iconic destination is to dive right in and explore it yourself.

1. Incredible Ancient History

Egypt’s top claim to fame is undoubtedly its past; this is where one of the world’s most impressive ancient civilisations flourished. Its remnants are everywhere you look, from the emblematic Pyramids of Giza to the endless archaeological sites spread across the country.

 

The pyramids of Egypt in the distance surrounded by desert sand.

Here you can visit royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings – or soar over them at dawn on a hot air balloon tour – and have breakfast overlooking the Great Pyramid. Cairo is the ideal home base for history lovers, within easy reach of the most famous sites.

2. Captivating Temples

Among all of Egypt’s breathtaking architecture, its many temples deserve special mention. Stepping into one of these sacred buildings gives you a glimpse into how spirituality and mythology intersected with daily life in ancient Egypt.

The temples of Luxor and Karnak are essential stops; you can reach them via a scenic Nile cruise, a felucca excursion or a trip to the city of Luxor. The temples of Edfu and Dendera are equally enthralling, and the complex of Abu Simbel is well worth a day trip from Aswan.

3. Delicious Cuisine

Egyptian cuisine is unlike any other, echoing aspects of other culinary traditions while maintaining distinctive flavours. It’s centred on vegetables, legumes and fruit, as well as seafood in the coastal areas. You’ll also find delicious bread, cheese and meat dishes.

In Cairo you can take a traditional food tour to sample local specialities like koshari (pasta with chickpeas and lentils), ta’ameya (Egypt’s version of falafel) and om ali (similar to bread pudding). Or enjoy a luxurious private dinner in the rose garden of the Winter Palace Luxor.

4. Modern Cities & Culture

Although it’s best known for its illustrious past, modern-day Egypt is also worth exploring. The old and new parts of Cairo strike a fascinating balance, juxtaposing thousands of years of history with a bustling modern metropolis.

In Alexandria you can learn about Egypt’s recent past from journalists and political experts. From its burgeoning economy to its role in the Arab Spring, there’s much more to Egypt than what you’ll find in history books.

5. Thrilling Desert Adventures

The Western Desert is one of Egypt’s defining features. Part of the Sahara, it covers around two-thirds of the country. This vast landscape is dotted with oases, olive groves and even waterfalls – all of which can be discovered on exciting expeditions into the desert. 

Thrill-seekers can venture to Wadi Al-Hitan to see ancient whale fossils, or the dreamy Siwa Oasis with its turquoise lakes, swaying palms and the scenic village of Shali. The best time to visit is outside the summer months (July and August), when temperatures often exceed 40ºC (104° F).

6. Mesmerising Museums

It’s only logical that a country with this much history is chock-full of amazing museums. Highlights include the extensive Egyptian Museum, the innovative Grand Egyptian Museum and the elegant Luxor Museum.

Strolling through these beautifully designed spaces is one of the best things to do in Egypt – and the perfect complement to visiting the sites where many of their artefacts were found.

7. Expert Egyptologists

There aren’t many countries with an entire branch of science named after them. Egyptologists are devoted to the study of ancient Egyptian history, architecture, art, language and more. 

 

Visiting Egypt means learning about every aspect of its past from people who have dedicated their careers to it. These expert guides truly bring history to life; not only at museums and historical sites, but also on Nile cruises and Sahara adventures.

8. Authentic Nubian Villages

Southern Egypt is home to an indigenous group known as the Nubians, who descend from the ancient inhabitants of the Nubia region. Today they proudly keep their languages and traditions alive in small villages near the city of Aswan.

The Nubian villages are among the most interesting places to visit in Egypt, as they form an important – and often overlooked – part of the country’s identity. They’re also incredibly beautiful, with brightly painted houses and welcoming locals who are happy to share their heritage.

9. Year-Round Sunshine

Egypt is a wonderful place to visit in any season, boasting sunny skies and warm temperatures all year round. Whether you’re relaxing on the beach by the Red Sea or sailing down on the Nile on a traditional felucca, you can expect wonderful weather.

That said, summer (July and August) isn’t the best time to visit Egypt if you want to avoid extreme heat. If you’re here from June to August, consider visiting Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. And keep in mind that some monuments open as early as 6am, before temperatures get too high.

10. Spectacular Snorkelling & Diving

Beyond its infinite deserts and colossal monuments, Egypt is also a world-class destination for underwater adventures. The Red Sea is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and incredibly clear waters, providing perfect conditions to discover its breathtaking marine life.

Visit Egypt’s coast in the summer (July and August) for sparkling sunlight and the best visibility, but remember that this also means hotter weather. If snorkelling and diving are your priorities, you can spend your days exploring beneath the sea’s surface and then cooling off in the shade.

Luxury accommodation in Egypt

There are many incredible places to stay in Egypt. Here are some of our favourites, handpicked by our travel designers:

Whatever you're looking for from your adventure in Egypt, our travel designers are ready to help.