Egypt known for its hospitality, is one of the oldest civilizations of all time, it has a very rich culture, diversified architecture and artistic style, long shores, sandy beaches, divine cuisine, local music, sunny weather, warm winters, and above all perfectly located at Northern Africa.
Inhabited by over 85 million, attracting up to 14.5 million visitors a year. What Egypt has to offer is more than just staring at the Great Pyramids of Giza, a cruise on the River Nile or a swim at the Red Sea, it’s a country that with its diversity can easily satisfy anyone’s taste bud; be it of those seeking adventure, wanting to go off the beaten path, those who like to party hard, those escaping the hustle and bustle of their daily life, those looking for exotic food and local encounters or those who wish to embark on an unforgettable journey.
This vibrant city is Egypt’s capital and its main hub, known as the city that never sleeps with Cafés, Restaurants, Bars, Shisha Lounges and Shops lying everywhere, nearly open around the clock and people hanging out till very late at night –even on weekdays, having one of the busiest and craziest traffics in the world, inhabited by over 10 million people and has a variety of activities to offer; from hiking, mountain biking and off-roading at Wadi Degla Nature Reserve and sand-boarding on Qataneya dunes to smoking Shisha at the comfort of your car seat. If you are more of a music & clubbing buff, wanting to dance your heart out while having your favorite cocktails by a pretty Nile view the River Side is the place to be, indulge yourself with the finest local tunes brought to you by Cairo Jazz Club’s talents.
Man Kissing his camel by David Dennis
Want to enjoy Cairo as a super early riser? Start your weekend by joining a bike ride, or a massive run in the streets of Cairo followed by a scrumptious breakfast; try some street Foul Medames (fava beans), Ta’amiyah (falafel) and Betengan (egg plants) sandwiches, why not finish your day shopping at the old souk of Khan El-Khalili?
Cairo by Frank Schulenburg
Experience riding the Nile differently by taking the Egyptian version of hop on-hop off boats Nile Taxi, with several pick-up points around Cairo, or savor Egyptian cuisine at its best at the local restaurant Kebdet El-Brens.
Egypt’s main Mediterranean coastal city, where the best seafood and appetizers are served, a night walk on Stanley Bridge while enjoying a rice pudding with ice cream from Jelaty Azza in summer or grilled corn in winter is a must, the next day get lost on the Corniche leading to Qaitbay Citadel and fill up your stomach with mouth-watering Egyptian pancakes (fetir) stuffed with all sort of things salted and sweet, further away drive for an hour or two in the direction of the North Coast “the locals’ official summer escape”; long shores, clear waters, beach parties, and fun all over the place.
Corniche leading to Citadel of Qaitbay in Alexandria
Stanley Bridge in Alexandria
North Coast by Mohamed Saeed
Sinai Peninsula & the Red Sea
Sinai; linking between the African & Asian continent, and bordered by the Red Sea, what it has to offer can satisfy all tastes. With a large piece of desert; hiking, off-roading, camel trekking, climbing mountains, and sand-boarding are the most common things to do, however staring at the stars in a candlelit ambiance, or partying & dinning at the midst of the desert on a full moon with Bedouin performers who bring in their local flavour is an experience that you’d hate to miss.
The Red Sea by Derek Keats
The Red Sea; if you really want to go easy on your wallet & have a down to earth experience, camping on the beach in one of the widely spread campsites is the thing. This is where you sleep in your swimsuit, shower in salted water, sand is always stuck in your toes, and the brightness & heat of the sun wake you once it’s up. You can always find a ride to take you to the city for some clubbing, shopping or whatever you feel like doing.
Camping in Sinai
Flying is the easiest and most convenient way to get there with airports at Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Marsa Alam & Gouna. But if you cannot wait to catch a flight or cannot stand a long ride, then in less than a 2 hours drive you can be at El-Sokhna or Ras Sidr which are currently an Egyptian hub.
Chillaxing by the Red Sea
Luxor, Aswan & the Nubian Villages
Accessible by train, cruise or airlines. Though Luxor & Aswan are usually traveled to on the same Nile cruise, but each one has its unique style. Lose track of time wandering around the Nubian villages of Aswan that have a phenomenal architectural style, a wide variety of beautifully painted houses, cute Nubian faces and above all experiencing some real Egyptian hospitality where every single person will invite you over a cup of tea, breakfast or even lunch. In addition to the best views of the Nile River; while sailing in boats available from dawn till sunset or a felucca ride to Philae temple.
Nubia Village by Omnia Mamdouh
Nile View in Aswan by Omnia Mamdouh
As for Luxor there isn’t really much to say, as it is commonly known as the World’s Largest Open Air Museum.
Luxor Temples by Galal El-Missary
The 7 Oases
Egypt has 7 Oases; the nearest is Fayoum only 1h15min drive from Cairo with a variety of activities to do, however the main highlight is camping at UNESCO’s World Heritage site “Whale Valley” -that contains early fossils of now extinct whales- & hiking around its rock formations at break of dawn, while the farthest is Siwa; a 12 hours drive from Cairo, totally worth the long ride, where stress can be released after swimming at one of its natural water springs overlooking hundreds of palm trees and sand dunes, and camping there.
Shali Fortress in Siwa Oasis
Djara Caves, El-Dakhla Oasis
Must eats and drinks
Who said vegetarians would not survive Egypt’s food? The most famous dishes are actually vegetarian: Foul Medames, Ta’amiyah, Koshari (a mix of rice, pasta, chickpeas, lentils, fried onions, tomato and garlic sauce), Fatta (rice with moisten bread, garlic and tomato sauce) & Molokheyah (you have to try it to know what it’s like), Stuffed Vine Leaves, Zucchini, Eggplants and Bell peppers. For the sweet tooth Halawa is the treat.
Egyptian Food (stuffed vine leaves, full medames, ta’amiyah, sogo’ and tahina) by Weldon Kennedy
The non-vegetarian side of our food: Stuffed pigeons, Sogo’ (Egyptian spicy sausages), Fatta with Lamb Chunks marinated in tomato sauce, Rabbits with Molokheyah, & Chicken Livers Alexandrian style.
‘Assab juice (sugar cane), Cold Karkade (Hibiscus), Tamr-hindi (Tamarind), Kharoub (no translation for that), Black Tea with Mint (specially the one served in Sinai or at Nubia).
Tea with Mint by Iman Mosaad
The real side of Egypt lies in its people who make up jokes even at their saddest moments, its culture & history that is so rich & diverse to the extent that even Egyptians find hard time keeping track of, its food that is loved by Egyptians and foreigners equally, and always longed for when living abroad, & its huge variety of adventures that never fails anyone. What else can you really ask for?
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