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Since the earliest days of humanity, the Nile River valley has drawn in and captivated travelers from

around the world. Modern-day Egypt, the inheritor of an unbroken civilization of more than 5000 years, located at the crossroads of the Asian, African and Mediterranean worlds, is a fascinating mixture of modern diversity and ancient splendor. Its cultural treasures are supplemented by over 2500 km of scenic coastline along the Red and Mediterranean Seas, making Egypt an enchanting year-round destination, able to put a smile on the face of even the most jaded of travelers. Egypts advantages are as seductive as they are diverse: the pleasant mild temperatures of air and sea, especially in winter; the hospitality and cheerfulness of its people; the year-round sunshine; the magnificent beaches; the diving and snorkeling resorts and second-to-none reefs and aquatic life; the biblical mountains; the romantic desert oases; and, in between, the fertile valley of the Nile, the second-longest river in the world, packed with life and history. Egypts diverse and profound spiritual heritage cannot fail to make an impression on her guests. Pharaonic, Coptic, and Muslim, including churches, convents, mosques, temples and elaborate funerary complexes, Egypts spiritual treasures exhibit an artistic and devotional energy that makes Egypt an unforgettable and profound experience. Egypts multifaceted treasures, including the Nile Valley with its Pharaonic treasures and its cultural metropolis of Cairo, the bathing and diving paradise of the Red Sea, and the oases and open expanse of the surrounding deserts, each guarantee the traveler an unforgettable experience on their own. But the uniqueness of Egypt as a holiday paradise lies in the travelers ability to combine from among all of these, as their heart and calendar dictate. To help the traveler plan a unique and unforgettable trip through Egypt s myriad attractions, we have summarized the highlights of Egypt s three main tourist attractionsSightseeing along the Nile, Recreation along the coast, and Adventure in the desertseparately in the map that follows, allowing you to put together your own personalized trip, to pick and choose among the smorgasbord of Egypts attractions to plan the perfect holiday for you and your family.
Alexandria & Mediterranean Coast: grandeur, great heritage and sandy beaches



M e d i t e r r a n e a n

S e a


Sallum Sidi Barani

Marsa Matruh


El Mansura

Diving Sites

Sidi Abd el Rahman Porto Marina
Bo rg Damanhur E l A ra b

Port Said

Ba rd aw i l L a ke

El Arish


Golf Courses Main Airports Main Roads Marina Monasteries Monuments

Zara nik

El Alamein

Wadi elNatroun
Qaro un Lake





Ti m s a h L a ke

Qara Oasis
S i wa O a s i s

De Qat pr t e

a n ar sio s

Memphis Ain Sukhna


Oyoun Musa


Ras Sidr





Imagine you are relaxing on the deck of a boat meandering down the Nile, sitting back in a comfortable wicker chair. It is late in the afternoon, and the waiter has just served hibiscus tea. A gentle breeze wafts across the river. The setting sun bathes sand dunes and cliffs in a soft light of the color of golden honey. Water buffalo, ibis and camels crowd the shore. Fishermen throw their nets, children paddle, and a local farmer ploughs his field. Now and then you sail past villages of loam houses, embedded in palm groves and fields of green sugar cane. Later, a Pharaonic temple entices you to shore. Along this wondrous river, an advanced civilization blossomed 5000 years ago, one of the earliest flowerings of civilization. The traces of this mighty civilization, buildings and statues of unparalleled monumentality and splendor, border the river valley for more than a thousand kilometers, from the fertile Delta region and the glorious harbor of Alexandria in the north, past the great, historic urban center of Cairo on the Giza plateau, to ancient capitals of Luxor and Aswan in the far south. In front of such scenery, a Nile cruise becomes a journey of personal discovery, through a land whose grace and gloriously old fashioned contemplativeness nourishes ones imagination and touches the heart.


Ancient Cradle of Civilization

T h e G re a t Sa nd Sea


Egypts legendary port of Alexandria has been at the crossroads of civilization throughout human history, and the stories of its varied conquerors continue to coexist alongside one another in a rich cultural mlange. Founded by Alexander the Great, and famous in ancient times for its scholars, lighthouse and library, Alexandria once again became a focus of cosmopolitan influences in the early 20th century, lying at the intersection of the Mediterranean, Arabian and African worlds. The grandeur of this cultural heyday is still alive today, not only in the books of Lawrence Durrell or Konstantinos Kavafis, but also on the Corniche with its numerous restaurants, famous for their tasty, freshly caught seafood; in the majestic new Bibliotheca Alexandrina; and in the citys charming neighborhoods, with cafs, antique markets, and Art Deco cinema-palaces. Alexandria continues to shine as the Pearl of the Eastern Mediterranean thanks to its oriental flair and deep historical, cultural and archaeological heritage.


Ba h a r i y ya Oa s i s
White Desert


El Minya


W h i te D e s e
Qasr Farafra











Sharm el-Sheikh El Gouna Hurghada

Ras Mohammed

Fa ra f ra Oa s i s




From Mediterranean beaches to the historic monuments of central Egypt

Abu minqar

Nile River



E gypt
Spend a few days in the capital Cairo, including visits to Giza, Saqqara and Fayoum, followed by a boat trip along the Nile, sailing by the Pharaonic sites of Upper Egypt between Luxor and Aswan. For those with a bit more time to spare, Abu Simbel is an easy daytrip from Aswan, or can be reached via a more leisurely Lake Nasser cruise. A fascinating alternative for those who are already familiar with Cairo and the Nile Valley could include following Cleopatras footsteps to the great port of Alexandria, along with trips through the Delta and to the monasteries of Wadi el-Natroun. This itinerary could then continue west along the Mediterranean coast, via the World War II monuments at El Alamein, on to Marsa Matruh, and through the desert to the legendary oasis of Siwa.


make a compelling visit for the history buff. The Nile Delta region to Alexandrias east, meanwhile, pampers the senses with lush and verdant vegetation. Ancient ruins, such as those at Tanis and Abu Menas, and sights, such as the history-steeped Rosetta, and the Coptic monasteries of Wadi el-Natroun, offer the opportunity for true exploration, beyond the well-trodden tourist track. South of Cairo, pearl upon pearl of Pharaonic architecture lie threaded along the left bank of the Nile, including Memphis, the Necropolis of Saqqara, and the pyramids of Dahshur, El-Lisht and Meidum. Further up river, in Central Egypt, not far from El-Minya, are the rock graves of Beni Hassan and Tell El - Amarna, as well as archeological remainders of the residential city of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton. Beyond Assiut, around Sohag, are more monasteries whose roots date back to the 5th century AD. Further, south, at the border with Upper Egypt, lie the two outstanding temples of Abydos and Dandara.

West of Alexandria, towards Marsa Matruh, magnificent sandy beaches stretch along the shores of a coastline known for its turquoise-blue water. Along this stretch, holiday homes and resorts on the beach are in great demand among locals and Egyptians alike, along a landscape that during World War II was fiercely fought over by Montgomery for the Allies, and Rommel for the Axis powers. Haunting memorials to this conflict around Alamein







St Catherine Area


lf of Aqaba

Gabal El Mawta Cleopatra Gabal Bath El Dakrur Siwa

Qaro u n L a ke Fayo u m Oa s i s



Taba Heights

Taba Pharaohs Island

National Parks Oases Ports Pyramids Sound & Light Shows Tourist Information Ofces


El Fayoum


Wadi El Rayan


Ab u Gallum

Beni Suef


e st r Ea se De

Ras Gharib



El Tur

El Quseir

El Qasr

Dakhla Oa s i s

Ain Umm Dabadib



K h a rg a Oasi s

Al Kharga Esna


Port Ghalib Marsa Alam

N ew

Va l

Kom Ombo


The classic tour

Giza Pyramids

Cairo: Pyramids, mosques and modern museums

The start and climax of every journey to Upper Nile is the small town of Luxor. The grand temples and funerary cities found there, tributes to the advanced civilization based around the ancient capital of Thebes, have been impressing visitors for millennia. The magnificent columned halls in the temple of Karnak, which for many centuries functioned as the countrys central sanctuary of the god Amun, leave visitors in awe. Over the river in the various valleys of the Necropolis of Thebes, one is overwhelmed by the gigantic size and spiritual devotion of the mortuary temples of rulers such as Ramses II or III, and Queen Hatshepsut. One of these valleys, the spectacular Valley of the Kings, where the glorious rulers of the New Kingdom were laid to rest more than 3000 years ago, was where, in 1922, Howard Carter brought to light the legendary treasures of Tutankhamun, whose glorious funerary regalia continue to inspire a global audience. Continuing the journey to the south, three great temples await your visit the temple of Esna, devoted to the ram-headed god Khnum, the Horus sanctuary in Edfu, and the Ptolemaic double temple of Kom Ombo. The next port of call is Aswan, where there is much more to be seen in the way of Pharaonic sitesin particular the Temple of Philae-alongside more modern wonders, such the High Aswan Dam, backing up behind it the massive Lake Nasser. In Aswan, a lasting impression is left by the enchanting river scenery of the First Cataract, where the rushing waters of the Nile flow dramatically through a rocky descent. Later on, after a sunset sail on the traditional Egyptian sailboat, the Felucca, a stroll through the botanical garden on Plants Island (Kitcheners), or five oclock tea on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel, steeped in royal and colonial history, its easy to understand why Aswan continues to attract Europeans in search of a respite from their cold winters. The grand finale of a journey into the deep south of Egypt is the awesome Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel. Its colossal statues reign supreme above Lake Nasser, having been saved from the rising water behind the new dam in the 1960s thanks to a monumental engineering achievement, and proclaim to the world the eternal fame of their creator and his realm.

The sacred heart of ancient Egypt: Luxor and the West Bank

Baris Dush
Saluga & Ghazale

Wa di El Gemal





Ra s Banas

Tr o p i c o f C a n c e r

Mediterranean Egypt


Vacations on the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aqaba guarantee pure relaxation and holiday fun, perfect temperate weather, and a fascinating underwater world of marine delights. Just inland, the mountain and desert scenery beckons the traveler on a day trip, or a longer adventurous visit, through the spectacular mountains of South Sinai, or to the monasteries of St. Paul, St. Anthony, or St. Catherine.

Sun, beaches, diving and trekking

As was written in the tales of the Arabian Nights, He who has not seen Cairo has not seen the world. Indeed Egypts vivacious capital, whose name in English is derived from the Arabic Al-Qahira, the Victorious, is like no other city on earth, and embodies 150 generations of history, and an unbroken line of civilization dating back to the Pharaohs. On its western edge, the Great Pyramids rise majestically towards heaven, witnessing a time when faith in immortality truly moved mountains. Cairos heart, the maze of lanes through the Islamic old town, between mighty mosques and caravanserais, the resting place of traders along ancient trade routes, invites us on a fascinating tour through the Middle Ages, in the steps of legendary sultans like Salah el-Din. Nearer the Nile, the metropolis pulsates to the rhythm of modern day life. Modern-day Cairo is a dynamic business hub, with a lively arts scene and a world renowned opera house, exquisite shopping, and contemporary museums, and a trendy food and nightclub scene. Just to the south of the city center, in Old Cairo, Egypts Christian community, the Copts, tend to their precious early Christian inheritance, including the worlds oldest traces of monastic communities, and visitors can follow in the footsteps of the holy family during their travels through Egypt.

Grande finale deep in the south: Aswan and Abu Simbel

Lake Nasser
Tushka Qasr Ibram




200 km

Fayoum: Cairos front garden - a natural paradise with a storied past
The oasis closest to the Nile valley lies only a one hour drive south of Cairo. Due to the fertility of the region, Fayoum has always served as the breadbasket for the capital. Fayoum makes a worthwhile day trip, if only to see the verdant vegetation and rural tranquility. The Fellah, rural peasants, continue to work the fields, and the women and children line up in front of mud brick houses bordering palm-edged canals, appearing just as graceful and timeless as did their ancestors depicted on the wall-reliefs of the surrounding ancient tombs. The 230 km2 Qaroun Lake and the adjacent Wadi El-Rayan nature reserve are valuable protected areas, and the migratory birds these areas attract will be of particular delight to bird lovers. In Wadi Al-Hitan, one can marvel at the gigantic skeletons of prehistoric whales, washed up when the Mediterranean Sea extended far south of its current shoreline. In addition, those seeking cultural diversions will be interested by the range of historical sites on offer, particularly the pyramids of Hawara and El Lahun.


Aquatic Paradise
If the deep chill of a prolonged winter has left you down and discontented, then a dose of Egypts Red Sea aquatic paradise could be just what is needed to revive the spirit and please the soul. Blessed with blue sky all year round, a pleasant temperate climate, conveniently accessible only a few hours direct flight from Europe, fine sandy beaches lining a sumptuous tropical sea stretching nearly 1500 km down Egypts eastern coast, with coral reefs renowned by experienced divers as amongst the best in the world, Egypts Red Sea coast has treasures aplenty to draw you in, and keep you coming back. Back on land, the attractions are just as compelling: holiday resorts with quality, affordable accommodation, the opportunity to invest your own piece of paradise through an attractive market in beachside holiday homes, and a fascinating bouquet of shopping, sport and leisure activities. And inland, directly adjacent to the beaches, spectacular desert mountains rise up dramatically, perfect for both trekking and seeking ones inner peace of mind. Sound tempting? Come catch the excitement; a warm welcome to Egypts Riviera, the Red Sea and Sinai coasts, awaits you!


Idyllic nature, spectacular landscapes and cultural highlights off the beaten tourist track can be found on exciting trips to the oases of Bahariyya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga. In between these, one experiences the timeless magic of the Sahara Desert. Cairo or Luxor serve as good base from which to begin or end a desert oasis exploration, and a visit to one or both of these could round out a perfect tour through the heart of Egypt.

The great oasis circuit

This former fishing village, about 400 km south of Suez, became a booming tourism destination on the west coast of the Red Sea in the space of a single generation. Today, it offers ideal conditions for all kinds of water sports, as well as miles and miles of pristine coastline with quality accommodation, restaurants and entertainment to suit all tastes. Even the most experienced of international travelers will be delighted by Hurghadas beach scene and lively nightlife. A wide variety of attractions, including the sea aquarium, panorama submarine ride, and two superb golf courses mean that Hurghada truly has something for everyone. Well worth a day-trip are the offshore islands and the inland desert mountains.

Hurghada: The cradle of holiday tourism for swimming and diving

Sharm el-Sheikh: pure pleasure and colourful activities under water and on land

An enchanting weekend in Egypt could comprise of one or two days in the cultural metropolis of Cairo, including Giza, Saqqara and Fayoum, followed by a trip by plane south to Luxor or Aswan. Alternatively, a visit to Cairo could be arranged in conjunction with a beach trip to Ain Sukhna, Port Said, Alexandria, or the various beach resorts on the Mediterranean Coast, with a diving expedition to the Red Sea, or with a trip through the desert.
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How to spend a long week-end in Egypt?

Lying just 20 km north of Hurghada, the modern holiday resort of El Gouna, developed from scratch as a holiday paradise, is the perfect destination for tranquil family vacations or long-term stays. The resort includes 14 exclusive hotels, numerous private villas and apartments, restaurants, discos, shopping malls, a stylishly designed 18 hole golf course, and numerous diving and leisure centers. The resort stretches over an extensive archipelago of artificial islands, and it is easy to get around by bus, bike or foot. This small but cosmopolitan city, conjured out of the desert sand in a harmonious mixture of architectural traditions, drawing upon some of the finest regional and international architects, has been internationally acclaimed for its environmentally friendly operations. 130 km south of El Quseir, the latest of Egypts world-class holiday destinations is quickly making its mark. Marsa Alam began in the 1990s as the first Red Sea resort in the far south. Blessed with a rich abundance of unspoiled beaches and enchanting sea life, the area has tremendous promise. Today, this majestic setting has been made accessible to travelers through an extensive resort complex with its own airport and several high quality hotels. 60 km further north, the latest flagship project in the region, Port Ghalib, is situated at the junction of the coast and an artificial arm of land extending out to sea. With its yachting club and harbor boasting world-class facilities, this top class holiday resort is positioning itself as a central hub for water sports in this part of the Red Sea.

El Gouna: perfect holiday atmosphere with the turquoise-blue lagoon

A few decades ago, Sharm el-Sheikh was just another minor fishing village. Modernday Sharm, close to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, has securely positioned itself as an international destination of choice among divers and holidaymakers alike. The original epicenter of this pulsating Riviera on the Red Sea is Naama Bay, around which extensive world-class tourism infrastructure has been developed over a series of adjacent bays, now including the area between Sharm El-Maya up to Nabq Bay. Other than the flat sandy beaches and the myriad of leisure options over this holiday paradise along more than 25 km in coastline, the biggest attraction of Sharm no doubt is the spectacular underwater life. In particular, the reefs at Ras Umm Sid and the nearby Ras Mohammed National Park are enchantingly rich feasts for the eye.

Marsa Alam & Port Ghalib: where the future has already begun

Along the east coast of the Sinai, the rugged, majestic mountains rise spectacularly away from the coast. Like prehistoric giant dragons, the summits push forward with their high, serrated combs, plunging coastward almost to the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba. Dahab, the tourist center of the area, with its Bedouin camps and golden beaches, has kept the easygoing charm of a 1970s hippy idyll, even though it now boasts numerous luxury hotels. The Ras Abu Gallum National Park diving area here is breathtakingly magnificent. Not far inland, some spectacular Sinai sites are ready to be explored, including the Colored Canyon, a twisting canyon filled with multi-hued red stone, and Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments, at the foot of which lies the legendary St. Catherines Monastery.

Dahab & Inland: relaxation in paradise for backpackers accessing adventure in the South Sinai Mountains

Kharga, Dakhla, Farafra, Bahariyya and Siwa: the oases of Western Egypt appear to be islands not only in the seemingly endless expanse of Saharan sand, but also in time. This is where fairy tales still come true: seeing the sunrise from the back of a camel, or the spectacular views from on top of a sand dune into the majestic expanse of desert. Noon in the quiet shade of palm groves, or perhaps in the cool springfed pool at one of the regions splendid eco-lodges, waiting until a ripe date from an overhanging palm tree drops into ones open mouth; a late afternoon walk through Pharaonic temples or between mud brick houses in ageless villages; and nights spent at a campfire in front of a Bedouins tent, enchanted by garlands of tales, with nothing above but the twinkling stars of a clear desert sky.

Untamed Mystery

The Dakhla oasis served as a granary to the Romans, and until today, resembles a fairy tale idyll over vast stretches of territory. Two of the most beautiful of all the 14 settlements are Balad, meaning village of loam, and El Qasr, meaning the citadel, consisting of narrow, shady lanes. The lush green of the many orchards, and clover, rice and peanut fields, is a charming contrast to the honey-colored dunes and rock quarries glowing in pale-pink pastel in the surrounding desert. From the heyday of ancient times, several temple and tomb sites are still discernible.

Dakhla: traditional loam architecture in front of a spectacular rock backdrop

Nuweiba & Taba: two ports for relaxation and recreation in the north of the Gulf of Aqaba

About 90 km north of Dahab lies Nuweiba, a comparatively calm hideaway for nature lovers. Like elsewhere in Sinai, Nuweiba has made a name for itself based on its fine sandy beaches with wonderful multi-colored reefs in front of cragged cinnamoncolored mountains. Taba Heights, a resort town adjacent to the international border, offers the same attractions set in a planned resort community boasting an international quality golf course a numerous fine dining options. Both Nuweiba and Taba offer excellent hotel resorts, and great sporting activities above and below water for those seeking active holiday pursuits. In addition, a wide variety of guided camel and desert tours are available to lure the traveler into sampling inland attractions.
Western Desert

Known as the Northern Oasis, this approximately 4000 km2 desert depression, set in black volcanic rock and reachable from Cairo within seven hours drive, has been well known since ancient times for its ore mines, its fertile gardens, its healing waters, and its spectacular vistas of jagged black volcanic formations jutting from the desert floor below. The site became world famous when an enormous necropolis dating back to Greco-Roman times was discovered by chance here towards the end of the 1990s. The tombs contained thousands and thousands of preciously decorated mummies, a sensational find, which gave the area the name of the Valley of the Golden Mummies.

Bahariyya: palm groves, spa waters and golden mummies

The southernmost oasis of the Western Desert was once an important station on the Darb el Arbainthe Forty Days Roadconnecting camel and slave traders between the markets of northern and southern Africa. Today, it is the administrative capital of the New Valley province and, alongside extensive palm groves and fields, boasts several independent settlements such as Qasr Kharga, Bulaq and Baris. Highlights among the ancient sanctuaries include the early Christian necropolis Al-Bagawat and, from Persian times, the Hibis Temple.

Kharga: once a caravan station, today a prosperous provincial center

Siwa: Egypts westernmost oasis lures travelers with baths, lakes and legendary temples

In this, the smallest and most isolated oasis, the traveler can visit several sulphur springs, and marvel at Qasr El-Farafra, the regions only settlement, a fortress ruin surrounded by palms. The biggest attraction, just 30 km north, is the White Desert, a landscape of surreal beauty, in which wind and weather, over time, have carved and chiseled a gigantic sculpture park out of the chalk-white limestone rock.

Farafra: an island of green on the edge of the White Desert

A special and enchanted place, the oasis of Siwa lies 500 km west of the Nile, 300 km south of Marsa Matruh, and several meters beneath sea level. 2700 years ago, while Roma was still a village and Homer had just completed the Iliad, Siwa already enjoyed great renown within the entire Mediterranean world as home to the Oracle of Amun Re. World fame was gained in 331 AD when Alexander the Great chose to stay here and consult the oracle. The feeling of something legendary and surreal continues to adhere to this oasis until today. The plethora of natural attractions, including date and olive groves, lakes surrounded by reeds, table mountains and sand dunes, and gushing springs beckoning bathers to swim heighten Siwas charm. Home to delightful, quality accommodation in ecolodges, Siwa in addition boasts two picturesque hilltop castles, several ancient sites and a very distinctive culture strongly influenced by Berber traditions.

Red Sea


Over 1000 years old, UNESCO has selected over 600 architectural monuments in Cairos Islamic town as being worthy of particular protection, and inclusion in the list of world cultural heritage sites, including mosques like Sultan Hassan, Ibn Tulun or Al Azhar and the towering Citadel. Al Muizz road, stretching for two kilometers between the ancient enormous city gates of Bab Al-Futuh and Bab Zuwaila, meanders past a particularly exquisite selection of ancient monuments, including mausoleums, mosques, schools caravanserais (ancient traders hostels), fountains and bath houses. A shopping adventure becomes a joy ride for the senses in the adjacent bazaars, particularly Khan el-Khalili, al-Muski and the Tentmakers Market, Khayyamia, or even in markets further afield like Kerdassa and Fustat. Further highlights include the Islamic Museum, the Gayer-Anderson House, a perfectly restored ancient Cairo home, the fine collections for ceramics at the Museum for Islamic Ceramics, and the Mahmoud Khalil Museum with its impressive collection of impressionist works. Only a little further south, on the banks of the Nile, the district of Old Cairo looks back on nearly 2000 years of history. Worthy of a thorough inspection here are the ancient gate towers of the Roman Fort Babylon, the Coptic Museum and a number of historically important religious sites, including Mari Girgis, the St. Barbara, the Hanging Church, and the Moallaqa churches, the Ben Ezra-Synagogue and the oldest mosque in Egypt named after the military commander, Amr Ibn al-As. Entertainment of a different variety can also be found in the citys many world-class shopping malls and a selection of well-maintained golf courses on the outskirts of town. Further recommendations include an afternoon floating along the Nile aboard a Felucca, or an evening performance from the diverse cultural events taking place at the modern Opera House.

Modern metropolis, Islamic and Old Cairo

Hatshepsut Temple

More breathtaking still is the 40 hectare temple district of Karnak. For over 1700 years, well into Roman times, Karnak was extended by almost every ruler. Highlights include the gigantic pylons and obelisks, and the Amun temple with its phenomenal columned hall. The size and scale of Karnak are impressively conveyed every evening during the Sound & Light Show on the shore of the Holy Lake. The charm of the small town is best experienced in a one-horse open-top Caleche trotting through the quiet streets. Also recommended are the various museums for mummification and archaeology. Worthwhile day trips from Luxor include the temples of Dandara and Abydos in the north, Esna to the south, or eastwards to the Red Sea.


Nile at Aswan

As with the Pyramids near Cairo, the necropolis of Thebes lies with a westward orientation, where the sun, tracing the movement of Osiris into the netherworld, disappears behind the sandy horizon. Until today, the tombs and mortuary temples tell of the immense faith and energy of their builders. Among the extraordinary attractions of the Theban Necropolis, over which the two twin columns, the Colossi of Memnon, lay watch, are the Temple for Ramses II (Ramesseum), Ramses III (Medinet Habu) and Queen Hatshepsut (Deir El-Bahari), the settlement of the necropolis-workers including their graves (Deir el-Medina) and the graves of the nobles (Sheikh Abd el-Qurna). In the Valley of the Queens, one can visit the last resting place of beautiful Nefertari, and in the Valley of the Kings pay ones respects to several of the 60 Pharaohs of the New Kingdom buried here. Those who take advantage of a birds eye view of the scenery via an early morning hot-air balloon flight above the bare desert mountains bring home with them a truly unique perspective on this ancient wonder.

Tombs, temples and colossi: boundless amazement on the shores of the hereafter

The Pharaonic inheritance: Giza, Saqqara and the Egyptian Museum


Nile Cruises Cruises on the Nile and Lake Nasser

In Egypts capital, Africas largest metropolis, and the urban center of the Arab world, Orient and Occident unite in a fusion of the past, present, and future in a fascinating mixture. The attractions of this mother of all cities are endless. To be sure, each newcomer must first make a pilgrimage to the Great Pyramids of Giza, the last remaining of the seven ancient wonders of the world. A visit to the grave chambers deep inside the Pyramids, the Solar Boat Museum, and the enlightening Sound & Light Show in front of the Sphinx will provide an unforgettable glimpse of the unique culture of the Pharaohs. The royal Necropolis of Saqqara proves to be no less astonishing. Here, pioneering works of art tell of the riches and creative spirit that existed in neighboring Memphis, the first capital of the ancient Kingdom. Highlights here include the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the many mastabas with their fantastic relief decorations, or the Serapeum, resting place of the holy Apis bulls. A short excursion leads to Dahshur, a comparatively quiet site, far from the crowds, where a monumental grave in perfect pyramid form was erected for the first time ever. Back in Cairos modern center, a single visit may not do justice to The Egyptian Museum, filled with thousands of the most precious items from antiquity, in particular the legendary treasure of Tutankhamun.


Fluvial idyll at the First Cataract

Bibliotheca Alexandrina attention today due to the Ottoman Citadel of Qaitbey. The principal ancient sites of Alexandria include the catacombs of Kom El Shuqafa, the early Ptolemaic tombs of Anfushi, and Pompeys famous Pillar watched over by two Sphinxes, the Roman Amphitheatre of Kom El Dikka, the villa al-Tuyur with its beautiful mosaics, and the GrecoRoman Museum. Further into the city, districts with an oriental flair, such as Anfushi or Gumruk, characterized by narrow lanes, busy bazaars and huge mosques, invite visitors for a leisurely stroll. Reminders of Alexandrias cultural flowering that took place during the early 1900s can be found in the Art Nouveau faades, cinemas and cafs in the central district of El-Manshiya, the jewel of a museum dedicated to the life of Alexandria poet Constantine Cavafy, as well as much praised sea-food restaurants and seaside villas on the way to the elegant suburb of Montazah. As a testament to Alexandrias proud history and bold outlook into the future, the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a dramatic monument to the post-modernist architectural style.


Passport and visa requirements
To enter Egypt you need a valid passport and a visa, for which a fee is payable. Depending on the regulations applying to your country of origin, visas can be obtained from Egyptian consulates abroad. In many cases, you can also obtain a visa at any international airport or major port of entry into Egypt. Visitors to the Gulf of Aqaba and St. Catherines entering Egypt by overland routes are granted free 14-day residence permits, so do not need visas.

Egyptian handicrafts reflect the countrys history. Souks and galleries sell handmade goods such as blown glass, pottery, jewelry, papyrus, carpets, leather goods, scarves, cotton textiles, alabaster, perfumes and spices. Modern goods can be found in stores and shopping malls.

Egypt offers a wealth of activities for children and young teenagers, with theme parks, libraries and museums for children, Kids Clubs in many resorts and a host of sporting activities (swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, hiking, kite surfing, windsurfing, golf courses, diving...). Many hotels offer a babysitting service.

Health regulations and medical facilities

You do not need a vaccination to visit Egypt unless you come from a high-risk area, in which case you must have valid vaccination certificates. Egypt has excellent medical care: you will find highly qualified doctors and well-equipped hospitals in all major cities. Pharmacies (drugstores) are generally open 24 hours a day, although patients with special prescriptions are advised to fill them before traveling.

Sacred places bound to catch the eye

El Uqsur, as modern-day Luxor was originally known, is the ancient capital of Thebes, which, together with the extensive necropolis on the opposite bank of the river, forms a focal point of ancient Egyptian culture. The central Luxor Temple complex presents itself is a 260 m long sequence of grandiose gates, courtyards and columned halls.

The beauty of the Upper Nile Valley, in the far south of Egypt, is best appreciated from the deck of a cruise ship. The bucolic riverside scenery passes by in wide-screen cinemascope, delighting the viewer. In between, on occasional landward excursions, the visitor takes in various Pharaonic sites of interest, passing Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo by The route between Aswan and Luxor. Prospective passengers can select from a variety of ships and trips, including a one-way route, or the more leisurely round-trip. A cruising boat on the Nile A romantic alternative for adventurers is the overnight journey on board a Felucca, a traditional sailing boat, from Aswan down the Nile to Edfu and/or Esna. Another of Egypts nautical attractions is the opportunity to take a cruise on Lake Nasser, aboard a selection of cruise ships, some of which pamper the travel in utmost luxury. During the several day trip southwards from Aswan, passengers in small groups, far from the hustle and bustle of the better visited sites further north, pay visits to some highly interesting ancient temple complexes, first and foremost of which is Abu Simbel.
El Gouna Golf Club

Aswan, Egypts southernmost city, once the gate to inner Africa, and today the last port of call for all river cruises, is today particularly famous for its two dams: the barrage dam, completed during the colonial period in the early 1900s, and the more dramatic High Aswan Dam, an epic engineering accomplishment achieved in the decades following independence. Aswans quarries delivered the granite, as a great unfinished obelisk attests, for the Pharaonic monuments downriver. Lovers of ancient architecture pay their respects to the sanctuary of Philae with its Isis and Hathor Temples, and the Trajans Kiosk. Further sites not to be missed include the temple of Beit el-Wali and Kalabsha, the Nubian Museum, and the Nilometer on Elephantine Island. Charming insights of everyday life today are gained by a stroll through the restored bazaar or a visit to one of the Nubian villages in the area, including a traditional evening. But the Nile is the center of attention in Aswan, and a romantic Felucca ride by the light of the setting sun, perhaps including a walk through the botanical gardens on Plants Island (Kitcheners), or, on the western shore, a walk up to Agha Kahns mausoleum, or to the rock-graves and the ruins of St. Simeons Monastery, is not to be missed.

In the evergreen, picturesque agrarian country of the Nile Delta around Alexandria, several important attractions can be found, including the ruins of the ancient metropolis Tanis. Located on the western arm of the Nile is Rosetta, world famous due to the discovery of the stone that bears its name that enabled Champollion to decipher the ancient hieroglyphic language of the Pharaohs. In the desert in Wadi el-Natroun on the way back to Cairo, four monasteriesAnba Bishoi, Anba Maqar, Al-Suryani and El-Baramus-bear witness to the time when early Christian monasticism was centered here, and boast churches filled with precious frescoes and icons dating back a 1000 years.

Through the idyllic Nile Delta to the monasteries of Wadi el-Natroun

There is plenty to do in Egypt. Enjoy the many museums of history, art and culture, or experience the Sound-and-Light Shows at some of Egypts most beautiful historic sites. Enjoy the opera houses of Cairo or Alexandria, or watch traditional dancing as you cruise down the Nile. Nightclubs play eastern and western music, or feature shows and live bands. For a truly special experience, spend a night in the desert being entertained by desert folklore.

Egypts official language is Arabic, but many other languages are also spoken, including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.


The venerable old port city of Alexandria, on the northwest edge of the Nile Delta, was established as a commercial capital and center of Hellenistic learning in the days of the Ptolemies. Today, it remains a fascinating place, with a wealth of interesting facets to explore. The harbor entrance, once the site of the legendary lighthouse of Pharos, attracts

A metropolis with a rich heritage: ancient library and lighthouse

Fine, pristine, sandy beaches, next to clear, turquoise water are the trademarks of Egyptian Mediterranean coast from Agami in the east, not far from Alexandria, to Sallum in the west, near the border with Libya. Throughout this stretch of coastline, numerous villas, hotels and resorts offer the necessary infrastructure for a carefree summer holiday. Numerous sights and diversions provide the traveler with plenty to do, including the Ptolemaic lighthouse at Borg El-Arab, the ancient-world ruins of Abu Menas, or the famous and notorious battle scene of El-Alamein with its deeply moving memorials. Of special charm is the brand-new Porto Marina resort, 105 km west of Alexandria. As the first international caliber yacht marina on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, the Porto Marina complex, including a hotel, golf course, spa complex and Venice Canal Mall, is rightly considered the Mediterranean Gateway to Egypt.

The Mediterranean: El Alamein, Marsa Matruh

Personal safety
Crime is rare in Egypt, and you will find trained, English-speaking Tourist Police at most tourist venues.

Telephone: you can make local, national and international calls from public phones using affordable, prepaid cards. Take advantage of special tourist cellphone rates, or use your own mobile phone via your operators international roaming service. Post: you can buy stamps and post letters at post offices or from your hotel. Post offices are closed on Fridays. Internet: very popular in Egypt, via cybercafs or wireless access (wifi) in most major cities.

The climate is moderate all year round. Midsummer can be hot, but is rarely humid. Winter is generally sunny and pleasant, but temperatures fall at night, especially in the desert. Heavier rainfall is usually confined to January and February.

Business hours and public holidays

Government offices and banks are generally open between 9.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. every day except Friday, Saturday and public holidays. Most shops are open from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m., except on Sundays. Times may vary in shopping centers and during Ramadan.

In summer, you only need light cotton clothing, a hat, sun cream and sunglasses. In winter a sweater is recommended. While there is no explicit dress code in the cities, women will feel more comfortable if they do not wear shorts or leave their shoulders uncovered. This is especially important when visiting churches and mosques.

Public holidays (fixed dates)

January 7: Coptic Christmas Day April 25: Sinai Liberation Day May 1: Labor Day July 23: Revolution Day (commemorating the abolition of the monarchy in 1952) October 6: Armed Forces Day Public holidays (dates vary according to the Muslim calendar) Eid al-Fitr: marks the end of Ramadan Eid al-Adha: Feast of Sacrifice (ca. 70 days after the end of Ramadan) Ras el Sana Hijriya: Islamic New Year Mawlid al-Nabi: Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed

Currency and payment

The national currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE), known as Guineh in Arabic. Each pound is divided into 100 piasters with different banknotes. ATM machines are found in cities, large towns and some hotels. Major hotels and large stores also accept credit cards and travellers checks. There are no limits on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into or take out of Egypt: money can be changed at banks and foreign exchange offices.


Taba Heights Resort

Marsa Alam & Port Ghalib

This newest draw for sun-seeking tourists on Egypts Red Sea coast is located at Marsa Alam, 132 km south of El Quseir, where once the merchant fleets of the Pharaohs set sail toward the Horn of Africa. In the 1990s, there arrived here the first diving camps, followed by ecolodges sprouting from the desert soil. Since then, more established tourism infrastructure has arrived, including several four and fivestar establishments, diving centers offering exquisite comfort and professional expertise, and an international airport for charter flights connecting this remote region with the rest of the world. The diving here is fantastic: the reefs of Abu Dabab, Elphinestone, Delphinhaus, Samadai, Sataya and Wadi el Gemal guarantee many magical moments. Worthwhile excursions on land include taking in the old emerald mines, and the National Park at Gebal Alba, the only part of Egypt to catch part of the southern monsoon. Port Ghalib, 60 km north of Marsa Alam, opened in 2005 as a flagship holiday destination for the future. As a top class hotel resort, it offers various sport and entertainment programs and features its very own yachting harbor and club. The additional advantage of these two new destinations is the close proximity of the Nile Valley with its Pharaonic treasures.

Young and sophisticated: two rising stars on Egypts holiday map

A booming holiday town on the West coast of The Red Sea
This former fishing port lies approximately 80 km southeast of Sharm el-Sheikh, and is considered the cradle of holiday tourism on the west coast of the Red Sea. No other destination in the region attracts more sun-loving northerners, and it is easily reachable via numerous direct flights from Europe. Hurghada consists of numerous parts: south of the historical center of Dahar, separated from the sea by a mountain rock, possessing picturesque loam houses and bazaars, lies the port and hotel district of Sakkala. New and South Hurghada follow, 30 km of coastline peppered with lodging options of all categories and all price ranges. Hurghada also offers a wide choice in gastronomy and sports, including, for example, two excellent golf courses. Appealing to all generations are the local museum and sea aquarium, a trip in the glass-bottom boat or panorama submarine, and all sorts of water sports like wake-boarding or kite-surfing. Not far away are several islands, including Giftun and Magawish, that entice with offers of snorkeling and fish barbecues. Highlife also prevails in the four and five star complexes in the bordering neighborhoods of Sahl Hasheesh, Makadi and Soma Bay. Just inland, travelers experience the endless silence of the desert via day or over night tours through the mountainous hinterland, taking in, for example, the two Roman quarries at Mons Claudianus and Porphyrites.

El Gouna

Stress-free, pampered holidays or entire winters in the city of lagoons

Red Sea Beach

There is hardly a sport that cannot be indulged in at this tourist haven: wakeboarding, waterskiing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, sailing, ultra-lighting, paragliding, deepsea fishing, riding, golf, tennis, squash, go-kart driving and, last but not least, diving and snorkeling. In addition, there is an open-air cinema, a marina, a nautical museum including an aquarium, an artists village and a handicraft market, even a school, a church, a mosque, a modern hospital, an airfield and a radio station. All this and more lies scattered across the islands of a gorgeous lagoon, interconnected by bridges and canals.

Sharm el-Sheikh High life on the beach, in the city, and under water
This is the most frequented holiday location on the Sinai Peninsula, and it offers all the enjoyment a holiday-maker desires. Year round sunshine, fine and shallow beaches, and fantastic diving and snorkeling areas make Sharm an ideal destination. Car-free boardwalks and an immensely varied hotel scene produce a welcoming environment. And the comprehensive dining and entertainment scene, a stimulating symbiosis of exclusive restaurants, bars and cafs, discos and nightclubs, guarantee culinary enjoyment and amusement till the early morning. The broad promenades of Sharm ooze Mediterranean flair; in the evenings, thanks to the snazzy shopping arcades, dazzling music, and animation programs, the town becomes more of a mini Las Vegas. The center for fashionistas is Naama Bay, where many of the first class hotels and holiday resorts are found. The neighboring bays of Garden, Tiger, Shark and Nabq Bay also boast many attractions for tourists. At the foot of a rock escarpment overlooking the city lies the historic harbor district of Sharm El-Maya. Next to it is Ras Umm Sid, where one of the most magnificent reefs of the region can be found. Just beyond the city limits, diving and snorkeling connoisseurs go crazy for the brilliant fauna and flora on display, especially at Ras Nasrani and in the Ras Mohammed National Park. One can even sample Sharms underwater glories while staying dry via a glass bottom boat, which every hotel reception will gladly help organize.

The mountainous world of southern Sinai In the tracks of Moses and St. Catherine

El Gounas excellent reputation as an ideal family destination is based upon the 10 km of sandy beaches and its 14 world-class hotels, each one completely different in design, yet fitting into a harmonious aesthetic of the village as a whole, all meeting the highest requirements in comfort. One innovative service offered is the Dine Around program, in which hotel guests can dine around town in 20 exquisite restaurants, where culinary treasures can be sampled to ones hearts desire, as part of their hotel packages. Those that undertake a trip to the monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul, both early centers of the Coptic faith, make a journey in time to the roots of Christianity and the monastic tradition.

Sinai is noteworthy not only for the brilliance of its beach and aquatic offerings. Just as highly recommended is a camel ride, jeep trip, or trekking tour through the grandiose mountain scenery of the hinterland. Prominent sites include the White or the Colored Canyons, a trip through the Wadi Ghazala to the Blue Desert, the Ain Khudra and Feiran oases, or the Pharaonic temple of Serbit El-Khadim. At the end of such outings, the Bedouin guides love to serve up a delicious open-air desert dinner. A visit to St. Catherines Monastery, site of the biblical burning bush, and until today an active and important religious center, Diving site leaves a lasting impression on the visitor. Also not to be missed, for those in good health, is a climb up to the summit of Mount Sinai, 2285 m above sea level, from which the landscape of the South Sinai presents itself in its whole magnificence.

Local transport
Transport is plentiful, with taxis in major cities (Cairo has a fleet of metered yellow cabs). You can hire a car in major cities and at most airports. EgyptAir runs frequent connecting flights among Egypts tourist cities, and a high-speed train service links Cairo with other major cities, offering a sleeping service over longer distances. Most destinations are also served by air-conditioned buses or coaches.

Time zone and voltage

Egypt is GMT+2 (+3 during summertime). Voltage: 220V.

Choose from a wide range of hotel accommodation: deluxe, budget, eco-lodge or camp.

Useful numbers
Tourist Police 126 Fire Service 180 Ambulance 123 Flying Hospital 37766393/2 Directory Inquiries 140 Cairo Airport Shuttle Bus Service 19970

Nuweiba & Taba Two peaceful retreats for nature lovers

In this central holiday location on the west coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, holidaymakers are surrounded by a noticeably calmer pace of life. Decades ago, those on the hippy trail adopted the local Bedouin settlement of Assalah as their paradise. Now welcoming visitors from all backgrounds, including backpackers, families and honeymooners, Dahabs charm lies in its casual atmosphere of cafs, beach bungalows, and camping sites. Visitors today race on around on surfboards, or whiz by on quad bikes, and afterwards, under the palms of Ghazala Bay, celebrate by chilling out playing Backgammon and smoking a water pipe or doing yoga. Offering a more luxurious stay are the four and five star hotels which developed in recent years just to the south of the traditional center. Dahab is also famous among divers, snorkelers and underwaterphotographers, who are drawn to the coral reefs of Abu Gallum and Gabr El-Bent, as well as the 80 m deep crater named the Blue Hole.


Time out on the Golden Beach


Tourism here, like in Dahab, originated with the hippy generation of the 1970s. Between Nuweiba and Jordans Aqaba there is a daily car and passenger ferry service. The beaches here are still as beautiful, and the mountains in the background just as spectacular, as before. But to the traditional offerings of camp sites and other simple overnight accommodation have been added several high-class hotel options. Further north along the coast, a number of beach camps, where the rugged individual traveler is still the norm, and hotel resorts have sprung up. The diving areas are spectacular, and in most places there is a great choice of water sports on offer, including windsurfing, wake boarding, jet and water-skiing. Most hotels offer help in arranging guides with jeeps or camels for excursions into the hinterland. A number of top-class hotels await the sophisticated traveler in the border town of Taba. The highlight of this area is called Taba Heights, Taba Heights Resort a 4.5 km2 hotel village of the highest standards, and a perfect destination for family holidays, with its own golf course and international yachting harbor. A popular destination for boat trips is Pharaohs Island, where the remains of the castle fortress bring back the memory of the famous times of the Arabian ruler Salah el-Din.

Siwa Oasis

Egyptian cuisine is delicious: mildly spicy, with a wide range of dishes to suit all tastes and budgets. Try stuffed pigeon with rice, grilled meat kebabs and kofta, or molokhaya soup with fresh baladi (Egyptian bread). Fresh seafood is served on the coast and along the Nile. International and vegetarian cuisines are also well represented.

On departure
You may buy and export Egyptian goods, but it is strictly forbidden to trade in or export antiquities.

Visitors can take photos freely except in restricted areas such as airports, ports and military zones. Some museums and historic sites restrict photography for the protection of antiquities, and may make a charge. If in doubt, ask.

Temperatures (Degrees C)
City Jan Mini Max Mini Max Mini Max Sharm el-Sheikh Mini Max Mini Max Mini Max Mini Max Feb March April May June July August Sept Oct Nov Dec

Cairo Alexandria Hurghada

Luxor Aswan Siwa


Bahariyya Lush verdant gardens around the Valley of the Golden Mummies

The White Desert

El Fayoum Fertile paradise since Pharaonic times

The historically rich oasis of El Fayoum covers an area of approximately 1800 km2. From the air, it resembles a green bud on the stalk of the Nile. The swampy depression, a preferred hunting ground throughout history, from the Pharaohs to more contemporary kings, was transformed into fertile agricultural country more than 3500 years ago through the construction of channels and dykes. Until today, Bahr Yusuf, a river dug in ancient times during the 12th Dynasty, supplies the area with Nile water, and keeps the area lush. Impressive evidence of the former Middle Kingdoms boom years can be seen at the temple of Medinet Madi and the pyramids of Sesostris II at El Lahun and Amenemhet III at Hauwara. The latter was once part of a complex that included the extensive legendary labyrinth made up of over 1500 rooms that the Greeks had designated as one of the wonders of the world. Remnants of the regions Roman past can be seen in the famous mummy portraits, which were found in great numbers in local tombs, in addition to the ruined Roman cities of Dime, Tebtynis, Dionysias and Karanis/Kom Auschim. Until today, still turning on the main square of Medinet El-Fayoum, once an ancient city dedicated to the god Sobek, are two noisily creaking wooden water-wheels. Fayoum is shaped by the 230 km2 saltwater Lake Qaroun, around the shores of which lives a wonderful and varied bird kingdom, and around which cozy restaurants welcome visitors. Well worth a visit are both Tunis Village, a center for pottery, and, further west in the heart of the desert, Wadi Al-Hitan, the Valley of the Whales, famed for its 20 m long fossilized whale skeletons.

While its history goes far back as far as Pharaonic times, this oasis at Bahariyya, consisting of eight villages 360 km southwest of Cairo, was hardly known until the end of the 20th Century. The main attractions were the temple built for Alexander the Great during his lifetime, the 400 hot and cold mineral and sulphur springs, and the peaceful pastoral oasis setting. Then, in 1996, a sensation was caused by the chance discovery of an archaeological treasure when a donkey fell through the roof of a burial chamber on the border between the twin settlements of El- Bawiti and El-Qasr. Bahariyya Oasis It was subsequently discovered that this was part of a Ptolemaic-Roman necropolis, in which thousands of intricately, individually decorated mummies were stored. While the excavation site is not open to the public, some mummies are exhibited in El-Bawiti. Other local attractions include the old British fortifications on the Jebel Al-Ingleez, the Jebel Maghrafa, where a gigantic dinosaur skeleton was discovered, and the rock formations of the Black Desert. Last but not least, an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent under the wondrous twinkling night sky is entirely unforgettable.

About 300 km south-east of Farafra, the Dakhla oasis is 120 km in length, and exhibits for its guests a fascinating landscape. More than 500 wells provide sumptuous vegetation for a variety of animal life. Nestling against the foothills of spectacular cragged desert mountains are places whose roots go Dakhla Oasis back to medieval, even Pharaonic, times. Particularly picturesque are the village of Qalamon and the old fortified city of ElQasr, both built entirely of loam with a labyrinth of lanes covered in reed mats. The modern capital Mut also has an historic loam castle in its midst, in addition to a folklore museum. Additional sites worth a visit are the Roman temple of Deir El-Hagar, the Roman tombs of Al Mozawaka and Bashendi, the Pharaonic tomb of Balad, and, in the extreme south, the oasis of Baris. A warm bath in the sulphur spring at Ain El-Qasr, or a picnic at the palm-fringed salt-lake of Bir Al-Gabal, will soothe even the weariest of travelers.

Dakhla An oasis of magnificent beauty and ancient history

Farafra Warm springs and a desert full of white, surreal sculptures

After the long desert journey, theres no doubt that every traveler will appreciate the refreshing shade of the palm groves in this oasis, half way between Dakhla and Bahariyya. A bath in the sulphur springs of Bir Setta or El-Mufid washes both sand and fatigue from the limbs. The trip to the necropolis of Ain Besai, 15 km southwest of the settlement, reveals chapels and rock tombs from the Roman and early Christian eras. And a visit to Badrs museum, a local artists studio full of original paintings, figures and objects, fires ones imagination. Visitors to the White Desert stare in amazement at the deserted dream landscape, 20 minutes drive north of Farafra, where the winds of time have sculpted the limestone rock into bizarre shapesmushrooms, cones, columns, and table mountains. As if produced by the gigantic hands of surrealist artists, the white formations lie scattered over a flat area covering roughly 30 km2, and, particularly at dusk and dawn, shine in luminous pastel colors.


11 19 11 18 10 21 16 22 10 23 11 24 10 19

12 24 12 21 10 23 17 26 11 27 12 30 11 21

13 25 13 23 12 26 18 27 12 29 13 35 12 25

14 26 13 26 16 24 18 28 15 33 17 35 13 29

15 28 17 27 17 27 20 30 20 34 21 36 16 34

17 32 20 29 18 30 21 35 21 37 22 39 19 35

20 35 21 32 20 33 22 37 22 38 24 40 20 38

22 37 23 33 21 34 23 38 25 40 25 41 21 39

20 30 20 28 22 29 21 24 20 35 22 36 18 34

18 25 18 24 20 26 20 27 18 30 15 30 14 31

15 21 15 20 15 22 20 23 12 25 13 25 12 26

11 20 11 20 15 22 16 23 10 24 11 25 10 21

Distances (KM)
Abu Simbel Alexandria Aswan
Bahariyya Oasis



El Gouna

El Quseir

Fayoum Oasis




Marsa Alam


Sharm elSheikh

Siwa Oasis


Egypts southernmost oasis, covering an area of about 200 x 30 km, with around 60,000 inhabitants, is the largest and the most densely populated of Egypts oases. A considerable part of the land is arable, a brilliant achievement considering that Kharga is one of the hottest places on earth receiving nearly 4400 hours of sunshine per year. The provinces capital has an aura of modern functionalism. More attractive is the Hibis Temple just 2 km to the north, considered the best conserved Persian place of worship in the whole of Egypt. The fortified temple of Qasr Ghuwata was Necropolis of Bagawat also completed under the rule of Darius I, around 500 BC. Dating back to Roman times is Qasr El-Zayyan, and, far south in the midst of grandiose sand dunes, is the Osiris Temple of Dush. Over 100 funerary chapels of the necropolis ElBagawat, all elaborately decorated, are of early Christian origin. After extensive sightseeing, a bath in the hot thermal springs of Nasser and Bulaq promises to relax the weary traveler, in addition to providing health benefits, particularly the alleviation of rheumatism and allergies.

The center of the New Valley: both modern and full of history

The White Desert


d ed e
All information contained herein is correct at the time of production. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this brochure, the Egyptian Tourist Authority cannot be held liable for any inaccuracy, omission or alteration that may occur. DDB Travel & Tourism 443 247 168 RCS Paris - Andrew OToole / Corbis. Arnaud Chicurel / hemis. fr - Bertrand Gardel / - Bertrand Rieger / Colin Dutton / Corbis - Grand Tour / Corbis. Hesham Labib - Pixtal - Philip & Karen Smith / Getty images. Orascom / Taba Heights. Zefa / Corbis. Cartography: Edigraphie, Rouen. Content: Walter M.Weiss.

A good three hours drive from the coast, rising like a jewel of a mirage, the most remote of Egypts five oases appears out of nowhere in the Western Desert. Where Alexander the Great once received confirmation of his right of rule over Egypt by divine oracle, today over-stressed contemporaries enjoy total solitude. The heart of the 2400 km2 oasis was once the fortress-like ancient town of Shali. The view from its highest point across the clay houses to the glittering lakes on the horizon is stunning. Siwas archaeological highlight is the ruined city of Aghurmi with its two Amun-sanctuaries. Comfort for body and soul means a bath on the island of Fatnis, or in the pearly mineral water of Cleopatras fountain. At the foot of Djebel Dakhrour, relief for rheumatism sufferers is brought about by submersion up to the neck in warm sand. Meanwhile, souvenir hunters search successfully for authentic silver trinkets, pottery and woven ware at the local handicraft market. Nature lovers ride a bike or take a karretta, the donkey cab, to the shady palm-groves and watch the colorful multitudes of rare birds on the lake shores. Especially attractive for those interested in ancient customs are the Siwa Museum and the annual festival for the date harvest in October. Perhaps the closest you come to nature in Siwa is by spending your nights staying in one of the splendid eco-lodges for which Siwa in recent years has gained fame.

Where the Gods once blessed Alexander the Great

Alexandria Aswan Bahariyya Oasis Cairo Dahab El Gouna El Quseir Fayoum Oasis Giza Hurghada Luxor Marsa Alam Nuweiba Sharm el-Sheikh Siwa Oasis Suez Taba

1466 260 1276 1242 1544 770 723 1331 1234 762 442 562 1753 1390 1563 1090 1396

1206 587 224 804 677 825 321 216 685 1024 958 734 658 590 358 664

1146 982 1210 510 458 826 982 502 182 302 1206 1130 1528 830 1136

363 943 816 972 452 355 824 964 1284 865 789 387 497 803

610 453 509 103 8 504 721 630 670 772 750 134 440

704 852 611 522 712 1027 985 70 85 1330 340 140

148 458 412 8 328 281 699 619 1203 319 625

605 675 140 240 133 847 767 1591 467 772

97 473 651 971 611 531 839 231 501

469 800 741 518 442 742 142 448

327 273 707 627 1211 327 633

320 1023 947 1351 647 953

980 900 1671 600 906

180 1252 382 70

1184 300 225

884 1190


Please note that this chart displays rough distances

The Holy Familys trip through Egypt

Mary and Joseph spent four years with Jesus in the Land of the Nile in order to escape persecution at the hands of King Herod. Their Flight to Egypt has served as a chief inspiration for much Christian art. Many believers from all over the world still follow the Holy Familys path from the Eastern Delta to Cairo, into Wadi el-Natroun, and up the Nile to the region of Mallawi and Asyut. Like the beads of a rosary, the hiding and resting places of the three refugees, and the numerous grand old Coptic churches and monasteries that were built in the sites where they sheltered, form a tightly strung chain of sites, all well worth a visit. Such pilgrim journeys, for which numerous organizers offer their services, impart to each participant a lasting impression of Egypts immensely rich cultural heritage from earliest Christian times.

Following the footsteps of the Holy Family through Egypt

Holy Family