Seven Wonders Of A Holiday In Egypt
By Kieron Sellens
The Seven Wonders of the World, as recorded by the Greek historian Herodotus, were the “see before you die” sights of the Ancient World; the Colossus of Rhodes, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and many other strange and wonderful sights. Today, they are all destroyed except for one – the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Since it lays claim to the only remaining Wonder and it remains the number one destination for holidays in North Africa, it only seems appropriate to list the seven present day wonders of a holiday to Egypt, from beautiful beaches to sites of amazing historical significance…
The Archaeological Museum at Cairo
In a country that is famed for its archaeological wonders, it is no surprise that Egypt’s capital contains one of the finest archaeological museums in the world. Home to over 120,000 ancient artefacts, including the death mask of Tutankhamen and a number of mummies, it is one of the real highlights of a holiday in Egypt.
The Beaches on the Red Sea
Not only is Egypt a place to see ancient sights, it has become renowned as a beach destination. The stunning beaches at Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh are popular with families and couples alike, and the resort hotels are amongst the finest in the country.
Walking Up Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai is steeped in history. Located in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, it is believed by many to be the Biblical mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments, it has become a significant pilgrimage site for Christians and Jews. The monastery of St Catherine’s at the foot of the mountain contains numerous relics and artefacts, but it is the walk up to the top of the mountain that is the real attraction here. The view from the top offers stunning views out over the monastery and the Sinai desert, and you can even pay a visit to Moses’ Cave, where the leader of the Israelites is alleged to have waited for the Commandments to be delivered to him.
Valley of the Kings
This ancient burial ground for the Kings of Egypt, located near Luxor, is one of the most unforgettable sights in North Africa. Holidays here are justly popular, with visitors treated to over sixty ancient tombs, including the famous burial site of Tutankhamen.
The Nile is the main artery of Egypt, the fertile source of life in the country which has allowed civilisation to thrive in the midst of a truly inhospitable environment. Most of the main destinations in the country are located along the coast of the Nile, and one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time on a holiday to Egypt is on a luxury cruise on the Nile.
Diving in the Red Sea
Egypt truly is a scuba divers Mecca, with countless outstanding dive sights around the Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. Colourful reefs, tropical fish and underground coral caves are just some of the sights to see in this underwater paradise. Recommended dive sites include Soma Bay and Shark Bay (don’t worry, the latter dive site doesn’t live up to its name!)
The Pyramids at Giza
Of course, the only surviving Wonder has to top the present day list! Perhaps the most famous archaeological sight in the world, these tombs for Pharaohs remain the essential place to visit on a holiday to Egypt. The dramatic Sol et Luminat show, held each night at the Giza Pyramids, remains a firm favourite with many visitors – a stunning sound and light show, narrated by Omar Sharif, it is the perfect way to truly appreciate the last remaining Wonder of the World.
Kieron Sellens is the marketing manager of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AiTO). With Egypt holidays from AITO, you can tailor-make the dream trip abroad.