Egypt

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Egypt GALLERY
2019 2019 Fodor’s Go List Destination
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To say the least, Egypt is rich with temples: soaring lotus-bud columns, enormous stone portals laced with delicate carvings, elaborate underground tombs, windswept desert monasteries, and richly decorated mosques. But as extraordinary as these sights are, they will probably not be the things that linger in your memory after you return home. It is the rhythm of life in Egypt–-from the Mediterranean feel of Alexandria to the electric pace of Cairo to the timelessness of desert villages–-that is unforgettable. In a world that seems to get smaller and more homogeneous by the day, Egypt, outside a few pockets, is still a place that exists for its residents, not its visitors. It is the real thing. As a visitor you will have to learn how to accommodate Egypt and not hope that Egypt, with 5,000 years of momentum behind it, will accommodate you.

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Cairo

On first impression, there is hardly a superlative too extreme to capture the epic scale of this city of some 15 million—or 14, or 16; no one...

Alexandria

There is a wonderful Italo Calvino story about a city so removed from its own history that it is as if the modern metropolis sits on the site...

Luxor

Known in antiquity as Thebes, Luxor takes its name from the Arabic al-Uqsur (the palaces). It is a town that merits both poetry and a grain...

Sharm El-Sheikh

In the mid-1980s, Sharm El-Sheikh, at the Sinai's southern tip, had one hotel, two dive centers, and a snack bar. Today this bustling little...

Aswan

For thousands of years Aswan was the "Southern Gate," the last outpost of the Egyptian empire. Its name comes from the ancient Egyptian swenet...

El Gouna

El Gouna is the dream of an Egyptian businessman who has utterly transformed a secluded bay and its surrounding resources. In 10 years, this...

Hurghada

Hurghada is an old fishing town that became a popular base for diving in the 1960s. As a result of the 1967 war between Egypt and Israel, Hurghada...

Dahab

The drive from Sharm to Dahab snakes through the mountains of south Sinai offering you a peek at the precipitous peaks of the interior. Dahab...

Saqqara

Approached through orchards of waving palm trees, Saqqara is best known for being the site of the earliest stone pyramid constructed in Egypt...

Taba

Taba borders Israel and is a sister city of the Israeli resort town of Eilat. It has been important since biblical times as a stopover for travelers...

The Fayyum

The Fayyum is one of the largest and most fertile of all Egyptian oases, with an overall population of about 2 million people. Unlike the Western...

Interior Lake Nasser Monuments

All of Lake Nasser's interior monuments—those located apart from Aswan and Abu Simbel—can only be visited on a multiday lake cruise. They are...

The Monasteries of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul

Egypt's oldest monasteries stand at the forefront of Christian monastic history. Isolated in the mountains near the Red Sea, they have spectacular...

Bur Sa'id (Port Said)

Seaside Bur Sa‘id is a charming and lively town with a decidedly European feel—and fading glamour from the era of the big ocean liners. Much...

The Wadi Natrun Monasteries

One of the many Egyptian contributions to Christianity was the idea of going off into the wilderness to subject yourself to all manner of deprivation...

Nuweiba

Nuweiba serves as both a crucial Gulf of Aqaba port and a resort with a couple of hotel areas and a quaint town center. Its name means "bubbling...

Al Minya

The best place for a base in Middle Egypt is the city of Al Minya, untouristed until now. Its name has varied only slightly through the millennia...

Abu Simbel: the Temples of Ramses II and Nefertari

Abu Simbel began as a small village of a few houses clustered at some distance from the temples of Abu Simbel. Now it is a lush oasis with hotels...

Ismailiya

Halfway between Bur Sa‘id and Suez, this quaint city on Lake Timsah was founded by and named after Khedive Isma‘il for those working on the...

St. Catherine's Monastery

The very image of the walled monasteries pictured in luxurious medieval tapestries, Saint Catherine's rests at the foot of Mount Sinai, nestled...

El-Quseir

Until the completion of the Suez Canal, el-Quseir was a crucial port, principally because of the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and Middle East...

The Aswan Dams

Two large dams have been built in Egypt to control the flow of the Nile and to preserve its flow for later irrigation of crops. One dates to...

Bur Safaga (Port Safaga)

Like other cities on the Red Sea, this commercial town has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday resort. Like...

Abydos

The East Bank drive from Luxor to Abydos takes you north along the canals and farm roads that form the backbone of rural life in Upper Egypt...

Dahshur

Named for the pinkish limestone of which it is made, the Red (North) Pyramid belonged to the 4th-Dynasty pharaoh Sneferu (2575–2551 BC), father...

al-Kab

Al-Kab, on the East Bank of the Nile, is the site of an impressive though imperfectly preserved town, temple area, and tombs. ...

Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo, a fertile area, is interesting because it supports not only its original Egyptian inhabitants, but also a large Nubian community that...

Dendera

The prime point of interest in Dendera, a small village north of Luxor, is the Temple of Hathor. The countryside along the way is pleasantly...

Beni Hasan

This magnificent cemetery site is on the East Bank of the Nile. ...

Al-Ashmunayn (Hermopolis)

The site features a late-Roman basilica, the only surviving large building of its kind in Egypt, as well as a giant statue of the god Thoth. ...

Philae: The Temple of Isis

Whereas most ancient temples are surrounded by modern habitations, the temple of Philae stands alone on an island a few miles south of Aswan. ...

Esna

The town of Esna enjoyed some notoriety in the 19th century, when quite a number of singers, dancers, prostitutes, and other similar folk were...

New Kalabsha

This rocky island, redolent of fish, is uninhabited save for a few dogs, foxes, and the antiquities guards that care for the temple and monitor...

Abu Sir

Abu Sir is the site of four pyramids—three of which are obvious, the fourth one less so—all dating to the 5th Dynasty (2465–2323 BC), as well...

Jabal Moussa (Mount Sinai)

Mount Sinai rises above Saint Catherine's Monastery to the spot where Moses is supposed to have received the Ten Commandments. ...

Tel el Amarna

Little remains of the magnificent town of Akhetaten, which was founded by the apparently monotheist pharaoh Akhenaton in the late 18th Dynasty. ...

Tuna al-Gebel

Tuna al-Gebel was the necropolis of Hermopolis—a large and scattered site, its focal point being a cluster of Greco-Roman tombs. These tombs...

Ain Sukhna

The waters of Ain Sukhna (the name means "hot spring") originate at Jabal Ataka, a mountain on the Red Sea Coast. The turquoise water is clear...

Edfu

Although the town itself is somewhat dull, Edfu's temple, dedicated to Horus, would make even Cecil B. DeMille gasp. It is the most intact of...

Daraw Camel Market

Known for its Sunday camel market, Daraw is otherwise a hot, dusty, and flyblown place. ...

Memphis

Little is visible of the grandeur of ancient Memphis, save for what is found in the museum and some excavated areas (not open to the public...

Marsa Alam

The far southern enclave of the Egyptian Red Sea Coast, Marsa Alam, has flourished since the opening of an international airport in 2001. The...

Cairo

On first impression, there is hardly a superlative too extreme to capture the epic scale of this city of some 15 million—or 14, or 16; no one...

Alexandria

There is a wonderful Italo Calvino story about a city so removed from its own history that it is as if the modern metropolis sits on the site...

Luxor

Known in antiquity as Thebes, Luxor takes its name from the Arabic al-Uqsur (the palaces). It is a town that merits both poetry and a grain...

Sharm El-Sheikh

In the mid-1980s, Sharm El-Sheikh, at the Sinai's southern tip, had one hotel, two dive centers, and a snack bar. Today this bustling little...

Aswan

For thousands of years Aswan was the "Southern Gate," the last outpost of the Egyptian empire. Its name comes from the ancient Egyptian swenet...

El Gouna

El Gouna is the dream of an Egyptian businessman who has utterly transformed a secluded bay and its surrounding resources. In 10 years, this...

Hurghada

Hurghada is an old fishing town that became a popular base for diving in the 1960s. As a result of the 1967 war between Egypt and Israel, Hurghada...

Dahab

The drive from Sharm to Dahab snakes through the mountains of south Sinai offering you a peek at the precipitous peaks of the interior. Dahab...

Saqqara

Approached through orchards of waving palm trees, Saqqara is best known for being the site of the earliest stone pyramid constructed in Egypt...

Taba

Taba borders Israel and is a sister city of the Israeli resort town of Eilat. It has been important since biblical times as a stopover for travelers...

The Fayyum

The Fayyum is one of the largest and most fertile of all Egyptian oases, with an overall population of about 2 million people. Unlike the Western...

Interior Lake Nasser Monuments

All of Lake Nasser's interior monuments—those located apart from Aswan and Abu Simbel—can only be visited on a multiday lake cruise. They are...

The Monasteries of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul

Egypt's oldest monasteries stand at the forefront of Christian monastic history. Isolated in the mountains near the Red Sea, they have spectacular...

Nuweiba

Nuweiba serves as both a crucial Gulf of Aqaba port and a resort with a couple of hotel areas and a quaint town center. Its name means "bubbling...

The Wadi Natrun Monasteries

One of the many Egyptian contributions to Christianity was the idea of going off into the wilderness to subject yourself to all manner of deprivation...

Bur Sa'id (Port Said)

Seaside Bur Sa‘id is a charming and lively town with a decidedly European feel—and fading glamour from the era of the big ocean liners. Much...

Ismailiya

Halfway between Bur Sa‘id and Suez, this quaint city on Lake Timsah was founded by and named after Khedive Isma‘il for those working on the...

El-Quseir

Until the completion of the Suez Canal, el-Quseir was a crucial port, principally because of the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and Middle East...

The Aswan Dams

Two large dams have been built in Egypt to control the flow of the Nile and to preserve its flow for later irrigation of crops. One dates to...

Abu Simbel: the Temples of Ramses II and Nefertari

Abu Simbel began as a small village of a few houses clustered at some distance from the temples of Abu Simbel. Now it is a lush oasis with hotels...

Al Minya

The best place for a base in Middle Egypt is the city of Al Minya, untouristed until now. Its name has varied only slightly through the millennia...

Abydos

The East Bank drive from Luxor to Abydos takes you north along the canals and farm roads that form the backbone of rural life in Upper Egypt...

Bur Safaga (Port Safaga)

Like other cities on the Red Sea, this commercial town has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday resort. Like...

Dahshur

Named for the pinkish limestone of which it is made, the Red (North) Pyramid belonged to the 4th-Dynasty pharaoh Sneferu (2575–2551 BC), father...

al-Kab

Al-Kab, on the East Bank of the Nile, is the site of an impressive though imperfectly preserved town, temple area, and tombs. ...

Tuna al-Gebel

Tuna al-Gebel was the necropolis of Hermopolis—a large and scattered site, its focal point being a cluster of Greco-Roman tombs. These tombs...

Beni Hasan

This magnificent cemetery site is on the East Bank of the Nile. ...

Al-Ashmunayn (Hermopolis)

The site features a late-Roman basilica, the only surviving large building of its kind in Egypt, as well as a giant statue of the god Thoth. ...

Edfu

Although the town itself is somewhat dull, Edfu's temple, dedicated to Horus, would make even Cecil B. DeMille gasp. It is the most intact of...

Esna

The town of Esna enjoyed some notoriety in the 19th century, when quite a number of singers, dancers, prostitutes, and other similar folk were...

Philae: The Temple of Isis

Whereas most ancient temples are surrounded by modern habitations, the temple of Philae stands alone on an island a few miles south of Aswan. ...

Abu Sir

Abu Sir is the site of four pyramids—three of which are obvious, the fourth one less so—all dating to the 5th Dynasty (2465–2323 BC), as well...

New Kalabsha

This rocky island, redolent of fish, is uninhabited save for a few dogs, foxes, and the antiquities guards that care for the temple and monitor...

Tel el Amarna

Little remains of the magnificent town of Akhetaten, which was founded by the apparently monotheist pharaoh Akhenaton in the late 18th Dynasty. ...

Jabal Moussa (Mount Sinai)

Mount Sinai rises above Saint Catherine's Monastery to the spot where Moses is supposed to have received the Ten Commandments. ...

Ain Sukhna

The waters of Ain Sukhna (the name means "hot spring") originate at Jabal Ataka, a mountain on the Red Sea Coast. The turquoise water is clear...

Dendera

The prime point of interest in Dendera, a small village north of Luxor, is the Temple of Hathor. The countryside along the way is pleasantly...

Memphis

Little is visible of the grandeur of ancient Memphis, save for what is found in the museum and some excavated areas (not open to the public...

Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo, a fertile area, is interesting because it supports not only its original Egyptian inhabitants, but also a large Nubian community that...

Daraw Camel Market

Known for its Sunday camel market, Daraw is otherwise a hot, dusty, and flyblown place. ...

Marsa Alam

The far southern enclave of the Egyptian Red Sea Coast, Marsa Alam, has flourished since the opening of an international airport in 2001. The...

The Sinai Peninsula and Red Sea Coast

For centuries, European traders and Arab merchants had to sail around the Cape of Good Hope to travel east to Asia from Europe and the Mediterranean...

Western Desert Oases

A few hundred years ago the only outsiders interested in Egypt's oases were occasional desert raiders bent on stealing the fruits from the orchards...

The Nile Valley and Luxor

The ultimate proof of Herodotus's claim that "Egypt is a gift of the Nile" is visible on a flight from Cairo to Upper Egypt. From the air the...

Aswan and Lake Nasser

Egyptians today take for granted modern control of the Nile: they open their faucets complacently, even if they don't always obtain the desired...

Side Trips from Cairo

In order that the living could view the grandeur of the dead god-kings—and, in many cases, be buried alongside them—ancient Egyptians used the...

The Theban Necropolis

At the edge of cultivated land across the Nile from what the ancients called Thebes—the City of 100 Gates—lies their City of the Dead, arguably...

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