Where to base yourself when visiting Egypt

2019-01-09 05:58
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"Felucca boats take sail on the River Nile at Aswa

(Photo: iStock)

The land of the pharaohs is magnificent for the grandeur with which Egyptians pays homage to both life and death.   

Key attractions undoubtedly include the pyramids in Cairo to the temples and tombs in Luxor - earning the North African destination the title as a fascinating, timeless land.

Not without its conflict, Egypt's tourism levels took a considerable dip in the aftermath of the Arab Spring which started in 2011. However the destination remains relatively safe, with authorities aiming to ease security concerns.  

Here are the five main cities you should know about when heading to this ancient land:

Top cities in Egypt:

Cairo

Cairo is a magnificent, chaotic, history-rich, beautiful mess. A mega-city with filled with the constant buzz, dust and noise of over 9 million inhabitants is a must-see when visiting Egypt.

Located in one of the world's most iconic locations along the Nile Delta, the city has throughout history been the site of the country's political, cultural and historical life.

Today, it is a place of amazing physical contrast with its well-irrigated shoreline and lush vegetation being offset by a landscape beset with tall skyscrapers and other modern developments. This truly is a city where old and new co-exist. To the southwest stand the Pyramids of Giza while an obelisk marks the northeast. If you're looking for a tour through time in a city - try Cairo.

Luxor

Characterised by many a traveller and travel guide alike as the ‘world’s greatest open-air museum’, Luxor offers travellers a virtual cornucopia of historical monuments to gaze on at in wonder and awe.

With temple complexes within the contemporary city and monuments and royal tombs across the River Nile - there is no lack for site-seeing over here.  Beyond this, there is spectacular desert and river scenery alongside a bustling modern life to enjoy in Luxor.

Alexandria

Egypt’s second-largest city is a magnificent mixture of influences with a fascinating history. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town circa 332 BC by Alexander the Great by the Mediterranean.

With ancient history, museums, libraries as well as resorts, wonderful beaches and modern buildings - Alexandria is a great place to enjoy the multi-faceted complexity of Egypt today.

Aswan

Located in the south of Egypt, Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile. This is definitely one of the more leisurely destinations in Egypt so you'll not want to rush about here.

The river is wide, listless and picturesque here, flowing gently down from Lake Nasser around and by granite boulders and islands topped with palm trees.

Sharm El Sheikh

This resort town between the Red Sea and the desert of the Sinai Peninsula is renowned for its sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life and fine, crystal-clear waters.

There are ample places to enjoy a good meal and drink in the palm-topped Naama Bay promenade. Offering traveller sun-and-sea holidays, family-friendly fun and world-class diving - Sharm (as the locals call it) should definitely be on any Egypt itinerary.

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