Egypt is a land of magnificent temples and monuments, hieroglyphs telling tales of early civilizations, mummies preserved by pyramids and tombs, including the majestic Great Pyramids of Giza, towering above all, as they point to the stars. A medieval heritage is revealed in ancient churches, monasteries and mosques, representing both Coptic Christianity and Islam. Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us.


  • Marvel at the magnificence of The Great Pyramids and Sphinx.
  • Travel to Luxor to view the Karnak Temple – a mammoth complex of temples, chapels, pylons, and obelisks.
  • Venture over to the Valley of the Kings, the burial site of almost all the pharaohs of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties.
  • Cruise the Nile in luxury with stops to visit temples and monuments at Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Esna along the way.
  • Fly to Abu Simbel to view the magnificent Temple of Ramses, originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC,
  • Visit the Catacombs of Kom Ash-Suqqafa and the Great Library of Alexandria – one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world.
Gateway city: Cairo
Best time to travel: September through April


Lining the banks of the Nile River, with a total population in excess of 16 million people, the capital city of Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa and the Middle East and the 19th largest city in the world. Its history is preserved in the walled medieval Islamic city and Coptic sites in Old Cairo, such as the Citadel and the Mohammed Ali Mosque and the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar. The Egyptian Museum, located in the center of the modern city, houses countless Ancient Egyptian artifacts. The magnificent Sphinx guards the Great Pyramids at Giza, and at Saqqara, you will see the first step pyramid that was built.


The window onto the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria is the country’s largest seaport and second-largest city. It is a city rich with history having witnessed many historic events and legends. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, it was once the capital of the Greco-Roman Egypt, and a few remaining Greek restaurants and cafés still dominate the cultural scene. French-style parks and the occasional French street sign survive as a legacy of Napoleon, one of Alexandria’s many conquerors. The original Lighthouse of Alexandria built in the 3rd century BC was among the highest structures in the world, second only to the Great Pyramids. The Library of Alexandria was the largest library of the ancient world and the place where great philosophers and scientists of that age came to seek knowledge.


Overlooking the Nubian occupied Elephantine Island, Aswan’s skyline is dominated by the Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. Filled with many treasures and interesting places to see, it is home of many granite quarries from which most of the Obelisks seen in Luxor were sourced. The Nubian Museum traces the history of the Nubian region from pre-historic times up to the construction of the Aswan Dam in the 1960s and the consequent flooding of Nubia. The Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk, carved directly out of bedrock standing at 120 feet. The Philae Temple, built to honor Isis, was the last ancient temple built in the classical Egyptian architectural style. It was moved from Philae Island to its new location on Agilkia Island, after the flooding of Lake Nasser. The souqs, offering high quality Nubian handicrafts, are a great place to shop without the level of high-pressure selling found in other places.


The name of “Luxor” means “Palaces” and as the dynastic and religious capital of the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom Egypt, deserves that name. Vast temples, ancient royal tombs, spectacular desert and river scenery, and a bustling modern life straddle both sides of the Nile River. On the East Bank, you will find the town, the Luxor Temple, the Temple of Karnak, The Museum, and hotels and restaurants. The West Bank is the location of the major ruins including Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and other important sites; the Western Valley ruins, and a few hotels.


At a bend in the Nile River, at the end of an irrigated, agricultural valley of sugar cane and corn, lies Kom Ombo, one of the most spectacular settings of any of Egypt’s river temples. The temple here is unique because it is in fact a double temple, dedicated to two Gods – Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus, the falcon-headed god, each one with its own gateways and chapels.


Saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser in the 1960s, as each stone cube was carefully relocated, Abu Simbel, a complex of temples dedicated to the Pharaoh Ramsis II “the Great” remains an evocative and unforgettable destination. Archaeologists believe that the immense sizes of the statues were intended to scare potential enemies as they approached the southern region.