Egypt is an ancient and exotic country, steeped in history and filled with many of the world’s most impressive ancient sites. It is also a land famous for its glorious sunshine. Today, that makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations on Earth, and one of the best ways to see it is by river cruise along the Nile.
1. The Nile Itself
The Nile is one of the most historical parts of Egypt. Its fertile banks and steady water supply were crucial in allowing one of history’s greatest civilizations to spring up. It is also the longest river in the world, and although it has been known about for thousands of years it is only relatively recently that anybody was able to find its source. This vast, beautiful ribbon of glistening water, flanked on either side by the finest Egyptian scenery, would be worth cruising along even if it weren’t for the other advantages to seeing Egypt by water.
Luxor, also known by its ancient name of Thebes, is often described as “the world’s greatest open air museum.” It is a great city full of ancient monuments, temples, and tombs. The Temple of Luxor is a particular highlight. It is one of the greatest and most breath-taking ancient buildings in the world. It was first built nearly 3,500 years ago, and was added to and expanded by countless later generations of Pharoahs, Romans, Christians and Muslims to become the impressive site it is today. It is a place of towering columns and incredible statues, and is one of the fine sites that awaits people on a Nile cruise.
3. The Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is another gem that can be seen on a Nile cruise. It is among the most popular and impressive parts of Egypt to visit. The Valley of the Kings is so called because it is the resting place of many of Egypt’s most powerful and famous pharaohs. Perhaps most famous of all, this includes the long sought-after tomb of King Tutankhamen, which caused a sensation when it was finally discovered in the 1920s. Impressive chambers, complex networks of corridors, and beautiful hieroglyphics and wall-art await visitors to the tombs. The extraordinary scenery that can be admired from the outside is a bonus, too.
Here you can admire the greatest feats of ancient and modern Egypt side-by-side. The unfinished obelisk gives a rare glimpse into the building process of ancient monuments, by seeing one that was abandoned when only half-finished. As far as more recent feats of building go, it is home to the great, modern Aswan High Dam. And most incredible of all, on the island of Agilika stands the Philae Temple. This huge temple, dedicated to Isis, contains an amazing 40,000 blocks of stone and is estimated to weigh a colossal 20,000 tonnes. Nearly as impressive is the fact that it was actually moved to its current location from its ancient site in 1972, a vast project which saved it from being flooded on completion of the dam.
5. Luxury Accommodation
Of course, all these amazing sites are among the the main reasons to visit Egypt. But it certainly adds a whole new dimension to your holiday when you can stay in luxurious comfort between excursions. And this big bonus is certainly offered on a Nile cruise. More than just a ship, you can sail on a luxury floating hotel with extensive, state-of-the-art amenities such as swimming pool, sporting facilities, and a menu of great international food.
There are plenty of reasons to see Egypt. That’s why thousands visit the country every year. But while any trip is likely to be memorable, a Nile cruise is definitely one of the best choices you can make.