About Egypt

CAIRO is a City of Contrasts

Cairo is the sleepless city, the metropolitan, the contrast, the richness, the poverty, the well-organized, and the chaos. Cairo is the world’s 3rd largest capital with approximately 28 million inhabitants (this figure includes the slum areas and day travelers from nearby cities). But still bears the city a feel and a scent of 1001 night fairy tale with a unique combination of 5,000 years of history. Blended with the exotic East and the civilized western new fashion, Islamic minarets and Coptic Church towers. Dimensions are unimaginable – from the Great Pyramids to the city’s scope.

Cairo, the victorious city, Egypt’s glorious capital, cradle of culture and religion guardian. It is the largest city in the Middle East and all of Africa, it is also the hub of the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe with its great trade business since the ancient days. The greater Cairo extends to the Nile River banks in Delta’s southern part. Here, the Nile into two outlets: Rosetta and Damietta.

This is the city where past and present meet. In the eastern part, there is visible evidence of the still thriving 2,000 year old Islamic, Christian and Jewish culture. In the western part is Memphis (Giza), the old empire famous capital of the pyramids that is one of the few monuments remaining of the ancient world’s seven wonders.

A journey through Cairo is like a journey through an immortal culture. Cairo is a safe city, you can confidently throw yourself out into the street life, walk around the ancient alleyways and sniff around the exotic, colorful markets. People are both happy and helpful. If you manage to steer away from the most fussy “tourist sharks “you will find that the rest of the “calm shop owner people” are both friendly and interested to get you what you desire.

Egyptians are known for their integrity and hospitality, so if you are interacting with the locals, you will be overwhelmed with the invitations to their homes, or their kind offerings of food. Unlike the Western culture of being afraid of foreigners, local Egyptians are innocently inviting tourists to their home. If you feel uncomfortable with that interacting, simply say “no thanks” with a smile, they will understand.

Giza Pyramids

The 4500 year old pyramids of Giza, are the biggest and one of the most visited cultural heritage attractions in the whole world. The mystery of the Pyramids have, to this day, puzzled generation after generation of archaeologists and researchers. Although Egypt has more than 90 Pyramids, four or five of them are the most visited. This can give us indications of how those Pyramids look like in comparison to those of Giza, Dahshur Bent Pyramids, and worlds first stone constructed Sakkara step Pyramid. The three Giza Pyramids are the most well known and visited as we mentioned. The Pyramids were built from 2860 BC until the 2450 BC. Cheops Pyramid is the greatest and highest of the three.

It took almost 23 years to build the 146 meters high and 230 meters x 250 square meters. Cheops Pyramid  has 2.3 million blocks of stone that weigh between two to nine tons. Kefren’s pyramid was opened in 1818 and Pharaoh Kefren’s large granite sarcophagus is still in the burial chamber inside the Pyramid. If we look at the three Pyramids from a distance, we could see that Kefren’s Pyramid is the highest; that is because it is situated at the cliff of a plateau.

Mykerinos Pyramids is the smallest of the three Giza pyramids; it is only 66 meters high and was built about 2480 B.C. By the front of Kefrens pyramid burial temple is the Sphinx with its 70 meter long and 20 meter high lion body and human head.

These three pyramids are surrounded by several smaller pyramids belonging to royal families and high officials from the ancient times. At the Cheops pyramid, was a Sun boat found in good condition in 1954, and is today, a museum in front of the Cheops Pyramid. This boat is made of cedar wood.Maybe the Pharaoh would use this on a journey with the Sun God Ra. There are thousands of theories.

Sound and light shows at the pyramids every night  is an experience rarely forgotten. There are many others given in different languages and cultures.

Visit inside the Cheops Pyramid : check with your guide. PS: Extra Ticket for entrance to all pyramids. See link for photos & Times of tours: http://www.soundandlight.com.eg


The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian museum is the most comprehensive in the world. You will hold your breath for the impressive collection of treasures from 3,000 BC, which holds over 1 million objects. Here we meet the most famous pharaohs and learn about their life and art. The 7 cm high statue of Pharaoh Cheops, the great pyramid builder. The 10 meter high statue of Pharaoh Amenofis 3 and his Queen Teje.

In 1922, Howard Carter found a king’s tomb that was built for a young and less important pharaoh – Tut Ankh Amon. His grave is the only one that has not been plundered by grave robbers. Today he is known throughout the world because of their burial treasures that we get to see just in this museum. Here are the world’s most expensive gold treasures. His beautiful funeral mask and two of his three sarcophagus. All gorgeously covered by gold leaf and lapiz  lazuli. His weapons, chairs, chests, lamps, chess, sandals, and jewelry can be admired here.

It is also possible to see 11 extracted royal mummies located in a special chamber. The chamber includes Ramses 2nd and his father Seti 1st’s tombs.

Citadel Fortess and Mohamed Ali Mosque

Cairo’s second most powerful landmark for the pyramids and the great fortress citadel.  Salah el Din built the citadel in 1100. Inside this area, Mohamed Aly built the beautiful alabaster mosque which was completed in 1856. It is one of the most beautiful mosques in Cairo, also called the city of the thousand minarets. From the top of the Citadel, you can look out over the city. Mohamed Aly ruled the country in the 1800s and built, among other things, railways, schools, and water systems. The Citadel campus also has four other ancient mosques and the great military museum, showing war with Israel from 1967 to 1972


Khan El Khallili Bazaar

Khan El Khallili Bazaar is one of the Middle East’s most famous and largest bazaar (souk). This was built by Prince Al Garka Khallili in 1382, and looks the same today as it did then. The bazaar is surrounded by magnificent mosques, many cafes and festivities taking place 24 hours a day. Cairo is a city that never sleeps, it is said. Near the bazaar is Al Azhar mosque and university built in the 900 ‘s AD and is the oldest university in the world

 

Old Cairo

In the district of “Old Cairo”, we find Egypt’s oldest churches dating back to the 5th century A.D.  Abu Sarga is the oldest church in Egypt and was constructed over the crypt the Holy Family stayed for three weeks during their escape in Egypt.

According to a biblical narration by evangelist Matthew (Chapter 2), Virgin Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus fled from Palestine to Egypt out of fear from the persecution of the Jewish King Herod the Great. The Holy Family traveled as far as Assiut (“Deir el Muharraq”) and on their way back home spent some weeks in Old Cairo.

Abu Sarga is dedicated to the two Saints Sergius and Bacchus who served as soldiers in the Roman Army. They were faithful followers of the Lord Jesus and refused to worship the Roman gods. For their Christian belief, Sergius and Bacchus eventually suffered martyrdom in Syria in 296 during the reign of the Roman Emperor Maximinus. Their relics are partly kept in Abu Sarga and others are buried in Syria. Abu Sarga is based on a basilican structure once kept Egypt’s oldest altar which was transferred to the Coptic Museum.

Al Moallaqa Church is also referred to as the Suspended Church or the Hanging Church. It is called the Hanging Church because it was built on the southern gate of the Roman Fortress. Logs of palm trees and layers of stones were constructed above the ruins of the Roman fortress to be used as a fundament. The Hanging Church is a unique church and has a wooden roof in the shape of Noah’s ark. From the 7th century to the 13th century, the Hanging Church served as the residence of the Coptic Patriarch. Al-Moallaqa has witnessed important elections and religious ceremonies.

The famous miracle of moving the Moqattam Mountain is closely related to al-Moallaqa. Al-Mu’izz, a Fatimid khaliph, asked Patriarch Abraham (975-978), the 62nd Patriarch, to prove the truth of a verse in the Bible. Al-Mu’izz asked Patriarch Abraham to move the Moqattam Mountain in order to prove the words of the gospel “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain: Remove from hence to yonder place, and it shall remove“ (Matthew 17-20).

After three days of praying and fasting in front of the painting of the Virgin Mary depicted on a column in al-Moallaqa, the Virgin Mary appeared to Patriarch Abraham in a vision and told him what to do. The painting of the Virgin Mary exists in the church to this day. Al-Mu’izz was convinced of the truth of the Christian belief and allowed the Coptic Church certain privileges.

LUXOR
World biggest open museum; it has more than 35% of the world heritage. Everywhere in Luxor you will find a peace of history from 3,000 years and back, with old temple fortresses, pylons, obelisks, gigantic statues and rocks. Here you will meet farmers on donkeys back in the green fields and camels, buffalos working around the water wells. An overwhelming smell of exotic spices rising up from the ground, and in the far you will hear the muezzin’s prayer for the day.

LUXOR is the farinose capital in ancient time; it was called”Thebes” or “the city of a hundred gates “. Take a walk through history, see and feel the mystery of the Ancient Egyptians tombs, experience the huge temples, explore the exotic bazaar, and enjoy the sunset over the Nile, the mountains, the green sugar-cane fields and the golden desert – where Egypt is most beautiful.

Luxor was once the world’s largest religious center with around one million inhabitants. Now home to around 250,000 people in the city, and most live off of tourists. It was the Arabs who called the city of Luxor (with its surroundings), which means “palaces”. The Nile divides the city into two sides: east and west. On the eastern shore, lies the city center and the magnificent temples. On the west bank, lies villages and tombs of the ancient Pharaohs and noble families.

In the bazaars area you are advised to adopt the Egyptian bargaining culture – This will be one of the most exciting moments of the entire trip. You may offer 25% of the price which will be your best offer.. Another local experience to do; a romantic sail on the Nile on a traditional sailing boat called ” felucca ” belong. The classic way to see the city also is to take a tour in a horse carriage. Several restaurants offer evening entertainment and belly dancers.

VALLEY of the KINGS 

The “dead man’s land” – Valley of the Kings. West Bank of the Nile was considered as the dead land at the Pharaonic era. Here is where the Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty dug their tombs behind the mountain. The way to those tombs was top secret and was kept by the tomb builders and the highest priest. Those tombs were mainly to preserve the Pharaohs’ body for the journey of after-life. The tombs were filled with magic spells, colorful images and treasures. Despite numerous raids, they are still amazingly beautiful with their deep burial shafts where walls and ceilings are covered with paintings, reliefs and mysterious hieroglyphs. We cross the Nile, driving over the new bridge to get to the once secret and sacred place where Egypt’s greatest rulers were laid to rest. During your visit to the Valley of the Kings, we visit three tombs that are included on our excursion ticket. Remember to ask your guide about the extra enterance fees for the tomb of Tut Ankh Amon.

Among the fifty something tombs in the Valley of the Kings Tut Ankh Amon’s grave is the only one that has been discovered intact and not raided by grave robbers. This tomb is the smallest in the Valley, but the most famous, and all his possessions can be seen in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

VALLEY of the QUEENS
In the Valley there were mostly buried queens and princes, but also nobles and workers have their own necropolis. All graves are over 3,000 years old, but the colors are so clear as if it was yesterday that the painter left his brush strokes on the wall. The most beautiful tomb is the tomb of queen Nefertari the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses 2nd’s favorite wife.
PS: The tomb is closed, and visits has to be pre-booked and prepaid.

QUEEN HATSHEPSUT Terrace Temple

Under the down curve of the mountains the terrace temple of Queen Hatshepsut is located. The temple was designed with three floors so that the Queen can overlook the whole green valley . The stone walls of this temple are the oldest documented slideshow of its time. It depicts the journey of the Egyptian delegation that was sent by the Queen to exchange Egyptian gold with local products from Punt which was located by the Red Sea. On the Terraces she planted a botanical garden with plants she brought home to her father Amon.

Hatshepsut was Egypt’s first female reigning Pharaoh, and she was depicting herself as a male Pharaoh. When she died her son in law had the power and erased her from history by chopping off her name and destroyed all the statues of her. The temple has been renovated by the Polish expedition since 1940.

COLOSSI of MEMNON

Colossi, which is 6 feet high, marked at the time as the entrance to Amenophis III ‘s death temple. But the Nile’s annual flooding through the centuries have long since washed away the remains of the temple itself. The large sandstone colossi representing King himself, When an earthquake in 27 BC gave the northern statue a tear. This elicited a squeaky sound from the statue, and thus arose the legend that it was Memnon who greeted his other when she showed up at the morning sky.

Other excursions on the West Bank:
You can also visit the temples of Ramses 2nd and Ramses 3rd – the Ramesseum and Medinet Habu. Noble tombs at the village of Qurna is the place where Pharaoh, search officials, and priests were buried. Medinet Habu is the burial temple of Ramses 3rd Noble tombs where the key is Nakht, Minna, Ramose and Sennefers graves. Deir el Medina; Here is Amenofis 2.’s temple and shrine that was dedicated to the goddesses Hathor and Maat. Behind the temple is the workers tombs.

The residence where Carter stayed during their excavations and discoveries years transformed into a museum, where there are photographs from the excavations led to the discovery of Tut Ankh Amun’s tomb. One can also see tools that were used then, and some other assets . PS: Only subject to opening’s time regulation by the government antiquities department. Mostly closed.

CRUISING THE RIVER NILE  – Nothing Compared

On NILE CRUISE you enjoy the three meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Nile Cruises have sun deck with swimming pool; however, vary in size, complimentary pool towels, sun beds to relax, and a shaded bar where you can have a seat and order a drink. While sailing between Luxor and Aswan, the cruise offers a 5 PM tea time when you can really enjoy socializing with other groups of tourists on board the cruise. There is also a fully licensed bar with disco type dance floor, laundry and bazaar.

The boat fare includes the three meals, but the drinks are not included. Upon your check in, the boat receptionists will keep your passport in their safety boxes. You will sign for your drinks and upon check out you will pay for those drinks and get your passport.

The boat accepts credit cards, but remember that you are in Egypt, so Egyptian rules are ruling. The boat will add up the percentage that the credit card company will deduct from the amount paid. If this rule is fine with you go ahead and use your credit card. But if you mind find the nearest ATM cash machine and pay your bills in cash.

Excursions:
Nile Cruise Excursion Package includes: English speaking guide, transportation, entrance fees to the following: Valley of the Kings – three tombs (Tut Ankh Amon Tomb is not included), it is optional. Hatshepsut Temple. Karnak and Luxorn temples. Edfu temple and Kom Ombo temple. Philae temple and the High Dam in Aswan.

Disclaimer:
Atlantis Tours reserves the rights of price changing due to entrance fees increase, government override taxes, and fuel price increase.
Pictures are illustration photos from different boats we are using. Cabins, sundeck and size of boat may vary.

Aswan – the Gate to Africa

Aswan – a real African part of Egypt. Aswan has the status of ancient holiday resort because of the warm and dry climate. This is where Egypt ends and the rest of Africa begins. Aswan has a breathtaking atmosphere, and life goes by in a peaceful way.  This is where you meet the proud Nubian people – a people with their own language and culture. Aswan is Egypt’s sunniest town, 25 miles south of Luxor. It is small enough to walk around in and is blessed with a very beautiful location beside the Nile. Here you can relax and stroll along the boardwalk, or watch the sailing boats or sit down at one of the floating- yes, floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish.

The Nile is at its most beautiful in Aswan, where it flows through the golden desert with the green islands with its palm groves and tropical plants next to it. Here you can explore markets with its spice scents, and one can enjoy magnificent sunsets with a cup of tea on the terrace by the venerable Old Cataract Hotel. Aswan, with its unique African atmosphere, has been a favorite retreat in the winter months since the beginning of the 19th century, and it still is. At night you can hear native music and watch dance performances in the cultural center close to the seafront. There, you can see the Nubians use proverbial sticks in their dances.

Aswan is also where the pharaoh got the granite used to build temples, columns and obelisks in most of ancient Egypt. The West bank in Aswan is famous for its golden sand with magical healing properties, and the illuminated Aga Khan Mausoleum. On the East bank is the long Cornish, which is exquisite for an evening stroll. The many horse cabs can take us to the exciting 2 mile long bazaar street, which is famous for its special spices and tea. In Aswan, 560 miles south of Cairo, we find a unique blend of Egyptian, oriental and Sudanese atmosphere. It was also here on the porch of the Old Cataract Hotel that Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel, ” Death on the Nile “.


ASWAN HIGH DAM

It is one of the largest projects built with Russian assistance between 1960 and 1971, to provide electricity and water to the growing Egyptian population. Today the dam supplying Egypt with more power than they can use, and Egypt has therefore become an electricity exporter. The dam is 111 feet high, about 2.5 miles long and nearly a mile wide at the base. Behind the dam is the world’s largest artificial lake – Lake Nasser – extending 345 miles southward, only surrounded by desert.


TEMPLE of GODESS ISIS on PHILAE ISLAND 

On the island Agilika, can see the old famous temple dedicated to the goddess Isis and contains several shrines. The temple was originally situated on the island of Philae, and is one of the many temples which was moved stone by stone by UNESCO in connection with the construction of the huge Aswan dam. The island of Philae is located on the Nile River between the old Aswan dam, built by the English in 1889 and the new Aswan dam that was completed in 1970. You’ll reach the island by a motor boat. The temple was begun by the Greeks in 250 BC and completed in the year 111 AD, and is well known for Trajan pavilion – which has become the symbol of the island.

Other attractions in Aswan:

Elephantine Island has a museum, as well as a Nilometer.

Kitchener Island The botanical garden on Kitchener Island is a tourist attraction with unusual and exotic trees and plants.

The Unfinished Obelisk was carved and sharpened on three sides, while the fourth is still left in the granite mountain. The obelisk is nearly 14 feet long and must have weighed 1,680 tons.

Aga Khan Mausoleum is a very nice specimen of Islamic architecture. Mausoleum was closed for the visit of the Aga Khan’s wife in 1996.

St. Simeon Monastery from 500 AD can be reached either on foot or by camel, and has well-preserved frescos in basilikan (building type from antiquity)

Kalabsha Temple was also moved from its original place with other Nubian monuments. The temple dating from the Roman Emperor Octavius Augustus ‘ time and was dedicated to the local god of fertility Mandulis.

Beit el Wali temple The ruins if Beit el Wali temple are located about 30 feet from the Temple of Kalabsha.

The Nubian Museum is an exciting and interesting museum that opened in 1997 and has approximately 5,000 artifacts from the Egyptian, Coptic and Islamic Museums in Cairo and from excavations in Nubia. The museum is large and very modern, well worth a visit.

 

RED SEA

There are many beautiful recreational places in the world where you can see in scenic views, they fall short when compared to the Red Sea.

This Sea extends from the Suez canal in the north-east of Egypt and down south until it meets the Ocean. It is well known for its corals and war history. The temperature varies between the summer and winter, but still one of the best recreational areas in the world. Once you hit the road to the Red Sea from Cairo, you will see the chain of mountains that overlook the Red Sea. Hurghada is the first destination from the east side of Egypt. Read more about Hurghada on its page.

If you continue south with the Red Sea on your left hand side, you will hit Safaga which is one of the main ports in Egypt. Safaga has been the link point between Egypt and Saudia Arabia’s port Deba. The pilgrim’s ceremony when the Muslims visit Mecca city once a year has promoted this great port as a hub point. In the last two decades many international cruise lines has been docking in Safaga and passengers could take the chance to visit the Great city of Luxor with its monuments.

Leaving Safaga heading south you hit Quseir (also called Al Quseir or El Quseir) It has been a port for the minerals that are exported to Europe and other continents. This small city offers a unique atmosphere; it takes your imagination to the time when the Pharaohs had exchanged goods with other foreign countries. If you are in Quseir, it is recommended that you shut off your phone and enjoy the calmness of the area.

Continue south, you will hit the next and last city on the coast of the Red Sea, Marsa Alam. Between Quseir and Marsa Alam is the airport called Marsa Alam airport.

HURGHADA

Hurghada was founded in the early 1900s. Just a few years ago, Hurghada was a small fishing village, but today it appears the city as the most attractive tourist destination on the Red Sea.
Holiday paradise stretching over the 25 km long white shoreline, is an international center for sports and recreational divers. The small fishing village Hurghada is grown to become a
major destination for sun worshipers and winter tourists.

Hurghada is primarily a seaside resort and the nightlife and other entertainment options are very limited. However, in the bazaars, you will find both carpets and gold jewelry and there are many cozy cafes where you can enjoy a traditional Sisha (Hoka bars) and Shei (water pipe and tea). Although Hurghada has become a major tourist destination, it still retains much of its local. There are also plenty of diving clubs with skilled instructors if you want to obtain a diving certificate.

If you want a diversion, there are many other activities; camel or jeep safari to the Bedouins in the desert, bike riding quad runner or motorcycle tours, u-boat to the seabed, sailing, windsurfing, boat excursions, paddle boats, rock climbing and excursions to a nearby monastery. In Hurghada you can dive, snorkel, sail, fish, water-ski and go desert safaris. It is very popular to go for a walking safari, where you drive a motorcade, take a glass boat – excursion etc. The crystal clear warm waters are ideal for many unique colorful fish and corals.

Seaside holiday has an exciting range of all facilities, including cafes, restaurants, shops, golf courses and famous international hotel chains, etc.
Do not miss the museum and aquarium with their fascinating collection of Red Sea fauna and flora. Today Hurghada is known as a party town, particularly among Europeans. Local and others to tell you that life which begins after midnight. Hurghada never sleeps.

 

SHARM EL SHEIK

A place where your heart will be lost. You may have been in many wonderful places, but Sharm has a unique advantages as a recreational area. The Red Sea with its moderate warm year around temperature adds to Sharm unique location the advantage of being suitable as a holiday resort area 365 days of the year.

The advantage of being approximately one hour-flight to Cairo and less than half an hour to Luxor makes Sharm one very unique Sea side destination.

On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula lies the seaside resort of Sharm el Sheik between the Aqaba Gulf and Suez Bay. The old fishing village that became world famous because of the incredibly beautiful coral reefs. There are opportunities for cave diving and the many wrecks can be visited on the ocean floor, a huge fall just below the rock face below the water surface .

Sharm el Sheik is a lovely holiday destination no matter whether to snorkel, dive or end a culture tour with a few days of relaxation on the Red Sea. Sharm is also known for its sulfur springs that will have healing effect on rheumatism and skin diseases.

Sinai, at the crossroads between Africa and Asia, has been crossed by people in millennia as the pilgrim roads and old karavnestier. Among high granite mountains, flat desert plains are sacred places , pilgrim camps and military deployments. Sinai is associated with gods, ancient warriors and biblical events. Here Moses received the Ten Commandments, here wandered Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus fleeing from King Herod, here fought Alexander the Great, here came the goddess Isis in search of Osiris and the Pharaohs gold.

To those green oases are still Bedouins with their camels and cattle to quench your thirst, as they have done since time immemorial.

Red Sea paradise is known to be a symbol for the 3S; sun, sea and sand. Sharm El Sheikh was originally a Bedouin fishing village, Today with its luxury hotels and the unique water sports and shopping opportunities as the most modern resort in Egypt. The city is surrounded by wonderful beaches and the colorful Sinai Mountains. Sharm El Sheikh has great restaurants, bazaars, casinos, discos, bars, cafes, golf courses etc.

Ras Mohammed
In 1983, Ras Mohammed declared the first national park in Egypt. In this underwater paradise of live coral that is between 115,000 0g 200,000 years old. It has an unusually rich and varied aquatic life and beautiful corals, sharks, turtles, dolphins, morays and thousands of different colorful fish with different looks. You will never forget diving or snorkeling in this nature reserve. There is also the northernmost mangrove forest.

Beduins
Since ancient Egypt Sinai – Peninsula was populated by nomads. The word Bedouin tribes from the Arabic ” badayah ” meaning desert. Today Bedouins in Sinai is divided into different tribes that have different rules and traditions. Each tribe is ruled by a sheikh. Some Bedouins still live in tents, but most have acquired normal residence. In addition to the camel, goat and sheep farming has begun Bedouins tourism activities, desert safari, camel riding and Bedouin dinner.

Moses Mountain (Mount Sinai)
A perfect excursion is Moses Mountain where it is said that Moses received the tablets with the 10 commandments of God. It is very popular to climb the 2,285 meter high mountain on steep mountain trails at night to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain. On top of the mountain we find the Trinity Chapel.

In the valley below is the Greek Orthodox St. Catherine Monastery which has 1,600 years of history and is the world’s oldest functioning monastery, famous for its historical icons and fonts. In here we also find “The burning bush ” from the Bible story, and a room where the dead monks’ bones are kept at school for the general public.

PS: Open daily 0900-1200, except Friday and Saturday as well as Christian holidays. Free admission.

AL QUSEIR

is an old port city 120 km south of Hurghada. It has been central to trade on the Red Sea in millennia.

Today, Al Quseir is one of the most special places in Egypt; Here, you can actually dive into the Red Sea, or spend the afternoon relaxing and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches. If you want to sight see a little bit, there are many amazing historical places to visit.

It is the city’s location, 85 km south of Safaga, 140 km south of Hurgada, which made it one of the most strategic port locations by the Red Sea. Nestled at the end of the shortest route from the Nile is old Egypt’s first and most impressive harbor. This route was primarily used by the Egyptians and other Mediterranean people to transport goods to and from remote countries. Most likely, the most famous expedition through ancient Al Quseir Egypt was in the year 1493 BC when Queen Hatshepsut sent her emissaries to the fabled land of Punt.

Punt was a very rich country (compared with previous Ethiopia). Hatshepsut sent her general Senenmet to purchase refined products like myrrh, frankincense, ebony, ivory, and exotic animals.

Ottoman was a flourishing time in the history of Al Quseir. Ottomans felt that it was necessary to protect the city against intruders, so they built a fort , a military stronghold. Later, it was restored by pilgrims bound for Mecca. It was in Al Quseir, Egypt ‘s main departure point for the pilgrims, opposite the Red Sea. Islamic influence can still find much of the city’s architecture, with their wooden terraces and mashrabiyyas. After the Ottoman Period, Napoleon, and later the British, colonized it as a key port . Only the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869 led to the decay of the city. With the crossing of the Mediterranean suddenly made easier, Al Quseir Egypt lost its prominent role as a link between the Occident and the Orient.

Today, most residents have changed their activities from industrial and fishing, to tourism. The narrow streets of the town is a perfect place for colorful bazaars which have a Bedouin flavor (metaphorically speaking). The winter months are a perfect time to explore all the ancient historical sites, most with easy accessibility. Al Quseir ‘s burgeoning tourist industry is definitely an all year round affair. Today the town is a quiet resort with sandy beaches and coral reefs, a perfect destination for deep sea diving.

It has also been an environmentally aware area, and the region’s magnificent reefs are well preserved. Mövenpick, Flamenco Beach Resort, Utopia Beach Club, Mangrove Bay Resort and Fanadir, all  popular diving center, keep Al Quseir environmentally friendly – they train their employees to think about the environment and how they might be affecting it.

Furthermore, since Al Quseir not only a seaside resort but also historically important, local officials are trying to ensure that the heritage is protected. Old buildings built in classic French and British style, with large and wooden balconies, are protected from being sold or demolished. The newly renovated fort now hosts a fascinating visitor center which shows local history, architectures and culture. In addition, There are plenty of interesting tourist attractions around.  Al Quseir offers hotels with SPA and uniqueness of the place is the health-giving golden sand used for sand bath for rheumatism. The town has narrow streets lined with colorful bazaars and a friendly, welcoming population.

MARSA ALAM

Is a virgin Rivera that has not been modified like other destinations. If you are seeking peace, a no party zone with a virgin paradise views in Marsa Alam is the right choice. There have been some hotel constructions by the coast-line, without spoiling the mother nature around. Marsa Alam is a very small city, mainly based on the fishing and tourism activities, but mining has been the main attracting reason for centuries.

This area is under-populated and can be one of the very good benefits to a calm environment. If you chose Marsa Alam as your relaxing holiday, we recommend you to contact us for an update as many of the hotels may change their management staff and administrations, therefore may impact the service level of the hotel.

ALEXANDRIA 

Alexander the Great’s city. Alexandria has always played an important role in the cultural and commercial developments. The city was founded by Alexander the Great 334 B.C. Alexander the Great was also buried in Alexandria which has a unique architect of its foundation time. The city was designed so the streets that cut each other at right angles on a chess game design.

Alexandria was Egypt’s capital and in a short time one of the richest and most magnificent cities. The city has a mixed population structure include, Egyptians, Greeks, Armenian, and Jews. The latter played a large role in the city merchant activities. After Alexander’s death the Egyptian empire was divided between his generals, the Ptolemaic dynasties were founded and ruled the country for nearly 300 years until the Romans invaded Egypt in 30 B.C.

Alexandria is the second largest city after Cairo and Egypt’s main port. The city is located on the Mediterranean Sea and has a very good climate as a summer resort; it is located about 2.5-3 hours driving (depending on traffic) north of Cairo and can be visited as extra excursion from Cairo or as a stay put for some nights. The Sofitel and Sheraton are the two most well known hotels the city offers in five stars category, but there are many other hotels that can be very practical for a stay as short as one or two nights.

It is said that archaeologists found the lost city of Atlantis, which disappeared in the ocean where Cleopatra committed suicide with cobra snake after Marc Anthony lost the battle of Actium, which is Alexandria.

In Alexandria, one can visit the famous fortress named “Quaitbay” built over the spot where the lighthouse Pharos stood, which was once one of the world’s seven wonders. Furthermore Montazah Palace and the Greek catacombs. Pompey’s column as one of the city’s landmarks, which was severed head to Pompeii added after he was killed and his head was given as a gift to Julius Caesar.

Alexandria’s new attraction is the ultra modern library building, designed by the Norwegian architect company “Snøhetta”. The library is located approximately where the old famous library was. The building symbolizes a sun disk that is partially submerged. The outer walls are engraved with letters from all the world’s alphabets and are built of granite from Aswan. The roof is partially made of glass and leans towards the sea to give light to read alone with 2,000 seats in the seven floors.

The ancient library of Alexandria was founded in the year 228 BC but was first destroyed in a fire years 48 BC when Julius Caesar army tried to protect Egypt against Marc Anthony, so they burned Egyptian ships in the harbor to close the road for Marc Anthony, unfortunately the fire spread to the library.


MARSA MATRUH 

The beach is famous for its white soft sands and calm transparent waters, for the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural wave-breaker, with a small opening to allow light vessels in.

This beach dates back to the days of Alexander, the Macedonian, when it was known as “Paraetonium” and also as “Amunia”. It said that Alexander the Great stopped there during his historical expedition to pay tribute, and sacrifice, to the god Amun, at Siwa, so that he becomes Amun’s son and his rule be a historical continuation of the pharaohs. There are ruins of a temple from the time of Ramses 2. (1200 B.C.) in Matrouh.

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