An elite holiday destination
In the race for the title of the world’s top holiday destination, Egypt runs with the elite – more than 12 million tourists flock here every year. But the country has had an advantage. It’s been in training for the best part of 25 centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans started holidaying here as far back as the 4th century BC.
Sun, sea and sand
Today, tourists fall into two camps. On one side of the coin you’ve got the visitors who come for the sun, sea and sand. The resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada dip their toes in the clear waters of the Red Sea. Expect white beaches that stretch out like party streamers, some of the world’s best scuba diving sites, and every watersport you can think of.
On the other side of the penny, you’ve got the history enthusiasts, who turn up here to retrace the footsteps of the pharaohs and ancient gods. In Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, you can see Tutankhamun’s death mask and the mummified remains of ancient kings. Then, just outside the city, you can stand in the shadow of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. In Luxor, meanwhile, you can explore the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Karnak, which is the largest ancient religious site in the world.
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Red Sea and Sinai
Sun, sea and sand top the order of business in the Red Sea and Sinai. The thousands of kilometres of white sand here keep some tourists sunlonger-bound for their entire holiday. And the world-class coral reefs mean that other visitors spend their getaways underwater.
If water could talk, the Nile would have some tales to tell. The longest river in the world was the silent witness to the creation of the world’s first civilised state, the ancient Egyptians believed it was the causeway between life and death and, more recently, it’s carried its fair share of VIPs along its length.