Everyone knows the most famous site in Egypt — the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is often the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Egypt”, after all. But while the Pyramids are spectacular, they are only one small part of the many wonderful things that Egypt has to offer.
In fact, did you know that Egypt has some of the best scuba diving locations in the world? This is just some of the many amazing experiences that you can go through in the country! So in your Egypt Tours, other than seeing the famous things, do also take time to see the lesser known gems that this great nation has. Also, as Christmas time is approaching, you can’t miss Egypt Christmas and New Year’s travel offers during that time.
To start with, here are 6 lesser known, but incredible things that you must see and do in Egypt!
6 Places You Can’t Miss in Egypt
Must-do: take a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Luxor! Come see for yourself why Luxor is the world’s greatest open-air museum. It is also a great introduction to all of the things you can see in the city. Anyhow, the bird’s-eye view allows you to see the impressive size and significant planning that went into the complexes, so it’s quite a sight! The early morning light also adds a lot to this stunning experience as it turns the temples beautiful colors.
» Dendera Temple
You definitely need to take a day trip to Abydos and Dendera, which are located a short way north of Luxor. Besides, these are two of the best preserved and most complete temples from ancient Egypt. Full color is still visible on the walls of these beautiful temples and Abydos is interestingly enough, the burial location of the ancient god of the underworld. The temple was built by King Seti I, and completed by King Ramses II. Meanwhile, Dendera is a temple dedicated to Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of love and joy.
Dahab is like a secret treasure in Egypt. Not many people know of this peaceful and beautiful beach town on the Red Sea. First things first, Dahab has some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world — the most magical of these being the Blue Hole. Just a few kilometres north of Dahab, the Blue Hole is a sinkhole with a depth of about 100 meters. It is an especially popular place for freediving because of the easily accessible depth and the lack of current. In there, you can swim with hundreds of species of marine life and see the beautiful coral reefs. After such, make sure to relax in the afternoon sun, drink some tea, and enjoy the view.
Saqqara is the most underrated location in Egypt. This is the place where you can see how the ancient Egyptians’ failed attempts at building the pyramids — it is an archaeological evidence of their learning process. There is the step pyramid of Djoser, built in the 27th century BC, it is basically a series of “tables” that form a basic pyramid shape. (Yep, this is the first pyramid ever made!) You can also see the remains of the pyramids of Unas and Userkaf, and then see the remarkable bent pyramid. The ancient architects attempted a very steep angle of this pyramid, but realized halfway through that it wouldn’t work. So they changed the angle of the pyramid right in the middle, giving it a “bent” look. All in all, Saqqara amazingly shows you the history that led to the Great Pyramids of Giza.
» Abu Simbel
It is a must to take a Lake Nasser cruise to Abu Simbel. Built by the great pharaoh, Ramesses II, these huge rock-cut temples marked the southern boundary of the Egyptian Empire with Nubia at the peak of its power during the New Kingdom. They were meant to convey the power of Egypt’s rulers to anyone who laid eyes upon them and they must have been effective in this capacity because the great statues of Ramesses and his wife Nefertari that adorn their facades are still awe inspiring today. Also, the four statues guarding the doorway to these temples are the largest sculptures that survive from the pharaonic era.
» El Minya
Last but not least, head to El Minya. This quaint town is built above the remains of one of the capital cities of the Middle Kingdom. The ‘heretic pharaoh’ Akhenaten, outlawed the age-old religion in favor of monotheistic worship of Aten, the sun god. And so, he founded this new capital. Nevertheless, everything about Akhenaten was unique. The art and architecture he created in his new capital are drastically different from other ancient Egyptian works.
After visiting these ruins, take a break in town and spend the afternoon like a true Egyptian. Very few tourists come to see these amazing ruins, so the town is generally unaffected by the tourism industry.
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Clearly, Egypt is bursting with history, culture, art, architecture, nature, and amazing people. So when you are in the country, give Egypt the time it deserves and don’t come to just to see the Great Pyramids. Always make sure that you try to see the lesser known, which are just as spectacular as the other famous sites Egypt has to offer.
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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel too (no matter the odds), and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, adventures, resources, tips, and MORE!
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@Eco_Megan haha yeah! I can't stop laughing 😂
@FootlockerWPH Ah no, my family is all in Manila.