Siwa Oasis

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The Siwa Oasis.

Siwa is a special place. Visiting an Oasis is just a unique experience. You drive through the Sahara for hours and hours and suddenly you come upon the depression that is Siwa Oasis. It’s a town of mud brick buildings surrounded by palms and groves of dates and olive trees. It has long been a tourist attraction as well. The Oasis is also good staging grounds to head out to the giant sand dunes surrounding Siwa.

 

Sinai Beaches

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The beach at Tarabin in Sinai.

Beaches in the Sinai kiss the warm, salty waters of the Red Sea. There can be extremely low-key resorts, like the ones of crescent-shaped Tarabin, or quite developed ones like those in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Sinai has a rugged beauty which can be enjoyed as you lie in the sun or explore the  underwater world on one the inexpensive diving courses on offer. Our top spot for diving and snorkeling is in Dahab, a popular stop on the backpacker circuit. Sinai would be the place to look for holidays to Egypt from Holiday Gems.

 

Cairo

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Downtown Cairo.

 

Crowded? Yes. Hectic? Yes. One of the World’s great cities? I would argue yes. For pure urban intensity head to Cairo’s Islamic quarter where you’ll literally be bumping shoulders with Cairenes out shopping and taking care of their day to day business. Don’t forget that the Egyptian Museum is in Cairo, one of the world’s premier collections of mummies and other ancient Egyptian artifacts.

 

Alexandria

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Alexandria’s corniche.

Alexandria is a lesser-appreciated city of antiquity. A bustling and crowded city on the Mediterranean, Alexandria was once a super-power of wealth and intellect. Its intellect has been given a rebirth with the new Alexandria library. The city was once the site of the great Lighthouse of Alexandria, or Pharos, but nothing of it remains today. What does still remain is the ancient Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, the underground burial chambers from the Middle Ages. When you’re finished exploring Alexandria’s history head out to the corniche for an evening walk.

 

Mt Sinai Pilgrimage

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Sunrise from atop Mt Sinai Egypt.

 

Mt. Sinai has been attracting pilgrims for years. Nothing shows the majesty of God the creator for believers better than a sunrise from the top of Mt. Sinai. After the grueling walk up and down, visit St. Catherine’s Monastery, the sacred location of the Bible’s Burning Bush. The monastery, built between 548 and 565 is Orthodox and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. Catherine’s is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world.

 

The Pyramids at Giza

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The pyramids at Giza, outside Cairo Egypt.

 

It’s hard to imagine Egypt without thinking of the pyramids. This is the world’s quintessential tourist attraction and one that’s been drawing visitors for centuries. There’s no point describing these mammoth feats of engineering. It’s just something you have to experience for yourself. Head out to Giza, in the north of Cairo to see the Sphinx and the three pyramids.