The Land of the Pharaohs boasts some of the richest, longest and most fascinating history on the planet, and offers a glimpse into a unique cultural world blending reverence for the past and forward thinking into the future. Egypt tour packages are comprehensive and ensure you see and do everything you should while visiting the transcontinental country, so we’ve compiled a list of the best things you’ll be doing when you visit this mystical land.


Experience another world


Arabic road signs will quickly hint that you are not in Kansas – or wherever you call home – anymore, and in certain interactions you will learn there are some different customs. Baksheesh is an important concept, which in Egypt refers to a tip requested in addition to payment for services such as taxi driving, waiting and keeping shop. Your local tour guide will provide valuable advice on this, and in many cases even manage it for the group as you make your way between historic sites and attractions.

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Make the Great Pyramids of Giza number one


As the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the marvel and mystery of the Pyramids remains as they have for 4,500 years. The ancient engineering achievements without the machinery of modern times, guarded by the famous, broken-nosed Sphinx simply cannot be missed.


Get caught up in the craziness of Cairo


Featuring a skyline of Islamic architectural masterpieces that have earned Cairo the nickname ‘city of a thousand minarets’, the capital swells with life in a clattering of senses. Strike up a bargain at Khan el-Khalili bazaar, a trading port since medieval times, listen to the calls of prayer and stop to sip a mint tea in a laneway café at the end of it all.


Take your time at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities


Cairo’s astounding collection of historical artefacts, pilfered and returned for the world to see are artfully arranged in this magnificent museum. Highlights include Tutankhamun’s gold funerary mask, and the Royal Mummy Room with the refrigerated remains of Pharaoh Ramses II. Don’t forget to try your hand at translating some hieroglyphics!


Relax at the Red Sea


Long established and all-inclusive beach resorts at Hurghada, Sharm-el-Sheikh and hippy hide-out Dahab have attracted holidaymakers for decades, with scuba diving and coral reef visibility competing with the best in the world.

Set your alarm for Mt. Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery


Join a multi-faith pilgrimage trek up Mt. Sinai for sunrise, followed by a visit to the sixth century monastery built to protect the biblical burning bush that spoke to Moses.

Stroll the bazaars on the hunt for oh-so-Egyptian items


Keep an eye open for cartouche jewellery, perfume and scarab beetle pendants as you stroll the bazaars and shopping areas of Cairo. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a papyrus scroll hidden amid the wares – just be ready to deal with enthusiastic shopkeepers eager to sell you that special souvenir.

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Visit the Valley of the Kings


The Valley of the Kings presents ancient Egypt’s most elaborate underworld, with burial tombs for King Tutankhamun and the nation’s great rulers decorated with treasure chests for the afterlife.

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Join a Bedouin camel trek


Bedouin is a relatively new term in Arabic, referring to people living outside of cities and towns. Bedouin camel treks into the desert offer a completely different cultural experience, and include traditional meals and local guides who know the lay of the sandy land.

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The great collaboration: Karnak Temple, Luxor


As if designed by the gods, Egypt’s most famous religious complex developed during the reign of over thirty different Pharaohs. The Great Hypostyle Hall, Precinct of Amun-Re and Avenues of Sphinxes are testament to the awe-inspiring achievements of this great civilisation.


Felucca down the Nile


A traditional felucca ride is a necessary adventure down the world’s longest river. Sit on the deck of lateen-sail boats and pass peacefully through the Nile Valley, recounting the passages of Egyptian glory over ancient monuments.


The archaeological wonder of Abu Simbel


Pharaoh Ramses II’s and Queen Nefertari’s statuary portraits dated 1265 BCE are prodigiously carved into sandstone cliffs to form the massive rock temples at Abu Simbel. Remarkably, in one of the most mind-blowing triumphs of archaeological engineering, the entire complex was relocated in 1968 to avoid submersion by Lake Nasser.


Make the most of a stopover in Aswan


Frankly much more than a Dam, old Nubia is a stopover on luxury Nile cruises, where travellers have the opportunity to join a family homestay dinner. Shopaholics will enjoy the bazaars, while green thumbs can explore Geziret El Nabatat – The Island of Plants.

Alexander the Great’s city of Alexandria


Made great by Alexander, the intellectual Greco-Roman centre of the Hellenistic world is now one of the Mediterranean’s most historically significant port cities. The library is impressive, topped with a delicious seafood meal and a stroll on the Corniche promenade – not to mention the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.

Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC