Egypt has seen a rapid transformation of its landscape in the past two decades, with the most notable development being the construction of Egypt’s new capital city near its coastline. The Egyptian scenery is packed with beautiful destinations for travel-seeking vacationers, distinguished by surges of annual tourists. With so many sights to see, Egypt Forward has curated a list of the top ten must-see places when visiting Egypt in 2018:
Recognized as Egypt’s most environmentally-friendly holiday destination, El-Gouna is the ideal destination to unwind and relax. With its countless interconnected islands, beautiful turquoise lagoons, golf courses and waterfront resorts spread across 10 kilometers of beaches, this small town is the perfect escape for local and international visitors alike. El-Gouna offers a beautiful backdrop to participate in a number of sport and outdoor activities, including golf, kite-surfing and diving. Now, scenery only experienced on the Australian coast are accessible at a fraction of the distance and price.
2. Marassi, North Coast Beach
In recent years, the North Coast has earned the reputation for being home to Egypt’s world-class sea resorts. Marassi hosts the largest marina in the region with its crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches. Its vibrant nature and quality of life has made Marassi one of the most popular resort scenes in the North Coast all year around. The nightlife in this Mediterranean coasted location is unprecedented. Lavish clubs and parties line the waterfront, making Marassi the exclusive weekend outing destination.
3. Ras Mohamed, Sharm el Sheikh
Ras Mohamed National Park is the most famous national park in Egypt. Just 20 kilometers south of Sharm el Sheikh, the park is surrounded by coral reefs of the Red Sea, over 100 meters deep. The park claims some of the most prized scuba spots in the world: Shark Reef, Yolanda Reef and Anemone City, often described as an underwater metropolis. A breathtaking standout against other diving locations in the area, Ras Mohamed is one of the most pristine locations in the world to see underwater life at its best.
4. Philea Island, Aswan
This sacred island houses the Temples of Philae, an ancient pilgrimage center for the Romans. Standing tall above the water, half of the temple’s beauty lies in its history. When the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser were created, the island flooded, prompting UNESCO to rescue the temple. The Temple of Philae was dismantled and relocated to a nearby island, then renamed Philea Island, to honor its new inhabitant. Visiting Philea Island gives you a unique look into ancient history that only Egypt can offer.
5. Al Sahaba Mosque, Sharm el Sheikh
Al Sahaba Mosque in Sharm el Sheikh is the second largest in the area, built on nearly an acre with two 76-meter tall minarets. Al Sahaba Mosque is a prime example of New Era Islamic architecture, drawing inspiration from the Ottoman Empire, designed by an Egyptian architect and built by the Egyptian Army. The Mosque is an unbelievable sight. Sitting between the sea and the mountains, Al Sahaba Mosque stands out against the landscape, golden domes shining in the Egyptian sun. Al Sahaba Mosque is considered the most important mosque of this decade.
6. Library of Alexandria, Alexandria
The Library of Alexandria was one of the most important libraries of the ancient world, a dedication to the Muses. Famous for being burned down during the era of Julius Caesar, the Library of Alexandria is now one of the new faces of Modern Egypt and an architectural jewel. Dedicated to recapturing the spirit of the original library, the new Library of Alexandria hosts not only 6 libraries (one main one and 6 specialized), but also four museums, thirteen research centers, fifteen permanent exhibitions and much more. A complete devotion to the legend of the original, the new Library of Alexandria emulates the era of academic prosperity.
7. Valley of the Kings, Luxor
Luxor, once an Ancient Egyptian capital, is known today as the world’s greatest open-air museum. New Kingdom pharaohs, including Tutankhamen, built their tombs in the hills of Luxor, appropriately titled the Valley of the Kings. Take a step back thousands of years and experience the grandeur of the ancient crypts, dedicated to the great Pharaohs. The views of the majestic temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor at sunset from Nile cruises offer unforgettable experiences.
8. Salah El-Din Citadel, Cairo
Salah El-Din Citadel is one of the world’s greatest monuments to medieval warfare. Resembling a typical early medieval fortress, with large imposing gateways, towers and high defending walls, the Citadel is one of Cairo’s main attractions and likely the most popular non-pharaonic monument in the Egyptian capital. The prominent fortress also houses three mosques, several museums and the Gawhara Palace, just to name a few. Nearly impossible to miss, Salah El-Din Citadel is a must see when in the capital.
9. St. Mena Monastery, Alexandria
Located approximately 50 kilometers southwest of Alexandria, the small village-town of Abu-Mina is home to St. Mena monastery. St Mena is believed to have fallen as a martyr in the early 4th century when the Roman Empire was persecuting Christians. A modern monastery has been built on the location of an ancient church, where the Saint’s remains are believed to be buried. A German archeological team has been working at Abu Mina since 1969. Buses depart regularly from Alexandria’s new station (Baheej Station), to Abu-Mina. After reaching Abu-Mina, you can catch a microbus to get to the monastery.
10. Saint Catherine Monastery, Sinai
Within a gorge of an extraordinary mountain range lays an relic of the 5th century and the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world: Saint Catherine’s monastery. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery is a place of substantial historical and cultural value and protected under international law. Saint Catherine’s houses the world’s oldest operational library. If the call to adventure beckons you, then perhaps you can take a day to climb the wondrous Mount Moses that lies adjacent to the city and witness the magnificent 2,000-foot-high view. Atop this stone behemoth is where many believe God spoke to Moses. Discover this spiritual beacon that withstood the erosive tests of time and human-kind.
A tribute to its elusive splendor, the Egyptian landscape is quite remarkable, especially considering it’s a country composed mostly of sand and dust. The region offers a look into the past and a peek at the future. Whether you are interested in experiencing the beginning of civilization, seeking adventure, or just looking for a beautiful place to unwind, Egypt provides something for everyone.
Visit Experience Egypt for more ideas on how to plan your vacation to Egypt.