Visit the country known for its mummies and pyramids when you choose Egypt as your next vacation destination. Along with visiting the historic sites, you will be able to take in the breathtaking beauty of the scenery. Visit the magical underwater worlds if you like diving or spend time exploring the many ancient monasteries and temples. Take in a visit to the Sahara, where bands of nomads still live as their ancestors did centuries ago. You can take a Nile cruise or play golf at the foot of the Giza pyramid.

Attractions

There are archaeological wonders all over Egypt. Most tourists have two main places on their itineraries to this country, Cairo and Luxor

Cairo

Although Cairo is a modern Egyptian city, there are many ancient monuments in this city. In the medieval part of the city, you will see donkey carts battling for places on the streets with the cars and buses. Khan-el Khalli is one of the largest bazaars in the world and Cairo is also home to Al-Azhar Mosque, the oldest university in the world dating back to the 9th century. Visit the Museum of Islamic Art with artwork, mosaics and calligraphy and the City of the Dead has thousands of tombs dating from the 12th century. Of course, every visit to Cairo has to include the Pyramids. The largest of the three pyramids is 450 feet high and contains a labyrinth of tunnels and staircases. The Sphinx is also adjacent to these pyramids and the extravagant light shows really do bring it to life. The best time to visit these sites is early morning and late afternoon if you don't like crowds. You can also rent a camel, horse or donkey to make it easier to get around ? although if you are not used to either of these animals, you might want to put up with aching feet.

Luxor

Luxor is the ancient city of Thebes and is the home of the Karnak Temple, which takes up 100 acres. Included in the area of the temple, you will find three temple enclosures with colossal statues and monuments and the Avenue of the Sphinx. See the huge statue of Ramses 11 guarding the Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum houses artifacts from the Thebian temples and the Necropolis. See the mummified bird, reptiles and animals at the Mummification Museum and the Necropolis contains some of the finest tombs in the world, such as the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens and the Tombs of the Nobles. Here you can see the King Tut?s Tomb, the tomb of Ramses 11 and the tomb of Queen Nefertari. You can take a sunset cruise to Banana Island or take a trip upriver to Aswan from Luxor. The shopping bazaars around Luxor Temple are very energetic places and there is even a livestock market here on Tuesday mornings.

Travel to Egypt

Cairo, Borg el Arab and Luxor have international airports that receive flights from the major cities in Europe. You can also travel here by road with two border crossings between Israel and Egypt, but you are not allowed to cross the border in a rented car or taxi. There is a daily coach from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to Cairo. If you drive your own car, you must have three months insurance from an Auto Club outside the country.

Travel Within Egypt

There are daily flights on Egypt Air to the airports within the country and there are ferry services to the various ports. In addition, there is a rail line in the country offering a high standard of service and there are buses and trams within the major cities.

Language

Although Arabic is the official language, both English and French are widely spoken

Visa

All visitors to Egypt require both a travel Visa and a passport that is valid for at least six months.

Safety

There have been some terrorist attacks in Cairo recently, but in Egypt is relatively safe for tourists. You do need to show a certificate of yellow fever immunization and vaccination against typhoid and polio is advised.

Food and Drink

Local specialties include foul, which are bean dishes, stuffed vine leaves, roast pigeon and kebabs. In the café-style bars, you can get alcohol, even though this is an Islamic country. The legal drinking age here is 21.

Shopping

The hours that the stores and shopping malls are open in the cities vary from winter to summer. In general they are open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. and on the other days from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. They are closed on Sundays in the winter, but during the summer they are open from 9 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and from 4 to 8 P.M. Tourists love the goods available at the bazaar in Old Cairo where there are many reproductions of antiquities. Other popular items include copper utensils and Coptic Cloth.

Entertainment

There are sophisticated nightclubs, discos and casinos in Cairo as well as other large cities. In Luxor and Aswan, nightlife often includes barbeques along the Nile.

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