Egypt is celebrating The Return of the Tourist. No, we're not talking about the anticipated Star Wars film (That's got the equally cheesy title of 'The Force Awakens'), but instead the news that people are once more flooding to the country to discover its incredible cultural heritage.
To celebrate, we're showcasing some of the Nile's most wonderful treasures – the list of absolute must-see sights that you simply won't want to miss on a journey to the land of the Pharaohs and pyramids. They're all included on our spectacular 10 Night Nile Grand Tour, a cruising experience that will stay with you until the rest of your life.
The tourist numbers that we're all excited about specifically concern Cairo, so it feels only natural that we should start with this incredible multi layered city. With its twisting passages and various monuments, fascinating museums and dozens of street markets, you will be hard-pushed to find a more intricate city anywhere. On your day of leisure exploring the metropolis, you might want to do a variety of things, including visit the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel of Salah ad-Din or the surprisingly green and verdant Al-Azhar Park. Further – just on the edge of the city, you'll find some of the must-see Egyptian wonders. Step forward, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. One thing is certain – you won't find it difficult to fill your time here.
It should be compulsory to visit Luxor if you're in Egypt. And indeed, many people do venture to this incredible collection of incredible buildings that includes various monuments, temples and tombs. The most notable of these are the Luxor Temple and Karnak, arguably the most spectacular structures in Egypt. Also awe inspiring are the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, the Royal tombs located on the opposite bank. There's a lot to explore, and the best way to do it in comfort and style is on a Nile cruise.
Egypt is a nation of wonders that are both modern and ancient. Lake Nasser is one of the former types of creation. This extraordinary man made reservoir is more than 500 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide, and plays host to the Aswan High Dam complex. A visit here includes a visit to the famed Abu Simbel temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which were relocated in their entirety in 1968 to make way for the lake. Not, of course, that you would know it just by looking. The Nubian statues here include colossal structures featuring Ramesses II, Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun. Much of it is open to the public.
The agricultural town of Kom Ombo was originally called Nubt, which means 'City of Gold'. And what a heritage the ancients bequeathed to it! The local temple – the Temple of Kom Ombo – is an unusual double temple constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Wandering around, you'll find it is dedicated to two gods rather than one, hence the term 'double temple'. One half worships the falcon god Horus, who was worshipped as one of the most significant deities. And the other is concerned with the crocodile god Sobek, who was responsible for fertility. Visiting this temple is therefore a unique and fascinating experience unlike any other.