ContentsP.6-9P.10-19P.10-11P.12-13 WELCOME TO THE NILE VALLEY ATMOSPHERE u ROMANCE...SAILING THE NILE RIVER URBAN LIFEP.14-15 NATUREP.16-17 GASTRONOMYP.18-19 PHARAONIC EGYPTP.20-41 GEOGRAPHICAL APPROACHP.20-21 THE COAST: FROM MARSA MATRUH TO DAMIETTA AND PORT SAIDP.22-23 ALEXANDRIAP.24-27 CAIRO AND GIZAP.28-29 EL FAYOUM TO HERMOPOLISP.30-31 ASYUT TO DANDARAP.32-35 LUXOR AND THE EAST BANKP.36-37 VALLEY OF THE KINGS AND THE WEST BANKP.38-39 ASWANP.40-41 ABU SIMBELP.42-45 PLANNING THE TRIPP.46-47 PRATICAL INFORMATIONP.48-51 ACCOMMODATIONP.52-53 ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTSP.54 DOS & DONTSP.55 EGYPT GENERAL MAP 5
Nile ValleyE G Y P T G U I D EWelcome To TheThe land of pharaohs, intriguing legends, ancient civilizations andamazing temples, Egypt is one of the worlds greatest and mostcaptivating countries. GEOGRAPHYEgypt enjoys a strategic location in North the Nile flow into the Mediterranean. AlongAfrica close to the Middle East. Officially the coastline are the towns and cities of Elthe Arab Republic of Egypt, it borders Libya Alamein, famed for its Second World Warto the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel battles and museums, along with Marsaand the Gaza Strip to the east via the Sinai Matruh and Sallum to the west of Alexan-Peninsula and a land bridge that crosses dria, while to its east is the historic Rosetta,the Suez Canal. It is, however, far from where the Rosetta Stone, an important ar-landlocked. Its north coast is lapped by the tefact that was key to deciphering ancientMediterranean, while its lower east coast Egyptian hieroglyphic writing, was discov-and south Sinai lie alongside the Red Sea. ered. Further along the coast is Damietta and Port Said.The country has long played an importantrole in connecting Africa with Asia, and The Nile Valley stretches from the delta tothe Mediterranean with the Indian Ocean, Egypts southernmost border with Sudan,and as such has been at the centre of the and along with its great cities is home toworlds political and economical arena some of the worlds most iconic symbolsfor centuries. It is a vast country, totalling of ancient civilizations. It is here visitorswell over million square kilometres. Thats can see the three Great Pyramids of Gizafour times the size of the United Kingdom and the Sphinx that guards them, theand twice the size of France, and yet most fabulous Luxor Temple and the Karnakof its cities like Cairo, Aswan, Asyut and Temples in Luxor, the Valley of the KingsLuxor hug the shores of the Nile Valley. Even and, of course, the Nile River itself. TheAlexandria, the countrys second largest Sahara Desert, the worlds second largest,city after Cairo, is in the Nile Delta. makes up much of Egypts distinct desert and oasis areas, which are fascinatingEgypt has four distinct areas. The Nile Delta, if sparsely inhabited, while the Sinai Peitself, is a stretch of land that fans out north ninsula and the Red Sea coastline andfrom a point close to Cairo where the Nile resorts are the countrys top spots for familysplits into smaller flows of water, reaching a fun and water sport themed holidays.stretch of coastline that runs from Alexan-dria to Port Said. At the coast the waters of ENVIRONMENTA fabulously rich history and achieve- Nile Valley that leave you breathlessments sit comfortably with the Egypt of at their bustling cities and ancient tem-today. Deserts that stretch for kilometres ples. Visitors arrive in their thousands, areinto the distance and holiday resorts with totally captivated and return time aftertop notch hotels offering family fun such time. Whether its a view of the sun goingas swimming and diving in the Red Sea down behind the centuries-old pyramids,contrast well with the Nile Delta and the turning the sky to a magical bright orange,
Nile Valleyor seeing the mesmerising sun-scorched Muslim, although over 12 million are Chris-Sphinx, the priceless treasures contained tians. The atmosphere is one of friendship.tantalisingly behind glass in Cairos Egyp- Egyptians like to work hard and live life totian Museum or standing in awe of the the full, and tend to work in the heart of thefabulous temples the sights of the worlds cities which have seen many changes inmost entrancing country stay with visitors recent years and are now at the forefrontfor a lifetime. of world politics, or working the agricultural lands of the Nile Valley or in tourism. Every-Add to this experiences of seeing one of one can enjoy lively cultural experiencesEgypts most trusted residents, the camel, too - everything from the latest art sensa-make its way casually across the sands, tions to music, theatre and dance.perhaps dressed in brightly coloured rugsand tassels for a festival, street vendors Egypt is a warm country for most of theselling their goods in the bustling souks, year. Some days in summer the tempera- WELCOME TO THE NILE VALLEYchildren playing in the streets, craftspeople tures can reach 25-35C (95F) in Cairo, andweaving carpets or locals mingling in an so the way Egyptians live tends to reflectanimated fashion around the streets, all of this as it has done for centuries. The pacewhich sit well with innovative new commer- of life is generally slow, and although citycial buildings, and you have a country that centres often appear bustling it isnt longwill become part of your soul. before everyone gives in and finds a cool place to rest awhile.Egypt is a religious country. Islam is theofficial religion and most Egyptians are HISTORYThe history of Egypt stretches back to a series of dynasties that ruled the coun-unimaginable times. It is a country prob- try, began in around 3100 BC. The firstably best known to the world over for its pharaoh is generally believed to havepharaohs, such as Tutankhamun, and been Menes, who was instrumental inits ancient civilizations that largely existed joining a then divided Egypt into one. Thealong the banks of the Nile River and country was known as tawy, meaning twocreated so many of its iconic structures. lands.The earliest signs of civilization have been A total of 30 dynasties ruled over the nextdated to prehistoric times, although the three millennia until around the year 30 BC.towns and cities of today can probably Many, if not all of the pharaohs, wantedtrace their roots back to around 8000 to put their own mark on Egypt and hadBC when the Sahara was formed and supremely beautiful palaces, temples,settlers started moving closer to the fertile tombs and structures built. It was dur-land of the Nile River banks and eventually ing this time that most of the astonishingcreated communities. These ancient sights that can still be seen today werecivilisations developed and grew almost constructed, among them the Pyra-entirely because of the Nile during a period mids of Giza and the Sphinx of the Oldknown as the predynastic, a time before Kingdom, and the Temples of Luxor inthe pharaohs ruled the country. the New Kingdom.The dynastic period, widely regarded as Egypt has seen many periods of historyone of the oldest ever cultural periods in since the ancient dynastic era and hasthe world and so called because it was reminders of how it flourished under different civilizations. 7
Nile ValleyE G Y P T G U I D EWelcome To The HISTORYIt has been occupied by the Persians, came king in 1333 BC, becoming theRomans, the Greeks, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and whoseBritish and the French, but it is probably solid gold death mask is probably the mostthe pharaohs that have left the most mes- famous artefact ever found in Egypt. Ormerising legacy on the country and one the beautiful Nefertiti, the wife of thewhich makes tourism one of the countrys Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaton, who mightleading industry sectors today. have ruled in her own right before Tutankhamun became king. Both-fromWho cannot be captivated by the story many-make Egypt legendary.of Tutankhamen, the young boy who be- SOCIOECONOMICToday, Egypt is one of the key political Far fewer people live in areas like theand cultural leaders in the Middle East. Sahara Desert, which although massive isIt has a buoyant economy as a result of unsympathetic to human needs, while Si-economic reforms and foreign investment nai and the Red Sea coastal areas haveand a rapidly evolving high technology strong population figures, especially in thecommunications sector. Its government major towns which have good generalcontinues to pledge investment into its in- infrastructures and amenities. There arefrastructure of highways, railways and wa- healthcare facilities, shops, restaurants,terways that stretch from the north coast many sports centres, especially those forand the Nile Delta to the southern points of water sports, and top hotels. The popu-the Nile Valley at Aswan and Abu Simbel, lation in these areas is bolstered by theinto the Western Desert and across to the many visitors who arrive during the summerRed Sea coast and into Sinai. months on leisure, sea & land adventures, spa and wellness holidays, golf lovers, andEgypt also has one of the highest popula- short breaks.tions of all the countries in this part of theworld with around 75.5 million people. Egyptian society is geared very muchMany live in the densely populated cities around the family, and it is not uncommon to see all generations dining together orof Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan, on an outing. Religion is important, withwhere they are engaged in commerce, Muslims and Christians living and work-politics, retailing and tourism, while others ing together in harmony. As a visitor, youlive in rural areas near the banks of the Nile will always be made to feel welcome andRiver and are engaged in agriculture. The protected.rich soil of the banks provides the most ara-ble agricultural land in Egypt today as it hasdone for around 10,000 years. It is on thisland that man has relied on since ancienttimes. Without the river the country wouldlikely only ever have been desert. Much ofEgypts national income relies on agricul-ture, along with tourism, petroleum exportsand capital generated by traffic using theSuez Canal. Giza Pyramids
Nile Valley THE NILE VALLEY to see the Colossus of Ramses II, the Serapeum and the ancient cemetery too. Spend time in Old Cairo. Its rather like a living museum of historic and reli- gious buildings, plus traditional markets to snap up some souvenirs to take home. And, of course, no visit to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the Egyptian Museum. It is one of the worlds most fa- mous museums with an astonishing collec- tion of ancient artefacts. Its most famous WELCOME TO THE NILE VALLEY displays are treasures from Tutankhamuns tomb. Heading south, the Nile River flows through Al-Fayoum, Biba, Beni Mazar and on to the delightful El Minya. It has beauti- Karnak Temple ful villas reminiscent of those found in old Tuscany which were built by the cottonThe second longest river in the world, merchants who made the town wealthy.the Nile follows a path along the length of The trading centre of Asyut and famouEgypt from its southernmost boundary to Dandara are reached, and then its on tothe north Mediterranean coast, Damietta, the wondrous Luxor and Thebes with theirand on to its sources, the White Nile and fabulous temples, museums and tombs.the Blue Nile, in the depths of Africa. Here the world famous iconic KarnakAlexandria, the countrys second largest Temples and the Luxor Temple, thecity and...