Has The Mummy once again piqued your curiosity about Egypt, one of the world's most spellbinding and imagination-inspiring destinations? It's a bucket-list trip for many world travelers — and it's easy to see why, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and epic potential for adventure. Here are five must-hit places in the magical country on the Nile.
1. Explore the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
Embark on a journey through history at the remarkable Egyptian Museum, off Tahrir Square in Cairo. The world of the pharoahs comes alive through thousands of exhibits including Tutankhamun's death mask, tomb treasures, and mummies from the Valleys of Kings and Queens.
2. Admire the Pyramids of Giza
You can't possibly visit Egypt without seeing its most famous awe-inspiring site. A short drive from Cairo, the complex is home to a total of six pyramids, including Khufu, or the "Great Pyramid," the oldest and only remaining marvel of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the pyramids' protector, the enormous Great Sphinx. And there's never been a better time. As tourism to Egypt is currently low, visitors can benefit from a peaceful experience at the pyramids that would have been impossible just a decade ago when the site was regularly filled with hundreds of tourists at a time.
3. Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Luxor
It requires getting up before the crack of dawn but floating over Thebes in Luxor merits the effort. As the sun rises, you float over some of Egypt's most famous ancient sites including the Colossi of Memnon — two massive statues that have stood in place for 3,400 years — the Ramesseum, mortuary temple of Ramses II, the Temple of Hatshepsut, and the Tombs of the Nobles.
4. Take a Felucca Down the Nile
The felucca, a small wooden sailing boat, is a traditional way of traveling along the River Nile. It is slow — taking three days to travel from Aswan to Edfu, a distance of only about 70 miles — but that's the point. It's a relaxing journey, guided by the wind and river currents. The three-day journey includes meals taken on board and stops at temples along the way. You also sleep aboard in close proximity to other passengers, so choose your travel companions wisely.
5. Marvel at the White Desert
Chalk towers and bizarre-looking, wind-whipped rock sculptures that have been given such names as the "mushroom" and the "chicken" dot the otherworldly landscape of the White Desert. This is probably Egypt's most surreal landscape, one that, upon first glimpse, appears more Arctic than North African. Try to visit at dusk when the colors of the sinking sun are reflected by the dazzling white formations.
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