General information about Egypt

 

In the 5th century BC Herodotus wrote of Egypt that "nowhere are there so many marvelous things..nor in the world besides are to be seen so many things of unspeakable greatness".

True his words, Egypt today remains the one country in the world that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. For very obvious reasons: the Pyramids of Giza, which are the only surviving of the Seven Wonders of the World. 

Egypt does not need an introduction. It was the introduction to human civilization itself, and has all the evidence to show for it.

From the Nile Valley, to the solitary deserts, to the diversity of the Sinai desert, to the exotic underwater life of the Red Sea, to the Mediterranean beaches, it is fast becoming popular as people begin to appreciate the rich diversity that Egypt offers.

Egypt is the land of the Pharaohs, and offers friendly people and incredible sights, including the temples, Pyramids and monuments that you have always been dying to see. The source of economic, social, political and religious life, Egypt gave birth to the world's first nation state and a powerful civilization that invented writing and elected the first stone monuments.

Egypt is at the centre of the Arab world and has played a central role in the region's political situation in modern times. After three wars in 1948, 1967, and 1973, peace was achieved with Israel in 1979 leading to Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League (restored in 1991). Egypt has since played a vital role in the Middle East peace process.

Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, on the Red Sea Riviera, are doors to a magical underwater world of Technicolor fish and coral that draws divers from around the world, while other adventurous travelers head inland. Here, you can discover monasteries amid the arid mountains of Sinai and home to the hardy nomads whose camel trains still wander the Saharan sands.

This is why Egypt is now considered today as the best destination in the Middle East and Africa.

Geography:

Egypt links two continents, stretching across the north - eastern corner of Africa and the south - western edge of Asia. It covers a total area of 1,001,450 square kilometers and is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by the Gaza Strip and Israel, on the south by Sudan, and on the west by Libya. More than 90 % of the country consists of sandy deserts in the North and rugged mountains in the south, with summits looming more than 2,100 meters above the Red Sea. The peninsula is home to Mount St. Catherine, the highest elevation in Egypt, and Mount Sinai where according to the Old Testament Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

The Nile River enters Egypt from Sudan and flows north for about 1,545 kilometers to the Mediterranean Sea. For its entire length, from the southern border to Cairo, the Nile flows through a narrow valley lined by cliffs. Lake Nasser, the world's largest man - made reservoir formed by the Aswan high dam, extends south across the Sudan border. The lake is about 480 kilometers long and is about 16 kilometers across its widest point.

Weather:

Egypt is known for its year around sun and warm, bright climate most of the year. Egyptian summers are hot and dry across most of the country and humid in the Delta and along the Mediterranean Coast. Winters are mild with some rain, but usually there are bright, sunny days and cold nights.

Culture and people:

Egypt is a Middle Eastern country and has Middle Eastern customs. Whether Muslim or Christians, Egyptians are deeply religious by nature, and religious principles govern their daily lives. Combined with religious belief is commitment to the extended family. Each family and for the behavior of other members, creating an environment that would be envied by many people in the West. Certainly, the result is that the city of Cairo is safer than any western metropolis.

When westerners visit Egypt, they are often apprehensive. Their views of Egyptians and Arabs, formed by unkind and untrue media stories, often bear no relation to reality. Travelers are often surprised by their gracious, welcoming reception and take home with them good feelings about Egypt and its population. Egyptians are extremely hospitable and friendly by nature, and they will at times go out of their way to help you out.

Sightseeing:

The legendary Egypt is bountiful with ancient sites to visit which could be divided into six different tourist super sites. Each has its own flavor, and mostly each serves a different purpose. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, most of these tourist areas do not depend on ancient monuments to sustain them. In fact, only Luxor is completely dependent on this trade.

The first super - site is Cairo and the immediate area around the city. Cairo has everything: great hotels, entertainment, restaurants, and all manner of monuments from throughout the history of Egypt; it is often the entry point for most people visiting Egypt.

Next is Alexandria and Egypt's Northern coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and extending to Marsa Matrouh in the West. The area is home to the remains of invasions from the West. It has a Mediterranean feel about it, and to the people of Cairo, a somewhat cooler climate.

The cities along the Red Sea serve as another site of attraction, and include mainly the cities of Hurghada and El Gouna. These areas contain just about everything a tourist would like to have, with exception of ancient monuments. They make up for that with every variety of water sports, several golf courses, clubs, casinos, and more. The Red Sea area has less of an Egyptian feel, but not as European as South Sinai.

In the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh is the best diving and nightlife spot, with more of a European style and feel. Tourists could opt for desert safaris or mount trekking, and there are several magnificent Christian monuments nearby.

Upper Egypt serves as the best site to witness the glory of the Ancient Egyptians. The cities of Luxor and Aswan are home to a vast number of temples and museums, and might be thought of in the same regard as a theme park, where the attractions just happen to be real monuments. Travelers mostly enjoy a Nile cruise between the cities of Luxor and Aswan.

Last but not least, Egypt is renowned for its deserts and oases, where camping and desert safaris are most popular. There are six main oases along with the principal Western Desert in the east. Some ancient relics can be seen in the desert, and the area is home to several rudimentary tribes.

Religious sites:

Serving as a crossroad for the world's greatest religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Egypt is abundant with religious sites to visit, from synagogues to ancient churches, monasteries, and mosques, the architecture of which was influenced by the many foreign invasions.

Sports & recreation:

Over the past decade, Egypt has been a melting pot for those seeking to indulge in sports activities. Most prevalent is diving and scuba diving in the Red Sea, along with water skiing, water surfing, and parasailing. Yachting has become a favorite in this area, with its high demand and the development of several marinas across the Egyptian coasts. During the past few years golf courses have been built all over the country, bringing in more tourists and investors.

Night Life:

Cairo has been the entertainment capital of the Arab world for more than a century. Today, this has expanded to include Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and newly developed projects along the North Mediterranean Coast.  During the summer season, Cairo turns into a city that does not sleep, especially with the influx of tourists from all over the Middle East and Europe. Clubs, casinos, theatres, and restaurants open their doors until the early hours of dawn. Alternatively, one could take a felucca down the Nile just before sunrise or a horse carriage along the Nile.


 

 
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