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Egypt

Egypt

Sharm-El-Sheikh

Egypt has a size of more than a million square kilometers and is located in the northeast of Africa. The country has about 87 million inhabitants and is mostly known for its fascinating culture and historical monuments, such as the Giza pyramid complex and the Valley of Kings, but there are also many other touristic highlights to be discovered.

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and at the same time the largest city of this country. It's also an important economic, political and cultural center in the Arabic world. Besides Cairo, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Aswan and Marsa Alam belong to the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt. In the following we would like to present you a few details about these cities, including their most important sights.

Cairo

The old Town

With almost 7 million inhabitants, Egypt's capital Cairo is the largest city in Egypt and the Arab world. The metropolis is located in the north of the African country and plays a significant economic and cultural role among the Arab countries.

Cairo is known mostly for its many cultural and architectural monuments. But there are also a lot of interesting theaters, concert halls, operas and museums that are worth a visit. Cairo is also known for the Pyramids of Giza and the Valley of Kings but actually those attractions are located a little outside of the city. However, they are connected to Cairo through the “Pyramid Street”.

The Giza pyramid complex is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and since the year of 1979 also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex consists of the Great Pyramid (Pyramid of Cheops), the Middle pyramid (Pyramid of Chephren) and the Little pyramid (Pyramid of Menkaure).

The Great Pyramid was completed about 2600 BC and is the oldest Pyramid in the Giza pyramid complex. With a height of about 138 meters, it is the largest pyramid as well. The purpose of this pyramid was to house the remains of the deceased Pharaoh Khufu. It is not clear, however, if the tomb of the king is really located inside the pyramid. There are three smaller pyramids belonging to the Great Pyramid, which were built as a tombs for the king's wifes.

The Middle Pyramid was built as a grave for Pharaoh Khafre and is just two meters smaller than the Great Pyramid. But because it's located on a plateau, which has a height of about ten meters, it looks slightly bigger. It's called the Middle Pyramid because it's situated right between the Great Pyramid and the Little Pyramid.

With a height of about 70 meters, the Small Pyramid has about half the size of the other two pyramids and was built in honor of the Pharaoh Menkaure, who was the Egyptian leader from about 2532 to 2503 BC. There are also three smaller pyramids located right next to the Small Pyramid, which were built as graves for Menkaure's wifes.

The Giza Sphinx stands not far from the three pyramids and is also worth visiting. It's a 70 meter long and 20 meter high monument in the form of a lion's body with an over-proportioned human head. The gigantic monument is the symbol of Egypt and at least 4000 years old.

Further places of interest in Cairo:

• Mosque of Muhammad Ali
• Museum of Islamic Art
• Gabalaya Park
• Cairo Tower
• Islamic Old Town of Cairo
• Dr. Ragab's Pharaonic Village
• Al-Azhar Park
• City of the Dead

Aswan

The Königsallee

Aswan has about 300,000 inhabitants and is much smaller than Cairo, but from a tourism perspective, the city has just as much to offer. It's mostly the river landscapes which make this city one of the most beautiful places of Egypt. Aswan is also known for a perfect climate with a dry air and no rain. While the maximum temperatures in summer doesn't exceed 41 degrees, the temperatures in the winter go up to 21 degrees.

One of the most famous attractions of the city is the 111 meters high and 3.6 km long Aswan High Dam. Considering the volume, it is the third biggest reservoir dam in the world and with its size of about 6000 square meters, it's the seventh-largest dam worldwide.

Another sight worth seeing in Aswan is the Temple of Philae. Although the name implies otherwise, it's actually not a single temple, but a complex of several temples. The main building of this complex is located on the island Agilkia and served as the residence of the goddess Isis.

If you are a lover of nature, you should visit the botanical garden of Aswan, which is situated on the Kitchener Island. The garden has a length of about 650 meters and a width of about 115 meters. At this location you can discover many Asian and African plants but also sycamore fig trees, mahogany trees, different colored bushes and other interesting botanical highlights. Besides plants, trees and bushes, there are also small animals like rare birds and insects.

Further places of interest in Aswan:

• Elephantine island
• Mausoleum of the Aga Khan
• Nubian Museum
• unfinished Obelisk
• Souk (Main Market)
• Temple of Kom Ombo
• Rock temples of Abu Simbel

Hurghada

Rheinturm

The port city Hurghada is home to about 160,000 inhabitants and the biggest tourist center on the Red Sea in Egypt. This is mainly because of foreign investors pumping money into this region since the 80s. The town is very popular among German, Russian and English tourists.

The city has more than 30 km of a beautiful coastline with a coral reef and is divided into the following three districts: El Dahar, Al-Sakkala and Al-Ahiaa.

If you want to see what the real Egyptian life is about, it's a good idea to visit to the district of El Dahars. There are authentic Egypt markets with many dealers, who advertise their wares, such as exotic spices, handicraft products and souvenirs. After shopping, you have the opportunity to chill in one of the numerous cafes, listen to Arabic music and experience the vibrant Arab life.

A special highlight in Hurghada is the Careless Reef. It's a dive spot located in a protected area, which fascinates with two coral towers that reach up to the surface of the water. Furthermore, there are 40 meters deep underwater caves near those coral towers. However, the caves should only be visited by experienced divers.

Hurghada Beach is another tourist magnet you should not miss. The superb beach is characterized by clear water, a variety of wildlife and fabulously beautiful coral reefs. Additionally, it's possible to explore real shipwrecks and with a little luck, dolphins can be spotted during a boat trip.

Further places of interest in Hurghada:

• El Mina mosque
• Selkhet Papyrus
• Orange Bay
• Egyptian Museum in Hotel Alf Leila wa Leila
• Coptic Church St. Schinuda
• Sand City
• Selkhet Papyrus
• St. Shenouda Cathedral
• Harbour Hurghada

Sharm-El-Sheikh

Der Medienhafen

Sharm-El-Sheikh ("Bay of the Sheikh" in Arabic) is an Egypt city situated on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. It's a popular tourist resort with numerous Arab markets, restaurants, hip clubs and discos.

Especially divers love this location, mainly because of the beautiful coral reefs but also because of the clear water.

Ras Mohammed is a national park with a size of 480 square meters that exists since 1983. Visiting this park is a must for the enthusiasts of nature and wildlife. The true beauty of nature can be seen under the water surface. There you can explore animals such as sharks, parrot fishes and see turtles but also plants and stunning coral reefs.

Another location worth visiting is the Ras Mohammed Protected Area. It's located about 35 km from the center of Sharm-El-Sheikh and has a size of about 600 square meters. There are over 80 different sorts of plants, more than 220 of bird species and all kind of other animals. Since the park is situated on the seafront, it’s also possible to discover the underwater world of this beautiful region.

Further places of interest in Sharm-El-Sheikh:

• Ras Mohammed National Park
• National Park Nabq
• Pharaoh's Iceland
• St. Catherine's monastery
• Entertainment mile Naama Bay
• Tiran island
• Al Mustafa Mosque
• Moses mountain
• Naama Bay

Marsa Alam

Basel

Marsa Alam is an Egypt city located in the south of the country, about 300 km away from Hurghada. It's part of the al-Bahr al-ahmar government and home to about 2000 residents. Furthermore, the former Bedouin village is an associated partner of the "Red Sea Riviera", which is a cluster of Egyptian vacation resorts in the area of the Red Sea and Sinai.

Marsa Alam is a great spot for everybody who loves diving, snorkeling and kite-surfing. It's known for its beautiful diving spots and coral reefs. The beaches mostly belong to the local hotels in this area but there is also a wonderful public beach in the north of Marsa Alam.

Marsa Murena is one of the nicest and most popular bays in Marsa Alam. They bay is also known as Abu Dabbab Beach and situated about 36 km away from Marsa Alam. It hosts a sandy beach which is about 500 meters long and 50 meters wide. The water at this beach is totally clear and offers great conditions for snorkelers who want to face dolphins, sea turtles and other interesting aquatic animals.

Another popular spot for divers is the "Dolphin House", which is a horseshoe-shaped reef located a few hundred meters from the coast of Marsa Alam. The reef is home to about 100 spinner dolphins but also to other fascinating underwater animals, such as turtles, batfishes and Napoleon fishes. This spot is also famous for it's beautiful and colorful soft and hard corals. Some of them reach the water surface, so you don't even have to dive in order to see them.

About 50 km from Marsa Alam you can find the Wadi el-Gemal National Park. It has a size of approximately 7450 square kilometers and is a popular tourist attraction. The park has a desert-like scenario but there are still lots of wild animals living there. The animals in this park include monkeys, wild donkeys and other exotic creatures. The park extents to the Read Sea, so you can also see aquatic animals, such as various species of fish, manatees and sea turtles. For first-time visitors, we recommend a guided tour.

Below you will find a listing of the just mentioned attractions and other interesting sights in and near Marsa Alam:

• Marsa Murena
• Dolphin House (Sha'ab Samadai)
• Wadi el-Gemal National Park
• Temple of Seti I
• Shaab Cluade
• Emerald mines
• Abu Dabab