Are you feeling exhausted? Are you tired of doing the same thing at work every day? Have you thought about how you will spend your summer vacation? Will it be relaxing at the beach, visiting some historical monuments and museums, seeing some of Egypt’s religious relics or talking a desert trip and enjoying the natural beauty of Safari Egypt?
If you are looking for a peaceful, comfortable and unforgettable trip, here are some places to go that provide a variety of unique adventurous journeys across Egypt that will help you relax and enjoy your time of leisure.
Ras Sudr is located about 37 miles south of the Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel, which connects mainland Egypt to Sinai.
The weather is superb in the area, usually ranging from 30ºC-35ºC. The area is comprised of beautiful beaches offering a wide variety of water activities such as swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, fishing, water skiing and diving.
There are a few must-see sites, which include: Uyoun Moussa, also known as Springs of Moses, it is 20 minutes from Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel. The springs are one of the places where Moses is believed to have passed during the Exodus. As the legend goes, 12 springs of water burst during his visit.
Another attraction is Hammamat Pharaon, also known as the Pharaoh’s Baths. It is south of Ras Sudr, 115km from Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel. It is a natural hot water spring set in a cave extending 25m into the mountain, where the water bubbles up and flows into the sea.
If you are looking for an adventurous trip then Serabit Al-Khadem will be the right place for you. Serabit Al-Khadem is a temple further to the south of Ras Sudr, located on the top of the mountain and is devoted to the patron goddess, Hathour. During ancient time, this area was believed to be the site where ancient Egyptians used to mine turquoise. For this trip, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle and should expect to face about one hour of climbing.
Another desert trip isAl-Tayeba Oasis, which is25km from down town Ras Sudr. Imagine yourself sitting in an oasis surrounded by palm trees and camels and listening to the music of a Bedouin band. There you may enjoy some tea and grilled chicken or meat served by your hospitable host Bedouins.
Another magnificent place is Marsa Matrouh, 524km from Cairo. It lies on a bay on the Mediterranean and is famous for its seven-kilometer long, white soft sands and calm transparent water.
Other known beaches include the Ageebah Beach, which is 28km west of Marsa Matrouh, distinguished by its numerous natural caves and fascinating scenery and the Al-Abyad Beach which is about 20km west of Marsa Matrouh.
If you are interested in visiting some monuments and tourist sites then you should go to the Egyptian Fleet Anchorage, Coptic Chapel, and Rommel’s Hideout.
At the Egyptian Fleet Anchorage, you will find the remains of Ptolemy’s naval installations. While at the Coptic Chapel, you will see numerous caves bearing inscriptions. As for the Rommel’s Hideout, it is a cave, which has been now turned into a military museum. There you will find one of Rommel’s original strategic plans designed for his military operations.
Other places to visit include the British and the German Cemeteries. The first consists of thousands of rock-hewn tombstones standing in straight rows beside a garden, while the latter is built on a high hill overlooking the sea. There is also the Italian Cemetery which is a lofty tower standing on an elevated hill, where the walls are covered with marble.
Fayoum is a wonderful area with a rich and interesting history. It was the main place of worship for Sobek, the crocodile god. During ancient time, crocodiles were bejeweled with gold and fed honey cakes and meat by the priests.
Places to visit in Fayoum include the Pyramid of Senusert, the Keman Faris, the Obelisk of Senusert, the Temple at Kom Madinat Madi, Karanis, Dimia al Sibbia, the Temple of Qasr al Sagha, and finally the Monastery of al Azab.
Here is a brief description of the above places. The Pyramid of Senusert, also known as the Pyramid of Lahun, was built by Senusert II of the XII Dynasty, on a rocky surface on which limestone pillars were constructed. The Keman Faris is an ancient city, known as the cult center of the crocodile god, Sobek. It was built during the V Dynasty. The Obelisk of Senusert is a 30 meters height monument built by Senusert made of granite. It was originally found in two pieces during the 18th century and was recently reconstructed.
There are also some Greek and Roman sites in Fayoum. Dating from the Roman, Coptic, and early Islamic periods there is the Karanis, which is an archaeological site. The city also contains two temples dedicated to the god, Sobek and a Roman bath house.
Another place to visit is Dimia al Sibbia, located on the northern shore of Lake Qarun, where there are the remains of the ancient city of Soknopeios.
Other temples include the Temple of Qasr al Sagha, located on the heights overlooking Lake Qarun from the north. It is a small temple constructed of pink sandstone. The Temple of Qasr Qarun was built during Ptolemaic times, dedicated to Sobek. It is distinguished by its interior, a maze of rooms, and stair cases, all ending on the roof.
Finally, you can visit the Monastery of al Azab, an ancient monastery dating back to the early Christian period. It is also called the monastery of Saint Abram because it contains his remains.
Sohag or Sawhaj lies in the south of Upper Egypt, and covers a stretch of the Nile Valley. It is known for its historic sites, such as the Temple of Seti I, which is considered one of the most important archeological sites in Egypt. The temple, built by Seti I and completed by Ramses, consists of two halls; the first with carved relief, and the second with designs in the form of painted relief.
Behind the temple of Seti I is situated the Osirion, which contains a number of hallways and a courtyard leading to a second pillared courtyard. It is surrounded by 16 small rooms. On the north side of the temple, lays the Temple of Rameses II with sandstone pillars, granite doorframe and a marble shelter.
There are three monasteries in Sohag. The first is Deir Al Anba Shenouda, also called the White Monastery, founded in the year 440. It lies about 6km west of Sohag, and was built using stones and pillars taken from ancient temples. The second is Deir Al Anba Bishoi, also called the Red Monastery, which is 2km from the White Monastery; it also dates back to the fifth century. The last monastery is Deir Al Saba Jibal, located in the valley at Akhmim.
Finally, there are two important mosques in Sohag, the Al Gaamia at Atiq; an old and renowned mosque of Sohag dating back to the Fatimid period. There is also the Masjid Al Arif, a 15th century mosque.
The White Desert
One of the most splendid places in Egypt that is a must-see for all is the white desert. It is also called El Sahra al-Beida, located 175km southeast of Cairo. The desert has a white, cream color and a massive chalk rocks that have been created as a result of sandstorms and wind erosion. For the best romantic ambiance, be there at sunrise or sunset, when the sun turns the white chalk into pink and orange, or in the light of a full moon, which gives the land an icy appearance.
Ras Shitan also called the Devil’s Head; it is about 16km north of Nuweiba, known as one of the best sites for diving. It is the home of puffer fish, octopus and moon groupers. There is also a variety of corals, ranging in different size and texture.
In conclusion, as redundant as it might sound, Egypt never ceases to amaze. The ancient country is full of hidden beautiful sites that many have not seen nor fully ventured into. The nice part of most of these sites is that they can be traveled to in the time-span of a weekend. Many are close to Cairo and are not resorts or just beaches, but actual sites for your eyes to behold. Egypt Oil & Gas has given you the places, now all you have to do is give yourself the time off. After all, you work hard, don’t you deserve to play hard.
By Sarah RashdanDownload