Egypt summer holidays 2014

Escape to a land of wonders
 

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


PyramidWonders await you within the golden borders of the Land of the Pharaohs. Anyone who paid attention in history class already knows about the country’s fascinating and mysterious past, but only in recent years have travel operators identified it as a dream destination. And it’s not just the searing climate that lures you in. From desert landscapes to ancient tombs, minaret-topped mosques to bustling markets, mountainous peaks to glistening seas, Egypt is a truly feast for the senses.

There’s so much to see and do in Egypt, it can tricky squeezing everything into your typical break period. Whether you’re a culture vulture enthusing over a Pharaoh’s gold death mask, or a sun worshipper crisping in the blistering African sun, you won’t be disappointed. To help you make a decision on which is the perfect retreat for you, we’ve compiled a handy guide to the greatest sights and experiences that Egypt has to offer. And when your mind is set, you can find a rental accommodation to suit your budget with a quick search on HomeAway.

 

Top five Egypt attractions


   

Sharm El Sheikh Summer in Sharm El Sheikh

Rightly lauded as one of the world’s premier destinations for snorkelling and scuba diving, Sharm lies at the most southerly tip of the Sinai peninsula. The crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea are teeming with colourful marine life, and you can venture further out to sea to inspect them more closely. Take a boat cruise to Tiran Island along the gulf of Aqaba, or simply relax on the golden expanse of beach that stretches for miles down the coast. If you feel like partying of an evening, the nearby Na’ama Bay offers a selection of pubs and clubs: just remember to respect the area’s Muslim heritage as the cocktails begin to flow.

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Cairo Summer in Cairo

The capital is something of a law unto itself; the phrase “must be seen to be believed” gets bandied about a fair bit in travel articles, but trust me, Cairo is the real deal. Cultures and classes clash - in a good way, like two ecstatic atoms - from the modern virtues of the financial district to the bounty of traditional markets amassing on the street. Don’t miss the opportunity to while away a few hours in the Egyptian Museum, even if just to clap eyes on the famed Tutankhamen death mask taking pride of place in the upstairs gallery. If you are strong of stomach, the hall of mummies is another a sight to behold; follow it up with a tranquil ride along the Nile in a felucca, a small chartered boat.

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Pyramids of Giza Summer at the Pyramids of Giza

Not much can be said about the pyramids that you won’t already know. They are the iconic image most heavily associated with the country, and the Great Pyramid is the last remaining wonder of this ancient world. That said, clapping your eyes on these majestic structures is the only way to appreciate the staggering grandeur involved. For a mere EGYP 30 (about £3), you can explore the dark and cramped chambers of the Pyramid of Khafre, and if you’re one of the lucky 150 permitted that day, EGY 100 will buy you entrance into the Great Pyramid itself.

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Mount Sinai Summer at Mount Sinai

It may be cited as the peak at which Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate Mount Sinai. A popular pilgrimage among visitors involves starting the ascent under cover of darkness, so as to reach the summit in time to witness the sun rise over the desert. If you’re feeling brave - or biblical - you can even climb the 2,285 metres on the back of a camel. Awaiting you at the summit is a modest chapel, built in the ‘30s, dedicated to the holy trinity. At the foot of Sinai lies the Monastery of St Catherine, the oldest functional Christian monastery in the world and the alleged home of the fabled Burning Bush. Its library is also a treasure trove, laden with ancient codices and manuscripts, chalices, mosaics, and Crusader icons.

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Valley of the Kings Summer in the Valley of the Kings

The Pyramids, and Giza in general, are the hottest attractions in terms of historical significance; but for an equally breathtaking insight into Ancient Egypt, visit the grandly-named Valley of the Kings. Located on the west bank of the Nile, in the desert outside Luxor, the Valley holds the tombs of 28 Pharaohs, including arguably the most famous of them all: Tutankhamun. Most tickets will permit you entrance to three of the tombs, but if you want to check out the final resting place of the Boy King, an additional - but mercifully modest - fee must be paid. It’s not every day you spend time in a room containing a solid-gold coffin and quartzite sarcophagus. Presumably!

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Holiday Villas in Egypt

El Gouna - Luxury Detached Villa With Private Heated Pool

A luxury detached villa in a peaceful area of the Red Sea's premiere resort town of El Gouna. Its light and spacious air conditioned accommodation is arranged over two floors. On the ground floor is a huge open-plan lounge with separate dining are...

Villa Romana Italian Style Luxury Villa, Free Wifi. El Gouna

Luxury villa with private pool and lagoon views. Direct lagoon and beach access, minutes walk to shops, restaurants and bars. Sleeps 12 (5 Bedrooms).

"A Sunny Seahorse" This great beachfront condo has 2 gulf view balonies!

This great beachfront condo has 2 ocean facing balconies. A flat screen is located in each of the beautifully decorated bedrooms. This condo has brand new furniture, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and the ability to sleep a famil...

Apartment W114 in El Gouna/Nubia, Red Sea - 4 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: El Gouna, Upper Nubia: Comfortable villa W114, 2 storeys, detached. In a central position residential area (villas), 800 m from the sea, 25 m from the lake, direct access to the lagoon. Private: beautiful ga...

Apartment MB39-0-103 in El Gouna/Marina, Red Sea - 2 persons, 1 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: El Gouna, New Marina: Apartment block MB39-0-103. In a quiet, sunny position in the residential district, 60 m from the sea, 30 m from the beach, direct access to the beach. Linen change (suppl. charge extra...

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