Monthly Archives: May 2010

Lost Tomb (3,300-year-old) of the ancient Egyptian capital’s mayor Found Near Cairo.

3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital's mayor.

3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital’s mayor.

CAIRO — Archaeologists have discovered the 3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital’s mayor, whose resting place had been lost under the desert sand since 19th century treasure hunters first carted off some of its decorative wall panels, officials announced Sunday.

Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, also served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century B.C.

Painted statuary head of either the wife or a daughter of Ptahmes

Painted statuary head of either the wife or a daughter of Ptahmes

The discovery of his tomb earlier this year in a New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo, solves a riddle dating back to 1885, when foreign expeditions made off with pieces of the tomb, whose location was soon after forgotten.

“Since then it was covered by sand and no one knew about it,” said Ola el-Aguizy, the Cairo University archaeology professor who led the excavation. “It is important because this tomb was the lost tomb.”

Some of the artifacts ended up in museums in the Netherlands, the United States and Italy as well as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, providing the only clues about the missing tomb.

A team from Cairo University’s archaeology department found the tomb during new excavations of the area that started in 2005, el-Aguizy said.

The inner chambers of the large, temple-style tomb and Ptahmes’ mummy remain undiscovered.

Hunting scene fragment from the tomb of Ptahmes

Hunting scene fragment from the tomb of Ptahmes

In the side sanctuaries and other chambers they uncovered, archaeologists found a vivid wall engraving of people fishing from boats made of bundles of papyrus reeds. There were also amulets and fragments of statues.

Reference: huffingtonpost.com

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin.

www.memphistours.com

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Categories: Cultural Tourism, Discoveries in Egypt, Latest Discoveries in Egypt, Sightseeing Tours | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold Umayyad coin discovered at Deir Yehnes el-Koseir (Monastery of St. John the Little), an area in Wadi el-Natrun, Egypt.

Both sides of the coin are decorated with Kufic inscriptions. One side bears the name of Allah, the other side is inscribed 'in the name of God the Merciful'. - Image courtesy the Supreme Council of Antiquities

Both sides of the coin are decorated with Kufic inscriptions. One side bears the name of Allah, the other side is inscribed ‘in the name of God the Merciful’. – Image courtesy the Supreme Council of Antiquities

Egypt announced  that a gold Umayyad coin was unearthed last Thursday during an excavation at the Monastery of St. John the Little, in the desert west of the Nile Delta. In a statement Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said both sides of the well-preserved coin are decorated with Kufic inscriptions, the oldest calligraphic form of the Arabic script.

One side of the coin bears the name of Allah. The second side is inscribed: “in the name of God the Merciful.” The coin’s edge is decorated with the year it was minted.  It dates to the year 103 of Higra (721 AD) during the reign of the 9th Umayyad Caliph Yazid II (687 – 724 AD).

The archaeological mission at Wadi el-Natrun is a joint venture between Yale University and the Supreme Council of Antiquities and involves the excavation and conservation of early Christian remains.  The Monastery of St. John the Little is over seven square kilometres in area and contains about a hundred unexcavated structures.

In late antiquity, the desert settlement called Scetis in Greek (now Wadi el-Natrun, or Natrian Desert, as it is often referenced in Christian literature) was a haven for early Egyptian monastic communities.  Monks lived in small cells around the area which were later organized into more formal monastic orders.

The Monastery of John the Little was named after the fourth century desert father, Saint John the Dwarf (or ‘John Kolobos’) and remained one of the most active monasteries throughout Arab rule. It was demolished by a Berber raid in the fourteenth century, yet it is claimed a tree planted by Saint John the Dwarf known as ‘the Tree of Obedience’ still exists at the monastery today.

Reference: Heritage-key.com

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

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New Discoveries in the Fayoum; 45 ancient Egyptian tombs discovered at the site of Lahoun.

One of forty-five mummies uncovered at the excavations in Lahun

A collection of 45 ancient Egyptian tombs was discovered last week by an Egyptian mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) at the site of Lahoun, in the Fayoum.Culture minister, Farouk Hosni, announced yesterday that each tomb contains a painted wooden sarcophagus with the mummy of the deceased still inside it. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, explained that during the excavation work, the mission unearthed an 18th dynasty tomb (1550-1295 BC) containing 12 wooden sarcophagi stacked on top of each other. Each sarcophagus contains a well-preserved mummy. The mummies are covered in cartonnage, which is decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring different ancient Egyptian deities.

Sarcophagus and vessels excavated at Lahun

Sarcophagus and vessels excavated at Lahun

The Middle New Kingdoms cemetery contains 31 tombs most of which are dated to the 11th and 12th dynasties (2030-1840 BC). Each tomb includes a painted wooden sarcophagus bearing a mummy covered with cartonnage, decorated with religious texts that help the deceased to cross through the underworld, as well as scenes of different ancient Egyptian deities, such as Horus, Hathor, Khnum and Amun.

Reference: Zahi Hawass’s blog

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin.

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: 1, Cultural Tourism, Discoveries in Egypt, Sightseeing Tours | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Discoveries at Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt

New Discoveries at Taposiris Magna

The recently discovered royal statue, possibly depicting Ptolemy IV.


Archaeologists have unearthed a huge headless granite statue of an as yet unidentified Ptolemaic king at the temple of Taposiris Magna, 45 km west of Alexandria. The joint Egyptian-Dominican team is supervised by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

Egypt’s Culture Minister Farouk Hosni announced the find, adding that the mission has also located the original gate of the temple as well as evidence that the temple, dedicated to the god Osiris, was built according to traditional ancient Egyptian design.

Dr. Hawass said that the mission, which works in collaboration with the Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, found that the statue is very well preserved and might be one of the most beautiful statues carved in the ancient Egyptian style. The statue represents the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian king wearing collar and kilt. Hawass believes that the statue may belong to king Ptolemy IV.

Hawass said that the temple’s original gate is located on the temple’s western side along with limestone foundation stones that once outlined the entrance. One of these foundations, explained Hawass, bears traces indicating that the entrance was lined with a series of sphinx statues similar to those of the pharaonic era.

Dr. Martinez began excavation work at Taposiris Magna five years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers, Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, as evidence implies that Queen Cleopatra was not buried inside her tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbor of Alexandria.

Hawas pointed out that in the past five years, the mission has discovered a collection of headless royal statues, which may have been subjected to destruction during the Byzantine and Christian eras. A collection of heads featuring Queen Cleopatra were also uncovered along with 24 metal coins bearing Cleopatra’s face. A necropolis was also discovered behind the temple that contained many Graeco-Roman style mummies. Early investigations, said Hawass, show that the mummies were buried with their faces turned toward the temple, which means it is likely the temple contained a significant royal personality.

Reference: Zahi Hawass’s blog

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

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New Tombs Found on Luxor’s West Bank

New Tomb Discovered in Luxor, West Bank.

Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, announced  that an Egyptian archaeological mission led by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), has discovered an 18th Dynasty tomb (1570-1315 BC) in the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga, on Luxor’s west bank.

Dr. Hawass stated that the newly discovered tomb belongs to the Supervisor of Hunters, Amun-em-Opet, and that it dates to shortly before the reign of King

An ushabti found during the excavation.

Akhenaten  (1372-1355 BC).Dr. Hawass added that the entrances to two further undecorated tombs have also been found to the north-west of this tomb; seven funerary seals bearing the name of Amenhotep-Ben-Nefer, the Supervisor of the Cattle of Amun, were found in the courtyard of the first tomb, while seals bearing the name of Eke, the Royal Messenger and Supervisor of the Palace, were unearthed in the courtyard of the second. Furthermore, fragmentary remains of unidentified mummies have also been found, as well as a collection of Ushabti figures made of burned clay and faience.

Reference: Zahi Hawass’s blog

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

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Tutankhamun DNA shows family tree history

The pharaoh Tutankhamun was discovered in his tomb in Egypt in 1922, by the British archaeologist Howard Carter.

Since then his real identity has remained a mystery.

In recent years the advance in DNA profiling has given hope that the king’s family connections could be revealed.

The results of important DNA tests, carried out over the past two years in Cairo, have now been announced at the TutankhamunExhibition in Dorchester.

Although Dorset has no direct link to the pharaohs, the exhibition has been in existence for 21 years, and is internationally acclaimed.

It is also one of the few exhibits of its kind, outside of Egypt.

Tim Batty, the General Manager of the exhibition, said: “The research has helped to establish a family tree for Tutankhamun, which is something we didn’t really know before.”

The report, which is on display in the Tutankhamun Exhibition in Dorchester, traces back to the pharaoh’s great grandparents.

Tim said: “It’s firmed up some of the things we already suspected.

“It’s proved that the mummy in ‘Tomb 35’ [in the Valley of the Kings – a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom] was Tutankhamun’s mother, but archeologically it hasn’t been proved who that person was yet.

“The tests have also shown that Tutankhamun’s father was buried in ‘Tomb 55’ – again it still hasn’t been proved exactly who this person was, but it has always thought to have been Akhenaten [a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, he ruled for 17 years and died in 1336 BC or 1334 BC].”

DNA sequencing has also shown that Tutankhamun’s mother and father had a sibling relationship.

Tim said: “Ancient Egyptian relationships are fairly complicated in that there was quite a lot of intermarriage between brothers and sisters.

“Marriage was very different compared to what we know today.”

More about disease and possible causes of death have been revealed in the report too.

Tim explained: “The cause of death of Tutankhamunhas never been known.

“Originally, due to a mark on the back of his skull, it was thought that he had been hit over the head, or had fallen off his chariot and hit his head.

“However a CT scan [brain scan using x-rays] was done about two or three years ago and it was proved that the blow to the back of his head wouldn’t have been severe enough to cause death.

“Later a break on his leg was discovered and it was then put forward that septicemia [the presence of bacteria in the blood] may have caused his death, if the break hadn’t healed properly.

“That was the current theory until now – it’s now been proved through this latest report that he had malaria as well.

“So we’re getting a picture of quite a frail king, despite the fact he was young – he was only 19 when he died.

“He obviously had malaria, but whether this is what killed him is yet to be proved.

“It was quite prevalent in those days, because of the marshland near the River Nile [in Egypt], which attracted the mosquitoes – so it would have been possible to live with the disease, but not actually die from it.”

Reference : news.bbc.co.uk

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin.

Categories: Adventure Tours, Budget Tours, Classical Tours, Combo Tours, Cultural Tourism, Dahabiyas in Egypt Nile, Events In Egypt, Family Tours, Honeymooners, Luxury Holidays (VIP), Nile Cruise, Sightseeing Tours, Special Offers in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Tomb Discovered in Ismailia , Egypt.

A new tomb was discovered by an SCA mission at Tell el-Maskhuta in the Ismailia governate, announced Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture. The tomb dates to the 19th Dynasty (1315-1201 BC), is constructed of mud brick and consists of a rectangular room with a domed ceiling made of stone, and a deep square-shaped shaft. The interior is decorated with scenes depicting the owner of the tomb, whose name was Ken-Amun.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, reported that this is the first Ramesside tomb to be discovered in Lower Egypt. The tomb is very high quality, and is beautifully decorated and inscribed with scenes known from the Ramesside Period, added Dr. Hawass. In addition to this tomb, the excavation has found 35 tombs dated to the Roman Period.

The excavation discovered a limestone stela inscribed with hieroglyphs containing the name of the capital of the Hyksos, Avaris (Het-Waret). The stela depicts the god Set in front of a king of Dynasty 19, whose name is not written. This stela shows the relationship between the site at Tell el-Maskhuta and the Hyksos capital Avaris, located at Tell el-Daba in Sharqiya.
 
Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsud, the supervisor of the Department of Antiquities of Lower Egypt, said there was a large limestone sarcophagus found inside the tomb that belonged to the owner, Ken-Amun. He was the overseer of the royal records during the 19th Dynasty. The sarcophagus contained inscriptions on its inner and outer surfaces. The tomb walls were inscribed with the titles of the deceased and the name of his wife, Isis, who was a singer of the god Atum. The tomb is decorated in sunken relief with different religious and funerary scenes; the most important scenes were one from the Book of the Dead Chapter 125, as well as one of women mourning the dead. Other important scenes include a depiction of the goddess Hathor in the shape of a cow, emerging from the Delta marshes, as well as a scene of the four sons of Horus. The scenes and titles in the tomb show that Ken-Amun was an important man, who was in charge of keeping the royal records.
 
The discovery of this tomb will provide information about the history of the Delta and the geography of the area, as well as the relationship between this area and the eastern border of Egypt. Excavations will continue at the site, and conservation and restoration work will begin at the tomb, and the tomb and its scenes will be completely documented and registered, under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsud.

Tell el-Maskhuta is located in the Wadi Tumilat near the eastern branch of the Nile that connects with the Suez Canal. When the Suez Canal was being constructed, many sphinx statues of Ramesses II and stelae were found. It is known that the ancient city at Tell el-Maskhuta contained a settlement in the Ramesside Period with a temple for Atum. It also contained a garrison, which stored supplies to equip the ancient Egyptian army before they went east to the border on their military campaigns.

Reference: Dr.Zahi Hawass’s blog

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

New Discoveries at Bahariya Oasis

New Discoveries at Bahariya Oasis

A collection of 14 Graeco-Roman tombs dating to the third century BC have been found in a cemetery in the Ain El-Zawya area of the town of Bawiti, in Bahariya Oasis.

The Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, announced the discovery, adding that it was carried out by an Egyptian archaeological mission.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the newly discovered tombs are rock hewn tombs and that early investigations uncovered four anthropoid masks made of plaster, a gold fragment decorated with a scene of the four sons of the god Horus, and a collection of coins, as well as clay and glass vessels of different shapes and sizes.

Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that these tombs were found as a result of excavation work in an area allocated for the construction of a youth centre for Al-Hara village at Bahariya Oasis, which is 25 km from Bawiti. He added that the excavation has also unearthed the mummy of a woman, 97 cm tall, covered with coloured plaster featuring the lady in a Roman costume and wearing some of her jewellery.

Dr. Mahmoud Affifi, director of Cairo and Giza antiquities, said that this discovery is early evidence of the existence of a large necropolis from the Graeco-Roman era. He asserted that the SCA has halted the construction work and taken all required legal procedures to add the area to the SCA’s control.

Affifi explained that the tombs have a unique interior design consisting of a long stairway leading to a corridor which ends in a hall containing mastabas at its corners that were used in burning the deceased.

Bahariya Oasis is also the site where, in 1996, Hawass and his Egyptian team discovered the Valley of the Golden Mummies where a collection of 17 tombs with 254 mummies have been unearthed.

Reference: Dr.Zahi Hawass’s blog

Posted by :  Yasmine Aladdin

Categories: Adventure Tours, Classical Tours, Cultural Tourism, Events In Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summits of Sinai

Uncovering Egypt’s best-kept sporting secret

Sinai is known for many things — biblical history, world-class diving, posh resorts and conflict with Israel to name but a few. Just a few hours north of the perennially popular tourist retreat Dahab is Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have carried down the Ten Commandments. Mountains, it seems, have figured prominently in the region’s identity. And though adventure sports from kitesurfing to free diving draw thrill seekers from around the globe, few are aware that the mountains of Sinai offer the potential for world-class rock climbing.

That lack of awareness doesn’t come as a total surprise. Climbing is largely undeveloped throughout the Middle East, particularly when compared to nearby climbing destinations on the European side of the Mediterranean. Globally, the sport is rising quickly in popularity and recent years have seen small but highly active climbing communities emerge in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey. In Egypt, however, the sport is virtually unknown.

One group in Sinai is trying to change that. “At the moment, I’m the only climbing instructor in Egypt,” says Jenny Lord, who leads climbing expeditions for the Dahab outfitter Desert Divers.

Desert Divers runs a dive center on the corniche, but has been a pioneer in Sinai climbing, heading inland and scouting locations, bolting routes and developing climbing areas since 2005. Countless hours exploring the canyons just half an hour by car from Dahab’s main strip revealed rock faces and boulders that many climbers only dream of.

One of those areas is Wadi Gnai. Overlooking a lush oasis, the valley is home to over 35 bolted sport-climbing routes, with more being developed. The diversity of climbing here is impressive, varied enough to accommodate first time climbers and long-time enthusiasts. (On the French rating system for difficulty, the routes here range from 3a to 7a.) It’s an easy place for climbers of any level to pass a few days, with enough challenging lines to keep people coming back.

Not far from Wadi Gnai is a bouldering area affectionately known as “Little Hampi,” named after India’s bouldering paradise in Karnataka. In the base of a dry riverbed, boulders sculpted and smoothed by thousands of years of erosion and flash floods pose endless technical challenges sure to keep climbers puzzled. They extend deep into the canyons, ripe with possibility for honing advanced climbing technique just a few feet off the ground.

St. Catherine is yet another option for Sinai climbers. At the base of the epic, sloping granite are bouldering problems, a preview for the challenges that await traditional or ‘trad’ climbers on multi-pitch ascents. Due to the historical importance of the area, drilling permanent protective bolts is strictly prohibited in St. Catherine, so climbers should bring full racks of trad gear.

Saint Catherine has already earned an international reputation for its difficult pitches, most ranging between 6a to 8b, but with plenty of lines that go off the chart. It has been featured in a few British climbing magazines in recent years and has seen a steady increase of traffic since. And although the site is rising in popularity, much of the area remains unexplored.

“There are loads of opportunities for new routing,” says Lord. That alone should be enough to draw serious climbers with visions of making first ascents to the site.

But for those without the experience or gear to take on St. Catherine’s technical climbs, sport, top-roping and bouldering options are needed to build a following.

Fortunately, Sinai has all of that.

In 2005 the European Union launched the South Sinai Regional Development Program (SSRDP), which, according to its mission statement, is intended for “the development of local economy and activities, and the preservation and support of the social, cultural, and natural resources of South Sinai.”

After the 2006 bombing in Dahab, tourism waned. At the time, Tanis Newman and her husband Said Khedr, who together own and operate Desert Divers, were just beginning to realize the climbing potential that awaited inland. But with sinking revenues and expensive equipment needing to be shipped from Europe or the US, developing climbing sites was simply impractical.

“After the bombing, to dig into your own pocket for $5,000 [LE 27,877] in climbing equipment — it just wasn’t going to happen,” says Newman. So she and Khedr applied for an SSRDP grant to fund, among other things, further exploration and development of nearby climbing sites. The following year, Desert Divers received a 74,000 (LE 548,750) grant from the EU.

Newman and Khedr, a Sinai Bedouin, have more in mind than simply developing a sustainable climbing scene in the region. For them, climbing is a way to preserve Bedouin culture in Sinai, which has been marginalized as a result of the Western-oriented development that has taken place along the coast.

“Bedouins don’t have access to traditional jobs,” says Newman. By creating employment opportunities in eco-tourism and adventure sports, Desert Divers is attempting to create opportunities and share an integral piece of the peninsula’s identity.

And it makes perfect sense. Nobody knows the local canyons better than the Bedouin, who have been free soloing the region’s granite chimneys for hundreds of years. Their help has been integral in developing the climbing sites that exist today.

Reference: Egypt Today

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Categories: Adventure Tours, Cultural Tourism, Safari Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Egypt With Love…

Egypt can be the perfect place for couples to rekindle their romantic spark, or just keep the fires burning hot in some of the most romantic spots in the world. That is, if you know where to look. Egypt Today has scoured the nation in search of the best destinations to partake in candle-lit dinners, walks on the beach and oasis spa treatments.

Despite Cairo’s hectic pace, the capital has several nooks and crannies where couples can steal a quiet moment alone to watching the sun set over the Nile. There are few places in the city where you’ll find greenery, but Al-Azhar Park is the best of them. The parkis a wonderful escape from Cairo’s urban stress. Atop the park’s main hill is an ideal spot for a picnic and offers a great view of the Citadel. For those who would rather enjoy finer fare, two cafés on-site offer a variety of salads, main courses, coffees and Arab sweets. One of the cafés overlooks a small lake, while the other has a garden vista.

Nothing says amour in Cairo like a felucca along the Nile at sunset. Though there are boats, such as the Grand Hyatt’s Marquise, that offer dinner and a belly dancing show, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about hiring your own private love boat for an hour.

Memories by the Mediterranean

The best part of Alexandria is its long stretch of beaches, from Qait Bay Fortress all the way to Montazah. Start your day with breakfast (or brunch) at the Helnan Palestine Hotel inside Montazah Gardens, where you can enjoy freshly-made croissants and a gorgeous view of the beach. If you own a cabin in Montazah, take advantage of it; beaches like Nefertiti and Cleopatra make intimate and discreet picnic spots.

For lunch and dinner dates, walk along the Eastern Harbor’s Corniche to the area around Qait Bay Fortress. The Greek Club overlooking the harbor and fortress is bound to delight your partner, as is the Chinese restaurant on the rooftop of the Sofitel Cecil Hotel, with its sweeping view of the entire harbor.

The Breathtaking Red Sea

Wherever there’s a beach, there’s bound to be a romantic spot, but settle only for the best. The Red Sea’s top two favorites are El-Gouna and Marsa Alam. El-Gouna is the spot to see and be seen for both couples and singles alike. Lazing by the beach is an El-Gouna staple, but couples looking for an extra thrill can take wake-boarding or kite-surfing classes together.

Come nightfall, a candlelight dinner at the French restaurant Bleu overlooking the marina is a must. Following dinner, couples can take a midnight stroll by the boats or dance the night away at Tabasco. The club is popular, but not too crowded, so you can enjoy dancing with your date without too much intrusion.

If you’re having trouble sealing the deal with a special someone, Marsa Alam is the perfect place to sweep them off their feet. During the day, go snorkeling with the dolphins at Samadai Reef, better known as the Dolphin House. Follow it up with a picnic on the coast, where oftentimes you can have a whole beach to yourself.

As the moon rises, cuddle up in any of the cafes on the beach (literally, on the beach), and watch the stars emerge while sipping freshly brewed tea from the mountains. Marsa Alam has several posh resorts along the coast like Kahramana Beach Resort, or simpler and more environmentally friendly huts, tents and stone chalets, such as Ecolodge Shagara. For a top of the line Marsa Alam experience, stay in Port Ghalib, a luxurious resort community with five-star hotels and a shopping street, as well as a lagoon and marina.

Desert DreamingCamels ride in Egypt desert

Are you and your significant other having trouble getting some time to yourselves? There’s nowhere more isolated than a oasis in the middle of the Western Desert. Siwa’s easygoing people, delicate organic cuisine and accommodations seemingly designed with the romantic desert getaway in mind make the oasis an undiscovered gem for couples.A quick romantic evening that doesn’t take much planning is a Bedouin dinner amid the dunes. Most hotels offer forays into the sand or can recommend a good guide with an off-road vehicle.

There are also several springs to visit in the area, such as Cleopatra’s Bath, Fatnas Spring and Bir Wahed lake, where couples can have a picnic and swim.

Bahareyya, Farafra, and Al-Dakhla oases also offer worthwhile excursions for adventurous couples and are a good starting point for deep desert tours. From Bahareyya and Farafra, arrange a tour of the Black and White deserts, coupled with nights under the stars in a Bedouin camp. Private or group tours can be arranged in the towns or through your hotel. But before you go, spend a lazy day of reading and eating dates underneath palm trees in any one of the tiny hotels in the oasis towns and get a real feel for life in a small village out in the middle of the desert.

Sinai
Sharm El-Sheikh is a no-brainer for couples, with its long stretches of beach, resorts and exclusive private yachts for rent. But for a more intimate experience, try Ras Shitan, about 15 kilometers from Nuweiba. Its quiet beaches and pristine desert landscape can’t be beat.

If camps aren’t your thing, but you still want to avoid Sharm’s resort-laden coast, try Dahab. Known for its great diving, Dahab’s hotels and hostels near the Eel Garden are great places to spend quality time with your loved one while sipping a fruit shake in the sun.

Climbing Mount Sinai during the night to see the sunrise is the way most people do St. Catherine. Sunrise is the traditional goal of the climb, and it is definitely worth seeing, but you will be sharing the experience with a few hundred other dawn devotees. For a more intimate experience, make the hike in the afternoon so you can sit in silence and watch the rays of the setting sun paint the surrounding mountains in dramatic reds and oranges.

Upper Egypt

In the capital, feluccas and dinner cruises reign on the river, but for a proper multi-day cruise, Upper Egypt is the place to be. Nile cruises start from either Aswan or Luxor and range from three to seven days, depending on direction and number of stops. These floating hotels take care of all the planning for you, from transportation and tickets to the antiquities sites along the way to full board meals and evening entertainment programs.

The one drawback to a Nile cruise is its popularity. There are tens of cruise ships en route at any given time, except when the Esna locks are closed for maintenance in June and December, so the river gets awfully crowded near the tourist sites. A more isolated option is the Lake Nasser cruise: there are less than 10 boats authorized to operate on the world’s largest man-made lake. In addition to visiting a number of little-known antiquities sites, you and your companion can sip mocktails and clink glasses as you cross the Tropic of Cancer.

Known as one of the most beautiful places in the country, Aswan is a treat for couples with a yen for exploring. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets while indulging with your evening or morning ahwa. One of the most picturesque corners of the country is Philae Island, with the Greco-Roman temples amid the flowering landscape.

After taking in the local ruins, particularly on Elephantine Island, check out the Sharia Al-Souq. Behind conventional shops and touristy peddlers are winding alleys with market fare accented by the city’s Nubian roots. Off the beaten path is Sculpture Park, home to world-renowned works from international sculptors. The park, housing the art created during Aswan’s annual sculpture symposium, is on the way to the Philae Island boat dock, so arrange transportation in advance. et et

Refernce: Egypt Today.

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Categories: 1, Accessible Tours, Budget Tours, Classical Tours, Combo Tours, Cultural Tourism, Dahabiyas in Egypt Nile, Egypt Hotels, Events In Egypt, Family Tours, Honeymooners, Luxury Holidays (VIP), Nile Cruise, Scuba Diving, Shore Excursions, Sightseeing Tours, Special Offers in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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