Most people who consider visiting Egypt think of antiquities museums and the pyramids, but Egypt offers much more. It also hosts Holy Land tours which visit Pharaonic, Islamic and Christian historical sites and religious monuments. Egypt also has a variety of nature tours, and luxurious beach resorts for those who want to relax on the coast of the Red Sea. Take in the modern culture of Cairo, or cruise down the Nile.

A visa is required in order to visit Egypt. These cost $15 US per person and can be obtained from the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate nearest you. It is also possible for most tourists and visitors to obtain an entry visa upon arriving in Egypt at any of the major Ports of Entry.

Egypt has a hot, dry climate and tourists are advised to bring hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and good walking shoes, preferably breathable ones such as ventilated sneakers. Those who plan to tour tombs and monuments should bring high-speed film as many historical sites do not allow flash photography. Also remember to take along a power adapter as well as a wall plug converter, as Egypt uses 220 volt power and plugs are two prong rounded.

Most Egyptians are Muslim, with a minority of Coptic Christians. Due to conservative local dress codes, especially in churches and mosques, women and men are both advised to bring some long-sleeved shirts and long pants. In addition, women will encounter much more social acceptance when touring old churches and mosques if they are wearing some sort of head covering. Scarves or other apparel which covers shoulders and arms is not only important for visiting religious sites, but also serves as sun protection during treks. Be sure to remember to drink plenty of water in the desert heat. The most practical garments are loose and layered, so they can be added in the cool evenings and removed during the furnace-like heat of the day.

The classic tour of Egypt is mostly Pharaonic, which means that it visits historical sites of Ancient Egypt. This will also often include some religious and Islamic sightseeing. The most commonly offered tour is usually 10 to 14 days long, and generally includes Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, and sometimes a Nile cruise. Usually these tours begin in Cairo, since this the major airport where most tourists enter.

For instance, such a tour might cover the Giza Pyramids (Great Pyramid), as well as Saqqara (Step Pyramid) and even the Egyptian Antiquities museum on the first day of the tour. Then, after traveling to Luxor and Aswan, the tour will return to Cairo and visit the Citadel and Khan el-Khalili market in Islamic Cairo and the churches and Coptic museum in Old Cairo.

A trip to Luxor is often arranged as either a one or two day tour. In the morning (to avoid the midday heat), or one day of a two-day stay, the tour visits the West Bank to see the many tombs and monuments. Then, the afternoon or the subsequent day will be reserved for the Luxor and Karnak temples on the East bank, and also the excellent Luxor museum. Other activities might include a visit to the local bazaar.

Usually a day is spent in Aswan in the south of Egypt. Visitors will be shown such sites as Elephantine Island, St. Simeon's Monastery, the unfinished Obelisk, the Nubian Museum, the High Dam, Philae Island, and the Temples at Abu Simbel.

There are four different types of Religious Tours. Muslim tourists will be interested in an in-depth tour of Islamic sites. Holy Family and Exodus tours follow the route of these biblical journeys. Unstructured religious tours will cover a spectrum of religious sites including those on both the Holy Family and Exodus tours. Many such religious tours include visits to important Pharaonic sites such as the Pyramids and the Egyptian Antiquity museum.

Consider a Nile cruise for both an educational and relaxing holiday. It is a great time saver to unpack just once and have your hotel travel with you, rather then the hectic routine that accompanies the stop and go itineraries of air and land tours. Nile cruises visit a wide variety of antiquities located along the banks of the river, which was once the main thoroughfare through Egypt. In addition, they give tourists a perspective of rural Egypt, whose people have much the same lifestyle they did thousands of years ago, living in simple mudbrick homes, cultivating their fields with wooden plows and moving produce to market on the backs of donkeys. Enjoy sitting on the shaded deck of your floating hotel, sipping an iced beverage while watching five thousand years of culture slowly pass before you.

Adventure and specialty tours include desert treks, golfing, or fishing in Lake Nasser, which holds some of the largest fresh water fish in the world. Egypt's Red Sea has world-class scuba diving, including pristine reefs and many shipwrecks. Bird watching is becoming more popular in Egypt, as the country is on the migratory path of many species of birds. Most commonly, nature treks occur in the Sinai, and specifically in the mountainous region of middle southern Sinai. Such treks in the Sinai mountains are as much spiritually oriented as nature oriented.

Many visitors, especially Europeans, come to Egypt for an affordable sand and sea holiday. Often beach vacations include some classical or religious sightseeing.

Whatever your interests and your reasons for visiting Egypt, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable holiday.

J Schipper loves to travel Travel to Costa Rica Travel in China Condo Cruise Ship
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