When it comes to witnessing the wonders of ancient Egypt, there’s no better way to experience each marvel – and travel from site to site – than on a luxury Nile River cruise. In our destination series so far, we’ve focussed on the tombs and temples you can visit in the southernmost port of Aswan and the city of Luxor, as you meander upriver on your luxury cruise. In this, our third and final post of the series, we focus on the northernmost city on our luxury Nile cruise itineraries, and our final port of call in the Nile valley, the city of Cairo.
Cairo – the birthplace of ancient Egypt
No visit to Egypt is complete without visiting Cairo, not only is it the birthplace of ancient Egypt but it’s also the nation’s modern-day capital city. Synonymous with many a Hollywood movie and one for historians and movie buffs alike, Cairo is home to an amazing range of tourist attractions, antiquities and artefacts. If you’re lucky enough to end – or start – your Egyptian odyssey here, then you’ll be spoilt for choice with the number of ancient monuments on offer. Here are some of our highlights:
- The Great Pyramids of Giza – The three pyramid complex at Giza is one of the most iconic images of Egypt. The Great Pyramid is the most famous and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Standing at 481 feet high, it was built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu. The smaller pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure are both equally impressive, and you’ll find that this spot is rich in many other Egyptian monuments, including a workers complex, causeways and smaller valley pyramids.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza – carved out of limestone bedrock, this incredible statue is the oldest monumental structure in Egypt and was built by the ancient Pharaohs. A mythical creature, with the head of a human and the body of a lion, the Great Sphinx is generally believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre. It stands near the Pyramids of Giza, so can be visited on the same excursion.
- The Step Pyramid of Djoser – The first thing you’ll notice about this pyramid is the dramatically different step construction, compared with the sheer faced pyramids of Giza. In fact, all pyramids were originally constructed using this step design, and smooth-sided pyramids appeared much later. Constructed for Djoser the Pharaoh, this pyramid contains multiple underground burial chambers and is a really popular tourist destination that features many unique architectural points of interest.
- Egyptian Museum – While not a tomb or temple itself, if you’re interested in ancient Egyptian artefacts, then the Egyptian Museum is a must-see. Home to the world’s greatest collection of ancient Pharaonic antiquities, you can journey through time as you wander the corridors and take in the amazing displays. From papyrus and coins to sarcophagi and enormous statues, you’ll be amazed at the treasures that have been preserved from this ancient and mystical civilisation. Although the Egyptian Museum is due to be superseded in 2020 by the Grand Egyptian Museum, you can still enjoy this tourist attraction if you’re travelling to Egypt within the coming months.
These magnificent relics and exhibitions are but a few of the cultural delights you can visit in Cairo. We think you’ll agree, a luxury Nile cruise is definitely the best way to experience the wonders of Pharaonic history. From the serenity and ancient marvels of Aswan to the dramatic iconic temples of Luxor and the majesty of the pyramids in Cairo, you can be sure you’ll see the best that Egypt has to offer. If you’d like to know more about booking a luxury Nile cruise then you can contact us on 020 3504 1065 or email [email protected]. Get in touch today and let our travel experts help you select a unique holiday, one where you can travel back through time, in modern day luxury, comfort and style.