We all have a holiday checklist – do we want to relax on a sun lounger, indulge in some extreme sports, trek among the pyramids or take a leisurely cruise alongside marvels from ancient civilisation? If you’re interested in any – or indeed all – of these, then a trip to Egypt should definitely be top of your list. But any Google search for the top tourist spots will uncover so many amazing tourist destinations, it can be difficult to know where to start, and what should be on your itinerary, in particular when booking a Nile river cruise. To help you in your decision making, we’ve focused this post on the top five tourist attractions you should visit, while cruising down the river Nile.

We’ll start our dream itinerary in the city of Luxor, which was originally known as Thebes and was the ancient capital of Egypt. This port of call is where most Nile river cruises start and is home to some of the most iconic monuments and temples preserved from Pharaonic times. Indeed, it’s been described as the world’s greatest open-air museum, which gives you an idea of the importance of the relics you can witness there.

  1. Luxor: Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple

As you enter Luxor Temple, walking past two enormous statues of Ramesses II, you’ll see why this is such an impressive structure. Constructed in 1400 BCE, this ancient temple complex is an amazing window into the past. The structures get older the deeper you walk into it, and you can see some amazing hieroglyphics as well as a vast Great Colonnade Hall and an enormous pylon. This temple complex is linked to the more ornate Karnak Temple by what was once a 3 km avenue of Sphinxes, the remnants of which can still be witnessed today. The Temple of Karnak is truly awesome, and is in fact a city of temples that took 2,000 years to build. Try and visit early in the day, to avoid the crowds, especially during the peak summer months. Also, if you can stay through to the evening, it’s definitely worth waiting for the sun to go down as there’s a glorious sound and light show daily.

  1. West Bank: Valley of the Kings

No trip to Egypt would be complete without a visit to this truly awe-inspiring  UNESCO World Heritage site. There are some 63 tombs to discover, including the tomb of the most famous Pharaoh of them all – the boy king, Tutankhamun. Spectacular hieroglyphics embellish the walls of the burial chambers, depicting life and death in Pharaonic Egypt and truly transporting you back to ancient times.

  1. Kom Ombo

Situated between Luxor and Aswan, this temple is unique in that it was devoted to two Gods – the crocodile God Sobek and the falcon God Horus. The multiple chambers and soaring colonnades are a fantastic example of Pharaonic architecture, and the beautiful riverside setting make this one of the best located tourist attractions along the river Nile.

  1. Aswan: Abu Simbel

Journey further south on the river delta and you’ll reach the southernmost border of ancient Egypt, the city of Aswan. From here, you can visit the ancient temple complex of Abu Simbel. This twin temple was carved out of the mountainside during the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II. Created to commemorate the King and his queen Nefertari, the temple is guarded over by four colossal statues of Ramesses himself.

  1. The Temple of Isis at Philae

While in Aswan, there’s one more site that should definitely be on your bucket list, and that’s the Temple of Isis. Originally located on the island of Philae, the whole structure was relocated by UNESCO toAgilkia Island, to preserve it from flood damage following construction of the Aswan High Dam. Construction on this amazing structure began in 690 BC, and was completed during Roman times. The temple was built to honour the Egyptian God Isis, mother of Horus and wife of Osiris. Fabulous architecture, intricate hieroglyphics and a wonderful sound and light show make this is a really important attraction to visit from your Nile river cruise.

Here at Egypt Escapes, we’re experts in Nile river cruises as well as cruise and stay holidays; these specialist packages combine a luxury river cruise with a stay in a 5 star Red Sea resort, allowing you to have the best of all worlds. Culture – check! Luxury – check! Relax and unwind – check! Fun and adventure – check! For more information, contact a member of our team on 020 3944 6898 or you can email [email protected].

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