Egypt's capital, Cairo, was founded in the sixth century by Arab settlers.
This is a metropolis which offers visitors a harmonious blend of the past and
- Pharaonic Cairo
- The Pyramids and Sphinx, located 9 miles west
- The Solar Boat, the world's oldest boat is
exhibited near the Cheops Pyramid.
- The Step Pyramid, at Saqqara, 20 miles south
of Giza, is the world's first great stone structure.
- Jewish Synagogue: Next to the St. Barbara
Church lies the 9th century Ben Ezra Synagogue supposedly built over the
site where the baby Moses was found in the bulrushes. Shechinah ornaments
and a valuable collection of ancient manuscripts and Torah scrolls can be
- Coptic Cairo
- El Mouallaqa Church, called the hanging
Church, is next to the Copdc Museum in Old Cairo. It was built by the Romans
in the 1st century B.C.
- Abou Serga Church, not far from El Mouallaqa,
is said to mark the place where the Holy Family rested on the Flight to
- Islamic Cairo
- The Citadel of Salah El-Din, located in
eastern Cairo at the foot of the Mukattam Hill. This is a 13th century
fortress. One of its buildings is the Mohamed Ali Mosque.
- Mosque of Ibn Tulon, is distinguished by the
external staircase that winds around the minaret. This mosque dates from
- Mosque of Sultan Hassan, at Salah El-Din
Square, built in the 14th century, this is Cairo's largest mosque with the
- Al Azhar Mosque and University, El-Hussein
Square, founded in the 10th century, Al Azhar is the world's oldest
- Mosque of Qalawun, a 13th century mosque in
the Mouski area. Its imposing facade incorporates Corinthian columns with
- Museums of Cairo
- Egyptian Museum, behind the Nile Hilton
Hotel. Contains the world's richest collection of Pharaonic antiquities.
King Tutankhamum treasures are on the 2nd floor; so are 27 mummies. Open
daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Fridays, 9:00 am to 11:15 am and 1:30 pm
to 4:00 pm
- Coptic Museum, in Old Cairo: Contains rare
collections dating back to the early Christian era. Open daily from 9:00 am
to 4:00 pm Summer hours 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Islamic Museum, Ahmed Maher Square. Exhibits
cover the entire range of Islamic art, and are collected from all parts of
the Moslem world; the same opening hours as the Egyptian Museum.
Center of Egyptian power from 2,100 to 750 B.C., Luxor, which lies on
the East bank of the Nile about 400 miles South of Cairo, is a city unlike
any other in the world. Its awesome tombs, temples and statues are a witness
to man's ageless achievement.
- East Bank of Luxor
- The Temple of Luxor: in the center
of town, built by Amenophis 111 and dedicated to the God Amon-Ra, it was
expanded by Ramses 11.
- The Temple of Karnak: 2 miles North of Luxor
Temple. Built over 2,000 years ago, each Pharaoh added his own contribution.
It houses the Hypostyle Hall, the largest of any temple in the world,
covering 50,000 square feet, and containing 134 huge columns, and Queen
Hatshepsut's 97 feet obelisk.
- Luxor Museum: between the Luxor and Karnak
Temples. A small but beautifully arranged museum featuring unique Ancient
- Sound and Light Spectacle: performed every
evening at the Kamak Temple. Visitors walk through the temple until they
reach the thearre of the Sacred Lake where the narration continues.
- West Bank of Luxor
- Colossi of Memnon: two mammoth
statues of Amenophis 11.
- Temple of Queen Hatshepsut: built as a series
of grand terraces with rows of square granite columns blending in with the
- The Valley of the Kings: in the foothills of
the mountains of Gourna. Over 60 tombs of Pharaohs and noblemen can be
- The Tomb of Tutankhamun: Still contains one of
the three original stone sarcophagi with a golden coffin, guarded by apes
painted on the wall. Its treasures are displayed in the Egyptian Meseum in
- The Tomb of Amenophis II: has a modern look
with a richly decorated sarcophagus.
- The Tomb of Ramses Vl: excellent wall and
ceiling drawings illustrating the goddess floating in the sky with the stars
and several suns.
- The Tomb of Seti I: breathtaking wall drawings
and reliefs. The funerary chamber has a spectacular gold and black
- The Tombs of the Nobles: spread along the edge
of the desert, these tombs of priests and nobles show many details of the
daily life of ancient Egyptians.
- The Tomb of Nacht: has scenes of banquets,
dancing girls. musicians, fruit gathering and grain reaping.
An interlude of relaxation known for its dry climate, Aswan presents some
of the country's most beautiful scenery, and the Aswan High Dam, the modern
engineering feat. The city is 600 miles South of Cairo, and 115 miles from
- The Aswan High Dam: completed in
1964, is located 4 miles South of the old dam. The High Dam has created a
300-mile long lake. It can be visited by taxi from the city.
- Kalabsha Temple: six miles South of
the High Dam on the West bank of the lake. The Temple is dedicated to the
Nubian God Mandulis.
- Themple of Philae: on Agilka Island
where it was recently moved to save it from the rising Nile water. The Great
Temple of Isis is the largest and most distinctive with a balanced collection
of pylons and colonades. The Temple of Hathor has beautiful wall paintings of
musicians and dancers.
- Elephantine Island: can be reached
by felucca (sailing boat), to cross the Nile North of the New Cataract Hotel.
Visit the ruins of the ancient town, the museum, and the Nilometer.
- Mausoleum of Aga Khan: on a hill
facing the Minarets of Bilal.
- Monastery of St. Simon: Built by
Coptic monks in the 6th century A.D. The ruins are located behind the
- Plantation Island: has a unique and
wide variety of exotic plants from all over the world.
- Unfinished Obelisk: near the granite
quarries where stones were cut for use in ancient monuments. The obelisk is
125 ft. Iong and is estimated to weigh 1,170 tons.
- Aswan Area
- Temple of Edfu: 70 miles North of
Aswan, Edfu Temple boasts the Temple of Horus, the best preserved of all
Pharaonic remains. Its foundation was laid in 237 B.C. during the reign
of Ptolomy III and took 200 years to complete.
- Temple of Kom Ombo: 30 miles Norrh
of Aswan, the temple is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile God, and Haroeris,
the winged God.
- Temple of Abu Simbel: 170 miles
South of Aswan, built 3,500 years ago by Ramses II. To save it from inundation,
the Temple was cut into 2,000 pieces weighing about 40,000 tons, moved 90 feet
higher and reassembled. The Temples of Ramses and Hathor are a proof of the
outstanding architecture of ancient Egyptians. You can reach Abu Simbel Temple
by air from Cairo or Aswan, or by road.
Alexandria, called the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" is Egypt's second
largest city; population about 5.5 million. It offers visitors some remains of
its ancient glory, a wide stretch of Corniche and wide sandy beaches.
- Pompey's Pillar: in a small park
about 1.5 miles southwest of the city center is a column 93 feet high, erected
in the house of Emperor Diocletian by his troops. The name is a mistake made
by Crusaders in the 13th century who thought the pillar marked the tomb of
Pompey the Great.
- Catacombs of Kom El Shokafa: near
the Pompey's Pillar. Three tiers of burial chambers dating from 2nd century
B.C., carved into the rock, 100 feet below ground. A winding staircase
descends to the chambers of the first floor.
- Greco Roman Museum: on El Mathaf
Street. Contains statues, teas reliefs, jewelry and other artifacts of the
Greek and Roman days. Room 9 is devoted to the relics of the cult of the
crocodile including a mummified crocodile.
- The Roman Amphitheatre: close to
the Greco-Roman Museum. Discovered in 1963 and dating back to the second
century A.D., the 12 tiered amphitheatre is in a remarkable condition.
- Fortress of Qait Bay: on the
western side of the Cornich, this is a medieval stronghold dating from the
15 th century, on the site where the Lighthouse of Pharos, one of the world's
seven wonders, once stood. It also houses the Navel Museum. And across the
street is the Aquarium.
- Ras El Tin Palace: not far from the
fortress. The Palace was the summer residence where ex-King Farouk signed his
The Sinai Peninsula is a great triangle of land, 36,600 miles in area with
long coasts, high granite mountains, deep chasm and fertile green oases. It
has its fascinating history, holy places and unique beauty. It was in the
Sinai that Moses received the Ten Commandments, that the prophet Elyah sought
refuge from Queen Jezebel and that the Holy Family traveled on the Flight into
- El-Arish: remarkable for its calm
waters, palm-shaded beaches and fine "rained white sand.
- St. Catherine Monastery: built by
Emperor Justinian in the 6th century to shelter Christian monks. The Monastery
contains the Chapel of the Burning Bush, the Mosaic of the Transfiguration of
Christ and a library containing early Christian manuscripts.
- Mount Moses: beyond the Monastery.
The monks built a staircase of rocks with 3,750 steps leading to the summit.
- Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab and Nuweiba:
3 dive resorts, 300, 350 and 400 miles respectively from Cairo, with clean and
comfortable accommodation and fully-equipped dive centers run by professional
- Taba: Last resort on the Red Sea
Coast of Sinai, unique in position; Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel are
visible from there with the naked eye.
THE RED SEA
A virtual paradise for diving enthusiasts, the Red Sea is recognized by
experts as the best dive site in the world. A myriad of exotic species of
tropical reef fish, hard and soft unique coral formations and beautiful desert
add to the charm of the Red Sea.
- Hurghada: on a crescent-shaped bay
with rugged mountains, 237 miles South of Suez.
THE SUEZ CANAL
- Suez: on the Red Sea, 82 miles East
of Cairo at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal. A favorite fishing and
camping spot. Suez is known for the Ataka Mountains along its southern
coastline which change colors from pink to purple at different hours of the
- Ismailia: an attractive town on the
western shore of Lake Timsah, Ismailia was founded by Ferdinand de Lesseps in
1863 as his base of operations during the digging of the Suez Canal.
- Port Said: a modern city, 135 miles
northeast of Cairo at the Mediterranean entrance to the Suez Canal. Port Said
has a scenic promenade running along an attractive beach.
- Fayyum: Egypt's largest oasis,
Fawum is 65 miles southwest of Cairo, overlooking Lake Qarun which is a
popular spot for hunting and fishing. Visitors can see the remains of the
Temple and Pyramid of Amenemhat III, and Qasr Qarun, a well preserved temple
of the Greco-Roman era.
- Kharga and Dakhla: located in the
New Valley area in the southern reach of the Western Desert. From Assiut, it
is 142 miles to Kharga - a three hour drive. The oasis are also accessible by
Air Sinai from Cairo. Dakhla is about 120 miles to the West of Kharga. The
road from Kharga is good and can be covered in 3 hours by car.
- Sightseeing in Kharga: the Nadura
Temple, dating back from the time of Antonius Pius, on the site of the Roman
Town of Thibis. There are also Roman fortresses. In the center of the oasis is
Kasr El Guewoka with a sanctuary dedicated to the God Amon. And further south
is Baris, a temple consecrated to Isis and Serapis.
At Dakhla is a stone monastery dedicated to Amon. An unusual sight is the
Chalybeate Springs, gushing forth at 95o