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Types of Travel to Egypt
We receive any number of emails from individuals who wish to travel to Egypt, but have no idea what sort of tours or holidays are available. Actually, people go to Egypt for many different reasons and for many different types of vacations. And vacations to Egypt do not have to fall under a specific type of travel, as many visitors mix and match various types of travel.

Classical Holidays to Egypt

The classic tour of Egypt is mostly Pharaonic (Ancient Egypt), though most of the time this will also include some religious and Islamic sightseeing. The most common classic tour is usually 10 to 14 days, and generally includes Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, though not particularly in that order. Classical tours are often arranged with, or without a Nile Cruise.


Typically, such a tour will begin in Cairo, as that is the major airport where most tourists enter Egypt. However, tours of the Cairo area are frequently split between the beginning and end of the trip.

 

For example, 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 and returning to Cairo, tours will often visit the Citadel and Khan el-Khalili market in Islamic Cairo and the churches and Coptic museum in Old Cairo. Of course, the tours may not be in this specific order.

After the first day or two in Cairo, such tours usually move on to either Luxor or Aswan, usually by air but possibly by train. However, other forms of travel are often arranged, including bus travel. If this is the case, the bus may stop at antiquity sites along the way, such as some of the antiquities near the Fayoum. The next leg of the tour usually begins in either Luxor or Aswan.

Luxor is often arranged as either a one or two day tour. In the morning, or one day of a two-day stay, the tour visits the West Bank where many monuments and tombs are to be found, including some of the finest in Egypt. This usually takes place in the morning in order to avoid the heat of the afternoon. Then, one afternoon or one day.will be reserved for the east bank, where the Luxor and Karnak temples are located, as well as the excellent Luxor museum. Other activities might include a visit to the local bazaar.

For Aswan further south in Egypt, a day tour is usually sufficient for many, and may include visits to Elephantine Island, St. Simeon's Monastery, the unfinished Obelisk, the Nubian Museum, the High Dam and Philae Island, though time may not permit most standard tours to visit all of these sites. However, a frequent addition to the standard classical tour is the temples at Abu Simbel. This will

usually add a day to the Aswan tour. Most tours fly to Abu Simbel and back in one day, leaving some of that time open to expand on the visits to Aswan sites. Other less common tours may bus to Abu Simbel, possibly with a stay in a local hotel there.

If, after Cairo, a tour first ends up in Luxor, the next destination will usually be Aswan, or if Aswan is the first stop, the next destination will usually be Luxor. The most common forms of transport between these two destinations are tour bus or Nile Cruise boat. While one may take a train or even fly between the two destinations, this is usually not done due to the antiquity sites such as the temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu, which are located between the two cities.

Religious Tours
One might say that there are four different types of Religious Tours. The first type might be considered Islamic tours, but this is outside of the scope of most westernized tours. While westerners frequently visit a few ancient mosques, they usually do not plan an entire tour around Islamic monuments. The other three types of Religious tours include the Holy Family Route, the Exodus Route and unstructured religious tours.

Unstructured religious tours simply have no grand plan, such as following the Holy Family or Exodus Route. On the other hand, they may present a more balanced survey of all religious sites in Egypt, including those of both the Holy Family and Exodus Routes. Simply put, the Holy Family and Exodus tours attempt to follow the routes of these holy journeys, while unstructured religious tours may cover a spectrum of religious sites including those on both the Holy Family Route and Exodus Route. In any event, many such religious tours can and often do include visits to the most important pharaonic sites such as the Pyramids and the Egyptian Antiquity museum. Furthermore, unstructured religious tours and the Exodus tours will often include the Sinai, so even a short beach stay might be included.

Adventure and Specialty Tours
Adventure and specialty tours are very often combined with a classical pharaonic tour, though they need not be, and in some specific cases, rarely are. However, some specialty tours are in fact classical tours with a twist. These types of tours very considerably and we cannot probably name every variety possible. However, they include:

 

Golfing Tours

Golfing tours almost always include a classical element. This is not a traditional tour at all, so it is difficult to say what the normal tour will include. However, most usually they include one or two courses in Cairo, then perhaps Luxor and possibly the Red Sea coast or the Sinai. Many such tours are set up for a morning or afternoon of Golf, with the remainder of the day spend sightseeing. However, getting in a round of golf in Egypt does not necessitate taking a golfing tour. A round of golf may be arranged at

several locations on a classical tour, or for that matter most any other type of tour, as there are now a variety of courses spread out over Egypt.

 

Fishing Expeditions
One may, of course, fish most anywhere along the Nile, and visitors will see Egyptians doing so even on the bridges and banks in Cairo. However, of growing popularity, as well as being unique, is Lake Nasser fishing. Here, one may find some of the largest fresh water fish in the world, and there are regular fishing expeditions. Because Lake Nasser is just south of Aswan, fishing expeditions to the area may include some classical sightseeing, though often they will not.

While somewhat rare, there are also deep sea fishing opportunities in the Red Sea, though one must look around to find them. Specifically, we know of deep-sea fishing boats in Hurghada on the Red Sea Coast and Nuweiba in the Sinai.

Birding Tours
Bird watchinghas been more and more popular in Egypt, as Egypt is on the migratory path of many species of birds. While birds may be found throughout the Nile Valley and the Sinai, the most popular areas appear to be near Aswan, and the Northern Sinai. Bird watching around Aswan is almost always accompanied with a classical tour, and may simply be an addition to a standard classical tour. However, there are few ancient monuments in the Northern Sinai, so these tours rarely involve a classical component.

Nature Tours
Most commonly, nature treks occur in the Sinai, and specifically in the mountainous region of middle southern Sinai. Actually, such treks in the Sinai mountains are as much spiritually oriented as nature oriented.

Simple Holidays
Simple holidays in Egypt are a European tradition dating back over 100 years, when people would visit Aswan and Luxor not for the antiquities, but simply to relax around a pool in a nice hotel and watch the traffic slip down the Nile. Obviously, it would be simple to include a classical element to such holidays, but many people who come to Egypt for this purpose have seen the sights before. They usually come for the warm, dry climate and they include mostly mature adults and families. A good example of a hotel that caters to these vacationers is the Movenpick Jolie Ville in Luxor, which is a complete resort including a golf course.

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