Uncovering Egypt's history, scenery and must-see sights!

  • Wendy Ronksley
  • 18 Sep 23

Egypt has been a passion of mine for many years, and it never ceases to hold me in awe. From its ancient wonders and impressive scenery to its warm and welcoming people, I love it a little more each time I visit.

Abu Simbel, Egypt by Wendy Ronksley

Abu Simbel, Egypt by Wendy Ronksley




Thousands of years of history has shaped Egypt into the fascinating destination that it is. Perhaps the most significant sites are the Great Pyramids of Giza, built over three generations by the rulers Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, which date back some 4,500 years. They were preceded by the Step-Pyramid of King Zoser, followed by King Snefru’s abandoned ‘Bent’ Pyramid (named after its building fault) and then what is considered the first true pyramid, Snefru’s Red Pyramid.

Pyramids in Giza, Egypt

Image credit: Dennis Bunnik

The Sphinx in between the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt

Image credit: Adam Philips

The serenely beautiful Sphinx stands guard afront Pharaoh Khafre’s pyramid. Next to it is the Mortuary temple where the Pharaoh’s body would have been prepared before being carried along the adjoining causeway to his pyramid.  

Touring through Egypt takes you from the fascinating Old Kingdom to the incredible New Kingdom. The Old Kingdom comprises  of the golden age of the pyramids and most of these sites are found in Lower Egypt, centred around Cairo, Giza, and Dahshur, whilst the New Kingdom is best known for the pharaohs of Queen Hatshepsut and King Tutankhamon in Luxor, Upper Egypt.



One of the most scenic places in Egypt is the Nile River and cruising the Nile is something every visitor to Egypt must do! The primary source of water for the entire country, you will see ancient paintings and hieroglyphics featuring fishing and farming. It is possible to cruise in either direction between Luxor and Aswan, with ships carrying 100-150 passengers, allowing for a relaxing and slow paced touring experience. Drinks on the sun deck are a must as you enjoy the scenery and catch a glimpse of villages and the daily life of local families along the river banks. Onboard meals and entertainment are included in the fare and extras (such as drinks) are charged to your cabin account and paid prior to disembarking.  

Traditional felucca boat cruising along the Nile River in Egypt

Photo credit: Amie Bunnik

Hot air balloons in the sky over the Nile River in Egypt

While you cruise the tranquil waters of the Nile River, the ship will dock to visit ancient temples along the way. While you sit on deck, you can look out and witness incredible ancient temples, like Kom Ombo. 

View from Nile Cruise in Egypt

Image credit: Amie Bunnik

Man overlooking Kom Ombo in Egypt


What to do in Egypt



Egypt is a wealth of history, and Cairo has three famous museums to display it all, including: The Egyptian Museum, The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). Established in 1902, The Egyptian Museum houses a priceless collection of over 120,000 artefacts. Not only is it a historical treasure, but it's also a striking sight with its fun pink exterior and unique design. 

Pink exterior of the Egyptian Museum

Image credit: Cat Kelly

Hieroglyphics in Cairo, Egypt

Image credit: Dennis Bunnik

Newly-opened in 2021, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo showcases Egyptian history with a modern twist. It has interactive exhibits and also houses the Royal Mummy Room with the mummified bodies of several pharaohs, including that of the great Pharaoh Ramses II. The Grand Egyptian Museum, expected to open in 2024, will house the contents of King Tutankhamen’s tomb (they are currently held in the old Egyptian Museum in Cairo) and will be located just outside of Cairo in Giza, close to the Giza Pyramid complex. 

Golden mummy in Cairo, Egypt

Image credit: Dennis Bunnik

Ancient artefact in Cairo Egypt

Image credit: Cat Kelly


Khan el-Khalili bazaar and souq (or souk) is situated in the historic centre of Cairo. Dating back many hundreds of years, it's an exciting place to wander through. Catering for locals and tourists alike, there is a variety of shops selling everything from jewellery and hookah to papyrus drawings and clothing. There are also some great coffee and tea houses where one can sit, people watch and take in the surrounds. Cash is king here and remember to barter!  

Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt

Image credit: Dennis Bunnik

Gold plates in the Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt



The ancient city of Thebes, now known as Luxor, is where the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens are located. Sitting between them, in all its majestic glory, is the mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Built as a magnificent tribute to one of the most successful female pharaohs, Queen Hatshepsut, this temple's inscirptions narrate her incredible reign. The Valley of the Kings is a necropolis where famous pharaohs were entombed. Visiting the tomb of King Tutankhamun is a must! Whilst his treasures currently sit in the Cairo Museum, his mummified body lies in state there. Even more amazing when you stand inside the tomb is how they managed to fit in all his treasures.

Inside of a tomb in Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Image credit: Amie Bunnik

Queen Hatsheptsu Temple Egypt

Not to be missed in Luxor are the spectacular temples of Luxor and Karnak. Both were constructed over many years in sections by different rulers. Incredibly, Luxor Temple has sections dedicated to Christianity, Islam and the Pharaonic era. The restored Avenue of Sphinxes now connects both Karnak and Luxor temples. Part of the road was first discovered in 1949, with the entire route uncovered over the ensuing years. Karnak Temple is considered the largest temple complex in the world and comprises of temples, pylons, columns, chapels, and a mixture of other buildings. It has a large sacred lake built by Tuthmosis III between 1473 and 1458 BC, which was used by priests for ritual ablutions and other temple needs.  

Luxor Temple in Egypt

Image credit: Victoria Hearn

Karnak Temple in Egypt


Abu Simbel

The twin temples of Abu Simbel are most famous for the outstanding effort by UNESCO in the 1960’s when they were dismantled piece by piece and moved to higher ground to avoid being lost underwater when the Nile was dammed to form Lake Nasser. The solid rock-cut construction is dedicated to King Ramses II himself, and the second temple to his beloved wife Queen Nefertari. The temples are in the Sahara some 300km from Aswan and are visited by road or by plane.

Abu Simbel in Egypt

Image credit: Amie Bunnik

People overlooking Abu Simbel in Egypt


There truly is so much to discover in Egypt, and it's ancient history is so captivating it'll wow you every time you visit. If you're interested in exploring this fascinating country's famous sites, you can do so on one of our Egypt Small Group Tours