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Why it’s time to put Egypt on your bucket-list

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Looking for an all year destination with culture, a warm welcome and the chance of a bargain? Look no further than Egypt, where history, hospitality, heat and the chance to haggle collide, offering you the adventure of a lifetime.

History

For over 7000 years Egypt has been a source of wonder and delight. With one of the oldest recorded written languages and home to two of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the perfect destination for anyone with a passion for history.

Start your adventure in Cairo, a cosmopolitan city straddling The Nile where the ancient and modern worlds jostle side by side. Though the streets are busy, transport is cheap and you can catch tantalising glimpses of of the pyramids as you travelling through the city.



Massive and imposing, the Pyramid complex at Giza is a must see whether your passion is history or art, or simply a love of all things wonderful.  Take the opportunity to climb high inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu to the burial chamber, and marvel at the night sky carved into the stone. Take a camel ride across the dunes, marvel at the views and then head over the enigmatic Sphinx.  Don’t miss out the Necropolis at Saqqara where you will see even older monuments, such as the Stepped Pyramid built by Djoser over 5000 years ago.

You cannot leave Cairo without spending time at the famous Cairo Museum. Permanent home of the Tutankhamun exhibition, his golden sarcophagi is just one of the many treasures on display. The museum is rich with priceless papyri and room upon room of gold and precious jewels. You can even come face to face with some ancient mummies.  

Take the overnight train from Cairo to Aswan, an adventure not to be missed, and be woken to breakfast and the contrasting views from either side of the train. Desert, sand and mountains on one side, and fertile flood land on the other.  

Whether you take a cruiser or a local falluca, a cruise on the Nile is exhilarating. Relax with a drink as ancient monuments, palm trees and beautiful scenery glides by.  

Another adventure awaits in Luxor and The Valley of the Kings. Nothing can prepare you for the astonishing vividness of the colours inside the tombs. As your eyes accustomed to the light, brilliant gold,  blue and red jump out at you as the paintings bring the glory of ancient Egypt to life.



Hospitality

Since ancient times, Egyptians, have organised feasts to honour their guests, the warm and welcoming hospitality has always been a part of Egyptian culture. Our local guides will take you to the best places to find a bowl of the national dish, Koshari (rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar, and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions ) or a cup of sweet sahlab (vanilla and milk).

Whether it is your first visit, or your 100th, Egyptian hospitality never wavers. Travel blogger and Iain Shiels never tires of their hospitality. Iain recently joined Laura Morrison, both ex Tucan staff,  as she passed through Egypt on her amazing journey from Scotland to Africa to raise money for Cancer Research.

Heat

It’s Africa! So you are pretty much guaranteed sun all year round with the added bonus of beautiful sunrises and sunsets to mark the passing of the days. The summer months, June to August can be very hot, with temperatures often rising to a melting 40 degrees. If you like it hot, then that is the time to go. But for the best experience, we recommend that you plan your visits between October and April when the weather is cooler. It may be cooler, but the temperature can still rise to 30 degrees during the day. 

Haggle

If you love markets and shopping for a bargain, Egypt is your ideal destination as every town and village has its own marketplace. In Cairo you will find the famous Khan El Khalili Market, a 500 year old bazaar selling everything from spices to handmade jewelry.  A first step into the market may be overwhelming, but with the right attitude and some top-level bargaining skills, it is a fantastic place to pick up some beautiful souvenirs and meet some amazing locals. Be prepared for some amazing sites, from donkey carts stacked with vegetables to motorbikes piled high with merchandise. You will come for the bargains, but we know you will stay for the people.



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