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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Great Pyramid of Giza (c. 2570 BC) — the world's tallest building until about 1300 AD — is one of Egypt's most popular tourist draws.

Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner in the Arab Republic of Egypt, with 9,990,000 foreign tourist arrivals in 2007.

Contents

History

Egypt has been an important destination for people in the Middle East, Africa and Europe from ancient times. Beginning in the early 19th century — with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt — interest in Egyptology surged and this fascination laid the foundations for the the modern tourism industry in the country. Tourism remains an important pillar of the Egyptian economy and has received wide support from the government.

The Egyptian government plans to have 14 million visitors by 2011.[1]

Major attractions

The celebrated tourist attractions of Egypt are the millenia-old monuments for which the Nile Valley is world famous. Principal among them are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza, the Abu Simbel temples south of Aswan and the Karnak Temple Complex and Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Cairo also boasts the Cairo Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the coastal areas of Sinai Peninsula are very popular with visitors as well[2].

  • Giza, about 20 km southwest of Cairo, is the site of some of the most impressive and oldest (26th century BC) ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples.
  • Saqqara, some 30 km south of Cairo is a vast, ancient burial ground which served as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. It features numerous pyramids, including the world's oldest standing step pyramid, as well as a number of mastabas.
  • Luxor, about 500 km south of Cairo, is the site of the ancient city of Thebes and has sometimes been called "the world's greatest open air museum". It includes the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor, which stand within the modern city. On the opposite side of the Nile River lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.
  • Abu Simbel, about 850 km south of Cairo (near the Sudanese border) is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples originally carved out of a mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II (13th century BC). The complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s to avoid being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser. They are now situated on an artificial hill made from a domed structure high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.

Historical Egypt

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Pharaohs

Giza Pyramids

5,000 years ago, the pharoahic nation was founded in Egypt, and they were a sophisticated and civilized society. Pharoahs invented a lot of things we use today such as papyrus paper, the father of modern paper. This nation left a very large amount of monuments and temples. Most of the reminders of this well known nation is preserved in Egypt. These monuments draw many tourists ,who like to watch and appreciate these reminders, to Egypt.

Some of the well-known artefacts of ancient pharaohic civilization are:

Pyramids: Perhaps the most known pyramids are the three pyramids of Giza, but there are more than 70 pyramids along the Nile. Beside the giant three pyramids is Sphinx, a lion-bodied guard of the pyramids. The pyramids were built more than 4,000 years ago in the eras of Kings Cheops, Kefren and Mykerinos. These three kings' bodies are buried in these enormus pyramids. The biggest pyramid, Cheops', is known as the Great Pyramid because it measues 145 meters tall. Touristic places beside the pyramids are The Solar Barque Museum, The Sphinx Complex and The Sphinx Sound and Light Show.

Djoser Pyramid

Saqqara Complex: The vast necropolis os Saqqara including Memphis is located 24 kilometers south of central Cairo. Memphis was founded in about 3000 BC by Menes, along wiyh 11 other pyramids. Memphis was the administrtive capital of ancient Egypt. You will find Zoser's funerary complex, Mereruka's tomb, and Serapeum. Serapeum is a large limestone structure and an amazing collection of mummified Apis bulls in gargantuan granite coffins of various kings such as King Teti

Valley of the Kings in Thebes: The Valley of the Kings covers its secrets well. The grand pyramids of the earlier pharaohs were too tempting to attract stealers, so from the eighteenth to twentieth Dynasties, about 26 pharaohs built their tombs in the valley. Carving them into the eterning mountains, far from any messing hand. Famous tombs there belong to Tutankhamun, Ramses the Great and Tuthmosis III. This valley is located in Luxor.

The valley of the Kings

There are other interesting tombs to see in the Valley of the Queens and nobles

Tourist Information

Passports and visas are required of foreign visitors except natives of several Middle Eastern countries. Transit voyagers, however, that travel by ship or plane are not required to obtain visas. Travellers native to most of Africa must have proof of cholera and yellow fever vaccination.[2]

Airports

There are nine international airports in Egypt that serve all of the county’s major cities including Cairo and Taba international airports.[3]

Cairo International Airport is the main gateway to Egypt and is located about 15 miles northeast of the city in northern Egypt. Cairo’s two terminals receive flights from major world cities including those in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. You can reach central Cairo by bus, while numerous taxis also run to the city and its hotels at a reasonable price. Limousines are also available as a more comfortable alternative.

Located in central Egypt, Luxor International Airport is a popular facility that serves the Nile Valley and it a convenient gateway for people heading to the popular tourist destinations of the region. Two updated terminals serve international and domestic flights, with a number of Egyptian carriers including Air Cairo and Egypt Air operating from the airport. The airport is located close to the city centre and taxis, limos and regular buses are available for transfers into the city.

Railways

Egyptian Railways is the backbone of passenger transportation in Egypt with 800 million passenger miles annually.[4]

Air-conditioned passenger trains usually have 1st and 2nd class service, while non-airconditioned trains will have 2nd and 3rd class. Most of the network connects the densely populated area of the Nile delta with Cairo and Alexandria as hubs.

The Alexandria-Cairo-Luxor-Aswan link is served daily in both directions by air-conditioned sleeper trains of Abela Egypt. This service is especially attractive to tourists who can spend the night on the train as it covers the stretch between Cairo and Luxor. A luxury express train also connects Cairo with Marsa Matruh towards the Libyan border.

Nile Cruises

Nile cruises may vary considerably, but typical Nile cruises are either three, four or seven nights. The shorter tours usually operate between Luxor and Aswan, while the longer cruises travel further north to Dendera, often offering day tours overland to more remote locations.

Nile Cruise Between Aswan And Esna, Egypt

The usual cruise is aboard a Nile cruiser, often referred to as a floating hotel. Indeed, the better boats have most of the accommodations of a land based hotel, including small swimming pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, nightclubs, good restaurants, stores and even small libraries. Many of the boats have dance areas with disco or even live entertainment, and most offer a variety of nightly shows. These might include cocktail parties, Nubian shows, belly dancers and whirling dervish, plays and even dress up parties where guests don traditional apparel.

A much more adventurous style of Nile cruise, very different from the floating hotels can be arranged aboard feluccas, Egypt's traditional Nile sailboat. Most felucca trips are short trips of several hours, but multi-day felucca cruises can be arranged aboard larger vessels traveling between Aswan and Luxor. The accommodations on a felucca are primitive. Tourist sleep in the open on deck and the sailors double as cooks.

Around the middle of April, locks on the Nile river are closed due to water levels, ultimate time for a Nile cruise is between October and mid April, when the weather is fairly cool, but the locks are all open. However, most cruise boats operate all year. If the locks are closed, cruise operators will arrange boats on either side of the locks, and a transfer must be made between boats.

Pricing, as with land hotels will also have a large range, based on both the boat and the accommodations.

Egyptian currency

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound - usually abbreviated as EGP and sometimes, LE or L.E.. The 1/100th unit of EGP is the Piastre. The approximate exchange rate for 1 USD is 5.6 EGP as of May 2009. The Central Bank of Egypt controls the circulation of currency. As of May 2009, the currency notes in circulation have a denomination of EGP 200, 100, 50, 20, 5, 1 and Piastres 50, 25.[5]

There is no limit on the amount of currency which the visitors may bring to Egypt, however, they must declare the currency and amount upon arrival and departure with bank receipts. If you are carrying Egyptian Currency, it should not exceed EGP 5,000.[6][7]

Climate

Peak tourist season in Egypt runs from mid October to May, during winter and spring. From May until October, the temperatures are fairly high, especially in Luxor and the southern parts of the country.

Egypt is one of the hottest and sunniest countries in the world. With the exception of a strip along the Mediterranean coast, Egypt has a desert climate, being entirely within the Sahara.The Mediterranean coastal strip has an average annual rainfall of 100–200 mm. In central and southern Egypt several years may pass without any significant rain.

Winters are generally warm in the south of Egypt, but temperatures fall rather abruptly at night so that desert evenings in winter can be quite chilly.The heat of southern Egypt in summer is fierce and there is almost no relief from one day to another. The very low humidity, however, makes the heat more bearable. [8]

Statistics

Income from tourism (1982–2003)

In 2000, there were 5,506,179 foreign tourist arrivals, with over 3,800,000 from Europe, and receipts totaled more than $4.3 billion. In that year there were 113,611 rooms in hotels and 227,222 beds with a 73% occupancy rate. In 2002, the US government estimated the average daily cost of staying in Cairo to be about about $167, around the same as other major cities in Egypt.[2]

References

External links


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