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Hurghada Experiences

Hurghada Experiences

Hurghada is the ideal spot for a perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Hurghada experiences open the gate to making unforgettable experiences. Here, you can find plenty of excursions, including immersing yourself in the ancient sights and enjoying the stunning views. You can also spend your time swimming in the clear waters or taking a day trip to one of the nearby villages. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to enjoy yourself in this beautiful destination! Here are some of the best things to do in Hurghada to get you started.

Hurghada Experiences in Cairo

Cairo’s frenetic energy hits you as soon as you leave the airport and plunge into weaving four-lane traffic (along with the occasional donkey and cart). Hectic, hot and noisy, the city is at its best in the evening. This is when locals flock to food stands, shisha-perfumed coffeehouses, and the Khan el-Khalili souq alleyways.

Explore the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities helped me to put into context the Ancient Egyptian ruins that I went on to see and the complex system of beliefs surrounding them, such as the rise and fall of sun worship.

Housed in a pink colonial building near Tahrir Square, the museum holds around 100,000 artefacts. Its most renowned exhibits include the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamun, excavated by Howard Carter in the 1920s. Notably, the young pharaoh’s death mask, which glints with gold and bright blue lapis lazuli, is on display.

I strongly recommend visiting the museum with an Egyptologist as your guide. They can help you navigate the masses of pottery, art, jewels, mummies and statues (objects are rarely labelled). They will also take you to some of the lesser-known displays. I was fascinated to see the life-like statue of the priest Ka-Aper, the tools and weights used to build the pyramids, and mummified animals — not only cats (which were seen as sacred) but monkeys and crocodiles.

Wander the streets of old Cairo

The citadel, a fortified area of Cairo, has panoramic views of the city with the Pyramids of Giza in the background. Make sure to visit the Mohammed Ali mosque — a vast, alabaster, Ottoman-era building with spindly minarets. No longer used for a place of worship, once you step inside into the circle of trailing gold and glass lamps, it’s an instant sanctuary from Cairo’s packed streets below.

I had the same sensation when I walked into the mosaic-lined entryway to the Hanging Church — so-called because its nave is built over the city’s Roman water gate, so it looks suspended in mid-air.

The Church is in Coptic Cairo, the oldest and calmest area of the city where Egypt’s early Christians, the Copts, first settled. They still live here today, along with the city’s Jewish community. I like wandering this district’s maze of narrow, twisting, mostly car-free streets filled with the smell of baking flatbread while residents quietly go about their day.

See the Pyramids at Giza, Saqqara and Dahshur

Egypt has three main pyramid fields. Saqqara, the oldest site, was the cemetery of Egypt’s ancient capital, Memphis, and contains the earliest pyramid — the stepped pyramid of the pharaoh Zoser. Dahshur, a 50-minute drive from Cairo, takes pyramid construction to the next stage with its partially successful attempt at a true pyramid. In contrast, the pyramid design was perfected in the three great pyramids at Giza.

You can visit all three pyramid sites on a full-day tour with a driver and guide. I suggest starting with Dahshur and working your way back toward Giza via Saqqara. This way, you’ll understand how pyramid architecture progressed over time.

Dahshur’s ‘Bent Pyramid’ is a somewhat quirky sight with sides that change angle halfway up. It does give you an idea of how the pyramids would have looked initially, as much of its limestone cladding is intact. Nearby is the red limestone structure of the Red Pyramid, Pharaoh Snofru’s successful attempt.

Saqqara, Egypt

Moving on to Saqqara, you enter a vast site with mastabas, burial chambers pre-dating the pyramids with flat-roofed stone tombs, and the stepped pyramid. Dahshur and Saqqara are considerably less busy than Giza, and you can take them in at your own pace.

If you’re interested in venturing inside a pyramid, I’d suggest doing it at the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, where crowds are unlikely.

I climbed back through the entranceway until I reached a walkway that led deeper into the pyramid, the musty smell of stale air washing over me. Eventually, I got the central burial chamber with its empty granite sarcophagus. The room was surprisingly small, and the slightest sound echoed. The passageway continued, eventually leading me to a higher point where I could look over the chamber and see the individual blocks of stone that made up the pyramid’s outer wall.

Arriving at Giza for the first time, I worried that the crowd-swamped Pyramids would be an anticlimax. They weren’t. The best way to appreciate them is to stand at the base of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, taking in its scale. You can’t help but wonder at the toil and architectural skill involved. Each limestone block is twice the size of a grown man.

Hurghada Experiences on Nile Cruise

The Pyramids aside, many of Ancient Egypt’s most important archaeological sites are clustered around the Nile. A Nile riverboat cruise from Luxor to Aswan is a relaxing and convenient way to visit these places.

Cruising the world’s longest river is an experience in itself. Sitting on the deck, as you depart from Luxor, you’ll see the riverbank landscapes gradually transform from urban sprawl to desert dunes. Then scrubby vegetation gives way to papyrus reeds, tropical forests and farmland that benefits from the Nile’s fertile silt.

The river is wide and busy. As you pass through locks, sellers swarm to the boat’s sides, trying to do business with you and your fellow passengers. Yet you’ll also pass through many quieter stretches where the only other river users are fishermen stringing out nets from their small crafts.

Hurghada Experiences in Luxor

Luxor is a modern Egyptian city but cocooned within its roads and shops lies a massive temple complex dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian god Amun, his wife and his son, a moon god. You’ll find towering, wide columns adorned with hieroglyphs, an obelisk, and the colossi that sit like guards at the temple’s entrance. I particularly like going there at night, when the central arcade and figures are lit up, and the air is more relaxed.

Karnak Temple, also located in Luxor, is even more significant and was once linked to Luxor Temple by a sphinx-lined avenue. Several pharaohs added to and developed Karnak over time, making it an architectural multi-layering of different shrines and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Walking through the hypostyle hall, you’re dwarfed by 21 m (69 ft) tall columns.

Enter the tombs in the Valley of the Kings

At first sight, this fabled necropolis looks unpresumptuous — a stark, rocky desert valley with tombs carved into cliff faces. But as you descend into the burial chambers of pharaohs like Hatshepsut and Ramses II, you’re confronted with detailed wall paintings and hieroglyphics in vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows.

My guide helped me to study the frescoes of different gods and unpack the symbolism of figures like scarab beetles and the scenes from the Book of the Dead that were meant to guide the tombs’ inhabitants through the afterlife.

Hurghada Experiences in Aswan

Your cruise will generally end in Aswan, a pretty, sleepy town. Here the Nile meets the Sahara Desert, and wooden felucca boats thread their way between huge boulders in the river.

The town’s Nubian Museum is one of Egypt’s lesser-known collections and an absolute hidden delight. Laid-out exhibits detail the history of the Nubian people who lived in southern Egypt. Many Nubian villages were flooded and lost after the creation of Lake Nasser, and the museum’s photographic display gives you an idea of what they looked like.

Nubian homes built using traditional mud brick to create vaulted structures can be found on Aswan’s Elephantine Island, and Nubian culture is still very much alive in Aswan today. I enjoyed traditional Nubian cuisine, such as meats served in spicy stews.

Choose a Nile cruise

Many Nile riverboats resemble cruise ships. Some are equipped with facilities like swimming pools and spas. One intimate option is Dahabiyya, a traditional Nile passenger boat with sails and several berths. While facilities are more straightforward on these vessels, they can dock at other points on the Nile close to the larger ships, such as village ports, although this may change depending on the tide or weather conditions. Some are so small that the only people watching you disembark are local children playing by the river.

Hurghada Experiences in Abu Simbel

You can visit the Sun Temple of Abu Simbel from Aswan. Getting there means an early-morning six-hour round drive in convoy through the desert, but it’s worth the 3 am wake-up call. Not only do you see the sunrise over the desert, but for me, this site comes close to the Valley of the Kings for spectacle. The four monumental statues of Ramses II that were originally gouged from a mountainside are 21 m (69 ft) high and stare impassively south to ward off the Nubians.

Equally impressive is that they were transported and reconstructed 210 m (689 ft) behind the original site. An on-site museum explains how UNESCO achieved this and salvaged the temple complex to save it from the rising waters of nearby Lake Nasser.

Look out for graffiti on the statues scratched by visiting Napoleonic soldiers.

Experience Eygpt’s Red Sea

Hurghada’s experiences are remarkable. The diving and snorkelling, however, are great. Hurghada has some excellent wreck dives and the opulent Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh — the outstanding hotel in Hurghada for me – has its dive hub. Overall, these beach resorts are ideal for kicking back for a few days at the end of your trip.

1 thought on “Hurghada Experiences

  1. […] this travel guide to help make planning your dream Hurghada trip more manageable and have lovely experiences! Our Hurghada excursions tips will help you decide when to go, how to get there, where to stay, […]

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