Egypt is hands down the most beautiful and richly diverse country in the whole of Africa, if not the world. I have spent almost my entire life in Egypt and still haven’t got used to the scenic sights and the cheerful atmosphere of the place. From the urban metropolises right down to the vast deserts, Egypt boasts a blissfully distinct ambiance that sets it apart from anywhere else in the world. It’s no surprise that tourists stream in in large numbers to experience the magic of Egypt.
If you plan on making Egypt your next holiday destination, you should at least have a general idea of the different regions that make up this incredible country. This will make it easier for you to plan your tours and visits or simply help you in pinpointing where you would exclusively wish to travel to.
Egypt is divided into five main regions namely the region along the Nile, the Eastern and Western Desert, the North Coast and the Sinai Peninsula. Here is a detailed description of the five regions and exactly what they have to offer for you the tourist.
1. The Nile
Much of Egypt’s success as one of the earliest civilizations is attributed to the Nile river. Even today the Nile River continues to reap great benefits for the country’s population. An estimated 95% percent of Egyptians live along the Nile in cities like Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and the Giza and also in small towns and villages, making the river Egypt’s lifeblood.
If taking a cruise through the Nile is on your list of activities on your visit to Egypt, you should consider putting up in one of the hotels along the banks before embarking on your cruise.
Most cruises begin in Luxor and end in Aswan or vice versa so you should settle on one of either city’s finest hotels. Great places to stay include the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract in Aswan or the Hilton Luxor Hotel and Spa among others.
Apart from the great hotels. You could also treat yourself to some of Egypt’s tastiest delicacies from the local cafes scattered along the banks. This will also give you the chance to shop for souvenirs and gifts that you could take home.
2. The Eastern Desert
Also dubbed the Arabian Desert, is a vast stretch of rugged, arid land that runs from the Sinai peninsula down to North Sudan and lies on the banks of the Nile and the Red Sea. The historically rich desert has been exploited for its enormous mineral reserves including gold, iron and steel ores which have contributed greatly to the economy of Egypt.
Inarguably the most distinctive feature of the Eastern Desert is the picturesque Red Sea chain of mountains running from the east of the Nile valley to the Red Sea Coast. Apart from the great sights, the desert is also home to ancient temple ruins that date back to the pre-dynastic and dynasty periods of Egypt’s empire. In these temples you will find ancient encryptions written over thousands of years ago and with the right tour guide, you might get an invaluable lesson on Egypt’s history.
3. The Western Desert
Unlike the Eastern Desert he the Western Desert doesn’t boast an abundance of mineral resources. However, the desert makes up for this with its six beautiful oases namely Bahariya, Farafra, Siwa, Dakhla, Kharga, and Baris. The expansive area covers most of the land west of the Nile valley and includes famous sites like the Black Desert, the White Desert, and the Wadi al-Hitan UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Nothing beats traversing the Western Desert either on foot or on the back of a camel or a 4WD truck.
Whatever your choice, you will never miss out on the fun and excitement on the desert safaris. Be it the magnificent sculptures and beautiful sunset of the White Desert or the prehistoric fossils of Sight the Western Desert have it covered.
4. North CoastThe North Coast
Has become a preferred destination for vacationers and tourists alike. A valid explanation for the massive influx of visitors to this location can be summarized in two words, luxurious bliss. The region is among the longest coastlines bordering the Mediterranean Sea and has been a focal point for sea travel between the sea and the Nile Delta for over 2000 years. Needless to say, the North Coast is home to the most gorgeous sandy beaches to complement the terrific weather, especially during the summer. If you are into swimming, surfing, snorkeling or are just looking for a nice tan, you can settle for one of North Coast’s plethora of beaches that will almost certainly surpass your expectations.
Needless to say, the North Coast is home to the most gorgeous sandy beaches to complement the terrific weather, especially during the summer. If you are into swimming, surfing, snorkeling or are just looking for a nice tan, you can settle for one of North Coast’s plethora of beaches that will almost certainly surpass your expectations.
Apart from the stunning beaches, the North Coast has a wide array of hotels and resorts if you are simply looking to relax and unwind. Most of these hotels have breath taking views since they overlook the Mediterranean Sea.
5. Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or “The Land of Fayrouz” is the land that connects Africa and Asia, located at the Northern Periphery of Egypt. Because of this link, the Sinai Peninsula is commonly referred to as the only Asian part of Egypt by most locals. In ancient times the region was subject to different occupants, including foreigners, through invasions and conquering expeditions.
Modern Sinai, however, has transformed to a tourist hotbed attracting visitors from all over the world. This is not only because of its natural setting and coral reefs but also because of the biblical history of the region. Tourists, especially of Abrahamic faiths, flock Mount Sinai to witness the spectacle recorded as a biblical landmark.
Another historical landmark is St Catherine’s Monastery which is crowned the world’s oldest operating Monastery. If you are not a bible avid, you could opt for a short swim or a brisk walk through the sandy beaches in one of the beach towns that includes Dahab, which is my personal favorite.
I hope this short but comprehensive overview of the major regions that make up Egypt will help you get an idea of what to expect before traveling to Egypt. If you want to learn even more about the various regions, beaches, and hotels you’ve read about, then browse through the various topics and find all you need to know about Egypt.