Egypt – a country that our Ines (GRUBER-reisen, travel agency Eisenerz) always wanted to experience live. On her trip she explored the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and of course the desert by quad bike. One highlight chased the next.
VISA: For Egypt a visa is required which should be applied for online in advance. Currently it is still possible to get the visa on the spot.
From Vienna it went on direct way to Hurghada. After a short transfer time many hotels are easy to reach and one arrives relaxed in the vacation.
Luxor and the Valley of the Kings can be reached from Hurghada either by bus or by flight. Most of the river cruises start from Luxor.
Valley of the Kings – Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
The Valley of the Kings should not be missed on a visit to the Nile region in any case. Even if I had completely different ideas about the mysterious valley, the visit was probably all the more fascinating. The entrance to the Valley of the Kings is reached by a kind of "slow train" and the amazement begins.
Important information in advance: In the Valley of the Kings only a part of the tombs can be visited. Some tombs are also closed to visitors for years.
All sights should be visited with a tour guide, because you get really interesting, rousing and amazing information about both attractions.
The purchase of the entrance ticket currently entitles to visit three tombs and for the tomb of Tutankhamun one would have to buy an additional ticket. It is also forbidden to take pictures in the Valley of the Kings without a photo permit (ca. € 15,-) not allowed.
At the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, however, taking pictures is no problem at all. Also here one is brought with a "slow train" from the bus parking lot to the entrance of the temple. The typical shopping arcade may not be missing here of course.
Nile cruise on the MS Magic – from Esna to the Kom Ombo temple
During the Nile cruise on board the MS Magic you can enjoy the pleasant temperatures, green river banks and the fascination of the largest river in the world. But if you hope to see one of the Nile crocodiles on a Nile cruise, I'm sorry to disappoint you, because there are no crocodiles living in the Nile anymore. These live after the damming of the Nile now in the Nile reservoir.
From the landing stage of the ship it is not even five minutes walk and you are already in front of the double temple of Kom Ombo. After the usual security check, it is best to let the tour guide take you into the history of this temple and the associated meaning of the crocodiles. The crocodile museum, with large and small mummified crocodiles, could be included and visited. But you can also leave the temple without visiting the museum.
In the temple complex photographing is no problem, in the crocodile museum, however, photographing is forbidden.
We continue to Aswan to the Philae Temple
Only a few kilometers away from the city of Aswan, the Philae temple is to be found. The temple stands today at a different place than originally, because the island was flooded. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Isis. We reached the temple after approx. 10 minutes boat ride across the Nile reservoir. Unfortunately we did not see any of the crocodiles living there. I noticed that there are a lot of cats living around the temple, which are also very trusting.
My personal highlight of this tour: Abu Simbel
"The early bird catches the worm" was the motto of the excursion to Abu Simbel. Already at 3:00 o'clock at night we went by bus across the desert in the direction of the western shore of the Nasser lake. The early departure time has its advantages, because we could see the sunrise live in the desert. The temples of Abu Simbel are also no longer on their original building site. They were removed in layers after the construction of the dam and rebuilt a few meters higher.
Whether the 21 meter high statues of Ramses, which flank the entrance of the first temple and next to which one feels like a dwarf, or the story of the "Miracle of the Sun", which takes place twice a year, all impressions are simply incredible.
Info: In both temples photographing is forbidden.
On the way back we had the pleasure to see a real Fata Morgana.
Unfortunately our mini Nile cruise was almost over after this day and we went back to Esna overnight and then to Luxor.
With horse-drawn carriages through Luxor
After we arrived back in Luxor, we could explore the city in a very special way – with horse carriages. Especially interesting for shopping enthusiasts: In Luxor there is a shoe store with a huge selection on almost every corner.
The conclusion of our stay in Luxor was the Luxor temple. With the huge statues of Ramses, its history and the Sphinx Alley, the Luxor temple is not inferior to the temples on the Nile!
A Nile cruise can be ideally combined with a beach vacation. So it went for us by flight back to Hurghada and by bus further to El Gouna.
Exploring the Egyptian desert
Beside workshops and bathing, a quad tour was also on the program, where it went at a fast pace and a lot of fun across the desert. We also visited a Bedouin village and had the opportunity to ride a camel. The animals really live up to their name "desert ships.
A quad tour through the desert and camel riding are experiences that should not be missed.
Much more than just a beach destination
Unfortunately it was soon time to go back home again. The many great memories and impressions will certainly remain in my memory for a long time to come.
Egypt is in any case a country which is not only a bathing destination, but is very multifaceted, where certainly for every traveler the right thing is there.