A little while after I got back from my trip to Luxor, the Egypt Tourism Authority asked me to write about my top 5 reasons to visit Egypt. During my time in Egypt, I discovered many reasons why people should visit the country, so here are five of them:
1. The people are friendly
On my first day in Luxor, I met a local who took my travel buddy and me under his wing. For the next week, he and his friend took us around the town and helped us out with transport and visiting the local tourist sites. We didn’t even have to ask, he just wanted us to enjoy our time in Egypt so that we would go back home and encourage others to visit. Mission accomplished- I’ve been raving about my holiday ever since. When we visited villages and tourist sites, we also had children running alongside us and waving. They even asked for pictures. It was the closest I will ever feel to being a celebrity!
2. The food is delicious
Generally, I love Middle Eastern cuisine but I didn’t know how Egyptian food would compare to what I had previously sampled. I need not have worried. Going back to the point of friendly locals, I was invited to a couple of family dinners which meant that I was able to try some properly authentic food. This was easily the best food I had on my holiday, with dishes ranging from rice, potatoes, chicken and fish to tagine, soup and salad. I’ve been craving it ever since. Also, as a self-designated tea expert, I can honestly say that Egyptian tea is the perfect start to the morning.
3. It’s affordable and not full of tourists
I expected Egypt to be crawling with tourists but, in light of the political turbulence the country has experienced over the last few years, levels of tourism have declined. This meant that my friend and I were the only visitors in Valley of the Queens and that we were alone in the Tomb of Tutankhamen- coming face-to-face with the young Pharaoh’s mummy without crowds of people surrounding us. We also found that Egypt is affordable. We had managed to get a really great deal on a hotel in Luxor which I would have assumed to be out of my price range. It was on the Nile, it had two swimming pools and the staff were very attentive. We never wanted to leave. Lastly, the decline in tourism has really affected the locals, according to some of the people I spoke to, meaning that they need holidaymakers to return. So if you pull it all together, now really is the time to visit Egypt.
4. It is the perfect balance between going on holiday and travelling
If you are searching for sun, then you can’t really beat an Egyptian summer. It was so sunny that even I got a tan- which never happens. A consequence of this is that, whatever your intentions are, you do need to spend some time just doing nothing somewhere cool. I often spent my days visiting the ruins for a few hours and then jumping into the swimming pool the moment I got back. This was the perfect balance between relaxing and getting out and experiencing the country. I came back to England feeling completely refreshed and also like I’d had a productive time away.
5. Last but not least- because it’s Egypt!
Egypt is an amazing country: you’ll be driving along the road and just happen to pass by the ruins of a temple. There is so much to see and so much history to discover, including one of the wonders of the world: the Pyramids of Giza. In fact, you can even go inside the Great Pyramid, which is truly an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have also never seen a museum like the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – there are just so many artefacts to see – you really need to dedicate some time to exploring it fully. All in all, I can’t wait to go back.