Advertisements
Ticker

14 Places in Egypt You Must Visit in 2014

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

The White Desert Credit: Mohamed Hakem

While Egypt may be facing political and social turmoil, Egypt’s exotic, mysterious and historic locations continue to stand, receiving adventurers and explorers. If you are thinking of exploring Egypt in 2014, then here are 14 must-visit places in Egypt, along with others that you should already have planned to see!

(Note: Many of these photographs are thanks to Mohamed Hakem. Check out his blog heremhakem.com)

1. The White Desert

1

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

While it may look like the moon, this photograph was taken at the White Desert near Bahareya Oasis. The white surfaced desert which resembles an alien planet has been used to film Sci-Fi movies, including Vin Diesel’s Riddick. The desert is renowned for its rock formations, safari trips, and over night camping.

2. Sultan Qalawun Mosque in Old Cairo

Sultan Qalawun Mosque in Old Cairo

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

8

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

While Old Cairo is filled with historic mosques, Sultan Qalawun Mosque is unique in that it combines the architecture of European Churches and designs from the Islamic world. The Mosque was built during the Umayyad period in the year of 718 and uses similar features to those used in the Cordoba Mosque in Spain.

3. Wadi El-Hitan (Whale Valley) in Fayoum

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005,the area’s name “Whales Valley” comes from the hundreds of fossils of the earliest forms of whale, the archaeoceti, found in the area. The area has added to the debate surrounding the evolution of whales from being a land-based animal to becoming ocean-based mammals.

Apart from its scientific importance, Wadi El-Hitan provides one of the most spectacular camping experiences, providing campers with astronomical wonders at night that rival the Pyramids of Giza.

4. Al-Azhar Mosque

4

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Al-Azhar Mosque was originally constructed in the year 970 and remains as one of the most important mosques in Egypt and the Islamic world. It was the first ever mosque built in Cairo and eventually developed the second oldest university in the world. Students at Al-Azhar were taught about science, maths, literature and other topics alongside religion. Today, Al-Azhar Institution is the most prominent Sunni Islamic Authority in Egypt and the Islamic world.

5. Qarun Lake

5

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Lake Qarun is the third largest lake in Egypt and it remains a mystery how it was formed. There are many myths – including stories that go back to the days of Prophet Moses – but one thing is clear: it is beautiful.

6. The ‘Enlightened Mosque’

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Named after Imam Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth Fatimid Caliph, the Enlightened Mosque (Al-Jama’a Al-Anwar) was originally built between 928 and 992. Located in Islamic Cairo near Khan El-Khalili, the mosque is now a popular place of worship and is used by Egyptians seeking refuge from the chaos outside.

7. Bahareya Oasis

7

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Bahareya Oasis, or Seaside Oasis, is an area known for its mangos and dates and it is believed that Alexander the Great once passed through the area, as there lies a temple for the Greek figure near by. Visitors can still see houses made from mud, which are aimed at isolating heat and cold.

8. The Black Desert

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Close to the White Desert, the Black desert is known for its black-coated mountains. Many years ago, this area contained volcanoes that erupted, leaving black volcanic hills and black rocks.

9. Ras El-Shaitan

 

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Beach, sun, desert trips and diving: what more could you want from this relaxing escape in the Sinai?

10. Cairo’s Nile at Night

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

Credit: Mohamed Hakem

From sipping hot tea or smoking shisha while on a pleasant felucca (boat) ride, to enjoying a nice dinner with the Nile and the city lights below, downtown Cairo, particularly areas surrounding the Nile, are a must-visit at night.

11. El-Fishawy Cafe and Wekalet El-Ghoury

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

For more than 230 years, El-Fishawy Cafe (or Qahwat El-Fishawy) at Khan El-Khalili has stood the test of time, bringing traditional coffee, tea, shisha, and music to locals and foreigners alike. Today, El-Fishawy is one of the most renowned cafes in Egypt and the Arab world – an icon of the traditional Egyptian way to relax, enjoy live music, smoke a uniquely flavoured shisha, and meet new people.

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Located in the heart of Islamic Cairo is Wekalet El Ghouri – a truly hidden gem that provides locals and foreigners alike with a glimpse into Egypt’s culture and tradition. Wekalet El Ghouri, which is located moments away from the historic market of Khan El-Khalili, hosts cultural events and performances across the week.

Currently showing three times a week is a Sufi musical and “Tanoura” dance performance and ritual. Appearing with an array of instruments, a group of performers fill the historic building’s air with music ranging from that of a flute to the ‘Oud’ and the tambourine. After several performances revolving around spiritual – and even humorous – themes, the Sufi Tanoura Dance commences, electrifying the venue as the performers show incredible talent and skill, spectacularly concluding show.

12. Khan El-Khalili

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Khan El-Khalili dates back to 1382 and is located in Cairo’s old Islamic district. Getting lost in the labyrinth of narrow alleys, stumbling upon hidden treasures and historic monuments, and chatting to the local shop-owners as the smell of spices and local food lingers in the air results in an unforgettable experience. The locals’ warm hospitality is central to this experience: they will offer you tea, a tour around the alleys, tell you stories about their shops, or simply smile for the camera.

13. Desert Breath

desertbreath

In 1997 three artists set out to create ‘Desert Breath’ in the desert near the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Desert Breath, completed in March 1997 and viewable today by satellite via Google Earth, covers approximately 100,000 square meters. Consisting of dozens of cones that stand taller than most humans, Desert Breath is a double-spiral, with a pool of water in the centre of the art piece.

Slowly, with the passage of time, the piece of art is eroding naturally and fading away once again into the desert. Two decades later, it stands as a reminder of the passage of time and can still be viewed.

14. The Pyramids

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

Credit: Mohamed Khairat

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the last remaining Ancient World Wonder: it is a must visit for any visitors to Egypt. In the past, it would be difficult to get an un-interrupted photograph of the Pyramids in all their glory. With a significant drop in tourists, visitors to the Pyramids will truly feel transported into another world, as silence surrounds them.

Obviously, this list is not conclusive: Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria and dozens of other sites and cities and Egypt are equally beautiful and hold treasures of their own.

 

 

Advertisements

13 Comments on 14 Places in Egypt You Must Visit in 2014

  1. Reblogged this on Man of Roma and commented:
    [Draft. Needs Pruning. After MoR’s new graphical clothing is up and running. I have too many WordPress pages: I need custom menus

    A very good blog about Egypt. I will hunt for others.

    Mario: “Why Egypt?”

    MoR: “Everybody liking Antiquity must have Egypt in his / her mind.”

    Fulvia: “I thought Greece and Rome shaped what became later the ‘proud West’ that conquered the world”

    Extropian: “C’mon, Fulvia, that I can’t take my eyes away from your knockers doesn’t mean you havn’t said ‘na sonora stronzata!
    *they all laughing & winking at her*

    The Tobacconist: “Allow me, Fulvia, friends. That the Greco-Romans of any time went to Egypt and to other semitic lands – even beyond: connectiions with Mesopotamia & India – is a historical fact.”

    This conv was (really) happening at a, outdoors cafe in Piazza Campo de’ Fiori

    Clodia standing not far and overhearing our echanges, sits at our table in a flash. A high-brow seductive slut of 45, Clodia. Some of us call her Lesbia, Catullus’ lascivious lover).
    “My dear friends this conversation has captured my attention. That woman was so boring. I much prefere here”
    [*Looking at the men furtively, her Scarlett-Johansson-like body invisibly vibrating*]
    ” Should I remind you that in *any* philosophy manual for schools accurate scholars argue that philosophy and science were born in Greece? That other races, considered, well, not lower, on peut pas dire cela, toutfoisincapable ….”

    Everyone ignores her words, totally rejected by all the bunch.

    Thing being, we are also – men and women alike – absolutely mesmerized by Clodia’s sensual magic.

    It pervades the air round us since she sat doen. Spring, despite the lousy weather, not helping much either.”
    “A sensuality that could rival that of Cleopatra (had Cleopatra been less intelligent)” was a few of us’ thought

    At this point The Samnite, 30, his Sony smartphone in his left hand, saves us all: “Let me see … yes. In A.L. Basham introduction to Oxford’s ‘A cultural History of India’ one reads:

    “The four main cradles of civilizations …. moving from east to west … [were] China, the Indian subcontinent, the ‘Fertile Crescent, and the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Italy”

    Extropian: “That the Greco-Romans (and later ‘proud conquesting West) were considered the high races and the Semitic and other folks the lower races (incapable of real philosophy and science. You find it in almost all European manuals of the first half of the 1900, not only by those German historians of the 1930’s”
    The Samnite: “Which means justifying colonialism with idealogy and history (of philosophy, science etc,)”

    MoR: “Depite the fact that history is never neutral, yes, this is the idea, and I’ll say it aloud in my blog”

    Enjoy semitic Egypt’s Antiquity, readers, much more ancient than the Greeks (and deeper in wisdom & philosophy without a doubt)

    Like

  2. Amr El-Ashry // April 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm // Reply

    Great Shots & lovely selection, specially those by the talented Photographer Moh. Hakem … Lovely Work indeed

    Like

  3. Wow really great article.

    Like

  4. These pictures are spectacular! It’s my dream to visit Egypt…one day!! 😀

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on Yuliyah and commented:
    Great places to see in Egypt. I wanna go!

    Like

  6. I’ve been to most of those I am lucky.

    Like

  7. Andrew Reid // April 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm // Reply

    Is Sultan Qalawun mosque the one in the Citadel?

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on Right International and commented:
    Wow so cool 🙂

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture and commented:
    Very stunning photos from Egypt – do try to visit these places, if and when you are in Egypt.

    Like

  10. Amazing places

    Like

  11. lonnietalouise // April 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm // Reply

    Beautiful…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: