Travel to Nile Valley – Green Ribbon of Life
When following the Nile south from Cairo travellers are journeying through an antique land whose history is barely comprehensible to European visitors. It is here that, over thousands of years, dynasty after dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs ruled, building temple cities and tombs on a barely imaginable scale the remains of which are still visible. Heading south from Cairo we first come to the oasis town of Fayoum where citrus groves and palms flourish, watered by Lake Qarun.
Further south, into what is termed Middle Egypt, those with a deeper interest in Pharaonic history should pause to see the stunning painted tombs at Beni Hassan, the remains of heretic Akhenaten’s city at Amarna and the wonderful reliefs in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos. At Luxor, the Pharaonic city of Thebes, you can trek to the Valley of the Kings by donkey, on foot, by bike or vehicle to see the world famous tombs, take a calesh to the huge Karnak Temple where the Hypostyle Hall continues to amaze visitors with its size or set sail south on a Nile cruise. The city has many attractions which include a wonderful little museum and numerous less-visited yet rewarding archaeological sites.
Travelling south once again we come to Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo, each of which has its own temple to discover. At Daraw just south of Kom Ombo is a camel-market where camels from Sudan are traded prior to their journey north. Next we enter Aswan, the refreshingly laid-back ‘capital’ of the south. With a distinctly Nubian feel to it the city’s life seems to stem from its souqs, or is it the Nile, which is at its most beautiful here. Visit the green botanical gardens on Kitchener’s Island, take a camel trek to St Simeon’s Monastery and explore Philae Temple as the sun sets or set sail north on a 3-day felucca ride – one of the best ways of experiencing the river.
Finally make the journey by land, boat or air to Abu Simbel, the magnificent temples of the great Pharaoh Ramses II which were saved from the waters on Lake Nasser.
- In Luxor don’t miss the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and the superb Luxor Museum
- Enjoy a felucca trip on the Nile at Aswan
- Ensure you visit Abu Simbel to see Ramses II’s temples