The majority of visitors traveling to Egypt will usually spend the majority of their time exploring the impressive cities of Cairo and Alexandria, or relaxing on the shores of resorts like Sharm el Sheikh, but further south the Upper Egypt region is one that is well worth visiting. This area is largely away from the main tourist trail, and has some spectacular sights that are revealed without the usual throngs of visitors.
See The Valley Of The Kings
A short distance from the popular town of Luxor, the Valley of the Kings is one of the most remarkable archaeological complexes in the world, with a series of grand and ornate tombs dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt. While the tomb of Tutankhamun may be the most famous of the tombs in the valley, it is well worth spending some time exploring the other tombs, with up to eighteen tombs open at different times of the year.
Visit The Great Temple of Rameses II
This spectacular temple is located near the town of Abu Simbel, and is a stunning example of the architecture and art created by the ancient Egyptians, with four large statues of Rameses II at the entrance to the temple. The site was actually moved with diligence and care in the 1960s by UNESCO archaeologists to a hilltop location, as it was located within the valley that was to be flooded to create the reservoir behind the Aswan High Dam.
Enjoy The Attractions Of Luxor
Luxor is by far the largest resort for visitors in Upper Egypt, and offers the ruins and historic monuments of the ancient city of Thebes on the West Bank of the Nile, while the East Bank is home to the modern city. This area is a hub for tourist activities in the area, and trips in hot air balloons and the traditional felucca boats are very popular, while the town also has some wonderful markets where visitors can pick up souvenirs and try bargaining with the locals.
A short distance north of Aswan, this interesting site is where the rock for many of Egypt’s most famous monuments was quarried, where ancient graffiti and writing can still be seen on many of the walls. There is also a series of small rock chapels that have been cut from the rock of the quarry, which were dedicated to the gods and the Pharaohs, and offer a more intimate look of the religious life in Egypt at the time.
The city of Aswan developed near the large dam that was built to create Lake Nasser, and is an interesting city to visit that balances Egyptian history with the attractions of a relatively modern city. The dam itself isn’t much of an attraction, but a trip to the monuments located on Elephantine Island and the Botanical Gardens on Kitcheners Island is well worth it, while the Philae Temple was rebuilt near the town by UNESCO archaeologists prior to the flooding of Lake Nasser.
Those visiting Africa can find more information about the attractions of the region on the Heather’s Harmony blog, which looks at several other cities and destinations.