Some of us go to Egypt to fulfill a long-term dream by seeing its monumental symbol, the Pyramids and visiting the remains of the ancient building complex, the Luxor temples on the bank of the Nile. Some others opt for the country for its abundant sunshine and blatantly affordable 5-star luxury to worry about nothing else during the holiday but to avoid overeating at the all-inclusive buffet. But is there anything else you can do beyond the comfort of the hotel walls and the air-co seats of the tour bus? Sure, there is.
1. Exploring the sea
In the holiday areas the majority of the hotels are built with a direct connection to the beach which itself calls for a wide range of watersport activities. But why would you spend your entire day under the shade of that exact palm tree you ‘booked’ for the week? Instead go for a full day snorkeling trip where the boat takes you directly to the striking coral reefs with myriads of colors under the surface. And that’s not all. If you are lucky at some areas you can even spot playful dolphins from the boat swimming along. By the way if you have the license for scuba diving then Egypt is definitely the place you are looking for.
2. Bazaar vs. local market
Ever wanted to try your bargaining skills but you did not feel strong enough for that? Whatever your attitude is, in Egypt you won’t survive without your negotiating tactics. At least your wallet won’t survive. And that’s alright. Go to the bazaars one evening and try to get that leather bag for one-quarter of the price. Well, it’s an experience itself but rather touristic. If you want to go off the beaten track find out where the nearest local market and religious center is less walked by the mass tourism and immerse yourself in the real Egyptian style of life. Please note: safety comes first so before you head anywhere by yourself get information from your hotel or from your local guide!
3. The black tea
Egyptians without their black tea are like deals made in the bazaar without bargaining. Very rare. Black tea is mostly sold loose (you can get the tea bags also) and served in a small glass with hot water poured directly on the leaves. The tea is ready to drink when the leaves settled in the bottom of the glass. It’s strong, characteristic and highly addictive.
4. Living with the Bedouins
To see how the ancient wandering tribe of Bedouins make a living the best way is to spend an evening with them. Away from the city lights this unique evening in the desert will be like being a guest in one of your friends’ house. A traditional dinner with meat and vegetarian dishes, along with the ‘absolutelynottobemissed’ freshly baked Bedouin bread are served and all these accompanied by the inevitable black tea. Camel milk anyone?
5. Camel hop-on hop-off
Desert means camel. Camel means ride. Ride means fun. You always wanted to do that. Now is the time. Go!
- Most of the programs can be booked directly with your hotel, but for some you need to dig a bit deeper.
- The majority of the hotels in Egypt are family resorts with lots of amenities for children. If you are traveling alone or just want to spend some romantic time with your other half try the Makadi Spa Hotel, an adult only resort in Makadi Bay for complete relaxation and tranquility.