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Dive in and discover Egypt

06 NOVEMBER 2012

Expect more than a place to build sandcastles - an Egyptian holiday could involve anything from camel trekking and haggling in the souks to embracing the glittering nightlife of the Red Sea resorts.

Timeless Egyptian Sights
Follow the throng of tourists by bus, taxi or even camel to Giza for the amazing spectacle of the sphinx and the three pyramids.

The tallest pyramid, Khufu, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was also the highest man-made structure until the Eiffel Tower was built.

The Temple of Karnak will also take your breath away and rightly deserves its UNESCO heritage listing. Stepping back onto the beaten track, another Luxor sight worth seeing is the Valley of the Kings, consisting of 63 elaborate tombs which hold Egypt’s ancient rulers.

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Luxury in the Red Sea
The Red Sea will tempt anyone who wants to unwind whilst on holiday, whether your idea of de-stressing is taking in idyllic scenery or something much more adventurous.

The number one place to suit everyone’s needs is Sharm el Sheikh as it balances beachside relaxation with a wealth of daytime activities and a reputation for diving that is second to none.

Na’ama Bay and Sharm El Maya are the main areas to visit for spectacular dive sites that welcome amateurs and more accomplished divers to explore over 250 coral reefs. And if you’re not brave enough to put your wetsuit on then try a glass-bottomed boat trip.

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If you’re looking to embrace Egyptian nightlife then the Red Sea should be your first port of call. With branches of the famous Pacha and Spaced chains as the star attractions on a bustling strip of clubs and bars, expect to be up until the small hours in Sharm El Sheikh.

For those of you who’d prefer something a bit classier (think cocktails rather than clubbing), the Windows of the World Bar in Cairo’s Hilton Ramses Hotel promises stunning views across the landscape as you sit back with a glass of something cool.

Unique Egyptian Experiences
One of the best ways to really get away from it all is a visit to the desert, flanked by beautiful mountains, which will give you a sense of perspective.

Enjoy camel rides, go stargazing with an organised tour or perhaps taste a Bedouin evening meal from Dahab, with the stunning Mount Sinai in the background.

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For a taste of the finer things in Egypt then you shouldn’t miss El Gouna, which is often compared to Venice thanks to its network of canals and its decadent buildings. There’s a popular 18-hole golf course, several spas and a lively marina that is packed with stylish restaurants

An equally top notch destination is Aswan, which has entertained everyone from Winston Churchill to Agatha Christie. More recent guests were Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who visited local temples and the Nubian Museum – perfect research opportunities, as Angelina is due to play the role of Cleopatra in an upcoming film.

Another easy way to see a more authentic side of the country is to explore its colourful markets and souks. The Khan Al-Khalili in Cairo has been open for trading since the 14th century, and it’s the ideal starting point for a souvenir hunt including gold and silver jewellery, ceramics and glass pieces.

Whether you’re seeking out the perfect Red Sea beach view, getting to see the iconic architecture up close or developing your best haggling tactics at the market, there’s always something more to be discovered in Egypt.

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