Visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramids at Giza and their guardian Sphinx, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that simply must be on the sightseeing list for Cairo. Also in Cairo is: the Citadel of Salah El Din - a massive 12th century compound that was home to Egypt's rulers for more than seven hundred years; the sublime Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali, with its highly ornate interior; and the Egyptian Museum, housing the priceless treasures recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
At night, Cairo’s breathtaking Sound & Light show will amaze and dazzle. Nearby, Memphis – the famous capital of ancient Egypt – provides the opportunity to see the colossal statue of Ramses II and the great Alabaster Sphinx. In Sakkara, the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, is the oldest in the world, dating back to 2,700 BC. In the Valley of the Kings, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, is the burial place of Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still here on display.
The Temple of Hatshepsutis is not to be missed. This sacred site is the final resting place of Egypt's first female pharaoh who ruled from 1,479 to 1,458 BC. Further afield in Luxor, Karnak is the largest temple complex ever built by man, constructed over a period of 1,500 years. Points of interest include the avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, and standing in awe, among the huge columns of the vast Hypostyle Hall. Another marvel is the Temple of Hathor. Built in the 1st century BC, it remains one of the best-preserved temples in all of Egypt and contains a rare depiction of Cleopatra VII and Caesarian, the son of Julius Caesar. A UNESCO World Heritage Site worthy of your attention is the Temple of Luxor. Founded in 1,400 BC during Thebe's Golden Age, it is a stunning sight at sunset.
Venturing down the Nile will bring you to the Colossi of Memnon – the gigantic twin stone statues of Amenhotep III, that once guarded his mortuary temple. Crossing the Nile by motorboat reveals the well-preserved Philae temple complex, moved stone-by-stone to its current location following the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Situated in the centre of Esna, the fascinating and highly decorated Esna Temple is dedicated to Khnum, the ram-headed God of Creation. Witness the majesty of the unique double-temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to both the crocodile-headed Sobek, and the Falcon God - Horus the Elder. In this sacred place near the riverbank, captive crocodiles were once worshipped in life and mummified after death. Aswan is the location of the High Dam and the ancient Granite Quarries, where one of Queen Hatshepsut's obelisks lies abandoned in the bedrock.