Egypt

Egypt: Why go

You don’t need us to tell you that Egypt has much to offer. From the Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings, from the Nile to the Red Sea, this is a country blessed not only with sensational history, but also with landscapes to thrill your eyes. Desert, river, mountain, sea - all are within your grasp. You can dive on coral reefs, snowboard down vast sand dunes, take to the skies in a hot-air balloon, and disappear into a pyramid. Then there’s the small matter of the sun, which shines every day. Given that it’s only a short flight from Europe, it’s easy to understand the appeal to tourists.

There is, in fact, too much to do, and those who race from one destination to another are doomed to a hot-and-bothered holiday. So pick your route and give yourself enough time to enjoy each place you visit. You will be much happier with a week here and a week there than trying to cram 4 destinations into a fortnight. Travelling between cities can be tiring and Egypt Air is unreliable (hence its nickname Insh’allah Air). But the frustrations of life in Egypt are far outweighed by moments of wild amazement: floating down the Nile on a luxurious sailboat, discovering fossil beds in the Western desert, the jaw-dropping awe of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak - these memories will stay with you forever. As for the Egyptians, hospitality is a matter of honour: tea will be made, cushions plumped up and stories told, all with a genuine smile. Perhaps the biggest surprise is their great sense of humour: absurd and self-mocking, not unlike the British.

10:05 | GMT +2 Hours