Egypt is the newest trending travel destination. And it’s no wonder why.
Dashour. Luxor and Karnak. Aswan. Edfu and Kom Ombo temples.
The names conjure up images of gods and goddess, deities with the heads of hawks and pharaohs overlooking wealth unimaginable. Layers of history heave and meld in each name, from modern Cairo, a wonderful and chaotic mix, to Alexandria, one of the greatest cities of the ancient Hellenistic world.
And no longer is Egypt off the beaten path, only for adventurers and the well-traveled. Tourism is growing here faster than anywhere else in the world and the throngs of tourists prove it. You can safely get to the major monuments, but only amongst the crush of a crowd. The pyramids are surrounded by a veritable sea of cameras. The sites that inspire quiet contemplation are too noisy to enjoy.
At the paws of the Great Sphinx, a small group gathers and waits for the expert Egyptologist to start speaking. This close, closer than tourists are allowed, you can see the individual bricks layered together and smoothed into one unit that comprise each finger and arm.
It’s quiet and empty around the monument except for the group. The Egyptologist launches into one of his many stories of tracking down desert tombs and everyone eagerly listens, the story made more visceral by the proximity to one of Egypt’s greatest antiques. The Sphinx looms above the scene and it’s clear, this will not soon be forgot.
The group is part of Inside Egypt’s “Around Egypt in 14 Days,” and the private tour of the Sphinx isn’t the only experiential excursion they’ll take part in.
Inside Egypt took a different approach to tours of the country, hunting down the experiences that define the vibrant culture. Each stop is crafted to feel unhurried. This is partly accomplished through private access at most of the stops. No jostling crowds or craning your neck to hear the guide. It also works because, from the top of the company to the tour guides, Inside Egypt knows the hidden gems of the country, and they eagerly share what you should see, do and eat.
And hidden gems in Egypt are some of the best in the world. The guides point out stunning views from the Nile River, the area of the bazaar with the oldest (and best) coffee shop, and even how to make that traditional Egyptian dish that you just savored. The sites themselves are beyond words– anyone can walk away having gained something from them. But the dedication of the guides teases out the nuances of this rich country.
Inside Egypt brings all of that to 14 days, starting at the base of the Step Pyramid of King Djoser and the Unas Pyramid Complex and taking you through layers of history and culture so that, somewhere along the walks through temples and mosques, catacombs and citadels, you’ve lost the sense you’re on a tour.
You simply have the space to be.