Egypt: Cruise The Nile By Rail
A scorching, yet beautiful country is home to some of the most interesting and beautiful history in the entire world. We have created a fascinating Egyptian itinerary for all you history buffs out there that want to get up close to the pyramids, the hieroglyphs, and the many Pharaoh tombs. Follow the beauty of the Nile as you travel through Egypt on this history exploration.
Rail Passes: –
Price Range: $$
Recommended Days: 10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 34 hr
Distance: 960 km
Cairo: Popular Pyramids
Egypt is often thought of as a country surrounded by deserts, which is not entirely false but it also has a variety of exciting destinations that can be explored. Cairo is considered a megacity that is full of beauty and history. Within the city, you will get the feel for the street life of Egypt and then you can head to the surrounding areas to see some of the most incredible sights in the world.
You can’t visit Cairo and not take a trip to the Pyramids of Giza. A phenomenal piece of architecture that is thousands of years old. You will see a variety of sized pyramids that stand majestically out of the sandy desert. Very close to the pyramids is the magnificent Sphinx. A symbol of Egypt’s ancient times, it sits upon the Nile’s bank guarding the pyramids.
If you want to learn a bit more about Egyptian history, head to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which allows you to explore that fascinating past. It is home to a unique collection of pieces that show the stories of the reigning Pharaohs and the dynasties that they left behind.
Cairo Station → Alexandria Station | Duration: 4:40 h | Transfers: 0
Alexandria: The History Lover’s City
Alexandria is next on our Egyptian itinerary and is the second-largest city in the country. The city was founded by Alexander the Great and is home to some incredible wonders, including one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. This is a great stop for history lovers, as you will find a deep-rooted and passionate history in this city.
The Royal Library of Alexandria was built in 2002 as a memorial to one of the largest libraries that were burnt down during a horrific fire. The memorial is not just a library; it also is home to museums, art galleries, a planetary, and also a laboratory.
If you want to enjoy the unique architecture and be surrounded by other historic buildings, take a trip to the Montazah Palace Gardens. The gardens have views over the Mediterranean Sea and are filled with rare plants that make for a beautiful walk. The Souq district is a marketplace that is filled with stalls of meat, spices, and other artifacts that are great for souvenirs.
Alexandria Station → Luxor Station | Duration: 12:55 h | Transfers: 0
Luxor: Temples & Tombs Galore
Luxor is considered one of the best cities to witness Egyptian history. You will find tombs and temples galore, ancient cities, and hidden rock valleys as well as other incredible sights that can be seen nowhere else.
The Temple complex of Karnak is home to the Great Temple of Amun, the Temple of Khons, the Festival Temple of Tuthmosis III as well as other buildings. None of the temples were meant to be built to create a complex, but the various rulers of Egypt slowly created the complex.
Hidden within rocky hills is the Valley of the Kings, the final resting place of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasty kings. Within the valley are wall paintings that tell the story of death. There are around 63 tombs in the valley, including the tomb of the famous boy-king Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut. Just like the Valley of the Kings, there is also the Valley of the Queens, which is home to the 19th and 20th dynasty queens.
Luxor Station → Aswan Station | Duration: 3:20 h | Transfers: 0
Aswan: The Oasis Of The Nile
Due to the deep-rooted history of Egypt, it can be quite a frenetic country. Aswan contrasts the hustle and bustle of Cairo, as it is a warm and relaxing city that has incredible sights to be seen. Set in the south of the country, you can learn an interesting perspective of Ancient Egyptian history with plenty of archaeological sites within and outside of the city.
The Philae temple is located on an island in the middle of the Nile and is a fascinating sight to visit. The temple is dedicated to the deity Isis and was partly flooded when the Aswan Dam was constructed. Within the temple grounds are the ruins of a Christian church and is believed that the Christians who built this church are the reason for the damage of the hieroglyphics within the temple.
Before heading back to Cairo, don’t miss a trip to Abu Simbel where you’ll visit the famous temples that were built by Ramses II. Make sure to book your tour in advance, as you will need to get an early night’s sleep due to the tours starting at 4 am to miss the heat of the desert. The Great Temple was dedicated to Pharaoh Ramses II and the smaller one is dedicated to Nefertari, his wife. Within the temples are large statues, wall paintings, and impeccable hieroglyphs.
Aswan Station (options for night or day train) → Cairo Station |
Duration: 12:50 h | Transfers: 0