Egypt may not be the first place that pops into your mind when you’re planning a family holiday but think again. This vibrant country is a perfect mix of ancient history and modern luxury. It’s a place full of mystery, secrets and impossible architecture. With the endless list of things to see and do in Egypt, you (especially with the kids) definitely won’t be bored. Here are our top reasons to plan your next family holiday in this wonderful country:
Unparalleled world-schooling opportunities
Learning about ancient Egypt from books is one thing, but standing at the base of a real-life pyramid and exploring the tombs of past pharaohs is an awe-inspiring experience like no other. What better way to educate your children on the complexity of our history than to explore the relics of this incredible ancient civilisation? Some of the best educational destinations include:
You can trek through the seemingly endless desert on camel-back to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza. This marvel stands 146 metres tall and is built with such precision, even modern machinery would struggle to replicate it. If you’re feeling brave, you can climb inside the pyramid through a narrow passage that leads to the King’s Chamber. This contains the Pharaoh Khufu’s granite sarcophagus and has such smooth and perfect joints it is hard to believe it was constructed over 4,000 years ago.
In the evening, there is a brilliant child-friendly light show in the Giza Scenic Area which tells the story of Egypt through sound and light. The Sphinx and three pyramids create a magnificent backdrop as they’re illuminated against the night sky.
Take a step back in time to this royal burial ground, The Valley of the Kings. The kids may know all about the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, but his is just one of 63 intricate tombs found here. The tombs are opened in rotation to preserve the artwork from humidity, so they won’t all be available on the same day. However, there will still be plenty to explore. Each tomb has its own unique chamber, filled with mesmerising hieroglyphics and vivid, colourful wall paintings.
To encounter the more modern side of Egypt, try heading to Cairo. The markets here offer a lively atmosphere, with festivals and carnivals throughout the year. Dive into the famous bazaar, Khan el Khalili, for a true Alladin’s cave experience. With bustling stalls offering exotic rugs, lanterns, clothing, spices and authentic middle-eastern street food, there is something for everyone. The kids can even try their hand at haggling with the stallholders for a trinket or two!
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, you can experience Egypt’s remarkable landscapes – another great reason to plan a family holiday to the country. Try and take a hot-air balloon ride over the city of Luxor at sunrise. The sight of the morning sun stretching over the Theban hills and ancient monuments is truly a spectacle.
Be sure to plan a day to simply relax on one of Egypt’s many stunning beaches too. East of the Nile Valley, the coastline of the Red Sea is a great place to find calm, turquoise waters and dazzling white beaches. Hurghada is a brilliant place to explore the rich collection of coral reefs and sea life of the Red Sea, with snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities, glass-bottom boat tours and even an aquarium.
Finally, a trip to Egypt wouldn’t be complete without a family cruise down the River Nile on a felucca, a traditional wooden boat with a canvas sail. The adventurous family can also opt to spend the night camping on a felucca under the stars.
It is important to be mindful that Egypt can get very crowded, especially in the popular historic sites. In summer, the heat and humidity can reach up to 40°C in Egypt. This can be very unpleasant, especially for little ones, so it may be wise to plan your visit in the cooler months between October and April to make sure it’s a comfortable and enjoyable experience.