Thursday, 27 December 2012

Egypt Travel - Getting There and Around

Egypt's mystical and timeless appeal has for centuries seen the ancient country being ranked among the most spectacular sightseeing destinations in the world.

Egypt is reached by air, water as well as road and rail. Those travelling by air can come in through Cairo International Airport, Alexandria, Noah, Luxor and Aswan in Upper Egypt, Hurghada in the Red Sea area, and Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.

There are several airliners that offer Egypt flights including British Airways, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Dutch Airlines, and Thai Airways International.

In addition to airports there are a number of marine harbors for those that prefer to travel by sea. For those travelling on the Mediterranean Sea, the ports of Alexandria, Port Said, and Damietta are all possible entry points. There is also a port right at the Gulf of Suez and another, the port of Nuweiba on the Gulf of Aqaba. The Red Sea offers three options for travellers; the ports of Hurghada, Safaga, and Sharm El-Sheikh.

For those who prefer road trips, there are three overland entry posts. The Salloum entry post is located on the northwestern border (for those coming in from Libya). The famous Rafah crossing is on the northeastern border for those coming in from the Gaza strip, the Occupied Territories, and Israel. On the eastern border there is a post at Taba for those coming in from Israel.

Getting the right paperwork and visa is essential to a stress free entry into Egypt. Non-Egyptian visitors arriving in Egypt are required to be in possession of a valid passport. Visas can be obtained from either the Egyptian Diplomatic and consular Missions Abroad,  the Entry Visa Department, or from Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). However it is  possible for visitors to obtain an entry visa at any major points of entry.

Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border post to Taba to visit Gulf of Aqaba coast and St. Catherine can be exempted from visa and granted a free residence permit for fourteen days to visit the area. Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries.

Those in possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less. There are three kinds of visas to Egypt. Tourist visas are usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis. Entry visa are required of any visitors arriving in Egypt for purposes such as work, and study that are not related to tourism. This visa is necessary for the completion of the residence procedure in Egypt. Transit visas are made available to travellers transiting through Egypt. Once in Egypt, visitors have different options to get around the country in an easy and comfortable way. The options range from car rental, luxury trains, and coaches to domestic flights to connect tourist cities.

For those who prefer to travel by air locally, EgyptAir - the national carrier - links most of the tourist cities in Egypt with its reliable domestic flights. It is possible to fly directly from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh or Alexandria. So book your cheap plane tickets to Egypt and get ready for a vacation of your life.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Travel to Egypt through a Dahabiya for an unforgettable voyage

If you ever feel frustrated with your life, then simply travel to Egypt with your family and kids. The country is so majestic, mesmerizing and magnificent that it will help you get over all the sorrows and tensions of your hectic life and give a new meaning to your existence. While touring the various cities of Egypt, it is best to get yourself a seat on a luxurious Dahabiya. The fabled ship can help you chalk out a smooth, hassle-free and luxurious voyage. Nile has always lured travelers, writers and historians. It is the lifeblood of the country and you cannot really afford to return back to your homeland without having enjoyed a cruise ride on it.

Nile cruise small boats can now also be hired at very cheap rates. Most tour operators will see to it that all your requirements are met. Some good ones also lend you the opportunity to ask for custom needs. While touring Egypt, you will come across Cairo. While Cairo is an important commercial & trading center, it is also one of the most attractive cities on the country’s map. 

Cairo is pretty much like the city you have read about in the tales of Arabian Nights. It is dusty, crowded, bustling and very cosmopolitan. People from all over the world can be seen here including many from other Asian countries. Cairo is like a magic box which keeps flinging surprises at you. It has some breathtakingly beautiful monuments. Its mosques will evoke awe for their sheer size and piousness. Its local bazaars are interesting to explore and help you do some local shopping. Its pyramids certainly count amongst its top historical jewels and its museums are not just informative but a revelation. 

When you travel to Egypt, you can see the real face of Cairo with your own eyes. It is virtually impossible to depict its exuberant personality through pieces of words. Its chief attractions apart from the pyramids are Historic Cairo and Memphis & its Necropolis. Apart from Cairo, Egypt presents to you other equally delightful towns like Aswan, Luxor and Giza. They are paradise in terms of their collective historic worth. Giza is the must-visit site if you want to face the Sphinx while Luxor’s old monuments and dilapidated temples will give your holiday a satisfying end. Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada are also popular destinations and are primarily noted for the beaches and water sports.

The best way to enjoy of tourism all the cities and to witness all the monuments is through a cruise ride on a private Dahabiya. These vessels take you up and down the river starting the voyage from a pre-defined destination and ending it on a pre-decided city. The cruise can be enjoyed for 2 days or even 4-5 days. Depending on your requirement, you can book one accordingly. In between these days, you will certainly have the best time of your life. Another cheaper option is to book Nile cruise small boats. These small boats are more suited for smaller trips and for smaller groups.

Luxor cruises: 7 things to do in Luxor during your Egypt holidays

Egypt is a fabulous destination for going for a holiday. It is one of those fairy-tale places which are ethereal and suffused with magic. Some of the things you see in this country will fascinate you so much that you shall refuse to believe in their existence. For instance, the astonishing beauty of the pyramids and the sphinxes will not only mesmerize you but will also come with an element of incredulous shock. Though the country has 4-5 popular tourist towns, the one that stands out for its historical prowess is Luxor. 

Your Egypt holidays cannot be complete without a visit to Luxor, the city of ancient temples and ageing monuments. Luxor is a world which is inhabited by the dead as much as it is inhabited by the living. The cluster of tombs bears testimony to it. The presence of those incredible ancient temples, especially the Thebes, make this locale an unforgettable getaway. It is history and heritage rolled into one. One of the best ways to enjoy this city is through Luxor cruises which are conveniently available and are reasonably priced. Such a cruise will also help you spend some hours with the Nile and give you the thrill of a lifetime.

Though the services for Nile cruise in Egypt are open round the year, it is ideal to schedule your tour during the cooler season between October-March. Egypt gets quite hot during the summer. So, even if you do plan a summer trip, you will have to stay indoors during the noon time. 

Here are a few exciting things you must do at Luxor:

Visiting the dead: Nothing thrills you more than watching a horror movie or flipping through the gothic tales of Edgar Allan Poe! Luxor gives you the chance to enliven this horror by arranging a rendezvous with the dead in the tombs where the dead Pharaohs lie peacefully.

Exploringthe museums: Luxor boasts of some interesting museums that one can explore for fun and to gain knowledge about the culture & history.

Visiting ancient temples: If Giza is famed for its pyramids and sphinx, then Luxor is reputed for its ancient temples. Your Egypt holidays will be left incomplete without admiring these wilted temples built centuries ago.

Ride a camel: If you are from a western country, then it’s unlikely that you have ever ridden a camel! The city gives you that once-in-a-lifetime chance to see what it takes to stop yourself from screaming when you are on top of a camel. 

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride: The adventurists should certainly not miss out on the hot air balloon rides. These balloons will take up in the sky from where you can get a bird eye view of Africa. 

Felucca ride: Luxor cruises allow you to enjoy Felucca ride on the river Nile. It can be very pleasurable and extremely romantic.

Shopping and eating: Shopping and eating can also be savored when you are in Egypt. While the local bazaars and restaurants can serve enough on your plate, you can prepare yourself for a luxurious dinner on a Nile cruise in Egypt.

Egyptian delights: Enjoy Nile and Egypt by boarding a Dahabeya

The best place to have a family vacation is Egypt, the land of pyramids and sphinx. And the best way to enjoy Egypt is by booking cruise in a Dahabeya. Dahabeyas are ship-like structures which are designed and portrayed in the traditional Egyptian style. They can be really beautiful and a ride on them is a source of incessant joy. There are several tour operators who offer you quick and easy booking of these vessels. Most of the big players run their own websites where they fill in all the vital information and FAQs to help you with your queries. Thanks to internet, now it is very easy to make an online booking and secure your journey safely and seal it with happiness.

If ship is not something you are looking for, you can also hire small sailing boats in the Nile. There are pros and cons involved for both. While a ship or Dahabeya is more luxurious and safer, these small boats despite being comfortable are not as luxurious. Plus, it is ideal to board a safe vessel if you are traveling with family and kids. On the other side, these small boats give you the opportunity to enjoy a custom holiday with only your loved ones. The privacy is more and you feel a lot closer to the Nile and the nature. 

Felucca sailing in the Nile is also another option. Again, depending on your requirements and budget, you can book one accordingly. Ideally, experts recommend that while booking a cruise, you go for the comprehensive package which will include all the facilities. Thus apart from transportation, you can enjoy breakfast & meals and you can also make the most of your sightseeing experience. Accommodation facilities on these large vessels vary as per your demand and budget. From the simple rooms to the more luxurious ones to the most luxurious ones- everything is up for grabs. You just need to spill some cash and you can have the entire Nile at your feet, quite literally! 

The luxurious Dahabeyas can cost you more but the joy you derive out of it will be bliss. They have beautifully designed and adequately furnished rooms with windows that face the open rivers. When you sleep, you will feel that you are sleeping under the stars, and when you wake up you will be greeted by the tranquil tides of the moody Nile. Again, the thing with a Dahabeya or a ship is that they are priced differently for their different corners. For instance, in most cruises the upper decks are pricier than the lower ones. 

Most itineraries cover the important cities like Cairo and Luxor. The journey from Aswan to Luxor can be completed in nearly 3 days during which you can set your eyes on temples, mosques and monuments. There is always a guide to help you out. In fact, even small sailing boats in the Nile will come with guides. Felucca sailing in the Nile is another option before you. It is important to make bookings from a well-known operator for complete convenience and comfort.

Egypt travel package: 10 things you must see during your Egypt holidays

Egypt is one of those places which often top the list of most travel junkies. It is a place for the young and the old, for the male the female and for the Asian and the American! The distinction between classes, society, races and languages just get blurred when one is standing before the majestic pyramids or the intriguing sphinx. Egypt holidays can be savored for the rest of your life. Under an Egypt travel package, you can maximize your sightseeing and minimize your expenses.

Here are the ten attractions of this country you dare not miss out on:

Pyramids: No tourist can leave this country without setting his eyes on the pyramid. They are astonishing structures and a scientific marvel. They were built around 2,000 years before Christ, and yet the modern man cannot replicate the artistry that went into their making. While the country has close to 80 of these giant structures, the best ones are in Giza. Incidentally, most of these marvels are lined on the vicinity of the Nile. Thus, with the help of Dahabiya cruise or Nile cruise booking, you can see each one of them in a very short time.

Thebes: Thebes is the popular site at Luxor. It is an awe-evoking thing encircled by temples, gates and sphinxes. 

Valley of the Kings: Valley of the Kings is that spooky place where the Pharaohs rest in their tombs. Ideally, they can be spotted from Dahabiya cruise since they lie close to the river’s banks.

Siwa Oasis: Siwa Oasis may feature in this list but it is not a place where tourists can usually go. Its inaccessibility and beauty make it a coveted destination in the country.

Karnak temple: The temples of Karnak are mighty structures and carry a strong historic legacy. Visiting these temples can evoke nostalgia within you.

Abu Simbel: Abu Simbel is another iconic site which is often included in the itinerary of an Egypt travel package. It towers over its neighboring buildings and stands by the Nile in all its vanity.

Cairo: Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and is filled with amazing attractions including Museum of Antiquities, Old Cairo, Tutankhamen Gallery and Khan al Khalili Bazaar.

Museum of Nubian: The Nubian Museum is interesting to the students of history and archeology since it exhibits many items that have been excavated. It is located in the city of Aswan.

Hurghada: Hurghada is an exotic destination that deserves a place in your plans for Egypt holidays. If the sunshine, sand and beaches are your forte, then you will fall insanely in love with this place.