If you and the kids aren’t keen on going to traditional resort-based destinations where you see little more than the hotel you’re staying in and its nearest beach, consider Egypt as the location for your next holiday.
While there are certainly all-inclusive resorts on its Red Sea coast, you can easily avoid these by going on a journey of discovery to some of the sites related to the country’s incredible past.
We’re going to give you a rundown of some of the must-see attractions – you may be familiar with a few of these already, but we’re also going to explain why these are so great for families. If you want to tour Egypt without the hassle of organising everything yourself, consider going on one of the trips run by Explore Worldwide.
Pyramids and Sphinx
The Pyramids are the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World and they really are a must-visit if you’re planning to tour Egypt’s historical sites. In addition to the Pyramids is the impressive Sphinx sculpture, which stands guard at the base of the plateau and is an amazing sight to be greeted by as you enter the heritage site.
Wander up the hill and you’ll see the Pyramids looming high above you on the top of the Giza Plateau. Nothing can quite prepare you for their scale, which is all the more remarkable given when these structures were built.
It’s possible to venture inside one of the Pyramids if you want, but this is optional and it’s worth pointing out that the stairs into the chamber are very narrow.
The Abu Simbel temples are another of Ancient Egypt’s wonders and these places of worship were actually moved in the 1960s to preserve them before a large area was flooded by the creation of the Aswan Dam.
The main temple is astounding, with its 20 m high statues of Ramses II that flank the entrance. Inside is no less impressive, with a vast chamber featuring yet more statues and a series of rooms and halls, all carved out of the rock. Kids will love this place for the magical atmosphere it exudes and the sheer scale of the temples.
Temple of Horus in Edfu
The Temple of Horus in Edfu is the second-largest temple complex in the country – only the Karnak Temple in Luxor is larger. Construction at this site is estimated to have lasted for around 200 years and it was built by the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Horus is the Ancient Egyptian god of the sky and was depicted as a man with a hawk’s head. According to legend, Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis and he fought Osiris’s brother Seth for the throne of Egypt after Seth murdered his father. The Edfu temple complex is said to have been built on the site of this great battle.
Horus is also the Egyptian god most closely associated with the protection of the pharaoh (who was believed to be the living incarnation of the deity) and also of the Egyptian people. Children will love hearing the stories of the gods as they explore this complex, and trying to decipher the hieroglyphs, which are in excellent condition, is another great way to get little ones to engage with this ancient culture.
In addition to the many statues and drawings of Horus in this temple complex, there are also images of Sobek, the crocodile god, who was worshipped by people here as well. Sobek was closely associated with the Nile and is believed to have been among the pharaoh’s protectors.