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Here are 5 must-see spots for your next trip to Egypt

Beyond Egypt’s iconic landmarks, lies a few hidden gems that further capture the country’s diverse history and vibrant present

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Egypt is a timeless treasure trove known for its wealth of historical and cultural wonders. From the iconic pyramids of Giza to the majestic temples of Luxor, the country has some of the world’s most ancient cultural monuments.

However, beyond these iconic landmarks are hidden gems that tell its diverse history and vibrant present. 

From serene monasteries and lively bazaars to scenic places, some lesser-known wonders are waiting to be discovered. Here are five must-visit destinations in Egypt.


Located 100 kilometers southwest of Cairo, Faiyum beckons with a tapestry of vibrant bazaars, ornate mosques, bustling baths, and a weekly market.  

The city’s heart is adorned with four waterwheels, adopted as symbols by the Fayoum governorate. It is also home to many historical landmarks, including the Hanging Mosque, the Hawara archaeological site, and the Lahun Pyramids of the majestic Qasr Qarun. 

Faiyum also features the stunning Tunis Village. Once a humble farming community, Tunis Village in Egypt’s Faiyum oasis is a pottery haven and open-air museum of rural life. It is nestled by Lake Qaroun and has stunning desert views, eco-lodges, a horse-riding center, and birdwatching/safari guides.

Venture further, and you’ll encounter Wadi Al-Hitan, also known as the Valley of Whales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located approximately 65 km southwest of Faiyum city, there’s enchanting Wadi El Rayan. What was once a fertile ground for agricultural drainage has transformed into a natural wonderland — the Wadi El Rayan Lakes. These bodies of water, divided into an upper and lower lake, are connected by waterfalls, claiming the title of Egypt’s largest waterfalls.

But Wadi El Rayan is much more than just lakes and waterfalls. It’s a sanctuary teeming with life, featuring springs, shifting sand dunes, and endangered species thriving amidst lush vegetation. This ecological diversity has made Wadi El Rayan a hotspot for glamping, a burgeoning trend in eco-tourism across the MENA region.


Situated amidst the vast expanse of the Western Desert, some 560 kilometers from Cairo, lies the Siwa Oasis, steeped in ancient mystique. 

Siwa Oasis rests within a profound depression, its depths reaching below sea level and cradling approximately 200 natural springs. 

This oasis, bordered by the vast expanse of the Libyan Desert plateau, has two expansive salt lakes fed by the runoff of agricultural endeavors. Amidst this verdant sanctuary, thousands of date palms and olive trees thrive.

The rich cultural tapestry of its inhabitants, the Siwi Berbers, truly sets Siwa apart. Until the 1980s, Siwa remained virtually disconnected from the outside world, connected only by grueling camel tracks traversing the desert. This isolation birthed a unique way of life, reflected in the intricate crafts of basketry, pottery, silverwork, and embroidery, as well as the distinctive attire worn by the locals.

Whether tracing the footsteps of ancient civilizations amidst the towering walls of the Shali fortress and the temple of the oracle of Amun or immersing oneself in the breathtaking beauty of natural wonders like Lake Siwa and the serene Fatnis Island, every corner of this oasis promises an adventure.


Founded in 1859 amidst the monumental construction of the Suez Canal, Port Said lies along the northeastern coast of Egypt, stretching approximately 30 kilometers along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

This vibrant city has evolved into a premier summer destination, boasting a wealth of attractions. From its pristine public and private beaches to its rich cosmopolitan heritage, museums, and duty-free port, Port Said also has the Lighthouse of Port Said, the Pharaonic-inspired Port Said Martyrs Memorial, as well as Tennis Island, nestled within Lake Manzaleh. Tourists can explore the remnants of an ancient Islamic city ravaged during the Crusades and immerse themselves in its storied past.

The crowning jewel of Port Said’s allure remains the majestic Suez Canal. This engineering marvel stretches over 100 miles, linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and connecting Port Said to Port Tawfiq near Suez.


Dahab is a bohemian gem tucked away on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Home to a vibrant boardwalk with affordable guesthouses, colorful handicraft shops, and multicultural cafes serving culinary delights.

Dahab is woven from an amalgamation of cultures: Bedouin nomads, mainland Egyptians, and international expats, all drawn to its beauty and easy access to Sinai’s wonders.

The town is also known to be an adrenaline junkie’s playground. Surf the waves, catch the wind, or dive into the underwater world to explore the vibrant coral reefs of the Blue Lagoon.

Visitors can also hike through rugged canyons, scale majestic mountains, or explore the desert on camelback or by jeep. For a cultural touch, embark on a sunset tour to the historic St. Catherine’s Monastery, nestled at the foot of Mount Sinai.

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