Egypt is the ultimate bucket list experience for many travelers – and for a good reason. This mysterious country dates back almost 30 centuries, which means there’s an entire wealth of culture, history, and natural landmarks to discover.
However, there’s more to Egypt than rolling sand dunes and Pharoic pyramids (although there are plenty of those things too). This fascinating country is also a wild mix of white-sand beaches, crimson red canyons, and clear natural springs, which a few mountainous peaks and regions weaved in.
Although there’s a lot to explore near the bustling cities of Cairo, Luxor, and Giza, some of the most remarkable places in Egypt are far off the beaten path. But trust us – stumbling upon these amazing sights is guaranteed to be worth the effort.
1. Wadi el Weshwashy
Photo By: ImAAm/Shutterstock
This mesmerizing green lake is a hidden gem tucked away between the granite mountains and rock formations of South Sinai. As you dip your toes in the warm waters, you’ll hear the rustling sound of the wind caressing the surface of the lake, making a “weshweshwesh” sound (after which the park was named). You’ll have to make a 90-minute trek up the mountains to find it, but it’s worth the hike just to see this uniquely vibrant shade of green.
2. Al Nayzak, Marsa Alam
Photo By: Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr
The stunning rock formation surrounding this eye-shaped pool was believed to be caused by a meteor that struck the earth’s surface thousands of years ago. The water comes from the Red Sea and is refreshingly cool in the heat of the Egyptian sun. Who wouldn’t want to go for a swim in the translucently clear waters of this natural wonder?
3. Gilf El Kebir, Sahara Desert
Photo By: Clemens Schmillen/Wikipedia
Snaking along the border of Egypt and Libya is this rugged plateau in the middle of the Sahara Desert. This remarkable place remains relatively unexplored by tourists, despite having some of the most dramatic cliffs and desert landscapes in the country. You can also see prehistoric rock paintings and carved petroglyphs etched on the sides of the mountains of the wadis.
4. Desert Breath, Hurghada
Photo By: D.A.S.T Art Team
Don’t’ be fooled – this isn’t the work of extraterrestrial life! Desert Breath is actually an art installation of 89 different cone pyramids and sinkholes that form a spiral shape in the middle of the desert. The most impressive view of the installation is arguably from above, although walking around the massive shapes is also an incredible experience.
5. Blue Desert, Sinai
Photo By: Ibrahim.ID/Wikipedia
Located on the Plateau of Hallaoui in between Dahab and St. Catherine is the fascinating Blue Desert. To celebrate the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treating, Belgian artist Jean Verame went into the desert for over three months and painted as many boulders as he could find. The image of seeing these bright blue rocks juxtaposed against the yellow sand dunes is nothing short of breathtaking.
6. White Desert, Al Farafrah
Photo by Elias Rovielo
The surreal landscape of snow-white rock formations and frost-colored spires jetting up from the ground may seem man-made, but we assure you they are 100% natural. These bizarre formations are actually made from chalk that has been shaped from years of wind erosion. While you can see most of it in just a few hours, we recommend camping overnight to see their colors change to reflect the night sky.
7. Siwa Oasis
Photo By: @mrdivine/Instagram
This little tropical slice of paradise is located in the remote Western Desert of Egypt. Here, you’ll find swaying palm trees, groves of olive trees, and crystal clear pools that look otherworldly compared to the dry, barren surroundings of desert dunes. You can also visit a few landmarks like the Temple of the Oracle and the Shali Fortress to learn more about this town’s 2,000-year-old history.
8. Tunis Village, Fayoum
Photo By: Nader El Assy/Shutterstock
This charming artist’s village is a small but mesmerizing spot just southwest of Cairo. Dotted along the dirt roads and groves of trees are numerous art galleries and pottery workshops where you can find local artists working on this traditional craft. Many of these pieces are sent to shops and galleries in Cairo, so this is your opportunity to pick up a unique and affordable piece of art to take back home. You can also try your hand at making pottery yourself. Stop by the Fayoum Pottery School or one of the workshops to learn about this ancient handicraft.
9. Djara Cave, El-Dakhla Oasis
Photo By: Haitham Abdel Fattah/Shutterstock
The Djara Cave may be one of Egypt’s most unusual natural wonders. With sand covering the bottom floor and asymmetrical stalactites dripping from the ceiling, it’s one of the only preserved cave systems in the country. In addition, there are several prehistoric cave paintings that have been discovered, shedding light on what life was like thousands of years ago.
10. Colored Canyon, Nuweiba
Photo By: Andrii_K/Shutterstock
With swirls of pink, red, and orange limestone rocks, the Colored Canyon is an eye-catching marvel of natural beauty. Believe it or not – this canyon was once completely submerged in water, and as it dried, it left a ½ mile trail of jagged grooves and sharp canyon cliffs as high as 150-feet tall. You can visit the Colored Canyon by hiking along the Sinai Trail Hike from Nuweiba.
11. Eel Garden, Dahab
Photo By: Allfiveoceans.com
Egypt is a scuba diver’s paradise, and the unusual Eel Garden dive site is no exception. Right off the coast of Dahab is a little lagoon that is blanketed in a colony of sand eels. They pop out of the sand to search for food, their bodies fluttering with the wave of the ocean like long shoestrings. Try not to get too close to them – these creatures are extremely shy and will slither back into their holes if you approach them.
12. Cave Church, Cairo
Photo by vagabondblogger/Shutterstock
The Saint Simon Monastery (otherwise known as the Cave Church) is a breathtaking architectural achievement carved into the cliffs of the Mokattam Mountains. With the capacity to seat over 2,000 people, it’s currently the largest Christian church not just in Egypt but in the entire Middle Eastern region. Besides the main church, there are also smaller rooms tucked away in the side caves of the hills.
13. Wadi Al Hitan, Fayoum
Photo By: ZK Studio/Shutterstock
This UNESCO World Heritage Site southwest of Cairo is comprised of hundreds of ancient fossils from some of the world’s most incredible aquatic creatures. The most impressive are the extinct archaeoceti, one of the earliest species of whales that lived over 50 million years ago. You’ll also find skeletal remains of sea snakes, crocodiles, turtles, sharks, and sawfish.
14. Wadi El Gamal National Park, Marsa Alam
Photo By: Mohamed Ramez/Shutterstock
The Wadi El Gamal National Park is the perfect mix of history, wildlife, and stunning natural ecosystems. It encompasses 2,880-square miles of both land and marine environments, which are home to over 1,200 species of fish and rare creatures like wild donkeys, camels, and the Nubian ibex. You’ll also get the opportunity to see prehistoric rock art and ruins that date back to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.
15. Mount Sinai
Photo By: Mohammed Moussa/Wikipedia
Although it’s not the tallest mountain in Egypt, Mount Sinai is easily one of the most remarkable places in the country. It was here where Moses was believed to have received the Ten Commandments, making Sinai an incredibly sacred location for followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In addition to its religious significance, Mount Sinai also boasts fantastic views from its summit, which can be reached by a 2.5-hour trek on foot or camel.
16. The Pyramids, Giza
Photo By: Guenter Albers/Shutterstock
No trip to Egypt would be complete without visiting the iconic Giza pyramid complex. Built during the 4th dynasty of Ancient Egypt along the border of the Western Desert, these iconic pyramids are some of the country’s most recognizable landmarks. The Great Pyramid is the largest and oldest structure on-site and has rightfully earned its status as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You’ll also find the mystical Great Sphinx of Giza situated on the eastern part of the plateau.
17. Sunken City of Heracleion
Photo By: The Vintage News
Submerged 30-feet underwater in the Mediterranean Sea lies the remains of a once-thriving maritime city. Archeologists have discovered the ruins of 64 ships, 16-foot statues, treasure chests filled with gold, and even a Greek temple, all of which date back to the 3rd and 4th-centuries BC. To this still, it’s still unknown how Heracleion ended up underwater, which only adds to the mysteriousness of its attraction.
How many of these remarkable places in Egypt have you already checked off your list? Have you discovered any fascinating sites or hidden gems that we left off? We’d love to hear from you so please let us know in the comments below!