Types of Religious Tours In Egypt

Eliyahu Ha-Navi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, ©Dan Lundberg/Flickr

Eliyahu Ha-Navi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, ©Dan Lundberg/Flickr

Everybody looks has different views when going on a holiday. Some prefer to relax on a beach, having cocktails and parties, others are looking for adventures, seeking for new locations to discover. Tourists visiting Egypt have many different reasons. There are those for who holiday means sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun and the sea and some people want to go on a nature tour. There also the so called classical tours, including visits to ancient sites, maybe some religious monuments either.

The conclusion is there is no such vacation which shouldn’t require some planning, even beach holidays. Other types of tours such as religious tours in Egypt are more complex and they need to be planned with more thought.

Religious or Classical?

Some tourists might be a bit confused about Egyptian religious tours, they usually confuse religious tours with a so called classical tour. Religious tours in Egypt often consist of visiting Islamic, Jewish or Christian sites. Christian monasteries are highly interesting and they contain elements related to the Christian Old Testament. These elements would also relate to Muslims and Jews either.

Pilgrimage Center at Abu Mena, Egypt, ©isawnyu/Flickr

Pilgrimage Center at Abu Mena, Egypt, ©isawnyu/Flickr

“A journey to a sacred place or shrine ”

An Egyptian religious tour might better be called as pilgrimage. The meaning of the word pilgrimage is a long journey of a pilgrim, especially  “a journey to a sacred place or shrine.” The term pilgrimage more realistically is used to describe visiting one specific site accompanied by other religious people. A simple religious tour sometimes is to visit ancient sites.

Eliyahu Ha-Navi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, ©Dan Lundberg/Flickr

Eliyahu Ha-Navi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, ©Dan Lundberg/Flickr

Hence, there are many Coptic Christian, Muslim and even a few Jewish pilgrimages in Egypt which may originate from outside of Egypt, or, with the exception of Jewish pilgrimages, inside Egypt. Most are very specialized, and are frequently conducted by specialist travel companies, though many regular tour operators in Egypt also offer various Islamic pilgrimages because of the dominant presence of the Muslim community in Egypt.

Islamic Cairo, ©Dave_B_/Flickr

Islamic Cairo, ©Dave_B_/Flickr

It must be mentioned that there is usually little wrong with regular tourists visiting pilgrimage sites, provided that they have some understanding of what is expected from them (such as dress), and are respectful. Many tourists, usually outside of groups, in fact do, particularly if they are interested in local culture.

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