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4th April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
Egypt

Pyramids, Cairo

Best time to go: Egypt is warm year-round, and rarely experiences rain. Intensely hot and dry during June to October

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Craig Doyle
Those four-sided ancient structures, the Pyramids came in at number 17.

Who can resist the mystery surrounding the only survivor from the ancient Greek listed Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, one of the pyramids at Giza?

There were no cranes, cement mixers or fork lift trucks around to help when these Pyramids were built in around 2600 BC, so how on earth did the ancient Egyptians build them, and why did they build them?

It has generally been accepted that the pyramids were built as magnificent mausoleums by thousands of workers under pharaohs� orders.

However, many other less conventional construction theories have been put forward over the years, suggestions that the pyramids were built by angels, devils or aliens.

Such claims might seem fanciful, until you actually arrive at the Giza Plateau to gaze on the pyramids, and then you appreciate why so many people believe that such spectacular man-made mountains can�t have been created by mere humans.

The three pyramids were mortuary complexes for Cheops, Chephren and Mcerinus, father, son and grandson. From the Giza Plateau, it is possible to enter the pyramids and explore the chambers and passageways.

Not for the claustrophobic, perhaps, but an awe inspiring and unforgettable journey into the ancient history of this amazing civilisation.

Puzzled by pyramids? Find out more at BBCi History. See our reports on Luxor and Abu Simbel too.

   

All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights about £250

Approx flight time: 4 and a half hours from London to Cairo

  • the Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest structure in the world until the building of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1898
  • the ancient Greek historian Herodotus calculated that the Great Pyramid took 100,000 men, 20 years to build
  • the Great Pyramid is made of approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone and weighs about 5,750,000 tons
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

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Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 1 hour ahead

Visa (with UK passport)
Required


Inoculations & health
Hepatitus A recommended, Typhoid, Dip, Tuberculosis Hep B and Rabies sometimes recommended

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NetDoctor

Currency
Egyptian pound
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Language
Arabic

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