Sometimes a travel destination is so famous, or so iconic, it almost starts to seem cliché. I confess I’ve had this feeling about Egypt at times. In a way, you can get sucked into feeling as if you’ve seen it all simply because you’ve seen, heard, or read about the main attractions so frequently. However, I snapped out of it after looking into travel activities and reading accounts on a few blogs, and now I want to pay it forward! As it turns out (perhaps obviously), Egypt is a fascinating and terrific destination. Here I’m going to relay some of the reasons it’s truly worth your time and energy.

1 – There Are Always New Discoveries

It’s truly amazing how much of the ancient Egyptian civilization there is to unearth. Earlier this year news came out about archaeologists locating a new “hidden” chamber in one of the pyramids of Giza. Even more recently, two ancient tombs were discovered near Luxor (a place you should certainly visit if you go to Egypt). The pace of new discoveries is somewhat shocking if you pay attention to it, and it means there are always new things to see or learn about. It also emphasizes just how fascinating Egypt is for anyone with an appreciation of culture and history.

2 – The Pyramids Are The Real Deal

It may be the most obvious statement ever placed in a travel article, but seeing the pyramids in person is every bit as awe-inspiring as, say, seeing the Great Wall of China, or the Taj Mahal, or Stonehenge. Many are shocked by the size of individual stones in the pyramids’ construction, or by the size of the Great Pyramid in particular. And of course when you stand before them and imagine the scene that might have been taking place on that very ground thousands of years ago, you gain a sense of connection with human ancestry that few places on the planet can provide you with.

3 – No Place Else Takes You Closer To The Gods

We all think of Egypt as possessing temples, tombs and monuments. Furthermore, we think of some of the Egyptian gods as almost caricatures or cartoons. Anubis has been the subject of his own game for the Nintendo Wii; a “Riches of Ra” slot reel invites you to “join Ra, the god of the sun” as you spin slots with ancient Egyptian themes in the background. When you actually tour ancient sites in Egypt however, this all comes together into something more serious. Vague impressions of temples, and skewed understandings of the gods meet in the middle, and you gain a clear understanding of how serious this was for the ancient culture, and how Egyptians’ faith and fear led to some of history’s most enduring monuments. It’s quite something to see.

4 – The Luxury Is Underrated

It’s perfectly natural to think of Egypt and imagine it as an old place. You might think of desert-like settings, ancient villages, or even somewhat primitive housing. This is simply because it’s hard to imagine the modernization of a destination famous for what it looked like thousands of years ago! In some places, Egypt actually does retain a somewhat ancient aesthetic. But major cities are perfectly modern, and the luxury accommodations in these cities (and just outside of them) are entirely underrated. You can find famous hotel chains, wonderful spas, and even comfortable bedrooms with views of the pyramids and other famous attractions.

5 – Water Activity Is Wonderful

Even if you’re excited about sightseeing opportunities and luxury accommodations, you might not truly know what to expect out of a trip to Egypt. Put simply, if you’re an active traveler, you like your time outside, or you specifically love to be on (or in) the water, it’s one of the best destinations for you. Boating on the Nile is an amazing experience (again, because of that sense of history), and many don’t realize that there are also legendary deep sea diving opportunities in fairly close proximity to the main cities. This is actually something this site mentioned in a look at off-beat honeymoon ideas last year.