Departing after breakfast set out to explore the ancient and historical sites of Coptic Cairo
, the erstwhile stronghold of Christianity in Egypt
. Here visit the ancient fortress of Babylon and the famous Hanging Church, one of the oldest and most beautiful Christian churches in all of Egypt
. Dating back to the 3rd century, the church is built into the southern wall of the Roman fortress and features a beautifully decorated nave, marble columns, and numerous reliefs and religious icons. Also visit the Church of St Sergius, which is alleged to be built on top of the cave where Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus hid after fleeing to Egypt.
Hidden amidst the modern sprawl of Cairo is the next stop, the Islamic quarter. Founded in the 10th century, this was once the centre of the Islamic world and is now home to 600 classified monuments. Here we visit the citadel of Saladin
, a medieval fortification built at the end of the 12th century. Set atop Mokattam Hill, the historical site boasts museums, mosques – including the famous Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali – and spectacular views of the city below. End the tour with some shopping at Khan el Khalili
Market and a perfumed oil emporium, where you can purchase some genuine Egyptian gifts or souvenirs.