People visit different places in the world for a variety of different reasons; beautiful climate, spectacular scenery, an abundance of activities and sights to see. However, one of the key focuses for many holidaymakers is to soak in the cultural and historical significance of many beauty spots around the globe. Ancient sites can give a very real connection to the history of an area and an insight into the passage of mankind itself. The feeling elicited by exploring the sights where people roamed about their daily business thousands of years ago gives a real sense of wonder and awe, while also being a very thought provoking experience. Ancient sites are often surrounded by other attractions, so you can plan a memorable holiday around your cultural experiences.
A lesser known ancient site presents itself in Mexico; the Teotihuacan complex is a massive archeological site containing some spectacular pyramidal structures, beautiful murals and secluded streets. The site is striking from any angle, with the curious “talud-tablero” architectural style leading to beautifully constructed steps, slopes and walls. Take a trip down the ominously named “Avenue of the Dead” and marvel at the fantastic architecture flanking you on both sides. The Pyramid of the Sun also stands proudly beside the avenue, rising up to a height of 75 metres; making it the third highest pyramid behind the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the later mentioned Great Pyramid of Giza. It is well advised to go at your own pace and absorb the site in your own way.
Alongside Teotihuacan, Mexico hosts a huge variety of other sights, attractions and wonderful locations to base your trip from. In the complex itself, an amazingly secluded restaurant lies hidden within the caves, presenting a truly unique dining experience. Be on the lookout; it is easily missed! It is easy to reach Mexico; flights into the bustling Mexico City are frequent from a wide range of international airports and can be booked at a very reasonable price, especially when done so well in advance. Accommodation is also in abundance, with everything from 5 star hotels to basic hostels offering a decent option for every traveller.
Those living in the UK do not have to venture far to discover a sight with genuine historical significance, with a truly mystical aura amongst the surroundings. Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, is a stone circle made up of very large, heavy rocks. The sight is shrouded in mystery. Nobody really knows why the stone circle was built, but theories are abound; ranging from a venue for human sacrifice, to purposes pertaining to astronomy. It is easily accessible for those with an interest in history and mystery; and there is only a small fee to view the stones.
For those who wish to make more of their trip to Wiltshire, bed and breakfasts in the local area are abound and recommended; apart from Stonehenge itself, Wiltshire contains some fantastic gardens, stately homes and market towns to explore. In addition, those visiting Stonehenge may consider extending their cultural journey to nearby Bath, to visit the world famous Roman Baths and hot springs. This area of the UK is truly littered with activities and sights, historical or otherwise.
Holidaymakers who are interested in visiting the most famous ancient site in the world – the Giza Pyramids in Egypt on the other hand, will have to travel further afield. Towering 140 metres above the ground, the Great Pyramid is an arresting sight. It is widely believed that this pyramid was built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu; however, much like Stonehenge and other ancient sites, this is no certainty. Some believe the Giza pyramids were never built as tombs in the first place and that they may be thousands of years older that what we are taught to believe. The Pyramids of Giza are the jewel in Egypt`s crown; being the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is little wonder these giant monuments attract thousands of international visitors every month.
Finally, let’s not forget the Egyptian coastline. It contains some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along with a variety of watersports to offer; so you can chill to your heart`s content, or try something new. Restaurants offering delicious local cuisine at a reasonable price are easily located in coastal resorts such as Hurghada. Why not take in the Pyramids while taking advantage of a cheap holiday in Hurghada? There are some fantastic hotels to choose from so you can enjoy a relaxing stay on a beautiful coastline of eastern Egypt.
By J. Bhagwat
~ Founder of AncientDestinations.com