Egyptian Book Reviews: Fodor's Exploring Egypt

Book Review

by Mary Kay Radnich

FODORS EGYPT New Edition 2001
Fodors Exploring Egypt, Third Edition, 2000

Fodors is one of the most respected names in travel, so of course, I was not surprised to find a travel guide on the shelf during my last trip to the bookstore. But I was surprised to find not one but two guides, completely different.


The traditional Fodors Egypt, has a gold-toned cover and is just a wealth of information about traveling in Egypt. The beginning has a few color plates with gorgeous photography, but that is about it. Most of this book is text and maps with a few other illustrations. However, the layout of this book is very easy to follow and/or find information. For example, in the Cairo chapter, there is a brief introduction to the city, a breakdown of possible itineraries and then tourist information by neighborhood, i.e.- Old Islamic Cairo, the Citadel to Mosque Ibn-Tulun area, etc. Within each neighborhood listing are listed sites to see, sites off the beaten path, as well as the "Need a break" listing that is, a place to take a rest in that area. Dining, lodging, the arts, nightlife and shopping all have their appropriate sections with little icons indicating price, quality, etc.

The end of this guide is a section of pages tabbed in gray, Chapter 7, Background and Essentials. This section is quick reference summary of the entire book, with the following sections:

Portraits To Live and Die in Ancient Egypt & A Brief History of Egypt

Fodors Choice Favorites in Egypt


Book and Videos What to Watch and Read Before You Go

Map of Egypt

Smart Travel Tips A to Z Essential Information

At the end of the book are the index and, very smartly, a conversion table inside the back cover.

All in all, this is a very thorough and complete guide for US $20.00.


Conversely, this guidebook is full color, glossy paper and is written by the husband and wife team of Anthony Sattin and Sylvie Franquet (rather than a team of editors, as the Fodors Egypt is). They have spent many years living in and writing about Egypt, and this guide brings a liveliness to Egypt that the other guide does not, mostly due to the marvelous color photography.

At the beginning of this book is a "How to use this book" page followed by the Contents. Each section is explained, and the key to admission charges is listed as well as the ratings scale. This scale by the way, is not the quality level of hotels and restaurants but rather, the "Do not miss", "Highly recommended" and "Worth seeing" ratings.

The first section of the guide is about "Our Egypt," that is, what it is now and what is was in the past. The Gazetteer focuses on the various regions and sites throughout the land. Highlights are in the Focus On sections, as well a listing of interesting drives and/or walks to take in that area or city. The book wraps up with a useful Travel Facts section and a listing of accommodations and restaurants. There is also a separate listing of the maps with page numbers.

One more word about the photography: While the photos of the antiquities are marvelous, throughout the book are photos of Egyptian people at work and in various settings. These photos really bring to life the face of Egypt, and, as the front cover blurb says, "All the great sights plus the anecdotes that bring them to life." And a good price at US $22.00.

So, which guide to purchase?? Ill leave that up to you. You wont go wrong with either guide and, if you are like me, youll end up with both!

You can find more about Fodors at

Have you recently read a good book concerning Egypt?? Would you like to write a book review of it for Tour Egypt Monthly? If so, please email Mary Kay Radnich. Thank you very much!

The Mysteries of Qurna By Sonny Stengle
Traveling by Train in Egypt By Dr. Susan Wilson & Medhat A-Monem
The Charm of the Amulet By Anita Stratos
Egyptian Rock-Art Unveiled By Arnvid Aakre
Great Hair Days in Ancient Egypt By Ilene Springer
Touring With the Young, and Not-So-Young By Jimmy Dunn
A Tour in Egypt's Mohammed Ali's Mosque By Muhammad Hegab
Ancient Egyptian Agriculture By Catherine C. Harris
Why I Keep Going Back, and This is No 'Fish Story'! By Duncan McLean
Off the Beaten Path in the Sinai By Jimmy Dunn
Editor's Commentary
By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets
By Judith Illes
Book Reviews
Various Editors
Hotel Reviews By Jimmy Dunn & Juergen Stryjak
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt
By Mary K Radnich
The Month in Review By John Applegate
Egyptian ExhibitionsBy Staff
Egyptian View-Point
By Adel Murad
Various Editors
Egypt On Screen By Carolyn Patricia Scott
Restaurant Reviews
Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek

Prior Issues

June 1st, 2001
May 1st, 2001
April 1st, 2001

March 1st, 2001

February 1st, 2001

January 1st, 2001

December 1st, 2000
October 1st, 2000
September 1st, 2000
August 1st, 2000

July 1st, 2000

June 1st, 2000

Master Index