Sohag is in Middle Egypt.
Sohag (and Sohag Governate) were created out of Girga Governate in the 1960s. Sitting in the fertile Nile River valley, it has grown rapidly since then, with the older downtown on the west side of the Nile and the more cosmopolitan side on the east bank of the river. Long before, in Coptic times, monks lived in this location in relative solitude.
It is a long 500 km drive from Cairo. If not driving, Sohag International Airport offers many regional connections to Gulf States and Cairo and is only 30 km away in Kharga. A taxi from the airport to Sohag should only cost about 150 LE.
There is also train service via Egyptian National Railways, though it may be rather erratic and frustrating.
- 1 White Monastery (الدير الأبيض). This is probably what Sohag is most known for, the Coptic monastery that has long been inhabited by monks. It is dedicated to Shenouda the Archimandrite and was established in or around 442 AD. Living history.
- 2 The Red Monastery (الدير الأحمر) (about 5 km north of the White Monastery). This is another monastery down the valley a little, stemming from the 4th century AD. This one also Coptic in nature and named after an Egyptian saint christened Pishay. The main nave feels pretty cavernous.
- 3 Sidi Arif Mosque (مسجد العارف بالله.), Nagaa Al Dear Al Abied Al Bahri - Nagaa Hamed, ADFA. The el-'Arif Mosque was built in the 14th century, has paired minarets and an ornamentally painted ceiling.
- 4 El-Farshuti Mosque (جامع الفرشوطي). Another mosque that you might as well see since you're in the neighborhood that has a minaret reaching 53-metres.
- 5 The Church of the Holy Virgin (close to train station), ☏ . A busy church, busy in the sense of ornamentation, paintings all over the walls and an iconostasis.
Somewhere to the southwest of Sohag is a large archaeological discovery called Athribis, where Ptolemy XV Caesarion built a temple to goddess Repyt.
Across the river in El-Hawawish, see:
- 6 Monastery of the Martyrs in Akhmim Ibarche Akhmim and Saqlta (دير الشهداء بأخميم إيبارشيه أخميم وساقلتة), Ad Dababat, Markaz Akhmim. Monastery and necropolis - probably not the best if you get nightmares watching cryptkeeper movies because there are mummified bodies on display everywhere.
- 1 Ms. Nile Elite, El-Khouly, Sohang First, ☏ . Rooms onboard a ship with a restaurant and top-deck pool, how fun is that? Across from Zohour Island, too.
- 2 Ms Coral, El-Khouly, Sohang First (across Nile from central Sohag), ☏ . Another floating hotel with pool and restaurant that is reasonably priced.
- 3 Nile Treasure Hotel in Sohag, Unnamed Road، El-Khouly, ☏ . One more floating hotel.
- 4 Grand Hotel Abwaluva, El-Khouly (downtown Sohag, about 6-7 blocks south of Naser Square), ☏ . This is a cheapy where you can hear the occasional fly buzzing around and look at people's clothes hanging from their balcony railing across the way. But close to the train station.