Egypt Holidays – Year-round sunshine, ancient history and awe-inspiring scenery
The birthplace of one of the world’s first great civilisations, Egypt is truly iconic. The country’s landmarks need no introduction, whether it be the huge, lazily meandering Nile, mind-boggling Pyramids, or endless desert sands. This is the most popular and easily accessible of the Arab world’s tourist destinations for Europeans, with something for all tastes; from all inclusive luxury to cost-effective budget options.
Cairo is a chaotic maelstrom of narrow dusty streets, squat mosques, sprawling bazaars and hot, shisha-filled air, all revolving around a medieval Old Town. Travel further up the Nile and you’ll find Luxor, awash with historical monuments and lined with ancient burial chambers. Aswan in the south is a more African city, with palm fringed islands and beautiful river boats sailing along the shores.
The west of the country sees beginning of the seemingly infinite desert, an awe-inspiring place of endless sand dunes and intense heat, broken only by the occasional oasis or squat mediaeval fortress.
While for western style nightlife, all-inclusive luxury hotels and some of the best scuba diving on the planet, Sharm el Sheikh on the Red Sea coast is one of the most popular destinations in the country. And the laid-back coastal town of Dahab is a backpacker’s paradise, with a hippy commune atmosphere and stunning sea views.
When to go
For sunbathing and sightseeing around the famous historical sites, October-April is the best time to visit for Europeans. This period sees plenty of sunshine but comfortable temperatures of between 20-30C. May-September can see incredibly hot weather with highs of 40C and above, which is too intense for most. Those looking to scuba dive will actually find this the best period to visit however, with the warmest sea temperatures, the best water visibility and the most fish and sea life.
Those intending to visit Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghurda or Cairo in March April should be aware that these months can get very windy, with the Khamsin Wind blowing dust and sand in from the desert. Cairo can also be quite busy in the summer months, with Arab visitors flocking here for the cooler temperatures compared to those found in their own countries. Wherever you decide to go in Egypt booking early can make the holiday more affordable especially if you only pay a small deposit up front.
The weather in Egypt
With its northern African location and much of the country lying with the Sahara desert region, it is perhaps no surprise that Egypt is one of the sunniest destinations on earth. You can take a holiday here at any time of year and be guaranteed an average of 8 hours sunshine a day. Weather in Egypt essentially comes in two types; hot and really hot. The best time to visit the country for Europeans is the ‘winter’ period of October-April. Average temperature range between 23-25C. The summer months of May-September can get swelteringly hot, especially in the desert regions, with averages of 39-41C and highs well into the late 40’s and early 50’s.
The only exception to the rule is the country’s Mediterranean coast, which will see cloudy days and short periods of rain in the winter season.
Getting the best deal
To get the best deal on holidays to Egypt, it is wise to book as early as possible – especially if you want to visit during the most popular October-April period. The best priced rooms will sell out fast, particularly in popular tourist resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh during November and April. Christmas/New Year and Easter are also very popular, with higher accommodation prices. Travelling outside the UK half term school holiday periods will save you money. If you can handle the heat, the summer months of May-September see generally lower prices and the chance to pick up some great last minute deals.
Booking an all inclusive holiday to Egypt is a good way of keeping an eye on your holiday spending, with all meals and drinks paid for upfront. Sharm el Sheikh is the country’s best-known all inclusive destination, with a huge range of deals on offer. Find the best prices we have to offer by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals page here.
Airport and transport need to know
There are 19 airports in Egypt located all over the country. Some of these are small, regional hubs that handle solely domestic traffic however. Egypt has 8 large, main airports, including international airports in Cairo (CAI), Sharm el Sheikh (SSH), Alexandria (ALY), Luxor (LXR) and Hurghurda (HRG). The majority of Egypt’s airports are located in the east of the country. The largest and busiest of these airports is Cairo.
You can get a flight to Egypt from virtually anywhere in the UK, including all the main London Airports, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, and smaller regional airports such as Exeter and Newcastle. The flight takes around 5 hours depending where you are departing from.
There are taxi services operating from all of Egypt’s airports. These operate on a fixed price basis and are much cheaper comparatively than taxis in the UK. Before you get in the taxi, you should ensure you agree on a price, agree that the fare is for the vehicle, not per person, and agree on a currency to pay in.
There may be bus services from some airports into the nearest main town for a much cheaper fee than a taxi. Sharm el Sheikh is a good example of this. You should ask at the information desk inside the airport for advice on whether there is a bus service and where to catch it from.
Alternatively, many people like to hire a car for the duration of their holiday, to be picked up at the airport. Reputable international companies such as Europcar provide this service from around £250 a week, depending on the make and model of car.
More useful information
- For official Egypt tourist information click here - Egypt Tourism Authority
- The FCO occasionally release travel advisory warnings for Egypt. Check the latest on the Foreign Travel Advice website.
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