When you think of Eygpt, there are certain iconic images that come to mind: the pyramids and the Spinx in Cairo, the incredible beaches of Sharm el Shiek, the meandering verdant river Nile winding through the whole length of the country.
Egypt is a beautiful, fascinating, and culturally rich country perfect for enriching your mind and learning something new. It is also the perfect place to go if all you’re really look for is some winter sun, and somewhere you can relax on a nice warm beach!
The winter weather in Egypt is bright, sunny and (whilst not as hot as the sweltering summers) mild enough for comfortable beach lounging. During the summer months, the temperature can reach 37-40 degrees, and the sea water is a very pleasant 28 degrees.
Thinking about booking a last minute break to Egypt this winter? Here is our ultimate Egypt travel guide, and everything you need to know about this incredible country:
The Cultural Capital
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt, and it is also the cultural heart of the country. If you want to see the most famous and iconic sites in the country then Cairo is the place to be.
The mighty Spinx and the giant Pyramids are located incredibly close to the city: most visitors are amazed to realize that, despite the sparse landscape you view in photographs of these sites, in reality, they sit just a couple of hundreds of yards away from a shopping center!
Here you can enter into the great pyramid of Khufu and experience and understand exactly how the pyramids were constructed, and read the hieroglyphics inside. Beware if you visit Cairo during the summer months though: as well as being dark inside, the pyramids are also oppressively and stiflingly hot.
Other sites not to be missed in Cairo include The Egyptian Museum, which is the home to hundreds of thousands of artifacts removed from many of the country’s great museums and temples.
According to the guides that lead tours of this incredible building, there are so many ancient artifacts in the museum that the basement houses boxes upon boxes of raw artifacts still waiting to be sorted and categorized.
Outside of the museum, its beautiful grounds also provide a wonderful place to rest, relax, and enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of the world pass by.
Looking for some uplifting evening entertainment? A trip to the Cairo Opera House is not to be missed. This is the main performing arts venue in the nation’s capital and here you’ll find performances from both local traditional talents as well as from international acts visiting the country.
Heading to the Coast
If you want to head to the coast for some winter sun, water sports and decadent relaxation then the resort towns to the south of the country should be your destination. The two most popular and beautiful beach destinations in the country are Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.
You have probably already heard of Sharm el Sheikh: welcoming tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world, this town is at the heart of Egypt’s offering to tourists. If you don’t plan on leaving the resort then the region is visa-exempt, making it incredibly easy to visit.
Sharm el Sheikh is home to beautiful beaches, reefs, and the famous Ras Muhammad National Park: one of the world’s best diving destinations. People travel around the world to dive in the waters here and experience the diverse range of marine life.
Walk along the tree lined promenades, lounge on the beach, have your pick of incredible five star hotels (almost all of the hotels and resorts here reach the coveted five star standard) swim, snorkel, and dive in the crystal clear waters.
Want to get away from the coast whilst spending time in Sharm el Sheikh? The region is also home to Mount Sinai, which is believed to be the mountain on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. Climbing to the peak of the mountain at sunrise is an incredible, life-enriching experience that you’ll never forget.
Nile River Cruise
Want to enjoy as much of this beautiful country as possible and experience the best of both worlds? Looking for cultural enrichment as well as some relaxation time? One option to achieve this is to book an increasingly popular Nile River Cruise.
The Nile is the world’s longest river, and there is a long history of intrepid adventurers traveling along its path. Choosing a stretch of river to journey down is one of the best ways to see as much of the country as possible.
The route you choose is up to you, but just some of the sites you can choose to visit include:
-The famous temples in Luxor and Karnak. Luxor has the highest concentration of ancient tombs and temples of any other city in the world. These temples are connected by a line of sphinxes and are built on an incredibly large scale.
-The Valley of the Kings. Perhaps the most famous burial ground in the world, the Valley of the Kings is home to 63 known tombs, and experts believe there are much more waiting for discovery.
Here you will find the famous tombs of tombs of Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut, the second female pharaoh, and both Rameses II and III, which are open on a rotational basis to help preserve their integrity for future generations
-Aswan. If you want to see another side of Egypt then Aswan is a wonderful place to visit. In this city, you can explore Egypt’s minority Nubian culture (an ethnic group originating from Sudan and southern Egypt) and this is also a great place to relax and watch the world go by.
There are fewer ancient artifacts to explore in Aswan, but plenty of lively, modern world experiences to enjoy.
-Temple of Philae. Finally, the temple of Philae is a significant stop because this is believed to be the last temple the ancient Egyptian’s constructed. Dedicated to the goddess Isis, this is one of the prettiest temples in Egypt.
Addressing Safety Concerns
Some people have concerns about traveling to Egypt as a result of the terrorist attacks witnessed by the country in recent years. It’s important to assess the risks and make your own decision about what is right for you.
But it’s also important to remember that terrorist attacks can and do happen anywhere, and if you would like to visit Egypt then there is no reason not to visit, providing you take sensible safety precautions (such as always being aware of your environment and maintaining cultural norms)
The official recommendations from the American Consulate in Eygpt on the matter is that:”The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to consider the risks of travel to Egypt due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups.”
However the ban on travel to Egypt has been lifted, meaning it could be argued that there is no better time to visit: when the number of tourists in the country (and therefore the crowd levels at cultural heritage sites) is very low.
I love Egypt: I took my honeymoon there. It is a fascinating and culturally rich country, and a place to create memories you’ll never forget. From diving into the red sea to climbing down into one of the ancient pyramids, the range of experiences you can enjoy in Egypt is incredible.
Thinking of booking a trip to Egypt? Allow at least two weeks to enjoy everything that the country has to offer. Don’t feel that you have to limit yourself to just one part of the country; it is relatively easy and inexpensive to fly from Sharm El Sheikh to Cairo for a day of two to create your own multi centred vacation.
If you’re looking for a vacation unlike anything else you can experience anywhere else in the world, then I would highly recommend you make Egypt your first choice!