THE HEART OF ANCIENT CIVILISATION
The best way to get deep into what makes this country tick is to enjoy a few days in Cairo and then venture on a 3 or 4 night Nile cruise, with all the major historically-rich cities such as Cairo, Luxor and Aswan all located on the river. The pace is slow and the atmosphere is serene as you cruise along this most fascinating river. Disembark and enjoy tours that allow you to visit and explore an array of tombs, temples and monuments. Cairo is a vibrant and fascinating city and is home to the best Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic sights in Egypt. Visit the Giza Pyramids, thousands of ancient artefacts in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, the capital’s medieval markets by Khan El-Khalili and much more. Most hotels are perched on the Nile offering spectacular views from your balcony. Aswan is home to the famous Aswan Dam and nowhere is the Nile more impressive or majestic than here as it flows through granite rocks and around emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants. Sail to the Temple of Philae on a local felucca, visit the Agha Khan Mausoleum and take an excursion to St. Simeon’s Monastery. Luxor is quite rightfully described as the “world’s greatest open-air museum” as the ruins of the Karnak & Luxor Temples stand within the modern city, and on the opposite side lie the Valley of the Kings (where you will find the tomb of Tutankhamen) & the Valley of the Queens. A day trip (or overnight) to Abu Simbel is also a must. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Nile, the majestic Abu Simbel Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and will take your breath away. In the evening there is an amazing sound & light show.
Intrepid travellers may want to venture inland and take a safari into the Western Desert, 262,000 square miles of dunes, canyons, oases, mountain plateaus, and valleys. Travel through endless miles of golden dunes and marvel at the awe inspiring landscape that is full of fascinating rock formations and strange limestone concretions that are shaped like giant mushrooms, fjords and icebergs.
On the Mediterranean coast lies Alexandria, known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean”. This captivating city combines history and modernity and although very little of the old city is now visible, it still retains its historical feel and features old European residences, old cafes and Greco Roman monuments. With being the northern-most tropical sea, the Red Sea coast houses some excellent reefs and the best diving in the northern hemisphere with over 1,200 species of fish being recorded here and approximately 10% of which are endemic to the sea. Coupled with great beaches and world-class resorts that will appeal to all budgets, you can easily twin Egypt’s history with some great time spent underwater (or by it at least!)
Being geographically part of Africa, Egypt’s culture would say otherwise. The Arabic and Nubian nomadic influences that weave itself into Egyptian folklore & identity, to the Mediterranean cities that see trade and an influx of cultures and practices from across the European continent, the nation’s glorious past and present never ceases to amaze.
Egypt’s climate is quite easy to summarise as they only have two prominent seasons: a hot dry summer (May to October) and a mild winter (November to April) and the difference between the seasons is really only marked by changes in prevailing winds and temperature variations. The average temperature during the winter is 17°C while the average temperature during summer is 30°C, although in the inland desert region the summer temperature may vary from 43°C during the day to 7°C at night.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit Egypt depends on where you want to go but generally speaking, winter (December to February) is the high season and summer (June to August) is the low season in all parts of the country except on the coasts, and to a lesser degree in Cairo. In our opinion the best time to travel to get the most enjoyment, without it being too hot, is between February to April and October & November.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. In addition we also recommend that you have a minimum of 2 consecutive blank pages in your passport. British passport holders do not need a visa to enter into Egypt.
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