Best time to visit: November, December, January, February, March
Average high: 28˚C
Average low: 16˚C
Price of meals: 1/5
Holiday type: Adventure / Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
Egypt is the perfect way to combine reliable sun, sea and sand with more history and culture than you can explore in a single visit. The very name of the country ushers in images of the sprawling desert landscapes that are as mysterious as they are beautiful, and the incomparable Pyramids of Giza—the largest of which is the only structure of the seven ancient wonders of the world that is still standing today.
Egypt was one of the first nations to emerge in recorded history, yet this early birthplace of civilization has largely managed to keep its ancient ruins and artefacts intact. Holidaymakers can view relics in comfort by visiting the impressive museums on offer or access their inner Indiana Jones by exploring inside the pyramids and walking among the old temples and palaces.
One of the best ways to get around is by cruising the world’s largest and, arguably, most famous river, the Nile, which runs all the way through the length of Egypt. This method of travel not only allows you to rest on the gentle river while being carried to your next destination but offers a glimpse of the diverse and changing landscape, flora and fauna as you move between regions.
Hikers will find no better place than the religiously significant Mount Sinai and its neighbouring Mount Katherine, the highest mountain in Egypt. Both offer stunning vistas of the rocky surroundings and an opportunity to visit Saint Katherine’s Monastery, the longest continually inhabited monastery in the world.
Meanwhile, beach lovers looking for a more relaxing holiday and a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy the water of the Red Sea have their choice of beautiful resorts. Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai region is probably the best place for divers, while the soft beaches and impressive marine life can also be enjoyed from the Red Sea Coast in resorts such as Hurghada.
For a country that is largely desert, it won’t come as any surprise that Egypt is warm all year round and can be incredibly hot and dry during the summer. As even the winters are warm, the best time to visit is between November and March. Rainfall is infrequent but storms can last for hours or even an entire day, especially near the mountainous regions and the Mediterranean coast in the north. The further south you travel, the warmer and more arid the climate becomes, though cooler temperatures can be had by staying close to the Nile.
Eating out in Egypt is very cheap, even in the capital of Cairo, where a meal for one averages 60 Egyptian pounds (~£2.50) and is unlikely to exceed 100E£ (~£4.20). A three-course meal for two is also very affordable, ranging from 200E£ (~£8.40) and 500E£ (~£21). Domestic beers cost about 25E£ (~£1). Imported beers are more expensive, although still cheap by UK standards (~£1-£2.50). Coffee can be purchased for about 30E£ (~£1.25) and a bottle of water for only 3.25E£ (~14p).
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