Home to one of the world’s oldest and most important cultures, Egypt is a historical and cultural treasure trove. The nation is home to iconic ancient sights from Cairo’s capital to the Nile Delta, including Giza’s Pyramids and Abu Simbel’s shrines. Additionally, on some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs, Egypt’s Red Sea coast provides ample possibilities to relax, swim and scuba dive.
Egypt occupies the African continent’s northeastern corner. It is bounded in the north by the Mediterranean and in the south by the Red Sea. It shares land boundaries with the Gaza Strip, Israel, Libya, and Sudan, including the Sinai Peninsula. The latter bridges the Africa-Asia divide.
Egypt is about twice the size of Spain and three times the size of New Mexico with a complete region of just over 386,600 square miles (1 million square kilometres).
The nation has a desert climate, so Egyptian weather is usually warm and sunny throughout the year. Temperatures are much milder during winter (November to January), while summers may swell with temperatures that frequently exceed 104 F/40 C. Rainfall is uncommon in the desert, although some precipitation is seen in winter in Cairo and the Nile Delta.
Weather-wise, when temperatures are most pleasant, the best time to travel to Egypt is from October to April. June and September, however, are excellent times to travel on journeys and accommodation for out – of-season deals— but be ready for elevated heat and moisture.
If you’re traveling to the Red Sea, even in summer (July to August) coastal breezes make the heat bearable.
Egypt has a population of just over 94.6 million individuals, according to estimates released by the CIA World Factbook in July 2016. Modern Standard Arabic is Egypt’s official language. Egyptian Arabic is lingua franca, while English or French are often spoken by trained students. Islam is Egypt’s predominant religion, making up 90% of the inhabitants. Sunni is the Muslims ‘ most common denomination. Christians represent the remaining 10 percent of the population, with the main denomination being Coptic Orthodox.
Cairo International Airport (CAI) is the primary gateway to Egypt. In major tourist destinations such as Sharm el-Sheik, Alexandria and Aswan, there are also global hubs. Most tourists will need a visa from your closest Egyptian embassy to enter Egypt, which can be requested in advance. U.S., Canada, Australia, UK and EU visitors are eligible for a visa upon arrival at Egyptian airports and Alexandria port. Before you book your ticket, make sure to check up-to-date visa laws.
The Egyptian Pound is the currency of Egypt. Check the current exchange rates.
All tourists to Egypt should make sure they have up-to-date routine vaccines. Hepatitis A, typhoid and rabies are other suggested vaccines. Yellow Fever is not an issue in Egypt, but on arrival, those visiting a Yellow Fever-endemic nation must provide evidence of vaccination. Check the CDC website for a complete list of suggested medicines.
The Giza Pyramids, located just outside Cairo, are probably the most famous of the ancient attractions of Egypt. The site includes the iconic Sphinx and three distinct pyramid complexes, each housing a distinct pharaoh’s burial chamber. The Great Pyramid, the biggest of the three, is the oldest of the Ancient World’s Seven Wonders. It’s also still the only one.
The town of Luxor, often referred to as the biggest open-air museum in he world, is constructed on the site of Thebes ‘ ancient capital. It is home to Karnak and Luxor, two of the most remarkable temple complexes in Egypt. The Kings Valley and the Queens Valley are located on the opposite bank of the Nile, where the ancient elites are buried. Most famously, the Tutankhamun tomb is included in the necropolis.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is chaotic, colourful. It is full of cultural landmarks, from the Hanging Church (one of Egypt’s oldest Christian worship sites) to the Al-Azhar Mosque (the world’s second-oldest ever run college). More than 120,000 artifacts are housed in the Egyptian Museum, including mummies, sarcophagi and Tutankhamun treasures.
Red Sea Coast
The Red Sea coast of Egypt is known as one of the world’s finest scuba diving destinations. It’s a wonderful place to learn to dive with clear, hot waters and an abundance of healthy coral reefs. Even experienced divers will be thrilled with marine species (think sharks, dolphins, and manta rays) from the region’s World War wrecks and bucket list. Sharm el-Sheik, Hurghada and Marsa Alam are among the top resorts.