Travel back thousands of years in the land of pharaohs, Egypt. It all started when the pharaohs decided to create lasting mysteries in these lands on the banks of the Nile River. Their stories are told in their sacred tombs and temples, and through their engraved symbols, hieroglyphics, and drawings. Their beautifully preserved mummies reveal secrets that have been kept for thousands of years.
Egypt features a myriad of dazzling places to visit including a large number of world-famous monuments. In addition to the pharaohs, there are other civilisations to explore including Greek-Roman, Coptic, Islamic, and The Modern Ages. The entire country is a journey through history put in place many centuries ago and still being uncovered today.
Egypt borders with the Mediterranean to the north, the Red Sea to the East, the Western Desert to the west, and Sudan to the south. With a population of over 100 million you will always find someone who speaks your language.
Whether you are looking for history, adventure, romance, luxury – with the family, a loved one, or even solo – Egypt’s cities and beaches are a destination for all. And let’s not forget a once-in-a-lifetime cruise along the legendary River Nile – the longest river in the world.
Egypt is a mid-year-round vacation destination, despite the temperature being high in the summer especially in Upper Egypt “Luxor & Aswan”. The best time to visit is winter from September to April – even during this time Egypt’s southern cities and beach resorts still stay warm. Christmas and Easter are also very popular times. Beach resorts are open all year round.
Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The only differences between the seasons are variations in daytime temperatures and changes in prevailing winds. In the summer, the weather is particularly hot in the south where temperatures in Aswan regularly rise above 45 degrees Celsius during the day. The winter can be windy, however the temperature of the sea rarely goes below 20 degrees Celsius.
What to bring will partly depend on what time of year you are visiting, where in the country you are going, and the type of activities you have planned. A good pair of comfy walking shoes are ideal for visiting temples and pyramids. For women, more conservative clothing is required for visiting religious sites. Evenings in the winter can be cool so bring a fleece or jacket. And don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, suntan lotion and mosquito repellant.
While sightseeing can be difficult during the hot summer months, with a little planning you can take advantage of great deals on low season prices. Just plan your tours for the morning and late afternoon and spend the middle of the day by your hotel pool.
During the Old Kingdom, Egypt has had the first references to art in the history of Ancient Egyptian Civilization and since then art is one of the most important aspects of Egyptian culture, coming second only to religion. The ancient Egyptians built their pyramids, tombs, temples and palaces out of stone, the most durable of all building materials. Although earthquakes, wars and the forces of nature have taken their toll, the remains of Egypt’s monumental architectural achievements are visible across the land, a tribute to the greatness of this civilisation. These building projects took a high degree of architectural and engineering skill, and the organisation of a large workforce consisting of highly trained craftsmen and labourers.
The world-famous belly dancing dance style was born in Egypt and still to this day is a very strong tradition all over the country. In Egyptian weddings, it is common that they always have a belly dancer to dance with the bride and groom at their wedding celebration. Music also plays an important place in daily life as well as in celebrations.
- Do say “Bismillah” before eating / drinking.
- Do be punctual for all meals, tours, etc.
- Do ask permission before taking a photo of an Egyptian
- Do not refuse the invitation for tea
- Do not enter into a mosque
- Do not dress inappropriately in public
- Do not wear shoes inside houses
- Do not give direct praise
The population of the Nile valley and delta, which are home to the majority of Egyptians, forms a fairly homogeneous group whose dominant physical characteristics are the result of the admixture of the indigenous African population with those of Arab ancestry. Within urban areas, foreign invaders and immigrants – Persians, Romans, Greeks, Crusaders, Turks, and Circassians – long ago left behind a mix of physical types. Blonde and red hair, blue eyes, and lighter complexions are more common there than in the rural areas of the delta, where the people have been less affected by intermarriage with outside groups.
The dominant religion is Islam, making Egypt’s population 90% Muslim and around 10% Christian, with the Muslims being mostly Sunnis and the Coptic Orthodox Church being the largest Christians.