From white sands and sparkling blue waters to the mystery of the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, as a holiday destination, Egypt has it all. Awash with world famous sites and steeped in ancient history and culture, there are plenty of must-see sights, and stunning beaches on which to relax and absorb it all.
When to go
As you might expect, Egypt's climate is largely hot and dry. In the winter months, from December to February, you can expect temperatures in the 20s, while summer sun can bring the temperature up to a blistering 40 degrees, depending on your location.
Because of the heat, June to August means you can often get good deals on hotels inland, as it's generally considered low season in terms of tourism. However, the high temperatures won't bother beach bums quite so much and resorts on the Mediterranean or Red Sea will still be busy.
If you're planning on visiting cities or heading inland during your trip, spring and autumn may prove the most comfortable.
Where to go
Choosing your Egyptian base depends largely on what you want from your holiday. If you're after a sun, sea and sand getaway, then the Red Sea Riveria is the place to go. Year-round sunshine and warm weather make it a hotspot for tourists, and there's diving, swimming and snorkelling to be enjoyed, at a wealth of international resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh.
The Mediterranean coast is home to many of Egypt's more bustling, modern cities, including the 'cultural capital' Alexandria, but there are gorgeous, luxury beach resorts too, and stunning white sands and sparkling clear water can be found at Agiba Beach at Marsa el-Sharif. Stay on the Med and you'll also be close enough to take an overnight trip to Cairo.
Of course, Egypt is famous for its astonishing ancient history, and the Nile Valley is the place to go to see the iconic Pyramids, the Sphinx and other must-see history. There are a number of hotels and resorts close to the Giza Plateau, home to the Great Pyramids, including the Hilton and Dreamland Golf & Tennis Resort, allowing you to relax between visits to some of the wonders of the ancient world.
Alternatively, take a Nile Cruise to incredible wildlife, and take in the golden dunes from the longest river in the world.
Getting the best deals
There are great deals to be had in Egypt, particularly if you are heading for the Red Sea Riviera. It's always an idea to check out the big holiday companies for these kinds of resorts. For instance, Thomas Cook are currently offering a seven-night stay in April at the four star Three Corners Palmyra resort in Sharm el Sheikh for £387 per person, and also offer great deals on Nile Cruises if you book at the last minute.
If you prefer a tailor-made trip that allows you a little more freedom to see more of the country, it is worth checking out websites such as www.explore.co.uk or www.onthegotours.com, though these will often cost considerably more than a beach resort break.
Finally, it is worth remembering that excursions to see many of Egypt's most famous sites are charged at local rates, and given their popularity, these can significantly bump up the cost of your holiday, so do factor in the price of any planned visits.
Egypt has unfortunately endured some political strife and terrorist activity in recent times, and while the Red Sea resorts are largely safe and secure, it is worth checking the Foreign Office website at www.fco.gov.uk to check that your chosen destination, and travel around the area, is safe.
It is also worth visiting your doctor eight weeks before travelling, to check whether any vaccinations are required.
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