Egypt is a wonderful mix of ancient history, the majestic river Nile and the seaside resorts of the Red Sea. Just visiting one of these regions is a fantastic holiday in itself but to be able to combine two or more makes for an incredible adventure.
In the noisy, dusty streets of Cairo, where car horns compete with the call to prayer, there is so much to see and do. There is a huge range of museums, mosques and monuments to suit everyone's interests and learn about the vibrant history, culture and religion of Ancient Egypt right through to the modern day. Cairo has an up and coming dining scene and some great bars to explore, many with views of the Nile. Of course no trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the Pyramids at Giza. Even though it is usually overrun with tourists I think it is impossible not to be impressed by the sight of these ancient structures.
Luxor and Aswan have a much slower pace of life but are still bursting with incredible temples, tombs and monuments. Balloon trips over Luxor are fascinating even to just see the balloons rise up is quite a sight.
Sharm El Sheik, Hurgada and Marsa Alam are the most famous of the Red Sea resorts. Diving and snorkelling are available everywhere to see the amazing underwater life and other water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing etc... go on above the sea. For many the hotels offer enough to do when you're not on the beach or in the sea but all have towns with restaurants and markets.
Travel to and in Egypt
Flying to Egypt from the UK takes around 6 hours. Scheduled flights, including direct flights on British Airways and Egypt Air fly to Cairo and some budget airlines and charter flights fly to other destinations. Currently there are no direct flights to Sharm el Sheik from the UK due to security concerns.
Travelling around Egypt is relatively straightforward there is a trainline which runs the length of the Nile from Alexandria to Aswan. For details of trains in Egypt see here. Internal flights and buses are available between the major cities.
Main airports in Egypt:
Cairo, Luxor, Sharm El Sheik (no direct flights currently from the UK), Hurgada, Marsa Alam. For flight finding tips visit our How to book a flight page.
Egypt has a good range of hotel and guest-house options in the major towns of Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan. Outside of these areas accommodation is more limited but with a little research smaller establishments can be found often family run who will welcome you with warm hospitality. In Cairo, Aswan and Luxor there are numerous options along the banks of the river Nile and some Cairo accommodation gives you views of the pyramids which is a great choice as you can watch them as the light of the day changes.
The tourist resorts of Sharm el Sheik and Hurgarda are more geared towards package tourists and there are some amazing hotels offering all-inclusive deals which can be great value. Many hotels here have snorkelling on the doorstep and a host of entertainment for adults and children. Independent accommodation can easily be found and there are a range of guest-houses, smaller hotels and apartments to choose from.
For something a bit different experience how about a Nile cruise? There are lots of great options from cruise ships to smaller boats. Check out this article from the Telegraph for lots of great information.
A few recommendations:
Pyramids Overlook Inn - this colourful little guesthouse has amazing views of the Pyramids. It's great value, has a wonderful host and is simple but with everything you need.
Sharm El Sheik
Steigenberger Alcazar - great value 5 star resort (unless you book a villa which are extortionately expensive!). Bang on the beach, great service, kids club, a choice of swimming pools (heated in winter) and restaurants.
Nefertiti Hotel Luxor - amazing value hotel with great views from the rooftop restaurant. Simple, clean rooms and friendly staff.
Nour El Nil - this looks amazing and is definitely on my bucket list! Float down the Nile on this luxurious boat and enjoy river life in style.