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Holidays in Egypt
A land of sun-drenched beaches and cultural treasures, just five hours' flight from the UK. Egypt holidays have everything, from a fantastic year-round climate and an abundance of ancient sites to explore, to the modern resorts on the Red Sea Riviera with their unbelievably clear blue waters that provide spectacular snorkelling and diving opportunities. The Red Sea coast’s numerous resorts have something for everyone, from family-friendly sandy beaches and magnificent marine life, to dining with Bedouins in their desert village.
Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh reach a sweltering 38°C in July and August. Winter temperatures remain high with temperatures of 26°C in November being the high and 21°C in January being the low.
Hurghada International Airport lies approximately 8km southwest of central Hurghada; Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport lies approximately 12km northeast of Sharm El-Sheikh.
More than 140 years since Thomas Cook escorted his first tour in Egypt, it's developed into an exciting and diverse holiday destination. Sharm El-Sheikh is probably the most developed beach area while the shoreline around Hurghada, Soma Bay and Sahl Hasheesh boasts some of the best dive sites in the world. Some have developed over time, others are luxury purpose-built resorts such as El Gouna, with world-class golf courses and nightlife.
The resorts of the Red Sea provide the perfect blend of ingredients for anyone looking for a beach holiday, especially if watersports, snorkelling and scuba-diving in particular are your favourite pastimes. Although each area has its own unique character, every one offers crystal-clear waters, spectacular coral reefs teeming with marine life, a fantastic year-round climate and all the facilities you'd expect from modern holiday resorts. Its largest resorts, Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, both offer a huge range of choices for snorkelling around the reefs, and dives to submerged underwater shipwrecks.
There’s something for all ages at the Red Sea’s resorts. At Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, take the whole family on a cruise on a glass-bottomed boat, where you can gaze down into the water to see multi-coloured fish flitting between the underwater coral garden. On a hot day, cool down on the Nile Adventurer River or the kamikaze slide at the Phaeronic-themed,Cleopark theme park, fun with an Egyptian twist! Adventurous kids will love a desert safari, spending the evening dining then sleeping under the stars in a Bedouin village after a delicious home-cooked dinner – an unforgettable experience on your family holiday to Egypt.
Mexican, Chinese or Italian? On the Red Sea, you can dine on superb international cuisines, but don’t forget to sample local dishes on your holiday to Egypt. At the contemporary Hurghada Marina Boulevard, fine dining means choosing from sushi to scallops with spaghetti. You’ll find plenty of low-cost Egyptian fare at food stalls in every town – try hearty fuul bean stew and shawarma – lamb kebab in flat bread. Spend your holiday nights sipping a cold Sakara beer in informal beach bars, or dancing under the stars with a fresh cocktail in Sharm’s Pacha superclub.
Clubbers: Dance the night away at the ultra-stylish Pacha club in Naama Bay, an open-air beachfront club.
Nature lovers: Spot dolphins and sharks from the observatory at Ras Mohammed National Park.
Golfers: Practise your swing with a desert backdrop at The Cascades golf course at Soma Bay, one of the world’s best, designed by Gary Player.
Language: The language spoken in Egypt is Arabic.
Currency: The currency used in Egypt is Egyptian pounds (E£).
Local time: Egypt is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Hurghada International Airport lies approximately 8km southwest of central Hurghada; Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport lies approximately 12km northeast of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Flight time from UK: Approx. 5-5.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Egypt tourist information can be found at www.egypt.travel
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Egypt.
Temperature: Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh reach a sweltering 38°C in July and August. Winter temperatures remain high with temperatures of 26°C in November being the high and 21°C in January being the low.
Best time to visit Egypt: Head to the Red Sea in the winter season where the waters are still warm enough to swim.
Most of the Red Sea’s resorts enjoy hot, dry summers with little rainfall in winter. Spring and autumn are the most comfortable times to visit, with the east coast and southern Sinai peninsula reaching around 26°C.
By minibus: Each resort has a good network of minibuses operating around the main towns. These usually operate on a fixed route and you can call out to the driver when you want to get off.
By taxi: It’s easy to flag down a taxi, but if they don’t use the meter, then ensure you agree a price in advance and pay only at the end of the journey.
By shuttle bus: Many hotels operate shuttle buses into town or the nearest beach.
By hire car: If you want to travel further afield, you’ll find car rental agencies in most resorts – make sure you have an international driving license.
New Year: The year starts with a bang with Pacha Sharm El-Sheikh’s elaborate New Year’s Eve party.
Camel racing: The South Sinai Camel Festival sees tribes from throughout Egypt gather at Sharm El-Sheikh, for entertaining camel races.
Ramadan: Throughout Egypt the fasting month of Ramadan is marked, although it won’t be as disruptive in the resorts as elsewhere in the country. Immediately afterwards, the festivals of Eid al-Fitr, and later Eid al-Adha, are holidays when Egyptian families will often travel to resorts, so these are likely to be busier.