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Egypt pyramids

Egypt holidays

Historic Egypt with its iconic sights such as Giza's pyramids and Tutankhamun's tomb make it a magnet for tourists - but the country isn't just an old-fashioned museum. The white-sand beaches, year-round sun, spas and watersports make it a fantastic holiday option, whatever you're looking for.

Why go?

With world-famous sights, baking temperatures, golden beaches and brilliant diving spots, Egypt has plenty up its sleeve for holidaymakers.

Sharm El Sheikh is a popular resort with diving and snorkelling being favourite activities due to the coral reefs and high concentration of marine life. For something less energetic, there are also luxurious spas to be pampered in. And, for something completely different, safari trips to the nearby Sinai Desert are a great option.

Luxor is the ideal destination for lovers of culture. There's Luxor Temple on the banks of the Nile, Karnak Temple to the north of the city and the Theban Necropolis just over the Nile which includes the Valley of the Kings with the Tomb of Tutankhamun. The bustling bazaars and shops are also great places to pick up souvenirs and to perfect your haggling skills.

Keen divers and snorkellers will love Hurghada. Previously a small fishing village, the town is now a tourist haven with a good selection of restaurants, bars and clubs. And, if you want a day away from the water, Hurghada's shops and malls sell everything from designer clothes to handmade souvenirs - don't forget to barter.

Egypt's busy capital Cairo attracts tourists looking for a lively break. By day there are plenty of sights to explore in the sprawling city - from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to the Citadel - and by night there are numerous dining options from upmarket eateries to simple cafés. Cairo's big trump card for many holidaymakers is its close proximity to the Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Other popular destinations and activities in Egypt include Dahab, a great spot for watersports with sandy beaches and backdrop of mountains; going on a camel trek or a jeep safari to explore the desert; visiting Mount Sinai, the peak on which Moses received the Ten Commandments from God; and taking a cruise down the Nile, a great way to take in plenty of sights.

If you are planning a trip to Egypt this year and need some help, read our fact file below and use TravelSupermarket's search tool to find the cheapest deals.

When to go?

Year-round sun makes Egypt attractive to tourists no matter what the season. But whether you want pleasant balmy days or sweltering heat, here are the best times to travel.

The consistently high temperatures make Egypt an excellent winter sun destination. Even in January, temperatures reach 20C in Sharm el Sheikh and 19C in Cairo. In July they can reach a sweltering 37C in Dahab and 35C in Cairo.

What's on?

A variety of events and festivals take place in various locations across Egypt throughout the year. Here are some top suggestions...

International Egypt Marathon; January; Luxor - This annual event attracts almost 2,000 runners from more than 30 countries. Runners race past the famous sights on the West Bank.

Mohammed's Birthday (Moulid el-Nabi); spring; throughout Egypt -
The Prophet Mohammed's Birthday is celebrated throughout Egypt with processions, and sweets called halawet el-moulid and aroussa al moulid are made.

Ramadan; the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; throughout Egypt - Ramadan commemorates the time when the first verses of the Koran began to be revealed to Mohammed. The majority of Muslims in Egypt will fast during daylight hours over Ramadan so there may be some disruption for tourists. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.

Festival of Tutankhamun Tomb Discovery; November; Luxor - This event celebrates the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb on November 4, 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter.


What to do?

Egypt offers a wealth of options for things to do on your holiday, whatever type of break you're looking for. Here are some suggestions:

Grown-up families: Discover the mysteries of the Pharaohs by visiting the eerie Valley of the Kings on the banks of the Nile. Marvel at the ancient tombs and chambers, and see the royal burial place of Tutankhamen.

Kids and teens: The impressive sound and light show at Karnak Temple is a must-see during any trip to Luxor. The history of Thebes will be brought to life before your eyes as you wander around the illuminated ruins accompanied by stories and music.

Active types: Those hoping to experience the underwater haven of the Red Sea won't be disappointed. Try snorkelling or diving to swim alongside dolphins, turtles, colourful coral and exotic fish.

Romance: Float lazily down the Nile in a traditional felucca from Aswan with your loved one as you take in the sights and sounds around you. Or for an unforgettable experience, take a trek across the dessert on a camel and sleep under the stars.

Relaxing: For those wanting a little rest and relaxation, the resort of Taba provides you with the perfect destination to recharge your batteries. The red Sinai Mountains and desert landscape of nearby Jordan offers a beautiful backdrop to the miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

Shopping: Head to the heart of Cairo to experience the colourful and bustling Khan el-Khalili bazaar. From exotic souvenirs and perfumes to street food and coffee houses, this is a shopper's paradise - just make sure you're haggling skills are up to scratch!

Free and cheap: You don't need to spend a penny to enjoy the idyllic beaches of the increasingly popular resort of Mersa Matruh. In between topping up your tan, enjoy long walks on the sun-drenched sands, adventure into mysterious caves and take a dip in the enticing Mediterranean.