The Mediterranean coastal areas of Marsa Matruh and the city of Alexandria are very popular, as well as the Nile resorts of Luxor and Aswan, which offer tourist-friendly hotels with pools combined with sights such as the Karnak Temples or the Aswan Dam. This area has a great mix of beach resorts and archaeological sites to visit, perfect for those looking to visit archaeological sites and relax in the sunshine. You can take a Nile cruise or see the sights, including the pyramids and the mysterious Sphinx. Explore the Library of Alexandria and the many fascinating museums.
The capital city of Cairo is perfect for seeking out historical treasures and finding out more about ancient Egypt. It is also home to major international hotel chains with high-end large scale hotels geared up for business travellers and luxury breaks. Most resorts tend to offer all-inclusive properties in the 3, 4 and 5-star categories, although you should note that the Egyptian rating system is different from that of the UK.
Major hotel chains are represented such as Radisson, Hilton and Novotel, as well as local Egyptian-owned and run hotels. There are very limited self-catering options here and villa properties are rare. Most hotels offer a huge range of facilities, including pools, water sports and diving centres, as well as entertainment.
There are many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Cairo holds an international book fair in January and an international film festival in November or December, ideal for film and literature lovers.
The International Luxor Marathon takes place in February and the Pharaoh's rally takes place in October, a twelve-day car race through the desert.
Egypt is a mainly Muslim country and many festivals have religious significance. These include Ramadan, The Prophet Muhammad's Birthday and Eid al Adha. The Moulid of Al-Hussein and Moulid of Abu al-Haggag bring a party atmosphere to the streets, with sideshows, parades and dancing. The Islamic calendar is shorter than the western calendar, so the dates of these festivals change each year. Always check the dates before you go and be sure to book your hotel early to avoid disappointment.
The weather here is mainly hot and dry, with a hot and cold season. The hot season runs from May to October with the maximum temperatures in the mid to high 30s. The summer temperatures in the desert can reach 46 degrees Celsius. During the cool season the minimum temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius and night-time temperatures in the desert dip as low as 0 degrees.
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