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This captivating nation in North Africa has everything you could require of a holiday in the sun...
Whether it's a family holiday along the glorious coastline of the Red Sea, a city adventure in Cairo, or explorations into the deep maze of history and mythology at the ancient sites, Egypt continues to entice visitors thanks to a wealth and variety of charms. But where should you stay when you visit?
Egypt hotels range from basic accommodation to high-end luxury; there is something to suit every budget...
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 Temple or the Aswan Dam. This area has a great mix of beach resorts and archaeological sites to visit, perfect for those looking to visit ancient sites and relax in the sunshine. You could take a Nile cruise or see the attractions, including the Pyramids and the mysterious Sphinx in Cairo. Perhaps 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 three, four and five-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.
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 46C. During the cool season the minimum temperature is around 14C and night-time temperatures in the desert dip as low as 0C.
The rich cultural fabric of Egypt is woven with ancient artefacts, stunning monuments and natural beauty...
The highlights of Egypt are world famous. Which will you discover?
Top five attractions
The Giza Necropolis
This site contains the Great Pyramids, the Great Sphinx and other wonders. Located on the edge of Cairo, it is easy to reach from the city. Many resort hotels around the country have information on one- or two-day trips to see these ancient and awe-inspiring shrines to the once powerful. You'll never forget a visit here.
Valley of the Kings
These tombs (some of which are three and a half thousand years old) on the banks of the Nile near Luxor are yet another testament to the vision, wealth and engineering brilliance of the ancient Egyptians.
Abu Simbel temples
These rock temples are located in the far south of the nation and are iconic images of the ancient wonders of Egypt.
The Karnak Temple Complex, a little way north of Luxor, is endlessly fascinating and a site of real manmade beauty. You can easily spend an entire day seeing the temples, chapels and soaring pillars, especially those in the largest area, the Precinct of Amun-Re.
The mighty river has been a great source of life in Egypt for millennia and most of the population lives and works along its banks. See it for yourself on a river cruise. You can sail for just a few hours or make a holiday of it.
There are many festivals and celebrations throughout the year...
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.
Cairo International Book Fair; January: One of the oldest book fairs in the Arab world and one of the biggest on the globe, more than two million visitors arrive in the city each year to trade books. If you plan to be in Cairo for the event, book your hotel as early as possible. If you aren't interested in books, it might be wise to plan your trip outside these dates as hotels will be in demand.
The International Egyptian Marathon; January/February: See Luxor from a different perspective when this annual race weaves through the city. Runners, wheelchair users and in-line skaters can compete in this thrilling race and there's plenty going on alongside the main event. Expect hotels to be busy when the race is staged.