Egypt is one of several Middle Eastern countries with developed tourism. Millions of tourists visit this sunny country every year for its warmth, the Mediterranean and Red seas, rich culture, and great history. All this and much more have already become a business card for tourists. The rich and warm sea, the heat, the great buildings of history near the tourist centers, adequate prices – all this makes Egypt an excellent place to spend a vacation.
Geography of Egypt
Egypt is located in the northeast of Africa, not far from the Arabian peninsula, washed by two seas: the Mediterranean and the red. The great Nile River flows along with the country, and the country itself is divided into 27 governorates. There are a large number of resorts on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, but tourists prefer them to rest on the red coast. The largest of them is Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.
Climate of Egypt
In winter, the temperature is +20…+25 °C, in summer, the thermometer can stay at +35 …+40 °C. It is important to understand that in winter the night is cool. And the temperature can drop to +10 °C, in deserts cold spells up to -10 °C are possible. There is little precipitation in Egypt.
The beach season in Egypt lasts all year, in summer the water temperature does not fall below +25 ° C, and in winter you can count on +20 °C and above. You can also sunbathe all year round.
Entry to Egypt and customs
To go on vacation to Egypt, you need a visa. It can be issued at the Embassy of your country or any of the major airports in Egypt. Take care of your health, Egypt is an African country with a lot of dangerous insects. And diseases, to avoid spending a large amount of money on treatment, you need to get insurance.
If you decide to take out of Egypt any souvenirs, gifts for relatives, currency, and so on. Check out the list of permitted items for export and their quantity. For example, it is forbidden to export such items as ivory, sea shells, corals, and stuffed crocodiles.
Transport in Egypt
In Egypt, you can travel between cities by plane, bus, and train. One of the most convenient options is a train, especially in first class, there is air conditioning. You can travel around the cities by bus, taxis, and minibusses – you can probably bargain with them. There is a metro in Cairo. If you are considering buying a car for rent, know that Egypt has specific driving rules, often bad roads.
Food prices, Egypt
Often, food prices do not matter much because of the free food in hotels. But if you are going on a trip on your own, you will need to know the prices of products to correctly form a budget. Local fruits and vegetables are quite cheap, imported products are a little more expensive. You can find canteens or cafes for locals in the city, where the average price of a serving per person depends on the city.
If you want to make calls to your country from Egypt or use the mobile Internet. It is highly desirable to issue a SIM card from a local major telecom operator. Then the prices for calls to your country will be much less, such SIM cards cost from 20 EGP.
But if you are not going to call other countries or do it not so often, then you can do without SIM cards, the Internet is widely developed in Egypt. And almost every hotel or cafe has a free access point with high speed, so you will not stay without Internet access.
Choosing a hotel
When choosing a hotel, several factors are of great importance at once: the number of stars, the location of the hotel relative to the sea or tourist attractions. And the city in which the hotel is located also affects.
The choice of the city depends on the quality of services, the cost, and the size of the hotel.
So there are a large number of 3-star hotels in Hurghada, but the resort is quite old. With smaller hotel territories than in new resorts such as Soma Bay, El Qusair, and Marsa Alam. There, too, the level of service varies, but it is closer to European compared to the old resorts, and the area of hotels there is also higher.
All the lines of world brands of hotels are represented in Egypt, but this is not a guarantee of the quality of services. The number of stars in the hotel is not their guarantor either, most often it refers to the resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
The “all-inclusive” option can mean completely different packages of services, so it’s worth clarifying. The cost is different everywhere, it depends on the package of services or the brand of the hotel.
Egypt is a mostly Muslim country. Choosing clothes for going outside the hotel should be careful, there should be as few exposed body parts as possible. Therefore, you should refrain from mini-skirts and blouses with bare shoulders and leave them for the beach or the hotel.
In many hotels in Egypt, there are safes – do not neglect them. No matter how attractive and reliable the hotel may seem, it is sometimes necessary to check your belongings, valuables, and money, because cases of robbery in Egypt are not uncommon.
It is worth using water with caution. Do not drink tap water, especially in big and dirty cities like Cairo. Often the water is so polluted that even when brushing your teeth there is a chance to catch something, if you are unlucky, then a gastrointestinal disorder can greatly spoil your vacation. Although the situation has changed over the years, it’s not worth the risk, to buy bottled water.
Dangers lie in wait for you at sea. And your enemy in the water is not sharks at all. The real danger is represented by corals. They are beautiful but very sharp, so you should not swim next to them without special slippers. You can’t swim in the Nile River either. It is one of the most famous rivers in Africa, but it contains many microorganisms in its warm waters.
Some of them are schistosomes. Symptoms from the presence: itching, skin rash, redness. However, with timely hospitalization, you can quickly get back on your feet. Egypt boasts a variety of insects, and if you get out into the desert – snakes. Therefore, when going on safari, be careful and wear high boots.
The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound. It cannot be said about it that it is weak or unstable, although the political situation in the country is often such. Piastres are local coins, but they are practically not used. If you are wondering what currency to pay in Egypt, it is best to choose the pound, of course, you can take dollars or euros with you, they will be accepted almost everywhere, but merchants will almost always inflate the price and try to deceive you. You can exchange currency with any of the reliable exchangers, this is the safest and most profitable way.
Let’s start with the beaches of Alexandria. They’re all sandy. It is quite rare to find a hotel in a city that has its beach, most often guests have to use public beaches. However, already in the suburbs, there are many hotels with their own equipped beaches.
The rugged coast of the Mediterranean Sea attracts many tourists with its beaches. The beach season starts in April and ends in September. On the beaches of the Red Sea, the season lasts all year round, and its sandy coast is stunningly suitable for families with children. Most of the hotels on the shore were built after the adoption of the law on the protection of the Red Sea, so in many of them, you will find a real coral reef.
The beaches of Hurghada are flat, but few hotels have a smooth beaches with fine sand. Most often, beaches are artificially deepened lagoons, the water in them is at least quite a bit, but it is cloudy. Many hotels have a coral reef, but because of this, difficulties may arise, such as the inability to enter the water without shoes protecting the feet.
Coral reefs, their wide variety, colorfulness, various fish, and other marine life are the same attraction of Egypt as the pyramids at Giza. There are a huge number of coral reefs on the Red Sea coast, as we wrote above, many hotels have their small coral reef. Tourists have an immense craving for this natural beauty, but most of them are limited to exploring coral reefs through snorkeling. This is when putting on a mask and a breathing tube, you lie down on your stomach and swim, looking at corals or something else.
However, in this way, you will see only a small part of all the diversity that the waters of Egypt can offer you. To dive into the water with your head, balloon, fins, and a wetsuit – you don’t need much. You just need to contact your hotel, because almost all hotels have such a function. In response, nature will reward you with turtles, a huge number of fish, dolphins, and other exotic inhabitants for tourists.
You can arrange both a regular diving excursion and diving training, with many dives. The cost of diving depends on how rich the underwater world of the city has. The more unique and interesting the reef, the more the dive will cost.
Walking on the Nile
Today, many ships sail along the Nile, most often they have 3-5 decks, and by themselves, they serve as a floating hotel. It has entertainment, a buffet, swimming pools, and bars. Traveling on such ships can be combined with a vacation in Cairo or Alexandria.
In Egypt, tourists usually do not buy anything except souvenirs, it is almost pointless to buy everything else. Most of the shops that sell something in the resort area do not have a fixed price, so it always makes sense to bargain. Be careful about hookahs (cones), many tourist hookahs are sold on the shelves, which are almost impossible to use for their intended purpose.
There are products that you need to pay attention to. One of them is Egyptian cotton items. They sell them for a small price, but you can find a lot of very high-quality and cool things. You might as well find a high-quality Egyptian carpet. They have not found the same popularity as Indian and Persian, but when searching you will almost always find a beautiful and high-quality carpet.
As we can see, Egypt is a large, multifaceted, and interesting country to visit. Recreation here is suitable for almost everyone interested in ancient history, a sandy beach on the ocean, the underwater world, and coral reefs. If you approach Egypt competently and carefully, you can get unforgettable impressions, relax and leave without any problems. Choosing Egypt, you, like many millions of tourists, will go to this North African country, use our advice, and then you will not only have a great vacation, but you may want to return.