- Written by Dan
Outpost Travel Planner: Egypt
By Ryan Murdock / Photography by Dennis Jarvis
The Outpost travel planner with the what, where, when, why and how of all things travel to Egypt
When To Go
Because Egypt is a desert and a big tourist destination, visitors can generally face either sweltering heat of elbowing with other tourists. Summers are hot and the winters are mild, with average temperatures ranging from 10-30 degrees. For more bearable temperatures and smaller crowds, choose between March to May and September to November.
A number of international airlines fly to Cairo from most major Canadian cities, some with only one stopover. Cairo is the busiest airport in Egypt, but flights also connect to six other entry points. The country requires that your passport be valid for six months past your expected departure date. Visas are required, but can be obtained upon arrival. They must be renewed every 30 days.
Getting from place to place is relatively affordable and easy by bus, but reservations fill up quickly. Visitors, who prefer a faster mode of travel, might consider using EgyptAir, which handles most domestic flights, or taking the train from Alexandra to Aswan. Most train services are in rough shape, with the exception of the Turbini and Espani lines connecting Cairo and Alexandria, and the tourist sleeping trains that run from the capital to Luxor and Wasan. A classic and affordable way to get around is by boat along the Nile River, which can be a bit choppy, but more comfortable and interesting than being stuck for hours in hot traffic on bumpy roads.
What to See and Do
The banks of the Nile are peppered with temples and places of worship. One must-see is Osiris’s supposed burial site at Abydos, one of the Egypt’s most ancient cities. It’s a great place to learn about the Egyptian obsession with death and afterlife, and to see some for the best preserved temples.
Visitors who don’t want to be slowed down by the desert sand and bustling cities might consider cutting loose in Dahab on the Sinai Peninsula, which offers some great windsurfing, world-wide class diving and snorkeling. Visit windesurfingholidays.net for tours, courses and rentals.
The Sinai Peninsula is also a great destination for beach longing, shopping and dining. Here is also the place to visit some of the Bedouin settlements in the area. Hire a guide efore you venture into the flatlands alone since some settlements can be hostile towards outsiders and the weather can turn quickly and unexpectedly.
To visit Egypt’s popular tourist attractions, consider a class tour of the Bile by boat (or felucca). Cruises start and stop at different locations, whether you’re looking for a four-or 14 day trip. (visit nilerivercruises.com for details). Along your journey, expect to see palm trees and riverside farms. IF you’re in Alexandria or an extended period and want to see more of the city’s culture behind the tourist attractions, take a walk to the East or West Harbors where the docs are crowded and fishing vessels and you can soak up some classic coastal charm.