Egypt Overview

Egypt is considered the cradle of civilization, the beacon of religion and the gateway to Africa. Cairo is the foremost capital on the African continent and lies at the centre of all routes leading to and from the capital of the three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. 

For over fifty centuries Egypt engendered the development of culture and civilization - Pharaonic, Christian and Islamic; and during those long years, all have generously contributed to the history and treasures of mankind. Consequently, when in Egypt, the land of love, friendship and hospitality, you will never feel like a lone visitor! In fact, you will enjoy traveling through time, from one period to another, exhilarated by the history of those who remained immortal; though their bodies were laid to rest thousands of years ago. 

Egypt is probably one of the oldest vacation spots in the world. Early Greeks and Romans went there to relax and to see the wonders of some of mankind's earliest triumphs. Egypt however, is much more than Pyramids and monuments. It is also home to the Red Sea where scuba divers can find their haven under the sea. Nightlife, luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants as well as local culinary delights are limitless. Enjoy a cruise down the Nile at sunset, on festive river boats (otherwise known as a felucca), followed by a night at the grand opera as it’s a cultural experience like no other. 

Egypt is a land bustling with life, a metropolis where you are surrounded by sounds and sights that excite the senses. For thousands of years, it has been the playground of emperors and kings, and we hope you will take the time to find out why.

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72hrs in Luxor

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72hrs in Aswan

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Nile Cruise & Hurghada

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Cairo, Cruise & Hurghada

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Cairo & Aswan & Luxor

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Luxor & Cruise

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Cairo & El Gouna

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Cairo & Luxor & Hurghada

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Cairo & Luxor & Soma Bay

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Cairo & Luxor

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Pyramids & Cruise

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A Family Affair

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Pure Egypt

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  • The history of Egypt stretches back 5,000 years.
  • The last monarchs of this dynasty: Ceops, Chepren and Mycerinus built their three pyramids at Giza: each of them showing mathematical precision, organisational control and enhanced skills unmatched for the period.
  • The Great Pyramid at Giza is 146.9m high, worn down by 9m over the centuries; for this 2.5 million blocks of limestone were used weighing 6 million tons. The Kings chamber at the top covers a modest area of 5m by 10m, but the roof above it weighs 400 tons.
  • Alexander the Great followed and won Egypt without much trouble. Proud of his success and adulation, he took a dessert trip to the Temple of Amun at Siwa, to hear what the Oracle had to say about his future. From that point he wanted to conquer the known world. He established himself in the fishing village of Rakotis, on the Mediterranean Coast of Egypt, which was later to become Alexandria.
  • Cleopatra is one of the few women in Ancient history to be remembered for her formidable courage. She confronted Julius Caesar with stealth like entry, as she was brought into the Roman’s chamber rolled in a carpet meant to be a present. She met Mark Anthony on neutral ground and then returned to Egypt with him. Their affair was assiduous and lasted ten years yet ended after a confrontation with his wife Octavia. Tragically Anthony stabbed himself and Cleopatra giving her hand to the poison of an Asp.
  • The Rosetta Stone was carved in 196BC in three scripts. Found in 1799 by French soldiers of Napoleon while building a fort in the town of Rosetta (Rashid). After many years of studying the stone Jean Francois Champollion, who could read both Greek and Coptic, deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822.
  • The Alexandria Library was also the brain centre where east met west. It was when Julius Caesar, endangered by the revolt, had to swim for his life to the island of pharaohs. He retaliated by firing at the warehouse and palace which affected the books in the library as it caught fire; this lead to the end of the library which vanished over time.
  • The revenues of the Suez Canal were used to build the High Dam – some temples were allowed to disappear beneath the water. However 10 temples including Abu Simbel were dismantled and moved piece by piece.
  • The Ancient Egyptians also have the distinct honour of having invented not only the modern 365 day calendar but the leap year system as well.
  • The Egyptians invented an early system of writing known as hieroglyphics. They also invented paper on which to place it, made from the fibres of the papyrus plant.

  • The Giza Pyramids & Sphinx
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Khan el Khalili Bazaar
  • Bibliotheca Alexandria
  • The Temple of oracle – Siwa Oasis
  • Valley of the Kings & Luxor colossal Karnak
  • Island of Philae
  • Abu Simbel
  • Diving or Snorkelling in the Red Sea
  • St Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai

  • For everyday Egyptian food, get a local lunch of foul (fava beans cooked with chickpeas) and falafels.
  • Haggle when buying anything. Offer half the asking price to start. If you are being hassled on the streets by vendors, a polite but firm “la shukran” (“no thank you”) goes a long way!
  • Remember when booking your diving that you need to leave at least 24hrs between last dive and flying. Climbing Mount Sinai is also not a good idea soon after finishing a dive.
  • Exchange rates for Egyptian pounds can be much better in Egypt than here than in UK.
  • Most excursions and trips are charged in hard currency (U$ Dollars, Sterling or Euros).
  • Always have smaller denomination notes and coins as usually you will find shops and taxis say they have no change!
  • Alexandria - coffee and pastries at the century old Athineos Café.
  • Cairo - if you want to go inside the The Great Pyramid, they sell only 150 tickets on a first come first serve basis at both 07.30hrs and 13.00hrs.
  • Cairo - crossing roads in Cairo can be a challenge; safer to join a group of locals when they cross.
  • Aswan - a Lake Nasser cruise is a wonderful experience. See the crocodiles from a safe vantage point.
  • Luxor - Karnak Temple is at its quietest early afternoon; this avoids the busses in the morning and cruise traffic in the late afternoon.
  • Dahab - El Masbat the walking promenade along the sea side with wide variety of restaurants and shops.
  • Sharm el sheikh - sunrise at Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the 10 commandments amazing opportunity to see the sunrise and take in the amazing scenery.
  • El gouna - go shopping at Kafr El Gouna - also known as ‘Down-Town’ and visit the promenade of the Abu Tig Marina.
  • El quseir - is not completed without visiting El Quseir fishermen village where you can visit the Ottoman Fortress from 17th century.

EGYPTAIR Cairo and Luxor, all other destinations via Cairo from London Heathrow. LHR-CAI operates twice daily, LHR-LXR once a week and other cities/resort available indirect with EGYPTAIR. Seat pitch 32-33” with luggage allowance 23kgs. 
Business Class Upgrade: CAI fr. £305 each way & LXR fr. £240 each way, seat pitch 48-70” (flatbed on selected flights to Cairo) 

British Airways  Cairo from London Heathrow. LHR-CAI operates daily. Seat pitch 31” with luggage allowance 23kgs.  Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) Upgrade CAI fr. £265 each way Business Class (Club World) Upgrade CAI fr. £505 each way 

Other Airline There is a selection of charter & low cost flights flying from the UK to the resorts in Egypt mainly from London Gatwick & Manchester to Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Services include extra leg room, pre-book seating together, and meals. Please note airlines vary and can change their services with little or no notice; please confirm at the time of booking. 

EasyJet seat pitch 29”; luggage allowance 23kgs TUI Airways & Thomas Cook Airlines seat pitch approx 28-33’’. 
Luggage allowance 20 kgs. 

Regional Airports: there is a choice of regional airport departures available for the resort of Hurghada including Birmingham – Newcastle – East Midlands and others.

The climate in Egypt is generally hot all year. Travel is possible throughout the year though winter and spring are the most popular times to travel. Cairo and Lower Egypt has cool temperatures however it can sometimes rain lightly but not often, Upper Egypt around Luxor is slightly warmer. The summer can get quite hot and dry with temperatures reaching as high as the mid 40sDeg C.  into 50s; fewer visitors during this season may make it ideal for a less crowded visit in Upper Egypt.

Language: Arabic, but English is widely spoken

Currency: Egyptian Pounds (US$, Euros, £GB & Credit cards are widely accepted)

Time Difference: +2 hrs GMT

Tourist Board: 020 7493 5283

Visa Requirements: UK passport holders require a visa to enter Egypt, this can be obtained on arrival. Non-UK passport holders should check with the Egyptian consulate for advice on the following number: Tel: 020 7235 9777 or visit / Email:

Passport: A valid 10 year passport is required with a minimum 6 months remaining on your passport from the date of return to the UK and an available empty page.

Security: For the latest information visit the foreign office website at and select ‘Country Advice’.

Health: Recommended EC inoculations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Polio, Malaria in infected areas, Tuberculosis (children only). Check with your Doctor for latest information.

Public Holidays
Ramadan: A period of fasting when the consumption of food and drink is only permitted between sunset and sunrise. During this period disruption to tourist hotels and resorts is limited. Ramadan is for one month. Eid al-Fitr: A three day feast marking the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Adhah: Religious festival where many make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Modern Egyptians use this period for holiday travel.

Travel Advise Please check latest Travel Advise from the Foreign Common Wealth Office
Please contact our Travel Consultants for further information.