|Egypt Travel Information|
Egypt Travel Information
Deciding when to travel to Egypt depends a lot on where you want to go. Everywhere south of Cairo is uncomfortably hot in the summer months (June-August), especially Luxor and Aswan, so winter (December-February) is definitely the best time to visit these areas. Summer is also the time when the Mediterranean coast is at its most crowded, but winter in Cairo can get pretty cool.
March to May or September to November is the best time to enjoy the warm days without the crush of bodies on the beaches and the midday heat of high summer travel.
Most of Egypt is subtropical area, but the southern part of Upper Egypt is tropical. Northern winds temper the climate along the Mediterranean, but the interior areas are very hot. Egypt's climate is hot and dry most of the year. During the winter months - December, January and February - average daily temperatures stay up around 20°C (68°F) on the Mediterranean coast and a pleasant 26°C (80°F) in Aswan.
Maximum temperatures get to 31°C (88°F) and 50°C (122°F) respectively. Winter nights only get down to 8°C (45°F), a very Egyptian version of chilly. The temperature sinks quickly after sunset because of the high radiation rate under cloudless skies.
Alexandria receives the most rain with 19cm (7.5in) each year, while Aswan is almost bone-dry with just 2mm annually. Rainfall averages about 2 inches a year, but sudden storms sometimes cause devastating flash floods. Between March and April the Khamsin blows in from the Western Desert at up to 150kph (93mph). Relative humidity varies from 68% in February to over 70% in August to 77% in December.
Egyptian Pound (LE) = 100 piaster (pt) Most foreign currencies, cash or travelers cheque can easily be changed in Egypt. There are many exchange bureaus in the larger cities but they mainly only deal in cash.
Visa and MasterCard are good for cash advances and together with American Express and JCb cards and Euro card can be used in a wide range of shops and hotels. If you are traveling to lesser tourist areas while touring Egypt, the best currencies to have are US dollars, Pounds Sterling and Egyptian Pounds.
Banking is usually open Sunday to Thursday: 08:30 to 14:00 hours
There is a variety of good options for getting to Egypt, with good connections between Cairo and many European cities. Super-cheap holiday packages including hotel vouchers can work out cheaper than booking a flight independently, and you can just chuck the vouchers away if resorts aren't your style.
Flights from elsewhere can be expensive and it's worth looking into flying to Europe first and then making your way to Egypt from there, as this is often a cheaper option than flying direct.
Egypt's national air carrier is Egypt Air, and Air Sinai also has good connections in Egypt. Most travelers come into Egypt through Cairo, although people are increasingly disembarking at Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada (Al-Ghardaka) and Sharm el-Sheikh.
These airports are serviced by a number of smaller carriers and charter companies with direct connections to Europe. Other connections from elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East include the bus from Israel via the Gulf of Aqaba or the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, and ferries from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Do not drink water from taps in Egypt. Bottled water is readily available and is cheap, approx LE2 per 1.5 liters.
Schistosomiasis (bilharzias) (Don't paddle in the Nile).