Tourism in Egypt
Where else could you sit on a camel and gaze up at the imposing Great Sphinx through a hazy desert sunset? Egypt is so crammed with drama and energy that it’s no wonder the number of holidays to Egypt has reached record levels. According to news agency Mena, 9.7 million went to Egypt on holiday in 2006-7, an increase of 13 per cent on the previous year. Hospitality for those travelling in Egypt is clearly thriving and there is a good choice of hotels in the tourist areas of Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria, as well as the tourist resorts of Hurghada and Sharm-el Sheikh.
When to go
Due to its proximity to the equator, Egypt’s climate is hot and dry and winters are mild. In the summer, daytime temperatures often exceed 45C. Whilst many of the historic sites may be empty during mid-summer, the searing heat limits sightseeing for most to mornings and evenings. As a result of this, and the equally alarming prospect of being hounded by swarms of summer mosquitoes, the most popular time to travel to Egypt is mid-October to May, when it is not too uncomfortably hot to explore the country’s many visitor sites.
Holidays in Egypt
A holiday in Egypt has so much to offer and cheap Egyptian holidays can be found on certain websites. Visitors to Egypt can entertain themselves with such unique experiences as a cruise down the Nile, a Saharan wildlife safari or a tour of Egypt’s bustling capital, Cairo. Egypt is well connected by trains but many tourists discover finding their own way around such a large country a daunting prospect and, as a result, package tours of Egypt are increasingly popular.
Shopping in Egypt
Shopping in Egypt is an opportunity not to be missed. Locally made goods are abundant and, for the proficient haggler, can be obtained at very good prices. Egyptian cotton is renowned for its purity and luxuriant scarves, hand-made carpets, perfume concentrates, authentic papyrus and pharaonic objects can all be found at local bazaars. The Khan-al-Khalili bazaar in Cairo, a shopping area since 1382, is particularly popular among those on holiday in Egypt due to its extensive range of goods and central location.
Any tour of Egypt would be incomplete without a visit to the iconic Pyramids of Giza, the Great Pyramid being one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as having been the world’s tallest structure for over 3,800 years. Ever since these massive funerary homes were constructed for Egypt’s great Pharaohs of 2700-2200 BC they have been a source of fascination for travellers. While the structures may look impressive today, at the time they were built the pyramids were capped with gold and covered with polished white limestone.
As for what it’s like at the centre, in case you were wondering, there’s a tomb, it’s swelteringly hot, there are dozens of tourists exhausted from struggling, bent-double, through the tiny corridors, and there may just be a lurking opportunist gathering ‘payment’.