Egypt is known as the land of the pyramids, the pharaohs, and maybe even the camels. Among enthusiastic divers, the country on the north coast is also known as one of the world’s most beautiful diving paradises, with impressive coral reefs and an almost endless variety of species.
However, only those who have already experienced the hospitality of the locals are aware of the impressive attitude towards life that results from the mixture of numerous ancient cultures and modern cities with millions, between green oases and meter-high sand dunes.
In our large round-trip report on Egypt, we present you the best round trips through Egypt. We compare different offers from round trip providers and show you which different trips are offered. We also answer all the important questions so that you can start your trip perfectly prepared.
The essentials in brief
- Egypt covers an area of more than one million square kilometers. However, 95% of the country is desert.
- The country on the Nile is perfect for a round trip with a concluding bathing holiday since almost all sights are on a line along the Nile to the Mediterranean coast.
- Egypt is also known as the land of the Pharaohs or the land of the pyramids.
Tour of Egypt: the best travel offers
To ensure that nothing goes wrong on your round trip through Egypt and that you can fully enjoy the dreamlike country, we have selected the best round-trip providers for you and introduce you to individual tours.
- The best round trip with Nile cruise
- The best round trip through Northern Egypt
The best round trip with Nile cruise
If you want to see as much of Egypt as possible in just 11 days, this combination tour is perfect. Cairo, the pyramids of Giza, and the dead city of Sakkara are explored by land. On the fourth day of the trip, Luxor takes you on a luxurious stopover along the Nile to Aswan and back with the luxurious motor yacht ‘MY Alyssa & Spa’.
This tour combines maximum comfort with an incredible variety of sights and invites you to relax and enjoy modern luxury and ancient Egyptian culture.
The best round trip through Northern Egypt
This tour not only offers deep insights into life in the megacity of Cairo but also leads across the green Nile Delta to the historic port city of Alexandria. Another highlight is a visit to the largest oasis in Egypt and an insight into the somewhat quieter, almost rural life there, between fruit and vegetable plantations and extensive palm groves.
In just 8 days, this tour offers a deep insight into life in the Egyptian metropolises but also in rural areas. The cultural and scenic diversity of this trip creates an inspiring and relaxing atmosphere.
Travel highlights in Egypt: What you should see or do on your tour
Are you considering escaping to the warm south in the cold winter months, but are still not quite sure where to go? In this part, we show you the highlights of an Egypt tour and why it can be very attractive (even in winter).
Why is a tour through Egypt worthwhile?
It is not for nothing that Egypt is one of the most visited countries in Africa. Because the early civilization of ancient Egypt left its mark in numerous regions and cities and many of the millennia-old buildings are still well preserved to admire. The density of sites worth seeing is therefore unusually high.
Egypt today not only offers a rich diversity of culture and religions but also has several cities with a population of several million, such as the capital Cairo, which is the largest metropolis in Africa and Arabia.
The ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’ made headlines recently through the revolution in 2011, as part of the Arab Spring, and the enormous changes in the balance of power in the nearly 100 million strong republics.
What cities, regions, and sights are there in Egypt?
Egypt is located in the northeast of Africa in an area of over a million square kilometers. The diversity of cities and regions as well as sights is correspondingly large.
The Greater Cairo metropolitan area, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, is also one of the most populous urban regions on earth.
Due to the early civilizations in Egypt, there are not only modern skyscrapers and megacities to see, but also old burial sites, pyramids, and a lot of cultures.
Egypt can basically be divided into four regions:
- Cairo region: Cairo is the largest city in Africa with around 19 million inhabitants and one of the largest in the world. Cairo is characterized by oriental architecture and on the one hand, moves back to the old Islamic Cairo, but also impresses with modern shopping centers and modern districts. Nearby are the world-famous pyramids of Giza with the Sphinx and the stone tombs of Saqqara.
- Upper Egypt region: Upper Egypt is not only the cities of Aswan and Luxor, and thus the old residence of the pharaohs, but also various interesting sites from ancient Egypt. For example, the Luxor and Karnak Temples, the Valley of the Kings and the quarry with the world-famous unfinished obelisk can be found here. Luxor is also the starting point for the Nile cruises.
- Red Sea Region: The beautiful coastline, with its fine sand and turquoise water, is known for its tourist centers Hurghada, El Gouda, Makadi Bay, Soma Bay, El Quseir and Marsa Alam full of luxurious hotel complexes, shops, and restaurants. There are a bathing and wellness holiday as well as ideal services for surfing, diving, and snorkeling.
- Sinai Peninsula Region: Sharm El-Sheikh is located on the southern tip of the peninsula, known for its beautiful, species-rich coral reefs, luxury hotels, and numerous excursions.
Due to the enormous size, tours through Egypt can take some time. But there are also tours that are limited to one or two regions for this reason. So, whether you want to explore all of Egypt at once depends primarily on how much time you want to spend there in one go or whether you would rather choose two different tours.
What sights are there in Egypt?
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Egypt is the pyramids. The country’s most famous sights include the following:
- Pyramids of Giza
- Valley of the Kings
- Aswan Dam
- Capital Cairo
- The sphinx
Pyramids of Giza
The famous pyramids are only 15 kilometers from Cairo and are not one of the most important sights in Egypt for nothing. The pyramids were built between 2620 and 2500 BC by an estimated 10,000 workers, but it is unclear how it was possible to align the stone blocks weighing up to 2.5 tons with such precision without modern technology. It is also a riddle that neither the typical grave goods nor mummies could be found in the pyramids.
The pyramids of Giza comprise 3 pyramids, the Cheops pyramid, the last surviving of the seven ancient wonders of the world, and also known as the “Great Pyramid” due to its height of approx. 140 meters, which is higher than the other pyramids.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is close to Luxor and was the final resting place for more than 70 pharaohs. The best-known burial chamber is that of Tutankhamun, which was still completely locked and unlooted when it was found. According to a curse, the archaeologists involved in the opening were to die a cruel death.
There are also other tombs adjacent to the Valley of the Kings, including the Valley of the Queens and the Tombs of the Nobles.
The legendary Sphinx sits directly at the pyramids of Giza and impresses with a length of 73.5 meters and 20 meters in height. The lioness with the human head is 4,500 years old and yet almost completely preserved, as it was covered with sand most of the time.
The Aswan Dam was built in the 1960s to control the water supply in dry phases and to prevent flooding.
The construction of the huge dam also meant that large parts of the population were supplied with electricity. Likewise, however, some historical monuments and residential areas of the Nubians sank in the 550 km long reservoir.
From the Muhammad-Ali mosque, you have a great view over the whole of Cairo.
Another impressive stopover on your tour can be the capital Cairo with its many contrasts. In the mega-metropolis slums, for example, you will find villas and historic quarters next to modern shopping centers. The Egyptian Museum, which tells the history of the country in all its facets, is also worth a visit.
What is the food like in Egypt?
Egyptian cuisine offers a wide variety of specialties due to the ancient traditions, the Islamic way of life, but also the tendency towards the western-oriented modern age, and in modern tourist centers also western food. Neighboring countries such as Turkey and Greece also have a strong influence on the wide range of domestic cuisine.
In many places it is still common to eat with the right hand and, if necessary, to use a piece of pita bread. It is better not to use the left hand because it is considered to be impure.
According to the Egyptian tradition, a guest is served food until he gets up from the table, showing that he is full.
In order to prevent circulatory problems, you should also take care to drink enough throughout the day in addition to suitable sun protection. Mineral water and tea are the preferred drinks in Egypt and are very cheap, but tap water should not be consumed or used to brush your teeth.
Alcohol is not welcome in public, as is eating, drinking, and smoking in public during Lent Ramadan.
To avoid infections and diarrhea, you should also avoid lettuce, raw vegetables or fruit, and ice cream.
What are the cultural peculiarities in Egypt?
Even though Egypt is known as the land of the desert, pyramids, and pharaohs, there is hardly any other country in which history has represented such a wide variety of religions. This is still noticeable and there are still a large number of believers who actively live their faith.
In ancient Egypt, a mythology grew into a true cult of the gods and thus also gained political importance. At that time, a pharaoh was not only considered the material ruler of his country but also represented the connection to the gods.
Today the three major world religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are recognized by the state. In addition to these, there is also a large number of small religious communities.
What activities are worthwhile in Egypt?
The land of the pharaohs can not only come up with ancient culture and pyramids but offers breathtaking sandy beaches for almost every character a suitable leisure activity. Some of them are included in classic tours, others are not.
In this section we want to give you an insight into the most exciting activities in Egypt:
- Snorkeling and diving
- Nile trip
- Sailing, surfing & co.
- Quad rides and jeep safaris
- Camel ride
Snorkeling and diving
The coastline of Egypt not only impresses with beautiful sandy beaches with turquoise blue water but also has a lot to offer underwater. There are several breathtaking coral reefs with large biodiversity off the coast.
It is not for nothing that experienced divers appreciate the depths of the sandy coast and especially the “Brothers”, far from the mainland coast, are among the best diving spots in the world. Depending on the season, the presence of 44 shark species, including hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks, and whitetip sharks, is not uncommon.
Even beginners can dive in the open sea under the guidance of an instructor.
The Nile trips between Luxor and Aswan, which are very popular with tourists, stop at almost all sights along the great river. Four of the six World Heritage sites are located on the water. Depending on the tour, you can see Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, Aswan and Philae, Abu Simbel, and Kom Ombo on a Nile cruise.
Sailing, surfing & co.
The coastline not only has a lot to offer underwater, but there is also a wide range of water sports centers for sports cannons with a rental for boats, surfboards, and kites. Various hotels and especially the south of the Sinai Peninsula is also ideal for specific water sports holidays.
Quad rides and jeep safaris
It can also be a special highlight to explore the area around the holiday resort or the dunes of the desert with a guide in a small group by quad or jeep. The tours can be booked for single or multiple days and are even included in some tours.
If you don’t like the dust, the adrenaline, and the hum of the engines, a one- or multi-day camel tour might be the way to go to explore the vast desert regions of Egypt.
Travel tips: What you should pay attention to when traveling through Egypt
Have you decided to tour Egypt? Wonderful! In this section, we want to give you a few important tips for your trip, as well as general important points for your travel preparation.
What’s the best time to go to Egypt?
Egypt is wonderful to travel all year round. Which time period you choose should primarily depend on your travel planning and what you would like to see.
There are hardly any seasonal price differences in Egypt, but vacation packages are usually somewhat more expensive during the holiday season and over holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.
In the winter months from November to March, it is quite fresh to swim on the Mediterranean coast and one or the other rain shower is to be expected, while inland temperatures are extremely pleasant for a round trip or Nile cruise. In the capital Cairo, however, very low temperatures of 20 ° C can be expected during this time.
Those who prefer moderate temperatures travel best between February and May, September, and November. In the summer months from June to August, the temperature often rises to over 40 ° C, which is tolerable due to a very strong wind, especially on the Mediterranean coast.
In the following table, we have compiled for you which travel months are best suited for different activities.
|Month||Beach holiday (Mediterranean)||Beach holiday (Red Sea)||Nile cruise||Round trip||sightseeing tour|
Egypt as a desert country has a very dry climate with hot summers, mild winters, and enormous temperature fluctuations during the day.
The mild weather all year round enables a relaxing holiday at any time. If you are sensitive to heat, you should only be careful in the hot summer months, but even during this, it is possible to enjoy the land of the pyramids to the fullest with the basic equipment like sunglasses, headgear, and sun protection.
However, if you are planning a trip to the desert areas of Egypt, you should definitely note that the temperature differences between day and night are serious. Sandstorms are also common between March and June and should be considered when choosing to clothe. Long clothes and headscarves could also be more comfortable to wear during the day than light summer clothes.
In the following table, we have compiled the average temperatures (min/max) by region for you.
|Month||Cairo region||Upper Egypt||Red Sea||Sinai peninsula|
|January||8/20 ° C||7/20 ° C||10/21 ° C||9/21 ° C|
|February||9/22 ° C||8/23 ° C||10/21 ° C||10/22 ° C|
|March||11/25 ° C||10/28 ° C||12/23 ° C||13/25 ° C|
|April||14/29 ° C||15/30 ° C||16/26 ° C||17/29 ° C|
|May||17/33 ° C||18/35 ° C||21/30 ° C||21/34 ° C|
|June||20/35 ° C||22/38 ° C||24/31 ° C||24/34 ° C|
|July||22/36 ° C||23/39 ° C||25/33 ° C||25/34 ° C|
|August||22/35 ° C||22/40 ° C||25/33 ° C||26/35 ° C|
|September||20/33 ° C||20/38 ° C||23/31 ° C||23/32 ° C|
|October||18/31 ° C||18/34 ° C||20/28 ° C||20/31 ° C|
|November||14/26 ° C||13/25 ° C||16/26 ° C||16/27 ° C|
|December||10/21 ° C||8/22 ° C||12/22 ° C||12/23 ° C|
As the average water temperature in the Mediterranean, we have summarized the tabular overview of the water temperature in Hurghada, one of the most famous seaside resorts in Egypt.
|Month||average water temperature|
|January||23 ° C|
|February||22 ° C|
|March||22 ° C|
|April||23 ° C|
|May||24 ° C|
|June||26 ° C|
|July||28 ° C|
|August||29 ° C|
|September||28 ° C|
|October||27 ° C|
|November||25 ° C|
|December||24 ° C|
What about security in Egypt?
Basically, it is always best to get information about the current situation from the Federal Foreign Office before you travel.
The crime rate in Egypt is comparatively low, but you should be particularly careful in tourist regions and crowds.
Since the protests against the government in 2011, however, there have been repeated unrest, terrorist attacks and kidnappings are still not uncommon. Accompanied by local guides and tourist regions, you are generally in good hands.
On-site, you should always be attentive, especially in large crowds, and on special occasions, pay attention to the information provided by hotels and tour operators and only undertake excursions, diving and snorkeling tours, hikes, etc. with a licensed local guide.
Traveling Egypt alone as a woman?
In principle, women can move safely in Egypt on their own if a few guidelines are observed.
If you are planning to travel alone as a woman through Egypt, you should wear appropriate clothing and at best a wedding ring. A confident demeanor is also important.
As a European woman, you should not address men, for example, to ask for directions, and you should best ignore them if you are approached or smiled at by foreign men.
In order not to be approached by Egyptian men, it is still the easiest to travel with a male companion.
What are the health risks in Egypt?
Basically, you should have the vaccination protection of all travelers against measles checked or supplemented as part of the travel preparations.
To avoid EHEC sources of infection, you should avoid eating unpeeled and, above all, raw fruit, vegetables, and undercooked beef and sheep meat.
To avoid diarrhea, you should also make sure you only drink the water of safe origin and do not use tap water to brush your teeth and keep flies away from food.
The Foreign Office recommends washing your hands regularly and disinfecting them if possible.
On the coastline to the Red Sea, diurnal mosquitoes can also transmit dengue fever, which is associated with fever, rash, and pronounced body aches. Since there is no vaccination or chemoprophylaxis, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid mosquito bites using long clothing and a mosquito spray suitable for the region.
Bathing in freshwater waters and in particular the Nile Delta, Nile Valley, and corresponding tributaries is also strongly discouraged.
Are there any special entry requirements for Egypt?
The visa requirement applies to foreign visitors to Egypt. Tourist visas are valid for three months and can be requested in advance by post via the Egyptian embassy or the consulates general. The visa can only be acquired directly at the airport of entry if you are arriving by plane. The tourist visa is usually only issued for four weeks and requires an extension at the local passport offices if you are staying longer.
When entering Israel, only a 14-day visa is issued, which is also only valid for the Sinai Peninsula.
A valid or provisional passport or a valid ID card is valid as travel documents, whereby an entry card is also issued for the latter upon entry. The relevant travel document should, in any case, be valid for six months beyond the duration of the stay.
In principle, no mandatory vaccinations apply to travelers, but if you are coming from yellow fever infection areas, Belize, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania or Zambia, a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory.
Proof of polio vaccination upon arrival from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Niger, or Syria is also mandatory.
Pets must have a health certificate from the official veterinarian certified by the Egyptian embassy. So, if you want to take your dog on holiday in Egypt, you need to take care of the necessary papers early enough.
One liter of spirits, a pack of cigarettes and medicines for personal use is to be imported duty-free. The import of drugs or the like is not recommended since such an offense is severely punished and, in some regions, even punished with the death penalty.
How long should a tour of Egypt last?
The optimal travel time for a round trip through Egypt strongly depends on how much of the country you would like to visit. As the country is very large, as already mentioned, long distances are often covered.
An average round trip lasts 8-12 days, although it can also last up to 15 days for those particularly keen on knowledge. A particularly exciting option is to travel to Egypt by cruise on the Nile since most of the sights are on the river anyway.
There is also round trip offers to all 8 wonders of the world in one trip, which also includes the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, mostly as a package deal but also limited to viewing these.
What language is spoken in Egypt?
Depending on the occasion, Egyptian today speaks either standard Arabic, for official occasions, or Egyptian Arabic in everyday life. This also applies to official news programs and entertainment programs.
In southern Egypt, the colloquial language is also spoken “Nubian”. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs as we know them from tombs can only be found today in such.
A lot of English is spoken especially in tourist centers. Only those who want to haggle at the bazaar should have some basic knowledge of Arabic.
What currency is used in Egypt?
The national currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), with one pound divided into 100 piastres and 1000 millièmes. The Arabic name for the currency is “Guinea”.
In the tourist areas and major cities, it is usually also very easy to pay with euros or US dollars. However, the somewhat worse exchange rate has to be taken into account.
In Egypt many people live on the subsistence level, especially in the tourist strongholds, earnings are particularly low. The hospitable residents are therefore all the happier to receive a small tip, which is referred to in the Arabic-speaking world as “Bakschisch” as recognition for well-done work. The Bakschisch is suitable for almost every service, from the luggage carrier to the nice taxi driver to the maid and the pool boy.
Which credit card should I use in Egypt?
Payment and cash withdrawal with Visa and Mastercard generally work without any problems. However, this is more difficult with EC cards, as these are only accepted to a limited extent. Activation by the domestic bank is also necessary for the use of this in a non-EU country.
Traveler’s checks are accepted as a method of payment, but there are fees for redeeming them in exchange offices or banks.
In principle, it is advisable to start a trip to Egypt with a credit card and sufficient cash, taking into account the current import and export regulations of the Federal Foreign Office and you should check these before starting your trip.
On my own: can I organize the tour to Egypt myself?
If you are the type of traveler who likes to look at a country very individually, it is of course also possible to explore the land of the pyramids and pharaohs apart from resorts and vacation packages. One advantage is that you are much more flexible in the design of your trip.
How can I book overnight stays in Egypt?
Basically, it is not difficult to find suitable accommodation in Egypt, regardless of whether you are traveling alone, with friends or your family, and whatever price level you are looking for.
And even though Egypt is primarily known for its all-inclusive resorts, there are also small hotels, holiday apartments and campsites all over the country at fair prices. Airbnb also offers a wide range of apartments.
In general, the country on the Nile is cheaper than we know from Central European accommodation, but there are also exclusive luxury hotels, especially in the large cities of Cairo and Alexandria and the tourist coastal regions.
The easiest way to book is through a travel agency, directly on-site, or on the website of the respective hotel. Travel platforms also often offer inexpensive remaining places, but the early bird discount can also be worthwhile.
Are there rental cars in Egypt?
If you like to explore a country on your own and prefer to be completely independent of others, you can rent a car. Renowned rental companies offer their rental cars in almost all larger towns, at the airport, or in numerous hotels.
An international driver’s license, a credit card, and a minimum age of 25 are required to book a rental car.
The best way to travel through the desert is in a police-backed convoy, as there are always kidnappings.
Arrival: How can I get to Egypt?
The flights are already included in package tours, many round trips offers and the travel provider takes care of the organization. In this case, the visa is usually already included. But as an individual traveler, this must be purchased from a tour operator at the airport.
Trivia: What else you need to know for your tour of Egypt
What clothing is suitable for a tour of Egypt?
Egypt is an Islamic country and certain rules of conduct should also be followed as a tourist. T-shirts and knee-length skirts or shorts are not a problem in tourist regions.
In rural areas and when visiting mosques, women and men should pay attention to covered arms and legs. When entering a mosque, shoes should also be removed and women should wear a headscarf.
Basically, it is best to use airy cotton clothing and adequate sun protection including headgear. And to avoid circulatory problems, you should of course also ensure that you have an adequate supply of fluids.
For women traveling alone, as already mentioned, it is also important to pay special attention to appropriate clothing and, in the best case, to wear a wedding ring and headgear.
Country-specific facts and fun facts about Egypt
At the end of our guide on tours through Egypt, you will find some country-specific facts here.
- Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, was actually Greek.
- The ancient Egyptians were the first culture to divide a year into 365 days and 12 months.
- It is impressive and hardly explainable that the famous Egyptian pyramids are aligned exactly in the four directions and at right angles.
- In ancient Egypt, pyramid builders were paid in beer.
- The first sailing boats were invented in Egypt.
A tour of Egypt is definitely recommended, even if the country made some negative headlines in 2011 and 2012 with massive demonstrations against the government. Of course, the current information from the Federal Foreign Office must always be observed.
The country on the Nile offers a colorful variety of activities and captivates with its mixture of remnants of ancient civilizations, impressive buildings, modern lifestyle, and very warm hospitality.
A particular advantage of a round trip is that the tour operator takes over any organization for you and you get a very good overview of the sights and culture in just a few days.
The best time to visit Egypt is from February to May and September to November, but a Nile cruise or round trip in the interior of the country is also a good way to escape.