Best of the best
- 1Sensimar Makadi Hotel
- 2Jaz Makadi Bayview Hotel & Golf Resort
- 3Hotel Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina
- 4ROBINSON Club Soma Bay
- 5Hotel Kempinski Soma Bay
- 6Hotel Iberotel Coraya Beach
- 7Hotel Iberotel Samaya
- 8Hotel Iberotel Makadi Beach
- 9Hotel Baron Resort
Sharm El Sheikh
- 10Hotel La Residence des Cascades
- 12Hotel Sol y Mar Solaya Resort
Facts and information about Egypt
Fact and figures Population 80,264,543 inhabitants (2007) Area 1,001,449 km ² Capital Cairo Country code: 0020 Emergency numbers 122 (Police), 123 (First Aid)
Egypt To modern eyes the peoples of ancient Egypt seem like representatives of some higher civilization whose roots lay in another world. While populations elsewhere, still in their infancy, were groping their way out of the stone age, generating cultures that were on more or less the same level in all regions of the world, the Egyptians seem to have been born already mature. They soon broke through the barriers of what, six thousand years ago, was thought humanly possible, almost as if it were the consequence of experiences sustained in some other extraordinarily civilized world. What happened here on the shores of the Nile was unprecedented and unique, an adventure which evolved at dizzying speed, creating works of art and science far beyond the prospects of the time. Even now, the building of the pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) in a period when iron and the wheel were unknown, remains an inexplicable mystery. We are still more baffled when we realize that even before the Great Pyramid rose, the Egyptians had the techniques and organization required to harness the floods of the Nile along thousands of kilometres and turn swampland and the desert itself into a new earthly paradise. The fact that other peoples developed at much slower rates, some remaining in the Neolithic period almost up to modern times, reinforces the feeling that the peoples of “planet Egypt” anticipated the history of the world by two thousand years, with an impulse of such force that it can still be felt five thousand years later. The arms used in this colossal conquest were water and fire – the Nile and the Sun. These arms were not wielded, but were forged and cultivated by those ancient peoples so that the destruction wrought by water and fire should render propitious the fertility of the earth, and thus the very life of Egypt. Mankind collaborated with Isis and Osiris to recreate life, to make the land look like paradise once more, a terrestrial paradise which is linked to the celestial paradise. Egypt is not the Promised Land, but it is the land that man creates by his labour, day by day, year by year, in endless cycles where the Created and Creator fuse into one. There is no longer a sharp distinction between the gods and man; the gods are in the midst of men; their features are those of man, or of the animals which surround him in the sky or on the earth; their hands are invisible and infinite, as infinite as the rays of the sun. Water and cosmic fire, death and resurrection, human and divine essence are present in every clod of Egyptian earth. The Nile and the Sun trace two boundless rings which permeate the universe of this and of the other world, they are the path along which the new man of “planet Egypt” finds the future, and the very reason for his eternal quest. Those of us who live now, two thousand years after Christ, can still find that ineffable equilibrium between the elements of water and the elements of fire by relaxing on a sailboat in Upper Egypt. We can once more discover the invisible bridge that will take us to the source of our history and experience the same emotion that touched the hearts of our ancestors seven thousand years ago when, at the beginning of the year, they heard the song that accompanied the rising waters of the Nile: “Come water of life which springs from heaven. Come water of life which springs from earth. The sky burns and the earth trembles at the coming of the Great God. The mountains to the west and to the east open, the Great God appears, the Great God takes possession of the body of Egypt”.
The official language is Arabic but English and French are widely understood.
The official currency is the Egyptian pound (₤ E), which corresponds to approx. 0.13 € (1 € = ca. ₤ 7.25 E - August 2010) and is divided into 100 piastres.
Best travel time
The climate in Egypt is hot and dry throughout most of the year, but also varies greatly depending on the region where you are. In particular, there are three types of climate. On the north coast you can enjoy a Mediterranean climate (mild winters, rain, dry, dry summers). In the desert area in southern Egypt, the summers are hot, even at night. The climate of Cairo is a cross between the two other regions, but the humidity is high. The best season to go to Egypt is autumn, from late September to late November. Temperatures vary between 25 ° and 35 ° degrees and the sun is always there. Avoid the months of June and July as temperatures reach 45 degrees.
To gain entry to Egypt, you will need an EU identity card or passport. You will also require a visa which is purchasable at the airport or in advance at the embassy in your home country.
Hepatitis A, B and C diseases are still widespread in Egypt. It is therefore advisable to be vaccinated before departure, particularly against hepatitis A. It is also advisable to drink bottled water and not from the taps.
Country and People
Egyptian history begins with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by Narmer, around 3200 BC, but even in the centuries before the Egyptian civilization had settled along the Nile. Despite the many accounts sent to us from the time of the pharaohs, not much is known about these people. In XXVII the first pyramid was built and the following centuries many other pyramids were built, demonstrating the power of the pharaohs. Slowly, from 2330 BC Egypt began to crumble, but remained independent until I millennium BC. It was later conquered by Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. and then by the Romans.
Traditions and Culture
The Egyptians have a strong sense of local culture. Especially in rural areas, farmers do not seem to have changed their habits much. For example, the consumption of tea is still widespread. Religion plays an important role in the lives of the Egyptians and the assertion of certain rules to be remembered. However, cities are slowly being westernized. Egypt has a very rich culture, which has been handed down for centuries and has remained mostly intact with its architecture, art, literature. Religion The majority of Egyptian citizens (over 90%) are Muslim.
The tourist buses connecting all major cities are cheap and air conditioned. Egypt has a well-organized public transport: frequent and safe. Buses, however, are often very full.
In all the main tourist destinations you can rent a car. To drive here you need an international driver's license and liability insurance. Egyptian roads are in good condition, but they are chaotic, there are no rules and outside the major cities the signs are only in Arabic. We do not recommend renting a car.
Egypt has six airports (Alexandria, Aswan, Hurghada, Cairo, Luxor and Sharm el Sheikh) and is well connected with all of Europe. Flights depart daily from the UK to Egypt. Fot travel within the country air travel is highly recommended.
Discover and Enjoy
Egypt offers a wealth of opportunities for tourists thanks to the ancient history hidden in this beautiful country. The main tourist attractions are the pyramids of Giza: Khafre, Khufu and Menkaure in particular. A visit to the Valley of the Kings gives you a complete insight in to the history of the country as does the Egyptian museum in Cairo. In addition to places to visit, Egypt is famous for its cruises. You can start with one of the many tour operators and cruise the Egyptian Nile.
Most events that occur in Egypt are related to the Muslim faith. Meaning that the celebrations at the end of Ramadan, the fasting season are important.
The typical cuisine is a variation on Mediterranean food. A typical dish is the ta'méyya, meatballs made with chickpeas and fried in oil. Or sandawe-tsch, small sandwiches with meat and cheese or shrimp.