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Holiday 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)
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.