Egypt is the land that gave birth to the first great civilisations; Cairo, Luxor, and the path of the Nile are like open-air museums waiting for you to take a tour. In Cairo, picture the past as you stand between the giant paws of the Sphinx of Giza, the last surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Nowhere else on Earth can compete with Egypt's evocative history, palaces, temples, and tombs.
Egypt's temples, tombs, pyramids, and scenery will stay with you forever. Come face-to-face with mummies in Cairo and Luxor's magnificent museums. Walk through 5,000 years of human history in Luxor's Temple of Karnak and Valley of the Kings. Feel dwarfed by the Aswan Dam or the colossal statues at Abu Simbel's Great Temple. For a change of scenery, head to Mount Sinai. Here you will find the Coloured Canyon, where the rocks are a striking fusion of golds, yellows, and reds.
Egypt holidays promise all kinds of adventures. Start the day with a hot air balloon ride and float above the Nile, Theban mountains and monuments of Luxor. Trek around the pyramids aboard a camel's hump or explore the desert landscape in a 4x4 jeep. Egypt is a growing golf destination too, with world class courses in Soma Bay and El Gouna.
Journeys don't come more relaxing or romantic than cruising down the River Nile. Blending old world grandeur with modern on-board facilities, Nile cruises are the most laid back way to explore. See Egypt by day, with stops like Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo; travel past traditional felucca boats and watch the sun rise and set over this legendary river.
Swap Egypt's blue skies for its blue sea and you'll find some of the best dive sites on Earth, whether you want to snorkel, scuba dive, or both. Novice or connoisseur, everyone can, and should, enjoy this peaceful, almost surreal underwater world. Explore eerie wrecks and follow clown, parrot, and angel fish as they dart about the coral at diving meccas like Ras Mohammed National Park.
Wandering through bustling souks and bazaars is a classic Egyptian experience. And remember, haggling is part of everyday life here, so don't be shy. Follow your nose to find perfume and spices, and take home authentic souvenirs like handmade jewellery, Bedouin embroidery, jewel coloured lanterns, and traditional papyrus scrolls. Egypt's most famous shopping area is the atmospheric Khan el-Kalili in Cairo.
For lively evenings, try the bars and clubs of Sharm el Sheikh, particularly in Na'ama Bay. Take a trip into the desert and dine under the stars in a candlelit Bedouin tent, watch a belly dancing show, or join the crowds at a sound and light show at Karnak, Abu Simbel, or Giza and see these monuments in a whole new light, with music, illuminations, and projected images telling ancient stories.
Flight time from the UK to Egypt is around 5 hours 30 minutes.
There are a number of carriers offering services to Egypt.
Direct Carriers: British Airways and Egyptair all offer direct services from London Heathrow to Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh. Regional departures are available in conjunction with these carriers. Luxor can be reached on Egyptair or on charter or low costcarriers.
Indirect Carriers: KLM offer indirect services via Amsterdam.
Departure Taxes: There is no departure tax when leaving Egypt.
The tipping culture in Egypt works quite differently to most other countries. Here it forms part of a widespread practice known as baksheesh, which includes charitable giving, tipping for service, and tipping for favours. In Egypt, you are expected to tip waiters, taxi drivers, and porters, but also bathroom attendants, locals who offer directions, workers who point out great photo opportunities, and so on. While it may seem annoying at first, baksheesh is deeply ingrained in Egyptian culture and a survival tactic for underpaid people trying to make a living.
Hepatitus A, Polio and Typhoid are recommended
British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally require a visa. For visits up to 30 days a visa can be purchased on arrival by payment in Sterling, Euros or US Dollars at approved bank kiosks before reaching immigration counters.The visa fee is USD25. Alternatively you can purchase a visa from an Egyptian Consulate outside of Egypt.
British nationals travelling to Sharm El Sheikh for up to 15 days receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you are staying longer visa must be purchased.
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry.
Please contacthe Egyptian Embassy for up to date country and visa information.
The official currency is the Egyptian Pound. You can buy them in the UK before you go. But if you need cash in Egypt, you can change your UK Pounds at banks, official currency exchanges, and most hotels quickly and easily. The import and export of local currency is limited to 5,000 Egyptian Pounds.
UK Pounds, Euros, and US Dollars are accepted in most places, although change may be given in Egyptian Pounds. Cash machines are available throughout Egypt. Major UK credit cards are widely accepted, but you may need cash to pay smaller businesses. There is a real shortage of small change in Egypt, so it is a good idea to save it for when you really need it. Traveller's cheques are not always accepted and may incur a fee.