Thursday, June 13, 2024

Egypt Travel Blog

Welcome to the Egypt Travel Blog. Because holiday-makers and travelers stopped coming to Egypt many years ago, it isn’t easy…

By Chan , in Travel , at January 23, 2023

Welcome to the Egypt Travel Blog. Because holiday-makers and travelers stopped coming to Egypt many years ago, it isn’t easy to find current information and travel guides. Since I couldn’t find any in-depth travel blogs covering Egypt, I decided to create our own.

Egypt is a rare destination for tourists. There are fewer backpackers than tourists. However, those who visit Egypt need good information, and we know it can be challenging to find it.

This is only the beginning of my Egypt travel content. I will add more in the coming weeks as I explore the Nile and move on to Alexandria and the Red Sea.

In just a month, we’ve covered as much Egypt as possible (with kids, but that’s not relevant). Our focus is on historical sites, learning, culture, and history.

Contents are hidden 1. Egypt Travel Blog2. Egypt Itinerary3. Egypt Travel Costs Egypt Food (with Kids) Negatives, Cruelty and Filth, Dust, and Litter6 Avoiding Touts and Hassle7. Egypt Tours, Cruises, and More8. Top Red Sea Tours and Activities Pick up from Aswan, Luxor, or Cairo. 4-Night Nile Cruise 10. One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Cairo11. One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Hurghada by Bus or by Air. One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Sharm El Sheikh13. How to get to Abu Simbel from Aswan or Cairo14. Egypt Travel and Transportation – Getting Around Egypt Independently15. Egypt Weather, Heat, Dust, Sand, and Weather16. What to wear in Egypt17. Can You Get Alcohol, Wine & Beer in Egypt? 18. Find Hotels, Hostels, and Apartments in Egypt19. Egypt’s Red Sea: A True Holiday20 Additional Egypt Travel Blog Posts21. Read More About Egypt Before You Go

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How to travel around Egypt is the most crucial aspect of traveling. This is the most challenging part of Egypt travel. More information about trains, buses, and planes needs to be online. We will tell you all we know in this post and the linked posts.

Egypt Itinerary

During this trip, we spent nearly a month in Egypt, visiting Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Alexandria, the Red Sea, and Alexandria. Although we didn’t take Nile cruises, the boats still ran.

Independent travel means that we arrange transport and accommodation on our own. While you could book most of this ahead of time, we have also taken a 10- and 15-day Egypt tour (more details down the page), but we prefer to be flexible on this trip. It worked out in our favor when we needed to take a vacation.

Although Egypt is hard work and not a vacation, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s been one of our most memorable trips, but it has also seen some of our worst moments.

Treasures such as the red, step, and broken Pyramids can be found further off the beaten path. These are intriguing prototypes that predate the three at Giza and are well worth including in your Egypt itinerary.

Now that we have completed nearly a dozen blogs on Egypt and Egypt travel, I will put the links at the end of the post.

Egypt Travel Costs

Rameses II in Abu Simbel. Minibus fare for 4 hours from Aswan is 140 LE each way, $7 US. Admission costs 115LE and $6.50. It was cheap. It’s also possible to fly from Aswan and Cairo (see below).

Egypt is currently very affordable and will work out cheaper than other parts of Asia.

Everything is affordable compared to the other 50+ countries we have visited. Here are some details about the admission price, train cost, hotel prices, and additional information. Below are the links to relevant sections and blog posts.

This affordability applies to all budgets, luxury and otherwise. For four people, a luxury resort hotel in the Red Sea costs less than $40 per night. Similar prices can be found for Egypt cruises and tours.

Egypt Food (with Kids Too)

The best Egyptian restaurant in Aswan. You could choose from chicken, koftas, or pigeon and get salads, soups, rice, and bread. It was about $3/head, and it was delicious. It was less expensive than alcohol-free beer.

Although we love Egyptian food, it can take time to find and ask your driver or hotel manager where to find the best. The locals have likely eaten there. Sites like Trip Advisor will often list big hotels as the best restaurants. While they are friendly, you should also try the local cuisine.

Egyptian food is not spicy. It’s Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern food, with influences from India, Africa, and Rome. The prices are very low and there are many vegetarian options. You can find a whole post about food in Egypt.

You can find all the popular fast-food outlets in Cairo, which are great for quick wi-fi, air-con, and coffee fixes. We also tried Egyptian hotel buffet breakfasts. You can expect the usual favorites plus lots of sweets like falafels and brown beans with tahini, olives, and many other sweets.

Negatives, Dirt, Filth, and Dust,

We agree that there has never been more litter in our lives. There will be trash everywhere, and it is mainly made of plastics.

Dust is also present, but it’s hard to do anything about it as you are sandwiched between deserts.

Even though some trains are filthy, even in 1st Class, others are clean and beautiful. We can help you find out. Some hotels could be dingy.

Driving on the roads is a hair-raising experience, and exhaust fumes are thick.

Even though we are talking about negatives, I will mention that horses and donkeys are often poorly treated. The camels, however, fare much better.

We were all healthy, except for the fact that we had respiratory infections, which probably came on board the plane. Egypt is the most challenging country to organize transportation.

Avoiding Touts and avoiding Hassles

Every stall holder at the Luxor tourist souk will be calling out to you. Smile, wave, and wave to boys. Be polite, and keep a sense of humor.

Many people, whether regular travelers, long-term travelers, or travel bloggers, have complained about being harassed in Egypt. Although we’ve been fine, I should clarify that.

Luxor is known as the “Hasle Capital of The World,” and that’s entirely fair. Everyone wants you to go with their felucca, rent their horse and cart, purchase their scarf, or figure of Ramesses. It is endless and will be frustrating for some.

Our family has a saying from a well-known children’s movie: smile, wave, boys, smile, and wave. It will all be fine if you keep your sense of humor, smile, laugh, and interact.

This level of touting is shocking if you have never been to Asia. However, it isn’t any worse than India. It’s been almost twenty years since we were there. Some say it has gotten worse, but it is about the same. There are fewer tourists now, and everyone wants to profit. They should be treated with kindness.

One guy was the one who got me lost. He followed us and asked us to bring his cart and horse over two days of our Luxor stay. He slunk away after I had given him a bit of food. He caught me wrongly, I was hungry, tired, and hot, and I felt terrible.

A young man approached me at the Saqqara pyramid in Djoser and tried to sell me something I didn’t need. Boo and Chef had disappeared, and D and I were looking around for them. He was so kind and helpful that he took us up to the highest points to search. I purchased his hieroglyphic ruler for $1. Thank you, Abdulla.

Men will often offer their assistance at historic sites. Sometimes, it is worth giving them 20LE. They can show you interesting things you wouldn’t otherwise see. Sometimes, it is best to ignore them and smile, then keep moving.

Tipping is another annoying habit. Most people tip their server even if they have already paid the agreed price. If we don’t want to tip, we won’t. You may have agreed to a fair upfront price or paid for the day’s services. This is fine. Nobody will be angry at you or beat you up. They are just trying to find out how stupid you are.

We met a tourist who paid $100 to take photos of a camel. It was his fault. He was friendly but needed the right tools to travel to Egypt. Only ride a camel with an agreed price. You can read my post on feluccas (link at the end of the post) to see what I mean about not being ripped off.

Egypt Tours, Cruises, and More

As I mentioned, Chef, my husband, and I have been together on group tours to Egypt. It was actually on the Nile that we met 20 years ago. We love tours. You’ll be taken care of, have less to do, and see more in a shorter time than with independent travel.

A group tour could include flights from your country, a single-day or multi-day private tour, cruises, felucca treks, and other options. Tourists to Sharm-el-Sheikh or Hurghada often book tours to Cairo, Egypt, and the pyramids. Many options are available, and I want to ensure you know about them. This will make your life in Egypt much easier if you book in advance.

Take a look at the following options. These tours are offered by large, reliable companies we trust and use ourselves.

Top Red Sea Activities and Tours

Tourists love Hurghada’s Red Sea resorts and Sharm El Sheikh for their many activities. Quad biking in the desert dunes and dolphin watching from Hurghada are two of the most popular attractions.

Take a 4 Night Nile Cruise from Cairo, Luxor, or Aswan.

This is a perfect, no-hassle tour that takes you from your hotel to the sights in Aswan and Luxor. The Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple are just a few sights you will see. Prices for this tour are very affordable. Make sure you specify Cairo as your departure point.

One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Cairo

Pyramids, the Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, and “Old Bazaar in Cairo” Khan El Khalili are highlights of Egypt on a well-organized, guided tour. It’s worth hiring a guide to the Egyptian Museum so you can see the highlights. You can book a time like this one.

One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Hurghada by Bus or by Plane

You can visit the world-famous Cairo antiquities from your Hurghada beach resort. There is a significant price difference between bus and plane, but it’s well worth it. For bus; for planes, This company offers the lowest price guarantee or a full refund of the difference.

One-day Tour of Ancient Egypt from Sharm El Sheikh

You can travel by bus from Sharm’s beaches and dive into Cairo’s antiquities at a meager price. T

How to get to Abu Simbel from Aswan or Cairo

Abu Simbel is a standalone attraction so you can spend little time there. However, we cannot stress enough how amazing it is. This post will cover how to get there as well as what it is like.

There are two options for getting to Aswan. You can take a bus or a plane. We’ve done both, and both were great. Although the bus ride is quite long, they are swift, and there is not much traffic, so it was safe. You can see the bus trip and the Egypt Air flight.

Both require a very early start, as you must be there by dawn. You can also travel to Aswan in a private car with a driver. You can also drive a private vehicle with a driver only as far as Cairo.

Egypt Travel and Transport – How to Get Around Egypt Independently

Egypt train tickets: We’ll be writing a detailed post about it soon. Scarves are essential for sun, sand, and, as you can see, for flying.

The following was done.

  • Taxis pick you up at the Cairo airport and take you to Luxor Hotel by people carrier ( less hair-raising than taxis).
  • Taxi to Cairo for day trips. It’s easy but crowded, and the fumes are terrible.
  • Luxor 1st Class VIP Train ( excellent)
  • 1st Class Non-VIP Train to Aswan. (terrible)
  • Minibus to Abu Simbel ( OK
  • Luxor 1st Class VIP Train (amazing)
  • Hurghada bus/coach (good)
  • Cairo by bus/coach (excellent)
  • Take the train to Alexandria (terrible)
  • Cairo by bus (perfect)

It was easy to travel around Egypt, and it was cheap. The VIP 1st Class trains are spectacular, while the non-VIP train is disappointing. The coaches and minibusses were excellent. Cairo’s traffic congestion is terrible, and driving can be dangerous. We were fortunate to find a steady, older driver and stayed with him. Buses speed along the desert roads at breakneck speed. It can be hair-raising.

Egypt Weather: Heat, Dust, Sand, and Weather

If I were chocolate, I would be a puddle—Egyptian heat.

We were there at the beginning of summer, from April to May. Cairo and the Red Sea Coast were manageable. Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel were unbearably hot. It would sometimes reach 42oC on some days, which is 107oF.

It is best to arrive early to enjoy the main attractions in the morning. We were not hot at the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple, so that we could enjoy them all ourselves. Arrange for a taxi to pick you up the previous night. The desert temperatures are pleasant at night. However, I recall being very cold from sunset on a last February visit.

What to wear in Egypt

It would help if you always were covered to show respect and keep the sun from your skin. You will need an oversized scarf or hat to protect your face and head from the sun, dust, and sometimes flies. Regular holiday clothes are fine in large hotels along the Red Sea.

Can You Get Alcohol, Wine & Beer in Egypt?

We enjoyed a rooftop meal and a cold Egyptian beer while watching the nightly light and sound show at the Giza. The best guesthouse!

Egypt is a producer of its wines and beers. It is difficult to find restaurants that offer a glass of wine or a beer with your meal. However, these establishments are usually Christian-run. Your chances of getting a table at a restaurant with a beer or glass of wine are higher if there are fewer Muslims than Christians in the area. You can purchase your off-license. Look out for the Drinkies chain. Large hotels offer alcohol.

The Red Sea is an actual holiday in Egypt.

After touring so many ancient sites, you need a vacation. The Red Sea is a fantastic, affordable option that’s just a short bus ride from Luxor.

Divers and snorkellers love the Red Sea. We are visiting Egypt for the first time and were impressed by Egypt’s beautiful coastline, its marine life, and its excellent hotels. The low prices are a delight (see the above 30% discount). We will soon post more information on Egypt and a post about Egyptian beaches.

Our time in Egypt was beautiful except for a few challenging days. Chef and I first visited Egypt many years ago as part of a small group tour. It was great, but backpacking has been a better option. We have seen more and can adjust our trip to fit our needs. We can now connect with Egypt’s natural side, not just the tourist attractions.

The kids had felt safe, except for when we almost got hit by a runaway tanker…long tale) and it has been a great educational experience. We hope that you will encourage others to visit Egypt. These guys are amazing and need western tourists back.