Country profile

About Egypt

Egypt is one of the cornerstones of civilisation and has a legacy of historical sites.  Situated on the north-eastern corner of the African continent, it is linked to Asia by the Sinai Peninsula and has long been an important crossing point between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. 

Egypt’s most popular attractions include ancient sites like Giza where the Ancient Egyptians began their glorious civilisation and left behind the famous Pyramids, the Temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and Abu Simbel.  The Valley of the Kings and the temples at Abu Simbel are also not to be missed and a magical experience is to take a dawn balloon trip taking in the major historical sites. Seeing the sun rise over the Valley of the Kings from the air is a memory that you will cherish.

The capital, Cairo, is the largest city in the Arab world - and in Africa - and is a colourful lively place with stunning architecture, narrow bustling streets and quiet corners with cafés.  Alexandria is Egypt’s second largest city and known as the city of excitement because of the ancient discoveries found there, including a wrecked ship dating back to 90 BC and the royal palace quarters where Marc Antony used to reside.

And then there’s a vast array of exotic food to sample, as well as the many bustling bazaars or shopping malls to hunt out cut price designer clothes and jewellery. Don’t be tempted to go mad as you will be over your weight allowance for the plane home – but some travellers come with an extra, empty suitcase just to get their Egyptian treasures home.

Sun worshippers and diving enthusiasts might want to head to luxurious locations such as El Gouna, a vibrant town between the Sienna Mountains and the Red Sea surrounded by gorgeous turquoise lagoons, or Sharm el Sheik which has one of the world’s superior diving spots at Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef within the Ras Mohammed National Park. Five star hotels abound in both areas but beware that travelling between city areas where the clinics are situated and the Red Sea coast involves a 5-6 hour coach journey, in convoy and under armed escort. OK if you are feeling perfectly well, but take care if you have had a major procedure and think carefully about your recuperation site.

Arabic is the official language but English and French are also spoken.  As far as climate goes Egypt lies within the dry tropical region, except for the northern parts that lie within the warm moderate region, with a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and moderate winters and little rainfall. 

The time difference in Egypt is GMT + 3. Currency is the Egyptian pound and there are around 9 Egyptian pounds to the euro.

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