Egypt is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2) and operates Daylight Savings Time (+1 hour) from the last Friday in April until the last Friday in September.
A hot, dry country, the temperature of Egypt varies from North to South. Most tourists visit the country in its ‘high season’ – October to March. Summers are extremely hot, especially in Upper Egypt, where temperatures can easily reach up to 50 C (122 F) in June and July. The average midwinter temperature in Aswan is usually around 25 C (77 F) and 10 C (50 F) in Cairo. In the winter as soon as the sun has set it can feel quite cold because of the contrast in temperature. Rainfall is quite rare in Upper Egypt, but you can expect a little rain in the winter months in Cairo and the Delta.
Weather-wise – remember a hat or scarf is advised to protect you from the sun and sunscreen is always a good idea. Good solid shoes or sandals are a must to take along. In the very hot summer months loose cotton clothing offer the most comfort. Keep in mind that the winter months can be quite cold, especially at night so do pack something to keep the chill out. If you have forgotten anything at home, the shopping in Cairo is excellent and you will more than likely find what you need.
Culture-wise, Egypt is an Arab country and although much less observant in Muslim traditions of dress than some of the other Arab states, visitors should try to respect their customs. It is considered improper to show bare arms, shoulders and legs, some local people may find this a little shocking. Women out in the streets wearing skimpy tops and revealing shorts may be leered at. Modest shorts are becoming more acceptable for men, but many cruise boats and hotels will insist on long trousers in the dining room. Topless sunbathing or swimming is forbidden anywhere in Egypt.
Arabic is the official language in Egypt. Egyptians have an amazing ear for languages and most people who come into contact with tourists will speak English and/or several other languages.
The range of food in Egypt is very wide and cosmopolitan. Mostly you will find the dishes are a cross between Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Food is available in large restaurants or from street corner stalls and snack bars. If you’re planning on eating from a street stall it’s always advisable to check out how clean the stall looks first.
Bottled water and soft drinks are widely available. The more traditional Muslims do not drink alcohol although they are tolerant of visitors drinking in moderation. Alcoholic drinks are usually confined to the bars of larger hotels and restaurants and can be very expensive. Locally produced alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine are also available and are reasonably priced.
Q. Do I need a visa to enter Egypt?
A. A visa is required and can be issued at the airport.
Q. When is the best time to travel to Egypt
A. You need a passport valid for at least 6 months to obtain a visa.
Q. I'd like to know which documents are necessary to visit Egypt for tourism for one to two weeks. Do I need a passport to obtain a visa?
A. Although Egypt is a year long destination the best time to travel is September – May.
Q. We are travelling to Luxor from London. Can we obtain visas on arrival ar the airport or must we obtain them before we leave, In either case what is the cost.
A. Please direct your question to the Egyptian Embassy in London.
Q. What are the restrictions for bringing Alchohol into the country?
A. Individuals may bring in 2 litres.
Q. The areas I want to visit are not in your programmes?
A. Egypt has many exciting destinations, just let us know where you would like to visit and we will tailor make your itinerary.
Q. What kind of guides do you use?
A. All our guides have an academic background in Archaeology, and we have a wide selection of guides fluent in: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Dutch.
Q. What is shopping like in Egypt?
A. Egypt is an Aladdins cave, Khan Al Khalili Bazaar in Cairo is full of unusual and everyday objects. Souks and bazaars abound in other towns. Top buys include Papyrus, perfume concentrate, carpets and rugs in hand loomed designs. Backgammon boards, handcrafted sheesha pipes, pharonic statues in marble and alabaster, Egyptian cotton and clothing.