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Towering pharaonic temples and teeming coral reefs await you in Egypt. Whether it’s the solitude and serenity of the desert or the manic metropolis of Cairo that you seek, Egypt endlessly beguiles. And how much more enchanting is it if you can bag a bargain flight as well as take home snaps of those ancient pyramids?
Egypt’s peak season runs from October to May, during which time sun-starved tourists escape the UK’s cold in search of Egypt’s significantly warmer climes. Cheap flights during this time are scarce indeed, and you are advised to book as early as possible to avoid high airfares. Try searching between March and April for your best options during this time.
The heat in Egypt can be too much for many tourists, however, and during the hottest months of the year numbers dwindle. If you can stand high temperatures it is now that the cheapest flights can be found, and there are refreshing breezes to take the sting out of the sun’s tail if you head for the coast.
Ramadan can also help you unearth cheap flight tickets – but bear in mind that many restaurants will be closed for the month and a refreshing beer can be very hard to find.
As an incredibly popular destination the best advice is to book well in advance and to be as flexible as possible.
There are a number of ways that Expedia can help you increase your chances of finding a cheap flight. Make sure that you are flexible about where you fly from and fly to. If you’re looking for a London flight search using ‘All London airports’ to see if there are cheaper fares. You also have the option to explore ‘Nearby airports’ – this can be found under your chosen airport when you search. It may be that airfares are significantly cheaper at an airport close to your chosen departure point or if you land at a different airport in Egypt.
Another way to be flexible is to check and see if flying on a different day would reduce your fare. Click on ‘Show flexible dates’ when you search is returned to see when the cheapest day to fly on is.
Although there are plenty of direct flights to Egypt it can sometimes be a lot cheaper to take v a connecting flight – it often doesn’t increase your total flight time by too much either.
There are many direct flights available from the UK to Egypt, but not to Sharm El Sheikh or Marsa Matruh.
Here are some sample flight times:
Cairo and Hurghada are the main international airports. Sharm El-Sheikh used to be a popular destination but direct flights from the UK are no longer available to here.
From Cairo you have several options to head into the city. Pre-booked shuttle services are available as is a bus service that operates from car park of Terminal 1. Car hire can be arranged from the arrival hall and you will also find many taxis just outside the terminal.
From Hurghada the cheapest option is to hop on a bus, but do remember to yell when you want to get off as there are no set stops on this bus route. Car hire is available from the airport as are taxis.
The carriers offering direct flights to Egypt include:
Egyptian public transport is pretty good. An efficient rail network links the Nile Valley, Delta and Canal Zone, and elsewhere you can travel by bus or shared taxi.
Of course, on the Nile you can indulge in either a felucca or cruise boat, and there are plenty of opportunities to test your riding skills on a camel in the desert.
In addition, EgyptAir offers a network of domestic flights to get you from A to B quickly.
While car hire is readily available Egypt’s roads are not for the faint-hearted. Accidents are less frequent than you may imagine but driving in Egypt is not a relaxing experience.
Egypt’s iconic pyramids and sphynx have dominated visitor’s imaginations for many years – and they continue to do so. But here are some less well-known must-sees for the adventurous tourist.
St. Catherine's Monastery is the world's oldest Christian Monastery still in use and a UNESCO World Heritage site. From its cellars of skulls to its location where Moses saw the burning bush, the monastery is steeped in myth. Perched at the foot of Mount Sinai it is possible to climb the mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the red-tinged desert as the sun sets.
Nearby Dahab has established itself as a diver’s paradise – with fantastic visibility, shore-entry dives and warm waters teeming with fish and colourful corals.
Close to Aswan the Abu Simbel temples are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser. Part of a Unesco World Heritage Site the towering pharaohs guarding their entrance is just the first awe-inspiring sight to greet you. Unbelievably these temples were moved in their entirety when the Aswan Dam was created.
Most British citizens need a visa, which can be obtained on arrival and costs US$25.
If you are travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts for up 15 days you do not need a visa – you will receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you intend to travel outside these areas, then you must obtain a visa.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry.