I have to admit the very first thing Pete and I did after receiving an invitation to go on a week-long trip to Egypt was to ask each other ‘This sounds amazing…but is it safe?’ and then immediately check the FCO website. We felt reassured after reading the advise that it is safe to travel to all areas of the country aside from the Sinai region and the border with Libya, which you have to cross a large desert to get to…
According to the FCO website, over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year and most visits are trouble-free. Although we live in a political climate where unfortunately safety can’t be guaranteed in most countries in the world we really believe that it is important to try and alter people’s negative perception of Egypt due to recent events.
We met with Sherif Fathi (Chairman & CEO of EgyptAir) who says that ‘It is very unfortunate that the media is portraying our county in a negative light. We are warm people. We welcome tourists. We have a special relationship with the tourists in the UK and we encourage them to return. Egypt is a safe place’.
During our time there we completely fell in love with the beautiful landscape, incredible history and kindness of the people and felt completely safe from start to finish.
Here are our top five reasons why you should visit Egypt now –
1. Crowd-free historical monuments and sites
If you want to explore some of Egypt’s most iconic sites free of crowds and with no queues then now is definitely the time to go. In Luxor, Karnak, Dendera, Edfu and Kom Ombo we pretty much were the only group there which made it an extremely enjoyable and relaxing experience. This was especially appreciated when we were taking photos as there was no threat of a large group of tourists with selfie sticks getting in the way of a majestic statue of Horus.
2. Value for money
Now is an extremely good time to visit Egypt if you are looking for value for money. Return flights from London to Cairo with Egyptair start from just £300 and five-star hotels can be found for less than £50 a night in places like Luxor. In the Red Sea resorts there are great bargains to be found for all-inclusive packages for winter-sun seekers, families, couples and keen divers. When you book your trip, whether it be all-inclusive or direct with the airline and hotel, it will be one step further to help improve the struggling economy which is reliant on tourism.
3. A warm welcome
We were really touched by how friendly and welcoming Egyptian people are. They love having tourists visit and are proud to show us their country’s fascinating history. Like most Arab countries, there is inevitable hassle from locals trying to sell you trinkets but both the men and women in our group never felt overwhelmed or threatened. Although, I think at one point during the trip, Pete was very tempted by the opportunity to exchange me for ten camels.
4. No petty crime
We were very interested to hear from our Cyplon Holidays representative who has been living in Sharm el-Sheikh for the past nine years, that petty crime is not really a problem at all in Egypt. Although of course you still need to be alert we felt reassured to hear that pick-pocketing is quite rare. The chances are you are more likely to be mugged in London or Barcelona than one of the main tourist attractions in Egypt.
5. The weather
Egypt is hot and sunny pretty much all year round with slim chance of rain. The spring months of March, April, May is the shoulder season and definitely one of the best times to visit. Temperatures aren’t too hot, which is important when exploring the temples as there is not much shade. It also feels ten times hotter when you go inside the tombs. It’s also a nice time to escape the UK’s temperamental springtime weather.