With its many great resorts and heritage sites, Egypt has always been a popular travel destination.

With the recent crises in Israel and the Red Sea, many people are reluctant to book a holiday in Egypt – but this could be a mistake.

There are many reasons why now is a great time to book a holiday to Egypt.

What Egypt has to Offer

Depending on the region you visit, Egypt has a lot of things to offer to visitors. Tourists can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday, immerse themselves in history, get great deals on luxury goods, or get the best of everything with a Nile cruise.

Holiday on the Red Sea

Egypt has a lot of luxury resorts on the Red Sea. These are great places to relax, take in the sun and the sea, and enjoy an all-inclusive experience with loads of activities. We love Hurghada, but the resorts at Sharm el-Sheikh are reported to be great too. Many of the resorts have access to coral reefs, great for snorkelling, and scuba diving lessons/trips are easy to arrange from private tour companies. Many of these have salesmen working the beaches at the resorts, so you won’t even have to hunt to find a good one.

Immerse yourself in history

Egypt is one of the oldest civilisations in the world, and an impressive array of buildings and monuments to show for it. Visit Cairo for the many historic mosques and Coptic churches, and to learn about the more Mamluk period of Egypts history. Saqqara and the Pyramids are a short drive away, and are very impressive (although we recommend driving a little bit further to the pyramids at Dahshur). Luxor and Aswan are home to the most impressive tombs and temples from Ancient Egypt, and are well worth the visit. We have a lot of suggestions for going further afield, too.

 Go Shopping

There are a lot of amazing deals to be found in Egypt. Even today, gold jewellery is very reasonably priced, and cartouche necklaces and keyrings with your name in heiroglyphics are very popular. Handcrafted silk rugs using traditional methods are an incredible bargain, especially around Cairo, and the alabaster workshops produce some beautiful pieces, both hand-made and machined. Visit the souks of Cairo, Luxor and Aswan for oils, spices and perfumes at amazingly low prices. The perfume shops can simulate luxury fragrances for a fraction of the price, or even create custom scents. Beyond the tourist items, Egypt has a lot of clothing shops with some pretty high quality knock-off clothing, and can be a great place to pick up expensive electronics like high-end cameras. There are fixed-price stores, but the experience of haggling can be fun to try, at least once.

Take a Nile Cruise

Not sure whether you want to lie in the sun, explore Egypt’s history, or have fun shopping? A Nile Cruise could be your best option. Cruise ships typically operate between Luxor and Aswan, stopping in at the temples in between. It’s a great addition to any Luxor trip, as you get to see additional sites. There’s a lot of time to lounge on the deck with a drink as you sail in between, looking at the majestic Nile river, and there’s plenty of time to visit both Luxor and Aswan for shopping, even after doing some sightseeing. Red Sea resorts will often offer bus tours to Luxor to see the tombs and temples, but we don’t recommend these, as the travel time really cuts down on your ability to see anything, so the Nile Cruise is really the best option if you want to see Egypt’s history as well as lounge in the sun, although the hotels in Luxor and Aswan will usually have great pools if you’d rather stay in one place.

Why People Are Avoiding Egypt

I’ve had a lot of people telling me recently that Egypt isn’t safe right now. Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are discouraging people from visiting the resorts. There is fear about the Israel-Gaza conflict spilling over into Egypt, and Iran launched rockets into Israel on 13 April 2024,  the night before we flew to Hurghada for our most recent visit. Tensions in the region are expected to get worse, and one friend even advised that I should be ready to be evacuated.

Such concerns are shortsighted, however. The Houthi are attacking cargo ships, not tourist vessels, and the attacks take place far from Egypt’s borders. The Red Sea is large, and sharing a sea does not equate to sharing the danger. I wouldn’t avoid Greece because of trouble in Malta, despite them both being on the Mediterranean Sea. Likewise, Gaza is about 400km from the resorts in Sharm el-Sheikh and  over 600km from Hurghada. The border is closed, and the Egyptian military is the largest in the Arab world and Africa. Politically speaking, they have normalised relations towards Israel, but I would expect them to remain neutral in the conflicts. At this point in time, I see no reason to expect Egypt to be affected by any military action. If it does, however, most travel insurance will cover you if you wanted to cancel a trip to a country affected by war.

It’s a Great Time To Book A Holiday to Egypt

People are having a knee-jerk reaction to the tensions around the Red Sea, and it’s affecting market forces. Prices in Egypt have fallen in an attempt to attract customers, while resorts in the Mediterranean have raised theirs significantly since the Houthi attacks began. This makes Egyptian resorts in particular an amazing bargain.

In addition to the falling prices, Egypt has recently managed to float its currency against the American dollar in an attempt to curtail the black market in foreign currencies. As a result, the value of the Egyptian Pound has gone down considerably, making the exchange rate very favourable for people travelling from the UK, Europe or the United States. That means more shopping, easier budgeting for excursions out of resorts, and cheaper tickets to get into the historical sites. We’ve always recommended Egypt as a holiday destination, but now might really be your best opportunity to arrange a visit!