Holidays in Egypt
The question – where to relax in Egypt – is asked by a huge number of Russian tourists every year. And no wonder – this country regularly occupies the leading lists of the countries most visited by our tourists. A rich historical heritage and modern resorts with favorable prices for tours are doing their job, and Egypt is again ahead of its closest competitors.
Pros and cons of Egypt
- Possibility of recreation all year round
- Acceptable combination of price and quality of service
- Chance to see the legendary pyramids
- Diverse nature – deserts, oases and beaches of several seas
- Too hot in summer
- The mentality of the locals
- Outright unsanitary conditions in large cities
- A large number of scammers
According to toppharmacyschools.org, Egypt belongs to those African countries that occupy two climatic zones. The north of the country is a subtropical sea belt, the rest is the desert tropics. In winter, it is slightly cooler than in summer, especially at night, but in general there are no clear seasons across the country.
Hurghada is the Egyptian resort most beloved by Russians, combining a relatively high level of service, reasonable prices and opportunities for both a quiet family vacation on the beaches and extreme sea sports.
Cairo is the historical heart of modern Egypt, a city of noisy markets, world museums and a starting point for visiting the main historical sights of the country – the ancient pyramids, for which hundreds of thousands of people come here every year.
Sharm el-Sheikh – if you want to stay in the country of the East, but at the same time find out what a modern holiday is, Egypt gives this opportunity right here. Surrounded by the desert, built in an oasis, the resort town is a godsend for those who love the exotic.
Safaga is one of the youth resorts in Egypt, focused on fans of extreme sports. Even the entrance to the sea here cannot be called “childish”, not to mention the entertainment that the regulars of the resort prefer.
How to get there
To date, the plane is the only acceptable way to get to the Egyptian resorts. Russian airports send both regular and charter flights to Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Cairo or Alexandria. From each of the arrival airports, a transfer is organized to a specific resort – by bus or taxi.
It is best to travel in Egypt on the transport provided by the travel agency – most often these are minibuses. In the resort towns, all the infrastructure is within walking distance, and you can walk safely, but only until dark.
It is advisable to travel between cities by bus; cases of luggage theft are frequent on trains. It is worth choosing an air-conditioned bus, because on a hot afternoon it is too difficult to ride in stuffy transport, especially for older people.
Taxi in Egypt is owned by private companies, often the taxi driver is the owner of his “company”. Local Arabs do not know about any taximeters – the cost of the trip should be negotiated with a witness, or better with a policeman, so that he defiantly writes down the number in case of extortion by the driver.
The official currency in the country is the Egyptian pound, EGP. 1 pound is equal to 100 piastres. In addition, American dollars are in use, less often – euros. You can pay with them even in the markets, but in mid-range stores it is best to have local money.
It is strictly recommended to exchange currency in Egypt only in bank branches that are open from 8:30 to 13:30 on weekdays. You should politely refuse the offer to change money at the hotel – you will probably be shortchanged, referring to the “commission” of the institution.
Do not believe the signs of Egyptian restaurants and cafes that say that the local cuisine honors the traditions of the pharaohs. The most “ancient” dish, the recipe of which has been preserved unchanged, dates back to the 19th century. Otherwise, Egyptian culinary traditions are borrowed from Saudi Arabs, African neighbors and Turks. But there is still something here.
- Kushari is the most famous “Egyptian” dish, actually invented in the colonial era by British soldiers. This is such a variant of naval pasta, only instead of meat, tomato paste and an arbitrary set of cereals are used – chickpeas, lentils and rice.
- Fulmedames is the only authentic Egyptian dish to date. How it was prepared for the pharaohs, no one knows, but now it is beans baked in clay pots. There is a meat option, and there is a vegetarian option.
- Fatta is the main delicacy of many restaurants in Egypt. This is a layered dish of thin flatbreads, rice or other cereals with beef and tomato sauce.
- Taro – a dish invented by the Copts – a soup on the broth of taro tubers – the Egyptian “potato”.
- Mulukiya is a soup with jute seeds and a range of meat ingredients.
Frequently asked Questions
Is it necessary to haggle in Egyptian markets?
Definitely needed. Bargaining in any Arab country is part of local etiquette, and Egypt is no exception. It is customary to inflate the price of absolutely any product by 3-5 times, so feel free to bring down the cost while maintaining a straight face, even if the seller starts to emotionally prove something to you.
Is it true that there are no mosquitoes in Egypt?
There are mosquitoes in Egypt, and there are a lot of them, especially in the evening and at night. For this reason, all travel agencies are strongly advised to stock up on repellents.
What are the basic safety rules about food in Egypt?
The first rule is never drink tap water, even in an expensive hotel. No filters will guarantee that the water will not be infected. When buying fruits and vegetables, wash them with soap and peel them. You can eat in street cafes, but look at the cleanliness of the staff.
Can my number be robbed, and how often does this happen in Egypt?
Unfortunately, such cases do happen, but not too often. The rooms of inexpensive hotels are most often “furnished” by their own employees, sometimes in retaliation for the boorish behavior of the guest. In expensive hotels, each room has a safe, the code for which you can come up with yourself, so it is better to store securities and documents there.