When to Go Egypt

Everywhere south of Cairo is uncomfortably hot in the summer months (June-August), especially Luxor and Aswan where daytime temperatures soar up to 40°C (104°F). In Cairo the combination of heat, dust, pollution, noise and crush makes walking the city streets a real test of endurance. On the other hand, a scorching sun might be exactly what’s wanted for a week or two of slow roasting on the beaches of southern Sinai, the Alexandrian coast or the Red Sea-just be prepared to fight for hotel rooms.
When visiting somewhere such as Luxor, winter is easily the most comfortable time.

Cairo isn’t quite as pleasant, with often overcast skies and chilly evenings, while up on the Mediterranean coast Alexandria is subject to frequent downpours resulting in flooded, muddy streets. Even Sinai’s beaches are a little too chilly for sunbathing in January. March to May or September to November is the best time to enjoy the warm days without the crush of bodies on the beaches.

Most of Egypt’s religious and state holidays should not seriously disrupt any travel plans. Buses, though, may be fully booked around the two eids (Islamic feasts) and on Sham an-Nessim . Throughout Ramadan , the Muslim month of fasting, many cafes and restaurants are closed during the day, while bars cease business completely for the duration. Offices also operate at reduced and very erratic hours.

Egypt’s climate is hot and dry most of the year. During the winter months – December, January and February – average daily temperatures stay up around 20°C (68°F) on the Mediterranean coast and a pleasant 26°C (80°F) in Aswan. Maximum temperatures get to 31°C (88°F) and 50°C (122°F) respectively. Winter nights only get down to 8°C (45°F), a very Egyptian version of chilly. Alexandria receives the most rain, with 19cm (7.5in) each year, while Aswan is almost bone-dry with just 2mm annually. Between March and April the khamsin blows in from the Western Desert at up to 150kmph (93mph).

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