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Feel the dry desert breeze from the Sahara and contemplate 5,000 years of human history in the magical land of the pharaohs

Egypt has been enticing travellers to her shores since Roman times, and with good reason. The sheer scale and drama of the ancient monuments here is awe-inspiring, as are the epic tales that go with them. The winding River Nile, so integral to every aspect of life here, cuts through the desert plains and provides the fertile lands that gave rise to the ancient Egyptian civilisation. As well as the archaeological wonders of the Nile, Egypt's Red Sea beach resorts offer other charms - namely all-out relaxation. Golden beaches, shady gardens and cool cocktails beckon you to the sun lounger, while blue skies and sunshine are pretty much guaranteed.

Things to do

Our escorted tours of Egypt and archeologically tours take in all the sights, from the tomb of Tutankhamen to the temples of Luxor and Karnak. The ultimate way to experience the wonders of ancient Egypt must be by boat on a Nile river cruise. Sit back and relax as the desert landscape drifts past and stop off to visit all the hot-spots along the way. For sun worshipers there are the beach resorts of the Red Sea, including divers' paradise, Sharm el Sheik on the Sinai Peninsula, and some excellent all-inclusive hotels and resorts in the east. If you can't choose between ancient culture and the pool bar, then why not get the best of both worlds and book one of our cruise and stay trips to the Red Sea and the Nile? And don't forget, Egypt is also a stop off on some enticing ocean cruises too - now that's got you thinking hasn't it!

Cairo and around

Frenetic to say the least, metropolitan Cairo is home to some 22 million people. If you can look past all the chaos, you'll find a fascinating and engaging city full of wily but welcoming people, grand palaces and mosques, and colourful bazaars. Lift your eyes to the horizon, gaze through the city haze, and you should just about make out the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. An easy day trip from the capital, nearby Giza is also home to the Great Sphinx.

The Nile River Valley and Delta

The River Nile runs south to north, entering at the border with Sudan and flowing north to the Mediterranean Sea. This is where you'll find nearly all of Egypt's archaeological wonders, from the Valley of the Kings to the temples of Luxor, Saqqara and Abu Simbel, with their complex rock carvings and monumental scale.

Sinai Peninsula

Bordering Gaza, Israel and the Red Sea, Sinai's desert interior has great religious significance. The coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh is the gateway to the underwater wonderland of the Red Sea. Divers and snorkellers flock to its waters to explore the coral reefs and wrecks.

The Eastern Desert

This rugged region stretches east of the Nile to the Red Sea coast. This is where you'll find many of Egypt's best beach resorts, especially around Hurghada and Quesir.

See All Holidays to Egypt

The Radisson Blu Resort occupies a scenic location further south of the traditional Red Sea resorts and is conveniently set for exploring nearby Quseir.

Experience Egypt's sunkissed Red Sea during a stay at the all-inclusive Fort Arabesque in Hurghada.

For the ultimate relaxing break, opt for a special upgraded stay at The Radisson Blu Resort.

Magic of the Nile

Escorted Tour Pace 2

Marvel at Egypt's ancient wonders as you cruise the Nile, visiting the temple of Karnak, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings.

A private island retreat on the river Nile, overlooking Aswan, from where you can relax and explore this ancient land.

Marvel at Egypt's ancient wonders as you cruise the Nile, visiting the temple of Karnak, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings in the company of other solo travellers.

For the ultimate relaxing break, opt for a special upgraded stay on this private island retreat overlooking Aswan.

From the Nile to the Red Sea

Escorted Cruise and Stay

Enjoy a relaxing stay in the Red Sea resort of Quseir coupled with an unforgettable seven-night Nile cruise…

Trace the course of the ancient Spice Route visiting historic ports from Singapore to Sri Lanka. Continue to the Cradle of Civilization to see the ancient sites of Luxor and Petra, discover the island charms of Malta and Gibraltar, and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Portugal's capital.

Sydney to London

Cruise World

Your adventure from the Southern Hemisphere gets underway from Australia's most cosmopolitan city, Sydney. Discover the beauty of the Indonesian islands before cruising to some of Asia's most intriguing destinations. Finally, delve into the past as Magellan visits a string of ancient ports in the Mediterranean.

A Grand Voyage

Cruise World

Set sail on this cruise of a lifetime as the graceful Magellan makes her maiden voyage around the world, visiting no less than 42 ports.

Cross three oceans and visit six continents with new discoveries to make every day, from lost cities in Peru to serene sounds in New Zealand, sparkling skyscrapers in Singapore to ancient ruins on the edge of the Red Sea.

Join Black Watch on this epic voyage circumnavigating the globe and discover some of the world's most breathtaking destinations.

Language

Arabic - The official language in Egypt is Arabic, although English is widely spoken in the main towns.

Tipping

The Egyptian term for a tip is ‘backsheesh’ and you will be asked for backsheesh by anyone who has offered you service (and, indeed, by anyone who has not).

You will be expected to tip any staff in your hotel who assists you: the porter will wait to be tipped 3-5 £E per bag and the maid 5-10 £E per night.

Your restaurant bills will probably include a service charge, but this goes to the restaurant and not the waiter, so be sure to tip them separately.

Somewhat surprisingly, it is not customary to tip taxi drivers.

Population and size

Egypt is the fifteenth most populated country in the world and is home to more than 86 million people. Mind you, most of them live in Cairo.

Egypt is four times the size of the UK and is easily the world’s most square-shaped country.

Currency

Pound - The currency is the Egyptian Pound (£E), which is divided into 100 piastres. Sterling, euros and US dollars are also accepted and ATMs are widely available.

Culture

The two most important things to Egyptians are the family and Islam, which both govern their lives, and as you'll know, Egypt has a strong presence in popular culture. Films set here have included Death on the Nile, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The Mummy.

The history of Egypt is as long and as rich as the River Nile that sustained it. Painting in broad brushstrokes, the period of Ancient Egypt, which gave rise to the pyramids, lasted from around 3,000 to 300 BC. Foreign invasions after this period were numerous, and included the Romans, who ruled Egypt from 30 BC to the seventh century AD. Both Arab and Ottoman armies were to follow, and there was a brief strategic occupation by the French at the end of the 18th century. Britain took control of the region for much of the 19th century, in a thinly veiled attempt to safeguard its trading routes to India, not least through the Suez Canal, which was constructed in the 1860s. In 1919 the Egyptian Revolution gained the country sovereignty, but it was still controlled by the British. The Republic of Egypt was finally established in 1953, with the complete withdrawal of British troops from the Suez Canal coming a few years later in 1956.

Phrases

Hello – Ahlan wa sahlan

Goodbye – Salam

Good morning – Sahab el-kheir

Good evening – Masaa el-kheir

Yes – Aiwa

No – La

Thankyou – Shukran

I don’t speak Arabic – Ma batkalemsh Arabi

Timezone

Egypt is two hours ahead of GMT.

Electricity

Mains voltage is 220 volts AC. Most sockets take small, round, two-pin plugs so you’ll need an adaptor for British appliances – bring one with you as they’re not widely available locally.

Climate

Egypt is one of the hottest countries in the world, so bring a wide-brimmed hat, plenty of suntan lotion and, if you can squeeze one in your suitcase, a punkah wallah.

Health

Flying insects – including mozzies – are commonplace in Egypt so a can of repellent is highly recommended. Perhaps also pack some pills for that unexpected tummy bug.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see www.nathnac.org, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

Passports and visas

You will need to carry some form of identity with you at all times – a photocopy of your passport is a good idea. A tourist visa is required on arrival, but Saga will foot the bill for that.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in public places but many turn a blind eye to the law and some hotels, restaurants and bars still have designated areas for smokers.

Flight time

It takes approximately five-and-a-quarter hours to fly from London to Cairo.



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