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Getting into and around Egypt

After many years of political instability and the dramatic and unforgettable attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005, Egypt has now made what looks like an unprecedentedly swift return to its place at the top of the tourist charts. With so many places of interest on offer, with backpacker facilities and high class luxury hotels alike, with some of the most beautiful beaches and best sea diving conditions in the world and an uncompromisingly rich and glorious cultural history to back it up, it’s no wonder that hoards of us are opting for Egypt holidays once more.

With the sudden rehabilitation of the tourist industry the country was experiencing certain difficulties simply because the current air services, many of which were cancelled and never replaced after 2005, were insufficient. Now, many reputable airlines are serving Egypt once again. Cheap but better-quality-than-budget airline Fly Monarch are now serving the major airports in Sharm el-Sheikh and Luxor and making a roaring trade from Egypt Holidays. British Airways and BMI have also reopened their Egyptian runways and are providing a valuable service and Egypt Air – the country’s main airline – are reporting record profits. In fact, such is the hype surrounding Egypt right now, even Easy Jet have started to run their own flights into the country – though spending 5 hours flying with a budget airline who formerly only served its fellow European nations, no more than 2 hours away, might be a non-financial price that you are not willing to pay.

There are a few complicating factors that you will want to consider before you take off. Firstly, all tourists in Egypt are required to have tourist visas which can be obtained for a period of no more than three months. Anyone visiting for purposes other than tourism will need to get themselves an entry visa instead, which works on similar principles. Visas can be procured from Egyptian diplomatic consulates worldwide and cost around £15.

Upon arrival, you might want to consider how to traverse as much of the country as possible during your stay. The easiest way to get from one place to the next in Egypt is usually by train or by boat, with the Nile being by far the most pleasant road to take. Hire cars are notoriously expensive and buses are often unreliable and rather unpleasant. To be safe, it’s always best to book online in advance or seek advice from your travel agent.


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