When is the best time to visit Egypt? Many people who have already visited the country would say that any time is a good time to visit. No matter when you visit, you are still going to have a great time. However, there is no denying the fact that some months of the year are more pleasant than other months in terms of weather and crowds.
As is to be expected, the winter months are a lot cooler than the summer months. Both have their own pros and cons. Visit during the winter season and you get to enjoy cooler temperatures, but this is also the most expensive time to visit. It is also when you can expect to encounter large crowds of tourists.
If you can tolerate hot weather and higher temperatures, visiting in the summer will cost you less. You will also find that many famous attractions are more or less deserted.
What about spring and autumn (fall)? In the Egyptian tourism industry, these are known as the shoulder season months. During these months, the weather is generally pleasant, and the huge influx of tourists either hasn’t begun yet, or it’s busy tapering off.
So, when is the best time to visit Egypt? It really all depends on your travel style and your priorities. Let’s take a closer look so that you can be better equipped to plan a flawless trip to the Land of the Pharaohs.
The Best Months to Visit Egypt? During Winter!
If you are not accustomed to very warm weather, or if you are not a fan of hot weather, you should consider traveling visiting during the country’s winter months. December, January and February are the winter months. It is also the peak tourist season. It is during these months that you will experience the coolest temperatures. For this reason, many people believe that this is the best time to visit Egypt.
Do keep in mind that this is a large country, and temperatures can and do fluctuate from one region to the next. The winter months are also particularly good if you plan on visiting many historical sites. Many of the country’s most famous ancient sites are located in Upper Egypt, in places like Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.
During the three months of winter, you can expect average daytime temperatures of around 23C (74F) and average nighttime lows of around 7C (44F). By contrast, average daytime temperatures in Cairo at this time of the year are around 19C, with average nighttime lows of around 10C.
While winter brings with it the coolest temperatures, there is a bit of a trade-off. This is because winter is the most expensive time to visit. Hotels, resorts, and even Nile River cruises cost more at this time of the year.
In addition to the somewhat higher prices, you are also likely to encounter large crowds when visiting major attractions. Some of the most famous archaeological sites, such as the Giza Pyramids and the Abu Simbel Temples can attract as many as 2,000+ visitors per day.
Visiting Egypt During Spring
March, April and May represent springtime. March and April are the best spring months for a visit to the country. During these months you can still enjoy pleasant temperatures. While average temperatures are higher than they are during winter, they are still pleasant. Nights also do not get as cool as they do during winter.
Once you get into the month of May, the days become increasingly warm. In places like Luxor, for example, average daytime highs in April are around 35C (95F), with average nighttime temperatures of around 17C (63F). In May, places like Luxor see average highs of around 39C (101F). This may only seem like a small increase, but for some people it can feel unbearably hot.
By the time spring starts, tourist numbers are starting to decline, but not significantly. Spring remains a very popular time to visit. Visiting in March or April means you can still enjoy comfortable temperatures and you are also likely to encounter slightly fewer tourists at popular sites like the Giza Pyramids, the Abu Simbel Temples, Karnak Temple, and others.
Unfortunately, visiting during the spring months is generally no cheaper than visiting during the winter months. This is because spring is part of the “high season” which runs from the end of September to the end of April. However, you can benefit from lower prices if you visit in May because this marks the start of the low season.
Visiting Egypt During Summer
June, July and August are the peak summer season. They are by far the hottest months, so this is definitely not the ideal time to visit if you are not a fan of very warm weather. Of the three month, July is the hottest. In places like Luxor, expect to encounter summer temperatures of 40C (105F) or higher during the hottest hours of the day.
If you look at pictures of the famous Pyramids of Giza or other popular archaeological sites, you won’t see any shade in sight. Even if there was ample shade, many people will find the heat unbearable. This is especially true for those who come from considerably cooler climates.
Does this all mean that you should never visit during summer? Definitely not! Visiting at this time of the years has its benefits. Your trip will cost you less because hotel rates are often lower than they are during the cooler high season months. Nile River cruises also tend to cost less.
Last but not least, is the absence of large crowds which are a common sight at the country’s ancient temples and tombs during the high season. With a bit of planning, and armed with some practical knowledge, summer holidays in the Land of the Pharaohs can be a great experience.
Visiting during the summer months or the shoulder months that form the “low season” also has another potential advantage. You may have a better chance of entering and exploring certain attractions due to the decreased number of tourists.
One example would be the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the Valley of Kings. This is one of the world’s most desirable tourist attractions. However, in order to try and help preserve this legendary tomb, only a limited number of admission tickets are made available each day.
Tour operators cannot buy tickets in advance for their clients. Instead, tourists have to purchase their own tickets in person at the site. If you visit the site during the high season and you want to see inside this infamous tomb, you need to get there at the crack of dawn, and even then, don’t be surprised if you encounter seriously long queues.
During the warm low season months, and especially during the summer months, it is likely that you won’t even need to join a queue. Just bear in mind that taking photos inside the tomb is prohibited.
Visiting Egypt During Autumn
September, October and November represent Egypt’s autumn (fall) months. Those scorching temperatures that one sees during the hottest hours of the day in summer are now gone. September sees temperatures starting to decline, and by October cooler weather has started to return.
In the Egyptian travel industry, October marks the start of the high season. As with spring, autumn is seen as being a shoulder season. It is not as warm as summer, and not yet as cool as winter. This is also when prices and tourist numbers begin to increase, with tourist numbers peaking in December and January.
Visiting during the autumn months is not likely to save you any money, but it will help you to avoid crowds of tourists.
4 Seasons vs. 2 Seasons
Some online sources state that Egypt has only two seasons – summer and winter. This has more to do with tourism than anything else. When it comes to the tourism industry, there are only two seasons – the high season and the low season.
Low season runs from the beginning of May to the end of September. High season runs from the beginning of October to the end of April. Almost without fail, visiting during the high season costs more than visiting during the low season.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Egypt with Children?
If your children are still very young, we would recommend visiting sometime between November and March when pleasant temperatures prevail. The summer months are definitely the worst time to visit with very young children. With infants and toddlers, even the shoulder seasons (Oct/Nov & Apr/May) can be a bad time to visit.
Visiting during the shoulder months shouldn’t be much of a problem for older kids. This is especially true if you intend booking a tour package. Good quality tour packages should include decent accommodation with air-conditioned rooms. They should also include air-conditioned transport for hotel and airport transfers and for getting to and from the various tourist attractions listed in the itinerary.
All of our own Nile Cruise Holidays include 4* and/or 5* hotel accommodation as well as 5* Nile cruises. They also include all transport in clean and modern air-conditioned vehicles.
Book Your Trip Early and Save Big
If you have already decided when to travel to Egypt, you may be wondering when would be the best time for you to actually book your trip. If you are serious about saving money, then you should book your trip as far in advance as you possibly can. Booking package tours and/or Nile River cruises in advance can save you quite a lot of money.
Hotel chains and cruise ship operators are renowned for suddenly increasing their rates/prices. A Nile cruise being advertised for US$1,100 today may suddenly cost US$1,587 next month. Booking your tour and/or Nile cruise in advance through a reputable tour operator prevents this from happening to you. At least, this should be the case if you have already paid the required deposit.
Tour and/or cruise reservations can only be finalized once a deposit has been received. Booking tours and cruises through us is no different. Once we receive your deposit, we finalize hotel and/or cruise reservations. With that done, the prices you were quoted have now been locked in.
When is the Best Time to Visit Egypt for a Cruise on the River Nile?
Nearly all cruises run between Aswan and Luxor. This means you will be in Upper Egypt for the duration of your cruise. As we have seen earlier, average summer temperature in places like Luxor can reach 40+ degrees Celsius, more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nile cruises are all about experiencing Ancient Egypt. This means that you visit several ancient outdoor sites. Because of this, the months of June and July are probably not the best time for a Nile River cruise.
Ramadan – The Holy Month of Fasting
Like all Muslim majority countries, Egypt observes Ramadan. During this holy month of fasting, some businesses will shut early, but this rarely has any impact of tourists. Many cafes and restaurants, but certainly not all, will also shut during fasting hours.
Muslims are always forbidden from drinking alcohol but non-Muslim Egyptians are free to drink alcohol if they wish to. However, during the holy month of Ramadan even non-Muslims are not allowed to purchase alcohol.
Unlike in most other Muslim majority countries, tourists are allowed to purchase and consume alcohol during the month of Ramadan. In other words, as a tourist, you can still enjoy your beer, wine and/or favorite cocktails.
Notable Events To Be Aware Of
Many cultural and spiritual events take place in the country during the course of the year, including Coptic Christmas and the Abu Simbel Sun Festival. Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. Attending a Coptic Christmas celebration can be a truly wonderful experience. It is certainly something we would recommend if you are in the country at the time.
The Abu Simbel Sun Festival is an event that takes place twice a year at the rock-cut temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. During these events, the sun is able to penetrate the temple’s inner sanctum, illuminating four statues one at a time. When is the best time to visit Egypt to see this breathtaking event?
This spectacular phenomenon only happens twice a year, and the actual dates vary somewhat. Any good tour operator should be able to give you the exact dates. This year (2022) the Abu Simbel Sun Festival occurs on the 22nd of February and the 22nd of October.
Book Your Dream Holiday Today
Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of ancient pharaohs? Let us make your dreams come true. No matter what your tastes are, and no matter what your budget is, we can see to it that you have a vacation which you will cherish forever.
Visit us now to start planning your trip to the Land of the Pharaohs, or to book your dream holiday today.