Best time to visit Egypt

Best time to visit Egypt

Temperature & rainfall

Click on a location: Cairo & Dahab | Luxor
Rain may not be a problem in Egypt and neither is the cold – visiting in winter can get chilly at night, but nothing a few extra layers can’t conquer. The best time to visit Egypt is in two seasons: spring (Feb-Apr) and autumn (Oct-Nov); it’s cooler then than in high summer when it’s really very hot – we’re talking 40°C-plus. Of course ‘cooler’ here is a relative concept in terms of Egypt’s weather, during spring and autumn daytime temperatures will still hit 25-30°C, but you’ll get relief in the evenings.
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When to visit Egypt


March until November are the best months for seeing dolphins off the Dahab coral reef.

The diving in Egypt is good all year round.

Peak season for giant cruise ships is October to May, when it is cooler. Visiting the main tourist sites early in the morning or late in the day during these months is better, as the coach loads head back to port.

May until August are steaming, but not humid, so it is still manageable, if you drink lots of water and plaster on the eco friendly sun screen. August is the peak months being, in the words of Stevie Wonder, hotter than July.

30th June is now a public vacation in Egypt, celebrating the Uprising of 2011.

In September, temperatures start to dip a little and tourist numbers go down at the major sites as school vacations end.

15th August is Flooding of the Nile Day, or Leylet en Nuktah, based on the ancient traditions of the Nile waters coming back, and young girls were sacrificed. The only things sacrificed nowadays are diets, as people feast in picnics along the banks.

Winter in Egypt is October to February, which means a jacket or long sleeved top. It is warmer in the south, however, but evenings can be cool.

There is a lot of hot air around towards the end March and into April, when the 'Khamsin' wind blows from the desert in the south.

Christmas isn’t celebrated on 25th December by Coptic Christians, who make up 15 percent of people in Egypt, but sometime around 7th January. The festivities are a wonderful sight to behold.

Ramadan is a 30 day religious observance period, and varies each year. A period of fasting, many sites and shops close early. However, when the fast breaks at sunset, and the special feast of ‘Eftar’ begins, things liven up somewhat. Ramadan begins 6th June 2016, 27th May 2017 and 16th May 2018.

Responsible Travel recommends


Ralph Foulds from our supplier, Encounters Travel: “Generally spring and autumn are ideal for nice warm weather that isn't too hot, so from February to April and from mid September to November. The summer season from May to September is generally cheaper for trips through the Nile Valley. So, early May and late September gets you good prices and it will be hot but not as intensely hot as July and August. Visiting Abu Simbel during the Sun Festival is really special. Twice a year, on the 22nd February and 22nd October, the rising sun shines in through the entrance corridor of the Abu Simbel temple and illuminates three of the four statues at the end of the passage, leaving Ptah, the God of Darkness or the Underworld, in shadow.”
Danniell Saunders, also from our supplier, Encounters Travel: “What we often do, especially in the summer months if we’ve got a set itinerary and it’s really hot, is adapt the itinerary accordingly, so perhaps not visit the Valley of the Kings during the day when the temp peaks, but get everyone up two hours earlier and have them visit when it’s cooler and there’s no crowds. Things are subject to change, so be flexible.”

Festivals & events in Egypt

Our cultural pick from the Egyptian calendar

Did you know about...?

Sham al-Naseem. Sounds like it should be the name of a novel. Or a cocktail. But “Sham al-Naseem” meaning “sniffing the breeze” is celebrated by all Egyptians the day after Coptic Christian Easter, to mark the beginning of spring. People picnic on the banks of the Nile, there is music and dancing, shisha puffing and lots of shooting rather than sniffing the breeze.
Photo credits: [Egypt sunrise: Dale Gillard] [Ralph Foulds tip: Dennis Jarvis] [Festivals & events : Dale Gillard]

Written by: Polly Humphris and Catherine Mack
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