This week I thought I would share my travel secrets for a top Egyptian getaway.
Egypt as a travel destination, probably isn’t on most people’s radars at the moment. Particularly with all the problems occurring throughout the Middle East.
But, if you travel smart and keep to the guidelines of what you should and shouldn’t do, places you can go and shouldn’t go, it really is the most rewarding holiday destination and the people, they truly are amazing.
I spent an amazing 19 days in Egypt, and although I was travelling through the exotic landscape of ancient wonders a year before much of the middle eastern conflict got worse. I can honestly say, I felt save the entire time I was there.
Egyptians are amazing people and so thirsty for tourism to come back to their country.
They have been hard done by, by their hard neighbours and treated poorly by the rest of us. Which really isn’t fair. Especially when you still see them smiling and praising you, as you pass them on the street.
So, if you decide to take a visit to Egypt, here are my top 5 must do’s for your adventure.
Use a travel agent:
Do book your holiday through a travel agent, and make sure you are connected with a specialised tour group for the whole time of your holiday. This way, your travel agent will be able to give you recommendations on whether or not it’s okay to go to Egypt at the time, and of course book you through a very trustworthy travel company, like Gecko Tours.
Sail down the Nile:
It’s funny, when I was first booking the my Egyptian holiday, I was trying to select packages that didn’t include overnight trips up the Nile. However, all the packages I wanted weren’t running at that time and only one was, which included a 4-night travel up the Nile, heading south and staying on a cruise-liner of sorts. Well, let me tell you, this was my favourite part of the whole holiday. Waking up to the stunning sunrise along the Nile, over ancient temples, whilst eating your breakfast is simply stunning and a memory which will never be forgotten.
Don’t catch the train:
There are many packages on offer, where you may be required to catch a train from Cairo down to Luxor, in order to continue your adventure in the South and then eventually connect with your Nile Cruise. I would highly recommend you pay extra on your package and fly instead. The train journey is an utter nightmare. It’s 12-hours long and packed to the brim with people. And although you will be secured with a seat for your travel, so you can sleep all the way. There is no food provided and the toilets are disgusting, as no one is employed to clean them. Unfortunately, the small of the toilet will forever stay with me (sigh). There are sleeper trains for the trip back to Cairo from Luxor at the end of your journey, which too offer a bed, private cabin and bathroom and food. However, I got food poisoning from the food, which was a very unpleasant way to end my holiday. So, that’s fly down and fly back – got it.
Don’t rent a car:
As soon as you land into Cairo and hop into the courtesy bus, which takes you to your hotel you will understand why. The roads are an absolute nightmare, and with no order, what so ever. For those of you who think I’m exaggerating, check out the image below. Peak hour in Cairo. No order, cars everyone and no one obeys the lights or the lines on the road. In fact, half of the roads aren’t even marked, so goodness knows what lane you are driving in, or supposed to be driving in. A lot of the cabs are pretty dirty in Cairo, just like any other city really. So, if you’re staying outside of the city, let the hotel organise transport for you to get into the city, as they will often have buses taking tourists to great shopping locations, which is a nicer way to travel around Cairo anyways.
Stay on the west bank of Cairo:
Downtown Cairo, filled with its fancy restaurants and 5 star hotels may seem like a great idea at the time, however the west bank of the Nile is a far friendly place to stay. And, if you are happy to stay outside of the main city area of Cairo, there are some spectacular 5-star exotic oasis style hotels to die for. They are so luxurious and affordable, you won’t want to venture any further into the city anyways. Especially, when you look out the window and see the formidable pyramids of Giza. Which are located on the west side of the Nile.
Stay tuned for some more blogs on Egypt, where I’ll share with you some hidden wonders.