The right travel date could make your trip more enjoyable and it is not easy to figure out that date when planning your trip with little experience. You may find the area is full of people (such as during the high season) or that most shops and attractions are closed (such as during Ramadan) if you pick the wrong date. Below, we have provided you with more information about the dates that may affect your tour experience.
1. The High Season
Being well-known as the high season, the Christmas, New Year, and Easter periods are the busiest times in Egypt and the country is full of foreign travelers. High demand makes the prices skyrocket so you pay a lot but still have to share the limited space in each attraction with the crowds, which is far from perfect.
If you do want to take your trip during the high season, please make your reservation earlier to guarantee the reservation and get a better rate.
The summer in Egypt begins in May and ends in October and the unbearable heat normally falls in August. Traveling during these periods can be challenging as you may have to stay in your hotel room with the air-conditioning on, unable to visit any open-air attractions when the sun is in the sky.
If you depart earlier, you may have the chance to enjoy the entire attraction on your own!
Drink plenty of water and wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if your Egypt vacation starts in summer.
3. The Khamsin
The khamsin is a kind of hot, dusty, and dry wind (with temperatures reaching 40°C/104°F) in North Africa, which usually occurs from March to June, moving from western Egypt (where the Sahara Desert is located) to the east. The name itself means 'fifty' in Arabic, simply indicating that the wind could last for 50 days a year. Be prepared for it if you have to go there from March to June.
Ramadan can be considered to be the greatest holy month for fasting in Muslim countries. According to the Islamic calendar, Ramadan in 2020 will start on the evening of April 23rd after sunset and last for 30 days (to May 23rd). During these days, Muslims do not eat, drink, or even smoke in the daytime and only have one meal after sunset, with their next one being in the morning before sunrise. To be clear, you can find hardly any alcohol or food during the daytime in some areas. Some of the shops, restaurants, and even attractions will shorten their opening times (for example, one to two hours earlier than usual) and some of them won't open for business at all.
The end of Ramadan (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) is a highlight if you are there to experience it. People wear their best clothes and celebrate — it also breaks the peace experienced during the month of Ramadan.
As foreigners, travelers are not required to fast during Ramadan but there may be a few inconveniences as mentioned above. Try not to invite local people to eat or drink during the days and do not eat or drink in front of them if you feel embarrassed. It also helps to check the opening hours for the attractions on your list in advance.
5. Other Dates That You Should Be Aware Of
For travelers who enjoy the local culture, it is always a good time to travel during the local festivals and holidays as they are special, authentic, and unique. But for those who want a completely convenient and comfortable trip, traveling on normal days will be much more enjoyable.
Summary of the Local Festivals and Holidays
|Revolution of 25 January||National||January 25th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Sham El Nessim — Easter||Coptic||April 20th, 2020||Crowded||Crowded||Very high|
|Sinai Liberation Day||National||April 25th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Labor Day||National||May 1st, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|End of Ramadan||Islamic||May 23rd, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Eid al-Fitr||Islamic||May 24th, 25th, 26th, 2020||Crowded||Overcapacity||High|
|June 30 Revolution||National||June 30th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Revolution Day||National||July 23rd, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Day of Arafat||Islamic||July 30th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Eid al-Adha||Islamic||July 31st, August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2020||Crowded||Crowded||Normal|
|Islamic New Year||Islamic||August 20th, 2020||Crowded||Crowded||Normal|
|Armed Forces Day||National||October 6th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif||Islamic||October 29th, 2020||OK||OK||Normal|
|Coptic Christmas||Coptic||January 7th, 2021||Crowded||Crowded||Very high|
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