Tourism benefits both travelers as well as the host country: the former enjoy a fulfilling experience and the latter profits economically from tourism. However, when a particular place becomes popular, the presence of large crowds can be detrimental to one's personal experience. What traveler wants to be surrounded by large groups when visiting the site of their dreams?
This article will help you plan a trip to Egypt strategically so that you avoid sightseers flocking to the same sights during your holiday.
Overtourism in Egypt
When he first linked tourism with business in the 1800s, Thomas Cook would not have imagined that tourism could occasionally morph into a problem.
Egypt and its pyramids are a well-known tourist destination. Home to one of the oldest human civilizations, Egypt has significantly benefited from the tourism boom in recent years. However, overtourism has overtaken Cairo, the country's capital, as the pyramids are located in nearby Giza (about 7 km or about 4 miles southwest of Cairo).
Fleets of air-conditioned travel coaches cluster around tourist hotspots such as the Giza Plateau and museums every single day.
Egypt's Tourist Season
Today, we can quickly look up the answer to the question, "when is the best season to travel to Egypt?" Things could, however, get tricky when everyone gets the same idea and hurries there at the same time.
There are 3 travel seasons in Egypt — the fine season, hottest season, and peak season.
Fine Season: Spring and Autumn
Holidaying in Egypt during spring, that is, mid-April to May, or autumn, that is, mid-September to mid-November, is not a bad idea, as temperatures are much milder compared with the weather in summer. Egypt is less busy during these seasons compared to the peak season including the school vacation season.
Watch out for the Ramadan and Easter vacations, as well as the khamsin (hot southerly or south-easterly wind blowing in Egypt in the spring), if you plan to visit Egypt in spring. The rest of spring and fall are a good time to travel, as there will be more manageable crowds at tourist attractions in Egypt.
Hottest Season: Summer
Summer is the worst time to schedule a vacation in Egypt due to the unbearable heat and headache-inducing brightness, particularly at midday. It is best to avoid traveling to Egypt during the summer.
On the other hand, if you manage your sightseeing time well, arm yourself with enough water, and protect yourself from the sun, you could easily evade droves of tourists and visit your favorite attractions before it gets too hot.
Peak Season: Winter
Most web searches show that the best time to travel to Egypt is between late November and late February. The weather is pleasant and cool, with ideal conditions for sightseeing in Egypt. In addition, Christmas and New Year fall in the middle of this season as well. However, many people around the world would have planned their Egyptian break for the same time as well.
Holidaymakers should plan their trip optimally to avoid being crowded by large groups and frittering away time searching for the right selfie spot, waiting at restaurants, and caught in traffic snarls.
Here are some tips to avoid the crowds and have a peaceful and hassle-free vacation.
How to Avoid Crowds in Egypt
Generally speaking, there are 3 ways to avoid crowds in Egypt: being smart about time, avoiding the peak season, and forgetting about stereotypes.
Take the packed pyramids in Giza, for example. If you get there before rush hour and neglect the local people's suggestion of taking a camel in front of the pyramid, you could visit most of the sites, ride a camel on the Giza Plateau, and savor the panorama of all the pyramids before it gets too hot. Touring the pyramids at night would be another fantastic idea if you are not scared of the dark. Beating the crowds, you could head there at night for a singular experience; an added bonus is the lightshow.
Traveling to Egypt during Ramadan may also be a great way to avoid crowds because not as many people travel during the main local festival.
Where and When to Avoid the Crowds
Several sites in Egypt are packed with travel groups during the peak season: they have been labeled as the must-see attractions of the country, making it quite challenging for travelers to avoid crowds. We suggest you keep these tips in mind when planning your trip.
- Egyptian Museum (visit after the afternoon rush hour)
- Pyramids Complex in Giza (visit at night or early morning)
- Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar (try not to visit on weekends)
- Abu Simbel (staying overnight may be a good idea)
- Temple of Karnak (go there early)
- Luxor Temple (stop by at night)
- Valley of the Kings (try to explore the tombs that not as famous and popular)
Be a Better Tourist with Global Highlights
Overtourism hurts travelers and worsens the lives of locals. As a traveler, you should seek to be part of the solution and aim to have a better experience during your vacation by making correct decisions (about when and where to travel, selecting tour operators who follow environmental and sustainable practices), contributing positively to the local culture (respecting local customs and people, and supporting the local economy), and minimizing your negative impact (by not, for instance, using plastic bags or littering).
Having been a pioneer of online traveling for over 20 years, Global Highlights has spent years researching itineraries, building local contacts, finding the best accommodation deals, and training local guides. Travelers enjoy a hassle-free journey with us and leave with unique local experiences.
The planning section of your trip is crucial. Why take on the trouble of planning when you can leave it to a local expert who speaks your language? Let our knowledgeable staff iron out the details for you — all you need to do is pack your bags and leave on the perfect tour that we have crafted for you.
Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.