Best Types of Holiday Accommodation in Egypt

Holiday Accommodation in Egypt

Egypt is seriously geared up for tourists accommodation-wise and you'll have no problem finding a good hotel in all the major tourist destinations - Cairo, Alexandria, the Red Sea resorts, Luxor and Aswan.

Luxor is the starting point for Nile Cruises (information here) and there are hundreds of cruise boats sailing between Luxor and Aswan, stopping off at tombs and temples on the way, and sailing Lake Nasser, where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner moored opposite the amazing temples at Abu Simbel.

Boats vary, some large and taking all nationalities, some smaller taking only Britons. The style of boat can be different; too, from calm and elegant, to very lively - make sure you know what you're getting when you book.

Hotels vary from absolute deluxe - Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada have many brand-new self-contained all inclusive type resorts, and Cairo and Alexandria have international-style chain hotels - to family hotels with a whole programme of leisure activities and so-called animation programmes led by sporty staff.

Divers will find more basic accommodation in Dahab and Sharm; camping is allowed in only a few places, again particularly in and around Dahab. There is budget accommodation too - two, three star hotels with pretty basic rooms.

Best time to go

The best time for an Egypt trip is to visit in spring (March-May) or autumn (October-November). At other times of the year it's simply too busy (the winter is the high season, when prices are at their highest) or too hot: Upper Egypt is a furnace in the summer.

Booking All Inclusive will Save you Money

Included Trips: If you take one of the popular gold brand all inclusive holidays with ‘AllinclusiveHolidays.com’ one of your included excursions or trips will likely be to a perfume 'museum' in Luxor, Click here to find out details on all inclusive holidays in general. Firstly, you'll be given a demonstration of the art of glass blowing and how the exquisite perfume bottles are made. Next, a salesman will give you the low down on the flower perfumes they sell - many will have been mixed to smell like favourite designer perfumes, or you can buy classics like rose, jasmine, musk, amber.

Good Byus

Papyrus: If you're on a tour, you're likely to visit a papyrus museum and be shown how the paper is made. Then you'll be let loose to buy a painting to take home, probably with a salesman at your side. The designs are usually pharaonic, and you can have your name painted on one while you wait. Prices vary from a few pounds, to hundreds for massive wall coverings. Tip: Be careful about buying papyrus on the streets, it could be banana leaves instead. Ask your guide how to tell the difference.

Jewellery: Egyptian gold is 18ct and much cheaper than in the UK. Buy from a reputable outlet - ask your guide for advice - and ask for a certificate proving what you've bought. You'll be stunned by the variety of gemstones available in rings and necklaces. Cartouches - oblongs in which the ancient Egyptian pharaohs' names were written - are popular buys, with your own name engraved on them.

Ankhs (cross of life), scarabs (sacred beetles) and busts of Nefertiti (based on the famous coloured bust of renegade pharaoh Akhenaten's wife that lives in Berlin) are also popular, as well as Tutankhamen's mask in every conceivable shape and form.

Don't forget to look at the silver jewellery - cuffs and chains are particularly good value - which is beautiful and much cheaper than the gold. And do haggle - you can get amazing bargains.

Alabaster and stone carvings: Details foud here Many package holidays will include a visit to an alabaster factory, where the selection will include statues of cats and other animals, ancient gods and pharaohs and simple bowls and pots. Again, check you're buying the genuine article, as soap stone can be passed off instead. Boxes inlaid with semi-precious stones are exquisite. Copper pots and bottles and wooden boxes with mother of pearl inlays make great souvenirs too.

Cotton goods: Shirts, nightdresses, scarves, and galabeyas (check you are buying cotton, as these traditional robes come in man-made fabrics, too).

Spices: Aswan market is the place to buy these, particularly saffron, which is much cheaper than in the UK.

Toy camels and musical instruments: Buy these from the street children - you'll be helping someone who really needs the cash.

Buy inexpensive shell, seed and stone jewellery from Nubian street salesmen in Aswan and surrounds. Other options include fancy slippers, shishas, paperweights, videos, bottles of coloured sands and baskets.  

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