As the world surrenders to the chill of winter, Egypt beckons with its warm embrace and provides a refuge of sun-kissed landscapes.
The holiday season is often associated with joy and togetherness, but it can also be a time of stress and travel woes. As the holiday rush intensifies, many people experience heightened anxiety due to unexpected delays, lack of efficient travel planning, and other unforeseen challenges.
This year, in particular, there have been many fears around traveling to Egypt amid the war on Gaza and the escalating tensions in the region. Despite the ongoing conflicts, Egypt remains a safe and enjoyable destination for travelers. The Egyptian government has implemented robust security measures to protect its tourism industry, and these measures have been effective in safeguarding visitors.
The vast majority of Egypt’s tourist attractions are also located far from any areas of active conflict.
Below are a few tips to help you navigate your trip to Egypt this winter:
Weather and Clothing
The months of November through March in Egypt are known for their mild winters, with average highs of 16°C (61°F) in Cairo and 25°C (77°F) in Hurghada. Even though the nights can be chilly, the days are still warm enough to explore without the unbearable summer heat.
When packing for your trip to Egypt, it’s important to bring clothing that is versatile and can be layered to accommodate the shifting temperatures. For evenings and colder days, lightweight sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and a lightweight jacket are essential.
During the day, the weather can get slightly warmer, so pack breathable fabrics that will keep you cool in the heat. Even in the colder months, wearing sunglasses and a hat will also protect you from the sun.
The White Desert
Planning your itinerary can be a headache, especially since there are many different cities and places to visit in Egypt. To avoid the hassle of constant traveling and moving around, venture into the White Desert.
Nestled within the heart of the Farafra Oasis lies the White Desert, a mesmerizing realm of tranquil beauty. Its boundless horizons are adorned with chalk-white rock formations, sculpted by millennia of wind and sand. The peaceful silence of the White Desert is only interrupted by the gentle whisper of the wind and the occasional sounds of a desert bird, creating an atmosphere of utmost serenity and peace.
There are also many different activities to embark on while exploring the White Desert. Whether it’s going on a jeep safari, traversing through the desert and discovering hidden gems like the Black Desert and the Crystal Mountain, hiking to the top of the White Desert’s highest point, or sandboarding down the smooth slopes, there is always an opportunity to indulge in some kind of adventure.
Egypt’s White Desert is also not completely deserted. You can always delve into the rich cultural heritage of the Farafra Oasis by visiting the traditional mudbrick villages and interacting with the warm and welcoming locals. This will also help you gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s culture and traditions.
For accommodation, the Desert Rose Eco Lodge lies in the heart of the Western Desert of Egypt. Under the guidance of local tour guides, the Desert Rose Eco Lodge can arrange safaris to the White Desert, Black Mountain and the Crystal Mountain, and also help you visit local attractions such as the mini-museum and local markets.
Safsafa Mountain and the Donkey’s Church
The Safsafa Mountain is a geological wonder located in the heart of the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Its towering peak serves as a prominent landmark in the region, drawing many adventurers, hikers and travelers alike. For people who are more at ease in mountainous settings, which are far less crowded than cities, this is the ideal place to disconnect and cleanse.
The mountain’s name, “Safsafa,” is derived from the Arabic word for “willow,” a reference to the lush vegetation that once adorned its slopes. Today, Safsafa Mountain offers a glimpse into the beauty of the Egyptian wilderness.
The incredible archaeological site known as the Donkey’s Church is also tucked away in the foothills of Safsafa Mountain and has long captivated tourists. This old building, which is thought to have been built in the fourth century AD, is carved straight into the mountainside, demonstrating the creativity and inventiveness of its builders.
The origin of the church’s name comes from a local myth about a donkey that miraculously found the secret water source that provided for the needs of the early Christian settlers in the area.
When thinking about accommodation, there are plenty of resorts and eco-lodges in Sinai, such as the Sheikh Mousa Bedouin Camp and Guest House. Located in the town of St. Catherine, this camp provides a comfortable and authentic Bedouin experience. Guests can enjoy traditional Bedouin meals, participate in local crafts workshops, and explore the nearby Monastery of St. Catherine.
The Saint Catherine’s Monastery Guesthouse is also located within the Monastery of St. Catherine, where guests can explore the monastery’s ancient library, admire the Byzantine mosaics, and experience the tranquility of this sacred site.
Adrère Amellal Eco-Lodge
Adrère Amellal, meaning “White Mountain” in the local Siwi dialect, embodies a blend of simplicity and sustainability. Constructed entirely from local materials, the lodge seamlessly blends into the surrounding landscape, echoing the hues of the desert sands.
Each of the lodge’s rooms also offers a tranquil retreat, adorned with handcrafted furnishings and natural textiles, exuding an atmosphere of warmth.
To get a true taste of local culture, the lodge’s chefs masterfully craft delectable dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the region’s rich culinary heritage. The lodge’s food is essentially a celebration of local flavors and sustainable practices.
Adrère Amellal also serves as a gateway to the wonders of the surrounding desert. You can hike to the summit of the Great Sand Sea’s highest point, Gabal al-Harra, and marvel at the breathtaking view that unfolds before you.
New Alamein City
New Alamein City, a captivating coastal gem in Egypt along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, emerges as an ideal winter getaway, offering a blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration.
With average temperatures ranging from 18°C (64°F) to 24°C (75°F) during the winter months, New Alamein basks in comfort and warmth.
The city is engulfed by an enchanting Christmas and New Year atmosphere, with twinkling lights adorning the city’s streets and vibrant parties and live performances filling the air with a sense of excitement. There is also a variety of water sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing, or invigorating boat trips to explore the hidden coves and islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
From fancy hotels to cozy guesthouses, New Alamein has a place to stay for everyone. The food is also great, with both traditional Egyptian dishes and international fare. There is also an array of vibrant fresh seafood from the nearby Mediterranean Sea.