What is it Like to Travel Solo to Egypt During Winter?
Egypt’s climate is known for dry summers, minimal rainfall, and moderately cold winters. One of the best parts about this weather is the wind patterns, which helps in good wind flow throughout the year. The Rea Sea and Mediterranean coast are major reasons for this.
While all of that is great, what actually is the best time to visit Egypt? The answer to this question varies from one person to another. In my opinion, winters are the best time to visit the country as a solo female traveller. Egypt experiences winters from October to February and quite chilly weather in December and January. The Southern part of the country receives the cool Mediterranean breeze.
I love travelling in the winter season, so I decided to travel in November. The trip lasted for a week, and honestly speaking, it was the best time of my life! So here I am, explaining everything you need to know about travelling to Egypt during winters. Read on.
Winter in Egypt
Sunny days along the Nile and exploring deserts in the Egyptian heat are what attracts tourists to the country. But winters are perfect for exploring the country too. Temperatures range from around 20 degrees Celsius during the day to about 10 degrees Celsius at night. While that doesn’t classify as typical winter weather, you can surely experience much cooler days and even snowfall in some areas during these months!
One of the best parts about travelling to Egypt in winter is that you won’t have to encounter a swarm of people at tourist attractions trying to click pictures and whatnot. Trust me, exploring places in summers can be really tough due to the crowds. You can see people standing in queues to get their pictures clicked. That’s how crowded it gets!
Even though the Egyptian climate is dry throughout the year, it receives scant rainfall only during the winter months, which cools down the weather drastically. Regions around Alexandria receive the most rain, while those around Cairo receive the least. All in all, the winters are a nice mix of cool weather and occasional drizzles.
Places to visit during winter
Getting around the country is much easier in the winter season as the weather is excellent, making travelling comfortable. You can visit most places in the country all year round, and there aren’t any that you must visit exclusively in the winter season. However, you can definitely plan your trip to get to see the best places in the winter. Here is my list of top winter destinations in Egypt.
1. Marsa Alam
Located on the shores of the Red Sea on the east coast of Egypt, Marsa Alam is seeing increasing popularity as a tourist destination in the last few years. It is a great place to indulge in scuba diving. Not only is it fun, but you can also look at some beautiful marine animals.
Most tourists don’t visit Marsa Alam during the winters, so you don’t really have to worry about the crowds! Further, you can spot many more marine animals here due to lesser human activities during these months. If you are a beach bum like me, make sure that you visit Marsa Alam on your solo trip.
Luxor is undoubtedly one of the most famous cities in Egypt. While tourists visit it all year round, the winter season is simply the best time to visit this city! The cool breeze is soothing, unlike the summer heat, which can make you feel uncomfortable while on a long day tour.
Luxor provides you with many options when it comes to restaurants, accommodations, and places to visit. However, when it comes to tourist attractions, you will be spoilt for choices here. It is a blend of fascinating Egyptian history and exciting activities.
For example, on the one hand, you can visit Hatshepsut Temple, Valley of the Kings, Luxor Museum, and Karnak Temple to learn about the rich history of the country. On the other hand, you can fly high in a hot air balloon and see the Valley of the Kings from an aerial view or take a ride on the Nile in a felucca (ancient Egyptian boat). You can check out my blog on exploring Luxor to know more about this ancient city.
3. Siwa Oasis
Siwa is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Egypt. While it is not easy to travel to the place, you won’t regret it one bit upon reaching here. What makes it unique is its isolation from the rest of the country. Even though it is far away from all the popular cities, it is slowly moving towards modernity. I know you might be thinking about the safety aspect. Well, there aren’t any issues, even though it is located in quite a secluded area.
The city is inhabited by a little over thirty thousand people who mainly belong to the Berber ethnic group. The best way to explore the city is to rent a bicycle or hop onto the tricycle for a tour. Siwa Oasis is an excellent place if you are willing to spend some time travelling across the country.
No trip to Egypt is complete without visiting Cairo—the most happening city in Egypt! Most of us are excited to see the country only because of Cairo. I mean, I was one of those people. There is something for everyone here—fascinating Egyptian history, modern city life, and amazing cafes for local food and shisha. However, when it comes to exploring tourist attractions, you will never be able to see all of them as there is so much to explore here!
Some of the places that I explored in the couple of days I spent here were the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Tahrir Square, the Egyptian Museum, Al-Azhar Park, the Nile River, and Khan el-Khalili. I have to say, Cairo is the highlight of the whole country. And do NOT forget to have some delicious local food here!
Abydos is one of the oldest cities in Egypt and also one of the most important historical sites. There were many temples in the city during the time of ancient Egypt. I’m still surprised why many tourists are unaware of this gem!
Abydos is a very non-touristy place and not the most famous in Egypt. Also, temperatures can get scorching hot here in the summer season. So, it is best that you visit Abydos during the winters, just like I did.
Temple of Seti I, built more than three thousand years ago, The Temple of Ramesses II, Umm El Qa’abQa’ab, Kom El Sultan, and other forts here are a must-visit. I could see Egypt’s rich history in every corner of the city. And thanks to the cool weather, I wasn’t sweating as much either while exploring all these beautiful places.
Why should you visit Egypt during winter?
Because nobody likes exploring places in scorching heat and being drenched in sweat, that’s how I would answer this question in a sentence lol! But there are some specific reasons why Egypt is becoming a tourist hotspot during winters. Here are some of those.
1. Pleasant weather
It goes without saying, it’s much more comfortable to explore a generally dry place like Egypt in the winters than in summers. It is during these months that the country receives minimal rainfall.
However, the weather varies from place to place. For example, Alexandria gets the highest rainfall as compared to any other city. On the other hand, Cairo experiences almost none! Whatever be the weather, make sure that you pack a hat to save yourself from the random greetings of the sky! And don’t worry if you are clueless about things to carry on your solo trip because I already have a blog post on what to pack for Egypt.
2. Offers a different experience
As the weather is pleasant during these times, you can do many things! There are a lot of places to see, adventure activities to indulge in, and seasonal mouth-watering local delicacies to taste. Many locals look forward to the winters so they can experience these. So, while you are in Egypt, why not make the best of this?
Egypt is known for its delicious pastries and sweets. For example, Sahlab is a warm dessert infused with vanilla and coconut. It is available mainly during the winters and is famous throughout the Middle East. In addition, you can find many vendors selling healthy and warm sweet potatoes around the street corners! It is an absolute treat when you get hungry and don’t want to spend a lot on snacks during day tours.
You can also check out the Festival of the Sun at Abu Simbel that takes place in the month of October. It represents the history and legacy of Egypt.
Further, you can go hiking as the weather is much better than the scorching heat of the summers. And if you are a fan of beaches, you can visit Marsa Alam. Many tourists come here to get some sun and unwind.
3. Minimal crowds
As I mentioned earlier, the peak tourist season in Egypt is the summer season. You can see some crowd around Christmas and New Year also. But if you plan your solo trip before these events, the crowd is much lesser. The best part is that you can do whatever you want to, without having to wait in long queues and be surrounded by people!
Basically, you can enjoy yourself a little more without feeling rushed. And I think this is one of the most important things when it comes to solo travel. It gives you time to unwind and have your me-time. Imagine visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and spending almost half a day trying to get to know the interesting history of the mummies without too many tourists bothering you. Your entire solo trip feels complete when you learn things that you didn’t learn from your history books in school!
4. Reduces your expenses
As winters are usually considered to be an off-season, you can expect much cheaper rates for many things. While you cannot expect everything to be at a discount, you can surely save yourself from all the tourist scams where the vendors charge you vast amounts for souvenirs. This way, you will end up saving a ton of money that can be used elsewhere.
I realised this fact only after planning my trip and was very happy after knowing it. In fact, travelling to Egypt during an off-season helped me save a lot of money on hotels, tours, and restaurants in touristy areas. You can also expect the same if you decide to travel during October and November. However, the prices start to take off from December, so keep that in mind as well.
5. Makes you feel like a local
If you are travelling in the winter season, there will be fewer tourists, which means you can feel a lot more like a local by blending into the crowd. During my solo trip, I got a chance to have dinner with an Egyptian family, which might not have been possible otherwise. I also got to look at their household, which was pretty interesting. What are the other perks, you ask?
I also stayed at a local residence because I wanted to do something non-touristy. You get to do non-touristy things like these via Airbnb Experience, which wouldn’t be possible during the peak season because most of them are either unavailable or get booked up really fast.
So what are you waiting for?
That was all you had to know about travelling to Egypt in winters. But, of course, every traveller has their preference—to travel in the summers or winters. When it comes to Egypt, I would say that you should travel during the winter months. So, pack your bags and book your tickets as winters are just around the corner. Also, tell me about your experiences in the comments section. I would love to hear about them!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.