Winter travel destinations in Egypt are as distinct and fun as those we visit in the summer. So until the sun and warmth return, we’ve listed the best destinations for you to enjoy the colder months properly.
Aswan is one of Egypt’s most charming cities. With its picturesque, colourful houses in the Nubian village, verdant palm trees overlooking the felucca-filled Nile, and its rich history in the High Dam and various temples, it’s one of the most beloved destinations for Egyptians and foreigners. Markedly, it’s also one of the hottest cities in Egypt during summer, making it difficult to navigate. But the positive side is that it’s one of the warmest during winter, making it a perfect destination if you want to escape the cold of the city.
Like Aswan, Luxor is another difficult city to visit during the oppressive summer heat and perfect for the warmth we seek in winter. Luxor is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and has been continuously populated since, and arguably before, its time as the capital city of the new kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Its insanely rich history overflows in every part of the city so much that it’s often referred to as “an open-air museum”, which makes it incredibly interesting to visit. But while it can be hard to stop and enjoy every temple and historical artefact during the sun of southern Egypt in the long summer days, it becomes perfect during winter, when you can do everything and still find yourself warm.
A classic, but still worth mentioning. Alexandria is a little gem of winter. Due to its proximity to Cairo, you could easily spend a day there or go for the weekend. Egypt is a collectively distinct mixture of different cultures and history, but Alexandria is unique in the way it wears this fact on its facade. Greek, Roman, Coptic, it has it all. While it’s a perfect Mediterranean city for all types of weather, it gets notoriously crowded during the summer. However, this isn’t the only reason it’s ideal for winter, because it has everything winter-lovers long for that can’t be found in Cairo: the stronger breeze, rainy nights, the raging melody of the sea as you take a cold walk wrapped in your coat. As Alexandrians proudly proclaim, Alexandria’s climate and outlook on winter nights are reminiscent of European cities, especially with its aforementioned rich history that Europe has an undoubtedly large hand in.
If you’re more nature-oriented, then Fayoum is definitely the destination for you. Not typically a summer destination, as it lacks all that we look for, but a beautiful, old, distinct city nonetheless. Most people prefer to visit it during the winter, and for good reason! You won’t run out of things to see in Al-Fayoum, no matter what it is you’re interested in. As mentioned, it’s a very nature-rich place with its lakes and trees, the canal, and the traditional houses built on each side of it. But it’s also very rich historically, making it of huge interest to archaeological “nerds” with its pyramids-sites and Valley of the Whales, or with its Ottoman-era marks like the hanging mosque. It also has the largest waterfall in Egypt. This all barely scratches the surface of one of the oldest cities in the country.
Dahab or Sinai
Generally speaking, the different cities and towns of Sinai are famous, beloved summer destinations. Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurgada, and most definitely, Dahab are packed to the brim with both Egyptians and foreigners in the long summer months. But in winter, they have a different flavour of magic altogether. They all have more or less the same qualities with minor differences, but we’re choosing Dahab intentionally. Dahab is one of the hottest during the summer, with the glaring sun and sand like freshly molten gold, which also makes it one of the warmest during winter. Warm days and breezy, chilly nights are characteristics of Dahab during that time, but its small size and natural cosiness give it a whole other element of familiarity that is most suitable against the lonesome mood of winter.
Another city worth visiting while in Sinai is Saint Catherine, with its famous landmarks of the mountain and the monastery. The Saint Catherine area is a UNESCO world heritage site and is full of things to see and do. It’s also one of the few places that snow in Egypt, has the highest mountain in the country with marvellous views and has a splendid valley where rare pieces of nature bloom.