Whether you go for winter sun on the Red Sea Riviera, to see the Pyramids at Giza or explore ancient Cairo, family holidays in Egypt are awe-inspiring and magical for kids.
Direct flights from UK to Cairo all-year-round take under five hours
There are direct flights from the UK to Sharm el Sheikh – flying time 10 hours
Egypt has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites including: the Pyramids at Giza, Historic Cairo and Abu Mena
The Red Sea Riviera is a popular Middle East winter sun destination
Cairo has the best golf courses in the Middle East.
July and August temperatures in Cairo average 35˚C
Summer temperatures in Sharm el Sheikh average 40˚C
The Middle East’s largest city isn’t an instant enchantment. It’s incredibly noisy, always busy and sometimes looks as if the entire Egyptian population’s descended on Downtown at once. But, if you let yourself acclimatise, get to know the districts, identify quiet breathing spaces and exercise a bit of patience, Cairo’s one of the most rewarding cities in the world. Teenagers and older kids tend to get the hang of things much quicker than adults. Start younger children off somewhere gentle like Zamalek on Gezira Island, ease them into the ancient medieval quarter and, by the time you visit the Egyptian Museum in Downtown, they’ll be ready for anything.
If Giza conjures up images of a vast, empty desert dotted with Pyramids, you may be disappointed to find it’s a large town packed with hotels, restaurants, shopping, malls and cinemas, right on the edge of the Pyramid Complex. But it’s also of the best areas in Cairo to base a family holiday. You won’t find abundant history and charm in Giza itself, but the Cairo city centre’s only 40 minutes away and day-trips mixed with downtime by the pool work out well for kids. Then there’s the added bonus of going to sleep and waking up within sight of Cheops and the Sphynx and it doesn’t get more historic than that.
Sharm el Sheikh on the Red Sea is Egypt’s best known holiday resort. The city’s almost entirely centred around tourism and it’s atmosphere is less Cairo and more small-scale Dubai, without the monolithic architecture. Home to international brand names like Four Seasons, Hilton, Ritz Carlton and Hyatt Regency, Sharm’s famous for superb diving, exquisite private beaches, coral reef snorkelling and year round sunshine. Temperatures in summer rise to 35˚C and sit at a pleasantly warm 27˚C between November and January.
Another Red Sea Riviera resort, lively Hurghada is a younger version of Sharm el Sheikh and has the advantage of being less than four hours by road from Cairo or an hour’s flight. Luxurious beach resorts are a signature here too, but many have their own water and theme parks, wide ranging kids activity programmes as well as private beaches, water sports and dive schools.
Cairo has a metro and good bus services from the centre to Giza and other city districts. Driving’s best avoided and most hotels and resorts have shuttle services or will arrange transport. Guided tours take a lot of pressure out of sightseeing. There are regular flights from Cairo to the Red Sea Riviera. Nile river cruises are an excellent way to see more remote areas.