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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Egypt

Weather in Egypt

It comes as no surprise that the climate in Egypt is typically hot and dry. The only exception is its north Mediterranean coast which receives more rainfall in the cooler months than the rest of the country. The stunning Red Sea coastline is where the majority of people holiday though, and its year-round heat makes it the perfect location for some winter rays. The welcome sea breeze along this east coast area offers some respite from the sweltering heat whatever time of year you visit.

The Red Sea Riviera

Famed for its splendid weather, stunning coastline and spectacular dive sites, the Red Sea Riviera is one of the most popular destinations in Egypt. Luxurious Marsa Alam and Hurghada guarantee year-round sun but temperatures are at their optimum during spring and autumn. In the height of summer thermometers have been known to reach 40°C, while winter's are mild and comfortable at around 18°C. With everlasting, clear blue skies you'll soak up at least 13 hours of sunlight in the summer months, but don't worry you can always rely on welcome coastal breezes when it gets too hot. Plus, rainfall in this region is a very unlikely event.

The Sinai Peninsula

If you're looking for guaranteed sunshine, Sharm el Sheikh in the south of the Sinai Peninsula delivers golden rays throughout the year. This comes down to its peninsula location at the top of the stunning Red Sea coast. The climate here is typically hot and dry with average highs of 33°C in the summer and lows of 18°C in the winter. If you decide to venture into the mountainous highlands just north of here make sure you're prepared. Summer months still enjoy temperatures well into the 30°Cs but winter months are much cooler, plummeting to 1°C. With the highest peak, Mount Catherine, standing at 2642 metres, you may even experience snow on its peaks.

Around the Nile

Most visitors to the Nile Valley head to the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor, which is situated on the east bank. Temperatures here can soar to 33°C in the height of the summer, and drop to 14°C mid-winter. Don't worry about rain though as even the wettest month of the year, October, only gets a millimetre of the stuff. The climate in the sprawling capital of Cairo is hot and dry but offers a more diverse climate than the seemingly bi-seasonal coastal regions. If you're visiting the bustling metropolis and planning on doing lots of sightseeing, visit between January and March where temperatures sit around a comfortable 15°C with little rain. The months of April and May often see strong winds, sandstorms and low visibility.

The desert

To the west of the Nile, the Sahara Desert makes up two thirds of the country's land mass, serving up a harsh climate which is mostly unfavourable. Visitors to the ancient land tend to stick to the desert east of the Nile, which borders the coastal resorts. But even here temperatures have been known to hit 50°C in the summer. Things cool down dramatically come winter, with temperatures dropping to the low teens by day. Rain isn't really an issue in this arid part of the world, but sandstorms can be a hazard. Away from the coast, in the desert landscape, hot and dry Khamaseen winds have been known to blow from the south causing sand clouds in spring.