Good news! As of 17 June 2022, Egypt has reopened its borders to all travellers. This means the COVID-19 measures for entering the country have been abolished. However, foreign travellers visiting the country often need a visa. A good preparation of your trip is essential, even now that Egypt’s borders have reopened. Read on to find out more about the Egypt visa and where to go.
Where to go with and without a visa
Egypt has confidently announced that travellers will no longer need to show a COVID certificate or negative PCR test result to enter the country. More than 88 million vaccinations have been administered as part of Egypt’s own vaccination plan. In addition, there is no longer any need to fill out a passenger locator form. Upon the country’s reopening, there are still some things to take into account. Apart from any visa requirements, you are advised to consider the travel advice and domestic COVID-19 measures.
Not all travel advice for Egypt is equally strict, but fully unrestricted travel is strongly advised against. Currently, a visit to the beautiful Oasis of Siwa, for example, is unsafe. You are therefore advised to prepare well for your (round) trip to Egypt. A stay of up to 14 days in some of places of South Sinai does not require a visa. However, travel to the resorts of Taba and Nuweiba may still be advised against at the time of travel. For a substantial part of western Egypt west of the Nile, all travel that is not necessary should be avoided. Instead, the more adventurous traveller is advised to take trips to the lesser-known Eastern Desert with an experienced tour guide. These trips can for instance be organised departing from the Red Sea Coast.
Travel in the southern Sinai
With the exception of the border areas and the oases in the Western Desert, Egypt is generally travel-friendly. Sharm El Sheikh and the more humble and affordable Dahab cater for trips suitable for your average traveller wits. Do you want to see more than just these well-known places on the Gulf of Aqaba? You will need a visa for that as well. This also applies to visits to the interior of the (southern) Sinai. This area is best known for Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have heard the Ten Commandments. A visit to the Aqaba gulf coast lends itself perfectly for a wildlife safari. The Sinai Peninsula is the natural habitat of, among others, the smallest butterfly in the world, hyenas, and ibexes.
Naama Bay, close to Sharm El Sheikh, is ideal for family beach holidays. This also applies to Egypt’s north and Red Sea coasts. From Sharm El Sheikh, you can make the ferry crossing to Hurghada, if you wish to avoid the western Sinai Peninsula shores (eastern coast of the Gulf of Suez). Snorkelling at the aforementioned shores is definitely recommended for those with little or no diving experience or licence.
Something for everyone to enjoy
Divers and other water sports enthusiasts will also enjoy the Alexandria area. Divers will encounter plenty of sunken city sites and underwater war wrecks from the World War II era. Nowadays, northern El Alamein is mainly known as a party destination. Both South Sinai and the Red Sea Mountains are perfectly suited to both beginners and experienced hikers.
For culture aficionados, there is more to see than just Egypt’s historical monuments and museums. Further east of Alexandria’s coast, in the Nile Delta area, the religious festival of Tanta is held annually. This festival starts on 11 October and lasts for a week. During this festival, the birthday of the Badawiyyah order’s founder is celebrated in much a colourful fashion. To this day, the order is still a popular religious community without any explicit doctrine. In laid-back Port Said and in Ismailia, you can experience the “true Egypt”. On top of this, the world-famous Pyramids of Giza and Dahshur, and the burial mound of Saqqara can be visited from Cairo.
Visa for Egypt
You can easily apply for your Egypt visa online. You can either opt for a single-entry visa, which is valid for 90 days, or a multiple-entry visa, which is valid for 180 days and allows you to travel to Egypt as often as you like. In both cases, your stay may not exceed 30 consecutive days. Remember that Egypt has a desert climate. This means winters can be a lot colder. Between October and March, it is best to bring both your sunscreen and a warm jumper. Whether you opt for beach holidays, a sporting holiday or cultural trip, or visiting family or friends, a proper planning means you don’t have to miss out on anything.