When is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?
Published on: August 2nd, 2023
Last modified: November 7th, 2023
The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April for the country's coolest temperatures. Year-round sunshine means that during this time temperatures are still warm, rarely dropping below 19°C (66.2°F). This period is best suited to visit the Giza Pyramids in Cairo, the Red Sea, Luxor, Aswan and cruising on the Nile.
During Egypt’s summer, May to September, temperatures can reach well over a sweltering 40°C (104°F) across the country. This can make activities uncomfortable, particularly in the Sahara, the bustling cities such as Cairo and the inland monuments and temples (such as Edfu, Karnak, Luxor and Khnum) as well the Giza Pyramids.
July and August are the hottest months in Egypt, where temperatures regularly exceed 40°C (104°F). Cairo will average 35°C (95°F) and the Sahara can easily reach 45°C (113°F). During these hot summer months the main sites open at 6am, allowing sightseeing activities before the intense heat of the day.
The coolest months in Egypt are December to February with daytime lows of around 18°C (64.4°F) in northern areas such as Alexandria. These winter months are considered the best season to visit Egypt to beat the heat. However, nights can feel chilly, particularly in the Sahara where temperatures drop to below 0°C (32°F).
Although Egypt receives very little rainfall, January and December are the wettest months in Egypt. The rainfall is minor, less than a millimetre will fall in one month and usually just in areas such as Alexandria and Cairo. The rains won’t impact travel, however, if you’re looking for sundrenched days, it’s best to avoid these months.
Egypt Month-by-Month Weather Guide
Although Egypt is characterised as a dry, desert country, each month brings shifts in the climate, and most importantly, the heat. There are many reasons to visit Egypt’s different regions – where landscapes and cityscapes are altered during the course of the year.
To help you understand the climate we’ve compiled our ultimate guide, outlining the weather for each month.
December - January
Best for those who want to beat the heat
December and January are the coolest months in Egypt and the best months to visit Egypt if you want to avoid the heat. Sightseeing at this time is comfortable with daytime temperatures in Cairo around 19°C (66.2°F). The nights can feel chilly though, dipping below 0°C (32°F) in the Sahara at night.
January is also one of the wettest months in Egypt, although the rainfall is minimal and tends to fall in the north (Alexandria) and in Cairo. January can also be a busy month to visit Egypt with lots of travellers making the most of the cool weather for their sightseeing adventures.
Best for cool temperatures and festivals in Abu Simbel
February is one of the best times to visit Egypt to escape the heat and enjoy comfortable sightseeing. In February the Sun Festival takes place in Abu Simbel where you can experience pleasant early morning temperatures of around 10°C (51°F) reaching 27°C (80°F) by midday.
Best for the start of warmer weather
In March Egypt experiences balmy conditions. Temperatures rise but still remain pleasant for comfortable sightseeing. Cairo’s temperatures stay close to 24°C (75.2°F) while in Luxor temperatures creep up to around 29°C (84.2°F). The famed Khamsin sand storms can blow in, in March, occasionally causing some disruption to hot air balloon flights or sailing on the Nile.
Both Easter and the holy month of Ramadan are observed towards the end of March (dates vary each year). Ramadan is an important and sacred religious festival for many Egyptians, who will fast during daylight hours. The strict religious practices of Ramadan can mean that business and services operate differently to the rest of the year.
Best for warm temperatures and gentle breezes
April is one the best months to visit Egypt for fewer crowds and moderate temperatures. Considered a shoulder season month, temperatures aren’t yet peaking and plenty of breezes as spring and early summer (March – May) are the windiest times in Egypt. Visit the Nile at this time for exciting Felucca sailing experiences.
Best for warm evenings and marine life in the Red Sea
May is the best time to visit Egypt to experience warm evenings, manageable day time temperatures and fewer crowds. However, Luxor and Aswan are starting to nudge towards 40°C (104°F) by midday. May also marks the beginning of warmer waters at the Red Sea – great for snorkelling and active marine life.
The best time to visit for the start of summer
June marks the start of Egypts hot summer. In Luxor and the Sahara, June is one of the hottest months to visit. However, in Cairo, June has not quite reached its peak, with temperatures sitting just below 35°C (95°F).
July and August
The best time to escape the heat in Alexandria
July and August are the hottest months in Egypt. Cairo will average 35°C (95°F) and Aswan and the Sahara can easily reach 42°C (107.6°F) or higher. During these very hot months, the main sites will open at around 6am, meaning you can enjoy your sightseeing activities before the intense heat of the day.
Despite the searing temperatures, it’s impossible to miss sightseeing at the main monuments such as the Giza Pyramids, Luxor and Karnak Temples. The Mediterranean coast and the coastal city of Alexandria is the place to be in summer, where temperatures don’t tend to climb over 30°C (86°F) with cool breezes.
Best for the start of cooler weather and Nile Cruising
Temperatures are starting to cool down in September, slightly. The searing summer draws to a close but temperatures still feel hot and early starts are still advised for sightseeing. The warm evenings make this a great time to relax on a luxury cruise boat as you sail down the Nile.
Best for sightseeing in cooler temperatures
October is one of the best months to visit the Giza Pyramids, Valley of the Kings, Luxor and Karnak Temples and other monuments. These popular sights can be enjoyed in lovely warm sunshine while the crowds have still not peaked. Expect hot, yet bearable, temperatures of around 30°C (86°F) to 35°C (95°F).
Best time for cooler temperatures and visits to the Sahara
November is one of the best months to visit Egypt for cool temperatures and sunny days – which can attract a lot of visitors. November can be a great time to skip the sightseeing crowds and visit the Sahara’s Wadi el Rayan National Park for waterfall hikes and outdoor activities.
The Best Things to Do in Egypt by Season
There are many incredible things to do and places to visit in Egypt, many of which can be enjoyed all year round. That being said, quite often, due to the hot temperatures, there are some activities such as sightseeing, desert adventures, Nile cruises, snorkelling and diving are best at certain times of the year.
This means that choosing the best time to visit Egypt can really depend on your own interests. To help you choose the best time to visit Egypt for your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do, and when to do them.
Cruise on the Nile River
The best time to visit Egypt to enjoy a luxury cruise on the River Nile are the shoulder season months of April to May and September to October. At this time you can enjoy sightseeing without peak temperatures, yet still relax in balmy weather on the viewing decks, alfresco bars, restaurants and rooftop swimming pools.
Go Diving and Snorkeling in the Red Sea
The best time to go to Egypt for diving and snorkelling is between May and July at the Red Sea. Marine life is impressive and there’s better chances of hammerhead and whale shark sightings. Visibility is excellent and water temperatures average 25°C (77 °F) making long periods of time in the water comfortable.
Explore Cairo and the Giza Pyramids
The best time to visit Cairo and the Giza Pyramids is between September and May, for the coolest temperatures and most comfortable sightseeing. Wandering the city streets, stopping at outdoor cafes or walking into the desert for guided tours can be much more enjoyable with the searing sunshine of summer (June - August)
Every trip to Egypt will include a stop in Cairo and most will continue on to see the Pyramids. Although these are year round destinations it’s important to remember that they will experience intense heat from June to September. Although there are some tricks to sightseeing in summer, such as starting your day very early, travelling in the cooler winter months (September to May) means you can plan for comfortable full day excursions.
Go on Sahara desert safaris
Egypt's Western Sahara is a surprising outdoor playground of palm filled oases and lush national parks. The best months to visit Egypt to experience the wonders of the Sahara are October to November and April to March to avoid the hot days of summer, and the freezing nights of winter.
At this time any physical activity, even simply walking around the oasis towns, let alone trying waterfall hikes, is much more comfortable away from the peak heat. It’s also a great time to escape the crowds that will be congregating at the main sites around Cairo and Luxor.
Sail a Felucca on the River Nile
A Felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat, its white sails billowing in the wind, bobbing along the Nile. For an authentic, thrilling cultural experience not to be missed, visit Egypt in April or May and try a Felucca sailing experience. At this time the winds offer the perfect conditions for sailing.
Experience Festivals in Egypt
Egypt is a country steeped in tradition, and many religious and cultural festivals take place throughout the year. The Abu Simbel Sun Festival which takes place twice a year on 22nd February and 22nd October are two of the best times of year to experience the festivals in Egypt.
The Abu Simbel temples were created so that on the anniversary of Ramesses' ascension to the throne and his birthday the innermost room is flooded with sunlight. An incredible feat of design displaying immense skill and knowledge. The festivities include dancing, live music outside the temples along with street food and the chance to experience Nubian culture.