Why Egypt should be on your family holiday radar
Egypt is known for its luxury resorts, but the country is also a great destination for family holidays. Keep in mind that children also need a visa.
Most people know Egypt as a country of luxury resorts and sunny beaches along the Red Sea. But the country has surprisingly much to offer to families with children who are looking for the perfect family holiday destination. Here, we’ll go over what makes Egypt so special, and provide some useful tips on how to acquire the correct visas for you and your children to make the trip as smooth as possible.
Why your kid will love Egypt
There is a good chance your child has already heard or read about Egypt and its history at school. The Great Pyramids and mysterious mummies and tombs of Egyptian history are a popular subject at primary schools. But it’s one thing to see pictures of them, and an entirely different thing to witness them up close. A trip to Egypt can therefore also be an educational experience for your children, as tours and exhibits often come with guides who explain the details behind these hallmark aspects of Egyptian culture. At the same time, Egypt is much more than just pyramids and museums.
The Khan al Khalili bazaar
The Khan al Khalili bazaar seems to have been pulled straight from Aladdin. This sprawling market is filled with stall after stall full of decorative lights, jewellery, pottery, toys, perfumes and all manner of other trinkets. If you want to get a true Egyptian slice of life experience, the bazaar is the place to be. This is generally the best place for your child(ren) to find a keepsake to take home. Just be sure to keep an eye on the little ones, as the place tends to be very crowded, and shopkeeps can sometimes be overly enthusiastic.
The Egyptian Museum
This museum is among the oldest museums in the world and its age shows with the sheer number of ancient artifacts found within. From treasures to sarcophagi, in the museum you’ll find real life examples of things you and your children have only read about in books or seen in pictures. Children will adore features such as the statue of King Ramesses II when he was still a child. And as an added benefit, children under 6 years have free entrance!
The Great Pyramids of Giza
Of course, no trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to the country’s most popular features, the Great Pyramids. More than 4000 years old, the pyramids are testaments to the might and splendour of Egypt’s different rulers. It’s difficult to describe how imposing they are up close. Suffice to say, no picture does them justice. If you fancy a bit of exploring, it’s possible to enter the largest pyramid, The Great Pyramid of Khufu, and explore it from the inside. Or why not tour the pyramids on camelback?
Hot Air Balloon ride
In Luxor, also known as the “worlds largest open-air museum”, there are countless activities to enjoy, the most famous of which is the legendary Valley of Kings, resting place of countless rulers and nobles of Ancient Egypt. But while most people view it from the ground, there is also the possibility to view it from the air via a hot air balloon. This activity is recommended for children 6 years and above, as younger children won’t really be able to properly enjoy the views. The trips generally take between 45 to 80 minutes, during which you can relax and enjoy the magnificent birds-eye view of some of Egypt’s most popular sights.
Best time to travel and visa paperwork
Egypt is best avoided during the summer, as temperatures can reach truly scorching numbers. Instead, plan your trip during the winter months, when the temperature is nice and warm, and you can go outside at your leisure.
Egypt has a mandatory visa requirement for travellers from the UK. People staying in the Sharm el Sheikh resort area can stay in Egypt for 15 days without needing a visa. However, this does greatly limit your freedom and prevents you from enjoying the features mentioned above. It is recommended arranging your visa paperwork pre-departure. While Egypt does offer the possibility of getting your visa at the airport on arrival, most people prefer having their visas sorted out in advance for that extra peace of mind. All children, regardless of age, need a visa to travel to Egypt. Egypt has an online visa, the e-visa, which can be applied for through a digital application form. Afterwards, the visa is sent to you by e-mail, meaning no visit to an embassy or consulate is required.
Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/iuC3w8mLDcs, free to use, https://unsplash.com/photos/IYKL2uhgsnU, free to use