A land of history and undiscovered mysteries in a vast expanse of desert – this is Egypt in a nutshell. An intriguing destination for travelers who like to hear about the past, this nation played a key role in the formation of various religions. But first, where is Egypt located?
We all have heard of this country’s former affluence and Pharaonic influence in the Ancient World order. It is not just stories that make Egypt so enchanting. Its unique landscape and culture has a major role to play in its charm.
Where is Egypt Situated?
Egypt is located between the continents of Africa and Asia. The nation is credited with being a bridge between the countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Officially known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, this country has the Red Sea to its east and the Mediterranean Sea to its north.
Egypt is bordered by Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip at its northeast, Libya to its west and Sudan to its south. Saudi Arabia and Jordan are separated from Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba to its northeast. Egypt follows the Egypt Standard Time (EGY) which is 2 hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2).
The geographical coordinates of Egypt are 30 degrees 2 minutes North (in terms of latitude) and 31 degrees 13 minutes East (in terms of longitude). This transcontinental nation is spread over 1,010,408 square kilometers or 390,121 square miles, placing it in the 29th position in the globe in the rank of nations by size.
Egypt Map from India
Egypt is 4,920 kilometers away from India and is located to its west. There are a number of countries that separate Egypt from India. Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Israel fall directly in the path between India and Egypt.
Due to the sensitive border situation between India and Pakistan, it is not feasible to take the road between the two countries. This is one of the reasons why there is no railroad network that connects the two nations.
How to Reach Egypt from India
It is possible to travel from India to Egypt by air only. There are 14 international airports in the country – Cairo International Airport in Cairo – the capital of Egypt, Sphinx International Airport, Alexandria International Airport, Aswan International Airport, El Arish International Airport, El Alamain International Airport, Hurghada International Airport, Luxor International Airport, Capital International Airport, Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, Sohag International Airport, St. Catherine International Airport and Taba International Airport.
However, the most convenient connections are available to Cairo and Luxor only. EgyptAir and Air India operate about 9 non-stop flights to Cairo. The shortest flight takes 6 hours and 16 minutes. The cheapest one-way economy class ticket costs INR 4,200 per person, but it has a layover. This flight takes off from Calicut though and is operated by Flynas.
Other airlines that are available for bookings as part of Egypt vacation packages from India are Saudia, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Etihad, Emirates, Go First, Air-India Express, Kuwait Airways, Ethiopian, LOT, Qatar Airways, IndiGo, Air France, SWISS, Lufthansa, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and British Airways.
The Best Time to Visit Egypt from India
Egypt has a hot and dry climate overall, thanks to its endless desert landscape and subtropical location. Summers last for many months, from May to September. June happens to be the hottest time of the year, with temperatures rising to almost 40 degrees Celsius.
However, winters are not exactly very popular with tourists due to reduced sunshine hours, even though the temperatures barely reach single digits, if at all. This means, November to March are usually off the charts too.
This makes the spring month of April and the autumn month of October the most popular times for a vacation in Egypt. Rains hardly make an appearance in this arid climate, so you can be assured of a dry weather throughout.
It is only the country’s coastal areas that see any rainfall. These are also the places with some of the most gorgeous villas and resorts on offer, with luxury dripping off every door. To save on hotel expenses, the off-season and shoulder seasons are the best times to visit.
Is Egypt Good for Honeymoon?
Egypt is famous for the Pyramids of Giza – one of the wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to still survive. If balmy weather and bright sunshine is your idea of romance, this land is certainly a great place to plan your honeymoon in. Egypt is not the first choice of honeymooners. However, if you wish to do something off-beat that almost every other couple in the world is not doing, this country is the perfect destination.
Egypt Tour Packages from India
There are several activities to do in Egypt and exploring the pyramids is just the beginning of the list. While the total number of pyramids in the country is more than a hundred, the most famous ones are located in Giza, which is not too far from Cairo.
Most Egypt tour packages will take you to the pyramids of the ancient Egyptian kings – Khufu (Cheops), Khafre (Chephren), and Menkaure (Mykerinos), which date back several thousand years before the Common Era. You will also have the chance to ride on camelback and have your photos taken in the desert against the backdrop of the pyramids.
Learn about hieroglyphics and the unique pictorial way of depiction that people used to write stories on the pyramids of the mummified Pharaohs. Apart from the pyramids, there is also the Great Sphinx of Giza, which is a mythical creature – half lion with the head of a Pharaoh. The Sphinx is said to have been built to guard the three pyramids.
Egypt vacation packages also include trips to Luxor, which is a city on the east bank of the River Nile – the longest river in Africa. This city is home to the Karnak Temple and the Luxor Temple, which date back to 1500 BCE.
Activities and Things to do in Egypt
You may also visit the Valley of the Kings, which houses the burial chambers and tombs of various Pharaohs throughout the history of Egypt. You will also get a glimpse of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, which belongs to a female Pharaoh – a rare occurrence in the otherwise male dominated lineage.
Sightseeing aside, there is a delightful opportunity to cruise along the mighty Nile in a felucca – a traditional boat. Upgrade your romance with a multi-day cruise from one Egyptian city to another. October to April is the best time for such a cruise when the scorching sun will not sap you of your energy.
If you do not mind spending slightly extra on your honeymoon, a hot-air balloon ride is like cherry on the cake. Usually conducted in Luxor, this experience gives you an aerial view of the city, which is essentially an open-air museum in its own right.
For a beach holiday, head to the Egyptian city of Hurghada, which is located on the coast of the Red Sea. Here, you will have the chance to party at various nightclubs or simply soak in the beach vibes with your partner.
Sharm El Sheikh is another coastal destination and a nice place to try snorkeling and diving. Luxury spa packages are also available in case you wish to indulge in couple massages to infuse more love in your new relationship.
Egypt boasts of a soulful cuisine, loaded with lentils, vegetables, meat and spices. Tuck into foul mudammas, which is a local stew made of fava beans. Koshary is another popular dish with an unusual combination of macaroni, lentils and rice – a classic example of how Mediterranean cuisine blends with Asian flavors.
Vegetarians have a huge variety of options when it comes to Egyptian food. A much recommended dish is dolma – grape leaves stuffed with vegetables and rice. Kebabs, koftas and falafel are all-time favorites with tourists and locals alike.
When it comes to dips, nothing beats the evergreen hummus. While the classic recipe includes chickpeas, sesame seeds and olive oil, these days, a wide array of variations is available. Try hummus flavored with beetroot, spinach and a host of other ingredients.
If you are a tea aficionado, you would definitely appreciate the local black tea with some dates to sweeten every sip. Speaking of beverages, Egypt also produces its own wine in Alexandria and some parts around the Nile. Egyptian beer is famous as well. Known as bouza, this alcohol is brewed with bread and barley.
End your Egyptian feast with desserts such as basbousa (a semolina cake soaked in syrup), knafeh (a spun pastry garnished with pistachios or clotted cream), feteer meshaltet (a pastry stuffed with cheese or coconut) and baqlava (layered filo pastry with nuts and honey – an Ottoman classic).
If you too are desperate to unearth the mysteries hidden in Egypt, book your tickets and get your visas in order. A holiday to this Arabic country is not simply a chance to learn about ancient history but also immerse in Muslim culture and embrace desert lifestyle.