The land of the pharaohs and the great Pyramids is a sizzling vacation destination and one that is great for honeymooners, solo travelers, and water sports fanatics. Egypt bridges North Africa and the Middle East and the culture is just as unique as the location, but you might be wondering where the warmest places in Egypt are.
It might have a Mediterannean coastline and another flanked by the Red Sea, but Egypt is actually dominated by desert and boasts dry and hot weather all year round. Mild winters fall along coastal regions, but summers are always boiling and you’ll struggle to find daily highs below 80 degrees Fahrenheit anywhere.
Nevertheless, there are some places that are cooler than others and the south is undoubtedly the hottest part of the country. Our guide comes in with all the places to go if you want scorching heat in Egypt and everything that makes them unique, as well as where to avoid in the peak of summer if you don’t want heatstroke that is. Let’s get into it.
Located on the east banks of the River Nile, Aswan has been a commercial gateway city for Egypt since ancient times with its strategic location just north of the Aswan Dam. Also famed for its granite quarries, you can find thousands of Egyptian statues, shrines, obelisks and even pyramids constructed from locally mined granite, most of which are housed in the Philae Temple complex on Agilkia Island.
These ruins are one of southern Egypt’s most significant archaeological sites and the Temple of Isis, dating back to the 4th-century B.C., sits in the complex. Downriver you’ll also find Elephantine Island, holding the Temple of Khnum from the Third Dynasty.
Aswan is Egypt’s southernmost city, located at the first cataract of the Nile north of Sudan and 600 miles from the capital of Cairo. Aswan was once the frontier of the ancient kingdom and despite being one of the warmest places in Egypt, the city is lush and fertile thanks to the Nile. Incredible riverside scenery and well-maintained green spaces are all characteristics of Aswan. Sailboats bob along peacefully and the city is a popular stop-off for river cruises.
You won’t find soaring skyscrapers and traffic-choked streets like Cairo, but the modern city has seen a huge expansion in recent years and the busy market center is popular with tourists. The city is also part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for craft and folk art and you can spend hours getting lost in the narrow streets dotted with souvenir shops.
Still, you might want to pick the time of year that you visit Aswan very carefully. The city has a subtropical desert climate with very mild winters and very hot, sunny summers with little rainfall. Long, sweltering, and arid days with no rain are common from April to October and the winters are short and dry, too. Summer highs can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll rarely see the temperature dip below 80.
Winter is more forgiving and you expect pleasant highs of 80 degrees from November to February and cool evenings of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Located in upper southern Egypt on the east bank of the Nile, Luxor is a modern, upscale city where you can find highrise hotels and ancient sites existing harmoniously. The area was formerly known as the pharaoh’s capital and sits on the site of Thebes where two spectacular monuments from 16th-century B.C. still stand.
The Luxor Temple complex and the Karnak Temple, a mile north, are some of the most impressive feats of architecture from the ancient world and Karnak has survived from as far back as the reign of Pharaoh Seti I. The royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are located just across from the city on the west bank of the Nile where you’ll also find quiet local streets, peppered with old houses and authentic Egyptian cafes. The east is much busier with malls, hotels, international restaurants, and manicured green spaces.
You can spend hours wandering the temples, tombs, and narrow streets of Luxor, but make sure you do it at the right time of year since temperatures here aren’t dissimilar to those in Aswan. The cities are just three hours apart (240 kilometers) and Luxor also benefits from a subtropical climate encircled by an arid, desert.
Expect 100-degree summers with slightly cooler lows than Aswan, hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter also averages around 70 degrees Fahrenheit by day with lows of around 45.
Siwa is an urban oasis located between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea of the Western Desert. Located just 50 kilometers east of the Libyan border and 560 kilometers from Cairo, Siwa has a fascinating culture and unique scenery.
This mirage-like place is dotted with lofty palms, olive groves that emerge from the sands, and ancient mud-brick buildings that house the 20,000 Berber inhabitants that call Siwa home. This indigenous group of Northwest Africa are descendants of the pre-Arab people of this region and are known for their nomadic lifestyle and agriculture. Historically, Berber merchants transported goods by “camel caravans” across deserts and borders. Today, camels remain the preferred mode of transport for the local people of Siwa.
The location and isolation of Siwa have afforded the Berbers here an incredibly distinct culture, particularly in comparison to the typically Middle Eastern and Islamic values that are held all over Egypt. Male homosexuality is widely accepted here and same-sex marriages are permitted and even celebrated through vibrant rituals and ceremonies. Siwa has been of special interest to anthropologists and sociologists for this reason, but Egyptian authorities have sought to repress these traditions in the last fifty years, with homosexuality being illegal in the rest of the country.
Still, Siwa offers a lot more to see that the practices of its people. The history of the town dates back to the 10th-century B.C. when the Temple of Amun was instated here, and later visited by Alexander the Great. Siwa was known as “Sekht-am” in ancient Egypt, meaning ‘palm land’ which perfectly depicts the fertile oasis.
A real highlight is the crystal clear salt lakes that create a mirage of sparkling waters to give any white sand beach paradise a run for its money. The Zeitoun Lake is the largest of the Siwa Oasis and it miraculously appears on the border of wilderness just east of Siwa in the Western Desert. You can even swim in Siwa’s salt lakes and taking an evening dip is a popular activity for tourists and the perfect way to cool off after a scorching day under the African sun.
With virtually no rainfall year-round, Siwa has a desert climate with long, sweltering summers and average highs of 100 degrees Fahrenheit from June to August. Temperatures average at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during winter and drop considerably at night, perfect for camping out under the stars. Be sure to check out the remnants of the Temple of Amun if temperatures allow it, there’s also the 13th-century Fortress of Shali with labyrinthine alleys, an old mosque, and soaring minarets in the center of Siwa.
Sohag, also spelled Sawhaj, is a city that sits on the west bank of the River Nile in Egypt between Luxor and Cairo. It might be slightly further north than some of the other warmest places in Egypt but Sohag is ranked the 5th driest place in the country and the 9th in the world.
The city was only truly unearthed by modern settlers in the mid-20th-century, but its architecture dates back more than 7,000 years with a cemetery from the first dynasty still standing in the southern province of Sohag. Its Islamic monuments of the Fatimid era such as the El-Atiq Mosque or el-Farshuti Mosque (the old mosque) are also big pull factors to the city for both tourists and religious pilgrims.
Covering a stretch of the Nile Valley, inner Sohag is characterized by its dusty landscape, palm-tree-lined stips, and traditional houses. The Sohag National Museum also sits on the riverbanks opposite the governorates building and the modern structure is modeled after a two-story Ancient Egyptian Temple. It is designed to seamlessly fit in with the arid landscape as well as symbolize the integral role of the Sohag Nile in the lives of the local community and Sohag’s prosperity.
A trove of antiquities is housed in the basement gallery, which took 25 years to complete, including artifacts from ongoing excavations of the temple of Ramses II in Akhmim.
Like much of Egypt, Sohag has long, scorching summers where temperatures rarely drop below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and highs can reach 102. Over the course of the year, Sohag won’t get much cooler than 45 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity at around 50 percent and an average of 0.76mm of rainfall monthly. Yep, that doesn’t even qualify as one day of rainfall per month.
With vibrant coral reefs, turquoise waters, palm-lined promenades, and white sand beaches, Hurghada proves that the warmest places in Egypt aren’t all arid deserts and there’s plenty to offer in the way of sun-soaked, seaside relaxation. That said, Hurghada is also a great vantage point for dune adventures, desert camel hikes, and safaris, presenting the best of both worlds when it comes to Egyptian getaways.
This resort town stretches 40 kilometers along Egypt’s eastern Red Sea coast. Similar to nearby holiday hotspots like Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada is well-regarded for its scuba diving, dive shops, and dive schools than are dotted around the modern Sakalla district. Hurghada is also a popular leave point for liveaboard dive trips in Egypt with a generous mix of wrecks and reefs within easy reaching distance of its shores.
From whale sharks to manta rays, turtles, barracudas, and dolphins there is as much to see below the surface of the water as there is above. Even if you don’t fancy donning all the professional gear, the colorful reefs offer great snorkeling for budding marine fanatics of all experience levels.
Hurghada is also a place for a typically lusted beach getaway. Resort hotels line the long stretches of sand, usually owning their own sections of private beach for guests to enjoy. Great restaurants, bars, nightlife, and shopping can all be found in Hurghada but you can also get your dose of culture here with the old town, or El Dahar, being home to a smattering of quaint Egyptian coffee shops and souks.
Hurghada benefits from a subtropical desert climate with very hot and dry summers, warm winters, and year-round sunshine. The ocean breeze and water-focused activities can come as welcome relief from scorching summer highs. Between April and October, average temperatures hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit but visit during the winter months for cooler averages around 80 and guaranteed sun.
When is the best time to visit Egypt?
The best time to visit Egypt is outside of the scorching summer months when temperatures are cooler but you can still expect sun. Between October and April daily highs often hit 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit but evenings are much chillier. Egypt experiences very little rainfall nationwide and guaranteed sunshine wherever you go.
Can you swim in the Red Sea?
There is a host of different marine life calling the Red Sea home, but you can swim off Egypt’s east coasts safely, as long as you follow local guidelines. This might mean staying between the flags on beaches when currents are strong, and avoiding swimming in too deep water without a boat nearby for the same reasons, but also because some of Egypt’s resort towns aren’t strangers to occasional shark attacks.
Is Egypt safe?
Egypt demonstrates relatively low crime rates and the major cities only score high when it comes to petty theft and muggings. Over the years, visitors have suffered armed robbers, car thefts, and even sexual assault, with female harassment rates in Cairo being much higher than in other global megacities, but this doesn’t mean Egypt isn’t safe to visit, you just need to take some extra precautions, especially if traveling alone.