With its rich history and culture, Cairo is an amazing place to visit. However, sometimes it can get a bit noisy and crowded, which can be too much to handle. When that feeling hits, it’s nice to know that Egypt has much more to offer than its capital alone – and at just two to three hours away from Cairo – or even less. From surreal beaches to sand dunes and waterfalls, here are the best weekend getaways from Cairo.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Egypt is known for its dreamy sand dunes and when every oasis lies hours away from Cairo, Fayoum stands out at just a one and a half-hour drive away, making it ideal for a weekend break. Whether you’re looking for a historic, adventurous or peaceful break, Fayoum has it all. Opt for a desert safari, climb mountains, go hiking and trekking, enjoy sandboarding, camp in the middle of the desert, stargaze at the Milky Way, explore ancient monuments, view beautiful lakes or contemplate Wadi Al-Rayan’s waterfalls in the middle of the desert. Whatever you do, rest assured that you will have the time of your life.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Best time to visit: October to May
Located 180km from Cairo, it’s no doubt that the city of Alexandria has become a luring destination for tourists from around the world. It includes several amazing hotspots such as Pompey’s Pillar, the New Library of Alexandria, Al-Montazah Palace, the Citadel of Qaitbay, the Pharaonic Anfushi Tombs, the Alexandria National Museum and the list goes on. If you’re more into relaxing than sightseeing, go for a stroll on the promenade, while enjoying the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea, until you reach Al-Montazah Palace. Unwind in its beautiful royal gardens and later, fill yourself up at one of Alexandria’s finest fish restaurants.
Best time to visit: March to September
The North Coast
Here is where you can simply enjoy crystal blue beaches, pristine white sand, have a good bite to eat, relax – and nothing more! The North Coast, which is about a three-hour drive from Cairo, is the weekend getaway for most of the capital’s residents during summer. It is mostly composed of upscale gated compounds and beautiful luxurious hotels, such as the Rixos Alamein resort. There are many houses for rent that offer private infinity pools overlooking the tranquil Mediterranean coast, making it an ideal spot for a romantic getaway.
Best time to visit: June to September
This is another top favourite weekend getaway among Cairo’s residents, due to its proximity to the capital, with a distance of only an hour and a half by car. It can sometimes become crowded as most residents flee here for a peaceful break from Cairo’s hustle and bustle. Nevertheless, while Ain Al-Sokhna is famous for its beaches and breathtaking mountain views, it is also prominent for being a fishing destination. All of this – and more – make it a great getaway for families and friends looking for some tranquillity and serenity.
Best time to visit: September to May
Known as a hub for kitesurfers, Ras Sudr is as close as it gets when it comes to Sinai as it’s only a three-hour drive from Cairo. Due to its shallow waters and constantly blowing winds, Ras Sudr is a popular destination among kitesurfing fanatics from around the world. Its beautiful beach coastline also makes it the perfect getaway for family, friends and couples alike. Nevertheless, Ras Sudr also attracts many visitors who are into viewing different species of migrating birds.
Best time to visit: January to June
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.