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.
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 sand boarding, 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.
Best time to visit: October to May
Located 180 km 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
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