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Egypt - Getting there & away, getting around

Egypt - Getting there & away

There is a variety of good options for getting to Egypt, with good connections between Cairo and many European cities. Super-cheap holiday packages including hotel vouchers can work out cheaper than booking a flight independently, and you can just chuck the vouchers away if resorts aren't your style. Flights from elsewhere can be expensive and it's worth looking into flying to Europe first and then making your way to Egypt from there, as this is often a cheaper option than flying direct.

Egypt's national air carrier is EgyptAir, and Air Sinai also has good connections in Egypt. Most travellers come into Egypt through Cairo, although people are increasingly disembarking at Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada (Al-Ghardaka) and Sharm el-Sheikh. These airports are serviced by a number of smaller carriers and charter companies with direct connections to Europe.

Other connections from elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East include the bus from Israel via the Gulf of Aqaba or the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, and ferries from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Getting around Egypt

Egypt has a very good system of public and private transport. Domestic air travel is clearly the quickest way to get around, although it's probably only worth considering if you have lots of money and little time. Otherwise the transport options include buses, trains and boats, and even camels, donkeys and horses.

If you're claustrophobic or have a weak stomach you might be uncomfortable travelling on the buses and trains, but they are a great way to meet local people and get a feel for the culture. Buses service virtually every town in Egypt and the 5000km (3100mi) of rail also connects just about every town in the country from Aswan to Alexandria.

You can also hire service taxis that shunt car loads of passengers between towns and cities. These vehicles are traditionally Peugeot 504s, however Toyota minibuses are becoming popular as service taxis or microbuses, and they usually congregate at the train and bus stations. The drivers wait until they're full (very full!) before they budge.

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