There's no getting around the fact that Egypt is extremely hot in July. Temperatures in the central and southern parts of the country near Luxor and Abu Simbel, for example, can sometimes surpass 107°F during the midday heat. For many people, this makes it too hot to enjoy a vacation. However, it's not like this everywhere in the country. Cairo is considerably cooler with daytime highs hovering around 96°F and evenings lowering to about 70°F.
The coasts are only slightly hotter, experiencing daytime temperatures of about 98 to 99°F and evening lows of roughly 78°F. The warm sea breeze, paired with the fact that most activities take place on or near water, makes this region feel much cooler than anywhere else in the country.
There's virtually no rain in July and the days are long, providing lots of daytime hours for tourist activities. Typically, the sun comes up around 5 am and doesn't set until 7 pm, offering an average of 13 hours of sunshine each day.
Crowds and Costs
Despite the heat throughout the country, July is a fantastic time to visit Egypt due to the significant drop in tourist numbers. Although the Pyramids of Giza and major tourist attractions always have some degree of overcrowding, it's negligible compared to the winter months—yet it's still just as beautiful as any other time of year. Not only that, the costs go down as well. Unlike high season rates which can be double the average in January and February, prices during July are much more reasonable as hotels offer discounts and airlines run special low-season promotions.
Where to Go
The Sinai Peninsula is the place to be in Egypt during July. The temperatures are lower and the ocean offers a breeziness that takes the edge off the scorching heat. Plus, you'll be able to spend your days swimming in the sea, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and doing other water-based activities that make you forget how hot the air is. Even better, the crowd sizes are be practically half what they are during other times of the year. You'll be able to sip cocktails at the pool bar without swarms of people hogging up the lounge chairs or crowding out your photo. The water is turquoise and the white sand beaches are exquisite.
Cairo is another great option. There, you'll find some of the country's most significant cultural ruins (i.e. Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, etc.) with fewer crowds—and the weather is cooler, too. If you go early enough in the morning, the heat won't be unbearable and you can duck into an air-conditioned cafe during the lunch hour or take a dip in the pool to escape the hottest part of the day. Alexandria is another similar destination in the north along the coast where temperatures are also cooler and there are plenty of archaeological ruins there, too.
Central and southern destinations such as Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel are often intolerably hot in July, making it a less-than-ideal time for a visit. However, if you have your heart set on seeing some of the historical sites in those places, book a cruise on the Nile River. You'll have a slight breeze on the water to temper the heat and when it gets too hot, you can hide out in your air-conditioned cabin. (Just make sure you check that the boat has A.C. before booking).
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
The Red Sea offers myriad activities in July. Check out the coastal towns of Sharm el-Sheikh or Hurghada for beautiful resorts with glistening white sand beaches and crystal blue infinity pools. These higher-end destinations offer plenty of opportunities for pampering and relaxation with things like massages and spa services. Dahab is another great, more affordable option with nice hotels alongside the lower cost, backpacker-style accommodations. All three towns offer snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, surfing, and swimming in the ocean. They also have exceptional nightlife, particularly Sharm el-Sheikh Sheikh where you can sip cocktails out of ice glasses at Ice Bar or see belly dancers perform at Gu Bar.
Head to Cairo to check out the famed Pyramids of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Soak up the intrigue of the Great Sphinx, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure. Or, swing by the Egyptian Museum to view more than120,000 historical artifacts. Just keep in mind that the latter isn't air-conditioned so you'll want to go early in the morning before the temperatures inside get sweltering.
If you opt to head south to Luxor or Aswan, try a Nile River cruise to mitigate the hot temperatures (which can hit 107°F in the middle of the day). From the boat, there are tons of temples and historical ruins in places like Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and others.
Events in July
Eid Al Adha: Beginning in late July, Egyptians Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha (also called Eid Qurban), one of two major annual religious holidays. The "Festival of the Sacrifice" marks the time when Ibrahim sacrificed his son for God's command and the four-day festival involves lots of chanting, prayers, and feasting on meat.
Traveling to Egypt in July? Check out this great itinerary
Cairo, Giza, & Alexandria - 5 Days: This five-day trip is a great option for July because it skips the hottest parts of the country in favor of the cooler northern destinations. You'll begin in Cairo where you'll take in the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza (including an evening visit for the famous Sound and Light Show), along with in-town sites such as the Egyptian Museum. You'll take a day trip to Alexandria for the Catacombs of Kom El Shoukafa, the Citadel of Fort Qaitbe, the Morsi Abu Alabas Mosque, and the Library of Alexandria. The trip wraps up with a tour of Old Cairo and a scenic dinner cruise on the Nile.