There's a huge difference in the weather between the northern part of Egypt and the central and southern regions, as well as the time of month. Temperatures in Cairo, for example, begin around 88°F early in the month but drop to 82°F by the end. The evenings border on chilly, ranging from 60 to 66°F and often requiring a jacket to go out at night.
Down south, however, daytime highs remain scorching hot. Luxor, for instance, lingers around 100°F at the beginning of the month and comes down to 89°F near the end. There's very little rain throughout most of the country, although Alexandria and spots along the Sinai Peninsula can get mild precipitation.
Crowds and Costs
October is considered shoulder season in Egypt which makes it a great month to travel if you're not into big crowds. Early in the month, the hotter weather keeps many of the tourists away, especially farther south where the temperatures are less tolerable. Not only that, the prices are still pretty reasonable, too. Toward the end of October, some hotels start shifting to high season prices.
Where to Go
Most of the country is prime to visit in October, although the southern regions may be too hot for some folks. In Cairo, the days are hot but not sweltering and the evenings feel crisp and refreshing. It's a wonderful time to explore the ancient historical sites, wander through the beautiful mosques, or check out the bustling markets.
The beaches are ideal this time of year, too With temperatures ranging from 84°F to 93°F, it's the perfect time to lounge by the pool in resort towns like Sharm el-Sheikh or Hurghada, soaking up the exquisite views. In addition to wonderful snorkeling, sailing, and other beach activities, there's a booming food scene and lively nightlife.
If you're brave enough to weather the higher temperatures of Luxor or Aswan, you'll be treated to spectacular historical sites with temples and ancient ruins alongside modern mosques and chic restaurants. From either city, you can also take day tours to Esna, Edfu, or Kom Ombo, all of which have fascinating temples to explore. To hit all of the famous spots, try booking a cruise down the Nile River.
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What to Do
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza is a central part of any trip to Egypt. The sight of the giant ancients structures is enough to take your breath away, regardless of how many times you've seen the photos. Among the ruins include the Great Sphynx, the Necropolis, and the Valley Temple of Khafre. Once up close, you'll immediately realize why the complex is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
From Cairo, book a day trip to Alexandria to see the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, or to Saqqara to see the Step Pyramid or the Bent Pyramid. Temperatures here are even cooler than in the capital, ranging from 77°F to 82°F. Plus, you have 11 to 12 hours of daylight since the true winter hours haven't yet begun.
In Luxor, check out nearby sites like the Temple of Osiris in Abydos or the Valley of the Kings in Karnak. Aswan is a great jumping-off point to visit the Temple of Khnum in Esna or the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus in Edfu, a structure that dates back to the reign of Cleopatra VII.
On the Sinai Peninsula, the beach towns offer a delightful combination of relaxation and adventure. Get a massage one day and go surfing, kiteboarding, or parasailing the next. There are also tons of activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, in addition to world-class dining and nightlife.
Events in October
Abu Simbel Sun Festival (also called the Ascension of Ramses II): This sacred event marks one of two times every year when the sun aligns with Abu Simbel's famous temple (the other time is usually in February). When this happens, the light hits the sanctuary, illuminating the statue of King Ramsses II. A holy ceremony takes place that attracts hundreds of people.
Siyaha: In October, the Siwa Oasis out in the Western Desert hosts a harvest festival to celebrate the coming season. Events coincide with the full moon and involve Sufi chanting, along with music, food, and celebrations. At night, men gather to form a giant prayer circle called a zikr.
Moulid of Sayyed Al Badawi: Late in October, an enormous pilgrimage takes place that draws almost a million Sufi Egyptians go to the city of Tanta along the Nile Delta. There, they offer prayers and take part in a celebration to honor the 13th-century Sufi figure who fought the Crusaders.
Traveling to Egypt in October? Check out this great itinerary
Explore Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria, & Sharm El Sheikh - 7 Days: Over the course of seven activity-filled days, this versatile itinerary takes you to all of the most important sites in Cairo, Alexandria, and Sharm el-Sheikh, offering an excellent combination of historical ruins and relaxing beach time. Highlights include the Pyramids of Giza, the Citadel of Fort Qaitbey (which holds an ancient lighthouse with a statue of Poseidon), and the Library of Alexandria. At the coast, you'll be able to snorkel in the turquoise sea and ride a camel along the coastline.