A family Egypt vacation is a holiday to appeal to both young and old, and it’s easy to see why; few countries can boast so many intact examples of its ancient past as Egypt, while, equally, its modern attractions draw in families from all over the world. And with the variety of convenient packages available, from various companies, you and your family can make the most of your Egypt holidays and focus on the myriad of stunning sights and enchanting experiences.
Family Egypt Vacation
There are many styles of holiday or vacation in Egypt. There’s something for package tourists, group tour enthusiasts (with family tours available), and, of course, independent travellers. You can snorkel, scuba dive, enjoy the beach or pool or immerse yourself in history and culture.
The two big Nile options for Egypt vacations are Nile cruise boats and felucca sailing trips. The latter will likely involve fairly rustic sleeping arrangements but you’ll see the real Egypt, away from the luxury hotels. We’ve done it all in Egypt, my husband and I met in Egypt on one of those felucca trips and yes, we’ve spent considerable time in Egypt on family holidays with kids. You can organise many Nile cruises and tours here
Our kids adore Egypt vacations. They have a thirst for Egyptian culture and history and love Egyptian hospitality and facilities for kids. They’re also very fond of Egyptian food, it’s good, and not too spicy, very child-pleasing. This post is about family vacations in Egypt, the land of the pharaohs.
Cruising Down The Nile
Cruising down the Nile would come near the top of the to-do list for many a travel enthusiast. This trip can involve spending three days or more on a cruise boat, where you will be able to see ancient temples and traditional Egyptian villages from a place of comfort and luxury.
You will have the opportunity to be wowed by many of the major historical locations in the country, including the Valley of the Kings at Luxor where you’ll find Tutankhamun’s tomb. Younger members of the family will particularly enjoy seeing a genuine mummy and learning about the mysterious world of hieroglyphics.
Aswan offers Philae Temple, the Temple of Isis at Kom Ombo, and is a transit point for visiting Abu Simbel. You can check out the Aswan Dam and experience Nubian culture. Aswan really should be part of your trip although Luxor, arguably, has the densest collection of must-see Egyptian sights.
Other highlights include experiencing Cairo’s famous bazaars and going on a camel trek near Aswan. While, if you fancy enjoying some snorkelling among coral reefs and tropical fish near the Red Sea, you can do so at Makadi Bay, Hurghada. You can add a few days of Egyptian beach relaxation to your Nile cruise fairly easily by booking a package that includes both. For independent travellers, there are good buses from The Nile’s ancient wonders, to the Red Sea.
Family and Kid-Friendly Hotels in Egypt
Most of the usual chain hotels are represented in Egypt. You will, of course, find Hyatt, Marriott and so on, both in Cairo and at Egypt’s beach destinations. A few stand-out kid-friendly hotels for families enjoying a vacation in Egypt are listed below.
- Serenity Fun City at Makadi Bay, Hurghada features its own water park. There are slides suitable for young children through to teens and tweens. Parents should have plenty of fun here too. The hotel shares a beach with its sister hotel, the Serenity Makadi Beach and there is scuba diving and snorkelling here. Both are a short hop from Hurghada airport. Family rooms are available.
- Marriott Mena House Giza Cairo. This stunning, Egyptian-themed property has a direct, and close, view of the pyramids at Giza. There’s plenty of space and pools, just far enough away from bustling downtown Cairo to have a relaxing stay. A pyramids view is my #1 want in a Cairo hotel. If you’ve ever experienced it you’ll know why. This is close to the new Grand Egyptian Museum and Giza station. You should be able to organise a pick-up from the airport, and do, the taxi situation is pretty crazy there. Family rooms available.
- Novotel Cairo El Borg has kids stay free deals and family rooms. It’s pretty much on The Nile if you need to be in the city for business or want to soak up the city of Cairo itself. This one is a little cheaper, and Novotel generally does families well.
- A budget option, and a place we’ve stayed and would return, is this little guest house with direct roof-top views of the pyramids complex at Giza. No frills here, no pool, but good hospitality and a view to die for. Check it out in this post on staying near the pyramids. From here we were able to organise a driver to take us to all the attractions in and around Cairo and as far south as the step pyramid at Saqqara, Ancient Memphis. We watched the sound and light show and the Sphinx talk, every evening from our rooftop. It was pretty special. But it’s a very budget option. On the Red Sea we used this Marriott resort hotel and it was also very affordable and had its own beach area with lots of water fun for kids.
- The Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, one of the world’s great classic hotels, is perfectly situated on the Corniche in Luxor. Stunning gardens, a pool and Victorian grandeur make this hotel a destination in itself.
- Aswans most famous hotel, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel, is where Agatha Christie famously stayed and wrote some of Death on The Nile in the late 1920s. It even has an Agatha Christie suite. We’ve been, it’s a stunning hotel with beautiful gardens and pool area. If you don’t stay, at least visit for drinks or a meal.
- At Naama Bay, Shaarm El Sheik, check out the Aqua Blu, this is a families and couples only hotel and again, has a rather fantastic (huge) water park.
The Egyptian Museum (& New GEM)
If there’s one museum to visit in Egypt then it’s the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Tutankhamun’s gold burial mask is arguably the most famous treasure from the ancient world, and it can usually be seen here. The museum boasts that it has the biggest collection of pharaoh-related items in the world, and it would be hard to disagree.
With the Royal Mummies Room dedicated to housing well-preserved remains of some of Ancient Egypt’s notable rulers. The Animal Mummy Room underlines the Ancient Egyptians respect for a wide range of animals, and this area of the museum has no admission charge.
The new Grand Egyptian Museum or GEM is due to open any day now, and while the Egyptian Museum in Cairo will remain an iconic feature, this museum is set to be a new wonder in itself. Many will be making the trip to Egypt to be one of the first through its doors. Many treasures have already moved to the GEM. Check for their opening date, here at the GEM website.
Dream Park, Cairo
Southwest of Cairo is Dream Park, which is one of the leading amusement parks in the Middle East (and of course Africa, Egypt is a transcontinental country). The rides at the park range from gentle to exhilarating, and with its two theatres and areas for concerts, it is a place that is aimed at families and will please the kids if they want to take a break from sightseeing. There are several gift shops and no less than 15 restaurants, too.
Luxor is the centre of Egypt’s living past, and is home to the Valley of the Kings. Another eye-catching aspect of Luxor is the Karnak Temple Complex, and the magnificent avenue of ram sphinxes that appear here.
Reaching the complex can be an experience in itself, and options include travelling to it by a motor launch down the Nile or taking a more tranquil journey by way of feluccas.
Deir el Medina is another place well worth visiting in this area it is a site where many of the workers who constructed the pyramids are buried. Here, paintings remain that were created by the village’s inhabitants depicting life in Ancient Egypt several millennia ago.
Family vacations to Egypt can cater for many tastes, from lovers of history to travellers looking to relax on the country’s celebrated beaches at Sharm El Sheikh. You can visit Egypt on a tight budget, or spend big on all inclusive and luxury stays which can be restful of high-energy fun for kids and the young-at-heart. Egypt with kids could be quite tiring, the heat and early morning sightseeing starts are taxing, so book a good place to stay so you can recharge and relax. Step into history in this dynamic and ancient country, you may find, like us, that visiting Egypt once may prove not to be enough. For more posts on travel in Egypt, you need our Egypt Travel Blog page.